Summer Feed

July 4th Giveaway

Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know Hostess Jo is giving away a great party pak to help you celebrate the 4th of July over at Pizzazzerie!

Leave Courtney a comment and you are entered to win all of these:

Flag Chip and Dip

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Fireworks Napkin Ring Set

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Fireworks Bottle Stopper Set

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Join Pizzazzerie and Hostess Jo's Facebook groups and get extra entries!

While you're there be sure to check out Pizzazzerie's fun party posts and get great inspiration for your next gathering!

Good luck!

 
  


Fruity Cups

As promised, here is the recipe for the fruit cups from the "Love in Bloom" shower.  They have such pretty color and taste great too.  Perfect for your Mother's Day brunches this weekend.

Fruity Cups

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1 can peach pie filling

1 can mandarin oranges-drained

1 large can of pineapple chunks-drained

1 large container of frozen, sliced, sweetened strawberries thawed

1 green grapes

2-3 red delicious apples chopped

2-3 bananas chopped

Mix everything together the night before except for the apples and bananas.  Mix those in before serving.  You can also substitute any fruit you like.  
 


Shimmering Dessert

There will be a lot of champagne flowing over the next few days!  Whether you are toasting on New Year's Eve or sipping Mimosas at your New Year's Day brunch, it's always fun to serve and drink.  

Here is a tasty twist on the traditional Mimosa. 

Mimosa Granita

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Yield: 8 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Ingredients

  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  cup  water
  • 3  cups  fresh orange juice (about 10 oranges)
  • 2  cups  Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedges (optional)

Preparation

Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Add orange juice, Champagne, and lime juice; pour into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or until firm. Remove mixture from freezer; let stand 10 minutes. Scrape the entire mixture with a fork until fluffy, and garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year's!  Welcome 2010!  

I am taking a short break for vacation but will be back very soon!  See ya next year!


(photo and recipe from myrecipes.com)
 


Aruba, Jamaica...

My mouth actually watered a little when I read this cocktail recipe.  It combines two of my favorite summer, beachy drinks into one!  Enjoy!

Coconut Margarita

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Serves 2

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus 2 tablespoons for glasses (about 5 limes)
  • 3/4 cup Coco Lopez or cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss coconut with the salt. Spread on sheet; toast in oven, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then crush with your hands until crumbly.
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons lime juice into a shallow dish. Place coconut mixture in another dish. Dip rims of two cocktail glasses in lime juice, then in coconut mixture, coating well.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients with 1 cup ice in a blender; puree until smooth. Divide evenly between prepared glasses, and serve immediately.

(photo and recipe from marthastewart.com)


End of Summer Party Inspiration

I love that Sunflowers are making a big comeback for late Summer decorating!  They are so bright and cheerful.  To me they signal that Fall is not far away (thank goodness!). 

Here are a few ideas for incorporating them into your End of Summer Parties:

The yellow and dark brown really make an impact on this table setting.

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These plates would be perfect for an end of summer gathering.  They are rustic and earthy.  

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This sunflower table decor incorporates lemons.  A great addition to the bright yellow and blue.  These arrangements are a bit dressier with roses added to the bouquets.

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Pillow covers to spread the theme throughout your house.

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And for dessert...sunflower cupcakes.

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Sunflower seeds would make perfect party favors!  I love the rustic simplicity of this arrangement.

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Sunflowers are so versatile.  You can dress them up or down.  Combined with other flowers or alone they make unique arrangements.  I hope this inspires you to say goodbye to summer with a celebration.  Have fun planning all of your end of summer soirees!


What a Centerpiece!

Here is the perfect centerpiece for your luaus, tiki parties, or end of summer gatherings.  I love the bold statement it makes!  This would work great outdoors or indoors.  BONUS:  serve the fruit to your guests or make a fruit salad after the party for your family.  You will also get a lot of use out of the galvanized buckets.  For a centerpiece that lasts- look for faux fruit.  There are many realistic varieties in craft stores these days.

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How to:

  • Boxwood clippings, myrtle sprigs, or other fresh evergreens
  • Floral foam
  • Wooden florist's picks
  • 3 shallow galvanized buckets in graduated sizes
  • 1 pineapple
  • 3 kinds of fruit; choose 3 graduated sizes and select 9 to 12 uniform pieces of each variety

Instructions:

1. Pack each bucket full of floral foam. Stack the buckets, aligning the handles.

2. Secure the fruit to the floral foam with florist's picks, arranging them so all pieces point in the same direction. (This creates a pleasing rhythm that leads the eye around the design.) Crown the design with the pineapple, securing it with two florist's picks.

3. Add greenery. Tuck sprigs of boxwood or other evergreens between pieces of fruit to hide the floral foam and soften the edges of the buckets.

More Ideas:

  • Check hardware stores or restaurant-supply stores for galvanized buckets in the sizes you want.
  • Floral foam is available at florist-supply stores

(photo and how-to from lhj.com)


Not Just for the Birds

Check out this cool idea for displaying your drinks in the Summer heat!

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Most of us already have a bird bath.  Just clean it out and cover the inside with plastic wrap.  Fill with ice and insert your punch, soft drinks, wine and water.  They also decorated this one with blooms.  This would be lovely for an outdoor reception or bridal shower.


(photo from bhg.com)


Crudite Centerpiece

I just love this centerpiece idea from Martha!  BONUS-it doubles as your appetizer server.  So easy to do and looks great too.

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How-To:

Buy a large deep galvanized metal planter at your local hardware store.  Fill the bottom with sprouts (alfalfa maybe) and pour in enough water just to moisten them.  Arrange your favorite veggies and serve with a light dip.  Voila!

(photo from marthastewart.com)


Cool and Spicy Salad

There's nothing better to have on a hot summer evening than a cool salad.  This salad looks delicious with its spicy seasonings and its cool sour cream dressing.  YUM.

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

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Yield

4 servings (serving size: 2 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • Dressing:
  • 1/3  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3  cup  light sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon  minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 4  teaspoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt

  • Salad:
  • 4  cups  shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2  cups  chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
  • 1  cup  cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2  cup  diced peeled avocado
  • 1/3  cup  thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1  (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (8 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained

Preparation

To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring well.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

(photo and recipe from myrecipes.com)


Pina Colada Pops

I am loving all things frozen at the moment-how about you?  What a great twist on the traditional Pina Colada!

Pina_Colada_Pops 

Prep Time:
25 min
Total Time:
4 hr 25 min
Makes 6 servings.
 
Ingredients
 
1 cup boiling water
1 pkg.  (3 oz.) JELL-O Pineapple Flavor Gelatin
1/4 cup coconut-flavored rum or coconut milk
  ice cubes
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, drained, liquid reserved
 
Directions:

ADD boiling water to gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in rum. Add enough ice to reserved pineapple liquid to measure 3/4 cup. Add to gelatin; stir until slightly thickened. Remove any unmelted ice.

REFRIGERATE 15 min. or until gelatin is thickened. Stir in pineapple. Pour into 6 paper or plastic cups. Freeze 1 hour.

INSERT wooden pop stick or plastic spoon in center of each cup. Freeze 3 hours or until firm. Remove pops from cups before serving.

Variation
Freeze in frozen pop molds instead of the cups.
For a Nonalcoholic Version
Substitute cold water for the rum.
Note
Remove frozen pops from freezer about 5 min. before serving; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly.