Last weekend we welcomed family and friends over for our Fall Fiesta inspired open house/housewarming party! It was a wonderful day for us to celebrate all the hard work we’ve put into our forever home, with our favorite food, plenty of wine and great company!
We planned our housewarming party around our favorite food, Mexican, with a Fiesta style celebration.
Here’s a peek at the invitation that went out a few weeks in advance.
I created the invites using Photoshop and sent them out via email and text, individually. I prefer to send my invites directly when I can’t mail them, for a personal touch.
For the decor, I kept it pretty simple, so as not to take away from the unique details of our home. We strung white papel picado from our main entrance and I turned white pumpkins into floral arrangements using bright seasonal dahlia’s and roses.
In addition to the pumpkin arrangements, I used Jarritos glass soda bottles as vases and placed them around our home, along with plenty of cacti. Fresh limes, jalepenos and cilantro also dressed up the tables. Along with a few white maracas that I ordered online.
A simple triangular gold foil banner hung from our mantel with white jumbo balloons floating around our living room.
I made a few chalkboard signs. One for the drinks and to also share a little more info about our home building process.
My look of the night was this Y neck white lace dress, accessorized with gold pentagon hoop earrings, Essie “Berry Naughty” polish and a bold lip! The dress has a tulle hem and an A-line fit that’s so figure flattering! Since I’m a sucker for a good lace number it didn’t take me long to decide on this style, in white of course.
You can shop my entire party look via the links below.
Normally my hubby and I would take on the food, because we love to cook, but we really wanted to enjoy our company and have time to visit, so we hired a caterer. I am so glad we did! Not only did hiring the caterer free up our time to spend with guests, but also cut down on our work before and after the party!
Crave Catering did an amazing job creating a menu that suited all of our needs. Street Tacos were the main course, with delicious sides of guac, salsa, homemade seasoned chips, black beans and accompaniments. I can’t say enough about how delicious the food was. This was in addition to the amazing Chicken Tortilla soup and fresh pico de gallo that my mom was kind enough to make for the party. It was the first day that we had a heavy rain so soup was a welcomed addition to the menu.
“Taco bout a party”!
Most everything that we served was gluten-free with dairy free options available as well. Because I don’t eat beef or pork, it was important to have a poultry and seafood option for the tacos as well.
All food was served on the cactus and watercolor plates from my shop! The watercolor napkins can also be found there!
Though I love a good margarita and enjoy making them, we opted to serve beer and wine at this party. My hubby picked up his favorite I.P.A. from a local Brewery, Aslan. We also served our favorite red wine, and two whites.
Erath Pinot Noir, Latah Creek Pinot Gris and Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc were all on the menu.
For Non-Alcoholic options, Crave Catering made us this delicious Lemon, Lime and Basil Cooler that everyone loved. We also served La Croix Sparkling Waters and Bottled Water.
Sweet options are a must for any celebration so I made a double batch of Churro Macarons for our guests to enjoy! I topped all the shells with a cinnamon and sugar blend and filled them with a cinnamon vanilla cream. They didn’t last long!
Here’s my recipe so you can give them a try too!
French Macarons topped with cinnamon and sugar and filled with a cinnamon and vanilla bean cream. Churro inspired. Dairy & Gluten Free.
FOR THE FRENCH MACARONS
- 106 grams of almond meal
- 106 grams powdered sugar
- 41 and 45 grams of egg whites divided
- 115 grams of granulated sugar
- 79 grams of water
- dash of cream of tartar or lemon juice for stabilizing
- Cinnamon and sugar mix for topping the shells
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 cup organic shortening (or butter)
- 1 tsp Vanilla or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 cup confectioners sugar
For the macarons:
- First things first! Wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk attachment with vinegar to remove any built up residue. This will ensure that the egg whites whisk up properly!
- Prep and measure all of the ingredients using a kitchen scale.
- Prep a piping bag with a round tip. I use Wilton tip 10.
- Line 2 baking sheets with silpat (or parchment).
- Combine measured almond meal & powdered sugar together in a bowl. Sift one time to remove any lumps, discarding of them, then mix together to break up clumps.
- Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the 41 grams of measured egg whites into the center of the dry mixture. Fold together until blended. The finished mix will be paste-like. Set aside.
- For the sugar syrup:
- To make the sugar syrup, heat granulated sugar and water in a pot on medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side. **Be careful to make sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot**.
- Once the thermometer’s temperature reaches approximately 200 degrees F, place the 45 grams of measured egg whites in the stand mixer and whisk on medium speed, to soft peaks.
- Add a drop of lemon juice or dash of cream of tartar to stabilize, THEN continue whisking.
- If the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248 F, turn the mixer down to low speed to keep the egg whites moving.
- Watch the sugar syrup closely!
- As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, remove from heat.
- Quickly increase mixer speed to medium and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of your mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined.
- THEN increase the mixing speed to high and whisk sugar and meringue together until glossy and stiff peaks form and the meringue has cooled. (The meringue should keep its form.)
- Gently transfer finished meringue into the almond/powdered sugar mixture in thirds, making sure that it’s fully incorporated before adding the additional 3rd of meringue.
- Continue to fold the batter in a circular motion, going around the edges of the bowl, then once through the center. Repeat these steps until smooth and thick ribbons of batter run off the spatula.
- **Be careful not to over-mix**
- You want the batter to be slightly thick, but not so thin that it does not hold the ribbon shape. Err on the side of caution.
- Transfer batter to the prepped piping bag(s).
- Pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds about one inch apart on the lined baking sheet.
- Be sure to hold the piping bag about 1/2 inch directly above the baking sheet when piping the rounds. Continue to pipe until you’ve filled an entire baking sheet.
- *Tap the macarons on the counter three times to release air bubbles.
- *Pop any air bubbles that might’ve come to the surface, using a scribe or even a toothpick!
- Dust the tops of the piped macaron batter with cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Before placing the macs in the oven, allow them to rest until a proper skin has formed on the outside of the shell. This can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Test by touching the piped rounds to make sure they’re dry to touch and that no batter comes off on fingers.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Once dry to touch, place the macarons in the middle rack of the oven.
- Feet will form halfway through the baking process.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow 15-20 minutes to cool before attempting to remove the shells from the silpat/parchment paper.
- Once macarons are completely cool, gently remove from parchment paper/silpat.
- Repeat same steps to bake the remaining macaron batter.
- They’re ready to fill.
For the Cinnamon Vanilla Cream Filling
- Pour all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix together until fully incorporated.
- Transfer to a piping bag with tip of your choice. I used a Wilton 2D.
- Pipe the cinnamon filling into the center of the cooled macarons placing another shell on top to create a sandwich. Repeat these steps to fill all macarons.
I recommend allowing your macs 12 hours to set in the fridge before serving.
- Keep well sealed and freeze if not eaten within 1-2 days.
Keywords: macarons, churro, baking, dessert
In addition to the churro macs, we ordered chili pepper gummy candy that ended up being entirely too spicy to serve without a warning label! You might’ve seen a bit more about that over on instagram. To my surprise, several people ate them and they actually ended up being a fun treat to try, along with the Chili Mango Nerds and Guava/Pineapple Laffy Taffy. The Margarita Jelly Bellys were a fun addition as well!
We were hoping to share our view and outdoor patio with guests, but the rain came down heavily all evening. Fortunately that gave us the opportunity to start a fire and enjoy all our company while staying cozy indoors.
We celebrated for about 4-5 hours and as guests went home for the evening, we gave out Cactus cookie cutters and cactus tattoos (cactoos) as parting gifts.
My only regret was not taking photos of the food and company. I guess I was having too much fun to even remember!
As you can see from the sign above, it took us exactly 612 days to complete the construction of our home! Nearly two years! Though the process was exhausting and daunting at times, nothing compares to where we are now and how much we’ve grown as a family in the process.
We’re truly happy here!
A special thank you to my love for all that he does for my girls and I, and for all the hard work he put into our forever home. 612 days worth! My wonderful Mom, for her delicious soup and pico de gallo and for contributing and helping out at the party! Crave Catering for the memorable food and service! I would recommend them to anyone local that needs catering.
And last but not least our guests! We are so thankful for your company and truly appreciate you helping us celebrate such a special milestone in our lives!