Friday, October 25, 2013

A Spooktacular Home at Harvest Time

Fall!  My Favorite time of the year!  The weather gets just a bit cooler, pumpkins pop up all around you, haunted forests and houses open up for some fun times with friends and Starbucks starts selling their hot apple spice cider and  pumpkin lattes, scones and breads....Yummmmmm!!!!!  

Fall begins to bring you back indoors, you host gatherings at your home instead of going out, you put up wreathes on your doors, you dress your doorstep with Cinderella pumpkins (my personal favorite) and you light sweet smelling candles inside to warm up your home.  You also add a few harvest touches to highlight your home for the season!  And Oh, how festive it looks!!!!

You can turn any normal decor into harvest time fun with just a few simple swap outs!  Replace an antique platter on a stand on your sideboard with a frightening picture or my Witches To-Do List;)  Add a black cat to the knob and you're ready for Halloween!

Replace your silver bowl of fruit on your counter top with painted pumpkins, skeletons and if you're lucky enough to have someone bring you back a Mexican Day of the Dead Doll, like my sister Windy did for me while vacationing in Mexico, you can add her to the display:) 

No Fall is complete without watching your favorite Halloween movies (Jack the Pumpkin King featured in the photo above leads me to), my top picks:  The Nightmare before Christmas, The Labyrinth, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Coraline, The Shining, The Craft, The Stepford Wives (Original version), Practical Magic, The Crucible, The Blair Witch Project, The Watcher in the Woods, The Others, Ghostbusters and of course....Halloween with Michael Myers!!!!!  I'm sure I'm leaving out many other good ones, watch your favorites all month long!!!! Replace regular candles on end tables with festive pumpkin candle holders and fill them with scents like pumpkin, apple, honey, vanilla and cinnamon!!!!  If you're lucky enough to have a fire place, adorn your mantel with fall flowers, cinnamon sticks, mini pumpkins and candles galore!  For the hearth, add a stunning fire screen and tool set with a large wicker basket of freshly chopped fire wood to warm those chilly nights!!!!

You notice that fall begins to pop up in your cooking at home when you make your first pot of butternut squash soup, homemade apple pies and apple sauce and your rubbing your chicken roaster with olive oil, and a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, salt and pepper, paprika, cumin and coriander!!!  You're adding side dishes like colorful, red, blue, gold and sweet potatoes dressed with fresh rosemary, roasted parsnips and carrots dressed in honey and chopped butternut squash and apples cooked to perfection and topped over pork chops!!!!  Oh, the endless combinations and delights!!!!
Soon you'll be carving your pumpkins, dressing up in your best costume and attending parties and greeting trick or treaters:)  Oh, the Halloween Fun!!!
Last week, I hosted a few friends at our place and dove into my tote of Harvest decor, a day of cooking, cleaning and decorating and Voila!!!!!!  My harvest dinner party was under way and looking beautiful!!!!

For the place settings, I broke out my stunning, hand painted leaf dessert plates for the apple pie, but be sure to showcase them before dessert, just before you sit down to eat, collect them from everyone and set them aside:)  I paired my leaf plates with my green, leafy fall dinnerware, dark brown chargers and gorgeous new napkins bound by a green and gold ring!  Since it was an informal dinner, we had just one white wine glass and a water glass.  The chardonnay from Pippin Hill was sure to please with my roast chicken!

For the centerpiece, I created an enchanting, fall arrangement of housed candles, a perched, orange bird and a colorful twig pumpkin atop a hand embroidered table runner in deep oranges, teals, golds and reds, perfectly colored for the season!!!  The candles inside, a fragrance of sugared pumpkin pie, delish!!!!

It's always a good idea to set out a snack prior and after the meal, in case guests want to "graze" :)  My top recommendation, a cheese plate of goat, manchego, cheddar and stilton paired with accompaniments such as candied walnuts or pecans, dried fruits, like cherries or cranberries and local, farm fresh honey!  Add a tasty baguette, water crackers or fresh pitas and hummus as you wish:)  If you'd like, a smaller version of a wine tasting is nice as well!  I started my guests with cheese and a local Virginia Rose, I served my meal of roast chicken, roasted varietal potatoes, onions and carrots with a local Chardonnay and paired my apple pie a la mode with fresh cream and a Moscato!  Re-fresh and liven your guests with tastes that will make them leap for harvest joy:)  Rejuvenate them later in the evening with interesting conversation, a game and a hot cup of black tea, alive with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, orange peel and a hint of ginger!!!   

And on Halloween night, don't forget the trick or treaters...

A little Frankenweenie...

And some good ole Halloween Frights with friends:)
Happy Halloween!!!!!!


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