Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Making a fun diva sign for a holiday party

Please forgive me, but I am catching up on posts that I created many moons ago, then got side tracked, and never posted.  So yes ,I a posting some information about a Christmas party now that it is almost summer.

This is a sign I created for a Diva Themed Christmas party that was used to welcome the guests as they arrive.  The colors were hot pink, black, silver and white.  Why am I showing you a Christmas party now?  Well I think this would be a fantastic idea, in different colors,  for a parties or other holidays.  I have created signs like this for many parties.

For the signage,  I used:

A plain stretched canvas from the craft store
Painters Tape
Chip Board Letters
Glitter or Crystals
Feather Boa

1.  Paint the board one solid color (see the letters in the background?  You will see in a moment how I used them.  Make sure it is COMPLETELY dry before step number 2. I started with the lighter color of paint knowing I was going to be covering some of it with another color.

2. With a painters tape, you are going to create your stripes.  You can measure all the way across, but I am way too lazy for that, I taped all the way across to keep my lines straight.

3.  Now slowly remove every other line of tape.  You might want to decide if you want your base color to be your first color shown (so remove the second strip of tape) or the second color (remove the first strip of tape).

4.  Now with your second color, brush onto the exposed paint.  Let dry and see if you need a second coat. 

5.  Let dry completely then remove the tape to show your finished work.  There is a little chance you might need to touch of a straight edge with a small brush.   This is when I applied my chip board letters and crystal snowflakes.  I have also, at this stage, brushed on a glaze that I have mixed in fine glitter dust to enhance it a bit. 

6.  Find a key spot to post your sign. I put this one outside on Santa.  The poor guy had a tiara, boa, and luckily for him I forgot the false eyelashes.  Once all of the guests arrived, I brought him inside for all to enjoy while the hostess of the party while sipping Champagne with all of the other Divas.  More Diva Party Pictures Here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Delicious and easy to make and bake New England style apple pie

Photo from Wikipedia.com

Ingredients for your New England Apple Pie Recipe:

3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (keep your container close by for a little bit of sprinkling)
Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste (Feel free to use nutmeg already grounded)
7 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested and juiced

For the complete New England style apple pie recipe and directions to make your homemade New England Style Apple Pie, follow the link to our web site.  There is also an easy to make apple pie crust recipe.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cookies and Candy Corns!

Candy Corns are one of my all time favorite candies, and now on a cookie?  Yum! These can be ordered already made (just click on the photo to find out more) or you can make your own.  There are a couple of sugar cookie recipes below.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Going apple picking? Here is a yummy Apple Butter Recipe.

Apple Butter Recipe:

Here come a few recipes to try now that apple picking is underway!  Enjoy.

Apple Butter Recipe, just like it came out of Grannies New England kitchen

This can be made in a slow cooker/Crock Pot or oven at 325 degrees for 3-4 hours.

Ingredients for homemade Apple Butter:

- 4 qts. Unsweetened Applesauce
- 7 C. Granulated Sugar
- 1-1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
- 5-1/3 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
- 5-1/3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 2 teaspoon. Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon. Allspice
- 1 teaspoon. Ground Cloves


- Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker/Crock Pot or roasting pan.
- Cover and cook 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove lid and continue cooking until excess liquid cooks away (turn to low as necessary) 
Slow Cooker 5-8 hours, oven 3-5 hours Seal mixture in hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Makes approximately 8-10 pints
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A few tips and ideas for hosting your own dinner party.

Here are a few tips I put together for those who want a little guidance on hosting a dinner party

Dinner Party Tips - Linda Smith - Your Fine Living Muse & High-Heeled Hostess

Do you enjoy entertaining and hosting dinner parties, do you love to be the perfect host and see how your friends react to all of the beautiful touches and recipe selection, or do you completely dread the thought of planning a dinner party?   The magic of any type of party planning is to have a good plan to follow.  With a little planning on your part, you will be hosting a party to remember.  And remember, keep things simple so that you too can enjoy your own dinner party. This could include hiring a hostess helper. 

Who should you invite to this dinner party?

Deciding who to invite can be the hardest part of hosting a dinner party.  One thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure to have an eclectic mix of people that can can all get along and easily interact with each other.  If this is your first party, I would suggest starting with your close friends that already know each other. 

Who would want drama during their dinner.  Not me, that's for sure.  

Who should you not invite as a guest?

You can't always be in control of who comes as a dinner guest, ie: a boyfriend or girlfriend of your dinner guest, but if you can help it, I would put these potential guests, last on my list.... , the drama queen, the gossiper, the one that talks over others, or someone that is just plain mean and rude.  

How many dinner guests should you invite?

I would like to suggest that you limit the amount of dinner guests to the number of chairs that fit comfortably around your dinner table.  No one wants to hit elbows or have someone so close that if they turn to talk, they feel uncomfortable (some people really like their personal space).  You might also want to take into consideration the size of your table. If you can seat 12, that's fine, but make sure your seating arrangement allows a good mix of guests.  You don't want to place all of the shy guests at one end and the conversation starters on the other. 

Setting the Table for your dinner party:

If possible, set your table as early as possible.  First, this will lessen your stress knowing it's done.   It will allow you time to think of creative table decor ideas and work on them.  Think about your dinner party and the style.  Is it going to be formal where a white tablecloth, silver, and an elegant flower arrangement with candles sets the stage or is it going to be informal and casual.  Just keep in mind what will be on your table and how you will protect it from steam or water stains on the wood

Dinner Menu and Dinner Recipes:

Once again, if you can take care of things in advance, such as coming up with a dinner menu, buying food for the dinner recipes, and then prepare as much of the meal as possible in advance.   This will allow you more time to socialize and enjoy mingling with your guests.
Not a good cook?  There are some amazing places that sell prepared meals, such as a caterer or restaurant. You could even consider hiring a private chef. 

Here is a party plan timeline you might want to try.

No less than one week beforehand:

Choose your dinner party menu - don't forget to find out if any of your guests have food allergies if you are going to be serving anything with nuts, milk products, gluten, shell fish.
Create your dinner party shopping list.

A few days before the dinner party:

Purchase all of the products for your recipe that will keep well and be fresh for the dinner party. If you are serving fish or something that should be fresh, make time and plans to pick up the morning of your party.  

Call your butcher, fish market, or bakery, to request your dinner food is ready and waiting for you.

For beverages, select a wine that works well with your dinner menu.  If you are unsure, most high end liquor stores have someone, on staff, that can help you, but you can do a Google Search very easily buy typing in your questions as if you would say it "what wine goes with.................."

If you are using special silver, china or glassware, polish them up and set them out.

The day before the dinner party:

Tidy the house.

Make any dishes that can be made the night before.

The Day of the Party:

Clean your house, especially the room where you will be dining and the restroom.

Buy any last minute ingredients.

Set your table 

Start cooking your dinner recipes.

The of the Dinner Party:

Tackle any last minute tidying up like pillow fluffing and a quick sweep

Get yourself all dressed

Light the candles

Turn on the music.

And most important, if you can, give, yourself at least ten minutes where you can sit and relax.  You deserve it. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Outdoor Entertaining Spots

I found these photos on miss-design.com and I just had to share.  Maybe you can get in an outdoor gathering or two before the snow starts to fall.  Blech, did I just say snow?