I love entertaining during the holidays more than any other time of year. It gives me the opportunity to do what I love most: make healthy gourmet meals for the people I care about most and to show gratitude and respect for that time of year when it truly feels celebratory and special.
It’s also the perfect excuse to get out your best table linens, buy some fresh flowers and to make everything look elegant and pieced together. In today’s vocabulary, I guess you could call it investing all that time you’ve spent on Pinterest to finally pay off.
So, gather your stuff- everything you think you might want to put on your appetizer table. Don’t worry, you can edit later.
Take a step back from what you’ve gathered and look at your color scheme the way your guests will see it all put together.
Adorable yet elegant Autumn-themed serving plates are everywhere right now. I found these below at Michael’s. I particularly love the fact that this one is shaped like a leaf since the leaves have been exceptionally beautiful around Illinois and Ohio this year.
and the upright bowls are so pretty because they sort of have that geometric design pattern going on, also from Michael’s.
Next, you’ll need to think about the linens you’ll put on your table. Iron them days ahead of time so that you’re not scrambling on the night or day of ‘Eid. Believe me, it”s the last thing you’ll think about when you’re dealing with food and nothing looks worse than wrinkled tablecloths. Attention to detail is a huge respect to your guests.
I chose a plain brown tablecloth- left alone it would look really dull, so I added these fabric swatches that I found at a tag sale a few years ago. I always meant to make pillows with them, but they actually helped to pull off the rustic elegance look I was going for.
It also helps to choose detailed silverware, even for an appetizer table. I know plastic cutlery is very tempting due to the amount of clean up you won’t have to do, but it’s not always so pretty or eco-friendly (unless you find those types). I have a dishwasher, so it won’t hurt to throw them in afterwards. I want my guests to feel special and as though they were worth the time to prepare this lovely arrangement for.
It’s not real gold, but has a nice shine, anyway.
I like to wrap up the silverware with the cloth linens to make it easier for my guests to grab and go. I know olives don’t necessarily scream “Fall/Autumn”, but the color scheme works.
Real, live things like flowers and seasonal produce are a must this ‘Eid- it’s Autumn here and we have so many beautiful colors in nature to bring indoors
Now let’s talk food.
So, during ‘Eid not everyone stays the whole time for appetizer, dinner and snacks. Some people come to your Open House just to drop in for a bite, or a plate of something small, and so finger food is typically the easy and quick way to go. It’s not usually until later in the evening that people want to enjoy desserts with coffee and chai (tea), anyway so you want to be sure to have the appetizer table up first.
I’ve chosen a variety of foods that go together really well. Somehow those Saffron Road hors d’oeuvres go with any type of dip you pair them with and their new crunchy chickpeas are awesome on top of hummus. Who would’ve thought?
Saffron Road’s new crunchy chickpea snacks (clockwise): Wasabi, Falafel and Bombay Spice
The Bombay Spice is my personal favorite.
What would an ‘Eid party be without hummus? I’m not trying to find out- everyone’s expecting it and I don’t mind.
…and I made my own pita chips to go with the hummus and this Creamy Spinach Dip (below). Just cut fresh pita bread into triangles and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.
The dip also goes beautifully with the Saag Paneer and/or Vegetable Samosa hors d’oeuvres. I know I’ve made plenty of dips to go with them before, but I can’t stop making dips because of these. I just love pairing them with something different all the time since the flavors are so versatile.
We’ve got some Mexicans in the house, so guacamole and salsa are a must on our appetizer table, and most guests absolutely love it. Fresh and tasty, this flavor combo actually goes so well with everything else on the table.
And I also bake my own tortilla chips. It’s so easy and you can do it at the same time that you make the pita chips, in the same way. Just make sure they’re spread out properly or they won’t dry up and get crunchy. Use fresh (GMO-free) corn tortillas.
Since it’s the Fall, you’ll probably be cooking with some sort of pumpkin or squash. Be sure to save the seeds and roast them with salt and any other type of spice you like. Find a basic recipe to do that here.
Now, didn’t that come together nicely?
I know you might need to taste it first, so let’s plate it up. The plates with autumn leaves were so nice that I just had to add them to the table for guests to use.
But, I also added these wicker plate holders for a rustic look and to hold the paper plates since they aren’t too strong.
Not only does everything look colorful, it also tastes wonderful together. The dip is great with the pita chips and the hors d’oeuvres; the salsa goes well with both, too.
It’s kind of like us- a melting pot of ethnic flavors all on one plate enjoying one another’s company. And there goes the crunchy chickpea snacks on top of the hummus.
What have we started?
It doesn’t matter. I just want to take one look back at this moment to capture the beauty of ‘Eid.
and enjoy the fact that it falls during the gorgeous season of Autumn this year.
We are so blessed.
Don’t you agree?