Celebrate great food and friends with this surprisingly easy, laid-back menu.

Granola-Ginger Baked Apples
Finely crushed oat-and-honey granola bars, chopped crystallized ginger, and thick Greek yogurt are the secrets to this delectable and good-for-you dessert.
| Credit: Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas


Now's the time to take the party outside with temperatures cooling off and leaves making their showstopping color transition. That's exactly what Robert and Anne Trulock thought when they designed the outdoor living area of their home. "When the fireplace and grill are going at the same time, their wonderful aromas turn the backyard into my very own outdoor paradise. I can't think of a better way to relax in the fall," Robert says with a warm grin while turning the hearty Grilled Pork Roast.

Creating an inviting brick-lined alfresco entertaining space was a no-brainer for this Madison, Georgia, couple, who both love to cook. Here Anne shares recipes for everything from flavor-packed appetizers to Caramelized Onion-Potato Gratin, a soul-soothing side that cozies right up to the pork. Best of all, with plenty of make-ahead options, you can prepare this snazzy-looking menu with ease.

Decorating Suggestion
Stylist Mindi Shapiro Levine used rustic wooden dinnerware (perfect for alfresco entertaining) and cotton-blend, leaf-patterned napkins to complement the Trulocks' outdoor living area. "It's all about focusing on the fall color palette while maintaining a warm, cozy, and easy feel," says Mindi.
Note: My "Perfect Partner" wine suggestions feature a few personal favorites from Virginia. I've also included top-notch, nationally distributed options in case you can't find the ones from Virginia. For even more Old Dominion wine recommendations, check out "Virginia on the Vine".

Serving Suggestion

  • The robust herb crust of the Grilled Pork Roast pairs beautifully with the sweet and tart flavors of the Fruit Compote. Keep leftover Fruit Compote in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and serve with creamy goat cheese or Brie and slices of fresh, crusty baguette for a wonderful snack or appetizer.
  • For the last course, remember one basic rule: The wine should always be sweeter than the dessert. For the Granola-Ginger Baked Apples, try Bonny Doon, Vin de Glacière, Muscat, California or Hogue, Late Harvest White Riesling, Washington. The lightly effervescent Italian sparkler Moscato D'Asti is also a good choice.