Great Gatsby Party

January 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s been forever- I know. Once again- new job. New boss. No work-life balance.

On the flip side my company forced everyone to take vacation for the holidays and I found my self with absolutely nothing to do with myself. Well they say idle hands are the devil’s workshop so what did I decide to do with myself? Rent a speakeasy, throw a giant ass New Years’ party and craft the heck out of my Christmas.

Step-by step tutorials on the crafted items to follow!

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Menu:

– Truffle popcorn

– Antipasto skewers

– Spinach dip

– Baked ravioli

– Back cheddar deviled eggs

– Cheesecake filled strawberries

– Champagne cake pops

Venue: Bathtub Gin

Rainbow Backdrop for St. Patty’s Day Dessert Display

March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

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… or Wizard of Oz themed party like I had- the rainbow backdrop set the scene for an Emerald City dessert display. The backdrop was made from crepe paper adhered to a wooden dowel with metallic tinsel sprinkled (cut from a metallic curtain.) This was inspired by a wedding backdrop I found here– her blog also has a great tutorial for assembling the streamers.

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I have made a fringy-crepe backdrop before for a Christmas party and it took a few hours to assemble- this time around I used double-sided tape and hung the dowel before attaching the crepe which saved me a ton of time.

Guiness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

March 1, 2012 § 3 Comments

My favorite holiday is fast approaching and I can’t think of anything better than an Irish Car Bomb in cupcake form. Anyone else over the moon that St. Patrick’s Day is on a Saturday this year? I know I am!

For those of you who don’t know what an Irish Car Bomb is- it’s a horrible St. Patty’s Day drink where you drop a shot of Baileys into a glass of Guinness and try to chug the whole thing in one gulp before the Bailey’s curdles into disgusting chunks. I am not the type to chug my drinks so I always end up with curdled Bailey’s. Sick.

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The Guiness bottle tops made the perfect finishing touch. I found the recipe for the cupcakes here – the Bailey’s ganache in the center was delicious but for some reason after being left out for a few hours it turned into the consistency of a truffle so I’d suggest leaving that part out if you do not plan to serve right away.

Save the Dates and Glittery Clothespin Magnets

January 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

For my mother’s 60th she’s asked my sister and I to host a tea party for her and her 12 (yes 12!) sisters and sister-in-laws. With summer being hectic, we decided to send some save the dates so there would be plenty of time for the ladies to plan their summers around my mom. She’s a special lady!

Mom asked for the party to be “whimsical”- which to me means glitter and vintage colors.

Each invite came in a black envelope lined with sheet music which came from a music book I bought at Goodwill a few months back for just the occasion; a well-spent $.99! To line the envelopes, I traced the opened envelope and trimmed to fit inside the envelopes, then used a glue pen to secure.

The save-the-dates came paired with a gold painted and glittered clothes pin magnet to make posting to the fridge or kitchen calendar a breeze.

The glittered clothespins were so easy to make- I used vintage gold paint, elmers glue, glitter, and trimmed magnet with adhesive backing,

I liked them so much I made a set for my fridge at home!

Naughty or Mice? Holiday Candy Buffet

December 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

The holidays have all seemed to have a reoccurring theme. It all started with Halloween’s Jack-o-Mousketeer cake pops and it all went downhill from there…

This is my first candy buffet I’ve done on my own- it was so fun! Especially shopping for the candy- there’s this great website called Candy Warehouse that sells bulk candy all separated out by color. They even have a video tutorial to help me visualize the volumes of the different candies.

Next time I’ll definitely use a different color for the ribbon so the labels stand out.

The sign was created in Powerpoint- I used this background download from HWTM with some white shapes drawn over it. So easy! Not to mention, the scroll labels were also created in Powerpoint by placing Word Art over a jpg I found online and twisting it.

My favorite part was the backdrop- good thing because it took me about four hours, two movies, and two glasses of wine to finish! Thanks so much to Oh Happy Day for the tutorial- for mine I used crepe paper streamers instead of crepe folds. Limited color selection but much cheaper and it’s already cut into strips.  I also added in strands of silver cut from a metallic curtain- the remaining silver was strewn on the buffet table to ground the jars.

Jack-o-Mouseketeer Cake Pops

October 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Jack-o-Lantern cake pops donning their own Halloween costumes!

I used a boxed spice cake with vanilla frosting and…thanks to the power of suggestion… everyone who tried one said “Mmmm pumpkin cake?” Love it.

First I made cake pops the regular old way with orange candy melts, quickly pressing two m&m’s into the top for the ears.

Next, I dipped the tops into black candy melts, and used a toothpick to draw the faces with the black candy melts.

All packed up and ready to ship out to coworkers in LA!

Happy Halloween.

Oktoberfest in October- Soft Pretzels. Wunderbar!

October 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Seattle- not to get behind the food trends, has a new tavern, created by the local favorite chef/restaurateur Tom Douglas, that features chewy, fluffy, beer boiled, brick oven fired soft pretzels!

Brave Horse Tavern has figured out a way to make pretzels hip by adding quirky dips like peanut butter bacon and clams with lager. It was love at first bite.

Growing up, my mother used to buy us giant boxes of frozen pretzels from Costco- 5 minutes in the microwave, a sprinkle of pre-packaged pretzel salt and BOOM! Pretzelpalooza. I found a recipe on Martha Stewart for beer boiled pretzels- I fiddled a bit and made a pretty addicting dip- both recipes below.

Mustard is always a great staple for pretzels- I also made a really yummy Onion Rosemary Confiturre (or jam as normal people call it). I served the pretzels with a great pumpkin beer from Trader Joe’s (Trader Joe’s?! I know, right?)

A pizza cutter made the perfect tool for cutting the dough.

My dad didn’t have any lager-style beer on hand so we improvised with Hefeweizen- it foamed a ton which was annoying but it was a good indicator when the liquid was getting too hot.

I threw together a Cheddar Habanero dip- so good! The dip had a rich flavor from the cheddar followed by a flash of heat from the pepper.

Pretzel Recipe, from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • Warm water
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packages rapid-rise yeast
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 4 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces, plus more for serving
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup pale ale-style beer
  • Pretzel salt
  • Mustard, for serving

Put it together

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups warm water, yeast, and 1/2 cup brown sugar; let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together flour and coarse salt using your hands. Add butter and continue to mix with your hands until mixture is crumbly. Add yeast mixture and, using your hands, mix until a shaggy dough is formed and water is absorbed.
  3. Using the dough hook attachment, mix dough on medium speed until dough is tight, elastic, and smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator; let chill at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  5. Roll dough out into a 14-by-12-inch rectangle. Cut dough into one dozen 12-inch-long strips, each about 1-inch wide. Transfer to a large baking sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Transfer to refrigerator and let chill for 15 minutes.
  6. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out each piece into a 30- to 33-inch-long rope (about 3/4-inch thick), starting from the center and working toward the ends. Make a “U” shape with the rope and cross the ends over, pinching at the bottom of the “U” to form a pretzel. Return to baking sheet and repeat process with remaining dough.
  7. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a large saucepan, combine 8 cups water, baking soda, beer, and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer pretzels, one at a time, until pretzel floats, about 30 seconds; transfer to prepared baking sheet using a perforated spatula. Repeat process with remaining pretzels.
  8. Sprinkle pretzels with pretzel salt; transfer to oven and bake for 5 minutes. Rotate baking sheet and continue baking until pretzels turn a chestnut-brown color, 4 to 6 minutes more. Remove from baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

 

Cheddar Habanero Dip

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Habanero pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 c cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c sharp cheddar, thinly grated

Put it together

  • Combine ingredients, microwave for 60 seconds, stir, and cool. Serve and Enjoy!

 

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