June 7th, 2012 |

Tori’s Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Tori Spelling’s new book, celebraTORI, shares tons of tips for entertaining.  One of our favorite ideas are her ice cream cone cupcakes!  We were thrilled to have Tori share them in the summer 2012 issue of The Party Dress Magazine, and are so excited to share them with you here today:

STEP 1:

crumble a cake in a bowl and mix with your favorite frosting. Keep adding frosting until the consistancy is moldable.

STEP 2:

place the mixture in the freezer to firm up a bit. Mold cake into balls and place inside the top of a cone.

STEP 3:

frost your cupcakes as usual and dress up with some sprinkles or chocolate curls.

For more of Tori’s tips, see our post here and feature on Tori’s blog, ediTORIal.

June 7th, 2012 |

Ice Pops: The Modern Popsicle

Ice pops are an easy way to appease the crowd and get creative in the kitchen. Use your imagination by mixing up whatever ingredients and containers you have in your kitchen, or create a theme to match an event–the options are endless!  I whipped up 5 different types of ice pops (modern-day popsicles) for the summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  Read on for my favorite flavor combinations:

Fruit Swirl

pureed strawberries | pineapple | peaches | agave

White Chocolate Basil and Lemon

yogurt | melted white chocolate | cream | lemon zest | basil | agave

Avocado

pureed avocado | agave | lime juice | coconut milk

Caramel Latte

cooled coffee | cream | caramel syrup | whipped cream

Watermelon Mint Mojito

pureed watermelon | agave | mint | rum

And if those aren’t enough ideas to get you inspired, here are a few more combination ideas:

 

June 6th, 2012 |

Ice Pop Mimosas

When the dog days of summer are upon us, I turn to creative ways to cool down….especially when it comes to my cocktails! By now, I am sure you have all seen the popsicle-in-a-wine-glass image floating around Pinterest.  I absolutely loved the concept, but wanted to take it a step further, and with less sugar.

I came up with this little beauty for the summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  I took one of my ice cube skewer/popsicle molds and filled it with pureed fruit juice before freezing. (I very quickly pureed strawberries in my blender and then strained out the seeds)  No processed sugar, and as the ice pop melted into my glass of prosecco, it created an icy version of my favorite mimosa!

You could easily re-create this with any fruit juice….what a fun treat for a summer party or bridal shower!

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 |

Caterpillar Birthday Party Dessert Table

Our Caterpillar birthday party featured in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine is full of sweet treats!  We loved all of the creative details, and so did dessert table guru, Amy Atlas!  She was kind enough to feature this dessert table on her blog last Friday.

As always, the desserts stole the show! I used our chevron patterned fabric as a back drop, and a crisp white tablecloth on the table.  Since I planned to use all white dishes, I placed a red table runner going across the table, in order to make the desserts “pop”.

The two tiered fondant-covered cake from Two Sugar Babies held center stage and featured our colorful patterns and fruits from the book.  A 3-D caterpillar, as well as a mini bunting, sat atop the cake.

A make-shift tiered tray (using a white plate and white berry baskets) held candy runts from Candywarehouse.com, cello bags with our custom fruit toppers held hard candy, and rice krispy treats covered with fondant from Two Sugar Babies.  Check back this afternoon for Charynn’s DIY tips on re-creating the rice krispy treats!

One of my favorite elements were cake pops in the shape of fruit from Sweet Lauren Cakes!  We displayed them in pots of wheat grass which tied back to the caterpillar centerpiece on our table.

Green and white striped cups held candy runts and re-purposed cupcake toppers, red boxes were full of candy that the kids brought home as party favors. Rainbow lollipops and candy from Candywarehouse.com was used as an accessory throughout the entire table.

Check back this afternoon for Charynn’s tips on re-creating our fondant-covered fruit rice krispy treats!

 

June 5th, 2012 |

Caterpillar Birthday Party

I have to say…it’s been a while since I have been THIS excited to show off one of my parties to you.  I just love creating parties styled around children’s books, so I was so excited when my client asked me to create a custom suite of party goods and style a party around a beloved children’s book.  The goal was simple: bright, primary colors, a focus on fruit and a modern interpretation of everyone’s favorite caterpillar.

I started by designing the collection of paper goods, including an exclusive caterpillar illustration, and two patterns that appeared throughout the entire party: a colorful polka dot and a green and yellow chevron pattern.

The table setting held one of my favorite elements to the party…..a 3-D caterpillar centerpiece that I crafted from painted mini paper lanterns, and grass plants. A table runner made from our polka dot fabric, simple yellow plates, and striped silverware from Pottery Barn Kids added to the whimsical look.

Simple yellow plates held a charming apple cupcake, which was inspired by Amy Atlas’s new book, Sweet Designs.  Grass cupcake wrappers tied in our theme to the wheat grass centerpiece. Each child had a name plate hanging on the back of their colorful chair, each featuring a different fruit from the collection.

Check back this afternoon for all of the sweet details from the Very Hungry Caterpillar dessert table!

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!

June 4th, 2012 |

The Party Dress Magazine | June 2012

It is with GREAT excitement that I announce the launch of our summer 2012 issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

This issue is full of colorful ideas for summer entertaining, ways to keep cool, entertain children + adults alike, and inspire you to create magical holidays for your family.  It truly has a touch of everything; each and every page makes me swoon with delight and I can’t wait for you all to read it!  Our amazing assistant editor, Charynn Osheski and I could not put together a publication of this size without the assistance of amazing contributors. We aim to share the amazing talent that is out there in the party & entertaining industry with you each issue, and this issue certainly does not disappoint.  A HUGE thank you goes to all of our contributors and advertisers for making this issue happen.
 
Contributors for this issue include: 
Kelly Lyden, WH Hostess + The Party Dress  |  Charynn Olsheski, Two Sugar Babies | Casi Densmore-Koon, CupcakeMAG  |  Tori Spelling, ediTORIal  |  Jeff Peabody & Jennifer Billingsley, Honeycomb Events  |  Lynlee Beckett, Lynlee’s Petite Cakes  |  Melissa Johnson, Best Friends for Frosting  | Kathy Wolfe, Kathy Wolfe Photography |  Katie Nguyen Wells, Petite Social  |  Leoni Jena, Just Call Me Martha  |  Jenny Steffens Hobick, Everyday Occassions 

June 1st, 2012 |

An Evening with Amy

I took a break out of my typical work day to celebrate the launch of Amy Atlas‘s book, Sweet Designs, Thursday night at the Williams Sonoma in Chicago.  I’ve been a fan of Amy’s for years now, and have already poured thru every page of her new book.  After connecting with them over the years over facebook and twitter,  it was such a pleasure to meet Amy and her “Commander in Sweets”, Lisa at the party.  Lovely, warm, friendly ladies….a pleasure to spend the evening with.

I also met up with Jesse from Shop Sweet Lulu!  The two of us enjoyed watching Amy discuss the design concepts behind the summer picnic table from her book, sampled her strawberry trifle, had her sign our books and chat with us about everything sweets.

Chicago was the first stop on Amy’s book tour.  Take a look at the line-up below, and if she is headed to your area, I highly suggest reserving your spot to hear her speak. Amy and Lisa, it was a pleasure!  Thank you for spending so much time with me, and I hope your next visit to the Windy City is a little bit dryer!

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?

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