Last week we hosted our first dinner party at the new house.  It was soooo nice to be able to have our friends over for a casual meal in the middle of the week.  We've been accustomed to only being able to get together for dinner with our close friends after a plane ride, so it was great to be able to send out a text and say - "Wanna come over for dinner tonight?  Casual... I'm thinking soup." 

I took a couple of behind the scenes photos so you can see what a "real" casual dinner looks like at my house.  After all, just like you, when we have our friends over, there are not elaborate centerpieces, five courses or even fancy appetizers.

I do try to be pretty organized and prepared so that I can be relaxed, just as I want our friends to feel. I set out everything we'll need on a little table in my kitchen - bowls, spoons, napkins, water glasses, etc., so I'm not searching (or cleaning an extra spoon...) at the last minute.

I like to keep it really casual...

 

help yourself to some wine...

 

a big platter of cheese and things to snack on...

 

 a big pot of soup on the stove... 

 

lots of crusty bread...


...and a comforting Apple & Cranberry Crisp for dessert. 



...with vanilla ice cream, of course.
 

Everyone said it was the perfect Fall meal - I'd have to agree.  Stay tuned this week for the recipes :

Italian Beef & Vegetable Stew
Cranberry & Apple Crisp Recipe (updated!)
 
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