Autumn Feast at Stoney Creek Ranch | Part II

25 October

I had so much fun reliving this day when putting these posts together!  And just going back through these photos, from the fireside grilling to actually sitting down to the table to feast, has my mouth seriously watering.  The Friendsgiving menu that my friend Kevin put together was so delicious and such a fresh take on the traditional T-Day dishes that I hope it inspires you to rethink your own Thanksgiving menus this year.  Lamb for one is a meat that I don’t have very often (and only order at restaurants where I know it will be prepared right), but since turkey is actually always my least favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, having the lamb as the main was such a welcome swap!  The roasted squash and grilled veggies served in the most flavorful miso broth were the perfect lighter side dishes.  We were all asking for the miso broth recipe afterwards and I’ve been making it at home ever since (simply: beef bone broth and miso–with a little Cobram Estate olive oil at the bottom of the pot to start).  Although I feel like Kevin isn’t telling me something because my broth just doesn’t taste quite the same as his.

Autumn Feast at Stoney Creek Ranch | Part II

Williams-Sonoma sent over their seasonal dishes for the occasion and I ran with the festive color scheme, choosing an orange linen runner for the table to compliment.  I also mixed the dishes with gold mosaic glasses to serve the wine, and gold utensils to compliment the gold rim on the dishes.  I asked my girlfriend Shannon of Thistle and Honey to help me pull together flowers for the occasion, and loved the softer palette of pinks, creams, and wheat to off-set the full on Thanksgiving orange.  Everything came together beautifully and seemingly effortlessly since everyone pitched in to help… as friend-filled gatherings should!

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For special occasions I love adding a personalized touch in everyone’s place.  Pretty card stock, handprinted names (I asked Emilee Rudd to help with the name cards)… flowers, herbs from the garden, feathers or seasonal fruits are a few of the ways I like to style the table this time of year.

Autumn Feast at Stoney Creek Ranch | Part II

Friendsgiving Menu as thoughtfully prepared by Kevin O’Connor | 

Sourdough and Cobram Estate EVOO for dipping

Garden Greens with Rye Croutons and Nutritional Yeast

Roasted Honey-Nut Butternut Squash, Walnut and Pepita Honey, Goat’s Cheese

Fire Cooked Wild Mushrooms, Baby Onions, Turnips with their Greens, Miso Broth

Coffee Rubbed Rack of Lamb, Shaved Apples and Persimmons, Pomegranates, Finger Lime Yogurt

Olive Oil Baby Bundt Cake, Fire and Maple Glazed Figs, Parsnip Crème Anglaise

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Rex loved that he was trusted to hold this chicken’s egg.  And then of course he broke it which he still talks about.

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This roasted butternut squash dish may have been my favorite of the meal.  Although I could have any and all of the squashes every night of the week this time of year!  I loved Kevin’s addition of the caramelized nuts and goat cheese which I can’t say I’ve ever had together with squash before.

Autumn Feast at Stoney Creek Ranch | Part II

The most incredible rainbow appeared at the end of the day as we were just getting ready to sit down to eat.  It was pure magic and rainbows have actually held a lot of meaning for me in the past year so it was particularly a sentimental moment for me.  Rex was adorable pointing it out and is also still talking about the “big rainbow in the sky.”

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Always quick to point out his belly button to anyone who’s curious where it might be.  I loved that Melissa caught this snap!

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Sitting down to enjoy our feast reminded me of so many sweet Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving memories of the past.  Hilarious times with my college girlfriends eating Boston Market in our dorm, taking a stab at making family recipes (and failing), Thanksgivings at my Nana’s growing up, our very simple just the two of us turkey days from when Tanner and I were newly married and living in New York.  Memories of my Uncle Mark who dated Melissa’s mom (and thus connected Melissa and I) and past Thanksgivings all around the table at my parent’s house.  Always lots of laughs and love.  A cherished time of year to bring new and old friends and family together.

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Dinnerware | Williams-Sonoma

Food | Kevin O’Connor and Cobram Estate

Wine | Chalk Hill Estate

Florals | Thistle and Honey

Location | Stoney Creek Ranch

Photography | Melissa Gayle Gustafson

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