September 22nd, 2009 |

Candy Apples

Candy Apples

Aren’t these just about the prettiest candy apples you have ever seen?!  A perfect treat for any Fall party, candy apples can be customized to any flavor.  Country Living has a great basic recipe, as well as an updated version called the pistachio chocolate apple.  Yum!

The added touch of the ribbon-wrapped stick truly make this a very special dessert.  I would love to see this done with mini-apples for a kid’s party or a cocktail party (easier for guests to eat as they mingle!).

What do you plan on decorating your candy apples with this season?!

September 18th, 2009 |

Tailgating 101

tailgating party

Football season is upon us!  Whether you are tailgating before the big game, or gathering a crowd in your home, the “big game” is a great excuse to entertain!

When I think of football parties, I think of food, food, food!  So, check out a few of these recipes for your next party:

Images: people (inmagine.com), centerpiece (theknot.com), french onion dip,  shrimp skewers, and spicy red beer (foodnetwork.com), football food table and football cupcake (familyfun.com)

September 15th, 2009 |

Pancake Brunch

pancake brunch

We don’t talk about Brunch enough around here, in my opinion!  Brunch is a great form of entertaining.  It’s an easy, one course meal, typically pretty casual, and it’s held in the morning – so your guests come, they eat, and then you all go about your day!

Welcome Fall with a casual brunch with friends.  Set a table full of autumnal colors and seasonal accents.  Start with beautiful runner, layer on woven charger plates, and finish with your everyday white dishes.  To add a decorative touch to your place setting, fold your napkin into a “pocket” and insert a mini bottle of maple syrup.  Finish by writing your guests names on a silk leaf.  It’s a festive placecard and party favor for your guests to bring home!

To create a simple, yet Fall-like centerpiece like the one pictured above, take a low bowl and place a large pillar candle in the center.  Fill in the space around the candle with seasonal fruits or nuts.  Fill a variety of small bowls with different nuts, small fruits and berries to place around the main centerpiece.

Everyone has their favorite pancake recipe.  But if you are looking for something new, try making mini filled-pancakes.  Williams Sonoma has a bunch of great recipes, and they sell the pancake pan too!  Offer a couple of side dishes, such as maple-glazed bacon, and ham and egg breakfast tarts.  Add in some mimosas…..and you have the perfect brunch!

Images: place setting (matthewmeadstyle.com), dining room (potterybarn.com), centerpiece (bhg.com)

5% Off Minted Holiday Cards

September 8th, 2009 |

Fall Food: Re-Designed

Squash Bowls

I always get excited when Fall comes around….by then, I am sick of my Summer clothes, ready to change around the decorative items in my house, and definitely ready to bring back a few of my favorite Fall “comfort foods”.  A favorite in my household?  Chili.

Everyone has their favorite chili recipe, and I’m sure I will find a few new ones to share with you at some point this season.  But today, I just wanted to share this adorable serving idea.  Nothing screams Fall more than pumpkins and gourds….and I love the idea of carving out the inside and using them as serving bowls.  You could use small pumpkins for individual bowls of soup or chili, or carve out a large pumpkin and fill it with a risotto.  If you are having a cocktail party, you could use a really big pumpkin and use it to hold your wine and ice.

More Fall ideas to come……

Image via inmagine.com

September 4th, 2009 |

Creative Packaging: Fruit

Fruit Tags

I love this idea from Alpha Mom – dress up your fruit for a little laugh and a whole lot of fun.  Perfect for those back-to-school lunches, or grouped together for a cute centerpiece for a child’s birthday party or baby shower.  Click here to download the free template.

August 31st, 2009 |

End Of The Summer Birthday Bash

summer birthday bash

Looking to plan an end of the summer birthday bash?!  A casual neighborhood gathering to say goodbye to Summer, and hello to Fall?!  Gather friends for a casual party decorated with bright colors, lots of patterns, and some delicious summer appetizers.

Set the mood for this colorful party with this invitation from Minted….I love the colors and the bohemian chic feel to it.  Decorate your space with brightly colored flowers, serving dishes, and patterned linens.  Now….on to the important part…the food!

Serve a buffet of appetizers, including these delicious summer favorites:

And don’t forget a signature cocktail……something fruity and fun….try a pineapple greyhound!

Images: drink table (simplystated.com), napkins (heatherbaileystore.com), invitation (minted.com)

August 25th, 2009 |

Tomato Fest Dinner Party

tomato fest dinner party

Food-wise, late summer may be my F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E time of the year! Why, you ask?! Tomato season.

In honor of this magnificent time of the year, host your own tomato fest dinner party. Using a color palette of bright reds, yellows and greens, set your table using what else?! Tomatoes as your centerpiece! Stack bowls on top of bowls, piles of them on top of cake plates, mix different colored tomatoes (and maybe throw in a few leaves here and there)….colorful, theme-oriented and you can eat them after the party! :)

Try to incorporate tomatoes into each dish you serve at your party…..and if you are looking for suggestions:

tomato fest recipes

1) Grilled Tomatoes with a Basil Vinaigrette 2) Chilled Tomato Soup with Avocado Salsa 3) Spicy Fried Noodles with Tomatoes and Cabbage 4) Adobo Flank Steak with Corn-Tomato Relish 5) Sun-Dried Tomato Jam 6) Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Lemon Cucumbers 7) Spicy Bloody Mary 8) Tomato Tart

Images: tomato centerpiece (bhg.com), little girl (ba-reps.com), napkin (realsimple.com), tomatoes (inmagine.com)

August 21st, 2009 |

Kid-Friendly, Party-Ready Snacks

kid friendly snacks

Whether you are planning the menu for a kid’s birthday party, or coming up with a creative snack for a playdate….finding snack ideas that are not only healthy, but that your kids are going to want to eat….it’s not easy!

Parent’s Magazine came up with these 4 ideas….and they are sure to get rave reviews from all of your little critics!

Back to School at The Land of Nod

August 19th, 2009 |

Peaches!

Make the most of peach season with 8 of my favorite recipes!

peach appetizer recipes

These appetizers taste refreshingly like SUMMER!  Try pancetta-wrapped peaches, peaches with serrano ham and basil, a grilled peach and mozzarella salad, or pizza with peach, prosciutto and goat cheese.

peach dessert recipes

Freshen up your dessert repertoire with these sensational treats!  Fresh peach gelees, grilled peaches with ricotta, peach and champagne floats, or peach cheesecake with balsamic syrup….so many desserts, so little time!

August 17th, 2009 |

Raspberry Lemonade

Raspberry Lemonade

I found this almost-too-pretty-to-drink recipe at Kiss My Spatula….and I just had to share it with you!  It’s the perfect summertime drink….and it’s non-alcoholic.  So it’s the perfect drink to serve at a baby shower, or a child’s birthday party.


Raspberry Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 large, juicy lemons)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 4 cups cold water
  • whole raspberries
  • mint leaves

Method

Press raspberries through a fine mesh strainger over a bowl with a rubber spatula. Don’t forget to scrape the extra raspberry goodness from the bottom of strainer. Discard seeds. Place freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, and honey in a large pitcher. Add strained raspberries and water. Stir well and taste. Add more sugar if you like things a little sweeter or more lemon juice if you like things more tart. Pour into chilled glasses filled with ice and garnish with fresh raspberries and a few mint leaves.

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