Fall into Outdoor Dining

This past week I was treated to a beautiful home-cooked meal. My BFF, Yvonne, came over and brought everything to make dinner for her whole family and me, then she prepared it in my kitchen. It was such a treat to have her here; she is a phenomenal cook, among her many talents.

I think it was a mutually beneficial situation. As you know, I have her home totally torn apart for the massive kitchen renovation. The room is down to the studs and her culinary skills have been utterly thwarted. I am sure she is over take out and prepared foods. So cooking at my place was a win-win situation.

What I wanted to share with you was how wonderful it was to set a lovely table outside, even as the weather is turning from hot Summer nights to crisp Fall evenings. Summer may be almost behind us, but that doesn’t mean you have to head indoors quite yet. Do not forget to use those lovely outdoor rooms all through the Fall. Especially dining areas: it’s said that crisp air is an appetite enhancer!

To acknowledge the change in seasons, have fun making slight adjustments that better suit the change in temperature. Things you can consider when planning to dine outside on cool nights are the types of foods you make, the style of the tablescape, the colors of the linens and more.

We used a centerpiece of greens, evergreens and ferns. They are very low maintenance and stay fresh and green throughout the colder weather. The glow of candles and strings of lights added figurative warmth to the environment. (In the days to come a fire pit could add literal warmth.) We used heavy cream linens; you can also consider rustic weaves. It all went together to complement Yvonne’s delicious chicken piccata dish served with spaghetti squash and caprese salad. Combined with a savory Caesar salad and a gorgeous summer fruits salad, the meal easily bridged the seasons and delighted our taste buds. It was so good I’m tempted to extend her kitchen renovation!

So what will you do to capture the end of the season by Fall-ing into outdoor dining?