Saturday, February 17, 2018

Strawberry Champagne Punch

I recently hosted my YaYa Lunch group and as everyone was arriving I served this punch along with some Stilton Walnut Crackers. This punch was quite the "HIT". It goes down real easy and packs a punch so beware. I will serve this over and over again.

Strawberry Champagne Punch

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus lemon slices for garnish (optional)
1 cup superfine sugar
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, plus orange slices for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1/2 cup Triple Sec
1/2 cup Cognac
2 750 ml bottles dry Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
20-ounce frozen strawberries. thawed

Thaw the strawberries, place them in a blender and blend them until completely smashed. Place in the bottom of a punch bowl.

Combine lemon juice, sugar, orange juice, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, and Cognac in a nonreactive bowl or pitcher and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to a decorative punch bowl with strawberries and mix thoroughly, add chilled Champagne when ready to serve, and stir to combine. Garnish with citrus slices and fresh strawberries if you like. Serve immediately in Champagne flutes, wine glasses or punch cups.

Note: The punch can be made up to an hour ahead with the exception of the champagne. Store covered tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Garnish with fruit just before serving. I used Prosecco and it worked beautifully and served it over ice. If using champagne flutes you'll need to pour it from a pitcher. I used small Waterford old fashions, the opening was perfect serving from a punch bowl and easier to hold but punch cups would work just as well.
The superfine sugar is so important because it will dissolve easier in the liquors. It is worth the effort to try to find it. Otherwise you could make a simple syrup by melting the sugar in a sauce pan stirring constantly with equal parts of water and sugar. If you should do this I would add the simple syrup a little at a time to your likeness.
This would be excellent for a brunch, lunch or even for cocktails. I enjoyed the leftovers the next afternoon, YUM.
It is sooooooooo delicious and refreshing sitting in a relaxing spot.
If you try it I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and apparently my YaYa group too. Thanks for stopping by and please do come again.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Post Valentine Luncheon

A few years ago I began our YaYa Dinner group an all girls dinner group. Well after several years we decided to do it as a luncheon and since it was my idea, of course, I hosted the first one. We had several dilemma's concerning switching from a dinner party to a lunch affair but one we carefully considered was when we had our dinner group our husbands would also get together at a local restaurant. They enjoyed it so much, we have all been such good friends as for so many years as couples. We would on occasion include them but for the most part was an all girls dinner group. We decided they could just as easily make the time to get together for lunch especially since the majority of them are retired anyway.

Wellllllll, our first luncheon as the YaYa's was a success and I had so much fun planning and preparing for it.
The truth is I really wanted an excuse to buy this tablecloth online at William Sonoma and it was at a really good sale price. I couldn't help myself.
It is a Jacquard tablecloth and I can use it for many occasions but will most often use it for Christmas and Valentines. This was after all a post Valentine's luncheon.

Goes perfectly with the red dining room as well.

My menu for this event,
Strawberry Champagne Punch
with Stilton Walnut Crackers
Dilled Cucumber Soup
Chicken Salad
Copper Pennies
Banana Bread
and for dessert
Ina Garten's Coeur a la Crème served with Raspberry Sauce
We began our event with the Strawberry Champagne Punch and crackers as everyone was gathering.  I must say it was such a "HIT". I found myself reminding everyone that it was a little on the stout side. I will be sharing the recipe at a later date but I have to say, "It was amazingly delicious."

I am still enjoying them this very moment.
We started with the Dilled Cucumber Soup which is also an Ina Garten recipe. I don't think I have ever prepared an Ina recipe that I wasn't pleased with.
I also used some of my collection of my sterling silver napkin rings. This one to the left of this place setting is from Czarist Russia. It is sterling with a gold overlay, red enameled and on the top and bottom of the enameling are tiny little seed pearls which go completely around the napkin ring.
I have enjoyed this collection and each are different. After removing the soup bowls which are clear glass depression glass, another collection but were the perfect size, we then started with our luncheon. The chicken salad was a very different chicken salad, cooked with fresh herbs, thyme and rosemary which I grow but then submerged in an Italian dressing while still hot and marinated overnight. It also has cooked bacon and red grapes, what's not to like?
Copper Pennies, a very old recipe but one I dearly love.
The Banana Bread had to go on the side board and yes I did do my own flower arrangement. Flower arranging to me is therapy, from choosing what flowers to use to actually putting them together. The wine glasses may not have been the right ones to use with the wine I was serving with lunch but they were RED. They are hocks made by Waterford.
Unfortunately I failed to take a pic of the Coeur a la Crème but it too was yummy. I think a good time was had by all and we have definitely decided to go to a luncheon format.

I will be sharing this blog post at Susan's blog party, Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. You can click HERE to see other wonderful blog posts shared, for great tips and ideas. Joining too Amaze Me Monday at Dwelling, The Heart of Your Home, click HERE.
Thank you for visiting my blog and please do come again.