On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Steve and I hosted a sip n’ see for our new little friend Clara.
She’s not screaming when I hold her! I’m making big progress, just call me the baby whisperer.
A sip n’ see is a party celebrating the a new baby, sort of like a shower, except you hold it after the baby is born. I also had a shower for Stephanie back in June, but not all of our friends were able to make it into town.
I pretended I was The Pioneer Woman for a bit, taking candid shots of my girlfriends enjoying each other’s company.
I had to be sneaky to get a candid shot of the guys. Guys always freeze up and get awkward when it’s picture time for some reason.
I kept things really simple with menu planning for this sip n’ see. Since it was the night after Thanksgiving, I knew everyone would still be in food shock from the festivities the day before. I planned a few savory snacks and a few sweet snacks, as well as beer, wine and a signature cranberry martini.
The food spread started off with some roasted red pepper hummus and assorted cheeses and cured meats in the living room. Note the tart pan filled with fresh cranberries for an improvised centerpiece.
The main food table was set up in the dining room. The cranberries are back! This time their sprucing up my everyday candle holders.
Spinach and sun-dried tomato pinwheels, curried beef empanadas, lemon rosemary palmiers, assorted fruits as well as cookies and brownies rounded out the spread. You’ll notice that everything is a finger food, this makes it much easier for people to eat standing up while also negotiating a beverage.
Speaking of beverages…
I set up the beverages in stations in the kitchen, just off of the dining room where the main food table was located. This was a really convenient set up, and I highly recommend using zones when you plan your entertaining layout. This way everything is at arms length and you’ll be able to easily serve all your guests the first round of drinks – which can be especially stressful if people show up in big groups all at once. If you use zones that are well organized and intuitively set up, your guests will feel more comfortable helping themselves to the next round of drinks.
We used colorful tea towels (A gift from De!) to arrange stemware for red and white wines as well as martini glasses. A pretty vase doubled as the perfect pitcher for pre-made cranberry martinis.
Icing down beer and white wine in a cute bucket or trough is a great alternative to serving beverages out of the fridge. This way the hooch is all merchandised and your guests won’t feel like they are rummaging around in your kitchen as they help themselves to the next round. We snagged this beer bucket in three colors for just a few bucks each from bed bath and beyond.
Another good entertaining tip is to go ahead and uncork one bottle of each variety of wine you’ll be serving before your guests arrive. That way you won’t be fumbling with the wine opener as people are showing up.
I was really pleased that we decided to keep the menu so simple. For once everything was all set up and ready to go more than 5 minutes before the guest arrived. Steve was a great help with last min details and beer runs which allowed me to take some time to relax and get myself dressed and ready for the party.
It was a great evening with friends! I can’t wait to see everyone again, but I’m sure that we won’t all get together until there is another reason to celebrate. Quick someone else get knocked up or engaged! No, really…go!