Hello Beauties Entertaining for Two is my brand new series that will share recipes and entertaining ideas for smaller groups. Setting a unique table display or trying a new recipe is a great way to make everyday dinners feel like a … Continue reading
I am back from the most relaxing vacation. I took a long weekend to unplug and get some much-needed R&R. On the first night of my time off, I received Amy Atlas’ book, Sweet Design, from the UPS man. I had been waiting to get my hands on it ever since I pre-ordered with Amazon.
I was lucky enough to indulge my inner crafting goddess by reading 5 books total over my vacation: Amy Atlas- Sweet Designs; Handmade Weddings-Eunice Moyle, Sabrina Moyle and Shauna Faust; The DIY Bride- Khris Cochran; Push-up Pops, Courtney Dial Whitmore; Simply Divine Lisa Vanderpump. I will begin a series of book reviews so stay tuned for these and new reviews each week.
This book is quite massive at 375 pages. It has chapter after chapter filled with ideas for creating tablescapes. The majority of the designs focus on the sweets table but a little imagination can inspire ideas for the whole party. There are fourteen chapters that focus on a specific theme, such as Game Night (Ch.8), Pastel Pretty (Ch. 5), Honey, I Love you (Ch.7), and Vineyard Afternoon (Ch.12).
Each chapter provides Amy’s initial inspiration for the tablescape, a Bake It section with a recipe for each home-made dessert featured, a Craft It section explaining how to create the DIY elements of the table (runners, backdrops, favor bags, etc) and a Style It section which explains how to pull everything together (use all ruffled elements, for example). Plus, it offers ways to switch it up by making the beverages more adult or advising of a different color scheme that would work equally as well. It also has advice on what to purchase pre-made (candies, cakes, decorations, etc.). This book is a must have for anyone that loves bringing a wow factor to everyday events.
Amy Atlas includes a lot of great tips for creating a tablescape that is pleasing to the eye. For example, use different heights and sizes for the vessels on the table. Put the tallest containers in the back of the table so that it is easy for everyone to grab their treat. Also, when styling your sweets table, be sure to use a few different textures to create an exciting experience. For example, use light fluffy cotton candy, crystalized rock candy and gummy bears for the candy. Then use, a textured table-cloth with a DIY streamer and pom backdrop.
Amy Atlas hits it out of the park with her first book, Sweet Designs. It is an instant classic and a must have for anyone that entertains in their home.
Have you picked up your copy of Sweet Designs? What are your favorite chapters?
Today is my dad’s birthday so I wanted to showcase a festive party idea and what is more festive than Tequila?! My dad taught me the importance of good tequila and how it should be sipped and enjoyed. A Tequila tasting should be a long, luxurious event and it definitely should not be poured from an industrial-sized plastic jug.
The party will revolve around a bar stocked with various types of tequila. Tequila Source describes the Five Classes of Tequila and it would be a great conversation starter, framed near the bar or written on a large chalkboard wall in the main party space.
Be sure to include a variety of aged tequila to give the guests the opportunity to pick their favorite.
Muted shades of green and orange against a backdrop of white would be my color palette of choice for this party. Sleek and modern with Cactus and succulent centerpieces can also double as party favors.
Keep things fun and festive with these amazing Pinatas from Confetti Systems. You can order them in various shapes and colors. They come stuffed with confetti but you can always add more treats (like mini bottles of booze, but that’s just me) through the hinged flap.
A large array of warm weather snacks would be the perfect pairing to the tequila. A giant bowl of fresh guacamole and salty tortilla chips would be delicious. I also would create a taco station, where people can make steak, chicken or veggie tacos in warm corn tortillas. I always like to have a big green salad at parties for guests that would rather have something a little lighter.
Ceviche is an amazing pairing because the lime juice is a great way to emphasize the flavors of the tequila. Simply Recipes has a large selection of ceviche recipes but this one made my mouth water.
Preparation time: 15 minutes to prepare, 3-4 hours to let sit. Always use the freshest fish possible. Make the same day you purchase fresh fish.
- 2 lbs of firm, fresh red snapper fillets (or other firm-fleshed fish), cut into 1/2 inch pieces, completely deboned
- 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup of chopped fresh seeded tomatoes
- 1 serrano chili, seeded and finely diced
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- Dash of ground oregano
- Dash of Tabasco or a light pinch of cayenne pepper
- Tortillas or tortilla chips
In a non-reactive casserole dish, either Pyrex or ceramic, place the fish, onion, tomatoes, chili, salt, Tabasco, and oregano. Cover with lime and lemon juice. Let sit covered in the refrigerator for an hour, then stir, making sure more of the fish gets exposed to the acidic lime and lemon juices. Let sit for several hours, giving time for the flavors to blend.
During the marinating process the fish will change from pinkish grey and translucent, to whiter in color and opaque.
Serve with chopped cilantro and slices of avocado with heated tortillas for ceviche tacos or with tortilla chips.
Remember you can turn this bithday party into any type of event. This would be a great house warming party, retirement party, bachelor or bachelorette party. Take the inspiration and alter it to fit almost any occasion.
What elements would you include at your tasting party?
Amy Atlas is the queen of the dessert table and her first book, Sweet Designs: Bake it, Craft it, Style it, is available for pre-sale now on Amazon. I just ordered my copy and it will ship out on April 24, 2012. The book is filled with over 100 recipes and over 75 easy, affordable craft projects. I can’t to look through my copy and get inspiration for my next event!
Amy Atlas’ blog, Sweet Designs, is one of my daily reads. She accepts submissions from around the world and there have been some really great spring time parties featured this week. I was especially drawn to this pastel color palette of mint green and yellow.
Will you be purchasing Amy Atlas’ new book,
Sweet Designs: Bake it, Craft it, Style it?
Easter is this Sunday and I can’t believe how fast this year is flying by! This was always one of my favorite holidays because we would personalize our eggs, hide carrots for the Easter bunny and wear a fabulous new dress. My mother would hide a basket for me and my sister with the most amazing Mr. Sketch markers and a notebook with the most delicious carmel popcorn bunny. We would make spinach dip then go visit with my aunts and cousins.
This year I will coordinating a good friends wedding so it will definitely be a celebration! I have rounded up my favorite decor elements and tablescapes. Find even more Easter inspiration on Pintrest!
Some my favorite party food is a large selection of salads. I love Italian style pasta salad, with roasted red peppers, olives, and basil pesto. A huge garden salad filled with veggies and a juicy, fresh fruit salad are delicious, healthy options. For refreshments, I love drinking white wine spritzers (so retro!). I mix a light white wine (sav blanc or pinot grigio) with some Diet Sprite and a splash of fruit juice. You can always freeze the juice and just throw a few cubes in your glass for fun.
What are your Easter traditions? How will you be celebrating this year?
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I love designing bridal showers because all of the most important women in a Bride’s life come together to share their wisdom for a happy marriage. The bride is given advice on how to keep up with housework, ways to resolve arguments and easy dinner ideas.
Learning how to cook to suit you and your future husband’s lifestyle is so important and A Gourmet Recipe Shower is a modern take on the traditional kitchen shower. Who wouldn’t love going out to Zagat rated restaurant every night, but that just isn’t realistic with work and eventually children. Hosting a Gourmet Recipe shower for the Bride will help get her ready to wow even the most work week weary husband.
Invitations can include a kitchen utensil or a mini cutting board. Be sure to include the customary details (when, where, rsvp) and also include the gourmet potluck recipe request. Ask each guest to bring a gourmet appetizer or dessert along with the recipe. All of the recipe’s will be gathered and placed into a notebook for the bride to take home as a keepsake. I know I love to participate in a potluck but if you think your guests would be offended, then just request them to bring along their favorite gourmet recipe.