Entertaining Reading Recipes

Fall-Themed Backyard Games and Chili

We decided to shake up our normal Sunday routine with a fall-themed backyard games and chili get together.  This is what we came up with for an easy and fun Sunday afternoon.


Sending invitations from evite.com is free and easy.  It allows all the invitees to see each other, to respond, to comment, to get reminded and to load pictures after the event.  Since most people are limiting the number of people they entertain, it feels comfortable to see who is invited and how many folks are coming.

This was a tiny event with friends who know each other, but sending the evite left nothing to question.

Evites have adorable graphics and allow me to be much more creative and festive than I would be on my own.


Part of reason for the late afternoon/early evening get together is because the weather was supposed to get cooler.  Well.  That was fake news.  Party time.  90 degrees.  Ummm.  Oh, well, we’re all used to it by now anyway.

It did eventually get cool enough (82) to light the fire table on low for a bit.


Since Sunday is a “school” night for a few of us who have to show up to work on Monday morning, it was important to schedule the activities for early and keep them really simple.  That included the food. 

We made up a big pot of beef and bean chili on Saturday, let the flavors mingle overnight and then crockpotted (is that a word?) Sunday.  DF Evon baked up some beautiful and delish gluten-free snickerdoodles so dessert was taken care of. 

I set up a card table with a matching table cloth for the crockpot and disposable bowls so everyone could serve themselves and have plenty of room around the dining table.

Simple Appetizers

I used my beautiful board for cheese and crackers.  I’ve posted before how much bang for the buck I get when I use this board.  I cut some citrus leaves, rinsed them and lined the board with them. 

Beverage Station            

Beverage Table

Glasses and drinks were placed on a table so everyone could help themselves.  I think I still tended bar more than I wanted.  A big pitcher of iced tea certainly helped me moderate the amount of wine I drank.

Outdoor Games

DS Ryan sent us a yard golf game and it was our first time unboxing, assembling and playing.  Well, it was fun, but I think I may need a bit of practice.

Guys Trying Out Golf

Cornhole is the other outdoor game we set up.  Even a lame thrower like me can enjoy a little bean bag toss.

Can I just tell you that Roxy had the best day of her life. She stayed outside the entire day and evening. She didn’t even move while I was tossing beanbags – and I’m not a good shot! It didn’t bother her one bit.

Silly Ladies

Kitty heaven.

Frankly, everyone was happy to get together and chat and I don’t think anyone would have noticed if we didn’t set up the games.

What I’m Reading

On audio I listened to Body Scissors by Michael Simon.  This is the second in a series featuring Detective Dan Reles, but the first I’ve caught.  It was an odd audio production with two narrators – both male.  I didn’t see the point in that and it just made things confusing for me.  There were too many characters, too many mysteries and the names similar like Reles and Velez that made listening difficult.  Not on my recommend list.

My little horror read of the season was The Disappearance by Bentley Little.  I’ve never read the author and he has quite a following, but this book was neither a horror, nor was it good.  It was plodding, unoriginal and sophomoric.  I know, with the genres I read, I cannot expect good literature, but I did expect better than I got.  Not a recommend.  In fact I skipped over about the last 1/3 and don’t think I missed much.

Heaven’s Keep by William Kent Krueger is the 9th book in the Cork O’Connor series.  I won’t spoil things detailing the story.  And even though this is a mystery series, Krueger is the real deal as an author and is a beautiful writer and deft plotter.  These books can be read standalone, but if you’re going to dive in, start at the beginning.  You won’t be sorry and it’s not a waste of time.

What I’m Eating

Chili Table

No new recipes around here.  I did make a big batch of chili that turned out to be the perfect amount to feed seven people.  For my beef and bean chili I used about 2 ½ pounds lean ground beef, three cans chili seasoned pinto beans and two cans of drained kidney beans.  Otherwise the recipe was about the same as I always use.

I know this is a big week and many have heavy hearts and busy minds.  You and our country are in my constant prayers. I know not everyone will be satisfied, but we are a great and strong nation better together.