August 15th, 2011 |

Tomato Terrine

I absolutely love this time of year: Tomato season.  The time has come where I can’t walk out of Whole Foods without a dozen colorful, grungy-looking tomatoes because they just look that.good.  When my friend’s kids are digging tomatoes out of their little vegetable garden and handing them out like their candy, and when I start exploring for simple, new ways to use them.

If you are looking for some of my old favorites, you can check out posts here, here and here.  “Tomato Fest” is always a fabulous excuse to throw a party this time of year.  I came across this tomato terrine recipe on Bon Appetit and I.can’t.wait.to.try.it!

August 9th, 2011 |

Red Sangria

This morning I shared my favorite white wine sangria recipe from Food Network, and now I am back with my favorite red version!  Delicious and easy to make, this one comes from Emeril Lagasse.   Both are perfect for a summer cocktail party….which is your favorite?

Ingredients

  • 2 bottles chilled dry red wine, like Rioja
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
  • 2 oranges, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 Meyer lemons, cut into thin rounds
  • 3 Key limes, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 cups cold club soda

Directions

In a large pot or bowl, combine the wine, brandy, orange juice, and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange, lemon, andlime slices, the apples and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator and add the soda. Serve in glasses over ice.

August 9th, 2011 |

White Sangria

Good Morning, Everyone!  Charynn here from Two Sugar Babies.  Since Kelly is dreaming of a party based around a Sangria & Tapas theme, I figured I would chime in with my favorite sangria recipes!

I got this a.maz.ing recycled glass pitcher for my birthday and i’ve been dying to use it. sure, traditional lemonade would be “okay,” but i definitely found a better solution…sangria!  Here is my favorite recipe for White Sangria from Michael Chiarello of Food Network….head back later today to see my favorite Red!

Ingredients

  • 3 bottles pinot grigio
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy
  • 3/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • blood orange, thinly sliced
  • 3 kumquats, sliced
  • lime, thinly sliced

Directions

In a large pitcher, combine the wine, brandy, and orange liqueur. Pour in the sugar, stir or shake the pitcher thoroughly to mix. Add all citrus slices at once. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 hour before serving to allow the citrus flavor to come through.

August 8th, 2011 |

Party Ideas: Sangria & Tapas Party

Sangria and tapas are two of my favorite things.  Mix them together and you have the key components for a fabulous summer party! Perfect for a cocktail party, Spanish tapas can range from bite-size finger foods to skewered delights. These small-plate dishes are perfect for a crowd and are meant to be shared.

Pottery Barn has a fabulous party plan for hosting a party….you can check it out here.

August 2nd, 2011 |

Beat the Heat with 4 No-Cook Dishes

It has been SO HOT here lately!  In the upper 90′s every single day, and I am doing everything I can to avoid cooking!  My husband is getting pretty annoyed with the “lets go out tonight” comment he receives when he walks in the door after work – so I decided it was time to find some delicious, no-cook recipes that might help carry my dinner meal plan thru the end of the summer.  Williams Sonoma has a fabulous selection of them!  Top on my list: caprese salad, sonoma succotash salad, avocado, tomato and bacon tartines, and heirloom tomato gazpacho.

July 27th, 2011 |

Drinks in the Garden

Looking for a unique way to serve drinks in the garden this summer?  This moss-covered tray is perfect for serving up lemonade in mason jars!  Simple, pretty and oh, so charming!

Image via The Knot

July 26th, 2011 |

The DIY Drink Bar

Bon Appetit has a fabulous feature on their website right now for setting up a do-it-yourself drink bar for your next party.  Based around a mojito concept, they give you ideas for condiments to use for muddled drinks.  Let guests do their own mixing and muddling from a setup that includes fruit, syrups, and spirits.

July 18th, 2011 |

Veggie Dip: Re-Styled

Eddie Ross is one of my go-to sites for entertaining inspiration.  I love how he often thinks outside of the box when it comes to staging, serving or displaying traditional, simple items.  This time, however, it was his thinking INSIDE the box that has me excited.  Veggie dip – it’s a known favorite at any summer gathering.  But how do you make it look appealing, look more exciting than your traditional chip ‘n dip plate?!

I’m LOVING how Eddie displayed his veggie dip here – using berry baskets to house veggies, a lettuce head to house the dip, and {what looks like} a galvanized tray to house everything – it has modernized the veggie dip.  Pure genius!

July 11th, 2011 |

WooHoo! It’s Birthday Week!

It’s an exciting week around here….it’s BIRTHDAY WEEK!  My (32nd) birthday is tomorrow, so I thought we should take a cue and showcase fun, unique birthday party ideas ALL.WEEK.LONG.  Fun, right?!  There may even be a fun surprise for all of you too….but you will have to check back tomorrow for that news!

First up this week are creative birthday cakes.  Whether you are hosting a 1st, a 10th, a 21st or a 60th birthday party, the cake should be a key element.  Here are some of my favorite cakes (probably suited more for adult parties).

I love the texture on each on of these, the unique shape, the creative idea of stacking cupcakes atop a cake…fun, fun, fun!

If a theme party is on the docket for your child’s next party, take a look at some of these creative cakes.  Perfect for a beach party, under the sea party, or an ice cream social!

Images: macaroon cake (theknot.com), cupcake cake (epicurious.com), truffle cake (instyleweddings.com), pink snowball cake (theknot.com), banner cake (eatcakebemerry.com), under the sea cake (hellonaomi.com), surfboard cake (carriesellman.com), ice cream cake (bhg.com)

July 8th, 2011 |

Time to Luau!

Summer is the perfect time to host a luau-themed party!  Tropical details, bright colors and delicious food are all you need to wow your guests.  Traditional Hawaiian elements such as sand, shells, and floral prints can be used to decorate both an adults and kids table, while these four delicious bites will appeal to guests young and old!

1. caramelized Maui onion dip 2. papaya and avocado salad 3. char siu-glazed pork sliders 4. coconut lime shrimp

Images: pink tablesetting (instyleweddings.com), kids tablesetting (projectwedding.com)

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