My sister and I are pretty busy people, so even though we live in the same city, making time to catch up can be a challenge. When we do clear our schedule and make time, it’s usually a sweatpants and reality TV affair. So when Chandon reached out to me to host a “Besties” get-together, I thought it would be fun to elevate Amanda and my typical night in. But not too much – we’ll never give up our trashy TV.
The key to making a casual hang out feel a bit more purposeful is in the details. Don’t pour any bottle, pour sparkling wine. Don’t serve plain popcorn, dress it up a bit. Encourage casual attire like chic house slippers and cotton joggers. Snuggle under a blanket but bust out the fancy glassware.
Amanda is the jewelry designer behind Luv AJ, so accessories are key for her. Underneath her power jewelry and vintage leopard trench, she’s in leather leggings and her favorite t-shirt. It’s amazing what a few key pieces can do.
For me, I’m in a breezy white tee shirt and my favorite ancient joggers that I stole from Amanda. They look cute and like I’m making an effort – but honestly, they’re pajama bottoms. I added my go-to lazy girl shoes, velvet house slippers, because for a casual catch up, heels aren’t necessary.
You wouldn’t expect sparkling wine and popcorn to be the perfect pairing, but it’s the perfect high/low balance. Chandon has a dry crispness and citrus punch that is the perfect counterpoint to popcorn’s butter and salt. Sparkling wine is classically paired with rich, salty, creamy cheeses, so this is the same idea, just perfect for a movie night.
The fancy looking popcorn could not be easier to whip up. For a fun punch of color I added some pink food coloring, rainbow sprinkles and – that’s right – GOLD. If you’re going to make it a fancy ladies’ night in, you have to have gold somewhere, right?
6 cups plain popped popcorn (i used an air popper)
3/4 cup melted white chocolate
1 drop pink food coloring
edible gold flakes
pinch of kosher salt
Lay the popcorn on a lined baking sheet, careful not to overlap the popcorn too much. Melt the white chocolate (either use a double boiler or pop in the microwave for 30 second increments), and drizzle half of it over the popcorn. Add the drop of food coloring and loosely blend (I kept it marbled looking) and drizzle over popcorn again. Sprinkle with sprinkles, gold, and a little bit of salt. Let the popcorn sit for about 10 minutes, until the white chocolate hardens. Break up and serve.