It’s autumn…pumpkins, cranberries apples, cornucopias, cinnamon scented candles, rustic décor…with the inspiration of fall, there’s no better time to host a bridal shower, and we’re making it easy for you by planning your menu and offering some creative decorating tips.
“Fall In Love” Menu:
Cranberry Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
Tangy and sweet with a little “bite.” This will be one dish that everyone will ask for the recipe.
- 1-12 oz. bag cranberries-fresh or frozen
- 1-bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1-bunch green onions, cut in to 3” lengths
- 1-jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 2-limes juiced
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 pinch salt
Combine cranberries, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno pepper, lime juice, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a medium blade. Chop to medium consistency. Refrigerate if not using immediately. Serve at room temperature.
- 10 flour tortillas (8 inches)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Brush tortillas with butter; cut each into eight wedges. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over tortillas. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 5-10 minutes or until crisp. Serve with fruit salsa.
Yield: 2-1/2 cups salsa and 80 chips
Baked Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches
Small, delicious and perfect for any party. So delicious even those picky eaters will love them.
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 24 mini sandwich rolls
- 1 pound thinly sliced cooked deli ham
- 1 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a bowl, mix together butter, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds and dried onion. Separate the tops from bottoms of the rolls, and place thebottom pieces into the prepared baking dish. Layer about half the ham onto the rolls. Arrange the Swiss cheese over the ham, and top with remaining ham slices in a layer. Place the tops of the rolls onto the sandwiches. Pour the mustard mixture evenly over the rolls.
Bake in the preheated oven until the rolls are lightly browned and the cheese has melted, about 20 minutes. Slice into individual rolls through the ham and cheese layers to serve.
Candied pecans and maple balsamic dressing make this sweet and spicy fall salad a nice compliment to the autumn bridal shower theme.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup raw pecans
- 1 small shallot, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head endive, separated leaves
- 2 hearts frisee, hand torn
- 1 large radicchio, torn leaves
- 1 red pear, sliced
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
To make the candied pecans, set a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the butter and sugar and once it has melted toss in the pecans and continue to toss to coat and cook evenly, about 1 minute. Transfer to a sheet tray lined with waxed paper (use 2 forks to separate pecans) while you prepare the salad.
Make the dressing by combining the chopped shallot, Dijon and balsamic vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk to emulsify. Add the maple syrup and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Assemble salad by tossing greens and pear slices in a large mixing bowl with maple-balsamic dressing. Top with shaved Parmesan and candied pecans.
Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo Salad
Made with fall produce, the colors and flavors of this salad are perfect combined with orzo.
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place butternut squash cubes, red onion slice, and garlic cloves on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and gently toss. Place in the oven and roast for 40-50 minutes, or until squash is tender. Make sure you stir once or twice while the squash is roasting.
While the butternut squash is roasting, cook the orzo pasta. Bring water to a boil and stir in orzo. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until orzo is tender. Drain the orzo and put it in a medium bowl.
Chop the roasted garlic and red onions. Add the roasted butternut squash, garlic, and onions to the orzo. Stir in spinach and dried cranberries. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir once more. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Caramel Apple Bites
Spiked with Amaretto, these are caramel apples with a “twist.”
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2/3 cup corn syrup
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tsp Amaretto liqueur
- Canola oil cooking spray
- Four large, crisp, tart apples, any variety
- Pink Ladies toothpicks
- one lemon
Note: You will need a candy thermometer for this one.
Caramel: Pour sugar, corn syrup and one cup of cream into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepot and heat over medium low. Bring to a boil, and slowly stir, taking care to constantly scrape all edges of the pot until the mixture heats to 234°, about 15 minutes. (The syrup will bubble up, then ease back down, then begin to deepen in color.) Once you have reached 234°, very slowly, pour in the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, keeping the contents boiling the entire time. After it is back up to a gentle boil, add butter, and bring the contents up to 244° (soft ball). Do not exceed this temperature. (At 250° you reach an irreversible “hard ball” stage.) Pull from heat and add Amaretto, stirring in quickly. Pour contents into a well-oiled baking pan and let completely cool. You should have a very thin layer of caramel, about 1/8″ of an inch. Once cool, remove from pan onto plastic cutting board, and keeping your knife oiled, cut into 1/2″ x 1/4″ rectangles. You may have better luck making clean cuts if you refrigerate the caramel for 30 minutes.
Apples: Cut apples into 1/2″ x 1/4″ rectangles, or any shape you like. (If you stick to the cubes, you’ll have a lot of misshapen apple pieces left over.) Place cubes into a bowl of water with the juice of a half a lemon squeezed into it. Once apples are cut, begin assembly. Remove apples one cube at a time and pat dry. Place square of caramel on top, pierce with toothpick, and plate.
Serves: 10 as appetizers, (50-60 pieces)
Pumpkin Spice Buttermilk Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese, cinnamon, and pumpkin cake…need we say more?
- 2 and ¼ cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground allspice
- ¾ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 and ⅓ cups canned pumpkin
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs (I use extra-large)
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a Bundt pan (I use a Bundt pan with 10 to 11 cup capacity) with Baker’s Joy (or grease and flour). Set aside. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Mix pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer and a large bowl), beat the butter and sugars until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures, alternating (beginning and ending with flour mixture). Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake for about 45 minutes (I recommend checking at 40 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (crumbs on the toothpick are okay since it should be moist). Cool about 10 minutes and remove from pan. Let cool. Frost with cinnamon cream cheese frosting (see below) or simply sprinkle with powdered sugar and/or top slices with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
For Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting: Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat ¾ cup unsalted butter (room temperature) and 8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature) for about 2 minutes on medium speed until fluffy. Mix until completely combined. Add ¾ tsp. vanilla and ½ tsp. cinnamon. Turn to low speed and slowly add 3 cups powdered sugar. Mix another 1 to 2 minutes until combined and fluffy. Add about 1 Tbsp. of milk and mix until combined. Move frosting to a bowl and microwave for about 20 to 30 seconds. This will make spreading/pouring the frosting easier.
Golden Apple Punch
An autumn beverage that’s refreshing and has a great presentation.
1 Part Apple Juice
1 Part White Grape Juice
1 Part Lemonade
2 Parts Gingerale
Stir and Serve Cold
Cinnamon and apples infused with red wine makes this drink perfect, served hot or cold.
- 2 fresh figs and/or 1 cup dried figs
- 2 fresh plums, pitted, and/or 1 cup dried plums (prunes)
- 2 fresh apricots, pitted, and/or 1 cup dried apricots
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 750 milliliter bottle light red wine, such as Pinot Noir or Gamay
- 1 750 milliliter bottle sparkling apple cider or club soda, chilled
- 1 orange, peeled, if desired, and sliced
Halve, quarter, or slice fruit. In 3-quart glass containercombine fruits and molasses;stir until well-combined. Slowly pour in red wine. Cover andchill 2 to 24 hours.
To serve, add sparkling cider and orange. Stir gently with spoon. Fill glasses with ice and ladle in sangria.
Makes 8 servings.
“Fall In Love” Bridal Shower Decor
Think burlap, hay bales, Mason jars and chalk boards. Rustic decorations mixed with natural elements make a beautiful backdrop for a fall shower.
Image found on: http://savvystyle.net/2013/04/21/rustic-bridal-shower-brunch/