January 28th, 2010 |
Sunset Magazine has a great feature on pears this month. Light, refreshing and perfect for an early Spring party, these recipes will add a nice new assortment to your repertoire! They offer up 6 ideas (and each one is more irresistible than the other!):
This sweet (but not too sweet) drink should be made one at a time in a cocktail shaker. Energetic shaking and a proper drink-to-ice ratio ― possible only in a shaker ― are key: The ice dilutes and softens the “edges” of the cocktail, encouraging the otherwise sharp flavors to meld together.
Caramelized Pear and Sage Crostini
Sweet pears and sharp blue cheese create an exciting yet homey appetizer. Serve them with the pear sidecar cocktail (recipe precedes), sparkling wine, or a slightly sweet white wine.
Braised Pork with Pears and Chiles
The gentle heat of the dried chiles is highlighted by the sweet pears, which become soft and a bit savory while cooking in the pork juices. With a side of greens, this is one of our favorite fall dinners.
Asian Pear, Fennel, and Walnut Salad
The quality of the walnuts can make or break this dish, so be sure to taste them first (farmers’ markets are an excellent source of fresh nuts; store in the freezer after buying).
Pear Upside-Down Cake
A rich flavor and soft crumb made this cake a favorite in our test kitchen.
Light and refreshing, this sorbet is a delightful way to end a heavy meal. If you want to serve sparkling wine with the sorbet, choose one that’s sweeter than the one in the sorbet.
January 27th, 2010 |
I don’t know about you, but I have been trying to eat light these days. Between the holidays and my lack of activities during the winter, keeping meals light and healthy is important (especially so that I can keep eating chocolate like it’s my job!). My husband and I have been making salads for dinner lately….and to tell you the truth, they are BORING me. So, I have been searching the web looking for some healthy, yet tasty recipes to keep me satisfied during these long winter months!
Here is what I came up with: (clockwise from the top left) citrus tuna pasta salad, spinach, pear and parmesan salad, scallops with tarragon cream and wilted butter lettuce, watermelon-tomato skewers, vietnamese noodle rolls, peach and brie quesadillas with lime-honey dipping sauce, melon and prosciutto salad, and avocado pesto-stuffed tomatoes.
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January 26th, 2010 |
Someone recently asked me how I come up with my party ideas….and I responded by telling them that it’s a variety of things! Inspiration from around the web, fashion and color trends, things I dream up in the middle of the night, and often…it’s the people in my life that inspire different themes! When I put together a boho chic wine and cheese party, I’m totally thinking of my sister. A monkey-themed birthday party…inspired by my god-daughter. A rustic, yet elegant wedding, I am recreating the look of my own wedding! So today’s party is inspired by our little cousin, Erin, who has a love affair with her puppies!
A puppy-themed party is great – because it is so gender neutral! Great for a boy or girl, and darling whether it is held inside or out. I’m not going to lie to you….these puppy cupcakes from Parents Magazine started the ball rolling for this theme. Aren’t they darling?! Each one has such a cute little personality, and when you read the instructions you will see….they actually aren’t that difficult to make! Using the cupcakes as your “wow” factor (one of my top 12 entertaining tips!), plan your decorations around them. Simple things such as napkins with paw prints, or straws bent in the shape of a bone will add a cute (but not cheesy) touch to the overall theme without spending a fortune! And don’t forget to get creative with food….it would be darling to cut out pieces of cheese using a dog bone cookie cutter!
Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), puppy cupcakes (parents.com), banner (etsy.com), face painting and table setting (designdazzle.com), dog-bone straw, dog-bone candy, and paw-print napkins (birthdayinabox.com)
Birthday in a Box and Tiny Prints are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress. For information regarding advertising, please click here.
January 25th, 2010 |
This very well may be my “dream” party! With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I decided it was time to start throwing some ideas out at you! A couple of things come to mind when I think of this fuzzy, feel-good holiday….flowers, hearts and CHOCOLATE! As you all know by now, my name is Kelly Lyden and I AM a chocoholic! So in trying to come up with a unique party idea for Valentine’s Day, I decided instead of a traditional cocktail party or sit-down dinner, wouldn’t it be more fun to host a chocolate-tasting party?! Um, that’s a big, fat Y-E-S in my book!
In theory, this is actually a very simple party to organize (especially if you are a baker!). Compile a collection of chocolate treats to assemble an outstanding buffet. I picture bowls of truffles, plates of chocolate-covered toffee, and a few other decadent treats. In my search for new and delicious chocolate recipes, I came across these: triple-chocolate mousse (these look oh, so elegant in champagne flutes), chocolate-raspberry tarts, brownie-ice cream mini sandwiches, heart-shaped macaroons, and sugared chocolate beignets. What I love about this selection of desserts is that there is a pop of color. The raspberries on the tarts, the red macaroons…it helps to break up the brown color of chocolate!
Throw in a red, signature cocktail, some cute plates and napkins…..and you have one tasty party on your hands!
Images: centerpiece (styleathome.com), cocktail (traditionalhome.com)
The Celebration Shoppe is a preferred sponsor of The Party Dress. For information regarding advertising, please click here.
January 25th, 2010 |
Good morning, ladies! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend! Before we get started for the week, I have a very fun announcement…..
Jenin, from Creative Hostess, is hosting a contest for the most adorable kids party of 2009. Now, I know how talented you are all, because you send me beautiful parties to see everyday….It’s time to let the world see how talented you are! The rules are simple, there are fabulous prizes for the top 3 winners from The Ink Spot Worshop, Seven Cupcakes, Gigglesapu, and Parties by Hardie, and it’s being judged by yours truly! (along with some of the best party goddesses I know….Jenn from Hostess with the Mostess, Kim from TomKat Studio and Chris from Celebrations at Home)
So head on over to Creative Hostess to enter your party! Good luck!
January 23rd, 2010 |
Last but not least, I would like to welcome Kate Landers Events to The Party Dress!
Kate Landers has planned events for her entire life. She has a passion for planning, and loves all things classic and traditional! When it comes to planning parties, Kate’s vision includes a custom line of higher-end and more eco-friendly party ware and tableware specifically designed for young children, themed parties based off of classic children’s storybooks, and beautiful details with a classic touch. Her goal is to bring back the old-fashioned birthday party charm, and give clients an opportunity to custom create every aspect of their child’s party. Kate encourages themes, décor, activities and favors that nurture a young child’s imagination. No two parties must be exactly alike! So whether you need a little help or a lot of help….let Kate help you plan the party of your dreams!
Kate’s dream is to make personalized party products not only stylish but also affordable. Therefore you will see a range of price points offered in her online shoppe. Everything from fabric party hats, to party ware, gifts, and custom invitations….this shoppe will have your drooling with delight! (my personal favorites include: hot pink houndstooth party hat, the bright colored melamine tumblers, and the scalloped initial hair clip)shoppe. Everything from fabric party hats, to party ware, gifts, and custom invitations….this shoppe will have your drooling with delight! (my personal favorites include: hot pink houndstooth party hat, the bright colored melamine tumblers, and the scalloped initial hair clip)
January 23rd, 2010 |
I am thrilled to introduce you to one of our newest advertisers, Busy Bee Paperie. A darling shop specializing in paper and gifts….from babies, to mommies, to the bride to be, Busy Bee Paperie has an impeccable selection of invitations, birth announcements, and stationary perfect for any occasion. They also have a darling line of jewelry that includes photo charms and inspired verses…a lovely gift for a new mommy or bride!
So…what are you waiting for?! Head on over to Busy Bee Paperie to check out their darling shop…..there’s something for everyone (especially for all of the times you have something to buzz about!) and a big thanks from us here at The Party Dress, we are so happy to have you!
January 23rd, 2010 |
Today is an exciting day….we have three new advertisers to welcome to The Party Dress!
First up is Happy Hour Mom…a fabulous website dedicated to the hot mamas, soon-to-be mamas, trying-to-be-a-mama mama’s, and anyone who is interested in the latest gadgets, gizmos, and got-to-knows for women and children of all ages. Founders Shannon and Toni firmly believe that everyone deserves a “happy hour”, whether it be curling up with a cup of coffee reading your favorite blogs, sitting still long enough to read a book, or grabbing a quick cocktail with a friend.
HHM is a one-stop-shop of resources to provide insight to the latest products and tips for all things mom. Whether it be the hottest new trends for maternity, mom and baby, the best new toys and books on the market, going green with the hottest new products, or tips on ways to save, they have it all. They have real moms with real stories, experiences and suggestions for all. From room decor, to party ideas, to fun snacks and projects they have something for everyone. They also have a new shop on OpenSky (which is how I met Shannon and Toni!)…definitely add it to your list as a new resource for the hottest products for baby, kids and toys!
January 22nd, 2010 |
Happy Friday, everyone! This has been a great week here at The Party Dress! We’ve had some great features….a modern baby shower, an Asian-themed dinner party, a vintage carnival birthday party, and a trend alert for Spring. We’ve had record breaking visitors this week (yay!), so for all of our loyal readers, a huge “thank you!” for coming to us for inspiration!
And for all of our new readers….thank you for visiting us! We hope you come back (often) and also become a fan of our Facebook page, visit our shop via OpenSky, and check out our new line of stationary, WH Hostess.
One of our new year’s resolutions for The Party Dress is to frequently update our picture galleries. These are meant to be a source of inspiration for all of you, our readers. If you are having a dinner party, and need a napkin idea….head over to the napkin gallery. Need some inspiration for your next kids party?! This gallery has tons of great ideas!
The picture galleries have been reformatted and updated, so head over to check them out this weekend! These images are meant to inspire you…so if you have images that you think could inspire our readers, send them on over!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Get excited for next week…we have a few amazing parties to share with you!
Images: centerpieces (avantgarden.com), party ideas for kids (via napkins with a twist), holidays (inmagine.com)
Amazon, Minted and WH Hostess are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.
For information regarding advertising, please click here.
January 21st, 2010 |
This citrus color palette would be perfect for ANY type of party! Bright, festive, and oh, so Spring-y looking!
Images: centerpiece (countryliving.com), outfit (nordstrom.com), napkins (hwtm.com), table setting (brides.com), dishes (jonathanadler.com), party favor box (theknot.com), candle centerpiece (gradinroad.com)