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April 2009

Interesting Arrangement

I love how everyone is filling their flower vases with all kinds of objects these days.  You can use basically any kind of candy, we found out at Easter.  All you need are two similarly shaped vases (one narrower than the other) and a little creativity and you've got a one-of-a-kind arrangement!  The one below uses Mother of Pearl buttons in water to appear like baubles.  This would be a pretty idea for Mother's Day don't you think?

Mld103930_0908_button_vase_xl 

Small iridescent seashells would look nice too. You could also coordinate the button color to the flower color.  The smaller the interior vase the larger your objects can be.  What have you used to fill your vases lately?

(photo from marthastewart.com)


Derby Snack

Serve these Hat Cookies this weekend at your own Kentucky Derby Party!  They would also make great party favors.  Then wash them down with this Mint Julep Iced Tea.  It reminds me of my grandmother's tea minus the bourbon!

Hat Cookies

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3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 3/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  large egg
  • 1  teaspoon  almond extract
  • 2 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • Decorator Frosting

Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and extract, beating well.

Combine flour, soda, and salt; add to butter mixture, beating well. Divide dough in half; cover and chill 1 hour.

Roll half of dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 36 cookies using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake at 375° for 6 to 8 minutes; let cookies stand on baking sheets 5 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

Roll remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 36 cookies using a 1 1/4-inch round cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake at 375° for 4 to 6 minutes; let stand on baking sheets 5 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

Assemble cookies by placing 1 small cookie in center of 1 large cookie. Decorate with Decorator Frosting to resemble hats; let dry.

Mint Julep Iced Tea

Mint-julep-cl-346753-x 

2 quarts

Ingredients

  • 8  mint leaves
  • 1  lemon, sliced
  • 1  lime, sliced
  • 1  cup  bourbon
  • 3  cups  cold sweetened tea
  • Cubed or crushed ice

Combine first 3 ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher, pressing with spoon to crush mint. Stir in bourbon and tea. Add ice

(photos and recipes from myrecipes.com)


Let's Celebrate

Today is my two year wedding anniversary!  To help us celebrate here is a virtual cake similar to our wedding cake.  Not as tasty though ;) 

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"Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?" -Meg Ryan from You've Got Mail

See many other colorful wedding cakes here.


Frozen Sangria

Calling all fellow Sangria lovers!  Here is a great way to serve a crowd Sangria for Cinco de Mayo or any other occasion because to me it goes with all occasions.  YUM!

Frozen-sangria-sl-1865398-l  

Prep: 10 min., Freeze: 24 hr. This makes about 24 servings without breaking the bank. Total cost is about $13.

Makes about 1 1/2 gal.

Ingredients

  • 1  gal. sangría
  • 1  (12-oz.) can frozen limeade, thawed
  • 1  (2-liter) bottle lemon-lime soft drink
  • 2  cups  sliced oranges, lemons, and limes

1. Place 1 (2-gal.) zip-top plastic freezer bag inside another 2-gal. zip-top plastic freezer bag. Place bags in a large bowl. Combine sangría, limeade, and lemon-lime soft drink in the inside bag. Seal both bags, and freeze 24 hours. (Double bagging is a precaution to avoid spills.)

2. Remove mixture from freezer 1 hour before serving, squeezing occasionally until slushy. Transfer mixture to a 2-gal. container. Stir in fruit.

Kid-Friendly Frozen Sangría: Substitute cranberry juice for sangría. Proceed with recipe as directed

(photo from southernliving.com)


They've Done It Again

Those super creative ladies over at Paper & Cake have a hip new "Wild" Bachelorette Party design!  If you find it hard to find stylish bachelorette decorations...look no further:

Invitations

Bach2_003[1] 

Cupcake Wrappers

IMG_4037[1] 

Cupcake Picks or Name Tags

IMG_4042[1] 

This is just a sampling here.  You get all this in your collection:

• 4” x 6” Invitation
• Cupcake picks / Party food labels / Name Tags
• Wine glass tags
• Cupcake wraps / snack cup wraps
• Tiara
• 2 games
• favor handbags
• candle/vase wrappers

All for only $5!!  Order the template here and print it out yourself!  Now that's stress free party planning!


Southern Style Salsas

I .love. dips. and. chips. of. all. kinds.  There, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right? I have never met a dip or chip I did not like, and this includes salsa too.  It's really an addiction, my husband makes fun of me.  So you can understand my excitement when I found new salsa recipes with a Southern twist.  Hello Cinco de Mayo!

Bacon and Greens Salsa

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Prep: 15 min., Cook: 22 min.

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 8  bacon slices
  • 1  (16-oz.) package frozen mixed greens, thawed and drained
  • 1/2  medium-size sweet onion, chopped
  • 1  teaspoon  minced garlic
  • 1 1/2  cups  frozen corn, thawed
  • 1  serrano chili pepper, minced
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  cider vinegar
  • Pork rinds
  • Sweet potato chips
  • Hot sauce

1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 7 to 9 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.

2. Sauté greens, onion, and garlic in hot drippings 7 to 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in corn and next 3 ingredients, and cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve warm with pork rinds, sweet potato chips, and hot sauce

Red Pepper-Black-eyed-Pea Salsa

Pea-salsa-sl-1704101-l  

Prep: 20 min.

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1  (15.8-oz.) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (12-oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 3  green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh oregano
  • 2  tablespoons  lemon juice
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  hot sauce
  • 3/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper

1. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

(images from southernliving.com)


Dazzling Green Discovery

Happy Earth Day! 

Send an invitation from Plantable Papers the next time you want to send paper invites.  They are  'tree free,' recycled, handmade papers with wildflower seeds embedded in them, We use organic fibers such as coconuts, weeds, cotton, pineapple, etc., then we add recycled post consumer waste like office correspondence and newspapers, all of which have been de-inked responsibly!  How cool is that?  You PLANT the invitation and give back to the environment and get to look at beautiful wildflowers.  No WASTE!  They have many different colors available by the sheet also so you can create whatever you need; wine bottle tags, bookmarks, stationary, etc. 

Winesmall

What a great way to get your children involved in saving the earth too! 

See our other Eco-friendly posts below for more eco-friendly ideas:

Green Corks

So Fresh and So Clean Clean


Margaritas Three Ways

With Summer and Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, I have margaritas on the brain!  I'm a "on the rocks" gal but these are irresistible.  Serve these unique versions at your next fiesta.

Beer 'Garitas

Beer-garita-sl-1187120-l 

I keep saying I'm going to try these and haven't yet...have you?

Prep: 5 min. For a bolder flavor, use a dark beer. Serve in 16-oz. mason jars for fun.

Makes 4 servings

  • 1  cup  frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1  cup  tequila
  • 1/2  cup  orange liqueur
  • Crushed ice
  • 1/2  to 1 cup cold beer

1. Stir together first 3 ingredients until well blended. Fill 4 medium glasses with crushed ice. Pour limeade mixture evenly into glasses. Add beer to taste.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Minute Maid Frozen Concentrate for Limeade, José Cuervo Especial tequila, and Triple Sec for orange liqueur

Scarlet Margaritas

Scarlet-margaritas-sl-1731428-l 

This is the prettiest color!

Prep: 10 min. If pomegranates are not available, no problem. This drink is just as delicious without the fresh seeds.

Makes 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

  • 4  cups  crushed ice
  • 1  cup  pomegranate juice
  • 1/2  cup  orange liqueur
  • 1/2  cup  tequila
  • 1  tablespoon  lime juice
  • 4  tablespoons  pomegranate seeds (1/2 fresh pomegranate) (optional)
  • Lime wedges
  • Coarse salt
  • Garnish: lime slices

1. Process first 5 ingredients, and, if desired, pomegranate seeds in a blender 30 seconds or until frothy.

2. Rub rims of 6 glasses with lime wedges; dip in salt to coat. Pour margarita evenly into prepared glasses. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Pom Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

Blue Margaritas

Blue-margaritas-l 

Look at that frosty pitcher-ice cold!

For an even coating around the rim of each glass, dip first in lime juice and then salt.

Makes 5 cups     

1  (10-ounce) can frozen margarita mix

  • 3/4  cup  tequila
  • 1/4  cup  blue curaçao liqueur
  • 2  tablespoons  lime juice
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender. Fill with ice to 5-cup level, and process until smooth. Serve immediately

    Come back soon for our Cinco de Mayo/Fiesta menu ideas!  I guess it can't be all about the cocktails ;)

    (images from southernliving.com)