Ringing in fall in our home is quite the event. In September I begin to plan our #verydanielhalloween (a cute hashtag I made up years ago) and fine tune what we’ll be doing for the month of October. The last few years I’ve arranged for different activities such as watching a list of our favorite scary (and some not so scary) movies, decorate a haunted gingerbread house, going to the pumpkin patch and carving the pumpkins we pick out. Last year I was pregnant and so this year is especially special because now we have our little guy to celebrate the season with.
This year my husband and I have picked our favorite horror movies and a few new ones to watch for the first time. I thought it would be fun to plan meals around each movie and that we would snack on them as we watched. I also took it a step further to include themed cocktails as well! I am always on the lookout for new food recipes and lately we both have been dabbling into mixology too. So, as October first arrived and we enjoyed our first food pairing night with a success I am so much looking forward to the rest of the menus we have planned for each movie!
Today I am sharing with you how our family celebrates one of the best seasons ever and how easy it is to share the love with your family by starting your own traditions!
Try this Pumpkin Spice Martini! It’s perfect for those hotter fall days…
I love fall for many reasons: comfy and cozy clothes, a slight chill in the air, comforting colors, warming food such as chilis, squash, and meat(!), autumnal scents (because who doesn’t love a good scented candle?), and the excuse to over consume pumpkin everything. Fall brings a shift in the year and officially kicks off the holiday season beginning with Halloween, transcending into Thanksgiving, then ending with the ultimate and most enjoyable holiday ever: Christmas. What makes this holiday season so much richer for me and my family is the addition that Greyson brings to it all. It’s a chance for us to establish these traditions we so badly wanted when we were younger, but that we now get to share with him.
The first major step in planning anything for your family is simply planning. I use Pinterest as my source of inspiration as well as ideas we both shoot off of each other. So after we narrowed down our movies it was relatively easy to find appetizers and treats that go with that particular theme of the movie. After you have your meals planned it’s all about creating the grocery lists ahead of time that way you don’t miss any ingredients when you go shopping. I even cross-referenced ingredients for each week’s menus so that nothing goes to waste!
Bon Appetit’s Pan Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas (yum!)
Fall is all about delicious comfort food too! I love looking through various food blogger’s recipes to find inspiration that uses seasonal vegetables and incorporate those warm and fuzzy fall spices. I just recently discovered Harissa at Trader Joe’s (and whoah it’s spicy!) and now I literally want to put it into everything. This Bon Appetit recipe for using Harissa on chickpeas is one of the easiest recipes that is packed with flavor. Besides, who doesn’t love a good crispy roasted chicken thigh on top? I literally put the leftover chickpeas on everything the following day…
Each movie night I have our menu printed off and displayed in this simple Ikea frame.
Bone marrow is surprisingly easy to make and quite fancy given it’s considered scrap.
For this year’s celebration it is all about food and cocktail pairings! I was so excited and spent a good few weeks finding new dishes that correlate to the scary movies we will be watching throughout this month. For example, last night we kicked off our #verydanielhalloween with a viewing of The Skeleton Key while munching on roasted bone marrow spread on toast, fresh homemade pecan pralines, and sipped on dirty martinis. The bone marrow recipe I found just kicked up this dish to another degree and highly recommend it for everyone to try. I had my very first praline when my husband took me to New Orleans as our first trip together and I also happened to discover a dirty martini there as well. Monday will be a Swedish horror film called Goodnight Mommy and we’ll be enjoy ‘mummy’ snacks such as these jalapeño poppers and the family favorite of hot dog wrapped mummies. Also, I’m excited to try the halloween cocktails this year and tomorrow it will be a ghostly take on a White Russian (but we’re calling it a White Swede for the fact that the film is Swedish). Cute, right?!
My first attempts at making these pecan pralines!
All month long I’ll be sharing the movie and food pairings as we make and enjoy them on Instagram so not only be sure you’re following along (for your own inspiration!) but you can also find me on Instagram using the hashtag: #verydanielhalloween. I use the same hashtag every year so that it keeps a little photo diary of our annual shenanigans. Want to also find the recipes that I’ve selected for this year as well as the cocktails? Check out and follow my Pinterest: Fall Inspirations board!