Thursday, December 4, 2014

Twelve Days of Christmas

I was out of town for Thanksgiving and returned home with ONE day to plan my monthly dinner for December 1st.  To avoid as much stress as possible, I decided to go with the first thing that came to my mind...The 12 Days of Christmas.

Invite: Quick invite designed on Photoshop with some images I found on the internet.

Entry Decor:  I wanted to make numbered signs leading up to my front door counting from 12 to 2, but I ran out of time. I think it would have been a cute addition, but lucky for me it rained and I wouldn't have been able to have them out anyway!  I did make the 1st day of Christmas sign on the door. I used poster board and card stock to create the tree, leaves, pears, and partridge for Partridge in a Pear Tree.

Inside Decor:  I designed images for each of the 12 days of Christmas to use as ornaments on my centerpiece.  I found images on Google and then used PhotoShop to make each of them fit the look that I wanted. I printed out the text of the song to place inside the vase.

I was trying to incorporate as many of the 12 days into my food and decor as possible.  Since I had 7 guests able to attend this monthly dinner, I tried to come up with a place card for 7 Swans a Swimming.  I ended up making origami swans out of typing paper and then using my Cricut to cut numbers.

Five of my guests had gold rings around their napkin to represent 5 Golden Rings.  The other guests had plain napkin rings.  I found these gold rings at Ace Hardware.

I served our wine out of milk bottles to represent 8 Maids a Milking.  Each glass had a number on it, so whichever number they picked up corresponded to the swan they sat in front of at the table.  I found the milk bottles at Michaels for a dollar a piece.

Since we were drinking out of milk bottles, I made milk inspired labels for the wine bottles.

Menu: One of the appetizers I had out as guests arrived was chips and salsa.  I called these 4 Calling Birds. I used a bird shaped cookie cutter to cut out tortillas that I baked in the oven.  These are really simple to make.  Cut them out, place them on a cookie sheet, spray with PAM, sprinkle with salt, and bake for approximately 7 minutes at 350 degrees.  Yum.

The second appetizer was deviled eggs I called 7 Geese a Laying. I didn't get a good photo of these, but I think most of you know what deviled eggs look like!

We started the meal with a green salad I called Partridge in a Pear Tree.  The salad included romaine lettuce, Feta cheese, walnuts, craisins, and sliced pear. I served it with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  It was very tasty.

For the main course I served Cornish game hens to represent 3 French Hens.  I made a glaze mixing butter, orange marmalade, and fresh rosemary.  I brushed the hens with this mixture regularly throughout baking and baked them according to the wrapper's instructions. For added fun, I placed each hen on a "nest" of spaghetti squash that I had cooked then seasoned with butter, salt, and pepper.

On a side note, I did end up cutting the hens in half, so each one served two people.  I felt like I already had a lot of food being served, so half was enough.

I served zucchini cut into long strips as well as garlic bread sticks to represent 11 Pipers Piping.

I bought onion rings to bake as well. Each guest got 5 Golden Rings.

For dessert, I bought ice cream drumsticks to represent 12 Drummers Drumming. I felt a bit guilty not making my dessert from scratch, but time was crazy and it went with the theme, so I accepted the guilt and went with it!

Favor: Even though not all of the girls were able to attend this particular monthly dinner, there are 10 of us total in the group. Trying to incorporate all lyrics of the song into my evening, I decided to make these marshmallow ballerinas to represent 9 Ladies Dancing.  These are super easy.  My 5 year old had a blast helping me make them.

I designed this tag which completely reflects how I feel.  These 9 women have brought so much joy into my life.  Their friendships have inspired me and helped me to grow throughout all the years I have known them. I truly feel blessed to have each of these ladies in my life.

Happy December everyone!