Posts tagged party idea
Coconut Ice Pops
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Everyone needs a refreshing treat once in a while. By once in a while I mean once a day haha. I am all about splurging on sugar and "bad for you things" on the weekends but during the week I try to keep it in check as much as possible. That means that I've been eating a lot of frozen grapes, watermelon, and healthy popsicles. When you make something, you know what goes into it and can control the amount of "fake" things in it. I try to stay away from dairy as much as possible during the week so coconut milk is the perfect popsicle addition. Try these out with the recipe below.

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup strawberries

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

14 oz. coconut water (I use Harmless Coconut)

14 oz. can of organic coconut milk

Juice of 2 limes

Directions:

Place the coconut water, coconut milk, lime juice, and shredded coconut into a blender. Blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. 

Pour the contents of the blender into ice pop molds. 

Slice the strawberries and put a couple in each ice pop mold. Drop a few blueberries into each mold as well.

Place sticks inside and freeze overnight. 

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Margaritas with Vita Coco
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You know I love getting festive for a holiday and the obvious choice for Cinco de Mayo is Margaritas!! These margaritas are not so obvious though. They have a twist but still remain pretty classic tasting. They are made with fresh, real ingredients, which helps keep the sugary taste to a minimum. I used Peach & Mango flavored Vita Coco water not only because it tastes good but also to help avoid a hangover for everyone who is throwing these back. Coconut water is really hydrating so it helps counterbalance the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Get your tacos ready...

Recipe

Ingredients:

3 ounces fresh lime juice

4 ounces Peach & Mango Vita Coco coconut water

4 ounces silver tequila

1/2 teaspoon agave

Directions:

Juice your limes. Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker and shake to combine. Stir the agave with a spoon if necessary. Pour over ice and enjoy!

 

Hot Chocolate Bar

What is the coziest thing that you can think of during these cold winter months? Hot chocolate better be on that list! There's nothing like a hot mug filled with a dessert drink to keep you warm. I took my love for hot chocolate to the next level with a boozy hot chocolate bar! It's such a great party idea. People really appreciate little touches that go into parties. They are part of what make the gatherings memorable. Best of all, this party idea is so easy to execute. I used dishes and cups that I already had to serve the toppings. I used this banner to write "Hot Chocolate Bar." This has been one of my greatest "hostess" purchases ever. The pack comes with all of the letters so that you can make personalized banners for all occasions. I've used it mainly for people's birthdays. I bought a second pack so that I would have enough letters to write out this three tiered banner!

I made homemade hot chocolate with the recipe below. I put it in a crockpot, which was a genius move. It stayed hot the whole time so people could go over to get a cup whenever they wanted to. It was also nice that I didn't have to do anything for it during the party and I could just have fun. I made it a spiked hot chocolate bar by including bottles of peppermint schnaps and bailey's irish cream for people to add to their cups. If you don't mix it directly into the hot chocolate, people have control over how much alcohol they put into it and what kind of alcohol they use. Its also good to not mix it into the hot chocolate directly if you have kids at your get together. Then, the kids can enjoy the bar as well! 

Some toppings that I included are:

  • Marshmallows (duh)
  • Heath bits 
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Caramel sauce
  • Candy canes (you can substitute with crushed peppermint candy as well)
  • Mini white chocolate chips
  • Mini semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Maple sugar powder
  • Pirouettes (the perfect stirrers)
  • Whipped cream

Hot Chocolate Recipe:

Ingredients:

4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate (chopped into small pieces)

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 can (14oz) of sweetened condensed milk

8 cups of milk (I used 2 percent)

Directions:

Combine the condensed milk and chocolate in your slow cooker.

Cook on high for a half hour. Stir the mixture every ten minutes during this time.

Add the milk and vanilla while continuously stirring it with a wire whisk.

Cook for an additional 2 hours on high. Then, lower it to warm.

Use a ladle to serve.

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Pumpkin Butter Apple Pie
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What do you do when its apple season and pumpkin season?! You combine the two into the ultimate pie recipe! This Pumpkin Butter Apple Pie is fall personified in each bite. This pumpkin butter recipe is enough for the pie and for you to keep some pumpkin butter on the side. I used the pumpkin butter in my oatmeal and overnight oats. It'd also be great on waffles, pancakes and crepes..YUM! I think that half of the success while baking can be attributed to the right tools so I linked all of the ones that I used at the bottom of this post. Happy cozy baking!

Pie Recipe

Ingredients for filling:

5 cups of peeled and diced honey crisp apples

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t pumpkin pie spice

1 t sea salt

1/3 cup raw cane sugar

2 T pumpkin butter (recipe below)

1.5 T all purpose flour

Ingredients for Crust (I frequently sub a homemade pie crust for an Immaculate Baking Company pie crust that I keep in my fridge):

2 cups flour

1/2 t sea salt

1/2 t cinnamon

2/3 cup + 2 T unsalted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in the bottom 1/3 of your oven

Peel and slice the apples 

Toss apple slices with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, sugar, pumpkin butter and unbleached flour in a bowl and set aside

Make the crust by whisking the flour, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Then, use a pastry cutter to add in the 2/3 cup of cold butter until its crumbly

Add very cold water, 1 T at a time, until a dough forms

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and use your hands to mold it into a ball

Divide the dough into 2 parts, 1 for the bottom and 1 for the top of the pie

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough

Add one of the flat doughs to the pan

Use a crust cutter (the one that I use and love is linked below) to cut the other half of the dough into whatever designs you want

Add filling to pie crust lined pan

Top with the lattice dough cutouts

Brush the top of the dough with the leftover 2 T of melted butter

Bake for 30 minutes and then place tinfoil over the edges of the crust to prevent them from burning

Bake for another 15 minutes or until the crust is a nice golden brown

Serve warm a la mode!

Pumpkin Butter Recipe

Ingredients:

4 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup brown sugar

1 T cinnamon

1 t nutmeg

1 t fresh lemon juice 

1 t vanilla extract

4 T pure maple syrup

Directions:

Place all items into your slow cooker and mix.

Cover and let cook on low for 8 hours.

Cool completely and then store in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 weeks.

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Pineapple Mint Julep

The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner and even though you're probably not going to the event, it can serve as a nice excuse to make a fancy cocktail. As always though, this "fancy" cocktail is a joke to make. It's so easy that I think the horses that are racing could even make it. The only time that I ever went to a Kentucky Derby party was in college at a frat. We all dressed up and they set up a race around the frat and made their pledges act as the horses. It was definitely messed up but the pledges were also loving it and having fun so it wasn't as bad as it sounds like. I mean...they had a bunch of sorority girls riding them (although with clothes on), so things could have been worse! I won one of the rounds although I clearly did nothing but sit my butt on a person-turned horse. I think that a Kentucky Derby themed party is a great idea and I definitely need to do a classier version of the frat party one day. This year I will be traveling so I won't be playing hostess but you can! Even if you're not having a party, it's still fun to make this cocktail to enjoy on a sunny day. Warning: it tastes dangerously good...like the kind of dangerous that will lead you to ride a human being like a horse.

Pineapple Mint Julep Recipe (Yields one serving):

Ingredients:

1 shot of bourbon 

2 shots of pineapple juice

10 mint leaves

Ice cubes

Optional: peach or pineapple sliver for garnish

Directions:

Place ice in your glass 

Pour in the shot of bourbon and then the shot of pineapple juice and stir. 

Take the mint leaves in your hands and rip them into small pieces. Rub the leaves to soften them in the process. This is a makeshift muddling. 

Sprinkle the mint leave tiny pieces into the glass. 

Garnish if you choose to.

Put on your special hat and enjoy your cocktail! 

 

Baked Berry Brie

Are you looking for the perfect appetizer for this weekend? The melted cheese is so cozy while the berries evoke feelings of SPRING! This is the only baked brie that I've ever made that I LOVE that doesn't involve a dough on the outside of it. It's just that good on it's own! Brie is definitely one of the best cheeses out there. I'd estimate that a third of the weight that I gained while studying abroad in Rome was a result of brie consumption and I don't regret a single bite. Basically, you can't ever go wrong with brie but this recipe takes it to the next level! 

Ingredients:

1 cup candied pecans

2 cups blackberries

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 T honey

1 t vanilla extract

1 wheel of Brie at room temperature

A few blackberries for garnish

A few thyme sprigs for garnish

Crackers (These cranberry crackers compliment the cheese perfectly)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine the blackberries, lemon juice, honey and vanilla in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Stir the ingredients frequently.

Once you see that liquid has released from the berries and entered the pan, turn it up to medium heat. Stir this mixture periodically.

While the berries juice is reducing, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the wheel of brie on it. Cut out a circle of the rind on the top of the brie and throw it away.  Make sure that you leave the bottom and all sides of the brie in tact. Bake the brie for 15 minutes (or until it is melty)

Once the liquid has turned syrupy (and drips off of a spoon slower than regular liquid), remove it from the heat.

Top the brie with the berry compote and then garnish it with the thyme and whole berries that you set aside.

Serve this hot! 

Links to Featured Products:

Bomber Jacket

Serving platter

Crackers

 

Sage and Honey Cocktail

Are you guys ready for a unique cocktail that is just the right amount of flavor?! This cocktail isn't too sweet of too bubbly. It's juuuuusstt right! I also like that it uses real food for ingredients. All of the health benefits of ginger cancel out those for alcohol, right?!

Ingredients:
1 cup of honey (sub for agave if you want)
3 cups of water
Bundle of sage (approximately 15 leaves)
2 medium sized pears
1 large chunk of ginger
1 bottle of champagne

Directions:
Peel and dice the ginger.

Make the simple syrup by combining the honey and water in a saucepan over low heat until it is lightly boiling. Continue to stir until the honey is completely dissolved.

Put pieces of pear into a citrus presser and squeeze the juice into the saucepan. Add the ginger and most of the sage leaves (leave a few to garnish the glasses with).

Let this mixture simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes and then remove it from the heat.

Strain the simple syrup to remove all of the ginger and sage pieces.

Let the simple syrup stand until it is completely cool.

Put 1.5-2 tablespoons of simple syrup in each glass and then fill the rest with champagne.

Garnish with sage leaves and enjoy!

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Cranberry Cocktail

This cocktail recipe takes two minutes maximum. Yes, it is that easy! It doesn't hurt that its pretty either. I always have some ginger beer in my fridge. It can take a simple cocktail and make it more exciting. It is not super sweet but balances out the whisky perfectly. Fresh cranberries make for a beautiful garnish too!

Recipe for One Cocktail:

Combine 1 part/1 oz whisky, 1 part/ 1 oz ginger beer, and 1 part/1 oz cranberry juice

Garnish with cranberries

Links to Featured Products:

Dress

Shaker

Jigger

Cocktail picks

Glasses are from Home Goods and are not sold online

Mac And Cheese Bar

This has got to be the easiest party idea of all time. My favorite thing about this "bar" is that it is a crowd pleaser for people of all ages. It's an amazing idea for a kids' party and a fun activity meets meal for a sleepover. However, it is also fun party food for an adult gathering. I mean, who doesn't like mac and cheese?! I made this for grown ups but the toppings could be substituted for any kid favorites. The best part of this whole thing is how easy the set up is. 

You can make any type of mac and cheese that you want to. My favorite mac and cheese recipe is below. Just throw some toppings into bowls and boom--instant crowd pleaser! My mac and cheese bar included....

  • White truffle oil
  • Black truffle oil
  • Sliced, fresh jalepeño peppers  
  • Chopped bacon
  • Diced green onion
  • Broccoli 

Mac and Cheese Recipe:

Ingredients:

4 cups whole milk

8T unsalted butter

1/2 cup unbleached flour

1T salt

1 pound of pasta (I like to use shells)

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded colby jack cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a pot on the stovetop on low heat.

Add in the milk, flour and salt and stir over the heat until it becomes a thick cheese sauce.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Then, drain the pasta.

Combine the pasta and the sauce in a casserole dish or glass pyrex. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until it is hot all the way through.

Valentine's Waffle Bar

Looking for a fun idea for your Valentine's party? This waffle bar is calling your name then! Invite your friends over and host a Galentine's brunch with this bar. There is no better way to show your girls that you love them than with some bellinis and waffles. I discovered the best waffle mix ever. Even the waffles that I have made from scratch can't hold a candle to these. You can buy the mix here. 

Here are the toppings that I included in my waffle bar but feel free to use any that you like...

Almond slivers

White chocolate chips (regular chocolate chips would be great too)

Strawberries

Blueberries

Banana slices

Marshmallows

Valentine's sprinkles

Raspberry jam

Ice cream (my personal favorite topping)

Candy hearts (they don't taste good but at least they make the bar pretty)

Whipped cream

Peanut butter

Caramel sauce

Chocolate sauce

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Snowy Cocktail

Finding a wintery cocktail that you actually want to drink is harder than you would think. It is easy to find a hot beverage recipe but let’s be real, how many hot toddies can you drink?! Most of the things that we mix alcohol with taste like summer. As much as I am pining to be on a beach, I think that I need to face the cold hard fact that it is the dead of winter. Luckily, I know the perfect trick for making any cocktail look wintery. I love adding this garnish to champagne because people think that it is so fancy and impressive but really it is so easy!

Let’s make some snowy rosemary for your next drink...

  1. Lay parchment paper down on your counter

  2. Pour a pile of raw cane sugar onto the parchment paper (you can also use granulated sugar)

  3. Run your rosemary sprigs under the faucet to get them wet

  4. Lay the rosemary sprigs on some paper towels to let them dry off a bit (we want them to be pretty damp but not soaking wet or the sugar will get clumpy)

  5. Roll the rosemary in the sugar

  6. Lay the rosemary on the parchment paper to let it dry (you can leave it like this for up to 24 hours if you want to)

  7. Place the rosemary sprig into your glass and enjoy the glistening effect of this magical season without actually stepping outside and into the cold

Links to Featured Products:

Champagne glasses

Wood serving board

Silver decorative vase

Cranberry Mules
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Are you looking for a festive and wintery cocktail? Well, you've come to the right place! Added bonus, it is so easy. The great thing about Moscow Mules is that men and women like them equally. It is hard to find a cocktail that isn't predominantly masculine or feminine. This twist on the traditional Moscow Mules is one that everyone loves. These modern moscow mule mugs add an extra golden touch.

Ingredients (yields one cocktail):

1/2oz simple syrup

1/2oz cranberry juice

2 oz ginger beer

1 1/2oz vodka

1 rosemary sprig and cranberries for festive garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine the simple syrup, cranberry juice and vodka. 
  2. Pour over your one square ice cube.
  3. Pour ginger beer.
  4. Garnish with rosemary sprig and cranberries.

 

Links to Featured Products:

Gold Moscow Mule mugs   /   Square large ice cube tray