June 17th, 2010 |
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)
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June 2nd, 2010 |
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 |
When 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 |
It’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)
May 11th, 2010 |
My social life has definitely changed over the last year….we moved to the suburbs, I work from home, and all of my friends have multiple children. So a lot of times, we find time to spend together right smack in the middle of the day – for me it’s a much-appreciated, quick break from work – for them it breaks up their routine! Lunch ideas have been on my radar more and more lately…..especially simple, one dish meals.
This recipe for a salad nicoise sandwich is the perfect choice! It’s fresh, different….and you get your salad and your protein all in one dish! It looks pretty too! The perfect compliment to a simple table setting (toddler-proof, of course!).
Images: table setting (hgtv.com), candles (potterybarn.com), drinks (inthenowweddings.com), sandwich (bhg.com), cheese plate (annstratton.com)
April 30th, 2010 |
Last week I showed you ideas for decorating for a Cinco de Mayo party…..today, we’re talking food! Better Homes and Gardens has an endless supply of fabulous, Mexican recipes….here are 8 that I consider “must-haves” for Cinco de Mayo:
- Mango Salsa
- Chicken Quesadillas with Peppers
- Chicken Flautas with Black Beans
- Skillet Tostadas
- Tequila Lime Shrimp
- Steak Fajitas with Peppers
- Avocado-Feta Salsa
- Barbecue Quesadillas
Is your mouth watering yet?! What do you plan to make for Cinco de Mayo?
April 27th, 2010 |
It’s getting to be Derby-time! Whether you are throwing a huge bash, or watching the game at home with a couple friends….nothing makes a party festive like a few themed cocktails, right?! Southern Living has the perfect combination of recipes for whatever your gathering may be….. A Mint Julip for the Kentucky Derby, a Black-Eyed Susan for Preakness, and a Long Island Iced Tea for the races at Belmont Stakes. The perfect trio!
April 14th, 2010 |
I took a little break from my typical work day yesterday to go to a Giada book signing with my best friend and her 5-year-old, Emma. We both love Giada’s recipes – but Emma, oh, Emma absolutely LOVES Giada! She watches her show (which has inspired her to cook at the mere age of 5) and until yesterday didn’t actually know Giada was “real”!
She’s “real” alright – and was absolutely darling as she greeted Emma and I. Gave her a hug, asked her if she liked to cook – couldn’t have been sweeter! It was a welcome break in my week and I am so happy that I have this wonderful memory with Emma and Teresa!
If you haven’t flipped thru Giada’s new cookbook, Giada at Home, definitely pick up a copy – great, fresh recipes for Spring!
April 6th, 2010 |
It’s not just for cupcakes anymore! You can now dress up your cake plates (round or square) with these lovely paper, filigree wraps. Hmmm….my cakes just got a little bit prettier!
April 6th, 2010 |
With the weather getting nicer everyday, I find my self suddenly craving my very favorite dessert….a lemon tart. It’s light, citrus-y flavor makes this the perfect Spring/Summer dessert and I always find myself counting down the Winter months until it’s “appropriate” to bring this favorite dessert back into rotation!
I’ve tried numerous recipes over the years – but I have to say that my two favorites are from Tartine and Barefoot Contessa. What about you? Do you have a favorite recipe you wish to share?!
P.S. With the dessert table craze still going strong, I absolutely love the idea of making mini lemon tarts – they would be perfect for a dessert table with a yellow color story!
Images: slices of lemon tart (annstratton.com), individual lemon creme tart (bonvivant.wordpress.com), bowl of lemons (cafelynnylu.blogspot.com), mini lemon creme tart (foodbeam.com), individual lemon blueberry tart (lemonmeringue.com)
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