Saturday, January 9, 2021

Finally '21 - New Year Themed Dinner

2020 was definitely a year unlike any other.  I am not really a fan of the "new normal". Like many of you, I am anxiously hopeful 2021 can bring us back to life as we've known it prior to COVID.  To have a little fun with a 2021 New Year's theme, I decided to host an alcohol inspired - Finally '21 -- dinner party.  Taking it back to when we were excited to be turning 21 and legally able to drink, but without the nasty hangover aspect of it all!

I love the black and gold color-scheme of new years, but wanted to add a bit of other colors into the fun.  I designed my invite with a background of generic alcohol bottles and drinks.  I pulled in a few alcohol names, like Gin and Beer, in my invitation details for added fun.  With COVID, we are still on Zoom for our dinners.  I package up all the food and goodies, the girls drive by my house to pick them up, and then we eat together at our own homes over Zoom.  I miss our time together in the same room, but love at least having this time we all chat each month.

Party Details:
How fun are these napkin rings?  I found a pack of these mini solo cups at the dollar store and bought them not knowing what I would use them for.  When I started brainstorming how I could incorporate them, I came up with this napkin ring idea.  All I had to do was use an exacto knife to cut out the bottom and then place a napkin inside.  So fun!

As usual, I had a bit of fun designing wine labels for my mini bottles of red and white wine.  For one of them, I played off the popularity of alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer in 2020 and how they were/are so hard to find in stores.  The tag read "2020 Taught Us Alcohol Kills Germs" inside of a wine glass.  I used the same alcohol bottle background as my invitation.

For the second wine label, I used the phrase: 2021 Forecast: 100% Chance of Wine.  Wine/alcohol consumption were definitely up in 2020 as people worked from home and were doing less driving.  With California still in quarantine for 2021 so far, I guarantee there is a 100% chance of wine in my future!

Turning 21 is a time when many try out various alcohols and have not yet settled on their likes/dislikes yet.  I wanted my menu to reflect this same variety.  There are definitely a lot of dishes that can be made with alcohol, so I picked a few to make for our dinner party.

The main dish was Chicken au Champagne.  This is a tasty, fairly easy recipe to make.  I used an inexpensive bottle of brut and chicken thighs.  The thighs I found were skinless and boneless, but the recipes calls for skin on.  I may have to try it that way the next time I make this just to see if there is any difference in taste.  Along with the chicken, I served Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots.  These were also simple to make.  I couldn't really taste the alcohol on these (which is honestly great since I am not a big bourbon fan!)

I made Beer Bread to serve with the meal. I couldn't find a mix at the grocery store, so I just looked up a recipe and made it myself.  Everyone enjoyed the bread.  I liked it, but felt it definitely needed butter spread on it to really make it great.  It was super simple to make, so that was good too.

For dessert, I chose to make a Baileys Oreo Tart.  This was easy to make and also tasty.  I made the crust the night before and finished the rest the morning of the party.  Baileys is a strong flavor, but it was not overpowering in the dessert which was nice. I would make this again.  As you can tell from the photo, I am not a professional photographer (or chef), so they don't look great, but they tasted good!

I made a simple tag to go on the top of the dessert container as well.

For a parting gift (and to use with their wine bottles when they brought their meal home), I made these cute wine glasses.  I used my Cricut to cut out the phrase Sip Sip Hooray for 2021 on gold vinyl.  The craft store I went to did not have a ton of choices for gold vinyl (and I wanted gold), so I ended up purchasing a foil vinyl with matte finish. It looked really cute, but I am not sure how it will stand up with washings, etc. I wish I could have found a permanent vinyl.

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