Get Ready to Party Series Day 7 - Party Day!

I recently hosted a group of  friends in my home for a fall luncheon. I thought it might be fun and helpful to write a series on how I planned and pulled off this party.
My hope is that by sharing it may be a blessing to someone else and it might encourage others to step out and invite           someone in!

Day 7 - Party Day!

Whether you're hosting ten people or 50 (or more) the game plan is pretty much the same:

Decide why you want to party and who you want to invite. Send out invitations, decide what food you'll serve, shop, cook, clean up the house, set the table and buffet, greet your guests, serve the food, engage in some lively conversation and maybe play a game or two, send everyone away filled with food and good fellowship, and clean up. 

 Whew! Just typing that makes me tired!

The truth is that inviting people into our homes takes work but the payoff is well worth the effort. 

If you're hesitant or even a little afraid to open your home I hope this series has offered a little encouragement to give it a try. 

Today I'm going to share a few pictures and recipes from my fall luncheon...

 I made this party a little different by turning it into a 

I invited each lady to bring a few small gifts to fill shoe boxes for 

We put together 4 shoe boxes.

I started something new with this party. A guest book is something I've wanted to use for a while but just didn't get around to it. Until this party. I happened to have a sketch book on hand that I'd bought for something else and I decided to turn it into a guest book. 

I did a little simple sketch with colored pencils and wrote in a few quotes about friendship. On the opposite page I asked for people to write a little note or just sign their name. 
I'm excited about this new tradition. 

The desserts were a big hit!

I made warm apple cake with vanilla butter sauce. It was delicious but I didn't get a single picture! I did get a picture of the pumpkin trifle. 

Pumpkin Pudding
5.1 ounce package Jell-O instant vanilla pudding (the large box)
2 cups milk

1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated!)
8 ounce carton Cool Whip (defrosted)
15 ounce can pumpkin puree (100 % pure pumpkin not canned pumpkin pie mix)
1 sleeve cinnamon graham crackers
20 gingersnaps (I used Archway crispy gingersnaps)
(you want about 3 cups of cookie crumbs - it doesn't have to be exact)

Using a mixer blend the pudding mix with the milk on low for about 1 minute. Add the condensed milk and continue blending another minute. Refrigerate until the pudding is set. About 5 minutes
By hand fold in the pumpkin then fold in the Cool Whip.
Put the cookies in a zip lock bag and crush them with a mallet or rolling pin. You want some of the cookies finely crushed and some left in bigger pieces.
Place half of the pudding mixture in a trifle bowl or any deep bowl add a layer of cookies and repeat to fill the bowl.
You can make this the night before but I think it's better if you serve it the same day or the cookies will lose some of their crunch.

The final thing I did for my guests was to send them home with a little bag of Thanksgiving party mix. 

Thanksgiving Party Mix

8-cups mixed Chex cereal (corn, rice, wheat)
1-cup almonds, sliced or whole
½ cup butter
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
½ cup craisins or dried cranberries

Optional: candy corn and candy pumpkins- about 2 – 3 cups total

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl toss together the cereal and the almonds. Set aside.
Melt the butter, add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the OJ concentrate and mix well.
Remove from heat and pour over the cereal and almonds.
Spread on a large roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir and continue to cook another 15 minutes. 
Remove from oven and stir in the craisins or cranberries; cool completely. If using the candy add to the mix after it’s cooled.
Store in airtight container or plastic storage bag. Makes about 9 cups of mix. 


Setting a plate at my table and making a place in my heart!

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