This was my first time hosting a Friendsgiving and I really wanted it to be special for everyone. The ideas of what the mood would look/feel like swirled through my head as I thumbed through one of my Kinfolk books and scrolled through Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration.
I knew I wanted this gathering to include some amazing women that I admire to the fullest and are truly honest, raw and real. These women have all started their own businesses, they're mothers, wives, and friends. Real friends. The kind of friends you can reach out to and ask all sorts of questions and they never judge or hold back. They spill all the beans and that's what I love about them the most.
When planning this gathering after I determined the aesthetic I would shoot for and rounded up my guest list, I began to think about the menu. It had to be something simple and it had to feel like Fall. I again turned to Pinterest and dug through countless recipes but ultimately I took the bones from a couple and sort of tweaked it into my own and created this Harvest Carrot Soup.
It's super simple to make and it tastes delicious.
Of course, everyone wanted to help and I welcomed all the help with open arms because I've never done this before! Gah! I was at first a nervous wreck, a little like, what have I gotten myself into and what if I can't pull it off? I thought to myself, I have some seriously talented heavy hitters here, and why not tap into what THEY do! My friend Jennifer with Sage E Imagery did all the photography and she killllled it! My new friend Kelly with Maven (who I know will be a life long friend and was 37 weeks PREGNANT and having contractions!) created the floral centerpiece and cocktails/mocktails. (I will share all recipes below). Erin with Francois Et Moi made gorgeous, handcrafted beeswax candles and brought a delicious beet salad recipe from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa), Morgan with Construction2Style brought all the goodies for whipping up an amazing and beautiful charcuterie board, Mercedes with Mercury Mosaics created the most stunning planter pots made of tile remnants and if you know me, you know how much I love when recycled materials are used. In addition, can we talk about the florals she had made for these!?! Wowza! My friend Alyssa with Project Remodel shared with us an elegant cheese board and coasters. Tabletop decor from my own shop at Creekwoodhill.
Ok, so now that you have the idea of what everyone brought, let's dive into how the evening flowed!
Table setting, I wanted a very relaxed feel so I used linens, drinkware, and brass candleholders from my own shop.
Jennifer arrived with this glorious and delectable cake from local restaurant BRIM. It was heavenly!
Setting up the table and making some last-minute adjustments.
Kelly whipped up a couple of batches of her signature craft cocktail and mocktail.
I'll share the recipes at the end of this post. Trust me you'll want to serve these up to your guests for the Holidays.
Everyone began to arrive and the bustle began.
Can you believe this mama was having contractions and as calm as a cucumber!?! (I wasn't, I said, are WE having a baby tonight?)
Everyone chatted like crazy as you can imagine, there's never enough time! Check out these amazing botanicals from Mercedes!
Not just one but THREE!
That tile work is the best and those florals are just alluring!
My sweet friend Erin was SO kind to gift us all these lovely beeswax candles.
Can we talk about this charcuterie board again!?! I mean...
We all sat down and laughed and chatted and some serious discussions were made and there were just inspiration and good vibes flowing ALL night!
A cheers to Friendships (missing 3 people in the photo)!
After the night ended, my heart was full. I can honestly say, over the following week I felt so energized and uplifted and found a new pep in my step!
Recipes and How To's:
Spiced Cider Cocktail 3oz Dry Vermouth 2oz Tattersall Gin 1oz Drambuie (or any spiced Liqueur) 1oz Orange Liqueur 1oz Fresh Cider, add to a shaker with ice and serve up!
Non-Alcoholic cocktail 4oz club soda 2oz Bittermilk Bitters - Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour 2 oz Fresh Cider Serve over ice!
The goodies that Morgan brought together for this specific Charcuterie board included:
Crumbled Blue CheeseBrieCheddarGoat CheeseOrti D'Italia BruschettaMarinated OlivesBlack GrapesPearsPersimmonsFigsPomegranateRed Wine SalamiCrackers (we did Valley Lahvosh 3" rounds) Rosemary BasilThymeOnce you've gathered all of the essentials from the food to the cutting board and utensils, styling is up next and is key to creating a good Charcuterie board. My biggest tip when it comes to styling is to layer, layer, layer. And make sure not to skimp out on the finishing touches such as herbs as those little touches will make all the difference for a visually appealing board. Make sure to have a variety of colors within the food you chose and then make sure the colors and styled all not stacked on one another. This will make your eye draw from side to side and all over the board. It's almost like styling your shelves in a way! Stack your food to create a variety of different heights and disperse the colors throughout the board and finish off splashes of herbs throughout and you'll have yourself a well designed Charcuterie board. Rolled Beeswax Taper Candles Materials: 8″ x 16″ wax sheets and medium braided wick — I’ve used this kit from Amazon. ScissorsRulerCut the wax sheet in half forming two 8″x 8″ sheets. Cut an 8.5″ long piece of wick, and place it along the very edge of the wax sheet, with the extra 1/2″ of wick sticking off of one end. Use your fingers or palms (whatever you find works best) to tightly roll the wax around the wick. The tighter it’s rolled, the longer the candle will burn. Continue rolling up the wax sheet until it’s completely rolled onto itself. The tackiness of the wax will keep it rolled up. Place in your candle holder and light it up, my friends! The DIY video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suZ0LBCfnXk
The beet salad recipe is from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa): Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad
Here's what you'll need:
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
2 medium onions (chopped)
6 cloves of garlic (minced)
4 stalks of celery (chopped)
3 Tbs. fresh parsley (chopped)
5 pounds of carrots (chopped)
8 cups of chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (optional)
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds for garnish - also optional)
Blender ( I use a food processor for chopping and an immersion blender)
Add butter and olive oil to a large stockpot, once butter is melted, add in the onions, garlic, celery, and parsley and cook on medium to low heat until soft and fragrant.
Add in the carrots and stock, cook on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes, add in salt and pepper to taste and then reduce the heat until the soup thickens for about 20 minutes.
Remove the stockpot from the heat and blend (I use an immersion blender). Be CAREFUL when blending hot liquids. Stir in 1 cup cream (save 1/2 cup for garnishing).
Garnish individual servings with a drizzle of cream and a dollop of pumpkin seeds, serve and enjoy!
All my best,