Posts Tagged ‘party’
Yes, it is a post! I think all of us here at Threaded Together must have been in summer “vacation” mode the last couple of months, at least when it came to writing, crafting, cooking, etc. The days may be “longer” but there is only so much time to squeeze in everything that needs to be done!
It is hard to believe that it is already half-way thru August! In this part of the country school starts early (August 22) – I prefer the model we had when the girls were in school in California … classes didn’t start until after Labor Day. I love the smell of new school supplies, but it is hard to get excited when the temperatures are hovering just this side of 100°
Depending on how you feel about peas, you will either LOVE or HATE this recipe which came from a co-worker after an office potluck decades ago! I fall into the category of LOVE it, but never make this dish unless I have somewhere to take it since I’m the only fan in the family! Yesterday it was part of the menu for the surprise party in celebration of my friend, Eileen S., turning the big 5-0 in a couple of weeks (sorry, E, but since you are pretty much the youngest of your “friends your own age” this secret is out!). If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, or access to a farmer’s market where they sell fresh peas, substitute fresh for the frozen.
20 oz. peas, frozen or fresh (I don’t really worry about exact amounts – I use two of the smaller bags)
1 cup celery, chopped
½ cup green onions, chopped
½ cup salted cashew (pieces—not whole, not chopped)
½ cup bacon, cut into small pieces and cooked/drained — isn’t everything better with bacon?!
1 cup sour cream
1 Tblsp. Lemon juice
3 Tblsp. Mayonnaise
Salt & pepper
If using frozen, thaw the peas in a colander.
Mix peas with sour cream, mayo, and lemon juice. Add cashews, green onions, bacon, and celery. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
If you don’t think it will all be eaten right away, reserve cashews and sprinkle on top as served—they tend to soften in the salad, especially overnight – doesn’t seem to bother people around here, but then again, boiled peanuts are a regional delicacy … Yuck!
So, enjoy the “fruits” of your harvest or head to the freezer section of your favorite grocery store, and celebrate something with Party Pea Salad!
Here is my last cookie post for a while…I promise! I figured I should probably share with you one of the recipes I made for my 1st Annual Cookie Exchange! I tried something that I have never made before (which is ALWAYS scary when you are preparing for a party). I highly recommend testing new recipes PRIOR to the time you are going to make them to share with people. Who knows, these could have turned out to be more like Messy Brown Chips instead of Macadamia Brittle Cookies.
Luckily for me, they turned out exactly as they should have. At least they tasted great to me! They are a definite toss back to the great taste of pralines. This cookie has many different layers of taste. You first get a taste of crunchy butter cookie, but then as the praline mixture starts to dissolve in your mouth it has the fantastic vibrancy of the macadamia nuts…true Hawaiian delicacies. The after taste, I cannot quite pin down, put it is pretty darn great too. I would not rate this as one of my favorite cookies ever or anything, but it is rare to find a treat with such fanciful layers. A wonderful addition to a holiday party!
Macadamia Brittle Cookies
- 8 ounces coarsely chopped, toasted macadamia nuts
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels, melted in microwave or double boiler
- In a heavy saucepan, cook sugar over moderate heat: shake the saucepan 2 or 3 times until the sugar melts, then cook without stirring until the sugar becomes caramel colored. Remove from heat and add ½ cup of macadamia nuts. Pour the praline nut mixture onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and let cool completely.
- Grease 2 cookie sheets. Break apart praline mixture and grind in a food processor. Add the remaining toasted macadamia nuts and continue grinding until medium fine.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixture, cream together butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed. Add flour and praline mixture and combine until well blended.
- Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into 2 ½ inch logs. Arrange them 1 inch apart on cookie sheets and flatten each log slightly. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly colored.
- Let cookies cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. When cool, dip in melted chocolate and let cool on wax paper.
Here is yummy recipe #2 from my first annual cookie exchange. I think it is a fairly well known cookie. Chocolate crinkles are basically a brownie mixture that you chill for HOURS. After waiting and waiting and waiting, you take the dough out of the fridge, roll it into balls and coat it with powdered sugar before baking. It is totally worth the wait. This was the other cookie from the exchange that was gone the first day I had them. So yummy and addictive! Thanks H.B. for contributing!.Chocolate Crinkles
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.
These cookies have a wonderful cracked texture with the powdered sugar. They will add beauty and taste to any holiday place setting!
My family is famous for cookie swaps. I think Jennifer is on her 8th? year of hosting her annual cookie exchange. Down South they are serious and take cookie swapping to a whole new level. It has evolved into it’s own living breathing cookie creature. The first year a couple of us got together to bake cookies. I think by year two we already decided that was too much work and we would just bring cookies to share. Then some people started packaging stuff a little more cute than usual and then she started having prizes for who’s was the most creative. Of course, the gauntlet had been thrown down! Now people plan months in advance for the best tasting cookie, most clever packaging and tackiest Christmas sweater (everyone decided they had to compete with mom’s sweaters) :o). Those are only a few of the highlights too! There is a gift exchange and more! It is a great time for friends to get together, share great recipes and eat good food. Unfortunately, I moved away a year and a half ago and this was my second year missing the cookie party. They gave me the option last year to send my cookies in to compete, but there was just too much going on!
This year I decided it was high time I continue the tradition on my own and I threw my first Christmas Cookie Swap. It was planned a little on the fly so I didn’t have time to incorporate all the things I wanted to, but there is always next year! I had a great turn out and there were AWESOME cookies. I love any excuse to hang out with my neighborhood ladies and today was no exception. A few of the highlights of my party:
- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for most creative packaging/beautiful cookies (this was included in the invite) and because we all have a great sense of humor, a prize for “maybe next year!”
- Each guest brought 4 – 6 cookies per person attending pre-packaged for easy “grab and go” as well as enough printed recipes for each guest to take home with them (I made it clear if people did not RSVP by a certain date they would not be able to attend and emailed the number of guests out a few days before)
- Guests were also encouraged to bring their “leftovers” on a tray for the ladies to snack on during the party
I had a small amount of meats, cheese, olives, and crackers to snack on as well as mimosas, coffee, wine, etc.
Things I will be prepared for next year:
Cute name tags, probably designed to look like recipe cards
A “theme” such as tacky sweater or maybe even holiday cocktail…we all have those dresses we have to wear to holiday parties, why not get an extra use out of them!
Next year I will probably switch and do it late on a Sunday afternoon like they do back home; I just think it would be easier
I am so blessed with so many amazing friends. I love my neighborhood and I am so thankful I have these woman to support me and my family in the good times and the not so good times. Thank you everyone for helping me make my Christmas even more special this year!
I am including some of my favorite pictures from the party and it was so hard to choose! I plan, it time allows, to post my favorite three recipes over the next week or so. There were so many fantastic cookies!
To continue with a post about my daughter’s birthday, I wanted to share with you the treat bags I sewed. This was not a project I had intended on completing for the party. I did not want to buy the cheap little plastic bags to put the treats in for the guests, but I also thought I would be able to find something cute to put them in! While I was searching for inspiration, I found some wonderful small canvas bags online that had drawstrings to pull them closed. Alas, I was doing this mere days before the party and would not have enough time to order them. I went to every craft/fabric/grocery store in my area and they did not have anything close to what I was now bound and determined to have for the party! So, I did what any other Martha Stewart mom would do and decided to make them myself!
I have tons of leftover fabric from previous projects/projects I never finished. Since it was a princess party I went with pink fabric for the girls and green fabric for the boys. Initially, I was going to throw the things together, sew them really quick up the side and tie a ribbon around them. After speaking with my super sewing mom, I was talked out of that! She convinced me of how easy it would be to take a few quick extra steps to make the bags look cute and better put together.
First, rip the fabric into elongated rectangles, about 10 inches by 16 or 18 inches. Fold in the edges of the two elongated sides, approximately 1/4 inch, and iron (this is to create a clean edge). Fold the rectangles in half along the short sides, with the right, or front sides, facing each other. Iron along fold. Fold down the top of each side so there is approximately a 1.5 inch “cuff” at the top of each side.
*to save time to not have to feed a drawstring through later, I tied the knot in my cording and tucked it under the flap on one side. Leaving a 1/4 inch edge, sew across one side of the cuff. Flip the bag around and repeat on the other side, tucking the cord under the flap and sewing across. Make sure you are not yet sewing the two sides of the bag together!!! OR you can just sew across each cuff and feed the cord or ribbon through later.
Last – holding the folded piece of fabric together, sew up each long edges to close the bag, stopping just at the seam on the cuff. Turn bag inside out and have some fun!
This, of course, still does not produce an amazingly well made bag, but the kids loved them, the adults thought they were great, and it only took me watching the entire movie of Moulin Rouge to finish 24 bags from start to end! Thanks for the help mom!!!
Finally the time has rolled around this year that not only did I get to make another fun cake, but it was for my very own little girl! Little K turned 5 this year and was DYING to have a big party with all of her friends. Her birthday is in the middle of the summer and everyone was on vacation at one time or another, so we decided to wait and celebrate right before school started. We are so blessed with the amazing friends we have who pitched in to help set up, celebrate, and clean up! Especially with my hubby gone! The party was princess themed and it was the perfect opportunity for me to get to doll up a cake. There were over 40 people at the party when you include the kids and the parents (I told you we are blessed!) so I went big with a 3 tiered cake.
I covered the cake in pink rolled marshmallow fondanton two layers (both chocolate) and white in the middle (yellow cake). The stars and stripes cut outs and the balls along the bottom were also fondant. The “bling” around the bottom of the top two layers is rock candy. I searched everywhere until I remembered the best place to buy something like rock candy is Cracker Barrel! I also put some “bling” in the middle of each star on the cake. Last but not least, the crown. I tried to make a fondant crown and it was actually quite cute! Unfortunately, as soon as I tried to move it from the wax paper I had it drying on, it broke :(. This was definitely a foreseeable problem, so I had a back up plan and simply placed a tiara on top of the cake. It probably ended up looking a lot cuter!!
So, there you go! A cute little princess cake. I was very please with the results, and apparently everone else was too because it was almost gone! Okay, so I might have been cutting the pieces a little big, but not that big.
Oh, and thank you to all of the friends who stayed behind and helped me jump my car after my battery was dead! You’re the best!
Happy Birthday Baby!!!