July 22nd, 2010 |

Join Me for Lunch

I’m always on the lookout for a delicious idea for lunch – especially when I’m entertaining my girlfriends!  This chop salad caught my eye for a couple of reasons: 1) it just looks so darn pretty!  I love the presentation!  2) the fresh ingredients used are sure to be tasty and 3) I love that it is a full meal, but only one dish (less to clean up, less to prepare!).

Can’t you just picture a sunny lunch with girlfriends with some cheery flowers, sweet lemonade and this delicious chop salad?!

Images: chop salad (styleathome.com), juice bottles (helennorman.com), table setting (amyatlas.com)

July 2nd, 2010 |

4th of July Cupcake Toppers

One of my readers sent me the link to this party…..a playgroup 4th of July party where the hostess used my free 4th of July printables to make the cupcake toppers.  They look fabulous, don’t you think?!  Have you downloaded yours yet?

Image via Melissa Vaughan Photography

July 1st, 2010 |

Delicious Desserts for 4th of July

In my quest for finding a new, never-been-seen-before-at-the-family-bbq dessert, I came across these three recipes – and now I’m stumped!  What’s a girl to do?  They all look delicious and pretty (which always helps in my book!).  So, help me decide!  Which do you think looks the most appetizing?!

  1. Red, White and Blueberry Ice Cream Cake
  2. Red, White and Blue Parfaits
  3. White Balsamic Custard Tart with Fresh Berry Topping

Fresh Party Invitations from Minted

June 23rd, 2010 |

The Summer of the Ice Pop

 

Ice pops are all the rage this summer….and they are definitely the key to your next successful party!  They are fun, creative and oh, so pretty to look at!  You can get totally creative in how you display them, which makes them the perfect addition to your next dessert table.

You can use traditional ice pop molds, or you can get creative….use decorative ice cube trays, plastic cups, ice cube stir molds, or tiny tart pans.  Fill them with juice, ice cream, or sorbet.  Here are a few recipes that have me drooling…..

Watermelon, lemonade and blueberry ice pop, mandarin orange cream pop, banana split pops, pomegranate apple popsvanilla ice pop, rhubarb and raspberry yogurt pops, blackberry ice pops, and lemon-blueberry twist pops.

 

The book, Pops!, is a great resource with over 100 recipes perfect for your next birthday party, bbq or cocktail party.  Here are some of the molds they use to make their festive ice pops:

Once you have made your pops, get creative with how you display them!  Stick them into half a watermelon, or a bucket of ice, or swirl them into a glass of prosecco for a lovely afternoon cocktail!  Here are a couple more recipes: ice pop coolers, margarita pops, red, white and blue pops (perfect for the 4th of July!), and honeydew melon pops.


Delicious and gorgeous, right?!  So tell me…..what’s your favorite flavor and what type of creative mold do you use?

 

June 22nd, 2010 |

Lovely Lemonade

I often get asked for non-alcoholic drink ideas for kids parties…..not just for the kids, but to give the adults something festive to drink (without the alcohol!)  Flavored lemonade is a great way to go!  Better Homes and Gardens has some great recipes this month….three of my new favorites are watermelon lemonade, key lime lemonade, and raspberry lemonade.

June 18th, 2010 |

Zucchini & Tomatoes

During the summer months, I indulge in a love affair with zucchini and tomatoes.  My husband does not exactly share my infatuation (at least not with the zucchini), so in order to keep my love affair going strong, I need to step up my game and bring some new recipes to the table!  Epicurious has just the thing……

Zucchini & Summer Squash:

Tomatoes:

June 17th, 2010 |

A Burger Bash

When I think of summer, I think of two words: burgers and BBQ’s!  It’s time to up the ante a bit from the traditional bbq fare and wow your friends and family with a “burger bash!”

Invite your guests with this darling BBQ invitation from Minted.  It sets a color palette of chocolate brown, melon orange, and sage green.  Lovely – and definitely a fresh take on your traditional BBQ colors.  Obviously the food (namely the burgers) is the main attraction at this event, so keep your decorations simple and understated.  A casual picnic setting using lanterns and wild flowers as your centerpiece.

Here’s a tip for summer entertaining: it can be tough to keep your beverages cold while entertaining outdoors.  If you pile ice into your pitchers, it tends to water down your drinks.  What’s a hostess to do?!  Take this cue from Southern Living and fill a huge punch bowl with ice, and insert carafes of lemonade, iced tea or juices.  That way your drinks stay fresh and cool!

Let’s talk burgers!  Everyone has their standby recipe, but here are a few new ones that are on my “must-try” list this summer:

Bobby Flay’s cheyenne turkey burger with chedder and bacon, and Arthur Avenue burger with a parmesan crisp and fra divolo ketchup, and a grilled turkey burger with chedder and a smoky aioli.

Images: invitation (minted.com), mini burger sliders (redbookmag.com), paper silverware bags (southernweddingsmag.com), table setting and drinks (southernliving.com), lantern centerpiece (stylemepretty.com), picnic tables (traditionalhome.com), jam party favors (oncewed.com)

Chic Wedding Stationery from Minted.com

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June 2nd, 2010 |

Modern Garden Party Dessert Table

modern garden party invitation by wh hostess

I’m so excited to share the newest party from WH Hostess with you today!  A modern garden party dessert table was created in celebration of Maggie’s 30th birthday.  The invitation set the color palette for the party – bright orange, hot pink, yellow and grass green looked looked charming paired together.

 

The main focus of the event was the dessert table!  It had to appeal to both adults and children (all under the age of 6!), so we crafted sweet treats that included everything from sugar cookies to brownie pops.  The table was decorated with a white pot of flowers that was embellished with pennant flags stating “Maggie’s 30th Birthday”, a flower banner draped along the edges of the table and apothecary jars of candy.  Candy Warehouse was my incredible source for our salt water taffy, lemon candy sticks and green apple sours.  We also had white take out boxes embellished with striped stickers that said “Maggie’s Sweet Shoppe”.

One of my favorite tips for creating a cohesive dessert table is to use all of the same serving dishes.  For this particular table, we used all white platters lined with our custom stripe.  We carried our modern flower design into all of the food tent cards and candy jar labels, as well.  The overall affect definitely got the “oohs” and “ahh’s” I was looking for!

Here are some details of the sweet treats:

Our modern garden party dessert table included pink and orange salt water taffy, green apple sours, lemon candy sticks, rice crispy treat pops, brownie pops, meringue sandwiches, initial sugar cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, sugar cookies with fondant toppers from Two Sugar Babies, flower cupcakes, and daisy sugar cookies packaged in cello bags with custom stripe toppers.

I’m not going to lie to you….it was tough to choose!  What’s your favorite?!

Images property of The Party Dress

 

 

May 27th, 2010 |

Delicious Dishes for a Memorial Day BBQ

delicious dishes for a memorial day bbqWhen it comes to Memorial Day, I like to keep it simple.  A family BBQ is normally in the plans, and if we are lucky (with our wishy-washy Chicago weather) we’ll get to eat outside!  I love this table setting from Pottery Barn….the white paper lanterns dress it up in an easy, DIY-way, and also add that vertical element that I am oh, so passionate about lately!

If you are looking for a couple new recipes for your Memorial Day BBQ, take a look at  these…..

Margarita Grilled Corn on the Cob and Grilled Tomato Melts from Better Homes and Gardens.  They look pretty fabulous, don’t you think?!

May 20th, 2010 |

Cocktails & Snacks on the Patio

cocktails and snack recipes for a patio partyIt’s been a bit of a crazy week in my house…..all of the hustle and bustle has made me crave a simple weekend on my patio!  I was scrolling thru Williams Sonoma’s recipe bank today and found a couple of recipes that I must try!  (and I think you may want to, too!)  Any of these would be perfect for a summer party, a cocktail and appetizer party, or a Memorial Day bbq.

Images: hammock (potterybarn.com), mason jar lantern (theknot.com)

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