One of my favorite things to do during the fall and winter seasons is to host an easy chili dinner and gourmet s’mores bar for friends and family. For the past few weeks, we’ve been wearing light layers and leaving the windows open. The slightly chilly air definitely makes it feel like fall has officially arrived. The weather in the South is fairly mild from October – December which allows us to spend more time outside, relaxing and hanging out on the porches, patio and by the fire pit.
Creating a gourmet s’mores bar doesn’t have to be really involved or expensive. It can be easily achieved on a big or small scale depending on how many people you have coming over. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re entertaining…
Consider using workbenches or other pieces of furniture outdoors to make serving dinner and refilling drinks in a central location a cinch.
Look for new ways to mix vintage pieces with new finds. This vintage train case was the perfect perch to hold sweet treats like these moist beet brownies with peanut buttercream frosting.
Play up fall and seasonal décor from acorns to mini pumpkins to mums to raffia wrapped sticks from the yard.
Keep things simple when entertaining and all of the necessary s’more ingredients together. I used this vintage fruit crate to make things convenient. You can find glass containers like these at big box stores or charity shops. Just make sure they’ve been well cleaned and are completely dry before you place food items inside.
Vary the height of the containers to make it easier for guests to reach their favorite treats. Using glass containers allows them to see what special toppings you have to offer too. I’m always amazed at the creative combinations people come up with.
As soon as I saw the red lid on this vintage inspired glass jar, I knew I had to bring it home with me. I picked it up from Kirklands last year and it’s perfect for holding freshly baked cookies or graham crackers.
When it’s cold outside guests will definitely want something warm to drink. I usually serve coffee, cider and hot chocolate. We even keep extra milk on hand too. Use mugs that are generous in size which feels like a luxury any time of the day. You can use store bought mugs like these or personalize mugs to help carry out the theme of your party.
I also like to keep coffee syrups, spices, various creamers and mugs on one tray too. That way it can be easily moved from the outdoor buffet area to the table or the fire pit area for guests to enjoy.
Finally, you can’t have a gourmet s’mores bar or any other outdoor event without elements of comfort for your guests. Things like pillows and extra blankets are must haves.
You can easily find plaid and seasonal inspired blankets at big box stores, charity shops or small business owned boutiques.
Outdoor entertaining doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate at all. Just think about what will make your guests feel most comfortable and at home.
Time spent making memories with friends and family is always time well spent.