The holidays, be it Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas or the 4th of July, can look so different over the years. As a child, what were your holiday traditions?
I was blessed with a close-knit family where many of us on my mother’s side, lived within an hour of each other. That meant that we had a pretty standard plan for the holidays.
Easter was at Grandma and Grandpa’s, 4th of July was neighborhood block party, Thanksgiving was a Great Aunt Evelyn’s, Christmas Eve Dinner was back at Grandpa and Grandpa’s before we all set off to our various church services and finally, Christmas Day was a our house.
I never really thought about it much. Every once and a while it changed, but for the most part it stayed the same.
Then I moved away.
Then I had kids.
And traveling isn’t cheap.
So our holidays began to be something different every year. Sometimes we traveled. Sometimes we stayed at home, just us. Sometimes family came to visit us. Northern California, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Iowa, Washington.
And then occasionally we would celebrate with Friends. It started in Oklahoma and has continued since. We even have times when we celebrate early with our friends. An evening at Christina & Alex’s, a Christmas Day meal with the Lee’s, Valentine’s at our house.
This year I wanted to share a meal around the table a little early with my peeps. No family. Not even the hubby, just my friends and me. The people I call my tribe and know that I can count on 100%. I missed a few because of schedules, but had a wonderful brunch with my peeps.
And it was all a surprise to them! They all thought I just needed them for a couple of photos. Nope! We were all there to do my favorite thing. Talk, laugh and eat.
But, being a blogger and a foodie I did have another plan. I made new recipes, took notes and decided to share with you all a wonderful checklist to help plan your next Friendsgiving or Ladies Brunch Date or whatever you want to celebrate!
Start with decorating for your theme…. Since I am decorationally challenged, I get my inspiration from store displays and Pinterest. You can head to my post Fall Decorating for how I arrived here!
Then plan your menu. Since I was going for a brunch, I thought of what I’d like to eat and added a little extra fun by trying new recipes. My Whole Wheat Gingerbread Muffins and Chai Tea Latte Panna Cotta‘s were a hit! Simply click on the links for the recipes!
In addition to the muffins and panna cotta, we enjoyed my favorite holiday go-to Chili Relleno Breakfast Casserole, a rasher of bacon, a yogurt parfait bar and Pumpkin Pie Lattes. Did you notice the purposeful slip there? It’s not a pumpkin spice latte – it’s a pumpkin pie latte! I packed in more pumpkin and some added collagen hyrdolysate protein powder into these lattes! And the recipe is below – you’re welcome!
Yogurt Parfait Bar. As you can see, my dining room table is a huge circle with a large lazy-susan in the middle. This is where I set up my yogurt parfait bar. Fresh fruits, Pumpkin Spice granola, yogurt, and whipped cream were easy to access by everyone. We could add more or less whatever we wished and didn’t need to leave the table. Your own yogurt parfait bar can be set up at a kitchen counter, on a buffet or simply scattered around the table in a “please pass the…” fashion. It’s all up to you.
During the whole planning, preparation and creation, I took notes. I knew I wanted plenty of time once my friends arrived to really enjoy the meal and being with them. I planned accordingly. Once they arrived, we made our Pumpkin Pie Latte’s and sat down and enjoyed the meal. Thank you @woodlandfeary @dicovering_georgina and @tammywenstrom for joining me! I love you to pieces Peeps!
Love, Laughter and Friends. Friendsgiving. When you can’t be with family, you make your family!
To make things easier for you, I’ve included a wonderful downloadable timeline. On the bottom is my grocery list too! Follow me on Instagram and subscribe here so you don’t miss out! What? Not following me? It’s simple, just a click away!
Pumpkin Pie Latte
- 1½ cups milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 scoops collagen hydrolysate protein powder Great Lakes Gelatin
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- pumpkin pie spice to taste
- coffee, brewed Italian Roast
- fresh whipped cream optional
- Blend together all ingredients, except coffee in medium saucepan.
- Warm over medium heat. Once heated, taste test and add additional pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to taste.
- Remove from heat and froth the mixture.
- Serve with coffee and allow your guests to find the ratio of coffee to pumpkin pie latte they like.
- Dollop with fresh whipped cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice for a wonderfully welcoming addition.