A Toasty Time

Plan the perfect bonfire party.

Crisp evenings with fewer mosquitoes call for friends to gather around a fire, share delicious fall treats and celebrate good times together in a magical backyard setting. Yes, we’re talking about twinkly lights, a blazing fire pit, ooey-gooey s’mores and a cozy-but-chic table set for only the best of friends—blankets and hot cocoa included.

The Setup

The beauty of this time of year, even in Florida, is that it’s cooler outside—or, at least, much more tolerable. To make the most of the season with a perfectly cozy backyard bonfire, we teamed up with Robin Fannon of RSVP Robin – Food & Lifestyle Blog. Her table setting, decor and recipes will give you exactly what you need to host your own backyard bonfire party.

Table setting: Go boho with a low table and soft floor pillows. (To quickly make a low table, snag several pallets from your local home improvement store and stack them two pallets high. Place slabs of plywood on top and cover with a festive tablecloth.) Lay down one or two large, outdoor blankets or rugs for the table to rest on. Above the table use surrounding trees, posts or patio pillars to string up strands of twinkly lights.

Fire pit: For an easy bonfire, invest in a fire pit. Set it up just out of the way of the table, and pile extra logs off to the side for convenience. Provide hay bales or blankets for your friends to relax on by the fire. If you happen to score an especially chilly night, place extra blankets in a nearby bucket or crate.

S’mores bar: Setting up a s’mores bar doesn’t have to be complicated—a simple table or trunk with all the ingredients laid out, along with several skewers, is all you need.

Hot cocoa or cider: Set up these warm favorites on a separate table or as part of your main table’s centerpiece. Keep mugs full by keeping a thermal pitcher nearby.

Nibbles + Sips

A delicious arrangement of treats, crunchies and finger foods accompanied by hot cocoa or your favorite cider completes your party’s setup. Whip up these toasty s’mores and one-of-a-kind cocoa by Robin in record time.

S’mores

No bonfire party is complete without s’mores. Mix it up with Robin’s s’mores recipes that are just as customizable as they are tasty.

“Set up all the ingredients below buffet-style. Place marshmallows on skewers, and let your guests roast their own in the bonfire,” Robin says. “Then, they can pile them high with the desired ingredients and ‘smoosh’ them together.”

The Classic

  • Honey graham crackers
  • Milk chocolate squares
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Marshmallows

The Elvis

  • Graham crackers
  • Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups
  • Banana slices
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Marshmallows

The New Age

  • Organic cinnamon graham crackers
  • Crispy quinoa Alter Eco dark chocolate squares
  • Goji berry granola
  • Marshmallows

The Chip Lover

  • Honey graham crackers
  • Chocolate-covered potato chips
  • Drizzle of caramel sauce
  • Marshmallows

Hot Cocoa

A mug full of hot cocoa makes sitting around a bonfire all the cozier. Robin’s twist on the traditional adds a bit of spice while complementing the party’s boho theme.

Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate

  • 6 cups of 2 percent organic milk (Unsweetened almond milk is delicious, too.)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 cup wild local honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Marshmallows and/or whipped cream as a topping

In a medium sauce pan, warm the milk, spices and cardamom pods over medium heat. › Stir often, until warm. › Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. › Whisk in the honey and salt until dissolved. › Pour the hot chocolate through a sieve and into a pitcher or individual mugs. › Garnish with marshmallows and/or whipped cream. › Dust with cocoa if desired.

Posted in The Dish

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