first fall

November 07, 2016

Last weekend we had our first autumn dinner party.  I choose a menu filled with some of my favorites:  rumaki served with the cocktails, then for the first course, wedges of gougere, a savory, cheesy, French pastry that we served around the fire with champagne. We sat on the sofas quietly savoring each bite, each sip, listening to the crackling fire. One of the guests exclaimed, "This is the best thing I have ever eaten." While it's doubtful it was the best thing he's ever eaten, it was delicious, but it was something more than that—part of a moment so cozy, so perfect.  I am so doing this same exact thing again—soon.

That gougere may look temperamental, but it's not at all.  Easy to make, but, even better: it can be prepared well ahead of time and left to rest in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. Light the fire, pour the champagne,  bring out the warm gougere and your guests will think they’re in Paris.

Later, seated at the table, we had Julia Child's onion soup from Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume 1, a recipe I've made many times and love.  When I was newly married and at a restaurant with my husband's family, my father-in-law said he loved French onion soup and ordered it whenever he saw it on the menu.  The next time my in-laws came to visit I made this version from Julia.  He loved it, and it became something of a tradition for me to make it whenever he visited. I've never tried any other onion soup recipe, trusting that Julia knows  best. 

Both the gougere, and the soup are pretty rich, so we ended dinner with a light salad of spicy mixed greens dressed with olive oil, fresh lemon, salt and pepper, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.   Dessert was a platter of shortbread, chocolates, apple slices, and slivers of a white English cheddar.

The tiny dewdrop lights are from Target.  They are so wonderful and when I returned the next day to get a few more boxes, they were gone.  Rats!  The wee strand of 12 lights are battery operated using two AA batteries AND were only $3.00.  Can you believe that?  They are just perfect for adding a little pop of light!  I couldn't find them online, but here are some similar.

Thanks for stopping by.
Knitting is coming up next. 

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  1. It's not even 6 am here and you have me wanting soup and bread and champagne! Sounds amazing. Beautiful table!

  2. Yum! Beautiful to look at also. Try Target online to get more lights.


  3. Wow! This dinner party you had looks so inviting. I love your menus. I have Julie Child's cook book. I must try the French Onion Soup.
    Good luck with the election tonight!

    1. Try it Leslie. For the broth, I use a half and half mix of Campbell's Beef Consomme and Campbell's Beef Broth and a good amount of Sherry.

  4. I always love your inspirational and beautiful dinner parties and your recipes. I too love to entertain in fall. Love the low light and that I can finally light my fireplace! Thank you Kristin!

    1. Agree! Lighting that fireplace is one of my favorite things about fall!


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