Who says autumn colors have to be red and orange? I had my friend Irene over for a socially distanced dinner in the garden on Friday and set a nontraditional fall table that I’m in love with! I used my mint green tablecloth (which you might recognize from my Princess and the Frog party or my Midsummer Night’s Dream party), wood chargers, and my new dreamy pumpkin plates from Pier 1. I’m sure subconsciously the plates are what gave me the idea to use my mint green tablecloth for a fall dinner!
I used floral place cards in wood holders and french grey napkins tied with fresh lavender from my garden and kitchen twine, an old hack of mine from the days before I owned any napkin rings.
I styled the center of the table with white lanterns, a single white pumpkin, and my beautiful faux white peonies from Mint Julep, a shop in Rockwall, Texas with the best faux florals. They look so real! I’ve had them in a mint green vase in my kitchen for months and especially these days, when I’m rarely going to the store, it’s so nice to have a forever bouquet for last minute dinners!
I normally have dinner on my courtyard when just a friend or two comes over but I had the idea to use my six foot table in the middle of the garden so that we could have dinner together while still social distancing. Plus, it’s just fun to eat somewhere you don’t usually eat!
For the first course, I served a super simple salad of mixed greens, blueberries, feta cheese, and herbed almonds with a maple vinaigrette. It was so fast and easy to pull together. We sat down to enjoy our first course within minutes of Irene arriving! Get the recipe here.
I styled my outdoor bar cart with more florals from Mint Julep, a minty green citronella candle in a lantern, a water pitcher, and a wine bucket to keep my beloved Rousanne (also from Kuhlman Cellars) chilled. It’s always a good night when I’m drinking Kuhlman’s 2019 Roussanne – it’s one of my favorite white wines I’ve ever had!
My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Henry adorably thought the bar cart would make the perfect bed, so he hopped up on the bottom level and slept there for over an hour while we ate the main course: French Baked Chicken. This is admittedly not French at all, but rather a French version of my popular Greek Baked Chicken. This is a fantastic dish to make while entertaining because I had the oven preheated and everything ready to go, then popped it in the oven before walking out to the garden with our salads. You do want to baste it a time or two but other than that, the oven did all the work while I got to enjoy time with Irene.
This recipe is a winner. It’s bursting with Herbs de Provence flavor and the chicken is super juicy with crispy skin. The potatoes are perfectly cooked and the shallots practically become onion butter. Get the recipe for this show-stopping dish here.
For dessert, I turned my maple bar cookies into a sundae! I just added a scoop of ice cream and pumpkin caramel sauce. Yum! It was such a lovely evening in the garden and wow, did it feel good to cook for one of my girlfriends again!
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