June 6th, 2012 |

Fruit-Flavored Ice Cubes

I love making anything “more special!”  So when it comes to dressing up my water, lemonade or iced tea this summer, I will be turning to this simple {and very pretty} idea.  Using a silicone ice cube tray, I froze slices of fruit into cubes {tip: boil your water first, let it cool and then pour it into your trays for clearer ice cubes).  Not only did they turn out really colorful and fun, but they flavor water instantly for a cool, refreshing taste.

The possibilities are endless, but my three favorite flavors are mint, strawberry and lemon.  I made and photographed these for the summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine, and since I have experimented with a few more flavors such as cucumber, raspberries and and limes.  Haven’t met a flavored ice cube I didn’t like yet!

June 5th, 2012 |

Fruit-Shaped Rice Krispy Treats

Hey, Everyone!  Charynn here to share a few tips on re-creating the darling fruit-shaped rice krispy treats that I made for Kelly’s recent Caterpillar birthday party.  These were very simple to do and I know you could all handle this! (PS – you could take this concept and apply it to any theme or shape!)

I used store-bought rice krispy bars for two reasons: 1) to save time and 2) so that they would already be a consistant thickness. Kelly was kind enough to provide me with her fruit illustrations, but you could either create your own or find some online to download.  Cut the shape out to use it as a template.

I flattened my rice krispy bars with a rolling pin to make them a bit wider and then used either a cookie cutter or the template and a knife to cut out the shape.  Don’t forget to cut out the little hole in each one! Repeat these steps with store-bought fondant (which you can color with food coloring).  Attach the fondant with clear piping gel and voila!

May 29th, 2012 |

Mastering the Cheese Plate

About once a week {for dinner}, I decide that I just can’t handle cooking and I head to Whole Foods to put together a cheese plate.  My husband considers it a great treat {and luckily doesn’t read the blog very often, so he doesn’t know that it’s my “free ticket” from cooking!}, and it’s a great way to experiment with new things.

I feel like today, might be a “cheese-plate-for-dinner” kind of night.  We had a great, relaxing Memorial Day weekend….but I SOOOOO don’t feel like I am prepared to start my week today.  How about you?

This image is definitely inspiring tonights dinner – I love the mix of cheeses and accompaniments. My two favorite cheese are by Cypress Grove – Midnight Moon and Humboldt Fog. Do you have any favorite cheeses that I should try tonight?

May 25th, 2012 |

Cool Down Your Cocktails

With the crazy heat wave we have been experiencing this week in Chicago, I have been looking for ways to keep cool.  Originally shot for the summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine (pre-order your copy NOW!), these frozen fruit skewers were too perfect to hold on to any longer.

Perfect for cooling down and adding a touch of flavor to your favorite glass of champagne or lemonade, they are very simple to assemble and you can get creative with what fruits you choose to use.

Since it’s Memorial Day weekend, we focused on the red, white and blue color theme by using raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

May 24th, 2012 |

Patriotic Sundae

Serve up everyone’s favorite dessert, ice cream, this weekend in a patriotic-striped mug.  Easy to serve with the handle, and a cute presentation….all rolled up into one!

Image via

May 3rd, 2012 |

Piñata Cookies

These cookies “had me at hello.”  I found them via Pinterest and the recipe (along with great detailed how-to photos) is from SheKnows.com.  I love the colors and surprise factor associated with the piñata aspect to the cookie.  This colorful option is perfect for a Cinco de Mayo, but I think you could also repeat this concept for other shapes for birthday parties, and holidays.

Head over to SheKnows.com for the full instructions.

May 2nd, 2012 |

{To Die For} Margarita

In looking for ideas for a Cinco de Mayo celebration, I came across this recipe for raspberry & key lime margaritas.  They have quickly moved up to the top of my list for Saturday’s Cinco de Mayo celebration.  Simple ingredients and this combination of flavors is sure to please.

Check out the full recipe here.

April 3rd, 2012 |

Easter Candy {Packaged with Style}

Easter is quickly approaching, and that leaves me searching for cute baked goods, little gift ideas for my friends and family and tablesetting ideas.  One of my favorite ideas from the Spring magazine is this creative packaging for traditional Easter candy.  We used candy from Candywarehouse.com, but if you are short on time, you could easily re-create this with candy from your local grocery store.

I lined the white, tin container with pink and white swirl marshmallows, and then placed 6 baking cups on top.  Each cup was filled with eggs, gummy candies and jelly beans.  Topped it with a personalized label and voila!  Cute for a teacher gift, or for your kids to give their friends.  What type of food gifts are you making this year?

March 23rd, 2012 |

Limoncello Ginger Lemonade

In continuing our “lemon day”, I am back to share my cocktail recipe that is TO.DIE.FOR.  The perfect Spring drink, use this for your Mad Men viewing party this weekend, or even for a festive Sunday brunch!

Ingredients

2T Ginger Simple Syrup
1/2c lemonade
3 oz limoncello
Sparkling water or ginger ale, to taste
Lemon slices, for garnish

Simple Syrup Directions

Mix 1/2 c water, 1/2 c sugar, and 2T fresh ginger heated in a small saucepan and then strain

Cocktail Directions

Shake all ingredients in a martini shaker full of ice. Strain into a martini glass and add a splash of sparkling water or ginger ale. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

March 23rd, 2012 |

Weekend Baking: Lemon Cupcakes

Happy Friday, Everyone!  I don’t know about you, but it’s been a busy, busy week around here!  So happy to see so many parties and celebrations coming up, and we have been shipping out lots, and lots {and lots, and lots} of magazines to happy homes.  I’m looking forward to a some down time this weekend, including a little baking and celebrating the return of one of my favorite tv shows, Mad Men.  {Check back later today for a fabulous Spring cocktail recipe that would be perfect to toast the new season!}

I’ve always been obsessed with lemons {view this and this and this!} so I was thrilled when Charynn came up with two unique lemon recipes for the Spring magazine: a raspberry cupcake with lemon curd and a lemoncello ginger lemonade.  Enjoy!  Have a great weekend and see you all back here on Monday!

xo, Kelly

Happy Friday!  I’m looking forward to doing a little baking this weekend, and first up is going to be my Raspberry Cupcakes with Lemon Curd that I created for the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  This recipe is the perfect example of dressing up a super simple {boxed} recipe….anyone can do it!

Ingredients

1 box white cake mix

1 cup frozen rasberries, thawed and drained

Lemon Curd

Swiss Meringue Frosting

Directions

Prepare cake mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Lightly stir in the raspberries so that large chunks still remain. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way, and bake according to the package instructions.

After cupcakes are cooled, use a paring knife or a cupcake corer to make a hole in the middle of the cupcake. Fill with lemon curd. Ice with your favorite frosting–this is your chance to be creative! We used Swiss Meringue, but you could add lemon or raspberry flavoring, dust with lemon sugar, or use meringue that you can brown on the edges with a kitchen torch. Experiment to your taste and to fit your occasion!

 

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