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.

August 14th, 2009 |

Dinner Party: Straight Off The Grill

dinner party grill

We love entertaining at home, so I am always looking for new recipes and creative ways to set my table.  I think this dinner party invitation from Minted sets the tone for a casual, yet polished evening.  Setting the table is easy for me during the late summer months.  Sunflowers are in bloom and they are my favorite!  They just scream festive to me!  Tie the sunflowers idea into your placecards too.  You can create this festive, colorful place setting by simply using a sunflower stamp on a basic white placecard.  I think the napkin fold is really pretty…..see below for the instructions (click on the image for a bigger view).

sunflower napkin roll

Now, in terms of food…..I love dishes that are simple, yet full of flavor and style!  These grilled mushroom kabobs look delicious to me!  I found this recipe on Cully’s Kitchen.  I’m a sucker for barbecue chicken…and this recipe for grilled chicken with white barbecue sauce has been calling my name for a while now.  Perfect for a summer dinner party!  Now for dessert….it’s summer, so fruit must be involved!  Try to mix it up a little by trying something new like a goat cheese and fruit tart.  Not only does it sound delicious, but look at it!  Any guest would be oh, so impressed!

goat cheese and fruit tart

What are some of your favorite dinner party ideas?  Have a recipe to share….have a table setting idea….leave a comment and share your ideas with us!

Images: invitation (minted.com), sunflower centerpiece (inmagine.com), napkin roll (via Napkins with a Twist), table setting (horchow.com)

August 11th, 2009 |

Surprise Giveaway: The Best Summer Drinks Winners

Thanks to everyone for entering our giveaway for The Best Summer Drinks book…..you guys are very creative…there are some great party ideas here!  But, since we had to choose two winners…..

Lindsey who said….

“Several of my my friends are pregnant and have yet to find out the sex of the baby. I would love to throw a Team Blue – Team Pink party for one of them to reveal the sex of the baby. Some cute pink and blue drinks would be an awesome touch!”

and Erin who said….

“I first want to tell you that I love your website. I look at it everyday for inspiration or ideas for upcoming parties, dinners, and everything else in between.
I am planning on throwing a accessory swap party. I saw it Rachael Ray Magazine a while back.

I think it would be so cute to turn you home into a little boutique. A great reason to clean out my closet and to do some “free” shopping!”

Congratulations, Girls!  Send your addresses over e-mail and I will ship these darling books out to you!

August 7th, 2009 |

Surprise Giveaway: The Best Summer Drinks Book

The Best Summer Drinks Giveaway

Okay, gang….this is a fun one!  I just received the most darling book….The Best Summer Drinks by Ray Foley, the publisher of Bartender Magazine.  It’s an adorable, tiny book jam-packed with cocktail and appetizer recipes (500 to be exact).  This book would make the perfect hostess gift (it’s only $4.99!).

So, here is where the fun part comes in….

Like I mentioned above, this book offers 500 cocktail recipes – but the names of these cocktails are hysterical!  The Cape Codder, Love Bite, Grape Hopper….the list goes on.  These cocktails could definitely inspire the theme for a party!  Seeing as though we are in the last month of summer, I know you are all cramming in at least one last summer bash.  Leave a comment here telling us what type of party you are hosting (or want to host) this summer….the more creative the better!  We’ll randomly choose 2 winners that will each receive a copy of The Best Summer Drinks.  Contest starts NOW….ends Monday, August 10, 2009 at midnight pst time.

Before I leave you for the weekend…..here is the recipe from the book that I will be trying out for brunch on Sunday:

Go Green, Be Mary

By the way, how cute would this drink be for a bridal shower for a girl named Mary?!

1 1/2 oz. 360 vodka

3 1/2 oz. bloody mary mix

2 dashes tabasco

Squeeze lemon wedge

Celery stalk for garnish

Lemon wedge for garnish

Pour liquids into a glass, garnish with the celery stalk and lemon wedge and serve.

Page 24 of 32« First...10...2223242526...30...Last »