Early Autumn Dinner with Friends




Change is in the air… the change from summer to fall. I am such a huge fan of fall, that I do everything possible to hurry it along at this time of year.  I decorate. I wear fall clothes {depending on how warm it still is here}. I entertain with an autumn flair, and serve this delicious Autumn Dinner for friends. Did you come over from  HOW TO SET A COUNTRY FRENCH TABLE?


Then you know all about using antiques on your autumn dinner table, and that I promised to share my recipes.




This is what I served at my 1st Autumn Dinner, with the recipes:


I started off the autumn fun with these refreshing drinks, a grown up version of lemonade. A very simple appetizer works wonders for your guests to enjoy while they talk, clink their glasses and enjoy each other’s company. At this time of year, a cocktail hour outdoors is often lovely.





Makes a pitcher, or 6 drinks.

  • 9 ounces of vodka, rum or tequila {I used tequila}
  • 6 ounces Limoncello liquor
  • 1 can frozen Lemonade
  • 1 bottle of lemon flavored sparkling water
  • crushed ice


In a large pitcher combine the 9 oz. of your desired alcohol with Limoncello liquor and stir. Add the can of frozen lemonade and stir.

Slowly add some of the sparkling water to taste. Stir in crushed ice. Serve in glasses with crushed ice.





These are so delicious! They are the perfect drink to let your guests know you are happy they are here, and are light enough to go with almost any type of appetizer.  For this dinner, I used one of the French plates and arranged some chunks of cheese, a handful of nuts, and a few simple crackers for us to enjoy during our cocktail hour in the garden.  While my guests were talking outside, I went in and cut the avocados to serve on the salad.





  • 1 ~ 2 large Romaine Lettuces, or several gourmet “smaller” Romaine Lettuces.
  • 6 ~ 8 Avocados
  • salt & pepper


Champagne Mustard Salad Dressing {recipe below}


Wash, separate and arrange {organic} Romaine Lettuce leaves in a large bowl, or shallow platter.

To the top of that, add several sliced avocados, sprinkle with some coarse salt.





Serve immediately {otherwise the avocados will turn an ugly brown} with Champagne Mustard Dressing.



  •  Olive Oil
  • Vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • Champagne Mustard
  • tiny bit of Orange Juice



This isn’t an exact science. I usually use 2 parts olive oil {a good one} to 1 part vinegar. You can use white vinegar, I used a special citrus vinegar from Trader Joe’s.

Measure out vinegar in a bowl {I use my pyrex  cup measure} and whisk in the pressed garlic, let rest for 10 minutes.

Add twice as much oil as you measured out vinegar, then add two spoons of a great mustard. I love Honeybaked Ham’s Champagne Mustard, but any other gourmet mustard will work, like Grey Poupon.

Stir in a few spoonfuls of orange juice, and mix. It will begin to emulsify. Serve with the salad in a sauceboat or bottle. You can store this up to a week in the refrigerator.







This is the easiest, most delicious soup you will ever make. You can serve it as is, or dress it up like I did with sour cream, grated cheese, and corn chips, which is my California slant.

  • 3 to 4 chicken breasts {or about 8 chicken tenders}
  • 1 1~2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1~2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1~2 teaspoon onion powder
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 15 oz. can white corn, drained. I really love corn, so I just add a whole bag of frozen small corn.
  • 2 cans canellini white beans, drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour. {I use gluten free}
  • 1 cup milk


Place chicken breasts on the bottom of your slow cooker, add the chili powder, cumin, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper, chicken broth, corn and beans.

Cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours. If the chicken hasn’t shredded, shred the chicken with two forks and put back in the slow cooker.

An hour before serving, melt the butter in a small saucepan over high heat. Whisk in flour, and allow it to brown and bubble up a little bit. After a few minutes, gradually whisk in the milk and allow the sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir until slightly thickened. Pour this mixture into your crockpot, mix to combine.

If possible, allow the soup to heat another hour. You can add more chicken stock if you like your soup more liquid than this. Add salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add things to this, I often chop up celery that needs to be eaten and put it in the pot, or other vegetables. Create your own version with what you have on hand!

Serve with crusty bread. Or set out bowls of shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro and corn chips for a California casual flair.






I hope that you will love these easy recipes as much as I do.  Those of you who know me know I am all for easy, delicious meals. It’s what makes us entertain more, and autumn is a wonderful time to gather your friends and family and have dinner parties at home!






Thank you so much. Let me know what you serve for autumn dinner parties at home below. And be sure to sign up to follow my blog in the right hand corner so you don’t miss a single post!


Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and uniquely yours. Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com.

17 thoughts on “Early Autumn Dinner with Friends”

    1. Thank you Jane! This is a great meal to make when you have a crowd too, it’s something I love putting in the slow cooker when my whole family comes for dinner and I want to visit with them more than spending time in the kitchen.

  1. This meal looks amazing. Easy and very elegant at the same time. And your French Countryside table is stunning.

    I often make a white soup using cauliflower but I will try your soup recipe too.

    Have a lovely week.


    1. I love cauliflower soup too Janet! Thank you for your kind comments. xo

  2. Tammy Rey

    Wow, that dinner looks delicous. Thank you for including the recipes. I love a mustard vinaigrette and always looking for soups, especially with Autumn coming. Is it here, because I’m ready! I’m with you Lidy, Autumn is my favorite time of year!

    1. Tammy, I’m ready too! This makes a lot, so you could make it when you entertain, or make it and freeze in batches for the future. I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Thanks, KariAnne, for the visit, and the happy day wish! xo

  3. I pinned both recipes and can’t wait to make them, Lidy. The whole dinner party was gorgeous, including the food.

    I so enjoyed catching up with you. I always leave here inspired 🙂


  4. What a delicious dinner! Presentation is so important, but w/out great food, it is all for naught. I can’t wait to try the soup and, of course, add my own “French Touch.”
    I am delighted to return the favor and spend some time looking through your lovely site. I want one of everything!!

    Cheers, M-T

  5. Carole Nichelin

    Love to receive your beautifull table settings and recipes ! Do you have to use a slow cooker ? I don’t have one . Thank you , Carole

    1. Carole, I sm sure that you could make this in a regular pot too. I use my slow cooker for ease.

  6. I’ve pinned both these recipes and wrote down the Champagne Mustard dressing as I want to try this soon! I love the gray bowls.

    I do tend to serve a chicken chili in October as it’s too soon for the red chili and your salad will be just right with it. For dessert it has to be something with apples and cinnamon, or a sweet potato cake glazed with caramel.

    Best to you!

    1. So nice to meet you here, Dewena! I hope that you love the champagne mustard dressing, I made it again yesterday for 15 people, and it’s so good!

  7. Allison

    Love it!! Just what we like. Thanks so much for the fun recipes!

  8. Oh Lidy. Im so sorry!! Feel better! You deserve a You moment.. weeks! (PSI know your really having some maintenance…you go girl!!) Ha. . Carol Curtis

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