Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dress My Dishes

White dishes are a must have for anyone serious about entertaining. They are so versatile! You can easily dress them up or down to suit any occasion. The Dress My Dishes series will show you just how easy it is to take your dishes from every day to entertaining.
Take a look at this little ensemble, perfect for a summer dinner party with the ladies.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Here's hoping your Memorial Day is filled with good food, family, friends, and a whole lot of fun!

Images via TasteSpotting
 Don't forget as you celebrate the start of the summer to remember all those that have given their lives defending our country!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Party Ready Pantry: Gourmet Mexican Seasoning Sauce

Today is the first post in a series called Party Ready Pantry. This series is all about great food products you can pick up anytime from your local grocery store that are great to have stocked away in your pantry for any last minute entertaining. It's always good to have a couple things on hand that are quick and easy to prepare for that unexpected dinner guest or even for a fancy party. Remember, there are great tasting products out there that can make your life as a hostess a breeze! Don't feel obligated to slave over a hot stove all day just because you're hosting a party. Take advantage of what is already available! Less time in the kitchen equals more time getting yourself ready for the party!
Our first Party Ready Pantry item is Gourmet Mexican Seasoning Sauce by Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill.

These rich sauces come in a variety of flavors from Chipotle Garlic to Cilantro Lime. They are all a bit spicy and add just the right amount of heat to your Mexican fiesta. Simply add the protein of your choice and some sliced veggies and you have yourself a restaurant worthy meal!
You can also try mixing the sauce with sour cream for a great party dip!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Decor DIY: Dress up my Votives!

Plain glass votives are a great entertaining staple to have on hand. That being said, they can get a little boring. Here are a few great tutorials to take your votives from plain jane to party superstar!

Use one of these great tutorials to permanently dress up your votives. These are not reversible so use them if you are planning on using your votives once or don't mind upgrading your votives for good.

These tutorials are great because they are only temporary! Dress up your votives for the party then strip them down and put them back in the closet until your next event.
Don't have an entire afternoon to devote to decorating your votives? Not many people do! Have no fear...here are a few other super simple and quick ways to add a little pizzazz to your votives.
·         Look for some fun colored candles to change things up a bit.
·         You can also fill your votives with a variety of things to change their look. Coffee beans, marbles, rocks, are just a few of the options.
·         Buy some ribbon that matches the rest of the decor and simply wrap around the votive.
·         Stickers! Sounds corny but there are some gorgeous stickers available these days. Check the scrapbooking section of your local craft store.
·         Grab a few of your favorite fake flowers and remove them from the stem. Attach them to your votives with a little raffia.
·         Add water and a few drops of food coloring then place floating candles in the votives.
·         Cupcake liners! There are so many to choose from that you are sure to find something that will work with your table. Simply place the votive inside the liner for a dash of color.
·         Raid your jewelry box and find a couple bracelets that will fit around the votives. If you don't have any on hand, pick up a few stretchy bands from a local department store.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Entertaining Inspiration

If you haven't already heard of Lonny Magazine you have got to check it out! The online magazine is always full of great design inspiration and gorgeous photos. The latest issue is no exception! Check out some of the photos from the Lulu Powers article about hosting a chic outdoor dinner party.

This amazing lighted planter is also featured in this issue. How stunning would these look at an outdoor party! Talk about a new twist on lighting. So pretty.

All photos via Lonny Magazine

Monday, May 23, 2011

Entertaining Table: Burlap & Bandanas

Illustration by Kate of Kate Marie Paperie

The menu is set and the drinks are chilling, time to decorate! Keep things rustic and simple for the outdoor fete by decorating with burlap fabric and colorful bandanas .
The burlap fabric will be the perfect table cloth, no sewing needed! Layer the bandanas down the center of the table for a quick table runner. Don't worry about making it perfect..it's rustic! Collect empty tin cans from the recycle bin and wrap in some colored yarn. Secure with a dab of hot glue and you have instant vases. Fill with a couple small sunflowers or similar yellow flowers to complete the happy little centerpieces. Provide some night light with copper tea lights or mason jars with candles.
Use the leftover yarn to wrap up your silverware bundles. Plastic or the good stuff, makes no difference. Place the silverware and a folded napkin on top of simple white dishes and your ready to eat!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Inviting Times: BBQ Party

Fun and funky, these BBQ invites are sure to make your friends excited for the party. 
Available here

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Quick party tip....send your invites 2-3 weeks in advance! You don't want anyone to miss the party!
Don't see anything you like? Email me! I would love to design a custom invitation perfect for your event!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Entertaining Tip of the Week

Quote via Epicurious

Happy Weekending!

Tasty Beverage: The Watermelon Edition

It's time  to cool off with a refreshing cocktail and what's more summer than a juicy watermelon! These cocktails are super easy to prepare and they look so pretty.

Images via TasteSpotting

You can even serve the drinks from the watermelon! You know what that means...less dishes AND you look like a superstar. Check out this tutorial  and buy the supplies here .

For a fun non-alcoholic option, freeze melon balls and add to ice tea with a drizzle of simple syrup. Ahhh! Summer never tasted so good.
If you still have melon left  after the party, throw it in a bowl with some chopped prosciutto and mint. Sprinkle with salt and you have a great breakfast. Exactly what you need after your night of entertaining. Kick back, relax, and enjoy! You deserve it!
Not sure how to pick the perfect watermelon? Check out these helpful tips.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Memorial Day KebaBBQ!

Summer is finally here! You know what that means? It's time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! Shake up your traditional Memorial Day BBQ with a KebaBBQ. Nothing is easier than offering your guests a variety of meats and veggies to build their very own kebabs. Throw together a few simple sides and a refreshing dessert and you have yourself a fabulous party!

Images via TasteSpotting

Super Simple KebaBBQ Party Menu:
  • Kebabs with a variety of meat/fish and veggies
  • Corn Casserole (don't be afraid to throw in some extras! Cheese, chopped jalapeƱos, onions...don't be shy!)
  • Your favorite can of black beans jazzed up with a little lime juice, cilantro, and green onions
  • Grilled pineapple with ice cream and crushed peanuts (make it easy and buy the canned pineapple rings)
Do all the chopping for the kebabs the night before. Remember to keep the sizes about the same so everything cooks evenly. Store the food in the fridge and simply place into colorful bowls before the guests arrive. The corn casserole batter can be made in about 5 minutes and then thrown in the oven before the party. The smell of the casserole cooking will be a great welcome to your guests! The only thing left to do, open a can of beans, add the extras and heat. When dinner is done and it's time for dessert, sprinkle the pineapple with sugar and grill on both sides for a few minutes. Serve with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream and crushed peanuts. Drizzle a little caramel sauce on top if you're feeling crazy...mmmmm!
Image via RecipeTips

Cooking for a party does not have to be complicated and fancy. No one will care if the beans you serve came from a can or if your ice cream isn't homemade. The important thing is it will all taste AMAZING and you will look like an entertaining superstar. So, take it easy on yourself and enjoy the party!
Check back tomorrow for some deliciously simple watermelon cocktails! The perfect compliment for today's menu.