In order to impress your guests and create the perfect, festive, seasonal ambiance, follow these easy tips from expert Pam Beattie.
First and foremost, you need to embrace the colors of the season and use these fall hues to create the perfect look for your home and, most importantly, your dining room table so your guests are absolutely stunned by your creativity!
· Combine placements and centerpieces in colors like orange, plum, yellow and brown with shallow trays of gourds that create a stunning fall table scape. Further the look by seeking out festive dishware in fall-inspired hues and napkins in patterns such as gingham, plaid, or houndstooth.
· Decorate with pumpkins – spray paint pumpkins with silver, gold or black. Using a hot glue gun either wind rope packaging or bejewel (using beads and sequins) a pumpkin after spray-painting it. To give it an extra oomph, combine the two. With a glue gun, draw swirls around the pumpkin and add glitter over the glue. Then wind the rope around the pumpkin in swirling patterns.
· Create votive centerpieces, using smaller pumpkins and gourds of various shapes. Cut the top off, but only big enough for a small votive candle to fit in snugly. Place small votive candles in the holes and place on the table for a little mood lighting.
· Another differentiation to the votive centerpieces – take small pumpkins and gourds and cut the top off. Clean out the insides and use an electric drill to carve small holes in various patterns to your liking, into the pumpkin. Then place a votive candle inside the pumpkin to enjoy the extra lighting and cozy ambiance.
· Using a large, clear vase or hurricane lamp combine gourds, acorns, nuts and faux berries together. Secure a taper candle in the center for a lovely centerpiece. You can tie a ribbon around the vase to give it a little something extra.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cans Navy beans, drained
- ¼ cup Jalapeno peppers, diced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup corn
- 1 cup white wine
- Vegetable broth – start with 1 quart. Add more if necessary
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Cayenne pepper to taste – optional if spicy chili is desired
- Saute turkey, onion and garlic in olive oil.
- Put into a crock pot with all of the remaining ingredients. Stir.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
For a seasonal favorite, intertwine a honey crisp apple sangria (recipe follows) or a high-end bottle of Merlot to go along with either choices of the above elegant fall meals.
HONEYCRISP APPLE SANGRIA:
- 2 honeycrisp apples
- 1 750-milliliter bottle un-oaked Chardonnay
- ½ cup peach schnapps
- ¼ cup orange blossom honey
- 2 oranges, 1 quartered
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 lime, quartered
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 quarter-size slices of fresh ginger
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Club soda
1. Peel, core and chop one of the apples.
2. In a bowl, combine the Chardonnay, schnapps and honey. Add the quartered orange, lemon, lime, cinnamon sticks, chopped apple, ginger and cloves and refrigerate overnight. (If you don’t want to wait that long at least give it 4 hours).
3. Strain the sangria into a pitcher. Peel, core and finely chop the remaining apple. Peel, section and chop the remaining orange. Mix the apple and orange in a bowl.
4. On a small plate, blend the sugar and cinnamon. Moisten the rims of wine glasses and dip in the cinnamon sugar to coat.
5. Fill the glasses with ice. Pour in the sangria until three-quarters full.
6. Top with a splash of club soda.
7. Garnish with a spoonful of the chopped apple and orange.
And . . . Pam even has a fall festive recipe for your pampered pooch!
PEANUT BUTTER & PUMPKIN DOGGIE TREATS:
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350*.
- Whisk the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough more easily workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff.
- Roll the dough into a ½ inch-thick roll. Cut into ½ inch pieces.
- Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.
Pam crafts timeless pieces that unite a blend of shabby chic, French, boho, eco-friendly and refined glamour in her hand-crafted, family heirloom preservation company, Venetian Décor. Venetian Décor gives new life to family heirlooms through its exquisite furniture, pillows, cosmetic and jewelry travel bags, eye masks, phones covers and personal accessories that are one-of-a-kind timeless pieces. Venetian Décor, the leader in eloquent heirloom restoration (furs, brooches, pendants, etc.), aims at putting a new twist on family history and old world charm.