...{...Harvest Dinner...}...

I LOVE to have dinner parties.  It's the challenge of coming up w/ a great menu...the joy in decorating...and the wonderful pleasure of giving of myself to my friends and then the return I get by spending time w/ them.

Even though my Love Language is a tie between Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation, I love to give back to others w/ gifts.  In fact Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts are my two lowest scoring.  And you usually speak your own love language to others.  Hmmm...maybe I need to retest myself as it's been...goodness, probably 5 years since I took the test.  As a side note...that's a GREAT book and one I HIGHLY recommend...

For the past several years I have a small group of friends I see almost every Friday...usually only Holidays stop our gathering.  It's anything from just dinner and a movie to hanging out at someone's house or even going out of town on a small road trip.  Their friendship is something I cherish VERY MUCH.  They really do contribute sooo much to my life...more than they realize probably.  I don't have siblings or any family my age that live close or that I'm even close to...so this group of friends are really like my bothers and sisters...and the best part, they are my Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

So onto dinner.  I thought and thought about it.  Scouring websites for some great dishes to prepare.  I wanted everyone to enjoy the food and I also wanted the challenge of preparing something I'm not used to.  That led me to the main dish.  I HATE touching raw meat; literally I cringe and gag a bit.  But I overcame this in order to make this meal.

Oh...and I NEVER make a recipe exactly as it says.  I ALWAYS feel the need to change it up someway.  Whenever I look over a recipe I start thinking, "how can I change this up to make it better"... So just be aware if I ever share a recipe w/ you, that's not exactly how I made it.  I'll try and remember to share the changes w/ you too.

The Menu
• Bacon-wrapped Pork Tenderloin w/ Apples and Onions
     ~ a combo of these recipes ~ Martha-In-Training & Bobby Flay
Green Bean Casserole
Potato, Squash and Goat Cheese Gratin
     ~ I used gruyere cheese and some soft swiss cheese as a replacement for most of the goat cheese as a lot of people find the flavor of goat cheese to be a bit harsh.
Pumpkin and Cranberry Risotto
Butternut Squash Coleslaw w/ Honey Goat Cheese Dressing
     ~ I think this got the biggest approval from everyone.  I substitute Fig Balsamic Vinegar for the Apple Cider Vinegar.  Also I'm not a fan of walnuts so I leave them out.  And I added one Honeycrisp Apple.  Oh and I leave out the parsley.
Cheddar and Leek Muffins
     ~ Instead of leeks I used scallions.  And I added in 1 can of drained corn.
Apple Cranberry Tarts
     ~ So I ran out of time and didn't make the Caramel sauce, but I did serve it w/ some purchased caramel.  Tarts and pies are not my thing...and due to my toying w/ the recipe, they didn't set up quite right as I had to serve them in the tart tins.  But everyone who ate them said they were really good.  I'll have to take their word as I never got around to eating any.
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownies
     ~ Yes, this is a boxed mix, but my goodness are they ever delish!  They were actually my back up due to my dismal history w/ baking tarts ;-)

I do apologize I didn't get (a) the best photos and (b) not photos of everything being made or the final pic.  I'll try to remember to get more photos for you guys next time I cook ;-)  Oh and yes, I did make place-cards for everyone...  Hope this inspires you to get in your kitchen and make some yummy goodness!


  1. I liked this, I totally did not see any fruit, lol. I liked this blog, it looks pretty awesome.

  2. This has to be my favorite post so far. I think the pictures look really good. I am still in awe at all the food you prepared and how great it was. I am so thankful for our friendship and the family like fondness we all have for one another. We are so blessed! You have spoiled us Jessica this weeks Friday night just won't hold a fire to last weeks. :) Alyssa


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