Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day - a wee bit o' fun

St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow! Where did the time go? It is uncharacteristically warm here in Fredericton (NB). I have no snow to speak of on my front lawn - eery..... usually we can expect a winter storm on St. Patty Day but I highly doubt it this year - double digits I suspect (not psychic - but watch the weather channel)

So, does this mean we are now experiencing the luck of the Irish? I don't know but I'm going to give you a few tips to make your party a bit more special with very budget wise ideas. Gotta luv the budget!

1. Send out an evite (www.evite.com) to all your guests inviting them to your fabulous last minute party. Hey-last minute can be fun especially for those who have children and didn't plan on going anywhere (yep - referring to me! we love St. Pat's at home & WHO wants to stand out in a line all night anyway!)

a sneak peak into my private life with the little man, wearing our 'mommy made' T-shirts....

Use creative language on the invites to make them more festive like:
a bit of malarkey
and lots of green beer
make no mistake

you'll want to be here

2. Play with colour - obviously I mean green! Decorations, Drinks, Food
Easy to do decorations:
  • pick up some glow bracelets from the dollar store and transform them by using them as napkin rings - twist and slip - oh so simple! Green pipe-cleaners would also work, you could even shape them into a shamrock!
  • use a white table cloth to make all decorations of green pop
  • balloons - inexpensive & can make a big impact (shout out to my friend Claire at Just Balloons & Party Supplies located in Oromocto, NB)
  • think pot of gold - tablescape made from clusters of pots filled moss/grass/potted herbs, etc with hidden gold coins (chocolate coins with gold foil)
  • give the men a green carnation boutonniere and the ladies a green boa (if you can't get a green carnation you can dye them at home by cutting the stem and placing it in warm-to-hot water with green food colouring; leave for 1 day)
Easy to do drinks:
  • pale ale with green food colouring, mix and serve.
  • repeat with any drink,
  • for children or those not drinking what about Oscars - my name for green milkshakes.
Easy to do food: (this is where I have sooo much fun!!!)
  • Think small and portion size (and I choose to make this party a bit healthier - got to fit into that summer attire!).
  • Start with a basil pesto pasta salad - pictured below
  • if you have sandwiches cut them out with shamrock cookie cutters - very unexpected!
  • Have green veggies galore - green peppers, cucumber, green beans, celery, broccoli.... (see my foodie attack of green peppers below)
  • make green rice crispy treats to hand out as snacks - the smaller they are cut the more delicate and funky they become (insider CSJ secret - 1.5 inch squares are oh so one-bite-delish!)
  • serve 'pots of gold', aka pineapple cubes in small dishes (dixie cups also work, a more elaborate look - step it up a notch by serving them on trays using the small plastic wine glasses you can buy at party stores - and I believe the $store too)
  • shamrock cookies - mmmmm! If you don't bake you can pick them up at any bakery or get green frosted cupcakes instead.

love desserts check out the post by The Food Librarian.

3. Think Irish & Tradition. Incorporate traditions like placing a stone inside your door as the "Blarney Stone" tradition is that they kiss it while laying on their backs - should make for a fun time!

4. Games & Prizes. Try a limerick writing contest and give a prize to the best one. The prize could be a great basket of treats like Irish beer and gold foil chocolate coins.
How to write a limerick:
lines 1,2 and 5 should have 7-10 syllables and rhyme with each other
lines 3 & 4 should have 5-7 syllables and rhyme

Cheers! & be safe

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

Even if you are not a science geek like me you have probably heard of 'pi' before. The mathematical constant (check the link for the more in depth wikipedia definition).
If you are confused in thinking this is the wrong blog - wait! YOU are in the right place!

Entertaining can come in many forms and today is March 14th, the 3rd month and 14th day, or 3.14 => pi => pie => pies and lots of them!

Who doesn't love pie? There is a type of pie for everyone - pumpkin, strawberry, chocolate, cheesecake, lemon, coconut - the list is endless! Pie is a wonderful dessert that goes with everything.

In my search for pie recipes, I have come across a lovely idea - pie lolipops! I KNOW!! Can it get better than this - I sure don't think so.
Lolipop-Pies, Tiny Bite-Sized Pies on a Stick

I am sure going to have fun making these ones - mango blueberry perhaps?!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fruit - I LOVE IT!

The emerging trend that I am seeing all over the place and now hearing more about is sugared fruit. I think this is excellent. I get really excited when brides tell me they want to incorporate fruit into their weddings. So colourful, pretty, easily done in unique ways and oh so affordable!

Is is not uncommon to use fruit as decorative items at ones wedding or event:
- place settings
Cynthia Martyn Events

- escort cards

- included in centerpieces

...but now what I'm seeing is the next progression of this and using the fruit as the main decorative item in the centerpieces, fruit is no longer content to be an accent piece but wants to pull the show and with bright colours who can blame them! :)

The best part is that now you can sugar them to add the little bit of extra WOW. Who wouldn't want to have a little bit of sugar - mmmmm!

How to sugar fruit

What you will need: any kind of fruit, long floral pick or any pointy sticky object, egg whites, fine sugar, brush (paint or basting), wax paper
1. Spear the fruit. If using floral picks they have wire on one end which you can use to secure the speared fruit to another object (grape vine, oasis foam, etc)
2. Brush the fruit with a thin layer of egg white (paint brush or basting brush works well)
3. Lightly sprinkle the sugar over the fruit using your fingers (don't roll the fruit in the sugar - big mess!) The first bit of sugar will dissolve into the egg whites but keep sprinkling until it starts to look white. Extra sugar in a few spots will give it a pretty frosty like look.
4. Let dry about 30min (laying on wax paper)
Photo Credit Robyn Lehr

For those of you wishing to use fruit at your next event, I hope you found this inspirational. Let your imagination run with this one because you can't go wrong!


Monday, March 8, 2010

All about the Oscars

I'm sitting here in star style wearing a recycled dress from the uni days of formals and sipping white wine from my gorgeous hand blown Jon Sawyer glass while watching The Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny Show!
This is how I have referred to the Ocsars in the past coming weeks. How could I not with the commercials airing as they did with Steve Martin and Alex Baldwin acting as they were. Now granted I have a 2 year old so I may see connections that others were not expecting. :) However, this pair really puts a new low to events. Funny individually I can see how the pair would be a 'sure fit' for the Hollywood night of glitz and glamour - wait can those 2 words be used in the same sentence as Steve & Alec???
This disappointment added to the fact that again I did not see Cojo on the red carpet, was a true sore spot with me. The reason we at home watch this awards 'stuff' is so that we can see the dresses - really do we care who wins best such and such? The red carpet is now reduced to a mere, hey how are you, let me talk about why I like you and then an actual tap saying oh no, you are done talking (which they didn't even talk anyway) and need to move on to the the inside. - Thanks Sherri! Worst interviewer of the red carpet - EVER!!!! please go back and stay at the view...
So having seen the red carpet and some of the dresses and then seeing the awards and those presenting I have made my list of best and worst dressed:
First I have to say, did you check out he dress that won for most votes? It's the one that the ladies handing out the actual Oscars were wearing. Yep, I voted for that one - beautiful.
So to the nitty gritty of it:
Best dressed top picks were:
Elizabeth Banks, Sandra Bullock (oh, and she won!), Meryl Streep, Demi Moore

Worst dressed - and there were many (Deborah Ann Woll- what were you thinking!) so I chose the most surprising ones for my list:
Sarah Jessica Parker - Carrie Bradshaw would be so upset but not sure with what more the hair or the dress!
Charlize Theron - what was up with the Vera Wang design with the bulls-eye on here breasts! Seriously that is all you could look at!
J.Lo - the trend was to be 'architecture' in dresses and this one certainly had it but it also accentuated all her curves in all the wrong ways.

Weather you agree or not I'd love to hear from you on your picks!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Oscar Buzz

How do you plan on celebrating this weekend?
What am I talking about - the Academy Awards of course!

The red carpet walk and interviews are my favorite. The dresses and the hair, remember Cojo? I loved him and I don't get to see him as often as I would like. I always look forward to his picks of the best & worst dressed. Do these people not have stylists? Seriously!? I question the loyalty of them if they do - friends, well, some friends and hey, I don't need to be your friend but I'll tell you if what you are wearing should be tossed out in the compost. I could always be hired to dress you celebs (if you're reading) - I'm quite reasonable.

Here's Cojo's picks for the Golden Globes just to remember how good he is!

Can you figure out his best & worst from the above without looking? Hint: One is just added in but is not his pick and there are more 'best' than 'worst'.

So, the question was how do you plan on celebrating this weekend? Will you sit back and enjoy a relaxing glass of wine or bubbly while you watch the celebs do their thing and walk down the red carpet? Will you be more involved? Hmmm....be more involved....

I like the sound of that!

Pull out your best dishes. Dust off you finest glassware. Invite your best friends over and put on your best star-studded threads - shine like the celeb-party hostess you are!

The Academy Awards website makes being at the "Oscars" all too easy. Click and print. Simple. They provide you with pdf versions of everything you need to be involved. Ballots, games and even more important recipes!
Cheryl Cecchetto the planner for the best after party gives you tips to have a successful party at home - star style!

Have your guests fill out the ballots for the nomination categories and then collect them. Do your votes compare to all of America?

Have fun and relax - that's what all the star's are doing!