October 10, 2013

pumpkins & pot roast

you don't have to give me a reason to throw a dinner party. cooking a meal and having all your friends come over to enjoy it? to me, fun couldn't be more simple.  the excuse i'll say i had this time was to make my first roast of the fall season and get into the spirit of halloween. more simply, i was hungry and needed to decorate a pumpkin that could be displayed longer than a couple of days before halloween.  cue, pumpkins and pot roast!

[ pumpkin patch pickin ]
i've made pot roast a few times and have looked around for different variations but still haven't found a new recipe with a really interesting twist on the original to try out.  but then i thought about it and maybe all the pot roast recipes i found are so consistent because the traditional preparation has proved time and time again to be the people's choice. when tradition reigns supreme, i turn to recipes from chef's that perhaps rarely step out of the box but make simple dishes packed with a flavorful punch. for this roast, i trusted fellow okie, ree drummond aka the pioneer woman. my only variation (insignificant i think) was to deglaze with balsamic vinegar instead of red wine.  i thought i might notice a slightly sweeter undertone in the dish but if it was there i couldn't tell. maybe the wine in my hand had something to do with that...

[ balsamic pot roast and gravy over roasted garlic and parmesan mashed potatoes ]
i kept tradition alive and served the roast over roasted garlic mashed potatoes with gravy. mmm.  y'all i was actually really proud of my gravy. as many meals as i've cooked i've never made gravy with pan drippings.  crazy right? i credit years of watching my dad make gravy at the stove and countless hours watching the food network for whatever force took over that allowed me to create this scratch gravy with no recipe.  gravy isn't rocket science but sometimes you find excitement in the little things.

[ pumpkin beer cheese soup ]
in true fashion, i couldn't complete the entire menu without throwing in a little flair.  the final two dishes are both from one of my favorite food blogs, spoon fork bacon.  its hard for me to visit their site full of intriguing and delicious looking recipes without saving them to my pinterest boards as must make meals.  the timing was right for buttermilk cornbread with bacon lime chili butter to accompany the roast (forgot to snap a picture) and pumpkin beer cheese soup as a starter. both amazing. both perfectly in line with my fall and pumpkin inspired menu.

[ a few of my best gal pals ]
i almost forgot about the pumpkins!  those brave enough took on pumpkin carving. after a fiasco last year i vowed to "decorate" my pumpkin instead. ok, carving was just harder than i remember it being when i was 8 and i chose a stencil entirely too complicated to carve with those child-safe blades that barely cut paper.  glitter is cuter anyway.

[ sparkly spooky pumpkins ]
and finally, what is a fall outdoor party without fire and s'mores! the night couldn't have been better.  a themed menu, cute pumpkins, an open fire and lots friends. oh, and plenty of wine...thank goodness i had monday off!

[ owl and laughing emoji pumpkins ]

until next time...


  1. Those mashed potatoes look AMAZING! I'm seriously starving now. Looks like a wonderful time! xo

    1. Thanks!! They are my go-to when I cook a hearty meal like this. Can't get enough of them!


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