BYTE IN: Mistletoe, Music, Merriment & Martinis… The Sequel
Every year I host a fab & festive Holiday party. Currently, I’m home in Miami for the Holidays & because Divi passed away at this time last year I didn’t get to post at all about the party. Tonight I was asked to make my Pumpkin Eggnog Cuppycakes at a friend’s home & I remembered…. DOH! I can totally post about last year’s party… YES!
I always host my parties the weekend after Thanksgiving or the weekend of since you get all the best grocery deals at that time & it’s a super easy & inexpensive way to jazz up any Thanksgiving leftovers.
I invited 50 people over & was able to pull the whole she-bang-a-bang off for $60!!! Here’s How:
First I sent everyone a snazzy FREE evite enticing them with the menu & assigning each guest that confirmed to either bring my FAVOURITE red wine Bitch Grenache ($8.99) a bottle of Pink by Yellowglen ($9.99). Apparently I have a thing for both Australian Men AND booze… HA!
Or my guests could bring Sophia Sparkling wine by Coppola Vineyards ($13.99) I LOVE the message Mr Coppola wrote on the label about his daughter. Every daddy’s little girl should be so lucky if their father’s felt the same way about them.
Me paying for booze…. check that one OFF the list
The menu I based on items I already had in my Freezer, fridge, pantry & leftovers from Thanksgiving… I’m thrifty not stupid!
I made Soup Joumou Shots which is a hearty Haitian Pumpkin & Beef soup that brings good luck with the pumpkin I got for Halloween from my roomies & the beef bones & trimmings I saved all year in the freezer
Caprese Skewers with Cherry Tomatoes & marinated buffalo cheese balls I got from Trader Joe’s & used fresh Basil from a Basil plant I bought at the 99 Cent Only Store
Lasagna Cupcakes with some ground turkey & mozzarella I had in the freezer. Tomato sauce I’ve had in the freezer since a True Blood Fang Banger themed Birthday Party I catered in October & Won Ton Skins I picked up at the store.
I had a small amount of my candied yams left over from Thanksgiving so I stole an idea from my Network cohort Brian Boitano, I made bacon cups to fill the yams in, here’s his recipe. Here is my candied Yams recipe called Slim Bitch
I am NOT ALLOWED to have a party without serving my Bacon Wrapped Nanners, you can get my super easy , DELISH & cheap recipe right here on foodnetwork.com
My Roomie Super Mimi made the crust less quiche.
I knew I was having a lot of booze there so I wanted something chic & cheap to soak it up so my guests wouldn’t get out of hand it was then I thought Paella Martinis! I know what you’re thinking Paella may be chic but it sure ain’t cheap! Listen, I’d be an AWFUL Island girl living with Chinese people if we didn’t have a 20lb bag of rice in the pantry.
The chicken breast I had in my freezer & the chorizo I got as a gift. The seafood mix I bought in Koreatown for $5. The Mussels I used were $3.99 & the jumbo Tiger Prawns were $7.99 a lb. I also bought those in Koreatown. I used the mussels & the prawns as a garnish on the rim of the glass, I just bought 30 of each since I was making 30 Paella Martinis cost efficient & FAB to use the most expensive seafood as a garnish instead of filling the paella up with them & it looked really pretty!
I made a Candy Bar with leftover candy from Halloween & since I was good on the booze I asked some guests to bring marshmallows & strawberries that I also used for the sparkling wine, I always have pounds of chocolate in the pantry & the pretzels we had from Mimi’s birthday party that was held earlier in October.
And the star of the whole party were my SUPER yummy & easy Pumpkin Eggnog Cuppycakes
Makes 24 Cuppycakes & a few mini cupcakes
2 cups of agave nectar or 3 cups of sugar
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup dark rum (Barbancourt Haitian rum’s the BEST)
3 cups low-fat pumpkin eggnog (you can use regular egg nog if you can’t find any)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tsp almond extract
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, softened
12 tbsp.pumpkin eggnog
6 tbsp. dark rum
pinch of pumpkin pie spice
6+ cups powdered sugar
Use Vanilla frosting or buttercream frosting & add rum, nutmeg & eggnog & mix (I like this option the best cheaper & easier)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a small bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients. In a separate large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
Use an ice cream scoop & fill the liners 3/4 of the way
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or check with a toothpick in the center & check to see if the toothpick comes out clean and the cake bounces back.
Cool on a wire rack
Cream together the butter, eggnog, rum, nutmeg and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add in more powdered sugar if needed to thicken the frosting.
Frost the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with a wafer roll or cinnamon stick.
Most of the ornaments I got as gifts from all of the tree trimming parties I’ve had over the years. I’m telling you if you’re on a budget & a single girl that doesn’t want to do a tree by herself, invite some friends over. They’ll bring ornaments that they KNOW you’ll love pop open some bubbly & blast the music it’s a great way to get people together & in the holiday spirit, especially people who wouldn’t normally have a tree in their own home.
I decorated the space with all the satin tablecloths I have for my catering gigs thanks to my friend David by pinning them on the ceiling, hanging my heart ornaments from Valentine’s, Mistletoe & Holly EVERYWHERE so everyone can feel the love & making curtains for the makeshift stage I set up for my FAVOURITE rockstar Ken Christianson…. have you heard my song yet that he wrote for me? Click HERE HA!
Ken sang for over TWO hours, it was incredible! Saved me heaps of money on getting a DJ & time putting together a playlist to run through the entire night, time I used to spend with friends & my dog instead. OH I don’t have any pics from later on in the evening because well… we were pretty sauced but my dear friend Daniel Bedingfield came by with his friend Jason & they sang too. It was amazing we danced all night long
As a Hostess gift I made everyone a sassy, sexy & jazzy Holiday CD I named after the event to get everyone in the spirit & have a piece of me with them wherever they were spending their Holidays. It’s a super inexpensive & thoughtful gift to give. There’s no better gift than music so now here’s MY gift to you. Thanks for reading xo
Here’s my playlist:
A Marshmallow World (Live) by The Rat Pack
My Favorite Things by Diana Ross & The Supremes
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by Tony Bennett
Let It Snow by Lena Horne
(Everybody’s Waitin’ For) The Man With The Bag by Kay Starr
Jingle Bells by Sammy Davis Jr
Baby It’s Cold Outside (Live) by Velma Middleton & Louis Armstrong
I Believe by Frank Sinatra
Holy Shit It’s Christmas by Red Peters
Merry Christmas Baby by Lou Rawls
Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt
Zat You Santa Claus by Louis Armstrong
Hey Santa! by Brian Setzer Orchestra
I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm by Kay Starr
Warm December by Julie London