April 4th, 2013 |
For a sweet & salty appetizer this Spring, try pairing three of my favorite foods – peach, parmesan cheese and prosciutto. It’s the perfect little snack to bring to a friend’s house, or put out before a casual dinner.
Simply layer a basil leaf, and a couple shavings of parmesan cheese atop a slice of peach. Wrap a long, narrow piece of prosciutto around it several times to secure the ingredients.
It’s simple and full of flavor!
April 1st, 2013 |
I have a gorgeous dessert table to share with you today. I designed and styled it for my best friend’s two children’s first communion (they are 11 months apart, and in the same grade). A fresh color palette of blue, green and white with accents in navy blue, I combined a geometric greek key pattern with a bold floral pattern to appeal to both the girls and boys! I hope this table will inspire you with ideas on how to incorporate religious details into a dessert table, without that being the “theme”, and serve as inspiration for baptisms, first communions and more.
The table design was inspired by a WH Hostess collection of paper goods and we incorporated the patterns onto everything from the custom fabric table runners, to the cupcake toppers, to the sweets. Each child had their choice of one “special” treat that they selected to be part of the table: Willard chose chocolate chip cookies and Emma Jane chose chocolate-covered strawberries.
The table was covered with a crisp white tablecloth and was topped with two table runners made from our custom blue greek key fabric, edged with a preppy grass green and white grosgrain ribbon.
Standing center stage was a gorgeous arrangement of green and white hydrangeas with the vase wrapped in our bold floral mums pattern paper. I really wanted to incorporate natural green elements into the table to pop that color against the blue. I did that by using the green hydrangeas and also by anchoring the cake pops into wheat grass plants.
The sweets included gorgeous Cake Pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes
incorporating our patterns, an “H” for the kids’ last name, and a cross to symbolize the occasion. Vanilla Cupcakes with personalized cupcake toppers from WH Hostess
, and fondant crosses from Two Sugar Babies
. Mini bags of blue sugar candy with bold green and white stickers featuring an “H” for the kids’ last name.
Instead of having one large cake, I had two smaller cakes made – one for each child! Two Sugar Babies created these custom monogrammed cake toppers using our blue greek key pattern as part of the edible image. Jumbo Marshmallows in blue and green from Candywarehouse.com were a big hit with the kids!
I branded the table with preppy green striped food tent cards, and a coordinating blue greek key sign, thanking everyone for coming to celebrate Willard & Emma’s special day.
March 21st, 2013 |
With Easter just a little over a week away, I have been thinking about our Easter brunch tablesetting. My sister is due with her first child THIS WEEK, so we are anticipating that we’ll be doing brunch at home this year (vs years past when we would go out for brunch). When it comes to Easter, I have a love of carrots. And bunnies. But definitely carrots. I think it’s really the pop of orange that I love! Do you remember this carrot centerpiece from last year?!
I put together this Easter brunch tablesetting for the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine, using some white basics, and pops of color that I am so craving these days. I set the table with a white eyelet tablecloth and then layered it with my woven charger plates and basic white plates. I combined a solid orange napkin with a green and white striped napkin, and tied a bunch of straw carrots to it with twine. An egg placecard (personalized with glitter – post coming next week!) was nestled on top of the napkin.
Each placesetting was accented with a bunny cupcake stand from Pottery Barn, holding a carrot-topped cupcake. To add texture to the floral centerpiece, I filled the vase with white eggs, and also used pewter bunny salt & pepper shakers.
To carry out the carrot theme, I used gummy carrots from candywarehouse.com as a topper on basic, store-bought cupcakes. Do you love the green glass plate from Pottery Barn they are sitting on?!
Forgoing the traditional jelly beans, I served up candy that looked like peas and carrots (also from candywarehouse.com).
Stay tuned later today for a creative idea for Easter cookies!
March 15th, 2013 |
I’m starting to think about Easter around here….the pastel colors, the little touches of Easter eggs and bunnies are starting to creep onto the tables and it’s just the breath of fresh Spring air that is needed right about now. I’m thrilled to share a darling tutorial with you today from Lynlee of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes. Do you remember the bunny push-up pops from the Easter party Lynlee styled for the magazine last Spring? They took the web by storm, and this year, we talked her into sharing ideas with you for creating a fondant Easter bunny that could be used in push-up pops, or on top of cupcakes. The step-by-step tutorial she provided for the Spring 2013 issue of The Party Dress magazine is simple enough that even I am going to try it!
white, pink and black fondant | rolling pin | large and small leaf cutters | round tip (in this case, Wilton tips 12) | modeling stick and knife tools | food safe brush and water | raw spaghetti | white soft gel paste & toothpick | push up container, crushed Oreos & chocolate pudding
Roll some white fondant into a ball and shape the top narrower with your fingers.
Roll out white and pink fondant and cut out two each with large and small leaf cutters respectively. Use water to glue pink over white and indent with modeling stick. Insert small piece of raw spaghetti into ears and glue into the head.
Roll out pink fondant and use larger tip to cut out a circle. Pinch one side and use the knife to indent the other side to create a heart and glue onto face. Roll out black fondant, cut out two small circles for the eyes. Utilize the toothpick to dip into white gel paste and “dot” the eyes.
Roll two small white fondant balls for the hands. With the knife tool, make three indentations for fingers. Turn it upside down and make an indentation with the modeling stick. Place on push up container to mold.
Fill push up container with pudding and crushed Oreos and finish it off by adding the bunny head and hands! You can vary the ears and eyes so the bunnies are looking in different directions.
Simple, right? And oh, so charming! Thank you, Lynlee, for sharing this darling tutorial with us!
To order your copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine, click HERE.
March 13th, 2013 |
With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Sunday this year, it’s a great opportunity to either host a brunch or surprise your family with a little themed breakfast! I love the idea of this clover quiche recipe from Diamonds for Desserts. SIMPLE to reproduce, and who doesn’t love a little spinach quiche?!
Click over HERE for the recipe and full instructions.
February 20th, 2013 |
I’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?
January 16th, 2013 |
Superbowl 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.
Always a fan of a homemade pizza, I love the idea of creating a football topping using pepperoni. See the recipe and instructions here.
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 |
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