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!

February 1st, 2011 |

Marshmallow Hearts

What’s light, fluffy and loved by all?  Marshmallows, of course!

What’s better than a homemade marshmallow?  A heart-shaped homemade marshmallow, of course!

These little cuties stole my heart and I can’t wait to try them out for Valentine’s Day!  Great for a dessert table or even just a sweet treat for you and your loved ones.  The recipe from All You is oh, so simple to follow and it’s a great project to do with your kids on a snowy day!

January 31st, 2011 |

Project Nursery: Sweet Party Themes

Two Sugar Babies just launched an exclusive collection of designs that coordinate back to some of the WH Hostess best selling invitations and party collections!  I’m showing off these cute, coordinating fondant toppers today over at Project Nursery.  Head on over there to check them out!

January 12th, 2011 |

Easy Updates to Favorite Valentine’s Day Treats

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I started thinking about what type of sweet treats I want to make this year for my loved ones.  I, like most of you, have my go-to desserts that I know I do well and that are loved by all….so sometimes it’s hard to stray from those beloved recipes.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t tweak them a bit, right?!

Take the classic chocolate cake, for example.  Typically I would make it, frost it and decorate it….but doesn’t it look oh, so sweet like this?  I love how you can see the layers and the fluffy, pink frosting!  The recipe for this chocolate cherry stack cake doesn’t sound so bad either!

Do you make frosted sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day?  I do!  And I love this idea of making them a cookie-lollipop!  So simple, and they would make a darling party favor for a Valentine’s Day party, or a sweet treat for your kids to bring to their friends at school.

Chocolate pots de creme or flourless chocolate cakes are always my dinner party go-to dessert.  The simple addition of a little blob of whipped cream and some Valentine’s Day sprinkles make them very festive!

Lastly….meringues!  I love meringues!  I especially love making meringue sandwiches….you can dye the frosting any color to match your dessert table, and they are very simple to make!  (see how I have used them on a green dessert table and a pink and black dessert table).  Looking for a simple update for Valentines’ Day?!  Flavor them and pipe them into the shape of hearts!  This recipe for raspberry meringue hearts looks delish!

December 15th, 2010 |

Inspirational Website: Call Me Cupcake

This holiday season has thrown me for a loop….it’s the first holiday season of WH Hostess and {thankfully} it’s been quite busy!  This is a fabulous problem to have, however I have noticed things in my day to day life have just been pushed back.  The shopping, tree trimming, party planning….I’m normally the girl that has her presents bought and wrapped a month before Christmas.  Not this year!  After my daily run to the post office to ship out orders {twice today!}, I decided it was time to take 5 minutes to sit down and drift away into the blog world.  I just wanted to spend a few minutes relaxing and to drool over something inspirational.  I found a new blog {to me} that allowed me to “ooh” and “ahh” for a few minutes, and I just had to share it with you!

Call Me Cupcake, a blog from Sweden, is responsible for all of this loveliness!  It’s unfortunate that I can’t read any of her posts….BUT the images on her site more than make up for that!  Beautiful, feminine dessert tables.  Clean, sophisticated styling that looks fresh and new.  As you can tell, I’m in love.

I love this mint green and white dessert table.  So sweet and simple – perfect for a bridal shower or spring birthday party.

How fabulous is this white, doiley-covered cake?!

Or this stunning take on the classic pale pink and black color combination?!  Stunning!  I encourage you to take a few minutes to scroll thru this blog and enjoy the eye candy!

Images via Call Me Cupcake

November 22nd, 2010 |

Turkey Dinner: The Night After

Are you entertaining friends or family the day after Thanksgiving?  I always find that weekend challenging for entertaining – it’s a great weekend to do it with friends and family in town, everyone feeling the festive Thanksgiving spirit.  However, I start to decorate my house for Christmas that weekend, so I always feel a little too dis-organized for entertaining!

One idea I had for making this process a bit smoother, is to decorate with items that work for both holidays!  Take the picture above from Pottery Barn – the rustic colors lend itself to Thanksgiving decor, but the twig stars can carry you all the way through Christmas!  Natural centerpieces are also a great way to go – a bowl full of artichokes, or pomegranates will add texture and color to your table.

Re-purpose your leftover turkey by serving a turkey pot pie for dinner, add in a side of maple-glazed acorn squash and a delicious chocolate souffle cake for dessert!  YUM!  Your guests won’t even realize they are eating leftover turkey!

Images: table setting (potterybarn.com), napkin (bhg.com), artichoke centerpiece (midwestliving.com)

November 18th, 2010 |

Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

 

When it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, I like to think a little bit more out-of-the-box than your traditional apple pie.  Don’t get me wrong….there will be apple pie at my Thanksgiving celebration!  But, I think it’s always good to bring something new to the table.  Here are a few new dessert recipes that I think could make a great impression at your holiday dinner:

  1. Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
  2. Apple-Cranberry Mince Tarts
  3. Chocolate Loaf with Butterscotch Glaze
  4. Praline Pumpkin Torte
  5. Pumpkin Ice Cream Torte with Ginger Crust
  6. Pear Tart Tatin
  7. Persimmon Creme Brulee
  8. Cherry Almond Tart

October 25th, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: La De Da 5th Anniversary Party

I am very excited to show you today’s featured party…..my aunt owns a gift shop in my hometown of Northbrook, Illinois called la de da!  Full of charming home accents, perfect accessories and gifts for everyone, la de da has become a local hot spot in the North Shore of Chicago.  The store recently celebrated it’s 5th birthday, and my aunt decided it was time to throw a party.  She asked me to pull together a dessert table and some paper goods for the event…a non-shopping event for customers, friends and family to celebrate the success she has had over the last 5 years.

The store is decorated in black and white, so we decided to stick with the fabulously-girly color palette of hot pink, black and white.  The theme “cupcakes & champagne” was born and the double-sided postcard pictured above set the tone for the event.  We focused on two main things: a fabulous dessert table, and a festive champagne bar.

 

 

The shape of the table took form by using black and white floral tablecloths with hot pink toppers.  A tall, rod-iron trellis stood at each end of the table, and a banner hung in between.  I loved the height and visual interest this created, and to add a touch more color and whimsy to the design, I hung hot pink floral pomander balls in each trellis.  The tiered cupcake stand took center stage and was flanked by two black urns full of hot pink roses and moss. I decorated the tiered stand with hot pink liners and polka dot ribbon, and the mini cupcakes held custom cupcake toppers featuring the cupcake girl from our invitation and the store logo.

White platters (with polka dot liners) held goodies such as strawberry marshmallows, meringue sandwiches, brownie bites, and chocolate covered pretzels, and a polka dot food tent card.  A white footed bowl held donut holes covered with pink sprinkles, and a large scalloped black platter held designer cookies by Allyson Jane (made especially for this event!).  Glass apothecary jars were adorned with candy jar tags and polka dot ribbon, and were full of sweets including pink foil chocolate balls, black and white jordan almonds, white pearls, black jelly beans, and little white hearts.  Small white pots with little black hearts on them (straight from IKEA!) were filled with white star mints, and white and black rock candy sticks.

The champagne bar featured hot pink trays full of champagne glasses, a chandelier-style cupcake holder and a cute little sign featuring the cupcake girl from our postcard.  My favorite detail?!  The hot pink labels on the black champagne bottles!  This is one of our newest categories and you can see what I love them so much!  We also designed custom  labels for mini water bottles, and stickers to adorn pink take out food boxes (for people to bring candy home to their families).

It was a lovely event and I am thrilled with how it turned out (scroll down for more detail images!).  There are so many sweet details you can pull away from this event -  fabulous inspiration for a bridal shower or birthday party!

 

black and white swirl lollipopspink meringue sandwichespink rose centerpiece
brownie bites with candyhanging pink flower pomander ballblack and white jordan almonds apothecary jar with candy jar tag




October 14th, 2010 |

Halloween Treats

 

I’ve been searching the web for great Halloween treats….desserts you can make for adults and kids alike!

Here are my picks for the best around the web:

  1. Chocolate Candy Corn Truffles
  2. Halloween S’Mores
  3. Butterscotch Caramels
  4. Candy Corn Cake Wedges
  5. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
  6. Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling
  7. M & M Pumpkin Cake
  8. Marshmallow Ghosts

October 6th, 2010 |

Halloween Cupcakes by Wilton

halloween cupcake ideas by wiltonI am a huge fan of the Wilton products, but had never really explored their website before.  Big mistake.  HUGE!  It’s chock full of sweet inspiration for every type of occasion you can imagine!  My focus today was Halloween and I have to say – they have some of the cutest cupcake ideas on the web!  Darling, simple and easy-to-follow directions….perfect for my busy schedule!

Left to right: batty cupcake, pick your poison cupcake, silly spider cupcake, double pumpkin cupcake, and the scary snare cupcake.  Head over to wilton.com for even more darling Halloween sweets ideas.

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