friday favorites – best CHRISTMAS COCKTAIL ideas of the week

Since everyone else is focused on Christmas this week (as am I!) I thought I’d focus my Friday Favorites on the one piece of Christmas entertaining it’s not too late to change – your beverage menu! At a holiday party I planned earlier this week we incorporated some fabulous signature cocktails – I can’t take credit for them – that goes to Design Cuisine! – and they were a big hit. So much so that I’ve decided to make a modified version of one for Christmas day in my house. Here are some fun suggestions (of varying levels of difficulty and number of odd ingredients) in case you want to add one to your menu. Unless your Christmas dinner is huge, I suggest on focusing on just one to supplement the other drinks that you offer. Cheers!

#5 – Candy Cane Cocktail

Christmas Cocktail Ideas

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friday favorites – best event ideas of the week

I know we were off last week but today I’m resuming my Friday favorites! Let’s get started!

#5 – Salt shaker table numbers

salt and pepper shakers wedding table numbers

I think this is cute. Instead of numbers or table names, this bride and groom had different salt shakers which represented famous pairs – Mickey and Minnie, two cowboy boots, a burger and a drink, etc. The salt shakers were incorporated into the centerpieces and guests had to find the right shakers for their table. Sure, it’s a little kitschy, but it’s fun. Photo by Fete Photography via Mountainside Bride.

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pumpkin week – recipes

fall pumpkin recipes | amanda jayne events blog

All good things must come to an end – and thus I’m bringing pumpkin week to a close (and the world heaves a collective sigh of relief!), but not without first sharing some of my favorite tried and true pumpkin recipes! I don’t usually share recipes on this blog, but with pumpkins, I just can’t help myself! Plus, most of these recipes would be great DIY additions to any dinner party or at-home soiree. Each and every one of these recipes is personally vetted by yours truly (and personally taste tested by my husband!). Grab a knife and fork and enjoy!

To start off, let’s talk about this Pumpkin French Toast Bake. First of all, brunch is my favorite meal ever. My favorite part about this recipe is also the reason I don’t make it all that often: it’s a make-ahead dish. You put it together and let it sit overnight, letting the pumpkin flavors saturate the bread. It’s absolutely worth the effort, but I either don’t plan ahead often enough, or I’m too much of an instant gratification type (spoiler alert – that’s the one my husband would agree with), so I haven’t made this dish too many times. But it’s a great addition to any brunch – would be lovely for a bridal or baby shower brunch, or just a gathering with friends (assuming you want to share!). Recipe via Minimalist Baker:

pumpkin french toast bake

Moving on to soups – I first discovered this Harvest Pumpkin Soup last year after receiving an immersion blender for Christmas (this is an excellent gift, actually) and trying to try lots of stovetop soups (usually I made soups in a crock pot). This one was excellent – it wasn’t overly pumpkin flavored, so those in your household who don’t LOVE the taste of pumpkin (how un-American!) will still enjoy it. If you actually make it into 8 servings, each serving is less than 200 calories. Of course this doesn’t count the delicious hot, crusty homemade bread that I made on the side… oh well. Recipe via Country Living:

harvesy pumpkin soup

You don’t often see pumpkin in a main course, but this Baked Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo is a delicious exception. This was good – again, not too heavy on the pumpkin flavor – but my only complaint is that it can quickly dry out, so watch out for that. I also didn’t use the mascarpone cheese – I don’t remember what I used instead but it was something I had in my kitchen and it tasted just as good. Recipe via How Sweet It Is:

baked pumpkin fettuccini alfredo

Now – onto dessert (this is where pumpkin really shines). These pumpkin cream cheese truffles are delightful. They aren’t too difficult to make, so long as you lower your expectations surrounding the attractiveness of your truffles. They will not look as perfectly round as these in the photo, but who cares what they look like, they are pumpkin cream cheese truffles! Recipe via The Galley Gourmet:

pumpkin cheesecake truffles

This pumpkin fudge is To. Die. For. I’m not a huge fudge fan (I know, I know – I’m weird), but I love this stuff. Last Christmas I made a few batches and gave them away as Christmas gifts to friends and family, thus extending the joy of pumpkin beyond fall into the Christmas season (you’re welcome). Like all candy, it’s a little temperamental and I definitely recommend investing in a candy thermometer. I make mine sans pecans, but it’s still delicious. Recipe via Recipe Girl:

Pumpkin Fudge

Finally, last but not least, are the most delicious cookies on the planet. These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies somehow manage to be so incredibly fast and easy, AND they taste amazing, moist and flavorful. It’s probably the fact that each cookie is half shortening. But I never promised that these were diet-friendly pumpkin recipes! If you try only one recipe from this collection, try these. You will not regret it. Recipe via Chef in Training:

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Thus concludes pumpkin week! But while pumpkin week is over on the Amanda Jayne Events Blog, it will live on for a few months – at least until Starbucks pulls the Pumpkin Spice Latte in favor of the Gingerbread and Peppermint flavors!

Catch up on the rest of the pumpkin posts: