This past weekend I hosted an engagement party for my bestie. It’s kind of crazy to think that I have known these ladies since we were 12 years old and I feel truly lucky to have such incredible people in my life! People that make me laugh harder than I have ever laughed before, people that understand how I feel without me having to say anything, and people that will always be by my side. And by my side they were–we cooked the entire meal together minus the guest of honor, of course.
The evening was full of laughter, drinks, and delicious food. We customized the menu to the future bride’s particular tastes and I must say it was quite a success. I have recently started to enjoy cooking and am definitely still a beginner, so trust me when I say each dish is very do-able and delicious! Hope you enjoy the recipes as much as we did!
Sparkling White Wine Sangria
Very Dry Chardonnay
The proportions depend on how strong you want the Sangria to be and the size of your pitcher. For me, each batch consisted of two bottles of wine, a cup(ish) of Ginger Ale, and a splash of Sparkling Water. I chopped all of the fruit into bite sized pieces and then soaked the fruit in vodka for a couple of hours before adding it to the Sangria. As the evening went on we also added a little vodka directly to the mix. I also froze the grapes and used those instead of ice.
Baked Brie Bites
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Brie (1/2 a wedge)
Jam (choose your favorite flavor)
This dish was so easy! Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Unroll the crescent rolls. Cut the cheese into large bite sizes, spread the jam over the inner center of the rolls, place the cubed slices of brie in the center of each unrolled crescent roll, then roll it up. Cook in the oven for 12-14 minutes or until deliciously melted.
Watermelon Avocado Salad
The theme of the evening was “tying the knot” and we put most of the dishes on bamboo skewers with knots on the end. This salad was one of the skewered dishes, but can easily be served sans skewer. Chop all ingredients into large squares and add balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
Fig and Brussels Sprout Rigatoni
Rigatoni Pasta (1 box)
Brussels Sprouts (1 ½ pounds)
Figs (6-8 figs)
Yellow Onion (half)
Fontina Cheese (6 ounces)
Boil the water/make the pasta (make sure to salt the water before adding the pasta and cook the pasta slightly al dente because the pasta will cook more in the oven). Sauté the Brussels Sprouts and onion in a little oil and add garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Grate the Fontina Cheese. Once the pasta is made, drain water and return pasta to the pot then add the grated cheese, figs, sautéed onions and Brussels sprouts, and a splash of milk to the pot. Mix ingredients (keep heat on a low level—this will make the mixing easier). Once ingredients are mixed place them in a baking pan and into the oven that has been preheated to 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Shrimp and Chicken Skewers
First, make sure to soak the skewers in water for at least 45 minutes before cooking. Cut the ingredients into equal pieces–this will insure that they cook evenly. Rub whatever spice combo you would like onto the skewers. Mine were seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, basil, and rosemary. The shrimp will cook within 10ish minutes so cut shrimp accompaniments into smaller pieces. The chicken will cook in 15ish minutes. Warning: it is really easy to overcook kabobs so keep a close eye on them!
Strawberries and Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crumble
Cut the tops off the strawberries and slightly hollow strawberries (if you want more filling hollow more). I promise this process isn’t as painful as it sounds. Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar (sweeten to taste), and a teeny splash of vanilla together–this can be done by hand, but your arms might get a little tired. Put the graham crackers into a bag, smash them up then pour crushed remains onto a plate. Fill the strawberries with the cheesecake filling then dip the cheesecake end into the crushed graham crackers.
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cookie Dough (we didn’t have enough time to make homemade cookies so we went with Pillsbury cookie dough and it was delish)
Vanilla Ice Cream
Semi Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips
Bake the cookies and let them cool COMPLETELY. Once they have cooled, sandwich the ice cream between two cookies and put in the freezer.