October 10th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: DIY Halloween Lantern

Our crafty assistant editor, Charynn of Two Sugar Babies concocted this darling little DIY project for the Fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine and it’s so cute, we are sharing the simple steps here today, so that you can all do one (or four!) yourselves.  In fact, with the school holiday today, this may be just the project you are looking for to keep everyone occupied!

Step 1

Gather your supplies: glass mason jars, spray paint, paint brush and patterned ribbon

Step 2

Turn the jars upside down on your painting surface and apply several coasts of spray paint according to the manufacturers instructions. Let the jars dry completely.

Step 3

Paint your chosen designs on the outside of the jars with black acrylic paint.  (it may take a couple of coats to get a solid color) We suggest a pumpkin face, spiders, ghost eyes, or bats.  Let it dry completely

Step 4

Optional – apply a coat of high gloss varnish to the outside of the jars.  Glue a patterned ribbon around the top and place a tea light in them to add a nice glow to your holiday party.  Please remember to keep out of reach of children.

October 5th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Rehearsal Dinner

Gathering friends and family the night before a wedding is exciting….planning a party that has a whole different feel than the wedding….even more exciting! Beth Beattie recently planned and styled a stunning rehearsal dinner with sweet details that could be recreated and inspire any Fall party. The bride-to be was a Southern Belle from Alabama, so she wanted to create a rehearsal dinner that reflected her personality.

The location was the outdoor patio of Mason’s in Easton, Maryland with hanging lights and farmhouse chairs. The white linens were topped with a burlap runner, vintage mason jars and votives wrapped in lace. The placecards were made with burlap and chalkboard contact paper (the perfect DIY project). Minted adjusted the color of an invitation they had to a mint green, and it reflected the feel of the intimate affair with hanging lights. They also created a menu card to match.

A cake by Bay Country Bakery was made out of the groom’s favorite Italian cookies from Mike’s Pastry of Boston.  The evening was absolutely magical….the perfect start to a wonderful wedding weekend.

Photography by Leigh Miller Photography

 

October 4th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Caramel Apple Torte Cake

So, I know you have all been drooling over this picture in the fall issue of The Party Dress Magazine and have just been DYING for me to post the recipe.  The day has come for me to share this sweet little treat with all of you!  An exclusive recipe from our assistant editor, Charynn of Two Sugar Babies, this fall treat will have you drooling faster than you can read the recipe!

Cake Recipe
1 1/2 c. butter
3 c. flour
3 c. sugar
1t baking sola
1t baking powder
2T molasses
1T cinnamon
1t nutmeg
1/2t salt
1T vanilla
1/2 c. milk
3x eggs
3x apples, peeled and grated
3 9″ cake pans or 2 half-sheet pans (for making normal size cake or small individual cake, respectively)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your pans with cooking spray or silpat liners. Whisk together dry ingredients into large mixing bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, completely mixing in. Add dry ingredients gradually and mix until thoroughly combined. Slowly incorporate milk and vanilla. Add apples and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven until firm to the touch. Let cool.
Caramel apples
1 stick butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
4 apples peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 c. dark rum (optional)
Melt butter in a large skillet and then stir in brown sugar. Add apples and cook over medium-high heat until caramelized. Add rum if using and use a long lighter to catch a flame (to burn off the alcohol). Be very careful!! Let flame burn down. Turn off heat and let cool completely, otherwise they will melt your cream.
Whipped cream
1 sm container Heavy Whipping Cream (i have to get the oz–i think it’s 8?)
3T powdered sugar
1T vanilla
1/2t cinnamon, optional
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip cream until medium peaks form. Slowly add powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Gently incorporate vanilla and cinnamon, if using.
Assembly
Remove cooled cakes from round cake pans, if using. If making individual-size, using a round cutter, cut 4″ circles from your 1/2 sheet pan and lay separately on parchment. Spray cutter with cooking spray if sticking.
Layer the cakes in the following order: cake, whipped cream, apples, cake, etc. Finish with cream and apples. Use extra caramel sauce from the apples to drizzle over the sides. Alternatively, homemade or store bought caramel sauce could be used. Serve immediately.
October 3rd, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Halloween Silhouette Wall Lamp

One of my favorite parts of putting together The Party Dress Magazine each quarter is finding those little DIY projects that I just know you are all going to love.  I’m crafty….but my contributors are REALLY crafty and they come up with amazing ideas!  Today’s project comes from Vana Chupp of Le Papier Studio.  She’s create a step-by-step tutorial for making a cute wall lamp for your kids using a FREE downloadable silhouette image featuring a sweet Halloween parade.  (download the design here)

Step 1

Gather your supplies: you will need the kids parading free printable, a wall lamp from Ikea, scor-it board or any other scoring tool, and a screw driver.

Step 2

Start by removing the screw from the top of the wall lamp. This will allow the top to come off and release the decorative paper that comes with the lamp.

Step 3

Position the kids parading print on the scor-it board and begin scoring 1/4 inch from the outer edge of the print.

Step 4

Fold the ends over the outer edges of the lamp. You can use clear tape to secure them.

Step 5

Re-assemble the wall lamp and Voila!   For less than $5 you created something unique for your nursery or any other room in the house. Wasn’t that easy?

 

 

 

October 2nd, 2011 |

GIVEAWAY: Cake Vintage Placemats from Pioneer Linens

We always love a reason to get excited for Mondays….and a giveaway is just that!  Hosted by Pioneer Linens, a premiere linen boutique in West Palm Beach, Florida, this giveaway is sure to get you excited too!

Bedding and bath luxury is Pioneer Linens’ specialty.  Enjoy the personal attention they have been providing since 1912 to those with a passion for fine linens and entertaining. They also have an online shop for all your bath, bedding and tabletop needs. For more information, visit www.pioneerlinens.com.

One of their favorite brands (and mine too!) are the Cake Vintage Placemats.  They are perfect for entertaining, to teach children placemat settings or just easy, tossable placemats for adults and children.

Enter to win a set of these darling placemats by doing one (or all!) of the following:

Become a fan of Pioneer Linens on facebook or follow Pioneer Linens on twitter.  Come back here and leave us a comment as to how you would use these darling placemats.

For extra entries, become a fan of The Party Dress on facebook, or follow us on twitter.

Contest begins NOW and goes thru Thursday, October 6, 2012 at midnight CST.  Good Luck!

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.

 

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