October 30, 2013

S'Mores Please

It all started last November.  My cousin was coming in town for a visit from Florida and requested we do something "fall" since Florida doesn't really have one.  The only problem was that since it was already November, all of our traditional fall outings (hayrides, pumpkin patch, corn maze, etc) were all ready all closed down for the season.  So I did a bit of brainstorming and decided we could/should do a s'more roasting.  But again we had a problem because we really had no means to roast the marshmallows.  Last minute we decided to use our grill...which worked technically...but the marshmallows tasted a bit like steak.  For Hanukkah a month later, my brother and sister-in-law  (who attended our failure of a s'more night) gifted us a fire pit.  I swore then that I would host a legit s'more night...and this weekend it finally happened!
We had invited about 35 people over (some kids, some adults) over for the evening, and the weather gods totally smiled on us.  It was bit chilly, but felt like fall...and the fire in the fire pit worked well to keep everyone warm.  While the s'mores were the highlight of the evening, we also served up hot dogs for dinner.  Of course, I couldn't just leave it at hot dogs, though.  I set up a hot dog bar with way too many topping options.
Seriously, I think I have a sickness.  As I shopped for this party I knew full well that it would be highly unlikely that anyone would put guacamole...or sweet and sour sauce...or pineapple chunks on their hot dog, but I can't help it. I have to buy it.  It makes the whole bar concept much more fun. Who's with me?
Anyhow, we set out the hot dogs, buns, and toppings along with some baked beans and macaroni and cheese (both meant to be either toppings or sides...and were mainly used as sides).  I spray painted some paper labels with chalkboard paint and then affixed them to clear plastic cups to identify each item.  Unfortunately, it was dark outside and you really couldn't even read the labels (although some people used the handy flashlight app on their phones to do so!).  The looked cute, though...unfortunately (again!), you can barely see them because my camera happened to suck in the dark, but...
Aside from the hot dog table, I also set up a s'more/dessert table.

 Again, I had a feeling that making a bunch of seasonal desserts was probably unnecessary, but I couldn't help myself.  We had some mini pumpkin pies, pecan pie bars, apple pie cookies, snickerdoodle cupcakes, and candy corn popcorn (that I found at Target).  They were touched, but I can honestly say they weren't necessary.  
The s'mores were naturally the big hit!   I had so much fun shopping for and stocking the s'more bar.  We had three different kinds of graham crackers (chocolate, cinnamon, and regular), four different kinds of marshmallows (regular, chocolate, chocolate mint, and ghosts for the kids), lots of different chocolates (Andes mints, Reeses cups, Symphony bars, Caramello, Cookies n' Cream, Kit Kats, and Hersheys), and a few other options like strawberries, bananas, peanut butter, Nutella, and sea salt.  I came up with (read: searched the Internet) for some fun combinations to make a recipe sign for (using my favorite engineer prints), but really there were so many more that I could have included!

When it was time to get to the roasting, everyone had a blast, but I must say watching the kids enjoy it was pretty much the highlight.  I don't know for sure about everyone else's kids, but I know this was my boys' first experience.  Levi wasn't too sure about the whole thing (although he did enjoy the eating part), but Colton thought it was great!

My friends are generally appreciative, but I got so many "thank you" texts and phone calls the next day for hosting this little shindig.  The overall consensus was that it was such a perfect fall evening...good friends, good food, good fun!  

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