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How To Host Your Own Mood Boosting Micro-Gathering With Your Friends This Fall

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

With the colder weather creeping in with every weekend, it's time to take advantage of our last opportunities to gather outdoors in small groups with our favorite people!

Keep reading to learn more from Mood Food Wellness Co. founder Melissa Peralta on how to recreate the recent fire pit picnic that she hosted for a few of her most inspiring friends!

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography | Makeup by Maddie Grier

There are few things that I love more than an opportunity to feed my friends - add in a smokey fire, crisp fall air and some clean eats, and we are talking my ideal kind of autumn evening!

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography | Makeup by Maddie Grier

I recently got together with a few friends of mine for a socially distanced fire pit picnic, and have to say, it was exactly what I needed to fill my cup with and keep my mind from worrying too much about what lies in the colder months ahead!

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography

When I’m cooking for myself and friends, I like to keep it simple so that I can focus more on just having fun abs enjoying the food instead of showing off my technical skills. But, I also believe that we always eat with our eyes first, so I decided to serve up my Easy Sweet Potato & Chicken Sheet Pan Hash, which only takes about half an hour to prepare (including cook time!) and looks beautiful without even trying during prep and plating!

Eat the rainbow! Eating foods in a variety colors helps to provide your body with a more diverse range of nutrients.

You can find the full recipe here, but basically you just chop up some sweet potatoes and onion, toss them in coconut oil and Duxbury Saltworks sea salt, and roast it all on a sheet pan - which essentially requires zero skill, for you all hesitant chefs out there!

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography | Makeup by Madeline Grier

The recipe calls for chicken breast seasoned with Duxbury Saltworks fall salt as well, but you can easily make this a vegan dish by skipping the chicken, which I did on a separate pan for some of my guests.

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography

I like to add Duxbury Saltworks sea salt to almost everything I make, but not just because it tastes AMAZING!

Duxbury Saltworks sea salt is made with naturally filtered and mineral rich water from the Island Creek Oyster Co. oyster beds and is not only DELICIOUS, but also an excellent source of phytonutrients!

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography

This dish is bright and beautiful on its own, but I love to sneak micro greens into just about anything I can, so I added in some amaranth greens from my friends at Mercury Gardens to finish off the dish.

Micro greens are not only a healthy way to add a pop of color to your plate, they are also incredibly nutrient dense and are an exceptional way to add a variety nutrients to your diet.

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography

To make it easy for everyone to enjoy their food around the fire pit without a table present, I plated up everyone’s servings in copper mugs with forks on board.

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography | Makeup by Maddie Grier

Serving everything in pre-plated individual portions instead of traditional family style not only looked super cute, but also helped to reduce shared points of contact among guests.

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography

Around the fire we enjoyed our dinners, shared with one another what we’ve been up to lately and reflected on all of the ways we’ve managed to maintain a positivity in 2020.

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography | Makeup by Maddie Grier

With days getting darker and our time outdoors dwindling like the leaves on the trees, it’s important to fill our cups with as many safe and socially distanced moments with our circles as we can before we settle into indoor life with increased restrictions on gatherings in the months ahead.

While it’s most important to stay mindful of our local mandates, studies have shown that having supportive friendships and regular social interaction (even a distance!) are both essential to our overall health!

Photo by Meg & Roe Photography | Makeup by Maddie Grier

Subscribe to our blog and follow @melissamakesitsimple on Instagram for more #moodfoodapproved recipes!

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