Friday night I hightailed it to my friend Kier's Mom's house and got myself busy preparing for our evening! I could not have done it without Gina, Abby or Cherie! They totally took my ideas and ran with them, so that I was able to have this tablescape at the end of all of my hard work.
I was absolutely in love with how everything all pulled together! We didn't quite have enough room, so we also used the real estate on the island as well.
First up, the Pumpkin Shrimp Bruschetta.
It should be noted, we did several variations of these including some pumpkin mixture only, shrimp only and as the recipe called for bruschetta. My only substitution was toasted pine nuts instead of pumpkin seeds.
Herb Cheese Spread, my party staple. I have literally made this a dozen times in the past two years and this is the first time I've ever taken a picture! I usually serve it with apples and crackers.
Beautiful farmer's market flowers, otherwise referred to as penis flowers, arranged by Gina.
With BH&Gardens again as inspiration, we cut off the tops of the pumpkins to provide some height!
I love my Mom smiling in the background of this picture. After all was said and done she text messaged me the next morning, "I was so proud of you last night. Thanks for letting me be a part of it."
Mixed Greens, Slivered Almonds, Dried Cherries, Blue Cheese, Cranberry Walnut Vinagrette and Archer Farm's Spinach and Garlic Chicken Sausage.
Ad lib Chicken Puffs: Crescent Rolls reshaped into a square filled with canned chicken, cream cheese, minced garlic and green onions.
Super yummy, must try Coconut Carrot Pumpkin Soup! I absolutely loved this!
More farmer's market goods!
I felt a little rushed in taking pictures, but thankfully everyone in attendance understood and knows my motto: If there isn't a picture, it didn't happen. :)
I can't tell you how beautiful Gina made the table, absolutely loved it!
Finally, I let everyone dig in!
We wanted to do more of a blind taste test, so we packaged up the bottles and numbered each one. There were 12 all said and done because some people brought more than one!
We had a good mix of reds and whites which ran the gamut from sweet to dry.
Since we tasted the wines after we ate, almost everyone was too full for a complete glass. It was really fun to compare notes after tasting all of the wines to determine running favorites, especially for Crystal, as the evening started by her saying she didn't like wine. Turns out she'd only had champagne previously and found many new favorites thanks to our variety! Once the tasting was complete, it was time to delve into this beast, my Mom's Chocolate Cake Cheesecake.
I could just tell my Mom was chomping at the bit to start cutting into it!
Can you believe she can't eat sugar and yet she regularly turns out amazing creations like this?
I'm sorry, do you want me to run through this again? It's a Chocolate Cake Cheesecake with an additional layer of raspberry running through the middle and sauce on top. Yes, it's basically a cheesecake with frosting. It.Is.Amazing.
And then the fun with polaroids started thanks to Gina's little guy.
Everyone grabbed their favorite bottle!
We had, so much fun. We also didn't finish a single bottle of wine. Isn't that crazy?! All in all, I got to host the type of event that I always want to be invited to. Sometimes, you've just gotta make things happen yourself!
Unfortunately we had two party goers bail at the last minute, understandably so, but thanks to all who attended! I wish I'd been better at taking people pictures, but I dropped the ball on that one.