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Accent Pieces

Place cards, gift cards—they’re one and the same. Dig into scrapbooking supplies for decorative medallions or paper cutouts that can be personalized with guests’ names. Stand one in a ready-made pecan-pumpkin pie for a place card that’s a sweet treat in more ways than one.


Prepare the Mini Bundt Cakes on page 124 or buy one large premade bundt cake from the store. To either, add a drippy, orange glaze and small rose and fruit nosegay toppers, and they’re good to go. Place setting: Build on the neutral tablecloth with burnished brown chargers topped with earth-tone plates and softer-than-rust color napkins. Fall leaves and berries twirl up the stems of goblets, adding deeper notes of color to the Hot Apple Toddies.


Tie up autumn-hued treats—such as brown chocolate cookies and golden-yellow dried apricots—in clear cellophane bags and wrap them with berry-ornamented wire. Pile them on a side table or a tray by the door to spread hospitality throughout the house.

Food and Drinks

Say the rest with food. A kickoff cocktail spreads warmth—to all the senses—so start things off with a Hot Apple Toddy that smells as wonderful as it sips.

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