An Entertaining Experience

Invitations: I kept these simple, even though I would have enjoyed going overboard. We used write-on invitations from a local gift store for the neighbors' so we could drop them off at their door.

We used Evites for our friends knowing it would be easier to RSVP and the electronic reminder is more manageable than a phone call, "So, are you coming or what?" We added the question, "What color do you think we painted our powder room?" for fun.

MenuDue to the time of day, we kept our menu simple. I wanted to fill the house with warm & autumn aromas, so I chose to make whatever I could and purchase only bread, crackers, and sundried-tomatoes (julienne cut) for the cracker dip, and Halloween candy for kids.  We have a number of WFB friends who have mastered the art of entertaining, so we followed their lead and kept the hands-on portion very simple. All of my preparation went toward:
  • M&M Cookies (for kids & husbands/men in general)
  • Bruschetta
  • Mama Shedd's Applesauce (J's Mom)
  • Applecake
  • Apple Cider
  • Powdered-sugar Frosting (for the cake)

While Hawk went to purchase drinks, I began cooking at 9:30am. I planned to stop cooking even if I wasn't completely finished by 1:00pm so I could shower, redo make-up, and finish cleaning anything that needed it (entertaining tip below). I made M&M cookies first so they could bake...

...while I peeled apples for my mother's infamous and perfectly delicious homemade applesauce (it truly points us to the divine feast). 

mmm, macintosh...

wedding knives, bowls, & boards put to delightful use
I used 2/3 of the applesauce to make Applecake and replaced the cake's walnut topping with powdered-sugar frosting and more cinnamon-brown sugar. I then used the other 1/3 as an additional cake topping. By the time the cookies were done, I had finished the applesauce and the preparation of one of three batches of the applecake. While the first applecake baked (40 minutes), I was able to make the second batch.

I made apple cider last from apple juice, cranberry juice, and spices, with simmering oranges & cinnamon sticks. It filled the house with it's luscious scent at the right time. By the time our first guests arrived at 2:20, we were resting in the kitchen with some Leinie's Oktoberfest and enjoying a few moments peace.

    Entertaining Tip: No matter how ready you are, stop one hour before the party start time and get dressed, get make-uped, etc.  It is easier to keep cooking when people arrive than to run upstairs to finish your personal presentation. This also ensures that when your guests arrive, you are not sweaty or unfinished. Who want's a sweaty, stressed hostess? Giving myself the hour had only one down-side: I'm not really that good at dressing up my hair. It's wave/curly and sort of like that main female character in Monsters, Inc., it mimics my current mood. Shortly after our guests arrived, we snapped the last of the four photos of the day. Here are two friends and I as we sample a New Glarus Raspberry Tart:

    has that whole 70's look, eh?

    More to come!


    1. Using homemade applesauce for a cake is risky. Can you mention how it turned out? Was the applesauce sort of runny or juicy? Chunky or smooth? Happy to read that your first party went so well. What are we invited for next?

    2. The applesauce worked well---just as a topping that was put on right before it was eaten. The sauce is chunky, rather than runny. Imagine more of an apple pie filling than Mott's...
      And I'd invite you, but you're anonymous!


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