Hosting a Fall Open House

Early November is that quiet time after the indulgence of Halloween and before the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I like the idea of hosting an open house to bring friends together before the holiday craziness begins. A Christmas open house usually is more formal, with guests dressing in their holiday finest to spread Christmas cheer. A fall open house can be far more relaxed, with football on the TV and still enough warm in the afternoon sun for kids to play outside. Gentleman can gather in the living room discussing their fantasy football season. (Sidebar: the NFL geniuses who came up with fantasy football not only brought interest in every team and increased demand for NFL Sunday packages for TV, they also are cursed by women everywhere for taking away all attention from their men for several months because all they can think about is who they are going to start on Thursday.Thanks NFL.) In the dining room, women share cute decorating ideas for the holiday season and share stories from the new school year. Here are a few recipes to make this relaxed event easy to pull together with very little effort.

Make up some of these easy Creamy Chicken Pockets from PenniesOnAPlater. Cook them up and serve them on the lid of your new 9×13 Baking dish.

Creamy Chicken Pockets

Yield:  8 pockets, 3-4 servings

2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 small chicken breasts, diced
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs, optional

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the chicken with the onions and garlic.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1 tablespoon softened butter until smooth.  Stir in the cooked chicken, onions and garlic.  Add the salts, pepper and milk.  Mix well.

Separate the crescent roll dough into the eight triangles.  Dollop a tablespoon of filling into the center of each triangle and fold the corners up to seal.  Press and seal firmly.  Place on ungreased baking sheet or stone and repeat with the remaining dough and filling.  Brush the tops with the melted butter and sprinkle with the bread crumbs (optional).

Bake for 11 – 13 minutes, or until golden brown.

Mix up traditional cheese and crackers with this idea from BettyCrocker. Use leaf shaped cookie cutters to cut out shapes from cheese slices. Serve these up on the Woodcrafts cheese board.


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