Entertaining with Abby: Autumn Grilled Cheese Party
October 21, 2015
CocktailsOutdoor PartyParty Theme
When the beloved glossy, Better Homes and Gardens, comes a-knocking...mmm, you crank your party making skills up a notch or two. I'm so excited to share the behind the scenes goodness from our shoot with BHG, a day that was drenched in gorgeous weather, really good cocktails, a pretty awesome crew and did I mention Grilled Cheese? See all of our tips and tricks to host a party of your own below and make sure to check out the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens for more!
The theme was Fall. And embracing the cozy textures and flavors of that late Summer, early Autumn vibe that we all cling to so tightly here in New England. And what better way to celebrate than with classic, comfort food made so much more delicious through seasonal flavors and ingredients. Add in rich reds, warm blankets, gorgeous wood tones paired with classic camp style accessories and you have a soiree that is both absurdly gorgeous...and entirely welcoming.

THE MENU


"Grilled" Cheese Sandwiches + Roasted Tomato Soup


The idea was that while we often devour grilled cheese in restaurants and in our own solo time, it's this classic dish that often feels challenging when dealing with a crowd. Enter: Your backyard grill. Where you can make these beauties en mass and play with so many incredible seasonal flavor profiles.

Check out the mag for our recipes which included Roasted Tomato + White Cheddar on a Baguette | Sliced Apple + Fontina + Honey on Rosemary-Asiago Focaccia | Grapes + Sliced Proscuitto + Gruyere on Rye | Smoked Gouda + Fresh Blackberries + Blackberry Jam on Texas Toast | Roasted Poblana halves + Cream Cheese on Sourdough.

THE DECOR


COLORS. We embraced the seasonality of our party with a rich red foundation. Then, we brought the casual in with warm plaids and the cozy in with rich wood tones. A bright white allowed every color to pop and the end result felt thought out but not cliche.

FLOWERS. We had the AMAZING girls at Foret craft the flowers for us. Why the splurge? Because they were the showstoppers of the table and everything else was just the icing on the cake. Plus, it saved us loads of time in prep and it will for you too!

ACCESSORIES. We poured candle wax into vintage tea tins found on etsy which sat on top of a simple, cotton table runners. We used rustic metal baskets to carry and house utensils, classic American barware for our cocktails and wooden decor moments to add a bit of rustic. Warm blankets were layed on top of our benches to bring intimacy and lastly, we wove apples here and there to make our tablescape really feel like Fall.

SERVINGWARE. Our place settings were perhaps my favorite part of this party. Tin white plates with a red rim reminded us of camping utensils but were decidedly more elegant. Layered with an oversized red mug to hold our soup the look felt chic and yet totally warm and welcoming.

THE COCKTAIL


2 Ounces, Whiskey
1 Ounce, St. Germain
1/2 Ounce Lime juice
3 Ounces Ginger beer
2 -3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Mix first three items together over ice. Add in the bitters. The best part about this drink? It's good. Also great? It's easy and everyone will love it.
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TIPS + CHEATCUTS


*Prep all of your ingredients beforehand if you want your guests to build there own. Better yet, build a bunch of sandwiches ahead of time, grill them, then cut them small (with a serrated knife) and let your guests tastes everything.

*Grill your sandwiches slooooow and looooow. Repeat, slooooow and loooow. If the grill is moving too fast, have some tin foil pre-cut to quickly wrap your sandwiches in, then remove them from direct heat (ideally on a top shelf of your grill) and let them finish the "melty" process.

*Making a batch of cocktails will ALWAYS save you time. This one also uses a ginger beer which tastes great on its own so two birds, one stone.

*Make your soup the day before. Here is my favorite recipe. It's so fast and easy and tastes better when made ahead of time and rewarmed on the day of. If you have a pretty red le creuset pot, serve it tableside directly out of it!

*Greens picked from trees and the garden set in vases would be a great cost effective way to capture the same sentiment. If you can splurge on 1-2 packages of red flowers to sprinkle in, even better. Best? Hire a florist to make your centerpiece. It's usually worth every penny.

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A HUGE thank you to Better Homes and Gardens for showcasing such a fun party and for being generally amazing.

Sources


Long Wooden Table and Benches: New England Country Rentals | Red Striped Runner and Napkins: Sundance | Red Rimmed Dinnerware: West Elm | Wooden Planters: similar Save-on-Crafts | Florals: Foret Design Studio | Cocktail Glasses: Crate and Barrel | Red Soup Mugs: Pier 1 Imports | Mixed Vintage Flatware: Anthropologie | Red and White Plaid Blanket: Target | Red Plaid Blanket: Wayfair | Red Buffalo Check Blanket: Wayfair | White Knit Blanket: Target | Vintage Spice Tins: Etsy | Wooden Tags: Amazon | Small Wood Serving Board: Crate and Barrel | Soup Pot: Crate and Barrel | Striped Wax Paper: Crate and Barrel | Original Story featured in Better Home and Gardens Oct. 2015 Issue