Add a little pop to your party

July 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve noticed popsicles have started popping up (ha!) in recent fashion blog postings and magazines. They are a great way to add color and flavor to any dessert feature/event. Have fun with it by using gourmet flavors and fun shapes. Here are some cute, quirky molds I found if you want to wander outside the traditional tombstone:

Guitar pops (Amazon- $9.70)- they are mini-sized so they could also be a cute drink garnish to add a flavor to a cocktail. I’m thinking mango puree pop to drop into your mojito…

Remember ring pops? $9.95 on Prairie Moon

And of course my personal favorite-  light saber pops! Not only do they light up, but the mold also comes with a recipe book with flavors like “C-3POrange” $34.95 at Think Geek

What happens when summer’s over and you can’t stop the pop?

Chocolate Chipsicles! $15.13 on Amazon

What to put in your pop? Start with your base be it mimosa, lemonade, chocolate pudding, sky’s the limit! Then, add some texture by dropping in solid pieces like fresh fruit, molded chocolate, or edible flowers. How fun would it be to make bright blue pops and drop in swedish fish!

Hint: if you are going to put solid pieces it requires a little babysitting if you want them spaced evenly. Freeze a layer of your pop, drop in your solid, then add more liquid, freeze, repeat.

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Happy Friday! … and a little cake pop trick I just picked up

July 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Long overdue cake pop display I sold for a fundraiser- in purple and gold because the purchaser is a big Huskies fan (so is the baker!)

When I make cake pop displays I’m always searching for creative ways to cover up the floral foam anchoring the sticks. The popular way is with candy covered chocolate candies (aka m&m’s) but they are so expensive for something that’s not a feature. Today I found that tissue paper torn into strips and scrunched in between the sticks makes an easy, cheap presentation. I think I’ve found my new go-to for my displays!

Lavender on the menu

July 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lavender season is coming! Being from a small town, it wasn’t until college when I was introduced to the crazy idea of actually eating it. Lavender had always been something that comes in soap or lotion.

When I was 10 my Girl Scout troop made wands out of lavender which my mother proudly hung in my bathroom… and there it remained for the next twelve years before it  was eventually taken down, boiled, and made into a delicious cocktail. True story

Lavender Martinis! There is a bar in the artsy part of Seattle called Chapel that has what I believe to be the best lavender martini I’ve ever had. I convinced the bartender to share the recipe. The drink on the right had blackberry juices added to it, I do not recommend.

It’s all about the lavender simple syrup. The recipe made a ton so I’m hoping to experiment with other recipes (lemon squares with lavender or perhaps lavender-rosemary lemonade?)

Here’s the recipe- make sure and warn your guests that the drink is particularly deceptive. It’s much stronger than it tastes!

Lavender Martini

  • 1/2 oz Lavender simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice

Add to a shaker filled with ice, shake it up and serve in a martini glass. Sugar rim optional.

Lavender simple syrup

  • 3 tbs fresh or dried lavender
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

Bring water to a boil with lavender in a medium saucepan, stir in sugar until it is dissolved. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 1-3 hours. Strain out lavender and serve. Makes about one cup syrup.

Broccoli Crunch Salad

July 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Taking a slight break from my emerging trends week. Hey, it’s a holiday. My mom asked me to make something with veggies for her birthday yesterday and I immediately thought of the broccoli crunch salad they make at Whole Foods. Partly because it has cashews in it which is my mom’s guilty pleasure, but mostly because it is an incredibly addicting crisp, sweet, delicious crunchy salad. Perfect for summer.

I scoured the internet to find the recipe but it seems like none is out there. I did find the list of ingredients provided by Whole Foods and I took on the rest. I made it once yesterday, and again today because we were supposed to save half for my aunt’s 4th of July party and well, that didn’t happen so here I am again making the recipe.  The recipe only takes about 15 minutes tops.

Broccoli, bacon bits, currants, golden raisins, and candied cashews in a honey-chipotle mayo dressing.

Cashews candy-ing on the stove. I remove them as soon as the sugar dissolves and they barely get that toasted look on the bottoms.

When chopping the broccoli I turned the head upside down and hacked fairly close to the head to get perfect bite-sized pieces.

For the recipe- I personally like my salad a little light on the dressing to balance out with the rest of the components. If you’re one of those people that likes the dressing to dominate the salad then I’d suggest doubling up. I got the best feedback from my two-year old nephew who, upon his first bite, actually did a little happy dance. Love it.

Broccoli Crunch Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 medium heads of fresh broccoli
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 strips turkey bacon
  • 2/3 cup roasted and salted cashews
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
  • 2 tsp honey

Method:

  1. Candy the cashews by cooking in a medium-sized skilled with sugar, dust with cayenne.
  2. Remove from heat and lay out on waxed paper to cool once sugar is dissolved and nuts are slightly browned.
  3. While the nuts cook, prepare the turkey bacon and allow to cool. 
  4. Wash and chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl.
  5. Once bacon has cooled, chop into small bits, set aside.
  6. In a separate bow, combine mayo, chipotle sauce, and honey.
  7. Stir dressing into broccoli, then add currants, raisins, bacon bits, and cashews.

Emerging Trends in Celebration Decoration Day 4: BIY Bars

July 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

… as in Build-It-Yourself! I’ve already done a couple of postings on the Mac and Cheese Bar as well as the Slider Bar at the mother’s day party. Guests love the flexibility and opportunity to be creative and it gives the host less to prepare aside from setting out the ingredients. I’d suggest framing suggestions for combinations for guests that may need some extra help.

Perfect for summer- this build your own hot dog bar includes toppings like banana peppers, onions, cheese, chili, jalapenos, pickles, mayo, green onions, salsa, cole slaw, ketchup and mustard. From Hostess with the Mostess. Clearly the author Jennifer has never had a Seattle Special- bratwurst with caramelized onions and cream cheese. You’ll thank me later.

The old favorite- Ice Cream Topping Bar, via Eat Drink Chic. Do a healthier version with frozen yogurt- those Red Mango-like shops are pretty much taking over Seattle.

This one has to be my favorite- Benedict Bar via Local Social. They have bacon, smoked salmon, and asparagus for main toppings- I’d also add tomato, avocado, and crab cakes.

Hot Cocoa bar from Katie Grace Designs. So creative with chocolate and white chocolate covered spoons, toppings like marshmallows, crushed peppermint, chipped cream, and peanut butter chips, and different flavored syrups. Where’s the Baileys?

YES! Thank you Apartment Therapy for the idea. A fondue party first of all would be amazing because cheese is pretty much the tastiest thing on the planet- second of all a fondue bar makes a great addition to an Achorman, Mad Men or any other 70’s  party. The Melting Pot is a chain that specializes in cheese, broth, and chocolate  fondue- their menu is a great source for ideas on fondues and dippers.

Emerging Trends in Celebrations Day 3: Meet my friend ROY G BIV

July 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Rainbow color schemes are all over the place these days- what better way to add energy to a space. Make it more modern by focusing on white or black with rainbow accents.

Why hide the true origins? Notice the pillar candle wraps.  David Stark 

 Rainbow cake- lots more pictures and tutorial on whatever… I’d love to try and inverse the coloring with 8 layers of white cake and rainbow frosting in between.

Jello slices! So clever. Photo from Coolhunter, tutorial on Not Martha.

Great way to make a statement- love the mixed mediums of lines and dots. Via Blowout Party!

I’ve seen mini bunting but these adorable yarn poms look like mini tissue poms. Buy at Etsy here.

I love this party trick! Totally had me stumped until I did some digging and found a recipe and tutorial here.

All of these ideas can be great themes on their own, but can also tie in for a Wizard of Oz or St, Patrick’s Day party.

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