Thursday, September 21, 2006

Homespun Harvest

Continuing this series, we look at the food and drink options for our Harvest Gathering. I decided to have a picnic lunch after all the games and activities. So, our food is pretty easy as everyone will be bringing their own lunch. However, I am provided beverages and dessert - so here is what I'm thinking of:

Apples and Dips: When each guest bobs for their apple - I'd like to provide utensils to cut them (with mom-supervision of course!) and goodies to go with - like caramel, peanut butter, and this great dip: one 8-oz. package cream cheese, 5-6 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon mixed well. Yummy!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes (from Country Living October 2005)

2 1/2 c. and 2 Tbsp. flour
1 c. and 2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
5 large eggs
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. pumpkin
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

Sift flour, cocoa, soda, powder and spices together. Beat butter and sugar in another bowl until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until mixture is smooth and light. Mix together buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture blending well after each addition. Divide the batter into muffin tins and bake at 375 for about 22 minutes. Makes 36 cupcakes.

*As mentioned in the previous post - we will be using these for our dessert and to give away. So, I will be providing the cupcakes, orange (colored, not flavored) frosting, and sprinkles to decorate with.

Drinks: since many children will be present, I want to keep the options kid-friendly. I am thinking water and a variety of juices in a big tub of ice. For the moms - I'd like to offer this:

Hot Caramel Apple Cider (from the 2006 Gooseberry Patch Calendar)

1 gallon apple cider
1 pkg. mulling spices
12-oz. jar caramel ice cream topping
1 c. whipping cream
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Garnish: cinnamon sticks and nutmeg

Heat cider and mulling spices as directed on spice package. When heated, pour into individual cups and top with one teaspoon caramel topping; stir to dissolve. Place whipping cream and sugar in a bowl; add vanilla. Using an electric mixer, blend until soft peaks form. Add a dollop to each mug of cider; garnsih with a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Serves 30.

* I plan to use my crock-pot outside to keep this hot. As for the whipped cream - I was thinking of making these in advance and just letting everyone scoop one onto their mug. Also, I am not sure where to find mulling spice packages, so came across this recipe that I think I will use instead for the spice part.

Previously: Planning, Goals, and Invitations
Activities & Games
Next time: Decorating


momxtwo said...

Sounds yummy!

Wish I could be there.

Kathryn said...

Monica, I think those spices will work wonderfully as a little packet. My aunt did some dips, etc, and used little (3x4)ziploc bags or cellophane bags and then made a cardstock topper for it with directions and stapled it on. This sounds like such a fun time you will be having. I'm anxious to try your recipe for mulled caramel cider---that just sounds yummy!!! Have a good evening!

Monica Wilkinson said...

Lisa - wish you could come too!

Kathryn - thanks for sharing the recipe! Great gidt idea too!

Jenn said...

Oh goodie! Thanks a ton again...I LOVE this series!!!!