Saturday Spirits: Pear & Apple Cider Sangria

Pear and Apple Cider Sangria // A Well Crafted Party

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.

Pear and Apple Cider Sangria // A Well Crafted Party

Ingredients:

(Makes 1 Beverage– Though, you can multiple by 4 easily to make a pitcher!)

  • 1 1/4 oz Bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
  • 2 oz Pear Wine (I used Bull Run Pear Wine )
  • 3 oz Hard Apple Cider ( I used Shilling Oak Aged Cider )
  • Squeeze of 1 large lemon slice
  • Sliced, ripe pears (I used Anjou pears and had about 4-5 slices per glass)
  • Glass with ice

Directions:

  1. Fill a glass with ice, putting in slices of pear along the way
  2. Fill glass with Bourbon, Pear Wine, and Hard Apple Cider
  3. Give it a stir and enjoy!

Don’t forget to eat those tasty pears once your drink is gone!

Pear and Apple Cider Sangria // A Well Crafted Party

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.

Halloween Parties of the Past

Looking back at Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

My favorite time of year is quickly approaching. Besides obsessively checking Brooklyn Limestone to see what Stephanie’s Halloween theme will be this year, I’m busy planning my own annual Halloween party. I’ve even got some Halloween posts up my sleeve for BEFORE the big day this year! I might have already thrown a small Halloween get-together over Labor Day weekend just so I could have some fun goodies for you.

Before I get to the new Halloween goodness (which will begin in October) I wanted to share a few of my favorites from the past few years. I’ve thrown a Halloween party each year since 2008. It has been the highlight of my year nearly every year. (The birth of my son pushed Halloween 2011 to second place, but it sure was close since I had a cute little baby to dress up as well as a fun party!)

2008— Haunted Halloween Dinner Party

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

2009— Bewitching Ball

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

2010— Mad Tea Party

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

2011— Costumes & Cocktails

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

2012— Traditional Black & Orange

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

2013— Fairytale Dinner Party

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

This year we are going a little bit more pop-culture with our theme. I’m actually having a bit of a hard time trying to figure out all in the little details for the party. But, I’ll be sure to give some hints closer to the big day. Look forward to lots of fresh Halloween posts this upcoming October. I’ve got a Fang-tastic party with great DIY details and free printables that I can’t wait to share! And, as October approaches, I’m going to be going back through some of my old parties to share some DIY details that never made it into the posts above!

 

 

Featured: Fancy Fall Figs on Live the Fancy Life

Fancy Fig Recipe by A Well Crafted Party and Featured on Live the Fancy Life

 

The Fallen For You Printables that I created for a Live the Fancy Life guest post needed a delicious appetizer to really set off the table. Bonus, it served as a sweet and simple date for me and my hubby. These roasted figs are stuffed with a creamy goat cheese, drizzled with a peppered honey syrup, and garnished with sliced almonds. They paired beautifully with a crisp, dry sparkling wine.

Hop on over to Live the Fancy Life to get the recipe for this great early Fall appetizer!

Featured: Date Night Printables at Live the Fancy Life

Date Night Printables

 

Fall Date Night Printables

Want to amp up your date night with a few free printables? I created a set of “Fallen for You” printables for a post featured on Live the Fancy Life that is live today. Jump on over to check out the printable set and keep tuned in this week for a coordinating invitation and a recipe for the figs pictured in the post.

UPDATE: Check out the recipe for Fancy Fall Figs over on Live the Fancy Life!

Came here from Live the Fancy Life? Yay! Welcome. Follow along via Twitter 
, Facebook, or BlogLovin to get lots more free printables, fashion, food, and parties!

A few of the giveaways from giveaway week are still live. Hop on over to see what you can win! UPDATE: Giveaway Week is now over. Look forward to future giveaways!

Recipe: Honey Orange Ginger Old Fashioned

Okay, now… there may be a few people who claim this isn’t an Old Fashioned. It might have changed just a little too much to be considered related to the yummy traditional cocktail. But, I formulated this recipe with the idea of an Old Fashioned in mind.

{Recipe} Apple Cider Margarita

Mmmm… is there anything better than the flavors of apples and spices together? Why, yes…there is! Add tequila! 😉 I typically enjoy rum with my apple cider. But, after I saw How Sweet It Is put out a delicious looking Apple Cider Margarita, I knew I would have to try something different. (BTW– one of my favorite food blogs!)

The Apple Cider Margarita was a HUGE hit last thanksgiving as everyone mingled and snacked before the big meal.

I had to use some items that I had on hand, so my drink is a tad different. It was super delicious though. Please let me know what you think if you try it!

Continue Reading…

{Recipe} Smore Cocktail

Last Thanksgiving I had the distinct pleasure of drinking for the first time in nearly a year. I made my plans with pumping/dumping/timing so that I wouldn’t have to worry about nursing my son and created two delicious cocktails for the hour before Thanksgiving dinner. They were AMAZING. I wanted to share these delicious cocktails with you just in case you wanted to make some for your holiday celebrations.

The first of these cocktails combines my favorite thing about the fall (Smores, Roasted Marshmallows!), my favorite flavor (Chocolate!), and alcohol.

Fall Tradition of the Pumpkin Patch and Toddler Style

We went to the Pumpkin Patch when X was only about two months old. We decided on that trip that the Pumpkin Patch would be a yearly tradition. This year’s trip was even more fun than last year’s trip, because the little guy was totally into it. He was amazed by everything, and everyone, around him.
Plus, I got to dress him up in a super cute hat and scarf. He is my lil’ stud.
Not sure if the clothes he is wearing are still available.
But, the links below go to the sites of the stores I purchased his clothing at!
(Hat: Old Navy, Scarf: Dollar Tree, Shirt: Target, Jacket: Old Navy, Skinny Jeans: Old Navy, Shoes: KMart)

What is your favorite Fall tradition?

{Recipe} Sweet Potato Cake with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Mmmm… birthday cake. Is there anything better?
I really enjoy making my friends birthday cakes or cupcakes. I like to play around with flavors and frostings. I like using things I have on hand or going to buy something special. I made this cake  (featured in the Rustic Birthday Party Post from yesterday) using some of the sweet potatoes that came in my weekly veggie box delivery.
And, boy oh boy was it a good use of vegetables!
The cake didn’t look perfect. My frosting job was a little wonky. But, it tasted pretty awesome.
The sweet potatoes made the cake moist. The marshmallow gave the frosting a fun kick.
Then, the crunch of the walnuts made me want another slice.
Sweet Potato Cake Recipe
Recipe loosely based on epicurious.com recipe
changes and additions made by me
INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 8-ounce red-skinned sweet potatoes(yams)
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

  • Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting (see recipe below)
  • Walnuts (or pecans)
DIRECTIONS:
1. Poke yams with fork and bake until tender (about 1 hour at 375 degrees F). You can also do this in the microwave or used leftover mashed sweet potatoes ( approximately 2 cups worth). Peel yams and smash once done.
2. While yams are baking prepare a pan for cooking. You can use a muffin tin with liners for cupcakes. I used a springform pan and sprayed it with a little cooking spray and dusted it with a little bit of flour to prevent sticking. Preheat oven to 325 F.
3. In a medium bowl sift together (or put in bowl and stir around with a whisk or fork) flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a large bowl mix 2 cups of (cooled and mashed) yams with sugar, vegetable oil and syrup. Then mix in eggs 2 at a time. After mixing in eggs add in the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add in vanilla extract and mix one last time. (I use a hand-held mixer, but if you are lucky enough to own a kitchen aid stand mixer then I’m sure that would work as well.)
5. Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 for about one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
After the cake was done and cooled I sliced it in half, brushed the tops with a little bit of whiskey (a simple syrup would work as well) to keep it moist, and then frosted it. I put marshmallow icing and walnuts on the first layer before addign the top layer. I then frosted the entire cake with marshmallow icing and topped with walnuts.
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
I improvised this frosting recipe using my basic butter frosting as a base
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 sticks butter- room temperature
  • 1 8 oz jar of Marshmallow Cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • milk or cream if needed for consistency
DIRECTIONS:
1. Whip up two sticks of room temperature butter until fluffy. (I use my handheld mixer.)
2. Add in 1 8 oz jar of Marshmallow Cream- whip until incorporated. I spray my handheld mixer with a little bit of cooking spray to help keep the marshmallow cream from sticking to my mixer.
3. While mixing, slowly add in powdered sugar.
4. Add in vanilla and salt and mix.
5. If the frosting is too thick add in tsp of milk or cream. If it is too runny add in a little bit more powdered sugar. I found that I usually don’t need any additional milk or sugar.
Add candles and a song and then you’ve got yourself a birthday cake!
I’d love to know if you decide to make this cake.

{Real Party} Rustic Dinner Party

On a previous {Working on it Wednesday} post I shared an inspiration board for a Fall dinner party with a color scheme of whites, tans, browns and blues.
Guests were in charge of bringing desserts or appetizers while I was in charge of making a main course dish and two sides for 20 people. I challenged myself to keep the whole party within a budget of $125. The decor could only cost $25 and the food, favors and two bottles of wine had to ring in under $100.

The Budget Breakdown
Decor:
$3 on plastic zoo animals
$4 on spray paint
$13 rugged burlap
$9 on flowers
Total: $29
 The rest of the decor were items I already owned
and items I made from things I already owned.
Food, Favors, and Wine: 
Wine— Two Bottles Free
Had leftover from Halloween party
Favors— Takeout boxes for guests to fill with desserts
$6.75
(Boxes were $13.50, but I split the costs with a friend
who needed the other half of the box order for Thanksgiving)
Food— $82.00
The biggest part of this cost was the meat for 15 people.
I also added a vegetarian main course dish and a birthday cake to this shopping trip.
Total: $88.75
Total Party Cost: $117.75

Check back this week for recipes and DIY decorations.

{Real Party} Little Pumpkin Sip and See

This week is the week of baby showers here at the blog…
Monday we saw a {Real Party} of a rustic, yet soft baby shower for a girl
Tuesday we saw a {Real Party} of a modern robot-themed shower for a boy
Wednesday was {Working on it Wednesday} with inspiration for a woodland-themed shower
~*~
Today I have photos from another {Real Party}!
My friends and family were super sweet and threw me a Sip & See for our visit back to Oklahoma.
It was a great opportunity for us to celebrate the little guy while seeing all our friends and family in one place. And, since a lot of our friends in Oklahoma recently had kiddos of their own it was an opportunity for us to meet their little ones as well.

My mom, sister and friend Jill really went all out in decorating for this party. My mom created all the paper goods using scrapbook paper and stickers. She even did the little cupcake toppers out of scrapbooks supplies. They used pumpkins, hay bails,fall foliage and even potpourri on the tables to bring out the feeling of fall.

Jill created name tags for all of the guests since our guests were from all different parts of our lives—h.s. friends, college friends, after-college friends and a ton of family. She also created little tissue paper pumpkins (via Martha) filled with candies for the favors.

The food was AMAZING. My step-mom, Teresa, and my mom made all of the food. They decided to do a dessert buffet with coffee, coffee-punch and water to drink. The menu included: pumpkin cupcakes, orange dip and fruit, mocha scones, acorn bites, s’mores pops, chocolate chippies and so much more! It was really, really delicious.

A lot of our friends and family have little ones of various ages so a kids table was a must. Each bag had toys, carrots, apples, juice, fruit by the foot and crayons. Coloring books were spread out on the table so the kids would not be bored while all the adults were chatting.
Of course the carrots were barely touched.

The ladies also put together a little gift table with photos of our little guy and an activity for guests to work on. Each guest got to fill out an advice form that we will keep and save for our little guy as he gets older. Then they would hang the advice from the clothes line above the table. Some guests even put money on the line for us… it was all so sweet.

Our little family felt so very blessed. 

Thank you to my mom, step-mom, sis and to Jill (and her family!) for throwing us this amazing party. I kept getting questions from everyone asking when I had the time to throw the party or what part of the party I did and it was very fun saying,
“Not a thing! They did it all.”

I couldn’t have done it better myself.

Thank you for checking out our party!
I think a lot of these details would transfer nicely to a very pretty Thanksgiving table!

{Working on it Wednesday} Fall Themed Birthday Party

Birthdays are my favorite excuse to throw a party.
My friend’s birthdays are my favorite birthdays to celebrate. 
(Well, until my little guy’s first birthday… I’m sure.)
Alicia’s birthday cake from last year—Carrot Cake!
My friend Alicia has a birthday near the end of November which gives me the perfect excuse to have a Fall themed Dinner party in her honor. I’ve been brainstorming on the party for about a week now and I’m getting quite excited about it. 
Table from Alicia’s birthday dinner 2 years ago.
I’ve decided to make the party a sort of challenge for me to help me keep it on budget and to inspire me to do some fun DIY projects for the blog.
The Details:
Guests: Approximately 16 Guests
  Color Scheme: Browns and Blues inspired by this Inspiration Board from Creature Comforts

 Inspiration Board Links: Burlap and Lace Poms from Jenny Cookies,Winter Tablescape from unknown via Pinterest (if you know please let me know so I can link), Color Inspiration Board from Creature Comforts, Clear Bottles as Candle Holders

I’d like to explore different textures and lighting for this party… 
and of course have some delicious food!

Food Inspiration Board Links: Braised Beef Short Rib Pot Pies from Martha Stewart, Spinach with Garlic Chips from Pioneer Woman, Roasted Carrots from Pioneer Woman, Cake inspiration from Jenny Cookies


 
The Challenge Rules:
Decoration Budget: $25 (must use mostly items that I already own)
Food & Favor Budget: $100
As we are a foodie group each of the guests are bringing a bottle of wine and a dessert or appetizer.
So, my food and favor budget must cover the main course, 2 sides, 2 bottles of wine and favors for 16 people. Certainly a challenge, but totally doable!
Gift Budget: $0— Must be completely homemade from supplies I already own. 
This would be slightly less possible if I didn’t already have something in mind and have an over abundance of supplies at the moment.
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