Fall Colors for an outdoor dining experience
Late Autumn Sun . . .
Here in New England, we have entered into the season where it’s unlikely we will be able to dine outdoors for much longer. Although there have been a few Thanksgivings and even few Christmases that were in fact quite warm – so we can still hope. Dinner parties outdoors has always been one of my favorite thing to do. We build a fire, have a stacks of throws and everyone bundles up while sharing a meal outside. This is a tradition that we always loved during the years we lived in Arizona and California. But there’s about a 99% chance we’ll be dining inside this year for Thanksgiving. But I can continue to reminisce and dream of warmer places, right?
Candles in jars & String Lights
I used Anchor Hocking glass jars to hold a candle and jute twine tied around the jar. I added the frosted glass pumpkin and gourd. You can add battery operated lights like these to illuminate them. The rocks were collected from our favorite beach and they sort of tie in the place-cards made from driftwood.
Driftwood Place Cards
Anchor-Hocking Jars and Frosted Glass Pumpkins
We started with our favorite salad of mixed greens and warm baguette toasts with a smear of smooth paté topped with shallot confit. For the main course, a mushroom pasta. It’s earthy, delicious and wonderful even at room temperature, which makes it perfect to serve outdoors.
roasted mushroom pasta
If there were ever a pasta that was perfect for fall…it would be this earthy roasted mushroom pasta. What I love about it is that the mushrooms can be made ahead so that all you have to do is heat them, cook the pasta and toss together with butter, fresh parsley and grated cheese.
- one pound assorted mushroom, trimmed and cleaned
- olive oil
- one teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
- picci pasta or spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons butter
- one tablespoon chopped parsley
- Toss the mushrooms with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh thyme.
- Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roast in a 425º oven for about 30 minutes or until tender. Turn halfway through roasting.
- Cook the picci al dente and drain reserving a little pasta water (just in case).
- Toss the pasta with the butter and the mushrooms.
- Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley and serve.
If making the roasted mushrooms ahead of time, store in an air tight container and when ready to use, re-heat slowly on the stove over low heat
Patio in progress
This patio was once used for some type of spa. It was in horrible shape and an eye sore in the small backyard. Brent painted it using four shades of Sherwin Williams paint intended for cement. After an entire season of use it is still in great shape. You can read more about this project here.
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