Hello, gorgeous dessert. Of all the recipes I’ve done for the Captain Morgan’s Spice Up the Holidays campaign, this is the one that disappeared the fastest. I guess it’s natural, what with being deep-fried and all…
I introduce to you my final recipe that I developed for the contest: Banana Churros with Buttered Rum Caramel Dipping Sauce. I was bouncing ideas off of my little sister (and culinary genius), Christina. She texted me with one word: Churros. DING! We looked no further. Somehow the churros morphed into Banana Churros and I replaced the usual thick chocolate dip with a seriously festive Butter Rum Caramel Dipping Sauce. Can I get an amen?
Would you just look at those babies on the party table?
When I started this competition, I really didn’t think I had much in the way of entertainment tips, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I do. Maybe my tips won’t win praise from a traditionalist, but this is how I do things.
Foodie with Family Entertaining Tips:
- Don’t think a party has to include a full meal. A table full of appetizers and beverages keeps people full and happy. Mingling is easier with finger food than sitting down and serving multiple courses. Bonuses: Most appetizers can be done ahead of time and no seating plan necessary. People, I didn’t even assign tables at my wedding. I’m consistent.
- Remember the particular talents of your guests and take advantage. Do you have friends who are exceptional musicians? Ask them to bring their instrument to play instead of or in addition to a dish to pass. Do you know someone who makes an incredible pastry? Ask them to bring it along to share. Do you have a friend who makes killer homebrew? (You lucky dog.) Have them bring some to sample with your friends.
- Don’t be who you aren’t for the sake of the party. Your friends love you for a reason. There’s nothing wrong with challenging yourself, but do decor and food that you’d normally love. Grab pine boughs from the woods. Use items you already own in different ways (see the cheese box top in various party photos). If you’re a super casual person, keep the party kicked-back. If you’re a heels-and-pearls kind of gal, go formal!
- Candles: use them. This is optional if you are having, oh say, a Jedi fancy-dress party where everyone will be swinging pretend light sabres, but otherwise, use as many candles as you practically can. Why? I just like ‘em.
- Serve cheese and nuts. This is not as random as it sounds. There’s a good chance that if someone dislikes everything else on the table, they’re still going to dig cheese and nuts unless they’re a vegan with a nut allergy. Since they’re both substantial foods, it’ll help.
- Speaking of cheese, splurge on it! If you’re going to dip into the rainy day fund for a party, splash the biggest cash on a variety of cheeses. You don’t need many -two or three is plenty- but get good ones. If you’re not sure what to pick, ask someone at the cheese counter what they recommend for an after dinner cheese plate.
Our weeknight just-because-we-could party was a riot. I spiced things up by not telling anyone what was going on. You have to love a group of friends who shows up when you text them and ask them to come “dressed festively from the waist up.” Sharon said, “it was so mysterious, this text. How could I not come?”
The cocktails and nibbles were a welcome respite in the middle of the workweek.
I think Gena was pleasantly surprised by the Dark & Stormy Orchard…
Bob was reaching for some goodies. Was he going for the Jerk Chicken Bites with Rum-Glazed Grilled Pineapple?
…Or the Rosemary Garlic Almonds? The cheese?
Staci and Sharon loved the churros. The Evil Genius and I loved the churros. Bob and Gena loved the churros. In short, churros ruled the party. Everyone seemed surprised by how light and crispy the churros were. Bob declared them to be superior to Krispy Kreme. In fact, I believe his words were, “These are four times as light and crispy as Krispy Kreme.” I’ll totally take that.
A mellow, weeknight get together was spiced up with the help of our Captain Morgan menu from the vittles to the Dark & Stormy Orchards.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas everyone!
A reminder: Please check out all the great work my competitors put into their parties and say howdy to them! Also, be sure to check in next week to find out who won!
- What’s Cooking, Chicago?
- Big Red Kitchen
- The Comfort of Cooking
- Shugary Sweets
- What’s For Dinner
- The High Heeled Hostess
- The Realistic Nutritionist
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Spice Up the Holidays contest sponsored by Captain Morgan USA. I received products to use in my recipe development and compensation for additional ingredients but all opinions are my own.