A Magical Evening…Garden Party

September 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Black and White and Orange all over.  What a magical evening kicking off the new year.  We kept it very simple, but still quite elegant.  Sangria prepared the day before and chilled.  Pre-made frozen appetizers and individual vegetable crudite bites in small plastic cups made it possible to enjoy each others’ company.

DRINKS- Crisp White Wines and Light Summer Reds, Banana Daiquiri- CLICK HERE for link.

Sangria! Sangria!- this is the best Sangria I’ve ever had.


  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lime, sliced into rounds
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
  • 8 maraschino cherries
  • 2 cups carbonated water (optional)


  1. In a large pitcher or bowl, mix together the brandy, lemon juice, lemonade concentrate, orange juice, red wine, triple sec, and sugar. Float slices of lemon, orange and lime, and maraschino cherries in the mixture. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor. For a fizzy sangria, add club soda just before serving.

Vegetable Crudite Shooters

I am all for finding new uses for rarely used serving pieces and glassware.  To that end, use your shot glasses to serve individual servings of crudites.  To make these cute shooters:  Place a few tablespoons of creamy dip in the bottom of a shot glass; next add a few cut veggies, such as baby carrots, red pepper slices and blanched asparagus tips.  Prepare these up to 4 hours in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve.

And then we went with frozen appetizers from Trader Joes.  Here’s a great link with suggestions CLICK HERE

We made is simple and selected 3 different appetizers.

Stuffed Mushroom Caps:

Pastry Bites:

And Mini Pizzas:

And the best thing was having 3 handsome young men passing the yummy treats.

It truly was a magical evening with good friends- old and new.  What really made this night was not worrying about fancy food and the timing of preparing the savory treats to pass.  Everyone was able to enjoy the night, even the hostess.

Oh, the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne.
~Barry Cornwall

Enjoy those final summer nights of 2012.



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