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food

How To Host A Block Party

This fall, gather your friends and neighbours for a local feast to celebrate the season.

It’s no wonder fall is a time of thanksgiving: Autumn’s bounty gives us plenty to be grateful for. A seasonal menu is the perfect way to celebrate not only the local harvest, but also the locals themselves. That’s right, it’s time for a block party.

The Menu
Cocktails: Ice cider cooler and hot spiced cider
Starters: Charcuterie and cheese plate
Mains: Mini-meat loaves, pumpkin-sage ravioli, sautéed Brussels sprouts and seasonal mixed vegetables
Desserts: Spiced pecan waffles with pear compote and French vanilla ice cream

Bountiful beginning
Invite your neighbours to sample the cornucopia of flavours that abound at this time of year. Set the tone for the evening with a quick and easy appetizer. A charcuterie and cheese plate offered right off the bat will get your guests thinking about local, seasonal eating and couldn’t be simpler to prepare. Just ask your local butcher and cheesemonger for some suggestions, plate and serve.

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Bar Service
Signature cocktails are a great way to further your party’s theme—plus they keep costs down and will save you from mixing drinks all night long as guests can help themselves. Who wouldn’t want to chill out with an ice cider cooler? Or cozy up with a hot spiced cider, kept warm and toasty in the KitchenAid® slow cooker?

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Comfort food
As for the rest of the menu, comfort food pairs well with the season’s crisp weather, and the recipes contained herein are sure to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Though they call for ingredients widely available across Canada in the fall, do showcase your region’s specialties as well. Bound and artfully presented, the night’s menu and recipes will make a memorable and thoughtful parting gift for your guests. To find out what’s in season in your neck of the woods, visit harvestcanada.com.

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Golden and Delicious
Contrary to popular belief, waffles aren’t solely breakfast fodder. Enjoy them at any meal with the easy-to-use KitchenAid® Pro Line® waffle baker. The double-sided baking unit rotates to let your choice of batter—savoury or sweet— coat the top and bottom plates, plus it works fast, delivering two 19-cm (7.5-in.) golden Belgian waffles to your table in under five minutes. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will never be the same again.

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The Fine Craft of Coffee
For those of us whose taste in coffee has become quite refined, we appreciate the nuances, the flavors, the process… the art of brewing a fine cup of coffee. Happily, KitchenAid® is on board with the current craft coffee trend, but they’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. Instead they have designed new coffee makers that improve on the best traditional brewing methods.

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Kitchen Helpers
No kitchen is complete without a KitchenAid® stand mixer. This countertop must-have comes in a rainbow of colours but backs up its beauty with brawn. Thanks to its powerful 10-speed, 325-watt motor, you can mix, whip and beat your way to yummy homemade apps, entrees and desserts without breaking a sweat. That’s not all: A range of attachments—ice cream maker, ravioli maker, food grinder, rotor slicer/ shredder, pasta roller and more (all sold separately)—expand its skill set even further.
Shown here: At left, KitchenAid® Artisan Series® stand mixer with ravioli maker attachment (sold separately). At right, the KitchenAid® Pro Line® waffle baker.

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Image(s): James Pattyn