Today I’m sharing a round-up of holiday party appetizers that will be perfect for your Christmas Eve cocktail hour or your New Year’s Eve bash! Thank you to all the bloggers that took a part of this round-up.
This post is the eighth in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out yesterday’s post: “Free Holiday Potluck Facebook Invites & Printable Recipe Cards“)
This DIY is brought to you by an awesome recent Oyster and Wine tasting at Whole Foods Market in Portland, Oregon. I learned SO much about oysters…. and, I’ll be sharing little bits between now and New Years because I think Oysters make a fabulous party appetizer. It is decadent, tasty and so out of the everyday that they will make any celebration instantly feel like a fancy party. I was always intimidated by oysters until earlier this year when I found out that they are not only EASY, but also not nearly as expensive as you might think! I recently stopped by to grab 6 oysters and they only cost me $7.80!
Watch this video of how to shuck an oyster from a super awesome Sean from Whole Foods Market and learn how you can DIY your very own Oyster appetizer platter!
Check out this blog post from Whole Foods Market for fresh oyster toppings. Also, check back in over the next few weeks… I’ve got a couple of fun toppings to share!
This post is not a sponsored post. I was invited to a tasting at Whole Foods Market in Portland, Oregon. I had a fantastic time and wanted to share the fun!
This post is the sixth in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out yesterday’s post: “DIY Branch Holiday Card Display“)
Anyone else a little obsessed with the chocolate-peppermint combo during the holiday season? No, just me? Well, I’ll take two of these then…
Last week I was wondering around the Clackamas Town Center (aka The Mall) and ran across the most amazing thing in the whole world. There is a East Side Distilling storefront IN THE MALL. Can I tell you how much better holiday shopping is after tasting some Burnside Bourbon? SO much better. One of my discoveries while there was a delicious Holiday Peppermint Bark Liqueur. Chocolate. Peppermint. Liqueur.
As soon as I bought it I thought of re-doing a nice chocolate martini to make this tasty rendition. But, first… my DIY for today!
I love a good rimmer. Bud um dum.
This candycane sugar rimmer is super easy to make. You can rim your martini glasses or hot cocoa mugs by simply dipping the glass into chocolate sauce and then dipping it into the sugar. If you don’t want the glass to have the chocolate on the rim (it does look a little messy) then you can dip it into simple syrup and then into the rimming sugar.
Directions (with a food processor):
Directions (without food processor):
Note: I used organic candy canes and they stuck together quite a lot… it still worked wonderfully, but need to be broken up with a fork if you store it at all. Store in an airtight container or baggy.
You can garnish with a little candy cane and enjoy!
This post was not sponsored. I really did find this stuff in a MALL. And, I will be going back… soon!
This post is the second in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out yesterday’s post: “Natural Green & White Holiday Party + Free Printables“)
A good garnish will take a simple boring beverage (take, water for instance) and make it something special. I like most of my garnishes to be simple to make, because who has time to spend on creating intricate and fussy drink garnishes? Not me!
To make your water glass pop or to give a festive twist to a Vodka and Soda on the rocks, try adding cranberries to your ice-cube tray and making cranberry ice.
There is actually one or two steps in this ultra-easy DIY because cranberries will float the the top of your ice cubes and look pretty silly in your drink unless you take the time to freeze in steps. Why not just throw cranberries in a pitcher? They’ll all float to the top! The ice cubes will float as well, but it will look more evenly distributed throughout the pitcher.
This doesn’t need to be perfect. I had a few cubes where I didn’t layer quite right and the berries poked out of the bottom a bit. It still looked festive in the water pitcher!
When discussing this DIY project with someone else I found out that not everyone has ice cube trays! Some people have super cool machines that will MAKE ice for them! (AMAZING.) But, you will need ice cube trays to make this project work. I like the idea of trying out the large cube trays (like the ones in the above picture) or a spherical tray to make a festive ice ball!
Photos from this project was from a recent Holiday Styled Shoot collaboration between myself and Suzannah of Create/Enjoy and Macey from Motormouth Studio. Check out my main post with links to DIY projects & recipes: “Natural Green and White Holiday Party + Free Printables”
Disclosure: Powell & Mahoney shared a complimentary bottle of their Limited Bloody Mary mix for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Links may be affiliate links. Purchases made from affiliate links help support this blog. Thanks for reading!
Anyone else have the realization that this is the last weekend before the crazy hits? Just me? Couldn’t be.
This weekend is my prep weekend to make it through the next two months. On my calendar I’ve got 3 parties, two photoshoots, 1 fun holiday blog series (with 12 free printables!), holiday visitors, holiday gifts to buy… well, you get the idea. Today is all about prepping the house, the blog, and my holiday gift/card lists. Bring on the bloody marys!
Sometimes I like to take the time to make my own bloody mary mix. I enjoy trying different spices and ingredients. However, I’m a big believer in making life as easy as possible while preserving the tastiness… so, when I find a good bloody mary mix I stock up to bring out as needed. This Siracha Bloody Mary Mix by Powell & Mahoney is exactly what I’d make for myself…. without all the work!
The holiays are surrounded by days where a quick bloody mary bar will be welcome to all involved. Having the family over for a day of cooking for Thanksgiving? Set up the bloody mary bar and a coffee bar for a fun way to start Thanksgiving. Lots of adults trying to stay awake on Christmas morning? Make the early morning wake up easier by setting out your favorite bloody mary mix, some Vodka and/or Tequila and some easy garnishes. DONE.
Lately I’ve really been digging Bloody Marias instead of my normal bloody mary. What’s the difference? Tequila!
I had a really difficult time figuring out the name for this drink. It is similar to a punch, but I made it in singles. Sort of a sangria, but I don’t know many sangrias with bourbon in them. So, name it whatever you want… but, it is a tasty fall beverage!
Every year it begins to really feel like Fall to me when I get to attend the local Pear and Apple festival at the Portland Nursery. I load up on apples and pears and incorporate them in EVERYTHING until I run out. One year I bought 60 lbs of apples and pears and ended up making a ton of apple sauce, apple butter, apple pies, and many apple desserts. This year I knew that my kitchen time would be limited so I didn’t indulge quite as much as I’d have liked to… but, we did enjoy the Hard Apple Cider tasting and came home with a 20 lbs of apples and pears as well as a few delicious ciders and wines.
A few of those purchases are featured in this drink. I’m hoping that you are able to find these brands because they are fantastic, but if not then I’d suggest looking at the flavor profile and finding something similar near you. This drink is totally worth it.
(Makes 1 Beverage– Though, you can multiple by 4 easily to make a pitcher!)
Don’t forget to eat those tasty pears once your drink is gone!
About Shilling Oak Aged Cider: The hard cider is finished in 100% NW Oak. It has a smokey cinnamon flavor profile with clove and vanilla. It would be considered a semi-dry cider. There is a bit of the apple taste still there, but not nearly as sweet as some ciders.
About Bull Run Pear Wine: The Bull Run Pear wine is from Oregon! It is a sweet ice wine. I’d say this is a nice sweet, smooth dessert wine without the punch of a brandy. Loved it.
Wow! It has been a couple weeks since I’ve last shared a Saturday Spirits. I didn’t quite mean to go on a hiatus… but, it happened. Anywho, I’m bringing you one awesome cocktail today, so the wait will have been worth it. A few weeks ago I created these Lollipop Sparkling Cocktails for my “Hey Girl-Ryan Gosling Themed Birthday Party.”
First I made lollipops using Raft Botanical Cocktail and Soda Syrups for the flavoring. This was my first successful time making candy… and, boy it is fun, easy and TASTY. I discovered that patience really was the key to making candy right. Well, that and a candy thermometer.
Once your lollipops are done the hard part of this cocktail is completed. All that is left is creating a tasty rimming sugar and pouring your favorite sparkling wine! These make for a really festive cocktail. There are quite a few recipes and how to’s below. Don’t let them intimidate you. The whole process is much easier than it sounds when you look at a huge blog post.
To make lollipops you just need a few essential tools. I made my lollipops with molds because I wanted to have a very precise look to them. However, you could use this powdered sugar method as well! For flavoring I really wanted to avoid using artificial or concentrated flavoring. I opted to test out creating the pops out of my Raft cocktail syrups and was thrilled with the way they turned out. (Affiliate Links Below)
A good sparkling cocktail needs some sugar to it. The lollipop will give the cocktail sugar and flavor… but, it won’t be immediate. The rimming sugar helps drive the flavor until the lollipop can do its magic. It also looks pretty too!
Disclaimer: I was sent beer to try in a few cocktails for my Saturday Spirits series. So Beertails for all! All content is my own!
Last weekend the family and I enjoyed our last camping trip of the season. I happy to say that we tried to take as much advantage of summer as possible by going out and enjoying the great outdoors many weekends this year. Most years we just end up looking back over the Summer and going, “where did it go?!” This year we can safely look back at a bunch of memories of beach trips, camping trips, and more. I am already looking forward to NEXT year’s camping trips and have been filling my Amazon wish list with fun new camp gear I want to buy!
My friends joke that if anyone would bring the bar to a campfire it would be me… and, they aren’t wrong. Last camping trip I made a tasty little bourbon and iced tea sipper. This time around I chose to do a Beergarita!
What is a beergarita you ask? Well, it is a Margarita with BEER in it! Beer can give an extra little something to a classic margarita by adding in more flavor and by giving it some carbonation. I like to make beergaritas when I am making big batches of margaritas.
We made this Beergarita with Tecate Light. While any style of lager will work well, I liked that this is a full flavor lager that reminds me of Mexcio. Check out my favorite way to drink Tecate that I posted WAY back when the blog began.
Makes a pitcher of drinks… or if you are camping like us, this makes 44 oz of cocktail put into a 48oz sealable container. This works to continually mix the cocktail without needing to stir it.
Other Margarita recipes you might like:
And, if you love a good margarita as much as I do then you’ll want to snag this beautiful printable from A Fabulous Fete “Know when to Give Up and Have a Margarita“—it is framed on my desk at work for nice reminder!
Update: So, this is a really simple cocktail that I was super excited to make… a few days after making this and posting it I was going through my Pinterest boards and realized I pinned a cocktail recipe nearly exactly like this… I must have thought I dreamed it up after pinning late at night! When something is two ingredients it isn’t quite a recipe, but I don’t like the idea of taking someone else’s idea without credit. So, while I’m keeping my list of ingredients I used and ideas for other frozen wine cocktails, I’ve removed my “directions” and instead you’ll find a link to the blog that I must have originally gotten the idea from. You’ll want to check out their blog anyways… it is awesome!
My camera broke this week as I was in the middle of a Halloween photo shoot. I’m sorta crushed. My camera is my friend! Thankfully, I have this lovely cocktail to get me through the pain.
These photos don’t really do this little cocktail justice at all. I’ll have to fix that… It won’t be hard, this simple cocktail will now be a staple in my home. It takes only two ingredients! So, grab yourself a bottle of wine and a bag of frozen fruit and get to work!
– 6 oz wine (I used Sokol Pinot Gris)
– approximately 2 cups frozen fruit (I used strawberries for the pictured cocktail- I also tried a version with peaches. Peaches in the drink were the best, but both were great!)
Check out the post by Dessert for Two “Peach Wine Slushies”
Some combinations I’d suggest:
-Pinot Gris and Frozen Peaches
-Moscato and Frozen blueberries with a little lemonade
-Lambrusco with frozen mixed berries
-Sweet Riesling with frozen strawberries
Disclaimer: I attended a tasting of Raft Syrups and received a sampling of their syrups. This post is not sponsored by Raft. I happened to really enjoy the syrups and have created a recipe (or few!) using their syrups. Enjoy!
A few weeks ago I was invited over to the home of the creators of Raft Botanical Cocktail and Soda Syrups with a few blogging friends for the opportunity to try some of their syrups and cocktails made with them. I was incredibly inspired by the passion and dedication of the women behind Raft Syrups. They spoke about their syrups and the process of creating and selling them with such authentic enthusiasm.
If you’ve ever read Anne of Green Gables then you’ve read the term ‘kindred spirits.” That is exactly how I felt sitting down with a few of my blogging buddies and Sook & Roslynn of Raft. I was reminded of the line:
“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.
Anyways, we tried SEVERAL tasty drinks that night. (Many of which you can actually find the cocktail recipes over on the Raft website. ) Admittedly, the tasty drinks might have contributed a little to the warm fuzzy feeling that I got from the evening. However, I’m going to think now and forever that I’ve found another pair of kindred spirits out there.
Upon tasting their Lemon Ginger Syrup the first thing I thought was…. wow, this would make for an AMAZING lemon drop. And, because I like to toot my own horn, I WAS RIGHT.
The lemon drop is a funny drink for me. Typically they are too sickly sweet for me to enjoy. However, when mixed with just the right proportions of sweet and sour, I am in love. The ginger syrup gives the lemon drop just the right mixture of sweet and sour… and, as a bonus, a fun little kick of ginger at the end. If you like a little spice in your cocktail then definitely try this drink.
More about Raft Syrups: Raft Botanical Cocktail and Soda Syrups are made in Portland, Oregon. The syrups are not only just about quality ingredients and great flavor… but, also about a healthy well-being! Check out the Raft About page to learn more about why they are creating these syrups. It is a good read, I promise! They currently stock three different syrups: Hibiscus Lavender, Lemon Ginger, and Smoked Tea Vanilla. The syrups are stocked in some stores throughout Portland and can be purchased ONLINE! These would make a fantastic gift for anyone building their bars.
This cocktail must be one of the strangest concoctions I’ve come up with yet. But, I was really craving a savory and smooth cocktail that utilized some of the yummy produce that my husband’s garden was giving us. At first I tried some muddling of these awesome cucumbers that he grew. But, the cucumber was much too bitter for a good cocktail. That is when I realized they were PICKLING cucumbers. Duh. So, a quick pickle happened and then the magic of this drink came together. If you are looking for a savory and smooth cocktail — good for brunch or a nice lunch on the lawn — then I’d challenge you to give it a shot.
This cocktail is made with egg white. Egg whites give a cocktail a creamy and rich texture along with some pretty awesome looking foam. Use your best food handling practices when working with raw eggs at all times. Clean hands, freshest possible eggs, and safe handling. Typically when using egg whites in a drink I like to shake up the drinks ingredients without ice to make sure the foam is the best and then I add ice, shake a bit and pour into a glass. Because I wanted the thyme and quick pickle to impart some flavor in this drink I chose to shake it all together with ice. It still worked great.
Ingredients & Supplies:
Quick pickles are not pickles that will last for a long time in your pantry. I like to make quick pickles the same day or the day before I’m going to eat them. Make at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before you need them.
Ingredients & Supplies
Fruits de Mer is a seafood platter of raw and/or cooked shellfish usually served on a bed of ice. A long time ago I saw a beautiful fruits de mer platter in one of my favorite events books and have wanted to throw a party with a fruits of the sea platter.
Right before my Mohs Surgery to remove my skin cancer I really needed a good excuse to be distracted for the evening. I invited friends over for a big meal and made the above platter as an appetizer… boy, let me tell you. We didn’t need the meal! I actually made enough seafood for TWO of these large platters. Then we followed it up with steaks and veggies for dinner and then something for dessert. I’ve never been so full in my life!
Making this platter was much less intimidating than I originally thought. I used precooked crab and lobster… it would be even better with fresh shell fish, but it wasn’t readily available in my area. The whole thing was still delicious, but someday I plan to make it with all fresh shellfish. I’d also like to pair it with ceviche someday! YUM. Below is how I made this dish… know that it is completely easy to customize this dish to your cooking comfort level and your tastes. If you go to a great fish purveyor you can even asked for your lobster to be steamed and your oysters shucked… then there is NO work for you and your guests are completely wow’d!
Great appetizer for a dinner party or can even be served as hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party. One large platter will serve 4 easily. I served this dish with a tarter sauce, cocktail sauce, chile lime sauce and butter.
Cooking directions below this list!
Crab, Lobster, and Shrimp:
Cucumbers filled with spicy salmon:
I’m excited to have a local guest bartender for today’s Saturday Spirits! The minds behind Portland Wedding and Fine Event Bartending Service, Mint & Mirth are here to share their Tangerine Thyme Margarita. Mint and Mirth was a recent winner of Oregon Bride Magazine’s “Best New Wedding Vendor” of 2014. Their work has been featured on Snippet & Ink, Green Wedding Shoes, and Offbeat Bride.
I’m a sucker for a good drink with thyme. I can’t wait to make this drink this weekend!
from Mint & Mirth
3 ounces Altos Tequila
2 ounces tangerine juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
0.5 ounce orange liqueur
Crushed thyme salt for rim
Sprig of thyme for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, lime juice, tangerine
juice, simple syrup and orange liqueur. Cover and shake until well
Rim a chilled glass with crushed thyme salt and strain margarita into
the glass. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and enjoy!
** This is not a sponsored post. I have appreciated Mint & Mirth’s work for a while now. They were gracious enough to send over this awesome recipe after I requested it! Thank you to Mint & Mirth!**
Mmmmm… It’s Blackberry Thyme!
Well, it is blackberry time here in the Pacific Northwest. The Farmer’s Markets are overflowing with delicious looking berries. I created a Blackberry Thyme cocktail to be featured on the amazing InComplete Magazine! Go check it out and let me know how you like it!