March 18th, 2010 |

Spring Desserts

With the official start of Spring this weekend, I felt it was only appropriate to share some of the delicious Spring dessert recipes that I have found around the web.  With so many fruits in season, these desserts are sure to look as good as they taste!

  1. Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
  2. Tulipes with Raspberry Sorbet
  3. Mango Tart
  4. Strawberry Napoleons
  5. Lemon Blackberry Mini Tarts
  6. Fresh Strawberry-Cream Cheese Tart
  7. Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
  8. Baked Alaska

March 17th, 2010 |

Spring Salad Basket

Salads can take on so many different forms: green, vegetable, fruit.  But at the end of the day, we pretty much serve them the same way – in a bowl!  Mix things up at your next dinner party by serving your salad in a “basket” made of cucumber slices.

It’s simple to construct.  It’s pretty to look at.  And it will leave your guest saying “ooh…a salad!”

Image via My Recipes

March 17th, 2010 |

Bumble Bee Birthday

 

Bumble bees scream SPRING and SUMMER to me!  So this party inspiration would be perfect for an upcoming birthday party or Easter celebration.  Typically when you think of bumble bees, you think of a yellow and black color palette (one of my favorites!  Do you remember this baby shower?!)  Switch it up this Spring by using festive colors such as yellow, green and orange.  The colors of this darling invitation by WH Hostess sets the color palette and theme for the party.  Love the stationery?!  You can get matching cupcake toppers, address labels, notecards and gift tags for your party favors!

I love the idea of incorporating daisies into this theme.  You can use them in your centerpieces, tied into napkins, and have them frosted onto your cake (how darling is this cake, by the way?!).  Add a whimsical touch to your table setting by tying ribbons onto the back of your chairs.  It will add a splash of color, and if you are hosting your party outdoors – just think how charming the ribbons will look blowing in the wind!

Send your guests home with a mini honey pot party favor.  So cute – and perfect for our theme!  You can package them in a clear box, embellished with ribbon and a darling bumble bee tag.

Images: invitation (whhostess.com), napkin (brides.com), drinks (hostessblog.com), cake (goodhousekeeping.com), felt party hat (stella and livi via etsy.com), chairs (stylemepretty.com), centerpiece (blonde-designs.com), mini honey pot party favor (beau-coup.com), party favor box and sticker (whhostess.com)

 

Beau-Coup and WH Hostess are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.  For information regarding advertising, please click here.

 

March 16th, 2010 |

Corned Beef: The Day After…

Corned beef – you crave it once a year around St. Patrick’s Day – you cook it, it tastes amazing – but what do you do with all of the leftovers?!  Corned beef sandwiches are great (check out this post from last year for a delicious idea!), but if you are looking for something new, give this recipe for corned beef hash from Food Network a try:

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups diced leftover rutabaga, carrots, potatoes and leek
  • 2 cups chopped leftover corned beef
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups leftover corned beef cooking liquid

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons butter with the vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add half of the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the corned beef and cook until slightly brown, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash the remaining vegetables in a bowl with the parsley and 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Add to the skillet and stir to make a large pancake, adding up to 1/2 cup more cooking liquid, if needed. Cook until the hash is dark on the bottom, about 2 minutes.

Flip and continue cooking, turning occasionally and adding more butter if needed, until the hash is crunchy on the outside but still moist in the middle, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cooking liquid 1 minute before serving.

March 16th, 2010 |

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

st. patrick's day dinner party

I’m Irish.  Like, freckles and reddish-hair, Irish.  Have I ever told you that?!  So, not only do I come from a big, Irish family…but so does my husband!  Since St. Patrick’s Day falls mid-week this year, we had our two big family celebrations on Sunday.  I thought I got the holiday out of my system….but I keep thinking, what are we going to do on the actual day?!  It’s too big of a deal in our families to just let the day slip by unnoticed!

I decided to whip together a quick little dinner party.  You know…. simple.  But festive!  I am going to serve traditional corned beef and potatoes.  But I also want to throw in some green, Spring vegetables – asparagus, broccolini, green beans and snap peas.  I thought it would be interesting to try something new with the corned beef too, so I am going to try these corned beef and cabbage rolls as an appetizer.  It looks yummy – and for those of us that are gluten-free (like me!) – it takes the place of a corned beef sandwich!

For dessert?!  Chocolate-Irish cream cheesecake and an Irish martini.  Sounds delicious, don’t you think?! What are your plans for celebrating?

Images: green dining room (karljuengel.com), napkin (theknot.com)

Fresh Party Invitations from Minted

March 15th, 2010 |

A Modern Train Party: Part 1

I have had the pleasure of working with Melisa from Project Nursery on her son’s 3rd birthday party the last few weeks.  She came to me with a big request: plan a party that her son, Austin, will think is a “Thomas the Train” party….but without the cartoon-y look, something more modern, that will appeal to the designer in her.  After weeks of collaboration – I think we have done just that!  Today, I am showing the inspiration for the party over at Project Nursery – the virtual party planning that has taken place, if you will.  Melisa will be following up with pictures from the party in the next couple of weeks – showing you exactly how she took my inspiration and brought it to life!

Head on over to Project Nursery to see the details of the party inspiration…..but for now, here is a sneak peak of how things turned out:

Let me tell you, this party is going to knock your socks off!  Custom paper goods ranging from signs, to cupcake toppers, to centerpieces, to party favors….all created by us over at WH Hostess.  We love to work with customers to create custom parties – so if you are in need of a little help, or a lot of help – check us out!  We would love to help you plan your next party!

Images: dessert table (hello naomi via flickr.com), centerpiece (nancyluichin.com), paper lanterns (karljuengel.com), thomas the train cake (simplysweetz.com), red and blue banner (etsy.com), polka dot party favor box (thecelebrationshoppe.com), party favor topper (etsy.com)

 

March 12th, 2010 |

Kate Landers Events Giveaway WINNER!

Congratulations to our winner (e-mail me and I will get you in touch with Kate to claim your prize!)…and thanks to all of you for participating!  Make sure to swing over to Kate’s shoppe and take advantage of her generous 20% off coupon this weekend!

March 12th, 2010 |

Trend Alert: Daffodil Yellow

trend alert daffodil yellow

I love the first signs of Spring.  Especially the bunches of tulips and daffodils I see on my weekly spin thru Whole Foods!  It’s amazing how one little vase of flowers sitting on my kitchen table can brighten the entire room!  The color yellow is the epitome of Spring to me – and here is a little inspiration on how to incorporate it into your day.

Images: cupcakes (theknot.com), urn of daffodils, bouquet, and lemonade (stylemepretty.com), yellow wall art (bhg.com), centerpiece and chair covers (brides.com), green vase of daffodils (floralartla.com)

Fresh Party Invitations from Minted

March 11th, 2010 |

Dress Up Your Cocktails

 

Brides.com has a great feature on “dressing up” your cocktails for Spring.  Simple ways that add a special touch to any occasion, here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Tie circle tags on to the bottom of a champagne flute or wine glass with each guest’s name on them.
  2. Anything is better with a monogram!  Try these personalized tumblers for your next event!
  3. Dress up a plain cocktail with an orange-peel lollipop (roll up an orange peel and secure it with a wooden stick)
  4. Add stickers to plain tumblers to jazz them up for a party (love that you could customize the colors for each party, too!)
  5. L-O-V-E the sleek look of these flutes!  Perfect for a cocktail party, have a waiter (or your husband!) pass these around in this cool, clear tray
  6. Tie a simple flower around the stem of a wine glass – the perfect touch of Spring!
  7. Serve a cocktail in an unusual glass – such as an ice cream soda glass.
  8. Garnish your cocktails with fruit!  Pineapples are a sign of hospitality – the perfect way to welcome your guests!

 

March 10th, 2010 |

Inspirational Reading

I have had multiple people e-mail me lately asking if there are certain books that I pull inspiration from regularly.  Instead of respond to each of them, I decided I would share them with all of you!  Whether it’s weddings, parties, food, or just an updated floral arrangement I am looking for – these are my go-to books:

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