Saturday, September 29, 2007

more party ideas

One great way to get ideas for your party is to visit a forum. One of my favorite is the french cooking board. They have a really active community and a great moderator, ratatouille, who you can tell cares a lot about the users.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

is that a flower in your tea?

One way to make your tea party beautiful is to use flowering teas. The tea begins as a pod of leaves sewn together. Place it in a cup and once hot water is poured over it blooms right before your eyes. Your guests are sure to love it. Numi is a popular brand.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

cucumber tea sandwiches

1/2 thinly sliced and peeled seedless cucumber
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup chopped watercress leaves
16 slices white bread
Salt to taste
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts

In a small bowl, combine butter and watercress; spread on one side of each slice of bread. Lay cucumber slices onto the buttered side of slices of bread. Sprinkle with salt. Cover each with alfalfa sprouts and top with the remaining slices of bread.
Make sure to cut the crusts from each sandwich. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and then cut in half again.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

a traditional high tea menu

Lemon Curd
Devonshire Clotted Cream
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
Lemon Bars
Orange Poppy Seed Bread
Assorted Teas - make sure to have a combination of traditional teas (earl grey, english breakfast) and spice teas (orange, ginger)


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Saturday, September 22, 2007

care for a cup of tea?

an afternoon tea party is a great way to get together and you don't need an expensive hotel. food is simple, easy to make finger food. And what could be better than a pot of tea.


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Friday, September 21, 2007

easy peasy individual apple tarts

Dessert gets progressive with this easy individual apple tarts.

1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups flour
2 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced and peeled
4 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons melted orange marmalade

In large bowl beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add egg and salt. Gradually stir in flour until soft dough forms. To omit this step substitute sugar cookie dough.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-inch square; cut into four 5-inch squares.

Place squares on baking sheet; turn up 1/4 inch of edges of all squares to make a thick edge. Arrange apples slices on each square; sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake 25 minutes. Brush apple slices with marmalade and return to oven for three minutes.


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Thursday, September 20, 2007

progressive dinner parties

progressive dinner parties are definately not for everyone. Basically the guests go from home to home, having a different course of the meal at each house. Cocktails & appetizers at the first home, the main course at the second, and dessert at the third.

Here are some tips for a successful progressive party:

- Keep your numbers manageable so that everyone hosting can accommodate the number on the guest list.
- Keep the guest list manageable. The larger the group the harder it will be to organize.
- Send out information with the times and addresses for each house.


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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

practicing mind control

In addition to bobbing for apples and getting out the quija board, why not tell their future by reading their palms or tarot cards or try the old slumber party classic, light as a feather stiff as a board:

Place a person on the ground (the subject) - lying down with her eyes closed - in a darkend room. Arrange a group of people around her - with at least one person at each end - and one on either side. Each person places two fingers of both hands under the edge of the person lying on the ground. Keep the subject relaxed and still, rubbing her temples. Ask her the name of the boy she likes and an activity. Keep rubbing her temples as you tell her a story about how she meet the boy of her dreams, but had a fatal accident while doing the activity she named. Try to make the story as detailed as possible and make sure the boy tries to save her in the story. After the subject dies in the story everyone chants "Light as a feather, stiff as a board." As the chanting continues everyone joins in and lifts the subject together, and then raise her back down.

Other sources for learning:

tarot card books

palm reading books

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

7 kooky costume ideas

7. Any one of the current political candidates. Don't forget the flag pin.
6. Babysitter -- Strap a doll to your butt and sit on it.
5. Used Car Salesman --Wear a bright plaid polyester suit and slicked-back hair. Hand out business cards and tell everyone you can get them a "great deal!"
4. A blue man -- paint your face and hands blue, wear black.
3. Ghost -- find an old sheet, cut two eye holes and your done.
2. A concept -- don't dress up, just act weird.
1. Hobo -- don't you always feel bad for the kids that go as hobos. They make the ghost look good.


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Monday, September 17, 2007

ghosts in the graveyard

no matter what age your party guests will be ghosts in the graveyard is easy to make and delicious as well.

3 1/2 cups milk
2 packages chocolate instant pudding
3 cups whipped cream
1 package Oreos, crushed
Milano cookies

Pour cold milk into a large bowl; add pudding mix. Whisk ingredients together for two minutes. Stir in whipped topping and 1/2 of the cookies. Spoon into a 13x9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate for one hour or until ready to serve.

Decorate with Milanos (tombstones), candy and remaining whipped cream dropped by spoonfuls (ghosts) and add little chocolate candies for ghost eyes. Makes 15 servings.

Find more halloween recipes


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Sunday, September 16, 2007

costume parties

halloween is next month and what better way to celebrate than with a costume party. starting tomorrow we'll give you tips on creative costume ideas, spooky menu planning, creepy decorations and more.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

shaken not stirred

martinis have come in and out of vogue, but who can resist those awesome glasses. here's just one martini recipe you might enjoy:

2 ounces of gin or vodka
1-6 drops to 2 ounces of of dry Vermouth depending on taste
Olives for garnish

Put ice in the shaker.
Add gin or vodka.
Add vermouth.
Stir or shake.
Strain the ingredients into a well-chilled martini glass.
Garnish with olives.


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Friday, September 14, 2007

it's got a good beat

set the mood for your party with some great music. you could do modern, classic, or retro cool.


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Thursday, September 13, 2007

cute cocktail party idea

remember to have great garnishes, but think outside tradition, why not try using lollipops as stirrers. give guests an array of flavors to choose from and liven up their drink.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

our step by step guide to a great bar menu

For the basics you'll need:

Vodka, Rum, Gin, Scotch, Bourbon, Blended Whiskey, Tequila

To add a bit of pizzaz make sure you have:

Kahlua, Crème de Menthe, Crème de Cacao, Amaretto, Brandy, Grand Marnier, Drambuie,

You'll also need juices, make them fresh squeeze to really impress your guests:

Orange, Grapefruit, Cranberry, Tomato or V8, Pineapple, Lemon, Lime

And of course carbonated beverages:

Club soda, Tonic water, Cola, 7-Up or Sprite, Ginger ale

And lots and lots and lots of ice.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

get in a good mood - host a cocktail party

cocktail parties are a great way to dress up for a couple of hours on a saturday night. so dust off your little black dress and tomorrow we'll focus on the basics you'll need to stock your bar.


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Monday, September 10, 2007


a great way to get the word out about your party is it's a free email party invitation service. just enter the email addresses of your friends, choose your party invite design and wording, and evite will help you manage who's coming, what they're bringing and more.


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Sunday, September 9, 2007

the original trader vic's mai tai

Supposedly this is the first mai tai recipe, courtesy of Trader Vics. Beware those warewolves.

1 oz gold rum
1 oz dark rum
1 oz triple sec
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz Orgeat syrup

Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and serve over crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple slice and if possible a plastic monkey.

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

a hawaiian menu

One possible menu for your luau:

- Roasted Pig
- Poi
- Tropical fruit such as pineapple, mango and papaya
- Mai Tais

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Friday, September 7, 2007

host a luau

a great way to celebrate the summer is to have a backyard luau. get some tiki torches, some toy ukuleles, and even have a hula dance off. tomorrow we'll make some menu suggestions.


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Thursday, September 6, 2007

the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe

You'll be the hit of the cookie exchange with this fabulous recipe.

Three things make this the best chocolate chip cookie recipe on the planet:

1. Refrigerate the dough -- this adds a lighter texture to the cookie
2. Milk chocolate chips -- this gives the cookie a really rich chocolate flavor
3. Macadamia nuts -- they're from hawaii, need we say more

Here's the recipe:

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a different bowl, combine butter, both sugars, and vanilla. Beat mixture. Beat in the eggs. Gradually add in the flour mixture, chocolate chips and nuts.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in waxed paper. Chill for one hour.

Cut dough into half-inch slices and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes.


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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

cookie recipes

Find some great cookie recipes on our cookie recipes page.


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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

cookie exchange

cookie exchanges don't have to be just for christmas time.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

- Cookies should be homemade
- Everyone should bring the recipe on notecards for sharing
- Ask your guests what cookies they'll be bringing so you don't have too many duplicates
- Have guests provide cute packaging to share for bringing the cookies home


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Monday, September 3, 2007

wine tasting party

Here are some tips for hosting a wine tasting party:

- One bottle of wine can easily be poured in small amounts for 12 to 16 people.
- Have four to six wines for comparison and rating.
- Focus on a specific wine
- Hide wines in bags

For more tips visit:

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tasting Parties

Wine isn't the only way to host a tasting party. Cheese, beer, honey, oil, salt and more are some of the ideas explorered in this great new
tasting clubs book. The book includes an entire chapter for 10 party ideas.

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

It's time to party!

The beginning of September marks the end of summer. And what better time to host a party. This month we'll cover a variety of party ideas from sending out the invites, to favors to make for your guests. And of course, we'll cover lots of recipes to make the occassion special.

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