Captain Morgan’s Holiday Party & 2 Rum Filled recipes!

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Happy Thursday friends! I hope you’re all having a great day thus far. It’s my (GASP) 27th birthday so I’m in great spirits (despite a slight detour at the DMV this morning). I thought I’d celebrate my day of birth on this blog by sharing the fabulous ugly Christmas sweater party we had on Saturday! As you know, I’m participating in Captain Morgan’s Spice up the Holiday blogger competition and one of our challenges was to host a little holiday soiree with our friends where we could serve up the rum inspired creations we made! But, before we get to the food, I have to share some of these hilarious photos. Our friends didn’t take the term “ugly Christmas sweater” lightly.

When it came to planning this, the theme was actually all my husbands idea. He said “I want to have an ugly Christmas sweater party” so I obliged. As much as I love a fun, elegant, classy party, I also love dressing up in weird outfits and acting like a hooligan. Plus, we’re all young (mid – late twenties) so anytime we can get together and act like we’re still 21, we do it.

Yes, they are doing shots with bacon. Don’t ask. 

Bah, looking back on these I can’t help but CRACK UP! When I was thinking of a menu, I wanted to stick with the theme as much as I could. I wanted “ugly” food that was also traditional holiday grub that’s a little nostalgic. So we had some old school Velveeta cheese dip, some spiked eggnog, a roasted chicken, brightly colored veggie trays, a peppermint cake, meatballs and a GIANT helping of slow roasted pork shoulder (thanks to Mykyl!)

*The lighting in the kitchen is awful, so I’m sorry for the low-quality photos!

In addition to these, I also served the rum recipes I created exclusively for Captain Morgan!

  • Mushroom, Goat Cheese & Rum Crostini (RECIPE BELOW!)

  • Cranberry, Apple & Rum Crumble (RECIPE BELOW!)

I wanted the dishes I made with Captain to be classic holiday dishes that are messy and a bit ugly to match our sweaters. The nutella eggnog is a traditional holiday drink and I gussied it up with a bit of nutella, rum and some chocolate shavings. For the crostinis, I sauteed the mushrooms, onions and garlic in a heaping spoonful of Captain Morgan black, to give them an oaky, spicy finish. To give it some color, I added a few crumbles of goat cheese (which kind of look like those cotton ball snowman on an ugly sweater) and some baby arugula. For dessert, I made two delicious recipes. The boozy banana bread is a classic made modern with the addition of a melt in your mouth glaze. The crumble is another classic holiday dish, which I spruced up with some fresh cranberries and rum. (Everyone agreed this dessert looked the most like an ugly sweater!) 

I had such an incredible time planning, hosting and partaking in this party. Don’t forget to check out the recipes for the crostini and crumble right below!

Rum Soaked Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crustini


Serves 15.
Prep time: >5 minutes
Cook time: About 14 minutes


  • 15 slices of crispy French bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons Captain Morgan Black
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • Baby arugula


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grase a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add in mushrooms, garlic and salt and pepper, cook about a minute longer. Pour in rum, reduce heat to medium and cook vegetables until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 – 5 more minutes. Garnish with a bit more salt and pepper.
  3. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of mushroom mixture onto each slice of French bread. Add about 1/2 an ounce of goat cheese on each crostini. Place crostinis on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until goat cheese is slightly melted. Add arugula and serve!

Nutritional information per crostini:

Calories: 75
Fat: 3.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Fiber: 0 grams
Protein: 2.5 grams
Weight Watchers Points:  2

Boozy Cranberry & Apple Crumble


Serves about 6.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes


For the filling: 

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Captain Morgan spiced rum
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

For the topping: 

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 3 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix apples, cranberries, lemon juice, brown sugar, rum and pumpkin pie spice. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour apple/cranberry mixture into your prepared 3 quart baking dish.
  4. Mix flour, brown sugar and cinnamon together in another bowl. Using a pastry knife, cut in the butter to the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse sand. Sprinkle mixture over the fruit filling.
  5. Bake for about 35 – 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Serve warm with whipped cream!

Nutritional information per 2/3 cup serving: 

Calories: 288
Fat: 9 grams
Carbohydrates: 40 grams
Fiber: >1
Protein: 1.25
Weight Watchers Points:  7

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  1. Posted by Elliot S Volkman on
    Thursday, December 6th, 2012
    Let it be known, that on that day the Bacon Back was created! Everything was fantastic there, and I almost entirely avoided getting in any photos.
  2. Posted by Meredith Wise on
    Thursday, December 6th, 2012
    I had a blast. Love the photos of me & Ry chugging Captain. :)
  3. Posted by Aimee @ Shugarysweets on
    Thursday, December 6th, 2012
    OMG I LOVE the ugly sweater idea! So perfect!!! Cracking up....
  4. Posted by The Beeroness on
    Thursday, December 6th, 2012
    Happy Birthday Friend! And I love the idea of an ugly christmas sweater/yummy food/ bacon shots, party.
  5. Posted by Tutti Dolci on
    Friday, December 7th, 2012
    Happy Birthday! What a fun party idea!
  6. Posted by Kathryn on
    Friday, December 7th, 2012
    This looks like it was the best party in the history of parties.
  7. Posted by Robin Sue on
    Monday, December 10th, 2012
    I am so kicking myself for ever getting rid of my ugly Christmas Sweater, it even had a built in candycane purse and feathered cuffs. Awesome looking party and some really great looking eats. Bravo!
  8. Posted by justonecookbook on
    Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
    Sounds like you had an awesome party and I'm so glad you shared the pictures of everyone's "ugly sweater"!!! LOL. Happy belated birthday Claire! 27 is still young!!! Trust me. After 32 I don't remember my age anymore... ;)
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