Friday, June 24, 2011

Party Favors

Hersey's Kisses with the Bride & Groom's Names & Wedding Date

In this case the Kisses read:  Jason & Nicole ~ June 26, 2010

Print out a sheet of names & dates for your special occasion: wedding, anniversary, birthday, etc.  Cut into small strips.  Very carefully, slightly unwrap each kiss, just enough to pull out the "Hersey's Kiss" tag and replace it with your own tag.  Re-wrap Kiss.  Scatter Kisses on party tables.  Very pretty & tasty too!  I have also made up a couple hundred of these and given them to the bride at her wedding shower.  She loved them, and used them at her reception.  You can order these at specialty wedding shops for about $20 a pound, or make them yourself for simply the cost of the Kisses.

The flower on this table is floating in a plastic ice cream dish that I bought at Wal-Mart for under a dollar.  I really like these "low" table decorations, because they are pretty, and easy to talk over (as opposed to a tall vase).  Florists will sometimes give away their open roses, because they can't sell them.  However, I used gerber daisies here, because we were in a small town, and the only florist was completely out of roses.

A brandy glass also works beautifully to float a rose.

I got this idea from my mother-in-law who has rose bushes.  She often floats roses in these pretty glasses on her kitchen table.  I bought this one at a re-sale shop for a buck.  They are short and easy to reach across, and really make any event table look very special. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

4th of July Pie

I call this my "4th of July Pie," because it's red, white & blue, and I learned how to make it from one of the Hunt gals at their annual, 4th of July party.

You will need:

1 - baked 9" pie crust
1/4 - bag white chocolate chips
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 - small box instant cheesecake pudding
     (regular or sugar-free is okay, vanilla also works)
1 - cup milk
1 - tub, 8 oz. whipped topping
1 - container strawberries, washed & dried
1 - pint blueberries, washed & dried

Prepare & bake one, 9" store bought, pie crust according to package instructions, or make your own home-made 9" pie crust.  Do not forget to poke holes in the crust with a fork before baking.  Allow crust to cool.

Melt white chocolate chips and spoon into and up the sides of the pie crust.  Refridgerate for a couple of minutes until chocolate hardens.

Set aside 10 of your best stawberries for the top of the pie.  Cut the rest in small pieces and place in the pie crust.

Beat instant pudding and milk until well blended.  Beat in the cream cheese.  Spoon into pie crust.

Spoon whipped topping onto pie making a "hole" in the center.

Add the blueberries.

Add the 10 reserved strawberries.  Chill 3-4 hours before serving.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Family Game ~ Inspired by the Movie, "True Grit"

We were all home on Saturday to celebrate Nathan & Nicole's birthdays.  After dinner & presents we played a new game that Jeff invented, which was inspired by the movie, "True Grit."  I gave everyone $5 in quarters (there were 9 of us).  We were only allowed to speak in full sentences with proper grammer ... no contractions and no "uhms."  If you made an error in speech you had to put one of your quarters in the main pot. 

It was really hard!  ...  Much more so than I had imagined.  I mistakenly thought that Jeff or I would win.  After a while, people began to be afraid to speak, so Zach suggested that we also play, "Balderdash," which is family favorite game.  (By the way, we do not actually have the store bought game.  We just play with a dictionary and paper.)  This kept the conversation going, along with much laughter.  The games ended when it was time for Jason & Nicole to leave.  Anna Marie won the jack-pot of $27!  It was a fun exercise in paying attention to how we speak.  I find myself even now, a couple of days later, taking care to speak properly. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fruit Salad

Combine your favorite fresh & canned fruit.  Then add some vanilla yogurt to create this yummy fruit salad.
Makes a very popular side dish or dessert!

This particular fruit salad serves about 8 and I used: 

1 - large can sliced peaches, drained & chopped
2 - small cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 - container strawberries, washed, dryed & diced
2 - cups grapes, washed & dryed
3 - medium bananas cut in small pieces
1 - cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
3 - tablespoons peach juice

I pour my extra juice from the peaches & mandarin oranges in with my orange juice that I always have on hand in my fridge.

If you are making this fruit salad a day ahead of time, wait till at least a few hours before serving time to add the bananas. 

If someone you love has issues with dairy products you may replace the yogurt with extra peach juice.

To keep my fruit salad cold for pot luck dinners, especially when I bring it to church and I'm not sure if there will be enough room in the fridge I do the following.

                                   Place a bag of ice in a large plastic bowl.

Place the bowl of fruit salad (covered with plastic wrap) on top of the bag of ice.  This works well for hours.

I've also used this bag of ice trick directly on the kitchen counter or table.  Simply double bag the ice to help ensure it won't leak all over the counter as it melts.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Creative, Thoughtful & Inexpensive Father's Day Gift

I made a similar one for my Dad & my Father-In-Law, and also for my Mom & my Mother-In-Law.
This particular frame was only $4. at Wal-Mart.

A closer look ~ When I ran out of adjectives, I used a Thesarus to help find more.  I also used hobbies and nicknames.   When I had exhausted my descriptive words, I just repeated them to fill the page.  You could also use a photo in the center.  Happy Giving!