October 17, 2018

Fall Entertaining on the Fly

Just Open the Door

Fall is the perfect time to throw caution to the [literal] wind and invite loved ones in. Forget about your visions of a perfectly styled home and leave the laundry baskets where they lie. It’s time to cozy up with your nearest and dearest, gather with neighbors over coffee, and celebrate the simple joy of connection. We’re kicking off the gathering season with a few of our favorite entertaining tips that will leave you feeling ready to fling open that front door with a smile…

Keep Things in Season

While we live in a world filled with amazing grocery stores and instant gratification {hello, Amazon Pantry}, I like keeping seasonally appropriate items on the menu. It may not be realistic to buy only local foods, but I do love going to the farmers market for fresh produce and using recipes that highlight these homegrown goodies.

So many delicious fruits are in their prime at this time of year like figs, apples, grapes, and pears. These flavors pair perfectly with a cheese board, making baked brie one of my entertaining staples September through November.

Fall Entertaining Essentials - Baked Brie Pastry with Fig Walnuts and Honey

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Baked Brie with Figs, Walnuts & Honey

Ingredients:

1 round of brie

1 tablespoon of fig spread

pastry dough (store-bought works, but you can also make your own if this time of year brings out your inner chef)

fresh figs

honey

walnuts

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Roll out pastry dough and add brie to center of dough

Cover brie with fig spread and crumbled walnuts

Wrap dough around cheese, sealing it into a pouch-like dumpling

Bake for 35 minutes

Drizzle with honey and garnish with fresh fig

Serve alongside seasonal fruit and a selection of other cheeses. Or allow this delectable dish to stand solo with a loaf of fresh bread or crackers to scoop things up with!

Expert Tip: No time to bake? No worries! I’m more inclined to host a last-minute gathering when I have a selection of crowd-pleasing treats on hand. Prepare for unexpected visits by making a habit of keeping your kitchen stocked with crackers, olives, and 2 – 3 cheeses throughout the holidays. And yes, you earn bonus points for throwing in a bottle of wine!

Fall Entertaining Essentials - Baked Brie Pastry with Fig Walnuts and Honey

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Be Prepared (or at least, pretend to be!)

Most of the world’s problems can be solved over a stellar cup of coffee. If not entirely solved, you surely feel better equipped to tackle them once caffeinated, am I right?! Inviting a friend over for a morning visit is the perfect way to reconnect, and this intentional time together will leave you feeling inspired all day long. Keep your favorite entertaining pieces handy so that impromptu post-carpool gatherings are stress-free!

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Fall-inspired goodies you’re sure to find in my kitchen: earthen mugs, a french press, real cream, and cinnamon sticks. There are a few simple ways to take your coffee game to the next level and make that cup of joe extra-special. When time allows, use a french press. Slowing down to accommodate this brewing method lends a slower pace to your get together, indicating that the conversation needn’t be rushed and that these moments are valued.

Add some pizzazz to freshly ground coffee beans with a touch of cinnamon or a homemade pumpkin spice mix. Both lend a lovely taste and aroma, but use sparingly and mix thoroughly because these spices can actually repel water.

Fall Entertaining Essentials - French Press Recipe with cinnamon

Marie Flanigan Interiors

Finally, top off your fresh brew with frothed cream. These small upgrades only take a minute but provide a memorable touch that ensures your visitors walk away feeling important!

Fall Entertaining Essentials - French Press Recipe with cinnamon

Embrace the Unexpected

If you’re like me, there will inevitably be times when you burn the brie, spill the latte, and ‘decorate’ by stashing toys in the hall closet as the doorbell rings. But don’t let the fear of imperfection deter your heart for hospitality! When all else fails, I strive to give myself grace and recall this truth from one of my favorite entertaining guidebooks:

“Extending hospitality is about freely giving of ourselves while granting others the freedom to be themselves… No need to worry about what to say or how to act. Just come as you are.”

After all, it’s not my house or my food that I want people to remember when they walk out that door – it’s the way I hope they felt while here: welcomed, invited, and worth showing up for.

3 Comments

Join the Conversation

  1. Bridget says:

    Thank you

  2. Lynn Terry says:

    I agree with everything you said and encourage everyone to “just open the door.” Waiting for everything to be “perfect” in our house will rob us from enjoying time with others, building relationships and making beautiful memories. Thank you for inspiring us to bring out the beauty in our homes with great design, but to also share our homes.

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