Another client soiree has come and gone. I’m too pooped to pop, but it was well worth it. Being able to treat these wonderful ladies that have been so good to me is the least I could do. I push them to the limit during their workouts and they are always up to the challenge. And of course I reminded them to savor the indulgence now because come the first of the year I have a new round of challenging workouts for them. The wine was flowing and the food seemed to replenish itself, which made for a fun and relaxing party. We had such a good time and as usual the party lasted until very late in the evening.
I would not have been able to pull this off without Charisse‘s help. Even though she was working her usual 12 hour shifts she hung in there with me. All I have to do is relay my vision to her and she takes it from there. After Gabbi’s birthday party I was determined to use the beautiful black and white chair covers that Charisse had purchased. Black isn’t a traditional Christmas color but we made it work by adding red and white decorations. She used glittery leaf picks that I found at Michaels for the backs of the chairs. The black base of the centerpiece is a cake stand I bought from Hobby Lobby after Halloween. Resting on top it is several cardboard cake circles glued together and embellished with ribbon. Charisse then added silk poinsettas and a pillar candle. Instant centerpiece!
In an effort to keep the cost down I used real tableware. What a coincidence that I have sets of red, black and white plates with cutlery and napkins to match. I also raided my china cabinet of most of the stemware. The tabletop was also decorated with more silk poinsettas, silver and red ornaments and white glittery snowflakes. A quick search on google led my able bodied assistant to the gorgeous napkin fold that was the perfect cutlery holder. She finished off the setting with more flowers, black beads and a candy cane. Thank you in bunches sweetie!
I decided to get a couple rolls of red & white wrapping paper from Michaels to cover the chargers I had made at Home Depot. I also used it to make the lollies that were part of the backdrop for the dessert table and to cover some of the bases the desserts sat one. Wrapping paper is an inexpensive and flexible way to decorate. I also hung silver and red ornaments from the top of the backdrop to dress it up a bit more.
I ended up with a table for the savories, one for drinks, extra dinnerware and extra sweets. Then there was the dessert table which I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. For some reason I didn’t take pictures of the savories, and I seem to forget them more often than not. Here’s the savory menu:
Southwestern Venison Dip with Multigrain Tortilla Chips
Marinated Olive Bruschetta
Cheesy Garlic Chicken
Ginger Soy Pork Tenderloin with California Blend Vegetables
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar Glaze
The Dessert Buffet
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes
Banana Pudding Parfaits
Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Topping
White Chocolate Thin Mints
My guests really got a kick out of their punch choices. One was labeled Nice and the other was Naughty. The base was cranberry juice, fruit punch concentrate and lemon lime soda. The naughty of course had vodka mixed in and I added some almond extract.
One of the tips I shared with you in my previous post about entertaining was to stick to tried, true and simple recipes. As much as I wanted to make all the desserts from scratch I knew that wasn’t happening. Everything except the sugar cookies were from a mix with a few enhancements here and there.
For the carrot cake I combined carrot and spice cake mixes and used a premade cream cheese frosting. I made rolled butter cream (recipe to come later), which works almost as well as fondant to cut out toppers for the red velvet minis. The brownie bites were topped with chocolate frosting and red and green M&M’s.
My banana pudding parfaits were a surprise that not even I seen coming. When I was planning the party I went through the pantry and found out that I had lots of instant banana pudding. I don’t have the faintest idea why I bought it, but it was time to use it. I layered it with a blend of cream cheese, whipped topping and powdered sugar. Topped them with Heath bits and a vanilla wafer. Super yummy!!
In all honesty I must say the vanilla cake with strawberry topping was a last minute addition that really could have been left out. It’s one of those things that get eaten when everything else is gone. Luckily I only made a few and the cake that’s left will get a new life as cake truffles later on.
Gilding store bought cookies is an easy way to dress them up. I dipped Girl Scout thin mints in white chocolate and sprinkled them with red, green and white sanding sugar. And what’s a Christmas dessert table without a decorated sugar cookie.
I am so pleased with the set up of the tables that I’ve decided that I will use them for our Christmas dinner. Our dining room table seats six comfortably and that’s with bringing in chairs from the kitchen. There’ll be ten of us for Christmas dinner and there are ten beautifully decorated chairs downstairs and food tables already set up. This was really a no brainer.
Today I’m chilling out and taking notes. Tomorrow I start all over again for the nonstop party that will begin on Friday when all the kids come home. Woo-hoo let the next party begin!!
**Some of the printables were provided by Anders and Ruff
Linking up with The Tablescaper at Seasonal Sundays
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch
Dinnerware – Kohl’s, Dollar Store, Amazon.com
Flatware – Amazon.com, Big Lots, Kohl’s
Stemware – City Rescue Thrift Store, Dollar Store
Napkins – Meijers, Kohl’s
Chair Covers – eBay ( lost seller’s name)
Black Cake Plate for Centerpiece – Hobby Lobby
Chargers – Hobby Lobby
Wrapping Paper Chargers – Michaels
Seasonal Flowers & Picks – Michaels, Dollar Store
Printables – Complimentary from Anders & Ruff