Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumn Harvest Dinner

The weather here in Chicago has been teetering slightly warm, a little cool, somewhat dry, and fairly wet. (As they say here in Chicago, if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes!) But I think mother nature has made it known that fall is definitely here in Chicago. The leaves of the trees have started to turn rich autumn colors and chilly breezes have been felt when the windows are open. Ever since fall officially started, September 21st, I wanted to have a dinner with recipes that highlight some of my favorite fall ingredients. It just didn't feel like the right time to have a fall dinner, until now.

One of our fave foodie couples, Megan and Matt, came over for dinner and I knew they would appreciate an 'autumn harvest dinner.' Highlighting the ingredients of butternut squash, apples, maple, mushrooms, cranberries, and the depth of flavors roasting brings out, here's the menu I prepared:

Mushroom, Truffle & Artichoke Dip
served with assorted crackers and baby carrots

Cranberry, Walnuts & Goat Cheese Spinach Salad
served with lemon poppyseed dressing

Roasted Asparagus with Pancetta

Chicken, Cheddar & Apple Stuffed Mushrooms

Roasted Butternut Squash & Pear Mash

Vermont Maple & Spice Glazed Chicken

Apple Streusel Cheesecake
from Eli's Cheesecake
Everything was as delicious as I hoped and then some. My guests loved how the flavors complimented each other and all the dishes highlighted a bit of fall. Be sure to check back all this week for recipes of the above dishes I served. Hopefully the menu will inspire you to host an autumn harvest dinner too!