FRESH & READY APPETIZER
A fresh vegetable platter plays centerpiece, conversation-starter, appetizer and side dish. Include at least five different veggies and plenty of them. Select items outside the expected regulars, such as mini cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, raw baby turnips or jicama. Bring in as much color, shape and texture as possible.
ULTIMATE MASHED POTATOES
Fantastic gravy calls for mashed potatoes of equal merit. Cook new baby red potatoes with their skins on, then mash with butter, cream and sour cream, embellishing further with bacon and chives. This is almost a meal in itself, rich enough to keep servings on the small side.
POT ROAST WITH FALL VEGETABLES
Long, slow cooking gives beef its layered flavors and fall-apart tenderness. If your schedule doesn’t allow it, do most of the cooking the day before and refrigerate the roast in strained juices overnight. An hour or so before serving, thicken gravy and add the vegetables. You’ll get that wonderful “better-the-next-day” goodness and streamline meal prep too.
Expect rave reviews for double-chocolate cupcakes topped with double-chocolate buttercream. A hint of spice adds subtle warmth to a perfect fall dessert.
To pipe a pretty swirl, squeeze a dab of frosting from a pastry bag onto a cupcake center, then circle around it toward the edge of the cupcake. Then start moving the circular motion back toward the center, piling frosting as high as you like and ending with a center point.