September 12th, 2012 |

Football Brownies

Whether you are planning a tailgating party, a kids’ football party, or just wanting to surprise your kids with a festive after-school treat, these football brownies are SO EASY!  You only need three supplies: brownies, a football-shaped cookie cutter, and white piping gel (available at your grocery store).

I suggest putting your brownies in the freezer for 10 minutes before you want to cut them – you will get a crisp cut with your cookie cutter.  After you cut out your brownies, use the white piping gel to add the laces and details to the “footballs”.  It really is THAT simple!

Looking for more football dessert ideas?  Check out this post!

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

 

September 10th, 2012 |

Tailgate in Style

Tailgating is a time-honored tradition in the Fall. Whether you are attending a game at your alma mater, gathering with parents at your child’s soccer game, or entertaining at home, here are a few classic ideas that we re-vamped to make your next tailgating party a hit!

Set the stage for your food buffet by using the back of your car and using traditional Fall sports props as decoration. We used a plaid quilt in place of a tablecloth, and a classic picnic basket as a backdrop (it also came in handy to hold the bar ingredients to make our bloody marys!).

Create a crowd-pleasing buffet of appetizers, including chicken wings, bbq meatballs, deviled eggs (you could even get creative and make them look like footballs!). Update the classic stadium snack, a soft pretzel, by cutting it into 1 inch pretzel bites, and serving it with a cheese queso dip in a sturdy mason jar with a lid for easy transporting.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches can be partnered together in small mug, and you can use wood berry baskets to hold kettle popcorn and peanuts. Pull out the sweet treats at half-time: brownies shaped like footballs!

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue

September 7th, 2012 |

Mini Apple Dumplings

Charynn here, from Two Sugar Babies, ready to share one of my favorite recipes with you….the perfect treat to make this weekend! A popular dish in the South, this mini Apple Dumpling recipe has found it’s way into the hearts of my family. It’s so easy and fast to pull together, you’ll be happy to make it whenever they ask!

Ingredients

2 green apples, sliced and peeled into 8 segments
2 cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz can of Sprite
1/3 cup of pecans, chopped
cinnamon
9×13″ baking dish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of the baking
dish. Unroll the crescent roll dough and use the perforated marks to
separate into 8 sections. Wrap each section around a slice of apple
and place in buttered baking dish, until all 16 slices are complete.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and then add the sugar and
vanilla. Mix until just combined. Pour evenly over the dumplings.

Open the can of Sprite and pour the entire can into the pan, in
between the dumplings.

Sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon and all of the chopped pecans and
bake, uncovered, until the mixture is bubbling and the top of the
dumplings are browned, about 35 minutes.

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue 

September 6th, 2012 |

Inspiration: Apple Picking Party

Apple picking has been one of my favorite activities from the time I was a young child.  Now is the PERFECT time to gather up friends and family to meet at an apple orchard and surprise them with a few {sweet} treats.

Images: apple barrels (poshphotographyonline.com)  |   apple m&m cups (bloomdesignsonline.blogspot.com)  |  apple dessert table (party-wagon.com)  |  apple drink station (frostmeblog.blogspot.com)  |  apple cupcakes (familyfun.go.com)  |  mini apple pies (williams-sonoma.com)

September 6th, 2012 |

Hostess Gifts for Apple Season

Apple Season is upon us and it’s time to celebrate in a BIG way!  The latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine has countless ideas for incorporating nature’s bounty into your seasonal celebrations, decor and recipes.  Today, we’re sharing two ideas for incorporating apples into hostess gifts.  Attending a party this weekend?!  This post is for you!  (these would also make charming party favors or teacher gifts, too)

Love the idea of gifting a homemade apple pie? Of course you do! But sometimes, it’s not convenient to deliver a just-out-of-the-oven apple pie. So gift your friends with the next best thing….apple pie filling {in a jar, with a darling sticker}. That way they can use it anytime they want!

Everyone loves a good caramel apple! Do you love making homemade caramel sauce? Package it up in a small container and place it in a cellophane bag along with a crisp apple. Tie it up with ribbon and our free printable apple gift tags.  (PS – no time to make the homemade caramel sauce?  Repackage store-bought….no one will know!)

Click on the link below to download your FREE apple labels.

For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

order a printed copy   |   download the ipad app   |   read the digital issue 

 

August 29th, 2012 |

The Strawberry Muddle

It’s been a long summer of ZERO entertaining for me, due to our unexpected kitchen and home renovation.  I’m cautiously hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel is shining a little bit brighter today…..and we might just have everything done by tomorrow.  Of course the first thing on my mind isn’t how/when I am going to get all of the boxes unpacked, it’s when am I finally going to be able to entertain again!?

In hopes that we will be able to have a little Labor Day gathering, I took a stroll around Bon Appetit looking for a fresh, new champagne cocktail to serve.  I came across this “Strawberry Muddle” recipe, originally created by Jon Hoeber, the farmers’ market-prowling mixologist at Rustic Canyon restaurant in Santa Monica.  It looks light and delicious and is perfect for your patio party this weekend!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped hulled strawberries
  • 6 thin lemon slices
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 750-ml bottle chilled Prosecco

 Directions

  • Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil. Cool syrup.
  • Divide strawberries among six 6- to 8-ounce glasses; add 1 tablespoon syrup to each and mash with muddler or handle of wooden spoon. Add lemon slice to each and mash to release flavor. Add several ice cubes to each glass, then fill with Prosecco.
August 2nd, 2012 |

the modern SALAD BAR

It’s no secret that Pinterest can be addicting – it’s a fabulous source of inspiration, and makes for a very simple method of storing your ideas for the home, parties, and gifts.  If you aren’t following us – come on over! (click here to follow) We’re thrilled to have another place to share inspiration with you!

One of my favorite inspirations this summer is this modern take on a salad bar.  When it comes to planning “ladies lunches” and bridal showers, food is always a tricky subject.  Ladies just don’t eat that much….especially during the day.  So presenting a fabulous, do-it-yourself salad bar is just the ticket.  Fresh, colorful ingredients arranged beautifully in wood boxes (or you could use low, glass vases for a similar look) makes for a lovely presentation that is sure to wow your guests.

Image via thinksplendid.tumblr.com

July 19th, 2012 |

BBQ with Southern Charm

With BBQ’s being our go-to summer entertainment, it’s fun to spice things up and change your “theme” now and again. Hosting a large group for a special occassion? Put a Southern spin on your event with classic, charming details. Seersucker stripes, a colorful traditional paisley, and some delicious food.

One of my favorite elements to this party concept is the tented table. A long, gorgeous tablesetting is kicked up at notch with the hanging wreaths and candles overhead.

Guests will be thrilled when you serve up mini crab cakes, shrimp shooters, and classic pulled pork sandwiches. A flavored lemonade (non-alcholic or spiked!) will keep your guests cool long into the summer night.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our favorite pulled pork recipe and ideas for a strawberry-infused lemonade!

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

July 16th, 2012 |

{Recipe} S’Mores Bars

Did you enjoy all of my ideas for updating everyone’s favorite summer treat, s’mores, this morning?!  If you missed it, catch it here.  As promised, I’m back to share my recipe for chocolate chip s’mores bars…..enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cylinders of pre-made, refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough

4 graham crackers

2 full size Hershey bars, broken into segments

1 cup Marshmallow creme or Marshmallow Fluff

9×9 (or 8×8) square brownie pan, ungreased

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using 1 cylinder of the store bought cookie dough, cover the bottom of the brownie pan in an even layer of dough, then crumble the graham crackers over the top of the cookie dough layer. Scatter the chocolate bar pieces evenly, creating the next layer of of the cookies. Using a rubber scraper sprayed with cooking spray, spread the marshmallow as evenly as possible over the other layers (it helps if you put small dollops of the marshmallow around the pan first). Lastly, using the second cylinder of cookie dough, flatten it in pieces between your fingers and piece it together over all of the other ingredients, creating a solid layer.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top layer is light brown around the edges and the middle looks set. It is very important to let the cookies cool completely before cutting, otherwise the marshmallow will run out of the cookies.

 

July 16th, 2012 |

Summer S’Mores

S’mores are a beloved treat in my household….especially during the summer!  I came up with a few new ways to incorporate everyone’s favorite summer treat for the summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine, including party-ready ideas for setting up an outdoor S’mores Bar.

S’Mores Bar Tips:

Use marshmallows as part of your decor!  Fill bowls, line trays, etc.

Incorporate the outdoors into your display.  I like using twigs for roasting sticks!

Use a tiered serving piece to serve up creative S’Mores desserts.  {see below for ideas}

Infuse the S’Mores flavor into mini cheesecakes, whoopie pies, marshmallow bars, and cake balls.  Stay tuned this afternoon for my S’Mores bar recipe!

Kids and adults alike will love these updates to the classic S’Mores!  Try serving them up at your next BBQ or summer party.

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

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