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A Harvest Party, Modernized

Present traditional fall fare in a new and glamorous way


Location | Rancho La Jolla
Photos | Rippee Photography
Lanterns, glassware, and silverware | Pottery Barn
Food | Valley & Co.
Pies | Julian Pie Company
Candlesticks and glass vases | IKEA

Hearty fall dishes and apple pie don’t have to be served with country kitsch. Create a stylish and warm outdoor environment by mixing rustic elements like Ball jars with fanciful pieces such as fine china and ornate goblets. Welcome your guests with white grape spritzers adorned with frozen grape skewers. Put your own spin on crudités and dress up baby carrots, cucumbers, and peas sliced in half (down the middle) and topped with a soft herbed cheese spread. Serve on decorative silver platters. Dress a large table using beakers filled with wheat grass, silver candlesticks, and delicious red apples overflowing from footed crystal bowls. Serve grilled root vegetables and pork loin with raisin-apple compote for a main course, and fill vintage decanters with water, wine, and your signature drink. As the evening cools down, gift the ladies with rolled up shawls in assorted colors and textures and bring out a beautiful display of classic apple, rustic cherry, and Dutch apple pies. Mini pies are not only great for sharing as an après-dinner treat, but if you tie them off with velvet ribbon and a fork you can send your guests home with them at the end of your memorable harvest celebration.

Mix It: Harvest Grape Spritzer

• 2 parts white grape juice
• 1 part sparkling water
• ½ oz. vodka
• Grapes (as a garnish)
Skewer grapes and place in freezer for about 30 minutes. Pour juice and vodka into a goblet and top with sparkling water and skewered frozen grapes. Recipe yields one drink.

Bonus Recipes

Harvest Pork Tenderloin with Raisin Apple Compote {serves 6}

Pre-heat your grill on medium for 10 minutes
Coat 1.5 pounds of pork tenderloin in olive oil and roll in sea salt
Sear in frying pan until all sides are golden brown
Transfer to grill and cook on medium heat for about 25-30 minutes, or until temperature reaches 160 degrees

While cooking pork, dice 3 red apples and put in a sauce pan with 2 tablespoons water and 1 cup of raisins, ½ tablespoon of nutmeg, and ½ tablespoon of cinnamon. Cook on medium heat and roughly mash the apples as they soften. Add 1/3 cup of dry white wine and cook for another 10 minutes, cooking 20 minutes in total. Pour compote over sliced pork tenderloin and serve on a platter.

Grilled Root Vegetables

• 1 pound of baby potatoes
• 1 pound of carrots {peeled and chopped to 1” bites}
• 1 pound of whole beets halved
• 1 whole red onion {diced into bite-sized pieces}

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and mix vegetables together with a heavy drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 35 minutes stirring once halfway through, or until vegetables are golden and soft.

Caprese Bites {recipes yields 2 dozen}

•  1/2 pound of small heirloom tomatoes
•  baby mozzarella
•  ¼ cup of chopped basil
•  2 dozen pre-made hors d’ oeuvres cups
•  olive oil
•  balsamic vinegar

Dice heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella into small pieces. Mix in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of sea salt and a crack of black pepper. Place in the cups and top with chopped basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Nick & Aleah's Playlist

  • Shahin & Sepehr, “Persia,” One Thousand & One Nights
  • George Winston, “Moon,” “Woods,” Autumn
  • Miles Davis, “Freddie Freeloader,” Kind of Blue


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