Easy Fall Entertaining 

Fall is a fun time of year to enjoy comforting soups, delicious hot cider but most importantly quality time with friends and family. When it comes to hosting a fun fall get-together with your girlfriends,  Jamie Preuss and Carin Skowronsky knock it out of the park. Jamie is the voice of the food and lifestyle blog, “So happy you liked it.” She focuses on healthy balanced recipes, friendly cocktails to straight up comfort food. Carin is a food and wine pairing writer of the blog called “Pairs Well With…”  She attributes part of her knowledge about wine from the experiences she’s gained traveling across 20 countries and 6 continents with a wine glass in one hand and a piece of cheese in the other. They’re a party-hosting match made in heaven and stopped by with delicious apps you can make at your next fall get-together along with tips to entertain with ease.


Jamie Preuss: So Happy You Liked It

Carin Skowronsky: Pairs Well With…


Recipes by: Jamie Preuss

Caramelized Fennel and Onion Dip


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Soave
2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


  1. Melt olive oil and butter in a large saute pan. Once fragrant, add thinly sliced fennel and yellow onion. Use a mandoline to get precise and uniform slices! Toss to coat in the olive oil and butter, sprinkling with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper.
  2. Sauté, tossing fennel and onions every 2 minutes. After 5 minutes, add a splash of wine every 2 minutes, allowing the wine to absorb before adding more. Continue this until fennel and onions are  thoroughly caramelized, with a rich golden brown color. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on how thinly you sliced the fennel and onion. Be careful to not let the fennel and onion burn – if you notice any sticking in the pan, add a small amount of olive oil or water to the pan to loosen things up, and reduce the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Freshly grate the gruyere and Parmigiano. Freshly grated cheese melts and tastes better in my opinion!
  4. Mix gruyere, ricotta, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Reserve Parmigiano. Add caramelized fennel and onion. Toss thoroughly to combine.
  5. Transfer to an 8 inch oven-safe baking dish. Top with Parmigiano cheese and a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until parmigiano is toasted and bubbling. Serve with toasted baguette or crackers. DIG IN!


Roasted Grape and Brie Crostini


3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb red grapes
5 sprigs each rosemary and thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
7 oz Brie cheese
1 Baguette, cut in to 1 inch slices


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add washed and de-stemmed grapes to a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, using your hands to toss the grapes to ensure each one is covered with oil.
  3. Strip two of each of the thyme and rosemary sprigs, reserving the leaves and discarding the stems. Chop herbs, sprinkle over grapes. Nestle two sprigs each of thyme and rosemary in the grapes, reserving one of each for serving. Sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until grapes have started to shrivel and caramelize in some spots. Remove from heat, allowing to slightly cool.
  5. Meanwhile, prep the baguette. Place slices on a baking sheet, brushing with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  6. Once grapes are done, turn on your broiler. Watching the baguette closely so as not to burn, toast the baguette until lightly browned, and then flip each slice to toast the other side.
  7. Top each toasted baguette slice with 1-2 teaspoons of brie, 3-4 roasted grapes, and chopped thyme and rosemary. Enjoy!

Featured Wines:

  • Both from Haskell’s
  • Soave, Italian White Wine from Northern Italy (2015 La Fiera Soave)
  • Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley (2017 Four Graces Pinot Noir)
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