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Recipes

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Fall Harvest Dinner Party, Featuring Moscow Mules

Recipes

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Since Labor Day often signals the unofficial end of summer in most people’s minds, I decided to fête the occasion by inviting a few close friends over for an intimate fall harvest dinner party! Most of us were still in shorts and tees since it’s been so hot out. But I just cranked up the A/C, and we all had a blast.

One of my favorite aspects of party planning is coming up with the perfect menu to set the theme.  This time around I consulted my Fall Recipes Pinterest Board for inspiration and decided on Creamy Garlic Spaghetti Squash, Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Homemade Cheddar Biscuits, and of course, the perfect comfort drink to wash everything down…

Moscow Mules, served 2 ways!

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Apple Cider…

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And Ginger Peach!

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Next came setting the perfect table to really capture the spirit of the event. I already had the plaid napkins from my picnic set and a rich burgundy colored table-cloth that I use around the holidays. So I just picked up a fresh autumn bouquet that I arranged in mason jars and these adorable baby pumpkins and squash that I used as placecards.

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One of the keys to being a good hostess is NOT spilling drinks on anyone’s shoes! I may or may not have passed that test…

In any case, my fall twists on Moscow Mules were a BIG hit, so I’m happy to share the recipes with you guys as well…

Smirnoff Apple Cider Moscow Mule (1)
Smirnoff Peach Moscow Mule (1)

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Easy Backyard Entertaining {Shrimp Boil + Raspberry ‘Tee-Time’ Punch}

Lifestyle, Recipes

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I absolutely LOVE having friends and family over for dinner, but as the temps crank up, the last thing I wanna do is slave over a hot stove and force my husband to wash be faced with a sink full of dirty dishes afterwards.

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One of my favorite summertime entertainment hacks is a simple, delicious, backyard shrimp boil served with a pitcher of ice cold raspberry ‘tee-time’ punch (basically and half & half spiked with Raspberry Smirnoff).

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For the shrimp boil, all you need to do is find a BIG OLE pot and follow this recipe. Trust me, it’s fool-proof! I also like to toss in a few whole garlic cloves for a little extra zing. You can either make it on top of the stove and transport it, or fire up your outdoor grill. Once everything is all cooked up, you just dump it all out on top of a few sheets of newspaper or butcher’s paper, and let the crew dig in and fill up their own plates. I recommend keeping a few moist towels on deck for sticky fingers! Clean up is easy since you make everything in one pot. When everyone’s done eating, just roll up the scraps in the old newspaper to discard.

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As for the real star of the show… just follow the recipe below, and let the good times roll!

Raspberry 'Tee-Time' Punch

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Simply Entertaining: Cast-Iron Pizza Recipe + Kuvée Wine Review

Product Reviews, Recipes

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Once a month, my friends and I get together for Girls Night. We rotate houses each time and gather for a home-cooked meal, a terrible Lifetime movie… and copious amounts of vino! With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season upon us, I knew that I wanted to keep things simple and easy for our upcoming gathering. But as a hostess, I feel it’s my duty to accomodate everyone’s tastes and preferences as much as possible. So I decided what better way to cover all my bases than with individual cast-iron pizzas and an assortment of wines from Kuvée?!

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In case you haven’t heard. Kuvée’s Smart Wine Bottle is a clever gadget that slows down the oxidation process, allowing you to enjoy your wine for up to 30 days after opening (10 times longer than regular wine). The concept is perfect for intermittent wine drinkers like myself that fear wasting bottles after opening. And as a bonus, the bottle possesses an undeniable cool-factor that will intrigue your guests while satisfying different palates.

Here’s how it all works…

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The Kuvée system works with special plastic wine cartridges that you pop into the dispenser. There are currently 48 different selections to choose from – all from the California and Pacific Northwest regions. You can easily switch between different bottles throughout the evening with the press of a button.

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Once you insert a cartridge, the bottle automaticay recognizes the wine and gives you details about it including the type of grape and alcohol content. After you take a sip, you can also give a personal rating which makes it great for building up a catalog of your favorites and finding similar wines in the future.

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No wine, no problem! If you find yourself running low, you can easily scroll through the wi-fi connected Wine Library and order right from the bottle. The wines then arrive at your doorstep a few days later. How cool is that?!

If you’re looking to splurge a little on the perfect gift for the person who has everything, this is definitely an option worth considering. You can order Kuvée online for $199, and the set also includes 4 starter bottles (valued at $100). So all-in-all, it’s a pretty sweet deal.

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The pinot noir I’m sipping here was the perfect accompaniment to my pepperoni pizza. Speaking of pizza… you didn’t think I’d leave you hanging on the recipe did you?!

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The instructions are dead easy, but the taste is incredible. You can make your own crust ahead of time using the recipe below, or simply use a store-bought dough (or one from your favorite local pizza joint) if you’re pressed for time. Once your guests arrive, you can simply lay out the different toppings and let them choose their favorites.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce
  • 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings of your choice

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a medium bowl
  2. Stir in cold water and combine
  3. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap
  4. Allow dough to rest on the countertop for 12 to 18 hours until it doubles in size
  5. Sprinkle the dough with 1/2 tablespoon of flour
  6. Lightly stir until dough forms into a ball
  7. Grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet with olive oil
  8. Place the dough ball in the greased skillet, spreading close to the edge
  9. Cover the pan and let rest for 1 hour
  10. Preheat oven to highest temperature. (~500-550 degrees F)
  11. Add sauce, cheese, and toppings to the risen dough
  12. Start cooking the pizza on a stove-top burner on medium high for 3 minutes
  13. Place in preheated oven and bake 12-15 minutes

Full Disclosure: 
This post is brought to you in partnership with Kuvée. I received compensation for this post, and all views and opinions expressed are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that make this site possible!

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