I Do Brew
In July, my sister Kaley and I threw a super fun (and super adorable, if I do say so myself) couples shower for our youngest sister and her (now) husband. The theme was “I do Brew” to appeal to the male guests that were dragged along, and it was an evening mostly full of eating, drinking and lawn games. What’s not to enjoy!? The details of the evening turned out so cute that I’ve been anxious to share them, as well as the sources and recipes for how to recreate your own outdoor beer themed BBQ party.
The invitations were from Minted, and were designed to mimic cardboard coasters like what you would find at a bar! I thought they were so cute and a very clever twist on a traditional invitation. They also have “Baby & Brew” themed invitations if you were throwing a couples’ baby shower and needed some hoppy incentive for the daddies to attend. The ONLY thing I would caution a party thrower about regarding invitations is to beware that square envelopes require more postage than rectangle envelopes (don’t get me started on how annoying I find this). Good info to keep in mind for Christmas cards, baby announcements or any type of bulk mailing you do through paper providers like Minted, Tiny Prints, etc. as they always have adorable circle or square card styles. *Some of these paper suppliers have a new feature available where they send you rectangle envelopes if you select them to help offset the price of shipping – pay close attention to all of these details during checkout!
As for the “Amazing Cookies” – I’m still in my infancy of cookie decorating so I’m not quite ready to share my method (or my madness) for that very tedious art form, but I think the beer cookies turned out pretty good considering I’m such an amateur! They were, at the very least, delicious.
Our menu for the evening consisted of the following:
Pulled Pork (with or without buns, dressed with your sauce of choice)
Mac & Cheese
Bailey’s S’more Mousse Shooters
S’more Chex Mix
Kaley and I spent a good amount of time scouring Pinterest and creating a secret board as we prepared for the party. We pinned inspiration for floral arrangements, food, and the overall theme of the party. I love how it all came together combining the best of a BBQ/Beer/Shabby Chic/Summery mash-up of goodness.
Because I have tons of mason jars I’ve collected over the years already at home, I made floral arrangements by grouping various sized mason jars with craft beer bottles using plants from the fresh greens section at Martin’s floral department (baby’s breath and miscellaneous greenery only). It turned out perfectly, giving it a shabby chic and whimsical look (not to mention, my floral skills are nothing to brag about so this was easy-peasy).
Something funny about Maddie, our bride-to-be: she is obsessed with miniature foods. If she is asked to provide a dish for a party, I guarantee 9 times out of 10, it will be in miniature form. So we were able to incorporate some tiny, shooter-style dishes into the evening that was totally up her alley. First was a super simple veggie shooter. We purchased all of the miniature serving shooters and spoons at our local Party City store, but you can also find a great variety of disposable serving ware on Amazon.
For the veggies:
- Pour some ranch dipping sauce into the bottom of your shooter.
- Slice up veggies nice and thin so they fit in the cup.
- Create a variety of shooters if you’d like as some people may be attracted to cups that contain certain veggies over others.
- Think about how pretty the colors and combos will be as you prepare (we had some amazing fresh peppers from my mom’s garden that were a deep purple, and turns out they looked horrifically unappealing in the veggie shooters because of their color… sorry Mom, we threw them in our salad later that week instead).
Then came the delicious and gorgeous dessert shooters, which can be originally found right here.
Bailey’s S’mores Mousse Recipe:
- ½ cup fat-free vanilla greek yogurt
- 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons Truvia Baking Blend
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coffee extract
- 3 tablespoons Bailey’s Coffee Liquor (Optional, but seriously… don’t skip it)
- 1 cup lite whipped topping
- Graham Cracker Base:
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
- 8 Torched Marshmallows
- Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 8 bite size chocolate squares
- Mousse: In a mixing bowl, mix the yogurt, cream cheese, Truvia, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, coffee extract and Bailey’s with a hand mixer until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped topping just until combined.
- Assemble: In eight small jars or large shot glasses, add 1 tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of each jar. Top with mousse.
- Garnish: Top each with one marshmallow, graham cracker crumbsand one chocolate square.
We had to quadruple this recipe to accommodate our guests, but typically one batch serves 8 and each dessert comes in at less than 150 calories a piece! Also, use a piping bag or the corner of a gallon bag to squeeze this into each shot glass and save yourself a huge mess!
We wanted to throw in as many personal touches as we could throughout the party, so we bought these cute paper envelope bags on Amazon in which we placed cutlery and napkins. To personalize them, I designed a graphic and printed them directly onto the bags through my laser jet printer. It took a little time to feed the bags through the paper tray, but a super cute touch. We then encouraged guests to reuse their paper bags later in the evening for S’mores Mix.
This stuff caught me off guard with how addicting it was! It was definitely a crumbly mixture that didn’t have a lot to hold the elements together, but it was a delicious combo (the golden graham cereal, y’all… it killed me dead).
- 3 cups golden graham cereal
- 1½ cups mini pretzels
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Mix together your cereal, pretzels, marshmallows and ½ cup chocolate chips.
- Lay mixture out on parchment paper on your counter top.
- Melt remaining chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments until its creamy.
- Scoop chocolate into a small ziplock bag, snip the corner and drizzle over the top of mixture.
- Allow chocolate to sit until its set and then break into pieces and store in airtight container.
For the party favors, we gave each guests a bottle of Not Your Father’s Root Beer with a custom beer koozie. We tied them up with a cute little paper straw and voila – everyone had a roadie. JUST KIDDING, STOP IT! No one drank these on the road, of course… we made sure to not refrigerate them to eliminate any temptation (see my shiny halo?).
The remaining food we played the Easy Card on, deciding to split the real work load up between items that were really worth the effort, and recognizing that some things are just as good when you buy them ready made. The Kale Salad and Mac & Cheese were both purchased at Costco, ready to serve. The pork could not be simpler (get a pork shoulder without bone, throw it in the crock pot on high after seasoning it in salt & pepper and/or your favorite meat rub; let it cook for 6-8 hours, shred it up and you’re good to go).
The party was super fun, super cute and a fabulous memory. PLUS we really won’t forget the night’s events because later in the evening, poor Stockton stepped in some rocks causing him to twist his knee out of place. He spent the rest of the evening being stoically miserable but put on a great face, then Monday morning we visited with the orthopedic surgeon who gave us a plan for surgery. Well, lo and behold, I am currently nursing a very ouchie husband back to health as his knee surgery was yesterday (which explains my nap time blogging while, literally, every male in my house rests). Ah, memories. I’m going to reminisce about the Bailey’s Mousse until real life requires me to get up and kiss boo-boos or chauffeur little boys to swim team.
Kaley & I hope you enjoyed seeing the finished product of our party planning efforts. If you have any questions about recipe specifics or wish to enlist some pro-pinning for your next project, we can both attest to the addiction of masterminding a fun event. Contact us if you’d like to talk parties!