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Monday, May 30, 2011

Let the Games Begin!

Starting today it's officially summer, so, let the games begin!

There are pools to jump in, boats to fish from, mountains to hike, lakes to ski, beaches to surf, camps to pack for, and on and on.  With so much summer activity, you are sure to be left hot and thirsty! Why not make a batch of these Watermelon-Strawberry Pops and keep them in your freezer for just such an occasion?  Cool and fruity, they'll be a great start to your summer, thanks to Martha Stewart, and as always, you can find the recipe in our 'Recipes' section!

 

 Cheers! 




 


Sunday, May 29, 2011

'Cheers to a Great Year'!

We did it!  We FINALLY graduated!  Well, my son did, that is. 
Kicking off this memorable event was a final Teacher's Appreciation Luncheon on the last day of school.  Always put on by a fun bunch of the PTA girls, this year I decided as a special 'send-off', I would do 'Lemon-teenies' to 'toast' each teacher, custodian, kitchen staff, etc.
That would be 200 Lemon-teenies, by the way!


Just to show you the size of the little darlings, this one is standing next to a basic coffee mug.
Isn't she cute?

Each disposable mini-martini cup was filled with 3 layers - the bottom was crushed Lemon Drop candy, the middle was Lemon cake, and then topped off with homemade Lemon-buttercream frosting.  Topped with either purple or yellow sugar, each had a tiny spoon that was tied with ribbons in the school colors of purple or gold.
Once again, I was serving from a table in the school cafeteria! (Cups and spoons were from 'Smarty Had A Party!' - the best place to find all your disposable miniature serving pieces.)

So what exactly does 200 of those little gems look like?...


























As Emeril would say, "Yeah, baby!"

Cheers!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memories of Memorial Day...

I am SO ready for this weekend! 
It's Memorial Day, which means it's not only a holiday weekend, it's also the start of SUMMER! (my favorite time of year!)... A-N-D, at our house - we will FINALLY graduate the Man-Child tomorrow afternoon!  Because of such a crazy schedule, I'm sharing a couple of posts from last year, and a few links to print out your own decorations, that I think you'll enjoy.  So, sit back, relax and begin your summer, and don't forget to remember WHY we celebrate and honor Memorial Day!






A Texas
Memorial Day
Celebration...












...flags flying in the mountains of New Mexico...













If your holiday weekend finds you doing a 'stay-cation', and if you need easy decor for your own celebration, hop over to these sites where adorable FREE DIY patriotic printables are available, that you'll use over and over again! 



A 4th of July banner from
Tweedle Dee Designs kicks off a patriotic party!





 These 'cool' fans from Martha Stewart make great tabletop decor.....











Use cute straw flags and menu cards,
for your barbecue,
by going to The Pink Orange,
and downloading these!














Patriotic paper cones from Martha Stewart are a great way to hold potato chips or popcorn at a party...
After the burgers, serve cupcakes
sprinkled with red and blue sugars on white frosting,
and adorned with these adorable cupcake toppers
from Tweedle Dee Designs.

You can use for the 4th of July, or Memorial Day.  Either way, have a great weekend!




 ...and finally, give your guests sparklers with fun tags created by
Twig & Thistle.
It's a great way to end a great holiday!

Cheers!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Couture Cuties...

I just returned today from a bridal style show in Dallas, where of course the gowns were so glam!
But glamour doesn't have to stop there.  I also discovered these darling Stiletto (are you ready for this?) CUPCAKES, that got my attention right away!  Created by Liz over at Hoosier Homemade (she's got the how-tos in her newsletter).  Who knew you could have your shoes and eat them, too?!
















 And just to be sure you're completely 'glammed up', bring out the bling with these adorable ring cupcakes!  Served up with a cute cocktail, these would make great party desserts for a 'girls night' of bunco, bridge or bingo!

















As always,
Cheers!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Celebrate with Grad Cap Cookies and Cake!

I fell in love with these two desserts, last year, and saved them to use on my son's graduation day!  I thought they were just so cute, and knew they would be a hit at his graduation brunch.
Well, the time has come, and fortunately I remembered the recipes, and now I've decided to share them with you!

The recipes are fairly easy, they just take a few more ingredients than most (remember, you're building a graduation cap here!),  and to make it a step easier, I've posted all the 'how-tos' and the recipes right here on our own Recipe Page.  You can even download the instructions for Yarn Tassel napkin rings for your lunch or brunch.
One thing is for sure...these are graduation caps you won't want to toss in the air!

Congrats to the Class of 2011, and thanks to Phyllis Hoffman and 'Celebrate' magazine!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gradually, Graduation..

We're almost there. 

You'd think I didn't have anything better to do then count down the weeks, days and hours until graduation. Not true! There's honestly SO much for me to get done before then, I really don't even have time to think about it.  And when I do, it's strictly in amazement!

No, my 'counting down' is more about believing that this 'rite of passage' is finally here. 

It's about counting blessings before walking the stage.  It's about saying goodbye, knowing that it could be for the last time.  For me, it's about my son.



It's also about celebrating success and achievements, and what better way than with a celebratory brunch for the entire family or a dinner after the ceremony?  Whichever you choose, keep the festivities focused on the graduate, and consider ending with a dessert that says 'Congratulations' all by themselves!  
Simply said, this type of celebration only comes around once in awhile!
Enjoy, and Cheers!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's 'Senior' Season!

In Texas, the countdown to graduation has begun. 
The clock is ticking now, faster than imagined possible, and all of those last minute decisions, items to purchase, and lists to cross off, are rapidly becoming the ONLY thing on a mother's mind!
Well, that and... PARTIES!

Needless to say, the senior social season is well underway, and in our little city, it's HUGE.  If you can dream it up, chances are someone is throwing a celebration with your 'dream theme' in mind!

Yesterday I was delighted to help friends of mine celebrate their niece's graduation with a little picnic on the grounds of her school.   We called in a favorite hot dog vendor, who set up shop on the lawn, and I dressed up the tables in school colors. 
 Not wanting to be too ostentatious, party decor 'over the top' wasn't necessary, however I just HAD to use these cute party printables from Leslie Marie Designs!  Leslie was great to work with, and after we customized in the school colors, they were perfect!  Her party package contains more than shown here, but as you can see, they are so festive, and were a great way to 'get the party started'!  I liked them so much, I'll be using them again for my son's brunch - in his school colors - in just a couple of weeks...

...17 days to be exact, but who's counting?!
Cheers!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Two Cupcakes Worth Talkin' About!

Well, I doubt you'll see this anywhere else,but the internet, so I just had to share!
First, Happy Mother's Day!  And on that note, take a look at these hand-painted 'Mother and Child' designs on cupcakes over at Sweetology!  In a word - WOW!
















Secondly, I ran across this cupcake over on THC Care Providers when I was doing a story on cancer.  Oh yes.  You guessed it!  Now there is a Cannabis Cupcake! 
No, I'm not kidding.  Apparently it has brought tremendous medicinal relief to those undergoing chemo.  Amazingly, they  look pretty good, too!


Whether it's for medicine or for Mother's Day, I hope you find a favorite cupcake you want to share!
Cheers,

Derby Day Delights!

'The party's over...it's time to call it a night'...so the song goes, and even with the Kentucky Derby being over, I ran across this yummy Mint Julep Cupcake over on
Hostess with the Mostess, that I just had to share!  Enjoy!

MINT JULEP CUPCAKES RECIPE
{adapted from Cooking and Booking}

Ingredients:
Cupcakes
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

1/2 cup bourbon (or whiskey)
1/2 cup Creme de Menthe
Icing
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mint extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
milk
*****
Directions:
Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F, and grease or line 30 cupcake cups.
Combine salt, baking powder, and 1 3/4 cups of the flour. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the milk and liquors to the batter, then the rest of the flour (1 cup). Mix as little as possible, just until the batter comes together. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool.
Icing
Combine the powdered sugar, salt, extracts and melted butter and beat until creamy. Gradually add milk until the texture is right for piping. When the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe or spread the icing on top. Garnish with cake sparkles or sprinkles, a straw (trimmed to size), and mint leaves.
*****

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ay-yi-yi - it's Cinco De Mayo!

Yep, not one...not two...but three reasons to celebrate this weekend!
I'm excited about some of the Cinco de Mayo ideas, drinks and treats I've discovered across the web, too....starting with this:





A Cinco de Mayo Cupcake:
Dark chocolate cupcake with chocolate cinnamon CHILI buttercream (did I mention 'chili'?) topped with a Red Hot candy!  Now that's HOT!

Courtesy of Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique.








...or how about a sombrero-topped Corona-Lime beer cupcake?! 
In Texas we'd say:  'Genius'!!

Thank you Cupcakeables!





...and how about these Margarita cupcakes in real Margarita glasses!
Can you spell F-U-N??!  Over at
Hoosier Homemade, she gives you the recipe and how-tos!

Ai-Yi-Yi!!!
(I think that's Spanish for 'Cheers'!)

What's Your Reason to Celebrate?

The month of May brings wonderful reasons to celebrate, and coming up this weekend are three of the biggest excuses for a party - Cinco de Mayo,  Mother's Day, and the Kentucky Derby!  Whew!
Because I'm a horse lover, I want to share one of the cutest ideas for a beautiful 'day at the races', that I found in my favorite magazine, 'Celebrate!'  by Hoffman Media. (Click on the link to download the free invitation template!)  You can also check out their recipes we've added to our 'Recipe' page.

Oh, and as a Southerner, don't forget to try the Mint Juleps!

Cheers!


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