May 5th, 2011 |

Polenta and Eggplant Stack

I’m always on the look-out for gluten-free recipes….especially ones that look mouth-watering good!  This polenta eggplant stack from Woman’s Day looks absolutely delicious and will be tested out in my kitchen this evening!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small eggplant (8 oz), halved, sliced (3 cups)
  • 3⁄4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 small zucchini (8 oz), sliced (2 cups)
  • 1⁄4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1⁄4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tube (16 to 18 oz) ready- to-heat polenta, cut into 8 slices
  • 1 large plum tomato, cut into 8 slices
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, heated in microwave
  • Garnish: chopped fresh basil

Directions

Heat 1 of the oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet. Add eggplant and onion. Cover and cook over medium-high heat 4 minutes, stirring a few times until slightly softened.  Add 1 tsp of the remaining oil, the zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 6 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are tender. Remove to bowl; wipe or rinse skillet.

Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in skillet. Add polenta; cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat until bottoms are golden.  Turn off the heat, turn polenta and spoon the vegetable mixture onto polenta (it’s OK if some falls onto the skillet). Top each with 1 slice of tomato and sprinkle with cheese.

Place the skillet over low heat; cover and cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with basil, if desired, and serve with sauce.

April 29th, 2011 |

Cabana Lunch + Creative Salad Bar

Event Planner, Beth Beattie, sent me over these pictures from a recent Cabana Lunch she planned for a client.  My still-cold-in-Chicago-self was drooling over them, wishing I was sitting oceanside!  But then the party planner in me kicked in and I saw this amazing salad bar vessel that Beth had made for the event.  It’s genius!   And I knew I had to share it with you!  Here are a few details from Beth:

Guests were greeted with mango margaritas and each received a beach bag full of goodies –  towel from Restoration Hardware, bag from Z Gallerie, magazine, sunscreen, Trish McEvoy cosmetic bag, chapstick from Tammy Fender and a few other miscellaneous items.  The table setting was orange polka dot plates an rattan chargers atop the tribe table with seagrass stools from Bubble Miami. Flowers were assorted peonies, Gerber daisies and roses by VM Flowers. Lunch was presented in the custom salad bar followed by assorted sorbets catered by Christafaro’s.

April 26th, 2011 |

Simple Cinco de Mayo Recipes

I’m a sucker for Mexican food (especially since so much of it is based around corn products….which works nicely with my gluten-free lifestyle!), so when Cinco de Mayo comes around, I like whipping out a few new recipes to celebrate with friends!  Food Network has a great collection of recipes hand-picked by their celebrity chefs, and these are four that are on my radar for next week:

April 14th, 2011 |

Creative Easter Eggs

These creative ideas from Better Homes and Gardens have me wanting to run out to the store to get eggs to dye!

April 13th, 2011 |

Preppy Mod Baby Shower: The Dessert Table

Monday, we showed you the table setting details from our preppy mod baby shower feature from The Party Dress Magazine, and today we are back with the detail shots of the color-coordinated dessert table!  We created this tablescape with a combination of white and glass cake stands, apothecary jars and platters.

Our custom designs were placed on couture cookies by Allyson Jane, a f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s fondant cake topper by Two Sugar Babies and cupcake toppers (which we used on lemon bars!).  Coordinated candy jar tags, food tent cards and signage help to brand the party and give it a very special look.

April 8th, 2011 |

Mimosa Bar: Colorful Spring Cocktails

Anyone hosting a party this weekend?!  I shared one of my favorite entertaining ideas in the first issue of The Party Dress Magazine….a stunning mimosa bar!  You can step up the style at your next cocktail party or brunch with a colorful mimosa bar
full of flavor and garnish options.  They are simple to set up and offer the hostess a stunning, yet hands-off method for serving a crowd.  Simple touches, like a striking centerpiece or interesting linens, can make your table unique.

Create a balance of containers around one grand centerpiece to create this symmetrical look.  Square, cube vases in varying sizes were used to hold the champagne bottles on ice and fruit garnishes.  Oil cruets are used to house the various fruit nectars, and color-coded tags helped to identify and brand the table further.  Add a few rows of flutes and voila!

Do you like the drink tags?!  Well, it’s your lucky day!  Click HERE for a free download to use at your next party.

April 1st, 2011 |

Spring Desserts {perfect for Easter!}

With Spring blooming a little bit more every day, I find myself getting busier and busier printing Spring party supplies!  Birthdays, bridal showers, and Easter brunches and egg hunts.  It makes me so happy to see how many people are hosting parties coming up in the next month!  That being said….when there is a party, there must be desserts!  I’ve compiled a list of 8 darling dessert ideas that are sure to delight your guests young and old.  Perfect for Easter egg hunts and brunches, and garden birthday parties, these desserts are going to knock your socks off!

  1. Fruit Slice Cookies
  2. Daisy Cupcakes
  3. Carrot Cake Cupcakes
  4. Cake Pops
  5. Bunny Cake
  6. Birds Nest Cupcake
  7. Cookie Cake
  8. Flower Garden Cake

March 7th, 2011 |

Luck of the Irish Dinner Party

St. Patrick’s Day is a HUGE holiday in our family.  Always has been….always will be!  It’s a great opportunity to gather friends and family during this bland month for a little festive cheer and some delicious food!  Whether your celebration is big or small, these recipes from Williams-Sonoma are sure to please!

Image via A Perfect Event

February 17th, 2011 |

Blush Punch

I’m always looking for non-alcoholic “cocktail” recipes – and this one from Style at Home looks DELICIOUS!

Ingredients

  • One 12-ounce container frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 4 cups club soda, chilled
  • Garnish: lemon curls (optional)

Directions
Combine the pink lemonade concentrate and cranberry juice cocktail in a large pitcher or container. Stir in the club soda just before serving. Pour into champagne flutes. Garnish, if desired.  And I love the concept of serving punch in champagne glasses instead of the traditional punch glass, don’t you?!


February 8th, 2011 |

playful panini POPS!

Playful Panini Pops

Perfect for your next playdate, valentine’s day party or kid’s birthday party, Panini Happy came up with this adorable idea!  These are basically mini grilled cheese sandwiches on a stick, so you can choose whatever bread and cheese you like. It’s probably best to stick with the semi-firm cheeses, as soft cheeses may melt too much to hold the lollipop sticks in place.

INGREDIENTS

Sliced country-style bread (relatively dense is best, I used sourdough)
Cheese (semi-firm, such as cheddar)
Finely crumbled or minced add-ins (e.g., bacon, herbs, peppers, olives)

Lollipop sticks (I used Wilton’s)
Cookie cutters

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat (375°).

Assemble your panini, incorporating a generous amount of cheese to ensure there will be enough to hold the lollipop sticks in place.

Grill the panini for about 4 minutes until golden grill marks appear. Remove from the heat and immediately cut out shapes with cookie cutters (NOTE: If you’re using a metal cutter it will get HOT very quickly, so take care not to burn your fingers) and insert lollipop sticks.

Depending on the cheese you’re using you may need to wait a minute or two for the cheese to set the stick in place before serving. Enjoy!

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