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!

 

March 13th, 2012 |

St. Patrick’s Day Brunch Ideas

St. Patrick’s Day is a great reason to celebrate during the bleek month of March (we are SO almost to Spring!!).  You can surprise your family with some simple treats made from items you probably have sitting around in your pantry. With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, it’s the perfect opportunity to create a colorful brunch for your family.

A few of our favorite ideas include:

  • A stack of rainbow-colored pancakes!  Divide up your pancake batter into multiple bowls and use food coloring to get your desired color.
  • Take those pancakes a step further and use a cookie cutter to cut out a shamrock or your child’s initial, mix and match the shapes for a two-tone color block affect.
  • Die that milk green!  (this could make a basic bowl of cereal pretty exciting too!)
  • In the mood for cinnamon rolls?  Sprinkle the top with green and white sprinkles!
How do you like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?  Share your ideas here and inspire others! To view more ideas like this, check out the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

March 6th, 2012 |

{Free Download} St. Patrick’s Day Tags

I’m here today to show you a little sneak peek from the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine!  With St. Patrick’s Day next week, it’s time to start making your plans to celebrate.  Cake pops are always a fun treat, for adults and kids alike. Charynn and I partnered up to create a simple baking project, along with some cute, colorful tags, for you to give out to friends or serve at your St. Patty’s Day celebration.

Charynn followed a basic cake pop recipe (our favorite instructions come from Bakerella), dipped them in green chocolate and accessorized them with disco dust. To dress them up, and make them party-ready, she added our rainbow tags.

These colorful tags are available for free download here, and you can use them as cupcake toppers, tags for cake pops, or even gift tags!  Simply print out the page, cut in strips and use a 2″ hole punch to pop them out.

Enjoy!  Make sure to order your copy of The Party Dress magazine here.  It launches next Monday and is chock full of amazing ideas for Easter, Mother’s Day, and Spring Entertaining.

 

February 27th, 2012 |

Sweet Charlottes

I spent the weekend home sick with the flu.  It’s been awhile since something has been able to knock me off my feet for this long….but boy, this one sure did!  I’m still recovering and not back to my typically speed, but I’m sure we’ll be back operating as usual soon.

Since I had so much down time this weekend, I spent a lot of time looking for inspiring ideas on Pinterest.  Do you pin?  Follow our boards here.

I came across this darling spring dessert idea from Annie’s Eats, and had to share it with you.  I have always wanted to do something with Charlotte cookies….and I think this is it!  I am definitely going to try this berry basket for a Spring party!

February 13th, 2012 |

Sweet & Sparkly Cupcakes

Looking for a last minute idea for Valentine’s Day cupcakes?!  I love this idea from Cupcakes Take the Cake…how simple!  Frost your cupcake and roll the tops in loose rock candy.  If you want to get uber-stylish, you can use different shades of pink for a fabulous ombre effect.

February 8th, 2012 |

Sweets for My Sweets

With Valentine’s Day coming up next week, I have been trying to decide what sweets I should make this weekend for all of the people I love.  I think cookies are on my short list and there are three options that I think are pretty darn cute….

The first are these heart shaped cookies from Cookies & Cups with a hole in the middle for a straw.  Cookies and Milk…does it get any cuter?!  These would be darling for a Valentine’s Day party, as well.

I’m a sucker for anything on a stick, or with stripes….so these two options shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone!  These cookie pops from Woman’s Day are very cute, and could be packaged in cellophane wrapped up like a bouquet of flowers.

These double-decker, striped cookies from Bake at 350 Degrees had me at…..well, the stripes!  I love how bold and graphic they are, and seem to be simple to make.  Click over for her simple instructions here.

What are you baking for Valentine’s Day?

 

January 27th, 2012 |

Super Bowl Desserts

Can you believe that the Super Bowl is next weekend already?  January can be such a boring month, so Super Bowl Sunday can be a great opportunity to gather friends for some snacks, cocktails and fun.  My sweet tooth got the best of me today as I was searching for creative food ideas with a football theme…..take a look at the ideas I have put together!

Football whoopie pies….darling, delicious, this idea from Make Merry Events is sure to please a crowd! For a quick dessert, make (or pick up some store-bought brownies) and use a cookie cutter to cut them into the shape of a football.  You can embellish them by piping white royal icing on to them. For a more mature crowd, these turtle bars sound DELISH!  Everyone loves a root beer float!  I love the idea of making a root beer float cupcake!!

Are you throwing or attending a Super Bowl party this year?  If so, what do you plan to make?

Images: football whoopie pies (makemerryevents.com), football brownies (bhg.com), turtle brownies (bonappetit.com), root beer float cupcakes (bhg.com)

 

January 19th, 2012 |

HGTV.com Game Night Feature

This post is a long time coming!  Last Fall, I was asked by the editors of HGTV.com to come up with some unique ideas for hosting a Game Night party for a feature they were doing on entertaining ideas at home, during the winter months.  I was thrilled to be asked, and of course quickly whipped together some ideas that I think you can all re-create for your game night.

I added a graphic impact with bold black and white striped tablecloths throughout the party.  I wanted a playful centerpiece for our dinner table, so I added black dot stickers to the side of a white vase to look like a dice.  A pomander of red carnations filled the vase and made a bold statement.

I tied the napkins with a little tag featuring playing card characters, and each placesetting included a cupcake accessorized with a fondant dice from Two Sugar Babies housed under a mini glass dome.

I created a small dessert table that would be readily available to guests so they could grab desserts in between hands.  Desserts included poker chip cookies from Allyson Jane, brownie bites accessorized with fondant dice, a jar of red hot candies from Candywarehouse.com, and cupcakes decorated with mini playing card cupcake toppers (which I whipped up in about 2 seconds!).

I hope you enjoyed viewing my ideas for hosting a fun game night.  What are some of yours?

January 18th, 2012 |

Game Night!

Most of us find January to be a bit of an “in-between” month.  The spirit of the holiday season has come to an end, and we are still a whole month away from the pink and red candy and candle-lit dinners of Valentine’s Day.  As I look out the window, snow is falling everywhere, and there’s no way I’m heading out the front door without bundling up in my Uggs and warm winter coat.  The idea of playing in the snow seems appealing for a while, but if you’re like me, you prefer to avoid the freezing temperatures. Which can only mean one thing, it’s time to get creative with some fun indoor activities!

Throwing a game night or poker party is the perfect bridge in your calender between the holidays and cold weather.  Gather up your closest friends to play some Blackjack, Texas Hold’em or even some good ole’ Crazy Eights! You can make a memorable night out of the spontaneous occasion with these cute and creative dessert ideas to set the casino mood from Kelly’s feature on HGTV.com! (more details coming tomorrow!)

I’m in love with these jam-filled playing card cookies! You can switch it up with whatever type of jam your guests desire from strawberry to apricot. I would recommend sticking with red jams such as strawberry or raspberry, and dark jams such as blueberry to create the classic red and black poker night theme!  You could even divide your guests up between the card shapes of hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds for a fun and competitive team event of Spoons (my personal favorite card game)!  Check out this recipe for the full how-to.

Image via Mocha Cafe

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