Sunday, September 30, 2012

party loves--lemonade party

My twin girls turned 2 in March! I love doing themed parties but at 2, they didn't really care what I did! So I picked a lemonade/lemon theme! One of my fav things to do is browse Pinterest for party ideas! There are just gazillions of ideas out there. Party planning heaven!

So once I FINALLY decided on the theme (which is by FAR the hardest part of party planning!), I went crazy pinning and pinning wonderful ideas!  

I started with the invitations!  And I saw this super cute lemonade stand on Pinterest!  I thought, "Hey! We have pallets laying around outside, I bet the hubs and FIL can BUILD one of those for me!"  So I asked.  And they produced this loveliness:

diy lemonade stand out of pallets

Isn't it just the best?  It was perfect for the pictures on the invites and perfect for some decor at the party!  My sweet friend Lezley is a fabulous photographer and took all the pictures for their invitations and at their party! 

Then I started pinning foods to have.  There are a TON of lemon sweets ideas!  And yellow foods.  It was so fun finding stuff!  Here's what we wound up having:

Lemon Cake Balls
--with lovely yellow striped ribbon
lemon cake balls

Lemon Burst Cookies
Recipe found here! 

 Lemon Tea Cookies
These were tasty!!  Recipe found here!  You like those little name cards I made?!  So easy!  And adds such a sweet touch!

lemon party ideas

Deviled Eggs!
This one was just for the colors!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes!
The frosting on these was eaten by spoonfuls!  Divine!  Recipe found here! 

Just some decorations using the star of the party!

Party Favors!
The twins got to give away little party bags with lemonade cooler drinks and bracelets! 

lemonade party ideas

Matching Flowers!

Matching water bottle labels and pink stripe straws!

Um, she is SO my daughter!

Lemonade stand, front and center!

kid birthday party ideas

Overall, lemonade was a super fun theme for a party!  The more ideas out there, the better! 


party love--purple wedding reception

We love planning parties! Our favorite is to do white plates and clean, pretty lines! A few months ago my sweet MIL asked if we would do her best friend's wedding reception!  So of course we said yes!  Who wouldn't love making someone else's wedding reception just gorgeous?!  The colors were dark purple and white!  

We pretty much just did the food table, and we even made the food for it!  Stress!!!  Because while it's fun to make someone else's wedding pretty.....IT'S SOMEONE ELSE'S WEDDING!  Scare-y!!

Anyway, we started out by laying all our white plates and platters out to see how we wanted to place everything!  Like this:

purple wedding ideas

Then we filled the plates with all our homemade goodies!  We made Oreo truffle balls with pretty ribbon sticks!  So sweet and definitely a hit with the kids!  We also did wedding cookies with purple frosting and white pearl balls!  Then we bought some already covered white yogurt pretzels and drizzled purple candy melts on them (see the bowl in the back full of them?).  So tasty!  And it looked so pretty!

The other two decorating things that I just LOVED, were the tall white sticks with little purple flowers that we glued on!  We put a clear vase on each side of the table with those!  Then the part that added the most pretty was the purple tulle!  We hung it over some frames behind the table, but FIRST we strung pretty twinkly lights underneath!  Isn't it just gorgeous!  

wedding reception ideas


pinterest loves--blueberry buttermilk muffins

This recipe turned out to be pretty involved, but they sure are tasty!  The streusel topping is my favorite part....butter and can you go wrong?! 

So here is my recipe, tweaked slightly to fit my likes!  Oh and of course I doubled the recipe--twice the muffins for practically half the work!  Sweet!

buttermilk blueberry muffin recipe

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins (print recipe)
(this is the doubled recipe, half it if you want!)

Streusel Topping
6 T white sugar
6 T brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 stick hard butter, cut into pieces

2 cups blueberries (I used frozen and also should've used 4 cups but only wanted 2)
2 1/4 cups  plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
5 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon table salt
4 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cup buttermilk
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees!

Take about a cup to a cup and a half of the blueberries and put them in a small pan.  Add the water and 1 tsp of water.  Bring to a simmer for a few minutes until the blueberries reduce into a sticky, syrupy goodness!  Set aside until you need them later on!

Mix together all the wet-ish ingredients!  Add the dry ingredients, doing flour last.  It's okay if there are some lumps!  Lumps are good, it means you didn't over mix!  Add the rest of your blueberries and if you used fresh, gently mix them in!  If you used frozen blueberries like me, just have at it!

Next fill your muffin cups with the batter!  About 2/3 full is good!  If you don't have a muffin scoop, you should get one!  They're great for muffins and cupcakes and even large cookies!!  Here is the one I have!

Next comes the sorta tricky part.  You're gonna need the blueberry syrupy stuff you made at the beginning!  Put about a teaspoon on top of each unbaked muffin.  Then take a knife or some pointy object and swirl it in with a figure eight motion!  Most of mine stayed on top, which was fine with me!  Still tasty!

Now you need to make your streusel topping.  Combine all ingredients and use your fingers to combine until you have little pea size chunks of butter and sugar!  Sprinkle it on the muffins!

Bake for about 15 minutes! 

Take them out, wait about 10 minutes, then lick the streusel topping off the top....wait no, get a big glass of milk and enjoy the whole scrumptious muffin together! 

Link to the original muffin recipe on A Cook's Quest!

blueberry muffin recipe


Saturday, September 29, 2012

chocolate chip cookie cheesecake squares

 Chocolate chip cookies.
Yes puh-LEASE!
Chocolate chip cookie cheesecake squares!

chocolate chip cheesecake recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Squares!
3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
3/4 t. baking soda
1 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
3/4 c. chopped pecans
2 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy!  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine flour, salt and baking soda.  Gradually add to creamed mixture until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips and pecans.  Set aside 1/3 of dough for topping.  Press remaining dough into greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes!

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Spoon over crust.  Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over filling!  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.  Store in refrigerator!  Makes 3 dozen scrumptious bars!

chocolate chip cheesecake bars recipe