Casual entertaining in your home makes perfect sense as the weather gets cooler. Friends can
come back to your house, hang out, chat and warm up after the big game, trick or treating,
or apple picking.
toppings (sour cream, cilantro, grated cheddar, salsa)
salad with ranch dressing
warm brownies with hot fudge and whipped cream
The trick and the treat of this type of entertaining is to create a menu that can be prepared ahead
of time. Set up as much as you can before you go out. Chili and brownies can be made the day
before. Make the salad and dressing, sides for chili, and chips also ahead of time. This will allow you
to fully enjoy your time out of the house and when you arrive home all you have to do is reheat the
chili, warm up the hot cider, cook the quesadillas, set out the sides and relax with your guests.
Set it up as a no fuss countertop presentation. People can help themselves.
It’s also good to end a get together with a yummy dessert. Before you serve the brownies warm
them up in the microwave and heat the hot fudge and then top with whipped cream that was made
ahead of time and left in the fridge until needed.
2 pounds ground beef
1 garlic clove (minced)
1/3 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (10.75 oz) tomato soup (plus 1 1/2 cans water)
1 can (15 oz) dark red kidney beans
1 can (28 oz) vegetarian baked beans
1/3 cup brown sugar
Brown ground beef in large pot on medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain fat.
Add minced garlic and cook for about a minute.
Reduce heat to low. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and mix.
Add drained kidney beans, baked beans and brown sugar.
Add tomato soup and then fill empty can 1 1/2 times with water and add.
Turn stove to high and bring to boil.
Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for about an hour, stirring every 10 minutes.
Take off heat and let cool on stove. Refrigerate overnight.
Next day skim fat off top and reheat. Season to taste.
Serve with sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro and tortilla chips.
Done! Easy! Enjoy!
Plan-it Vicki is the brainchild of Vicki Ross, an experienced Event Planner located in the
Hartford, Connecticut suburb of Avon. Vicki has created celebrations all over the Connecticut
Valley and as far west as the Litchfield hills and south towards Danbury. She and her staff provide
services for small, intimate dinner parties and large, full-scale events such as weddings and
bar and bat mitzvahs. Vicki can be reached at www.plan-itvicki.com or by email at: