July 20, 2009 § 1 Comment
Yet another inspiration stemmed from a local Seattle event: Seattle chef/restauranteur Tom Douglas’ Ice Cream Social event made me think- wine tasting, beer tasting, ice cream tasting? It makes perfect sense! Baskin Robins had the right idea with 31 flavors- who wouldn’t want to try them all? This is a fun idea for a summer get-together with friends- even better for a baby-shower when you need a fun non-alcoholic activity. Ask each guest to either bring their favorite flavor of ice cream (mine is Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk) or make their own! Other ideas for the party:
- Go with an old-fashioned 1900’s theme and decorate the tables with candy striped table cloths.
- For centerpieces, set out vintage ice cream dishes and fill with ice-cream flavored chupa-chups, salt water taffy, other candy.
- Each guest gets their own shot glass or cordial glass like they would at a wine tasting. Try to find smaller spoons too. I like these cordial glasses from Target because guests can set their glasses down and find them later.
- I created an evite/web jpeg for you to use as well- click here to download.
July 16, 2009 § 1 Comment
One of my favorite followers, Michelle recently sent me a blog request and wrote:
“I have tons of chicken legs, corn and potatoes left over from a weekend BBQ. Any idea on how to use the leftovers for another dinner party?”
Michelle, I have three awesome recipes that will put your leftovers to good use and still be mouth-watering to serve to your dinner party guests! I am keeping the recipes in line with the BBQ/southern cooking style to give a nod to the roots =) On the menu: Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Corn Fritters, and Cajun Roasted Potatoes. Make sure to note that these recipes assume the ingredients are uncooked, so adjust the cooking time to account for this.
If you have a blog post request, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2-1/3 cups barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- Hot pepper sauce
- 4 kaiser or French rolls, split
- 3 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1-1/2 cups)
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in a heavy pot with the onion, garlic and just enough water to cover (about 1 cup). Add the barbecue sauce, vinegar and a few drops hot sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred with two forks.
- Boil the sauce, skimming occasionally, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the shredded chicken and heat through. Spoon the mixture onto the rolls and top with the cheese.
Source: Everyday with Rachel Ray
- 3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from cobs
- 3 x eggs
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp cornmeal
- Salt and pepper
- 2 x green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Whisk corn and eggs in a large bowl.
- Add flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Stir in green onion and cheddar.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over a medium heat then add batter by the spoonful and flatten to form a pancake.
- Cook until golden, flip and cook other side.
- Serve with sour cream or butter
Source: Food Network (Canada)
Roasted Cajun Potatoes
- 2 1/2 pounds medium red potatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Cut each potato lengthwise into eight wedges. In a large bowl, combine the oil, shallots, garlic, salt, paprika, cayenne and pepper; add potatoes and toss to coat. Place in greased roasting pan.
- Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until tender and golden brown, turning every 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.
July 16, 2009 § 1 Comment
Just this past weekend I co-hosted a nautical-themed party on my building’s deck/party room. We used a ton of paper for the decor and only spent about $40 TOTAL on decorations (alcohol was an entirely different story.) It was a huge hit! Everyone was told to dress nautical which could include beachy, pirate, mermaid, sailor, captain, etc. Here are some of the highlights.
- Fishing nets hung from the rafters filled with paper fish (we cut out of white paper and drew X’s for their eyes and tongues hanging out of their mouth)
- The walls were covered with paper decorations of portholes (download here) and bubbles (download here)
- There were nautical signs (see above) of a Sailor pointing guests where to go (download), a “Poop Deck” sign for the bathroom (download) and an old scroll telling guests directions to the party room.
- Nautical movies silently played on the television, such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Little Mermaid.” Other movies you can play include the old “Treasure Island” and episodes of “Gilligan’s Island.”
- Plastic life rings bought from a party shop hung from the deck railings.
- Snacks for guests included goldfish crackers and Swedish fish. Other ideas include saltwater taffy, lifesavers, crab cake bites, clam chowder shooters.
Other nautical party ideas:
- Make nautical paper hats for guests who show up without a costume and scatter throughout the room or put in a treasure chest. Here are a couple links to how to make a colonial pirate hat and a sailor hat.
- Hang nautical rope and/or orange life vests from deck railings or around the room.
- Make seaweed by twisting dark and light green crepe paper and taping vertically from the floor up, randomly alternating colors.
- Set out small goldfish bowls and fill with water and turquoise rocks, sand and seashells, or floating candles
- If you have a pond, a pool or feel like setting up a kiddie pool, float toy boats carrying tea lights in the water
- I stumbled upon this blog that is entirely dedicated to decorating your house with a nautical/ocean theme- tons of inspiration. Click here to see it.
July 14, 2009 § Leave a comment
Due to the popularity of my previous BBQ invite post I decided to make another BBQ invite image for you to use in Evite, or print out for a paper invitation. My favorite part about this one is the hilarious look on the animals’ faces like they know what’s coming =) Click here to download the hi-res version for printing. Click here to download the evite/web friendly version.