Looking for a reason to get together with a few friends and enjoy awesome food? Throw a Pinterest Party!

With fall in the air it was the perfect time for me to get going– well, almost. You see here in Arizona we don’t see the leaves change or feel the cool breezes, so we have to go all out to get in the mood.

Nothing better than this beautiful fall inspired tablescape

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And the best part about this centerpiece was I got to eat from it all week after the party was over. There were all sorts of festive fall dishes like the event’s winner featured at top — Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa. How creative to put the salsa in a carved out pumpkin! Not only was the presentation pinterest-worthy, but it was delicious.

From the Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars with Peanut Butter Frosting ….

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to these sweet & salty beauties — check out that salty pretzel hunk, mmm ….

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Onto savory lavosh and peppery cheese dip.

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Everything was amazing. I decided to make our get-together for Brunch (10 am) so everyone could bring either a savory or sweet dish. We washed it all down with hot coffee, iced caramel machiatos and fruit water.

I’ve decided not to make this my last pinterest party. There are so many other ways to approach the next one. It can be focused on crafts, flower arrangements, holiday decorating ideas or even fabulous shoes…I better get busy planning!

Here is the recipe for our party’s winner:

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes
[adapted from Heidi Swanson]
makes 4 cakes, is super easily multiplied

1 medium sweet potato (about 6 oz), peeled and chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add in sweet potato, onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potato is soft. Remove lid and add garlic, cooking for 30 seconds.

Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl (slightly mashing potato with a fork) and add quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, remaining salt and pepper and mix well. Once combined, add in egg, then mix until moistened. Using your hands to bring it together, form four equally-sized patties. Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Serve with blackberry salsa, recipe follows.

Blackberry Salsa

1 pint fresh blackberries, chopped

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/2 jalapeno, finely diced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

the juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix.