Best Champagne Punch Recipe

Best Champagne Punch Recipe.This is the best champagne punch recipe. The only one you’ll ever need. It is my family’s go-to celebratory recipe and we’ve been serving it for years. But if you get the chance you really should serve it to your friends out in the middle of the desert. All images via Tammy Mendoza.

Photo shoot out in Palm Springs.Since we were headed out to Palm Springs to shoot some new head shots, we thought it would be fun if we shot a recipe post while we were out there. This is the type of stuff that is so fun for a creative person. So often I have these big ideas in my head but the logistics to pull them off are a little bit too much for one person, or on account of family time constraints. I was SO excited to be able to sneak away with Tammy and Lauren and get to do something totally different.

Champagne and the desert. Two of my favorite things. We found this gorgeous little spot to set up in and got the bottles popping.

Best Champagne Punch RecipeAnd then started assembling the ingredients. This punch is pretty citrus-y so its refreshing and flavorful.

Add the champagne.What I love about champagne punch is that it works well for a crowd and because of all the other ingredients, you don’t need to splurge on the good bubbly. A super cheap bottle is perfect. And since this is SO yummy, you will need to make several batches. Know that going in and have several batches prepped ahead of time.

Slice citrus fruits for an easy garnish for your punch.Usually the garnish is some citrus slices. If you want to get crazy, you can add fresh raspberries. The pop of pink is a really fun touch. And edible flowers would be even more lovely.

Champagne in Palm Springs.Although this is a punch and your natural instinct might be to run towards your standard punch bowl, you should change things up a bit. I like to serve this Here I decided to use a vase to serve the punch in.

Make champagne punch and serve it in something other than a punch bowl to keep things interesting. I love to use things for something other than their intended purpose.

Delicious citrus champagne punch.But if that’s not your jam, simply make several batches and serve them in mismatched glass jars. Empty wine bottles are perfect for this. And this is a great way to make sure that all your guests can get their beverage quickly without having to wait for the ladle.

Best champagne punch recipe..How gorgeous is this?! It really makes me want to throw a whole desert party.

Fur coats and champagne punch in Palm Springs.

Best Champagne Punch Recipe
 
Best champagne punch recipe. Citrusy and refreshing, this punch is perfect for all your festive gatherings.
Serves: 3 quarts
Ingredients
  • 1 can (46 oz.) Pineapple Juice (cold)
  • 1 bottle (28 oz.0 Club Soda (cold)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) Frozen OJ Concentrate (thawed)
  • 1 bottle Champagne or Sparkling Wine (chilled)
  • 1 lemon or lime, finely sliced for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, stir and serve.
  2. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon or lime.
  3. Can be made the night before but wait to add the club soda and champagne until ready to serve.
  4. Should at least plan to double or triple the recipe. It is a crowd pleaser.

All images by Tammy Mendoza of Dez and Tam Photography 

*I did not create this recipe. Years ago, before blogs and Pinterest, when you found a recipe you liked, you wrote it down and emailed it to all your friends and family. The source for this recipe is long gone. If you know the source, please share! I like to credit when credit is due! 

 

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Popcorn with Lavender Pepper

A delicious popcorn snackI’ve been thinking a lot about my “brand.” What am I all about and what do I want to share with you, my reader. I’ve been making lists and thinking about what I love. And one thing that keeps making it on to those lists is snacks. Wait, what?! Hey, turns out I love snacks. And here is a super easy one for you. On my last trip to Temecula I picked up some lavender pepper from the spice shop. I’ve been dying to use it and this just made sense. I’m trying to eat healthier snacks (but you know me, my quest for health usually lasts just for a few weeks) and popcorn is an awesome option. And so I made popcorn with lavender pepper.

Popcorn with Lavender PepperIt’s healthiest if you make it at home in an air popper or special microwave bowl, but it should also be noted that “lazy” is on my list of things about me. Trader Joe’s has a bag of reduced guilt popcorn that is a great base. Then all you need is some lavender pepper and sea salt. Now, I realize that you probably won’t have lavender pepper. Especially since this is the first time I’ve ever seen it. But you can pick up edible lavender on amazon or some local markets. Just add that and some fresh peppercorns to a spice mill or old coffee grinder to make your own. And be sure to taste your popcorn first to see just how salty it is before adding more.

Lavender and Pepper popcornBecause I am trying to not add calories, only flavor, I usually spritz the tiniest bit of water on the popcorn to help the spices stick. Weird, I know. But it would also work to toss the popcorn with a little melted butter or olive oil.  What is your favorite way to eat popcorn?

 

Drinking More Water with Essential Oils

Using doTerra essential oils in your water. After a holiday season (shoot – it’s been since summer) of absolute gluttony my body is screaming for me to be more healthy. A bought of the stomach flu was the perfect transition in to living a healthier lifestyle. It made me quit junk food cold turkey. And it made me not like coffee!!! I’m drinking it again, and like it finally, but I’m no longer drinking more than one cup a day and some days I don’t even finish that first one. I mean, I don’t recommend trying to go find someone with the stomach flu to infect you. But if you want to start off the new year being a little more health conscious, I suggest starting with water. Easy, right?

New to life with essential oils #doTerraWe all need more water each day. And while we need the calcium from milk, we really don’t need any other types of drinks if we are trying to be eating more cleanly. Well, wine. You HAVE to have wine. So I’ve been drinking a bunch of water but it can get a little boring. I’ve started adding a drop of my fave citrus based essential oils to my glass to take things up a notch. Oh yeah, and I totally fell down the essential oil rabbit hole. (So I’m totally in love with them and was spending so much with my dealer – I call her that because it is a little bit like buying crack – that she had me sign up to be a wellness advocate so I can now sell them. I promise this blog won’t turn in to a hard sell of essential oils, but I will share them from time to time. My mind is vibrating with all kinds of ideas of how to use them in the kitchen! {not all are ok for ingesting – read labels, yo!}) You guys! I’ve been using a blend for my allergies that has changed my life. Maybe it is a placebo but WHATEVER! They help my symptoms and headaches but nothing else it all smells amazing!

Adding Wild Orange Essential Oil to your water #doterraJust a drop of this Wild Orange oil adds huge flavor to my water. And since the oil is derived from orange peels, it tastes like real orange. I’m not going to lie, it made my lips burn a little. But really it just felt like one of those lip plumper lipsticks. Wild Orange oil has “immune-enhancing benefits and is energizing and revitalizing to the mind and body.” At least that is what my book says because I literally just started using oils a few weeks ago and am still learning what each thing does. My kids like to have it in the diffuser too which is awesome for when you are having people over. It smells like you just cleaned your house! Water with essential oils is my new jam. And wine. I won’t quit you wine!

Looking for non-essential oil ways to drink more water? Try these recipes:

Muddled Tangerine and Basil Infused Water

Muddled Ginger Strawberry Sparkling Water

Muddled Raspberry Lemon Water

Muddled Ginger Lime Water

Visit my doTerra page if you want to see more about essential oils. OMG you guys, for real, the BREATHE blend is perfect for those days when my allergy medicine just isn’t cutting it. If you have a fave oil, let me know in the comments so I can keep learning. And I thought my husband was going to freak out but he started to feel sick and asked me to put some OnGuard on to his feet! Miracles do happen. Or if you have questions, email me! cupcakesandcutlery@gmail dot com.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Read more about my editorial policies here.

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A Baby Shower Playlist for Melissa!

melissa_shower-image-revisedSurprise!!! Today is a surprise online virtual baby shower for my dear friend Melissa, of Melissa Creates! She’s expecting her first sweet baby in February and I couldn’t be happier for her! She’s going to make the best mom ever and I can’t wait to see her raise this little guy (a boy!)! Carmen and I gathered some friends to help celebrate Melissa since we are spread out all over the United States and couldn’t attend her real shower. I hope you’ll hop around and check out all their fabulous posts!

baby-shower-invitationCarmen and I talked a little bit about what the shower should look like. I knew that I wanted the theme to be this song lyric from Paramore, one of Melissa’s favorite bands. We quickly discussed colors and then Carmen took that information and passed it along to Sarah, of Sarah Hearts, who created what is my most favorite baby shower invitation ever which was also used at a real baby shower held in Melissa’s honor. We’re just going to ignore my remedial Photoshop job of hiding important info…

The other gals will be sharing a variety of things from gift down downloads to printable quotes to cocktail recipes. I’ll have links to each gal at the end of the post!

Spring Boy Baby Shower Idea. Iced Tea Bar! If I got to throw Melissa a real life shower, this is what it would look like. I took my cues from the invitation and pulled out some “boy” colors and mixed them with some brighter, spring-like colors. I’d set out an iced tea bar (full post on this coming soon to Babyshower.com – I’ll link up when it’s live) but have a special cup for the guest of honor. And while some people won’t be drinking, I’d make sure there is a little something special for the people who want to.

Serve easy foods at a baby shower.For the food, I’d keep it really simple. I’d serve snacky foods, because who doesn’t love snacks? Popcorn is always a hit. And my fave goat cheese appetizer never disappoints. And when you have Firefly Confections doing your favors, you better order some extra to have out on the tables. Sandy’s caramels are so stop you in your tracks delicious that EVERY single person will be talking about them. No exaggeration. And Sandy might be one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. I’d round out the food with a delicious dessert and maybe a salad of some kind. Maybe. Salad just isn’t that exciting.

Confetti from The Flair Exchange.It’s not a party without confetti but I like to keep it a little bit more contained. Confetti is a great way to add color to a party table no matter how you use it. So I try to keep the mess down by keeping most of it in a vessel like this cup or even in small glass baby food jars. I like fun.  Just controlled fun.

(confetti from The Flair Exchange)

Caramel favors by Firefly Confections for a baby shower. I always do a treat favor at my parties. I’ve found guests love them especially because they know they don’t have to feel bad for throwing a tchotchke away. Most ladies will take their favor and say they are on a diet but you know they eat it the minute they get to the car. What’s even better is that these came ready to go, including gift tags so I it didn’t add to my work load. Reach out to Sandy to coordinate your next party favors. She’s amazing to work with and also a friend of Melissa’s. Favors are a great way to also play up personality traits of the guest of honor. If we had had more time, Sandy would have made butterbeer flavored caramels since Melissa is a huge Harry Potter fan. It’s all about making her feel extra special, right? And are you seeing a pattern? It would appear, from reading this post, that I’m pretty lazy about my party throwing.  And that assessment wouldn’t be wrong…But trust me if I was throwing this for Melissa for real, she would feel the love.  But I do not show my love through making layer cakes and scratch baked goods…Or even ironed tablecloths. :)

(Sea Salt Caramel Favors from Firefly Confections)

Baby Shower Playlist!! And because Melissa and I share a love of music, I decided that my contribution would be a baby shower playlist. To help me, I brought in another music loving friend of ours, Amy Belle Isle, to create the playlist with me. Amy and I met online when she had her own party planning blog. She has since left to work on event planning full-time for a non-profit but she has always kept in touch and supported us bloggers so I wanted to make sure she had a way to show Melissa the love also. We hope you enjoy it!

Head to Melissa’s site to see why we love her!

Attend the whole online shower!

The Flair Exchange  //  A Fabulous Fete

Aimee Broussard  //  Brave Creative Design

Casa de Crews  //  Giggles Galore

Kori Clark Designs  //  Live the Fancy Life

Sarah Hearts  //  Thoughtfully Simple

Visit Firefly Confections for all your caramel needs!

Head Shots in Palm Springs

New head shots by Tammy of Dez and Tam Photography.Before Christmas I got to take a super quick trip to shoot some new head shots in Palm Springs with my friend, Tammy, of Dez and Tam Photography! Not only is Tammy a crazy amazing photographer, she is an all around awesome gal. She, Lauren and I decided that the desert would provide the perfect backdrop for the photos. You know we love our time in the desert! We also shot a quick cocktail recipe and DIY post out there and I can’t wait to share those! They came out amazing!

New head shots from Tammy of Dez and Tam Photography! I was dreading having these photos taken. I HATE being in front of the camera. I am so grateful that Tammy is such a good friend and photographer. She was so easy to work with and was really able to pull me out of myself. I ended up with a bunch of great shots that I’ll be able to use in all different ways. Somehow she managed to capture me not looking like a lunatic, in between looking like a lunatic.

My fave furry coat.She really got me to be me and do things that felt natural (if standing in the middle of the desert in a furry coat can feel natural)…

New head shots shot by Tammy of Dez and Tam Photography shot in Palm Springs.If you need head shots done, you have to contact Dez and Tam! And totally go to the desert. The light there is SO good!

Desert head shots shot by Tammy of Dez and Tam PhotographyWhich one do you think should be my “head shot” head shot? Thank you SO much to Tammy!!!!!!! I’ll be sharing more work from this trip soon!

All images by Dez and Tam Photography

And go check out this great cocktail post that Tammy shot for Lauren while we were there. So pretty!