As you know from yesterday’s Kahlúa bar post, we enjoyed a pretty amazing Friendsgiving this year. I wanted to share with you my table so that you could take inspiration for your Thanksgiving (or any holiday dinner) this season. It was a simple palette that I talked about in my inspiration post. I wanted to go very classic and traditional with mostly http://www.crateandbarrel.com/essential-dinnerware/f10931 and serve ware and a rust colored plaid for the table runner. I actually used the same exact plaid that I used on the backs of my invitations so that there was a really wonderful tie-in. Plus, since it was just custom wrapping paper, I was able to cut it to size and make it long enough for my super long table.
Aside from the plaid details, I used birch twigs and wood slices from the craft store to give an even more classic outdoorsy look to the table. More sources, details, and photos below! Continue Reading…
I’m still recovering a bit from our big Friendsgiving that was this past weekend! I always put together an after dinner drink bar for our friends and this year was no different. We usually get into something game-related after dinner (sometimes it’s ‘Just Dance’ on the Wii and sometimes a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity or Pit), and everyone always welcomes something sweet and warm after a big meal.
I transferred the goodies into fun bottles to give the bar very stylized vibe. I feel like people love exploring a fun set up and are bound to try new things. This year, I’ve put out three types of Kahlúa – Original, Pumpkin Spice, and Peppermint Mocha. They’re the center focus of the whole drink bar, but there is so much variation in all of the mixers we have, there is no way any two people would ever make the same drink.
My favorite part of entertaining has always been finding my own way to do things that is cool and low cost. This particular project is one that I’ve done a few times before for other parties and just love how customizable it is. Beverage tubs and champagne buckets tend to be one of those things that are weirdly expensive. I saw an iron one last year that I like and it was over $100! Really, it’s just a tub!
So, I have started using small (bathroom sized) trashcans as a stand-in to keep bottles cold during our parties. They’re inexpensive enough to not be a big blow to your party budget and with a couple of drawer pulls or knobs from the hardware store and a quick customization they also turn out way more cute than the run of the mill version.
It’s an easy three step process and rolls in at under $20. Want to make your own? Continue Reading…
I was shocked to learn this week that some families don’t do a potluck Thanksgiving. This means that the hostess is cooking most of the dishes served. If you’re one of those families that makes the meal together (sisters, aunts, grandmothers unite!) then that’s amazing, but this family that I was speaking to however, just all shows up at someone’s house who has cooked the entire dinner! The hostess in question happened to be a friend who was so nervous about the quest.
I’m kind of a purist when it comes to the Thanksgiving meals, but if I had to do it all myself, I could quickly relinquish some of the dishes to store-bought (or at least help from a box). This got me thinking about which dishes I would still make and which I would fake. Of course the ‘faking it’ doesn’t have to mean straight up bought from a store in it’s complete form, it could mean anything from buying bread cubes for the stuffing instead of drying and cubing yourself. Or it could mean using a frozen pastry crust instead of going from scratch. What I’ve learned is that everyone takes help in some way or another – it all just depends on where their food allegiances lie!
So, this is pretty hypothetical because we’re having a potluck, which is what I grew up knowing. Still, however, I am making both the turkey and the stuffing for our friends giving, so I’ll still follow the exact recipes above. I’d really like to know about your family traditions, short-cuts, or long-cuts, though!
Tell me…. What do you HAVE to have homemade and what do you cut corners on? I hope we can all get some great ideas with plenty of time to implement them!!
Buckle your seat belts, guys… this dessert is off the charts. You already know I have an affinity for individualized attention when it comes to my parties, so making a sweet, after dinner treat that was single sized was my main focus when starting out here, but quickly took a backseat to the flavor explosion that happened. Layers of pound cake, Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice Liqueur, pumpkin pie filling, whipped cream, and chocolate not only make this dessert a delight for the stomach, but also a feast for the eyes! Look at those layers!
Something this seemingly intricate, however, is pretty darn easy thanks to the combination of store-bought ingredients. When I serve the dessert during our Friendsgiving, I’m going to set up a full Kahlúa ‘Bar’ with coffee, hot chocolate, cream, and a bunch of other mixers for guests to create the after-dinner-drink of their dreams. In my opinion, however, for this dessert, you can’t go wrong with a classic Kahlúa and Coffee.
It’s also a great recipe to make well in advance! You can make it up to the night before your event and just stick it in the fridge! Easy instructions after the jump! Continue Reading…
Although I don’t host our family Thanksgiving, I do host a very special occasion in the week prior. We gather to eat and celebrate with all of those who we choose to be our nearest and dearest – our friends. Friendsgiving has been something this group has been doing for almost 13 years. Although one of our other friends used to host, as we’ve aged and our group has changed, I’ve begun hosting. This will be my third year with the honor.
In the past, these gatherings have always been pretty informal – sweats, football, and a bonfire all encouraged, but I have fancied it up a bit… why? Well, we get together all of the time for impromptu bonfires, patio drinking, and football watching, so I felt like this day should be a little more formal to show how much we cherish and celebrate some of our favorite people in our lives. I always dress up the table nicely like a sit down dinner party, but the food is potluck which allows everyone to contribute, something that I feel is so integral to the Thanksgiving spirit. I make a turkey the traditional way, but the men all gather earlier in the day our in our yard to fry a turkey as well. Meanwhile, I sit inside and pray that they don’t burn down our house (and the 100 acres of adjacent nature preserve).
This year, I was very inspired by the in-store display at my local Crate and Barrel store. Everything was white and worn wood with just a touch of iron or rust. It was so soothing and still very classic. I decided to do my own take on this very traditional look.
The formal invites are from Zazzle and although I designed them from Scratch (which is one of the main reasons I use Zazzle), you can also buy my design (and customize) if you’d prefer not to design your own! Mine are simple with a red fox (which we have here on our property) and a plaid back. I used the same plaid in a custom wrapping paper which I’ll use as a table runner. Lots of white serve ware and dinnerware will bring the light look to the table. I love the very traditional turkey bowl and the black rimmed stock pot and some simple wheat as table decor (can’t have too much table decor with a potluck!)
Last year I did these fun little ‘thankful’ booklets for name cards, but this year, I’ll use another natural. I’ve taken my inspiration from this walnut card holder. For a personal touch, I am going to ask all of our friends to submit their favorite quotes and have them printed on these wooden coasters! It will be a fun addition and something they can take home!
So far, I’m very happy with the initial plans. Of course, I’ll be sharing a few of the DIYs along the way, so stay tuned for more Friendsgiving goodness!
Creating festive table decor for our parties is actually my favorite part of the entire party! It’s something that I love spending time playing with and experimenting with different set ups, but something that most people tell me they have trouble with. I decided to put together my top five tips for creating a compelling table arrangement for your next gathering.
I have such a treat for you today! White Russians are a bit of a staple in our house and if you like them, you’ll love this little martini. It’s basically a White Russian, but just a little deconstructed. I love a sweet treat after dinner, and my favorite part about this take on the classic is that with each drink you get a little taste of the whipped cream followed by some cream laced Kahlúa – why cream laced? That’s my secret! This recipe is a tad lighter than the regular recipe, but has all of the wonderful flavor.
I named it the ‘Sleepy Hollow’ because as the whipped cream melts, it gives a spooky foggy look through the darker body of the drink. The recipe is for one drink, but with so few ingredients, it’s so easy to make in a larger batch, adding the cream topping on each drink for a beautiful and delicious cocktail!
The whipped cream vodka adds such a wonderful depth of flavor, and with just the topping of cream, it isn’t too heavy to drink after dinner.
Treat yourself this halloween to a spooky swirling drink and for more holiday drink ideas, visit Kahluaholiday.com (ps. take a look at the polaroid photo on the home page – haha!)
Disclosure: This post was done in partnership with Kahlúa and compensation was provided. All recipes, photos, ideas, and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that allow us to bring you fresh content 5 days a week!
I’m back for party two of the ‘That’s My Jam’ party! Part one was two weeks ago (here) and the second portion got a little delayed because we had about two straight weeks of rain, but we totally lucked out this past weekend with some absolutely gorgeous fall weather. It was sunny, slightly chilly, and the leaves are just beginning to enter serious fall mode.
I had to act fast on Sunday and gather the group for some jam-making and drinks. The jam itself takes all of about 45 (mostly passive) minutes to make, so I focused on the snacking, drinking and chatting that were to take place during the cooking. I’m not a huge jam person, but felt like it was such a wonderful activity for the fall harvest fruits, so I made two types that both pair with a cheese (Mmmm, cheese).
I set up my outdoor harvest table with fruit, bread, crackers, cheese, and (most importantly) some Sparkling Rosé. I got the mini bottles of Le Grand Courtâge so that each mimosa was as sparkly as the last and also so that each friend could take a couple of bottles home in their ‘That’s My Jam’ Tote along with the jam we made.
We focused on two unique recipes, both created to be eaten with cheese – Maple Apply Jam and Rosemary Pear Jam – and we created some custom labels for each variety. What is best, is that they can both be made in the crockpot (awesome!) so that you can do this outside or anywhere you have an outlet. There are tons of gorgeous photos and the two recipes so read on!
When it comes to dinner parties, I like to think outside the dining room sometimes to create a more magical experience for our friends. I’ve always wanted to do a big outdoor sit-down dinner, but various technicalities have gotten in the way. This year, it’s happening. I built a table (more on that later) and have been starting the planning process.
One thing I knew I wanted to include were some white name card holders. Although actual white pumpkins can be used, they’re fairly pricey and don’t last super long once cut. I made a very sleek, modern version using some run-of-the-mill foam pumpkins from the Home Depot.
The result is a beautiful, serene tablescape that isn’t a cacophony of color (which you know isn’t my thing). The white gourds lend themselves well to the other colors incorporated in the table and won’t compete with any of the other decor. The best part is that since they’re faux, they’ll last throughout the whole season and I can use them all of the way through Thanksgiving.
It’s a super easy project that I’m almost embarrassed to call a ‘DIY’ but sometimes it’s the little things, right? Let’s go! Continue Reading…
Hi, I'm Erin!
House of Earnest is the place for Home Decor, Hand Made Projects and Party Style made easy. My style is simple, natural, rustic and slightly modern. Take a look around, leave a comment and have fun! That's the whole point, right?