Autumn Giving Circle Dinner

I love decorating for a special dinner party! Don’t you? Last week I had the pleasure of hosting our Autumn Giving Circle Dinner. Although we are having a rather warm Indian Summer here in California, I decided on an all out AUTUMN theme. {hoping the weather will get the clue!} My decorating style is French Country,  simple, using natural elements.

In the living room I placed some fall potpourri in an antique transfer-ware bowl, with a seasonal candle in the center. A bouquet of sunflowers and eucalyptus leaves from the front garden completed the decorations there, together with the candleholders I showed you a few posts back




I set the table in the kitchen using an antique French Linen runner, my French antique plates, and white soup bowls. For a centerpiece, I placed one of our antique French confit pots on a large transferware platter, and made a bouquet of sunflowers, eucalyptus branches, asters and peruvian lillies in autumn colors. I added gourds, both “faux” and real, some copper ornaments, and grapes, both the tiny champagne grapes and the regular grapes in a beautiful burgundy color. Centerpiece = done.





It was such a hot day, that I served appetizers outside on the patio. I did take photos of those, but strangely, they are not to be found on my camera! It was a very simple French style spread: I bought olives, bruschetta spread, goat cheeses and yellow dried tomatoes at Trader Joe’s. French bread toasted in the oven for about 10 minutes after brushing on some olive oil and herbes de provence completed the offerings. Appetizers =done.






Here you can see the table partially set, before I poured the wine, and added the other platters to the table. It’s very simple. While I love tablescapes with layers of plates, they look so colorful, rich and exciting, in my real world, when I have 10 or so people eating at the table, less is more. Those beautiful extra plates kind of get in the way. So no layering here….sorry.


Along with wine, I served big bottles of my Herbal Infused Water, so refreshing on a hot day.




Autumn Menu:

Minestrone Soup


French Country Butter

Leek, Mushroom & Ham Quiche

Salad with Pears and Pecans

Pumpkin Bars {recipe coming this week}

I made this delicious French Country Butter, it’s a snap to put together as you will see. Just be sure to use unsalted butter.

You will need:

1 stick or 2 sticks unsalted butter
a tablespoon of cut up Capers
a sprinkling of Herbes de Provence
chives, chopped small
a little freshly ground pepper




So easy, and just delicious! You can vary the ingredients, sometimes I make this with grated Lemon Peel and other herbs. It keeps well packaged up in the paper and bag in the freezer so that all you have to do is defrost for a special treat with some great bread for company or a week night with your family.



About the Giving Circle: We meet four times a year, and each contribute about $90.00 {$1.00 a day} to our pooled fund. That night, we ask our members if they know of a person or family with a need, and distribute the money right then and there to help those in our community. In the past, our {anonymous} donations have gone to a Vet for food and gas money, a family whose Mom & Dad are temporarily unemployed, to school kids needing back to school clothing and supplies, you get the idea. I love the idea of being to help people from our own neighborhoods, church families and in neighboring cities. You can google Giving Circles and find out all about them. Anyway, ours is a blessing, the ladies in it are becoming my dearest friends and together we have a lot of fun as well as helping our community.

I’ll write up the recipe for the Leek, Mushroom & Ham quiche next time, and then those scrumptious Pumpkin Bars. I hope you will try some of the recipes for your next girl’s night, or family dinner.

If you want to romance your Home and Garden with antique and vintage treasures to make you smile each time you come home, visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.

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