Friday, December 16, 2011

Feliz Navidad & Gingerbread Party Recap

Last week, I had the opportunity to host 2 different gatherings - my Feliz Navidad holiday gathering and my annual gingerbread house decorating party  Both parties went really well!  I bravely tried 2 new recipes for Saturday's gathering (enchiladas and tres leches cake), and both turned out pretty well!

I'll let the pictures do the talking!

Or course I wore an apron, but I opted to wear a more practical, festive-colored one!  I did remove it once guests arrived.  I only wear an apron for the whole evening on Julia Child night!

I love my new dining room table - and my fiesta dishes.  A big shout out to Mandy for being my fiesta ware buyer!  One of the couples cancelled due to a sick baby, so there were just 5 of us!

The drinks and appetizer area.  We drank wine, beer, and margaritas, and ate chips, salsas, guacamole, and chili con queso (not all pictured here)
Besides serving shredded chicken tacos, I also made Mama Pea's Green and Red Enchiladas (except I couldn't find red lentils, so they are technically just green enchiladas!)

Dessert was tres leches cake with made-from-scratch whipped cream.  It tasted good, but the cake sort of 'dropped' a bit when cooling.  I must not have incorporated enough air into the egg mixture.  Oops.  Lesson learned. 

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Now for the Gingerbread Party!  This is the 5th time we've gathered for some Holiday fun!  The first 2 years, we decorated sugar cookies & gingerbread men/women.  Then I found out about my gluten intolerance and we changed it up and started decorating gingerbread houses as I didn't want to make/decorate cookies I couldn't eat or make/decorate cookies that these girls wouldn't want to eat (GF baking is... interesting...)

To start things off, here is a picture of my tree - I love the Eiffel Tower tree topper my friend gave me!

Decorating requires intense concentration...

But we also have lots of fun.  Elliot was a BIG FAN of the frosting!

Eventually, he tired of the crafting and showed off his ability to do a plank on my couch.  Gosh I love this kid.

And voila!  Here are the houses!  Mine is the 2nd from the right.  It turned out pretty good this year!!
When is the last time you decorated a gingerbread house?  Mine has improved over the years.  The first year, we had to assemble them and I put my roof on upside down, so the shingles, well, didn't look right.  I've gotten a bit better, but mine never look as good as Amanda & Brooke's do!

27 comments:

Becky said...

Dude! Your house looks awesome! I think that'll be a fun tradition to start one day, but I'm a little intimidated to do it with Ben. (I mean helloooo...artist!)

Hahaha planking! What great evenings!

AshleyD said...

So fun! I decorated a gingerbread house last year with my nine year old cousin. We had so much fun, but I can definitely see hot it takes practice!

J said...

What a party! We did a Cookie exchange party last weekend and it was awesome because I got to try so many different kinds of Christmas cookies!

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

The houses came out nice! Mine always looked like a candy bomb got them. What a fun tradition!

Jess said...

Someday, I seriously want to come to a dinner party at your place. (Yes, I just invited myself over to your house for dinner!) Everything always looks so yummy :)

Nora said...

LOVE that he planked. Too adorable. Seriously.

The houses came out so well and I love seeing photos of your condo every single time you post them =)

My brother and I make gingerbread houses every year. We do it together. There is usually liquor involved, ridiculous picturs and more. I'm hoping we can squeeze it on when I get home on the 23rd...!

missris said...

Wow I don't know if I've ever decorated a gingerbread house, but it sure looks like fun!

Marlys said...

Wow, Lisa! You've made giant strides in your decorating abilities! It just shows that practice makes perfect! I, too, love the plank! And his house looks awesome, too!

Leigh said...

Both nights sound like so much fun! I haven't decorated a gingerbread house for so long! I should do one before Christmas is over :)

Hope you have a great weekend Lisa!

Carolina John said...

Love the planking kid! now you have to teach him how to Tebow.

we did the gingerbread thing the other day too. lots of fun.

Raquelita said...

It looks like so much fun! I am actually not sure that I have decorated a gingerbread house since elementary school. Perhaps that needs to be remedied....

B and B said...

What a great tradition!

And, your Mexican feast looked yummy, too! Incidentally, I've purchased red lentils at a Mediterranean market on University. I think that recipe sounded so good.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Eric makes a gingerbread house every year but I haven't done one for a while now. So not my forte!

That would be a really fun annual party to host though! So awesome you guys have done this for 5 years now!!

imlivinginadream said...

These parties look like so much fun! I'll be honest, I don't remember EVER decorating a gingerbread house. I need to get on that, it looks like wayyyyy too much fun!

Every year (this is the third year now) some of my best friends and I get together and have holiday themed parties. I'm really excited to see how Christmas turns out for us this year- we're doing it a bit late, in early January- but we always have a huge potluck and make tons of dessert and stuff. I love holiday parties!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I love the idea of having a gingerbread house decorating party. It seems like it'd be lots of fun, maybe a little competitive, but lots of fun! This week, they decorated gingerbread houses on The View. Go here (http://abc.go.com/watch/the-view/SH559080/VD55158074/the-view-1214) and go to the second segment (click on the first line in the progress box under the video, where they show how much you've watched of the show).

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Yay, both parties look fantastic! You guys are definitely skilled at gingerbread house decorating. I had my party for the kids the other night and their houses came out great (I'll show pictures soon though I can't show the kids because they are former students). Next week I'll decorate my own house. Definitely one of my favorite Christmas traditions!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Fun parties!!!! The food looks yummmmmmmmmmmmy!

I haven't decorated a gingerbread house in years, but the hubby made one with my nephew the last couple years.

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I don't think I have EVER decorated a gingerbread house! Do you guys eat them afterwards? Do you just buy a kit and use that? It looks like so much fun, I'm seriously thinking about hosting one next year, but have some questions on how it works!

Jamie said...

That looks like so much fun. The houses are adorable.

Lisa-Marie said...

Yeah, so I'm definitely coming to your house to eat when I make it over!

Your tree is BEAUTIFUL, the Mexican food looks brilliant, I love your red plates and OMG GINGERBRAD HOUSES.

Oh said...

These houses are darling! I love Elliott's Plank! and I, too, would be shooting icing - can't help it - love the stuff. I don't care that your tres leche cake dropped - I would eat that first, before the rest of the dinner. (sugar madness lives here!)

And your place looks great. And your tree! OK, gotta run. Need to try out a plank under the Christmas tree.

more later!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Love the idea of both of your parties!! I'm so impressed. Party hosting is kind of intimidating to me. The fiesta meal looks so good -chips, guac, queso, margaritas - yumm! Those items are tasty year round. It's been a long time since I've made a gingerbread house, but they do require lots of concentration - sometimes those guys do not want to stay up!

Stephany said...

I just started decorating gingerbread houses two years ago and it's a lot of fun! Last year, my mom and I went to a class on how to make one at Michael's, thinking they would help us (our first attempt in 2009 was pretty awful, ha!) but it was more for these gingerbread house artists who were making these amazing gingerbread houses. I mean, they were already decorating while my mom and I were still trying to get ours to stand up! I think, from now on, I'm getting ready-made ones because the process of putting it together is a headache. I'd much rather just decorate it!!

That planking photo is priceless. Love it!

Abby said...

I have never made a gingerbread house! Ever! Crazy, huh!

Looks like so much fun! Your Feliz Navidad party looked awesome, too!

I also have to say I've got some major "hair envy". Your hair is GORGEOUS, Lisa!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

That looks like so much fun -- both parties! I have never made a gingerbread house or decorated one. We had a cookie (sugar and gingerbread) decorating party on Sunday which was a lot of fun...maybe next year we should do houses! But...do you eat them? I mean, that's a lot of cookie to eat! Don't they go hard before you get a chance to eat them? I guess when I am ready, I will have to ask you for tips!

pinkflopflops44 said...

I'm horrible at gingerbread house making. I love christmas cookies, but hate making them. Looks like fun!

Jeanie said...

I have NEVER done a gingerbread house! This looks GREAT! And I love seeing pix of your house, too. Everything looks perfect!