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Autumn is here! Host the perfect autumnal dinner

It is officially the end of the Summer and the start of Autumnal days. I actually don’t mind this time of year – I much prefer my woolly jumpers and my boots to flimsy dresses and shorts! Autumn dinners are full of comfort and heat and seasonal veg. Drinks are sweet and spiced. Fires are lit and the hygge life takes over.
Here’s my guide to hosting the perfect Autumn dinner
Menu
Carrot & Coriander soup (I particularly like this recipe from BBC Good Food )
Chicken & Mushroom stroganoff (Jamie Oliver’s recipe is perfect!)

Poached pears with crème fraiche (This is a massive favourite in my house and we generally use Nevin Maguires recipe)

Table setting
At the moment there is hessian material for sale in Lidl for only €5.00. It’s being sold as frost protection material for plants but is ideal for craft use! Simply cut a length of this about half the width of your table and leave about 6 inches overhang to create a simple table runner.

As all the leaves are just set to RUIN our parked cars and walkways, they do have their uses! If you get a few oak tree leaves from your garden or local park, clean them off with a paper towel and coat lightly with some gold spray paint (I always use Plasticoat spray as it can be used on so many different surfaces) These can be scattered along the middle of your table on cloth or table runner or used as name cards for place settings.

You can actually spray anything, I got some grass seed heads and sprayed them gold and bronze for this place setting.

Drinks
Autumn/Winter drinks are the best! Hot whiskeys, port and creamy Baileys all come to mind when I think of cold, windy evenings at home. Apples are in season right now so why not try some Mulled Apple Cider – similar to mulled wine served at Christmas!
– 4 Cans apple cider of your choice (choose one not too sweet)
– 2 x Cinnamon sticks
– Apple & Orange Slices with cloves
– Couple of teaspoons of All-spice
– Star anise whole
Add the cider to a large pot and add the fruit and spices and some brown sugar to taste and heat through until all the spices are infused – Drink & be merry!
So you see? The Autumn/Winter season doesn’t have to be so miserable after all. Surround yourself with friends and family, host lots of dinners and make your home a cosy and inviting place to be for the next few months.
Áine

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