"Between Seasons" Happy Hour… Tempted by Fall Flavors

It’s tough to think much about fall when it’s 80+ degrees outside and we’re still spending weekends at the beach. The only thing that really denotes *fall* here in Southern California is that school has begun. Luckily, fall foods begin surfacing in our markets, helping to remind us that there is indeed a change of seasons soon at hand. Fall is the season in which I most enjoy cooking and baking. The flavors of maple, pecans, apples, pears, pumpkin and cranberry will be most abundant in my seasonal recipe choices.

I was faced with hosting 38 neighbors in our home last weekend for an adult happy hour. Fortunately, everyone was instructed to contribute to the appetizers, so I wasn’t saddled with preparing all of the food. It was, however, a great opportunity to try out some new recipes. With the Fall Season looming ahead, I knew that those flavors would be calling to me. Selecting recipes was tough… being the end of summer but not yet fall. The fall flavors won me over though, and drew me in a tiny bit early. Here were the choices for our Happy Hour… all winners, all devoured in record time and all definite keepers.

Baked Brie with Fig Jam

Puff pastry spread with fig jam, topped with a wheel of brie and wrapped up with an egg wash on top. This one was easy, but amazing in taste. Served up with firm crackers, there wasn’t a speck left.

Cranberry- Caramelized Onion Cheese Spread

This one has a layer of blended cream cheese, cheddar and blue cheeses- topped with caramelized onions, cranberries and a touch of balsamic. We LOVED this. Great fall flavors all around.

Hot Wild Mushroom & Artichoke Dip

This dip calls for a mixture of wild mushrooms and portobellos. They’re mixed with cream cheese, artichoke hearts, onions and spices and are heated up to bubbling. This recipe was definitely my fave. We had baguette slices and celery sticks for dunking.

The neighbors didn’t have to go far after our party, so we had ourselves some fun with a variety of drinks… several choices of wine and beer, and a big jug of this amazing drink called Shark Attack from Guy Fieri (Food Network).

The neighbors brought amazing food too. I only wish I had photographed all of their food and asked for recipes! Next time…

Now that I’ve “fall”en forward, I’m consumed with thoughts of apples. I have a few ideas in the works, but in the meantime you can look forward to Happy Hour Desserts in my next post!

All of the recipes above can be found by clicking on the recipe titles.

Leave a Comment

40 Responses to “"Between Seasons" Happy Hour… Tempted by Fall Flavors”

  1. 1

    HoneyB — September 17, 2008 @ 9:29 AM

    Oh, I could dig into that brie dish right now, however it all looks delicious. Brie is my favorite appy dish. That drink looks great too and I have bookmarked that one. I really like the ingredient “high alcohol content rum” :) LOL

  2. 2

    Manggy — September 17, 2008 @ 9:57 AM

    Gosh, looks like that Brie baked beautifully! And I’ve no doubt the mushroom and artichoke dip would be my favorite too!

    By the way, what about school? I thought the sure sign fall is approaching is the premiering of all these great television shows, hahaha! :)

  3. 3

    Jon — September 17, 2008 @ 12:59 PM

    That dip looks amazing.

    The problem with those dips is I tend to camp out by the bowl. Then eat until my stomach hurts.

  4. 4

    Maria — September 17, 2008 @ 1:34 PM

    You didn’t! All of these dishes look so good! I want them all! I just adore brie. I am going to have to make this soon!! Thanks for the fun fall dishes.

  5. 5

    Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide — September 17, 2008 @ 1:45 PM

    Looks soooooo gooood. I love Brie….I maple plank it on my grill w/toppings. I could eat a whole wheel and not think twice.

  6. 6

    Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer — September 17, 2008 @ 3:28 PM

    Love the baked Brie looks amazing – I am with you it is hard to get into the fall spirit when it is over 100 degrees (at least in Valencia). The mushroom will be on the list for the next gathering of the peoples!!

  7. 7

    Bitten Sweets — September 17, 2008 @ 4:13 PM

    everything looks so wonderful! i too prefer cooking in the fall–love all the rich flavors.

  8. 8

    Heather — September 17, 2008 @ 4:59 PM

    mmmm, i love baked brie! i cover mine in puff pastry with raspberry preserves and slivered almonds, or granny smith apple slices and honey. this looks delicious, too!

  9. 9

    Teresa Cordero Cordell — September 17, 2008 @ 5:33 PM

    Lori, I love the Baked Brie with Fig Jam. It’s so easy and yet so elegant. You’re so smart. I’m going to give it a try. Great post and wonderful recipes.

  10. 10

    Deborah — September 17, 2008 @ 6:06 PM

    It all looks so good!!

    The weather has still been warm here, too, so I’m looking forward to a cool down.

  11. 11

    Ivy — September 17, 2008 @ 6:16 PM

    It seems that we have the same climate. It’s still very hot here in Greece and I don’t really like fall. All your recipes look delicious, lucky guests.

  12. 12

    noble pig — September 17, 2008 @ 7:34 PM

    Love the Fall spread! And the Shark Attack is awesome!

  13. 13

    Clumbsy Cookie — September 17, 2008 @ 8:48 PM

    Can I be your neighbour? That baked brie is calling my name!

  14. 14

    Laura — September 17, 2008 @ 11:38 PM

    I would very much like to have been one of the lucky 38. :)

  15. 15

    Adam — September 18, 2008 @ 12:40 AM

    Yeah, 38 is a lot of people. I wish I was in SoCal, I mean what’s 39, right? My vote goes for the mushroom dish, but they all look amazing.

  16. 16

    Lisa — September 18, 2008 @ 2:57 AM

    Oh, I wish I was your neighbor! I ma making the brie very soon.

  17. 17

    That Girl — September 18, 2008 @ 3:14 AM

    Those are great appetizers for a cocktail party.

  18. 18

    Jenny — September 18, 2008 @ 3:41 AM

    What great recipes! That brie and fig is so calling my name. Have a good one!

  19. 19

    Grace — September 18, 2008 @ 9:53 AM

    baked brie is a dynamite appetizer, and i love your festive dish! meanwhile, i’ve never had a cranberry-carmelized onion cheese spread, but i’ve had a regular ol’ cranberry-carmelized onion spread and while fabulous, it would only improve with the addition of cheese. clearly. :)

  20. 20

    FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels — September 18, 2008 @ 11:51 AM

    I’m intrigued by the cranberry-onion spread…thinking it’s a festive appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner. It won’t be long now. :)

  21. 21

    Parker — September 18, 2008 @ 12:46 PM

    Nice job these all look so amazing. Also thank you for helping me plan my fall menu as I will certainly be using one if not more of these.

  22. 22

    Dawn — September 18, 2008 @ 2:30 PM

    I love brie! I make it with chutney.
    I’m still stuckon your toffee scones :::sigh:::
    You know I need to make an adult happy hour in my neighborhood, that sounds like fun.

  23. 23

    Daziano — September 18, 2008 @ 3:51 PM

    Baked brie is one of the best things I’ve ever had!!!

  24. 24

    Pam — September 18, 2008 @ 4:48 PM

    You are one brave woman – hosting 4is hard, I can’t imagine 38! The appetizers look great. The mushroom artichoke dip is calling my name!

  25. 25

    VeggieGirl — September 18, 2008 @ 5:06 PM

    Kudos to you with all the hosting!! Man oh man. And all that food looks WONDERFUL!!

  26. 26

    Maria — September 18, 2008 @ 5:07 PM

    Wow everything looks delish but that Brie in puff pastry is right up my street!


  27. 27

    Rosie — September 18, 2008 @ 5:24 PM

    All your dishes look amazing and your brie dish is complete heaven on a plate.

    Rosie x

  28. 28

    Patsyk — September 18, 2008 @ 5:24 PM

    Wow! I wish I lived in your neighborhood… those dishes look amazing! Yum!

  29. 29

    Mommy's Kitchen — September 18, 2008 @ 5:26 PM

    Brie is my favorite cheese. I am going to have to try this one.

  30. 30

    Jan — September 18, 2008 @ 5:52 PM

    Well done, for cooking up all those amazing treats. I bet your neighbors had a blast.

  31. 31

    Rhyleysgranny — September 18, 2008 @ 8:45 PM

    Anything with cheese floats my boat. I especially like the baked brie. Yum Yum

  32. 32

    Lina — September 18, 2008 @ 8:48 PM

    ohhh everything looks great especially the brie! mmmmmm

  33. 33

    Tanya — September 19, 2008 @ 12:48 AM

    Wow, those look so good. Fall time makes me want to bake all day long.

  34. 34

    My Sweet & Saucy — September 19, 2008 @ 2:14 AM

    That hot mushroom and artichoke dip sounds FANTASTIC!

  35. 35

    Sandie — September 19, 2008 @ 5:13 AM

    I’m big on happy hour foods. All of this dishes look fantastic.

    Now…which one to try first? ;-)

  36. 36

    alexandra's kitchen — September 19, 2008 @ 6:53 AM

    holy crow! 35 people? I really cannot imagine. looks like you handled it quite well! I love baked brie. it’s such a classic recipe and always a crowd pleaser!

  37. 37

    Nina Timm — September 20, 2008 @ 9:21 AM

    I clearly missed a lot this past week and will have to come back and spend time on your site….all the recipes looks so delicious!!!!!The baked Brie to start off with…mmmmm!!!!

  38. 38

    Cookie baker Lynn — September 22, 2008 @ 2:13 PM

    That dip sounds amazing! I love artichoke heart dip, but adding wild mushrooms sends it over the top.

  39. 39

    Any Little Reason — September 23, 2008 @ 6:24 PM

    I am next in line to host our monthly neighborhood get-together – these will definitely find a place on my table…they all look amazing!

  40. 40

    once in a blue moon... — October 3, 2008 @ 2:50 AM

    love the brie and fig combo, i fear it will be my dinner soon~