Posts Labeled: Wine
Baked Brie Muffins
By • Filed In: Christmas, Recipes, Wine, Winter

These Brie Muffins are paraaaa, paraaaa, paradise!

I got the idea when I was cleaning my mini muffin tin after making peanut butter cups.  I was assigned to bring appetizers to a Thanksgiving dinner and was thinking about what to bring.  Cheese is ALWAYS on my mind, and while I was scrubbing away, I thought about using the tin to make miniature baked bries.

These are the ingredients you’ll need:

Crescent roll dough

Brie (I used the cylinder shaped ones so they’re already in the correct shape)

Fruit preserves/jam (I used raspberry, which seems to be everyone’s favorite, and orange fig)


Note: To fill the whole tray, I used two cans of crescent dough and two rolls of brie.



Here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut the brie into 1-2 inch thick chunks.

Flour your countertop and a rolling pin.  Layout the crescent roll dough and roll it, forming it to one giant square.

Then cut into individual small squares.  Line each muffin tin with a dough square.  Insert a chunk of cheese, top it with jam, and wrap the remaining dough over the top.

Brian’s inner iron chef came out and decided to fancy up the appearance.  He twisted the dough on top rather than just folding it over.  I have to admit, his turned our prettier.

Pop them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Since I made these for Thanksgiving, I’ve made them two other times.  My family has been raving about them.  So, I’m making them again tomorrow for Christmas Eve.  They’re the perfect winter finger food.  Now add a glass of wine along with them… now it’s really paradise!

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Wine Party: Fruit Skewers
By • Filed In: Fall, Party, Recipes, Wine

BAD NEWS: Today marks the end of Wine Week :(

GOOD NEWS: I have a few more recipes to share with ya :)

We wanted to bring some healthy freshness to our menu at the wine party, so decided on fruit skewers.  We purchased wooden shishkabob skewers and various fruits.  All you do is skewer on the fruit!

To fancy our skewers up a bit, I cut out some small circles from the same scrap book paper I used for the paper crafts.  Cortney hot glued the circles to the end of each skewer.


To give our tablescape a little more height, we stuck the skewers in vases filled with coffee beans.

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Wine Week: Asparagus Spirals
By • Filed In: Party, Recipes, Wine

I’m back with another tasty appetizer recipe that we used at our wine party. I love apps that aren’t too messy and that you don’t necessarily need a plate to eat. I’m just one of those people who is constantly snacking when at a party instead of loading up my plate. So when I saw these easy to eat asparagus prosciutto spirals I knew they’d be a hit….well at least they’d be a hit with me!

They were super easy to make and looked way more time consuming than they really were. Nooooo, I didn’t walk around the party announcing that I had slaved away on them, I wouldn’t do thaaaaat! Here is the original source for the recipe. I didn’t alter it much at all so I won’t write out the recipe. I will say that I used Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb cheese triangles…you know, the ones that come in the round container. And I of course used more prosciutto than it called for. Prosciutto is like the Italians version of bacon, and I loooooove bacon. So the more the merrier in my book!

I think this might be my new favorite party appetizer!

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Wine Week: Merlot Cupcakes
By • Filed In: Party, Recipes, Wine

Who has a sweet tooth? I know I do! I wanted to make a fun desert for our wine party, while still giving it a bit of flair. The answer? Cupcakes of course! But not any old cupcakes….cupcakes made with wine! I first saw the recipe on Pinterest and immediately pinned them to my wine party board.  Here’s what they looked like when I finished them.

I adapted the recipe slightly, so here it is:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup merlot wine
1/3 c milk
red food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350° and place liners in a cupcake tin. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set off to the side. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, and eggs until the mixture is smooth. Then add in the vanilla extract to combine. Start adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients making sure to alternate and whisk just till mixed (1/3 of the dry ingredients, then milk, 1/3 of dry, the wine, and the last 1/3 of the dry). Add the food coloring to create a deeper red batter. Don’t worry if it seems pretty watery, it’s supposed to be. Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and when completely cook, frost them with the cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

10 tablespoons room temperature butter
pinch salt
2-3 oz cream cheese (I used 2, I wanted the frosting to be a bit less cream cheesy than most cream cheese frosting)
2 1/2 -3 cups powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on, beat the butter and salt until fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat to combine. Add in the powdered sugar a little at a time until it is all combined. Make sure to start off with the speed on low so the sugar doesn’t end up all over you. Once it is as sweet and as thick as you’d like, frost the cupcakes and store them in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

After I had already made the frosting I thought about switching out the vanilla for more merlot, maybe I’ll try that next time.

I will say, they were deeeeeelicious! Oh and those little flags, we made those too. Just whipped them up in Word by going to the “insert” tab, clicking on shapes and choosing an arrow. Then we just added the text, printed them out and glued them onto toothpicks. You gotta get creative with Word when you don’t have Photoshop yet!


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Wine Party: Mr. K’s Stuffed Mushrooms
By • Filed In: Fall, Party, Recipes, Wine

Mmmmm… my mouth is salivating just after typing the title for this post.  When Cortney and I were thinking of the menu for the wine party, I knew right away what I was asking Becky to bring.  Becky’s dad is known for his stuffed mushrooms.  It’s a fact that if the Kuennen’s are having people over, Mr. K’s mushrooms will be waiting.  Not for long though.  They get snagged quickly!

I definitely recommend you whip these up next time you need an app.  People will be begging you make them again.

For Mr. K’s Stuffed Mushrooms you’ll need:

3 Pints of Mushrooms (caps only)
Approx 10 strips of bacon – cooked and crumbled (works really well if after cooked, let slightly cool and then crunch up in a baggie)
Approx 3/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 tsp Season salt
4-5 Green onions
1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375
Wash mushrooms after removing stems
Place mushrooms in buttered Pyrex dish so that the caps face up like little bowls
Mix all other ingredients together well and fill mushrooms caps (a little overfull is OK)
Cook for 20 minutes on 375 (the mushrooms always seem to need more than 20 mins)
Broil for about 5 mins to crisp up top if needed.

 Becky and I at the wine party
I thought ya’ll needed a glimpse of the Mr. K.  Here he is cuttin a rug (nothing unusual) on the dance floor at my wedding.  Yup, that’s he himself on the left. 
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Wine Party: Brie Bites
By • Filed In: Fall, Party, Recipes, Wine

I love cheese more than Rachel Zoe loves fashion.  Brie is one of my favs, baked brie especially.   Baked brie however is overdone.  So, I got this idea on Pinterest.

It’s easy.  All you need is french bread (I picked up lunch a Jimmy Johns  earlier in the day and purchesd day old bread instead), brie and fruit preserves.  You can use any flavor of jam/preserves that your taste buds desire.  I chose apricot, but raspberry, blackberry, or fig would also be yummy.

It’s easy.  All you do is slice the bread, spread on the preserves, top with a slice or two of cheese, and pop in the oven under broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Out comes a different version of  baked brie that’s quicker, silverware free, pretty, and yummy.



Keep Reading »

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Wine Party: Tablescape
By • Filed In: Fall, Party, Wine

Annnnd wine week continues. Well I guess it’s wine weeks (plural), seeing as it all started last week. Anywayzzz….we’re back with a few decoration odds n’ ends.

First up, the tablescape. The wine party wasn’t going to be a sit down dinner, so naturally we decided on a buffet style set up. We grabbed about two yards of burlap at a local fabric store to add to the rustic wine-ish feel and laid it on top of Kali’s dinning room table. Instead of just laying it out like a table cloth, we bunched it up in a few spots and placed our serving platters on those bunched up spots to hold it in place. We ended up pushing the table up against the wall to make for a more visually appealing display and then added more pom pom ball garland.

Most people probably plate their food and then place it on the table. Nope, not us. We’re rebels. We figured out what food was going to be plated on what dishes and then laid said empty dishes out on the table to decide their placement. Only once we thought we liked where everything was going to go did we actually plate the food and set up the table. I know, we’re strange. You know how there are different types of learners? Visual, auditory, etc.? Well apparently we are two very visual learners. But I digress…back to the table. We wanted to make sure we had all different heights to the dishes so we used cake stands and vases, and even apothecary jars to add dimension. Don’t worry, we’ll be sharing all the recipes in the next few days. Apparently we forgot to take a picture of the table once all the food was plated, but you get the idea.

Right next to the table is a little wine bar. We used it as a little spot to set out the plates, napkins and forks. See that picture frame leaning against the wall? It’s actually not art in there, its fabric. Kali found a little piece of fabric that went well with our colors and added it to the frame so we could use it as a dry erase board to write out the menu. Cute right?! But once again apparently we were having too much fun at the party and forgot to take a picture of it being used as such. We really need to get better at that.

Our last little decoration were shadow boxes filled with wine corks. I had a few extra white Ribba frames from Ikea laying around so I just filled them haphazardly with corks. I spray painted the backs of the frame so that the background is white instead of brown.

Want another cute idea? You could add handles to two sides of the frames an use them as serving trays!

Wine Party: Paper Crafts
By • Filed In: Fall, Party, Projects, Wine


It’s no secret I love banners.  I make them for almost every occasion (check out the ones I made for my friend’s bridal shower, here).  They’re easy, don’t take a lot of time, and make a big statement.  When deciding what kind of banners to make for the wine party, I thought back to our invitations.  I made 5 banners, each with one of the wine 5 S’s.

I used Hippie Chic scrapbook paper as the backing for each letter.  Then, I die cut white letters and glued them onto the Hippie Chic paper.  Rather than hole punching the tops of each letter and weaving ribbon through, I used the same needle and thread technique when Cortney made the pom pom garland.  I used the embroidery needle with the thread to puncture the paper.  This way the letters were the main focal point, rather than bringing attention to the ribbon.


At parties I often find myself asking the friend sitting next to me which glass on the table is mine.  Then most of the time, neither of us knows whose glass is whose!  I’m pretty lenient when it comes to sharing glasses, but I know not all people have the germ defense I gain from being surrounded by 25 seven year olds all day long.  So, these paper nametags are a useful and colorful solution.

I got the idea here on Pinterest but decided to use the same Hippie Chic paper I used to create the banners.  I cut out circles and used a hole punch to create the hole in the middle.  I then cut a slit from the hole in the center to the edge of the circle.  This allowed the paper nametag to go around the base of the glass.  Use a sharpie to write the person’s name and you’re done!


Wine Party: Mantel and Bar Setup
By • Filed In: Fall, Party, Wine

You got a sneak peak of my fire place mantel yesterday when I explained how to make the Pom Pom Garland.  Cortney and I wanted to go along with the wine theme but stay away from the typical grapes that people tend to associate wine decorations with.  We decided to fill the mantel with tons of empty wine bottles.  Weeks leading up to the party Brian and I drank a lot of wine, which isn’t out of the ordinary.  The only thing we did differently was save wine bottles rather than toss ’em.  The day of the party Cort and I assembled the bottles on the mantel and used books and picture frames to arrange them at different heights.  It turned out to be a free focal point of the room!  Well, I guess we paid for the wine, but we would have done that regardless :)


Here are some daytime photos before the party.


  A couple candles and fresh flowers finish it off at night.


Now, more importantly… drinks!  Before our wine consultant arrived we served beer, wine, water (for our preggo friend, Wendy), and Cortney’s yummy butterscotch cider (keep coming back this week to find the recipe for the delicious concoction).  I used the hutch in my kitchen as the bar setup.  We laid out the wine glass nametags (again, keep coming back for details!), lowball glasses for Cort’s butterscotch cider, and a small tub of beer and water.  To add a little fall flair I laid out my bulletin board with pumpkin cutouts.  I used scrapbook paper to die cut the pumpkin patterns and tacked them on.



Wine Party: The Decorations
By • Filed In: Fall, Party, Wine

Last year when I was planning my wedding, I came across this idea in a Martha Stewart Weddings magazine.  Martha had taken different lace patterns and put them in embroidery rings.  In her magazine, they were hung above a reception dinner table.  I didn’t incorporate this into my wedding, but loved the simple, antique, look so much that the image has been kept in my brain’s party file.  Cort and I decided to make them for our wine party but changed them up a bit by painting the lace with our color scheme: plum, dark green, and orange.

Materials: We purchased the embroidery rings (in three different sizes), lace fabric, and paint from Hancock Fabrics.  We used sponge paint brushes to apply the paint.   You’ll also need scissors.

First, loosen the screws on the embroidery rings and  separate the rings.  Insert the lace fabric, put the rings back together, and tighten the screws. Next, cut the lace around the ring.

They looked great as is, but we wanted to add some color so we painted the lace and let it dry over night.

The day of the party we used string and tape to hang them along my windows. The best part is we can take the lace out and reuse the rings in the future.

Notice something else in the pic above (bottom left pic in the group of four)? Yep, more DIY decorations. Cortney saw a listing on Etsy a while back for a string of pom pom garland but didn’t think much of it until we started planning for this party. She loves garland of all types. Don’t believe me? Take a look at her Party Inspiration board on Pinterest. So when she couldn’t find the original garland she set her eyes on, she knew DIY was the answer. Here’s what the final product looked like:

Want a tutorial? Well if you said no, too bad, you’re getting one anyway. All you need is some embroidery thread, an embroidery needle, and a bag of pom poms of any size.

Thread the needle just like you would to sew something and knot it at the end. Then simply push the needle through the center of a pom pom and slide it down to the end of the thread. Continue doing that one at a time until you have enough pom poms on your garland. Super simple!

Just make sure you lay them flat when storing it otherwise the poms get all tangled in each other and you get a big ball O’ mess.

And there you have it, two simple DIY decorations. Enjoy!