Autumn Party: Cider, Cheese, Wine and Brownies

In order to relax and transition into the weekend, this past Friday my roommates and I hosted an Autumn-themed party. The spread included two different drinks, some small bites, an Autumn scented candle, and jazz music to set the mood.

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We started off with spiked apple cider that I made by mulling store-bought cider with a clove-studded apple, thinly sliced oranges, allspice, nutmeg, brown sugar, and of course rum. This drink was accompanied by a wheel of baked brie, topped with garlic and honey, and served with apple slices and crackers. Needless to say it didn’t take long at all for the cheese to disappear and the plate to be picked clean. The honey-garlic topping on the buttery brie paired well with the sweet Gala apples. Although I had only ever tried fruit and nut toppings on melted brie, I was extremely pleased with this version. There simply is no such thing as too much garlic!

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Next we drank mulled wine made with cloves, sugar, orange juice, sliced oranges, lemon juice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. My friend Elizabeth also brought over her Vegan Pumpkin Brownies. Instead of adding eggs to a boxed brownie mix, she instead added a can of pumpkin puree and dark chocolate chips. The result was a dense, fudgy treat similar to a flourless chocolate cake. The brownies were just the right complement to the hot spiced wine.

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Perhaps the best part of these menu items is that they can all be purchased nearly ready-made in the store; brie wheel, brownie mix, cider, and wine. However, with a few choice ingredients, these simple items can be transformed into what tastes and smells just like homemade comfort food and drink.

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