Galentine’s Brunch

I was seriously just going to Target to get toilet paper and a few groceries.  You all know though, you never leave Target with ONLY the things you went there to buy…

They had the CUTEST brunch supplies in the Bullseye’s Playground/Dollar Spot area at the front of the store.  Valentine themed champagne flutes and pitchers, pretty pink cake stands, this awesome white platter that says “Let’s Do Brunch.”  So I did what any normal person would do…  I bought all 7 boxes of the champagne flutes and a bunch of other stuff, and then decided to have a party so I could use it all.  Reverse planning?

I’m lucky to have a lot of wonderful women in my life: friends I have had for decades, (non-legal) sisters-in-law, co-workers who make going to work FUN!  I thought that the perfect way to put my Target haul to use would be to throw a Galentine’s Brunch to show these lovely ladies some appreciation for the joy they bring into my life.

I kept things easy by ordering catering from Panera (their breakfast souffles are SO good), and making a Valentine’s treat themed charcuterie board.  The board was filled with Pepperidge Farm cookies, Raspberry Creme Kit Kats, Valentine Ding Dongs, Sugarfina Bubbly Bear gummies, Hershey’s Kisses, Lindt Truffles, marcona almonds, candied pecans and raspberries.  I used another cute platter from Target for strawberries and grapes, and then put macarons from Dana’s Bakery and PEEPS Vanilla Creme Hearts on the cake stand.

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Shake Bake and Party | Galentine’s Treats on Cake Stand

Obviously, the most important part of any brunch is the mimosas! I had a make your own mimosa bar, with orange, orange mango and pomegranate juices.  I also had some Jackson Morgan Southern Bread Pudding and Chocolate Therapy (chocolate wine!) from Laurita Winery on hand in case anyone wanted a shot of something sweet!  On top of all that, some gifted Red Velvet Bailey’s and wine finished off the libations.

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Shake Bake and Party Mimosa Bar
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Target Valentine Champagne Flutes and Champagne Bottle Balloon
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Target Let’s do Brunch platter

I decorated with some balloons and a cute little heart banner I picked up at the Christmas Tree Shops.  I found the neon “Love” sign at Kohl’s, and adorable candle that says “You’re like really pretty” candle was another Target find!

 

The most fun part was the photo “booth” I created by hanging gold and rose gold foil fringe curtains in front of my kitchen sliding door.  I had a bunch of Valentine’s headbands and glasses plus Galentine’s themed photo props for everyone to use (#friesbeforeguys).

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You can’t have a party without great music, so I put together an amazing playlist full of songs from my favorite female artists.

Finally, as a little parting gift, everyone got to choose an Anne Taintor sticky note pad or magnet and a Cheryl ‘s buttercream frosted heart shaped cookie!

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I’m thinking of making this an annual event!  If you have any fun Galentine’s Party ideas, let me know in the comments so I can start planning for next year!

Pumpkin Pie Vodka – The Saga Continues…

I know that Target would like us all to think that Christmas is next weekend but in my world it’s still fall, and Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet!  I’m still crunching through leaves, dreaming of turkey and stuffing, and mixing up drinks with my Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie vodka.

My bottle is almost empty so I went out to the liquor store today to replenish my supply.  I went to the place where I got my first bottle and they didn’t have any!  I’ll admit, I panicked a little – I still have quite a few drink ideas that I want to try!  Luckily I found it at the next store I tried so I bought two bottles just to be on the safe side.  Oh, and I bought a bottle of Pinnacle Marshmallow as well.  Pumpkin, marshmallow…it works for Scentsy, it could work for a cocktail too!

I felt like a bit of an alcoholic marching up to the checkout line with three bottles of vodka and a case of beer (for the boyfriend) but all was forgotten after I handed over my debit card and realized I just spent $63 dollars on booze.  It’s an investment??  Yeah, a blog expense.  That’s what it is…

Today’s drink is super easy to make, and combines three fall flavors: pumpkin, cranberry and ginger.  It’s the Cran-Pumpkin Pop!

Cran-Pumpkin Pop

One shot of Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka (or two!)
Splash of cranberry juice
Ginger ale

Pour the vodka and cranberry juice into a glass, then fill the glass with the ginger ale and some ice.

It’s a Shirley Temple for fall!!

Do you have any favorite fall cocktails?  AND, does anyone else agree with me that Christmas commercials before Thanksgiving have replaced political ads as the most annoying thing on TV right now?

The Great Pumpkin (Loaf)

I’ve been feeling a bit like Charlie Brown lately; like I have gone out trick-or-treating and ended up with a bag full of rocks.  When life hands you rocks, what do you do?

You make pumpkin cranberry bread!!

This is my FAVORITE bread to make.  It is soooooooo good that I could eat a whole loaf all by myself.  I would be sick afterward, but it’s worth it.  It’s a good thing this recipe makes 2 loaves!

The recipe is from Libby’s and you can see the original here.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or water
  • 1 cup sweetened dried, fresh or frozen cranberries

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.

BAKE for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe makes two loaves.

OR, you can do what I did and make one big loaf, and then a bunch of mini ones.  I only baked the minis for 30 minutes.  If you put them in little cellophane bags and tie them with ribbons, these make perfect little gifts for the holidays!

Now if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to go start building a fort with my rocks…

I Got A Rock
I Got A Rock (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

A Taste of Things to Come

I am impatient.

I am tired of summer.  Tired of 90 degree days with 70% humidity.  Tired of stepping out the door in the morning to go to work and watching my hair expand from the corner of my eye.  Tired of getting all sweaty just from breathing.  Oh, and I’m REALLY tired of mosquitoes.  Seriously, what purpose to those damn things serve?!  West Nile Virus freaks.

Anyway, I cannot wait for fall to start!!  Cooler days, chilly nights, fall foliage, Halloween, fall festivals, my birthday (hint hint!), apple cider and all kinds of pumpkin flavored goodies!!!!

Fall tree branch leaves along river
Fall tree branch leaves along river (Photo credit: Nature Pictures by ForestWander)

Pumpkin pie, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, and now this…

It exists, and tonight I found it.  I am beyond excited about this.  Last fall I tried numerous times to make a yummy pumpkin pie drink using a pumpkin spice liqueur that shall remain nameless because it was SO gross.  I was dejected all the way through Christmas.

I LOVE Pinnacle flavors so when I saw that they were coming out with Pumpkin Pie I knew it would be good.  Of course, as soon as I got home with the bottle I had to try it.  So I’ve mixed up a test drink and it is just slightly shy of awesome.  Since I want to tweak it just a bit, I won’t be sharing the recipe today but the Perfect Pumpkin Pietini is just one of the many wonderful things that will be heading your way this fall…(provided I don’t get laid up with West Nile Virus).

Come on September 22nd!!