February 20th, 2013 |

OSCAR PARTY FOOD | CHOCOLATE POTATO CHIPS

oscar party snack: chocolate covered potato chipsI’m always looking for a new decadent treat to try, especially when I have a captive audience for something fun, like an Oscar viewing party! These chocolate-covered potato chips from Spoon Fork Bacon have been on my to-do list for quite some time now.  I think Oscar Sunday might be the perfect time.  And I’m guessing they will be a hit.  I mean, how could they not?  It’s chocolate.  On potato chips.  The perfect combination of sweet + salty.

Although the “recipe” is pretty self-explanatory, there are a few great tips over on Spoon Fork Bacon’s blog.  You can check them out here.  What do you think?  Are you up for it?  Have you tried this before?

February 6th, 2013 |

Mardi Gras Macarons for Fat Tuesday

mardi gras macarons dessert for fat tuesdayHere in Chicago, Mardi Gras is one of those “wish-we-were-closer-to-celebrate, but-we-are-too-buried-under-the-snow” type of holidays.  It always looks so fun and festive and is something to look forward to during the bleek winter months.  If you are in the mood to celebrate, or just looking for an excuse to throw a themed dinner party, we have ideas for tablesettings, decor and food here and here.

I came across these festive Mardi Gras Macarons from Sprinkle Bakes and just had to share them for you.  They are the perfect treat for Fat Tuesday!  Colorful and they even have a little baby hidden inside them!  You can find Sprinkle Bakes’ recipe and tips for making the perfect macaron here.  Enjoy and Happy Baking!

January 16th, 2013 |

GAME-CHANGING APPETIZERS

superbowl food ideasSuperbowl is coming up and that means everyone is looking for new appetizer ideas.  Here are three of my new favorites (or rather, new spins on old favorites) that I found while scouring the web. With universal appeal, these will appeal to guests young and old.

Mac & Cheese Cups

This is a brillant idea!  Bake your favorite mac & cheese recipe (or store-bought) into mini muffin cups to create individual servings. For the recipe, click here.

Football Pizza

Always a fan of a homemade pizza, I love the idea of creating a football topping using pepperoni.  See the recipe and instructions here.

Football Calzones

Party City came up with this darling idea.  You could make mini calzones using a football shaped cookie cutter.  See the instructions here.

 

 

December 3rd, 2012 |

White Chocolate Mocha Fudge

The holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine brought quite a few tasty treats for this season, including this White Chocolate Mocha Fudge recipe from Firefly Confections.  As you can see, this fudge would make a FABULOUS holiday gift for teachers, neighbors or friends & family.  Read on for Sandy’s exclusive recipe:

Chocolate Mocha Layer

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 – 5oz can of evaporated milk

2 tbsp butter or margarine

¼ tsp salt

1 ½ cup mini marshmallows

1 cup (6oz) chocolate chips

1 ½ tsp vanilla

1 tbsp espresso powder

Lightly grease 8×8 inch pan. Cut a piece of parchment to fit with a 2 inch over-hang on either side of the pan and lightly grease the paper, set aside. Combine sugar, milk, butter and salt in a med. Saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Boil 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove sauce pan from heat stir in mini marshmallows until melted and mixture is well blended. Add chocolate chips, espresso powder & vanilla stir until mixture is smooth. Stir for 6 minutes or until slightly thickened. Immediately spread mixture into prepared pan.

White Chocolate Layer

Substitute white chocolate ships for regular chocolate chips and follow directions for chocolate fudge. Immediately pour over chocolate fudge and spread using a lightly greased rubber spatula. Cool in the refrigerator for about 2hours then sprinkle the top with espresso powder OR cocoa powder and cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Packaging resources: white boxes (shopsweetlulu.com), gingerbread sticker (whhostess.com)

For more Holiday Entertaining Ideas, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

buy a printed copy   |   read the digital copy

 

November 14th, 2012 |

Pinterest Party: Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas

Last night, we held our first of six Holiday Entertaining Pinterest Parties and we kicked it off with Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas. Wow, was it so much fun!  Kelly and Kim from The TomKat Studio joined forces with some of the top party + entertaining bloggers to pin inspiration for your holiday celebrations.

We were joined by Vana (Le Papier Studio), Charynn (Two Sugar Babies), Chris (Celebrations at Home), Jessica (Pen ‘n Paperflowers), Kori (Paper & Pigtails), Kim (The Celebration Shoppe), Carrie (Half Baked – The Cake Blog), Maddy (Somewhere Splendid) and myself on behalf of cupcakeMAG.

In one hour, we had almost 250 pins and plenty of ideas for table decor, food, cocktails, ideas for kids and so much more. For those of you who may have missed the party, I thought I would round-up a few of my personal favorites. Click below to see them on the board.

give thanks mantel

mini pumpkin pies

fun thanksgiving table

Make sure you head over and follow the Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas board and stay tuned for details on our next pinning party on November 20th. The theme is Merry Metallics and so far, it is looking very pretty! Head over and follow the board now. We’d love for you to be part of it!

 

October 31st, 2012 |

Use up that Halloween Candy!

Happy Halloween, Everyone! The Party Dress team wishes you all a happy and safe holiday…..we hope you have a great time today with your family!  I’m here today to give you a quick dessert idea for tonight after trick or treating (or later this week!) that you can make with your kids.

After the initial excitement over Halloween Candy fades (or the kids pass out while coming down off their sugar high), grab some of their mini candy bars, chop them up and mix them into your traditional chocolate chip cookie batter.  Twix bars, Snickers, M & M’s….no need to discriminate!

October 24th, 2012 |

Witch’s Hat Cupcake Topper

I just love this creative cupcake topper idea from Carrie at Half Baked – The Cake Blog!  Follow her simple steps to make these witch’s hat cupcake toppers for your Halloween party:

1. Grab a regular sized cupcake liner. Fold liner in half. Fold in half again, creating a pie-like wedge. Tape the two flaps together using double-sided tape, so that you have one solid triangle.

2. Fold in half again. Tape again. Now you should have a tall skinny wedge that is 1/8 the size of your original circle. If your liner is now a flat triangle due to folding, fluff it up with your finger so that it makes a cone.

3. Insert a toothpick into your cupcake and place your cone on top of the toothpick. This is the body of your hat. The toothpick will help your hat stay in place.

4. Grab a mini cupcake liner. Cut a hole in the middle of the liner. I found it easiest to do this by folding it in half and then cutting out a ‘C’ shape on the folded edge. Open up liner and slightly flatten with your hand for the brim.

5. Slide the brim down over your cone to complete the hat. Smush and crinkle to add character. Bend the tip of the hat, if desired.

 

October 23rd, 2012 |

Halloween Pizza

Did you catch our ideas for setting a festive, family-friendly Halloween dinner table earlier today?!  I’m here to share a creative {and simple} idea for making Halloween pizzas with your kids.

Using traditional pizza toppings, create Halloween images such as a pumpkin, a ghost or a black bat.  Here is a cheat sheet for ingredients:

shredded mozzarella (perfect for a ghost)

pepperoni (cluster together for a pumpkin)

black olives (dice up and cluster together for a black cat)

October 19th, 2012 |

DIY Halloween Milk Bottles

With Halloween quickly approaching, it’s time to start gathering up some simple ideas that you can recreate for a classroom party, a neighborhood gathering, or even to create a festive family dinner.  These ruffled paper bands from Jenny Dixon of Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line is PERFECT for any of these occasions.

Follow Jenny’s quick tips below, and you can view more information in the Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

October 15th, 2012 |

Introducing….CAKE PLATE CLINGS

The entertaining industry has pretty much occupied my mind for the last 3 years. Definitely before, but especially since I started The Party Dress blog in 2009.  I have always a fan of pretty things (I started collecting pieces of china as a teenager), and always the one to throw up my hand to host a party.  Over the years, my cake stands, pedestals and tiered serving pieces have grown to be quite the collection.  I am typically drawn to the basic white or glass, knowing that it offers endless possibilities in terms of embellishing with paper liners, ribbon trim, etc. to coordinate with my events.

After months (and months, and months) of development, I am SO excited to finally introduce you to my latest product and obsession: Cake Plate Clings.

Cake Plate Clings (patent-pending) are a novel series of decorative linings designed for cake stands, pedestals and serving dishes. They offer a fresh, reusable update to the traditional disposable paper doilies and liners. They are used for decoration, placed under the food for ornamentation. Offered in vibrant colors and patterns from WH Hostess Social Stationery, Cake Plate Clings are:

washable  |  reusable  |  non-adhesive

slide-free  |  residue-free

printed with environmentally friendly ink and material

Gone are the days of paper doilies and liners that slide off your plate, show grease and oil stains, and are one-time use.  With Cake Plate Clings, you can dress up your serving vessel on any given day to add a touch of pattern or color to your kitchen table.  Embellish a plate of desserts you are delivering to a friend, or color coordinate it with a party.  It’s the perfect way to dress up your basic white or glass cake stands. Did I mention that they can be personalized with a monogram, initial or name?

Offered in 5 different sizes, and multiple shapes (round, square and scalloped edge), dozens of gorgeous patterns (preppy & bright colors, graphic black & white, holiday patterns, and even Clings for Kids!), the possibilities are endless, making them customizable to your needs and style.  Prices range from $10 for a 6″ – up to $20 for a 13″, making they a very affordable accessory!They allow you to add a fashionable element to your tabletop display or serving desserts at any event, by clinging to your cake stand, pedestal or serving dishes without adhesive.

They are incredibly simple to use and to care for, making your job as a hostess that much easier. This is how you apply your cling:

Step 1:

Carefully remove your cling from the paper backing, hold over your clean serving piece to align it to one edge.

Step 2:

Gently spread the cling across the serving piece, pressing down along the way.

Step 3:

Continue laying the cling atop your serving piece, until it is completely covered.

Step 4:

Once your cling is in place, use your fingers to gently smooth away any air bubbles.  Your cling will stay in place until you are ready to remove it.

Care & Cleaning:

Gently remove the cling from your serving piece, and wash with warm water.  Dry and place on the paper backing to store flat for future use.

Cake Plate Clings are currently offered in a variety of preppy patterns, black & white basics, scalloped monograms and kid patterns.  We also have a gorgeous collection of holiday clings!  Offered in both round and square shapes, these festive clings will add to your holiday decor, and be the perfect accessory for parties!  You better believe that I will be gifting these to my friends this year!  Top a darling white cake stand (these are some of our favorites) with one of these…your gift will definitely stand out from the crowd!

What advantages do Cake Plate Clings have over traditional paper liners?

Paper doilies and liners are one-time use, disposable, show grease and oil stains from food, and can slide around on your cake stand or serving piece.  Cake Plate Clings grip your serving piece without adhesive, so they do not slide.  Cake Plate Clings can be washed and reused, giving you more bang for your buck!  Due to the material, they do not show grease and oil stains from food.

What does the material feel like?

The material used for the Cake Plate Clings feels kind of like a wall decal, with a nice smooth hand and glossy finish.  Both the material and ink used are environmentally-friendly.

Can I wash my Cake Plate Cling?

Absolutely!  Gently wash them with warm water, pat dry and then place on the original paper backing to store flat.

What if an area of my cling isn’t gripping to my cake stand or serving piece?

Apply a small amount of water to the back of the cling, and it will help grip to your serving piece.

Are Cake Plate Clings available for wholesale?

Yes!  Our collection of patterned Cake Plate Clings are available wholesale.  Please contact wholesale@whhostess.com for more information.

Can I find Cake Plate Clings anywhere else?

No!  WH Hostess has developed this patent-pending product, and are the only suppliers that we are aware of currently.

For more information about Cake Plate Clings, you can read our brochure here.

Visit whhostess.com to view the complete collection.

 

 

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