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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A "Real" Dinner at Our House | A Casual Fall Dinner Party | Italian Beef & Vegetable Stew and Cranberry & Apple Crisp

Last week we hosted our first dinner party at the new house.  It was soooo nice to be able to have our friends over for a casual meal in the middle of the week.  We've been accustomed to only being able to get together for dinner with our close friends after a plane ride, so it was great to be able to send out a text and say - "Wanna come over for dinner tonight?  Casual... I'm thinking soup." 

I took a couple of behind the scenes photos so you can see what a "real" casual dinner looks like at my house.  After all, just like you, when we have our friends over, there are not elaborate centerpieces, five courses or even fancy appetizers.

I do try to be pretty organized and prepared so that I can be relaxed, just as I want our friends to feel. I set out everything we'll need on a little table in my kitchen - bowls, spoons, napkins, water glasses, etc., so I'm not searching (or cleaning an extra spoon...) at the last minute.

I like to keep it really casual...


help yourself to some wine...


a big platter of cheese and things to snack on...


 a big pot of soup on the stove... 


lots of crusty bread...

...and a comforting Apple & Cranberry Crisp for dessert. 

...with vanilla ice cream, of course.

Everyone said it was the perfect Fall meal - I'd have to agree.  Stay tuned this week for the recipes :

Italian Beef & Vegetable Stew
Cranberry & Apple Crisp Recipe (updated!)


  1. Beautiful cozy photos! Looking forward to seeing the recipes.

  2. Yum! Is your apple crisp recipe listed on your site?

  3. Yum!! I must have the recipes..the soup and dessert look heavenly. Please share.....

  4. Looks so good Jenny! I bet it was fun to host a dinner party in your new home! I LOVE that pot, and the soup looks delicious! The apple crisp looks wonderful too!! :)

  5. It all looks delicious!! Looking forward to trying the recipes (especially the soup - I love soup!)

  6. Can't wait for the recipes!!! Of course I am going to weigh 500lbs from visiting your blog so often!!! ;)

  7. Such a great post on casual entertaining. I think weeknight dinners are sometimes the most fun! No pressure, just getting together with good friends and gives you something to look forward to mid-week! :)Rachel

  8. Yummy! I wish I could have been there too.

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