September 29th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: DIY Caramel Apples

One of the tastiest photo shoots/articles I did for the Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine was our DIY Caramel Apples.  Talk about tasty!!  They are so simple to make, and you can get very creative with your toppings….which leaves you with a fabulous opportunity to coordinate with your party colors/themes.  Here are the six simple steps:

1. Gather your ingredients: caramels, apples, candy sticks, chocolate and toppings

2. Melt the caramels in a pan, and dip your apples once it is the right consistancy

3. Place your dipped apples on a piece of wax paper and let harden

4. Melt your chocolate and mix in a teaspoon of vegetable oil to make it shiny, dip the bottom half of your apples

5. Immediately dip your apple into the topping of your choice, and then let dry

Suggested toppings:

toffee crunch, mini m & m’s, chocolate chips, “turtle” toppings, nuts

September 28th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Fall Pizza Party

Looking for a fun idea for Friday night dinner this week?  Take cues from this festive Fall pizza party from Chris at Celebrations at Home.  Featured in the Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine, it is stock full of ideas for creating an inspired table setting. Continue reading for more of the details as told by Chris….

After a long hot Summer, I love bringing the party inside for Fall.  Some of my favorite Autumn entertaining ideas revolve around food and I thought a pizza party with friends would be a great excuse for a casual gathering. In setting the table, we wanted it warm and cozy but not too fussy – in fact we set the pizzas on pedestals to serve as our centerpiece and make serving yourself easy. A bit of plaid fabric and a burlap border are the perfect base for our table. Utensils are tied and embellished with an Autumn leaf, napkins are rolled and bound with a luggage tag {doubles as a placecard and a favor}, and apple cider is served in flip-top bottles.

To make it a bit more interesting, I put an “international” spin on it and served up different flavor combinations to reflect different parts of the world – the USA {Hawaii}, the Mediterranean, and Italy. You can make the pizzas yourself, have your guests make them, or order from your favorite restaurant. Add unique signage for the individual pizzas by using maps to create signs-on-a-stick to stand up in your pizza pies.

I love how Chris carried the international/travel theme into the dessert table as well by using suitcases and globes as props!  The mini boxes pies are so cute….they would also make a darling party favor for any Fall party!

September 27th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Fried Green Tomatoes

We’re back with another recipe from Delish owner, Maggie Hemsworth.  Fried green tomatoes….have you ever had them before?  I had not, not really sure why, the opportunity had just never presented itself.  Let me tell you, after sampling this at our photo shoot, I have actually had dreams about them.  {and I am only partially embarrassed to admit this}  YOU.MUST.TRY.THIS.RECIPE!

Fried Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Tomato Jam

6 hard green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

Kosher salt and black pepper

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 cups Japanese panko bread crumbs

Vegetable oil, for frying

Tomato Jam (see recipe epicurious.com)

¼ pound goat cheese

Slice the tomatoes into ¼” slices. Season with salt and pepper. Pre- heat oven to 200°. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Place the flour in a shallow bowl, the buttermilk in another and the flour and cornmeal (stirred together) in a third bowl. Take a slice of tomato, coat in flour (shaking off an excess), dip in the buttermilk, then coat with the breadcrumb/cornmeal mixture.  Place on a plate and repeat the breading steps with the rest of the tomato slices. Heat ¾” of oil in a skillet to 350°.  Cook tomatoes on each side until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon, place on the baking sheet. Keep in the oven until all the tomatoes have been fried. Top with a piece of goat cheese and a dollop of tomato jam.

September 27th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Sweet Corn Bruschetta

Delish Catering Chicago owner, Maggie Hemsworth created for exclusive recipes for the Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  I personally tasted each one of these and let me tell you, these will become your new go-to party foods for Fall.  First up today is the sweet corn bruschetta…..

Sweet Corn Bruschetta with Honeyed Mascarpone

6 ears fresh corn

8 oz mascarpone

1 TBSP honey

2 TBSP chopped chives

Extra virgin olive oil (about ¼ cup)

Loaf of french bread

Salt and Pepper to taste

Place the cleaned ears of corn in a pot of boiling water and cook for 12 minutes. Remove and allow corn to cool down.  When cool, cut the corn off the cob and mix the corn with 4 tbsp olive oil and chives.  Add salt and pepper to taste. While the corn is cooling, cut the French bread in ¼” to ½” thick slices.  Brush each side with olive oil.  Place in the broiler and toast each side about 3 minutes each.  Watch closely because the bread can burn quickly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Mix the mascarpone and honey together. Spread the mascarpone mixture on the crostini and then top with the corn mixture.

September 26th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Popcorn Bar

It’s been so fun highlighting all of the articles from the latest issue of TPD Magazine….and today is no different!  We are showing off the details of a fabulous Popcorn Bar designed by Jessica Kirkland from Pen ‘n Paperflowers.  Here are the details from Jessica….

The idea of an interactive Popcorn Bar came to me as I was preparing a slideshow/movie to watch for a Family Reunion I would be attending. The family movie was going to be shown at a family member’s home with 5 acres of property, horses and a gorgeous pool as the backdrop for the slideshow. I decided I wanted to create something kid-friendly and fun to go along with the movie and I needed it to be easy as far as food preparation for 50+ people. A rustic-style Popcorn Bar was just what I needed!!
My intentions were to create an interactive popcorn bar that would allow everyone to personalize their bags of popcorn. By selecting a seasoning (or two) as well as offering a few candies and peanuts to throw in the mix, this option allowed everyone to get creative and ultimately cater to a large array of popcorn palettes.

As a fun, special element for the children, I offeredcaramel popcorn balls I ordered from Kernel Encore and served them up on The Pastry Pedestal™.

In my research, I visited a local popcorn vendor, Kernel Encore, intending to choose three different flavors of popcorn for the popcorn bar. After more research, I decided to do the most simple, and cost-effective thing: I pre-ordered 10 bags of fresh, already popped popcorn from my local grocery store. I then ordered an array of popcorn seasonings, (Kettle Corn, Apple Cinnamon, Nacho Cheddar, White Cheddar, Ranch, Chili Lime, and Caramel) and a butter spritzer from Kernel Season’s website.
I also added another interactive element to the popcorn bar by creating a fun, simple game called “Mystery Popcorn Flavors”.  I ordered 5 different ”Sampler Bags” of unusual flavored popcorn from Kernel Encore. (Salt & Vinegar, BBQ, Watermelon, Peanut Butter and Taco).  With each of the flavors in a separate numbered basket, I challenged everyone to sample them and offered a prize to the person to guess all five flavors correctly.

The food preparation couldn’t have been more simple and I believe everyone had fun serving up their own snacks in preparation for the movie. A popcorn bar is such a versatile idea allowing for so many different creative avenues to choose from. With Fall just around the corner,  a rustic Popcorn Bar would be so fitting for any of your upcoming events. Just add a couple of pumpkins to the display or a few bales of hay and you’re ready for that Fall Festival or Thanksgiving dessert table you’ve been fretting over.

 

September 23rd, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Color My Party by TomKat Studio

We always love seeing what Kim of The TomKat Studio comes up with for her “Color My Party” series in The Party Dress Magazine. This issue does not disappoint with an always-popular black and white color combo.  Perfect for Halloween and for the upcoming holidays!

September 23rd, 2011 |

Stella & Dot Giveaway Winner!

September 23rd, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Spider Web Glass

Simple, festive Halloween details can bring an instant party to something as simple as a glass of milk!  Shown in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine, this milk glass was dressed up with strips of black electrical tape.  Easy to put on, and easy to take off!  You could also expand this idea for ghost eyes, a monogram or stripes!

September 22nd, 2011 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Mod Spider

Spice things up this Halloween season by introducing a new, festive color palette to your celebration: black, lime green and magenta! We paired these three colors together, along with some tonal polka dots and one cute little spider to create a darling collection of party goods and ideas for hosting your next event.

Glittering black chandeliers were a fabulous addition to this creepy, crawly candy bash.  Hung above the sweets table, they helped to define the vertical space in the room, but also give a touch of glamour to the party.  We show you three different ways to serve everyone’s favorite dessert: the cupcake!  Fondant toppers by Two Sugar Babies, cupcake toppers from WH Hostess, and chocolate spider webs to top chocolate cakes.

Spider cookies with sparkling disco dust from Allyson Jane make quite a festive statement.  Purple, silver and lime green candy from Candy Warehouse looks darling and accessible in jars dressed up with candy jar tags. One of our favorite additions to this table are the mini chocolate bars wrapped in labels, and the cute little spider stickers on the bottoms of the chocolate kisses!

Bubbling, foggy, green punch was created by adding dry ice into the bowl, and helped to create quite a spooky party!

September 22nd, 2011 |

WH Hostess: Halloween Collections!

Halloween is such a fun holiday….the decorations are up for a short period of time, there is no mad-rush to get the gifts bought and wrapped, and it has a way of bringing out the child in everyone!  WH Hostess LOVES a reason for a party….and Halloween is just that.  Whether you are hosting a neighborhood gathering, a kids party, or a ladies “Witches Dinner Party”, we have three new collections that are sure to inspire.

Our Mod Witch Collection was designed with my own holiday celebration in mind….time to gather up my girlfriends for a little ladies night!  A crisp, orange and white clover pattern with a witch silhouette, this collection just makes me smile!

Our Halloween Carnival Collection is cute and colorful and is perfect for a whimsical Halloween party.  Spider webs, a party banner and a pumpkin full of personality, this collection is already a new favorite among my tot friends!

Our Mod Spider collection was featured in the fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine, and we are going to be showcasing all of the festive ideas here on the blog later today.  Perfect for kids and adults alike, this collection is playful and modern all rolled into one pretty party package.

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