Posts Tagged ‘party food’

4 Summer Cocktails

There’s plenty of sunshine here in Southern California and we are already approaching our 95-100 degree days. How does an over-worked party gal keep her cool? With delicious, cold, summer cocktails of course!

Sometimes I’m inspired to come up with my own new summer cocktail recipes (like this watermelon cooler), but typically I’m far too parched to go to such efforts. When in need for new recipes of amazing summer drinks … turn to Pinterest!

Here are my favorite summer cocktails. You must be 21 years old to read further (nah, just kidding).

summer cocktails

Thirsty are you?

1. Frozen Vodka Slush – This is perfect for making a giant batch ahead and leaving in the freezer for when thirst sets in (or guests pop in). Recipe via ABCD Designs shared on Daily Grommet.

2. Spiked Blueberry Lemonade – a treat for the eyes and packed with  dazzling flavor via Veggie Belly.

3. Lime Sorbet Margarita – These are AMAZING and simple. Just how I like it. Recipe via Real Simple.

4. The Guavarita – Need I say more? Check it out at Confections of a Foodie Bride.

I’ve shared my favorite summer cocktails with you …. what are yours? Share in the comments below. Better yet, join in the #HolidayHQ chat this Wednesday on Twitter at 5pm PT. We’ll be dishing about all things summer entertaining. We’d love for you to join us!

Be sure to visit these other party hostesses for more great summer ideas!

Celebrations at Home |  Make A Watermelon Cake
Second City Soiree | How to Turn Your Grill into a Smoker
Skimbaco Lifestyle | Scandinavian Summer Party Ideas
Housewife Bliss | Summer Bunting for Playful Parties
Valley & Co. | Perfect Summer Cocktail Recipes
Party Blue Prints Blog |  Super Summer Pie
Paper & Pigtails | Favorite Summer Printables 

 

 

 

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Party Sandwiches + GIVEAWAY

I love entertaining in the summer because typical summer get-togethers are mellow, laid back, and simple (just how I really like it). One of my go-to party foods in the summer are sandwiches. That’s right, simple sandwiches. I love how versatile they can be. From a simple kid-pleasing platter of pb&j sandwiches to something more grown-up like a new panini recipe — there are so many variations yet they are all still pretty easy to pull off. I’ve been gathering some of my favorite recipes and ideas on this sandwich Pinterest board.

party sandwiches

Another trick is to order your sandwiches …. SIMPLE, right? My hostess tip is to order a platter of sandwiches and transfer to your own platter or make individual “lunch boxes” for guests. You’ll save time and energy which will result in your enjoying more of summer! My go-to caterer for affordable and delicious sandwiches is Subway. Here’s what I love about them:

  • Variety isn’t an issue – They offer Giant Subs, Sandwich Platters, SUBWAY to GO!™ boxed meals, drinks, sides and cookie platters.
  •  Short lead time – Catering orders can be placed 24 hours in advance – in some cases less!
  • Small OR Large groups – They have options for as few as 5 people, a mid-size group of 25 people – or hundreds of people if you need it.
  •  They can cover ANY Occasion – Whether you’re planning a birthday, anniversary party, sporting event, office meeting or other occasion for a meal, we can cover just about any type of gathering.
  •  Customizable Options – Sandwiches can be customized with your favorite veggies and toppings just the way you like!
  •  Great Value – Simply put – it is possible to feel groups well – without spending a lot!

Have I convinced you to have your sandwiches catered next time? Ditch the apron and prep and let Subway do the work ladies!

party sandwiches

Want to give them a try? Subway is giving away one reader a $50 gift card! That can feed your crowd during your next pool party, right?

Enter to win:  Contest is now closed.

CONGRATS to Julie! Check your inbox, we’ve emailed you :)

Leave a comment telling me your all-time favorite sandwich

For additional entries (optional):

-Pin this giveaway and leave a comment with the link to your pin

-Share this giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did

-Tweet this giveaway and leave a link to your tweet in a comment

Also, be sure to follow Subway on Twitter and like them on Facebook

Good luck!

*up to four entries per person. Contest ends May 9, 2012 at 11pm PST. I received a gift card for my catering needs from Subway.

 

 

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Nutella Cookies (made with love)

I baked yesterday. Nutella Cookies. They ate them and the world rejoiced. Okay, maybe not exactly :)

Nutella Cookies 

Some people bake because it’s their passion, others bake for special occasions or when they’re entertaining. Personally, I do bake for  birthdays and holidays but not really for entertaining. Perhaps I’m not a big baker because I worked in a bakery for many years ( sometimes the smell of buttercream or proofing dough haunts me).  I love to entertain but I’m not one for a dessert course and if I serve it — I rather make homemade ice cream. I do however bake when I feel like my girls need a little extra mom-love. Like yesterday. They needed some love and sugar, I gave them a big does of both :).

It’s been a crazy week in our home… lots going on but nothing out of the ordinary. Work, school, soccer, dance … and I noticed  I was a little “short” with my girls yesterday, the week was clearly wearing on me. We needed a sugar-love intervention. So, I told the girls to play outback with the pup for a bit and I whipped up these babies. Then, we ate cookies and painted our nails – girl time with mom. Then  we all felt better. Love it when life is that simple.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Nutella Cookies

recipe from two peas & their pod

Yield: 3 dozen cookies  Cook Time: 10-11 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup dutch-process cocoa

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract

1/3 cup Nutella

1/3 cup milk

Directions:

1. Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about two minutes. Add the vanilla and hazelnut extract and beat until extracts disappear. Add the Nutella and mix until batter is smooth.

2. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternately with the milk in one batch, mixing well. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes before baking. You can make the dough a few days in advance, just wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

3. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Take a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Place on lined baking sheets and gently press down on the dough ball. Continue making dough balls until the cookie sheets are filled-leave two inches in between cookies.

4. Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes or until soft, but starting to set. Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

They’re delicious, make them now. Next, I have to try this avocado ice cream from two peas & their pod. THAT sounds ah-maz-ing.

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A Simple St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast

Looking for a fun and simple idea for a festive St. Patrick’s Day breakfast? This idea for fun St. Patrick’s Day food I shared last year (green milk + Lucky Charms), has taken off on Pinterest! I am so tickled that everyone likes my super simple idea that  I wanted to share another one with you. It will take you about  3 minutes to make and will put a big smile on your kiddos face.

You will need: A cup, a stir stick, and 6 pieces of Frootloop cereal

St. Patricks Day Breakfast

It’s as simple as it looks, really.

st pattys breakfast

Make your green milk (just add food coloring), assemble a stir stick with your Frootloops. DONE!

St Patricks Day printable

Add a little special touch and print this little guy out to place near the glass. Simply, right click + save to your computer. Then, open in a word doc and print.

I hope this makes you smile!

 **Looking for more Saint Patrick’s day food ideas? Check out these rainbow cupcakes and these rainbow pancakes, green pancakes … or this simple green milk + Lucky Charms idea!

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A Birthday Breakfast Party

When it came time to choose a theme for my little London’s 5th birthday — I knew I wanted to do a birthday breakfast and decided it would be fun to make it also a pajama party. Since she’s a little young for a traditional sleepover, it was a nice twist and made for a really unique birthday!

birthday breakfast

 My inspiration for the color palette was non-peril sprinkles — they just scream BIRTHDAY!

pajama party

The party was on her actual birthday (2 days before Christmas!) and it was fun to wake her up with new “birthday pajamas” and a darling pancake necklace (I found it on Etsy here).

birthday breakfast party

The breakfast table was set for 12 little ones and I made it bright & cheery — just like a birthday morning should be!

activities | birthday breakfast

I designed simple paper placemats  for each child to color (FREE printable link at bottom of the post!). This kept their little hands busy while the parents greeted one another and grabbed a cup of coffee.

Coffee, creamer, chocolate spoons, birthday bark and fruit made up a little “rise & shine” station for the moms & dads.

 

cereal - breakfast party

The real sugary fun took place over at the cereal buffet and birthday pancakes station! Loved the colorful birthday banner from A To Z Celebrations (and it matched the table runner she made perfectly)!

cereal buffet

All the sugary cereal a kid could dream of — a true birthday treat for our little one! Served in these darling kraft paper bowls. I stamped the wooden spoons with “Happy Birthday” which was an easy way to add something special. The vintage milk carafes were a great thrift-store find.

Mini yogurt parfaits, funfetti pancakes and flavored syrups were all out for grabs. The Mr. whipped up pancakes and bacon to order outside since it was such a gorgeous December morning.

These vintage syrup dispensers were also an Etsy find — and I LOVE having them in my collection now :).

breakfast party

My other favorite element was the breakfast “dessert” table. Donuts and cinnamon rolls that delighted every kid (and several parents)!

It was just so much fun to put together! The donut pops stood up perfectly in these bright containers from Blumbox (they have new inserts which made it super easy).

And these little edible toppers from Edible Details … can you say, PERFECT? I could not get enough of these darling stacks of pancakes — they were so adorable! And the muffin toppers matched our invite perfectly, just so cute!

Activities and Games: We let the kids make cereal necklaces and also played a pancake relay game.

pancake cake

The birthday pancake-cake looked like a stack of giant pancakes, but was really a cake! It was a little tough to convince the birthday girl that we weren’t serving more pancakes (that yes, this was an actual CAKE), but once she tasted it — it was a hit! This is the recipe I used.

For favors, we sent the sugar-overloaded guests home with something that would pick them up after their (inevitable) afternoon crash … Fruity Pebbles rice crispy treats. Oh yes, try them — they are so good!

pajama party

And the birthday girl, awe so sweet :). A big thanks to all those who helped with her party, attended her special day (bright & early!) and to those reading now — thank you!

** I got so many requests for the placemats I designed that I am sharing FREE downloads and have included ages 1-6. Feel free to print and use at your own Birthday Breakfast party! Download the signs & placemats here.

 

For a look back at London’s 4th birthday, check out her cowgirl party.

Invites, Paper Elements, Styling | Thoughtfully Simple

Cinnamon Roll & Muffin Toppers | Edible Details

Table Runner & Birthday Banner | A To Z Celebrations

Party Rentals | Allie’s Rentals

Holders for Donut Pops | Blumebox

Cups, bowls, coffee dispenser, spoons, parfait cups | Garnish

 

 

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Valentine’s Day Cookie Pops

Looking for something cute and sweet to whip for your little Valentine or to serve at your Valentine’s Day party? We’ve shared several Valentine’s Day cupcakes (and even an adult only version)  but today we’re loving these super simple cookie pops!

cookie pops

 

Aren’t they cute?!

Recently, the nice folks at Wrigley Candy Co. sent me a huge box of sweet surprises. Think… all the good stuff — Skittles, Starburst, Lifesavers, + gum galore! Besides snacking like crazy (someone please come take this candy away from me) I’ve been playing with fun new recipes like this one.

What I used:

-Mini sugar cookies (these are store bought even, see — simple!)

-White frosting

-Red & Pink Skittles

-White lollipop sticks

*note – you may have to eat all other colors of Skittles in order to isolate the red & pink. It’s okay, just go ahead and eat them all.

What I did:

-Used frosting to attach to cookies together, placing the stick in the middle (like a sandwich)

-Put more frosting on one top of the cookie

-Placed the Skittles on the frosting for the decoration

DONE!

I placed my completed cookie pops in this perfectly sizes Blumebox and covered the pop insert with more Skittles.

What do you think, could cookie pops be the next cake pop? I’m a much bigger cookie fan, so I’d be okay with that ;).

I received candy from Wrigley to complete this post. However, all thoughts & opinions are my own.

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