50% of your annual dues will go to your local chapter. The remainder of your dues goes to the administrative and maintenance fees associated with the operations of our organization.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
50% of your annual dues will go to your local chapter. The remainder of your dues goes to the administrative and maintenance fees associated with the operations of our organization.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
It's Villeroy & Boch Toys Fantasy. There is a huge collection of accessories that go with this pattern.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
From LoveToKnow Christmas
Although some people enjoy wrapping Christmas presents, others consider the task to be even more unpleasant than fighting the crowds at the mall on Black Friday. If you feel like you’re all thumbs with the tape and scissors, take our crash course in Gift Wrapping 101 to reduce your stress level this holiday season.
Attractive gift wrap makes even a small gift seem special. Even if you’re on a budget, a thoughtfully-wrapped gift lets the recipient know that you care.
If you plan to display your gifts under the Christmas tree or in some other central location, beautiful gift wrap adds to the overall effect of your holiday décor.
Even though most gift wrap does end up in the trash, your gift wrap will still be preserved in your Christmas pictures. Do you want to be memorialized for future family gatherings as the relative who gave gifts that looked like they were wrapped by a preschooler?
Of course, decorative gift bags are the easiest solution to wrapping Christmas presents. While they are slightly more expensive than wrapping paper, you can often find attractive bags in a variety of sizes at your local dollar store. Another way to cut down costs is to reuse bags from previous years.
If you don’t want to use decorative gift bags, check out the following articles for easy to follow gift wrap tutorials:
If you’re feeling ambitious and want to give your gift recipient a special keepsake, use a decoupage gift box for your present. Choose either holiday-themed papers or embellishments that reflect the recipient’s hobbies and special interests.
While most people will use bows to add a finishing touch to their Christmas gifts, there are many other choices available. For gifts that make an impact, consider one of the following suggestions:
For more impressive ideas for wrapping Christmas presents, check out the following articles:
It’s a Wrap
14 Creative Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas
No Waste Gift Wrap Tips
Once you’re finished wrapping Christmas presents, how do you store your leftover paper, tags, and ribbon? Since gift wrap is fragile, it’s not a good idea to just toss it in the closet. Consider purchasing one of the following storage products:
Vertical gift wrap organizer
Customized gift wrap center
Hanging gift wrap organizer
Portable gift wrap organizer
If you live in a small apartment, or simply don’t have much spare storage space, you’ll have to keep your gift wrapping supplies to a minimum. Instead of using paper with candy canes and snowmen to wrap your gifts, choose solid colors or simple geometric patterns. For example, a package wrapped in white paper and tied with a red velvet ribbon makes an elegant Christmas gift. But, when you change the ribbon to a pretty pastel pink or blue, you can wrap a lovely baby shower gift with the same basic supplies.
More Gift Wrap Ideas
Need a few more ideas for wrapping your presents? Check out our Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas gallery!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The Divas In The Kitchen™ are an elite group of women who share a passion for style, sophistication and the art of fine food and entertaining!You can recognize us by our brown and pink hostess aprons accessorized by our gracious pearl necklaces!
*The average American uses 7 trees a year in paper and wood, but by recycling one-tenth of your newspapers would save about 25,000,000 trees a year
*Recycling 1 glass bottle can light a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours
*The US uses more than 80 million aluminum cans each year and by recycyling 1 can save enough energy to power a tv for 3 hours
*An estimated 28 billion plastic water bottles are bought each year. Almost 8 out of 10 bottles will end up in a landfill which takes over 1000 years to docompose!
Friday, December 12, 2008
It's time to deck the halls! For your holiday gathering, create a festive atmosphere in your home, but forego those store-bought decorations. Do it simply and naturally with real boughs of holly, ivy and mistletoe. According to English-gardening.com, holly represents immortality and is a plant of good omen; ivy is thought to bring good luck and happiness; and mistletoe offers protection, peace and bestows life and fertility. It'll give your home a festive, earthy feeling - plus that mistletoe just might give your guests something to talk about!
Festive Finger Foods
Throw a Holiday Party
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Family-Friendly Party Food
Who doesn't like a potluck? A variety of dishes from a variety of cooks means there's bound to be something you've never tried -- and loved!
Sweets and Desserts
Apple Pie Party Dip
Chocolate Mint Brownies
Flutter Delight Cupcakes
Ladybugs on a Stick
Lemon Sponge Cake
Peanut Butter Buttons
Polar Bear Cubcakes
Quadruple Fudge Brownies
Raspberry Crumble Bars
Sugar-dusted Lemon Bars
The Ultimate Pear Crisp
Cranberry Cream Cheese Pinwheels
Deviled Egg Boats
Fluffy Cheese Puffs
Mexican Sushi Bites
Mini Pumpkin Tarts
Pickles in a Blanket
Snowy Trail Mix
Tiny Taco Tarts
American Chop Suey
Chicken and Biscuit Pie
Chili Pie with Cornmeal Crust
Classic Mac and Cheese
Heavenly Ham Casserole
Indiana Corn Casserole
Southwest Corn Spoon Bread
World's Best Shepherd's Pie
Ziti with Ricotta and Spinach
Asian Chicken Slaw
Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
Crunchy Carrot Salad
Guacamole Potato Salad
Irish Brown Bread
Israeli Couscous Salad
Lemon Angel Hair
Mango, Jicama & Cucumber Salad
Pasta Salad with Fresh Herbs
Sweet Zucchini Bread with Citrus
Tingly Fruit Salad
Vegetable Fried Rice
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Over beating the eggs whips in too much air and creates tunnels in the baked good.
Over beating once the flour has been added, promotes gluten formation and toughens the recipe.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Recipes and tips for making delicious holiday fruitcakes
By Diana Rattray, About.com
The South, with it's great love for baking cakes, has offered many fruitcakes through the years. In Mary Randolph's "The Virginia Housewife" (1824), there is a recipe for "A Rich Fruit Cake" with a pound cake batter and 9 pounds of assorted raisins, currants, almonds, and citron. "Mrs. Hill's New Cookbook" (1872) gives recipes for five, including a "Cheap Fruitcake," "Confederate Fruit Cake," and "Black Cake."
Generally, fruitcake is a mixture of fruits and nuts with just enough batter to hold them together. When wrapped in cloth and foil, saturated with alcoholic liquors regularly, and kept in in tightly closed tins, a fruitcake may be kept for months or even years.
Have It Your Way...If there are certain fruits you don't like, you can always include more of another, or some of your own favorites. Dried fruits cooked in juice can take the place of candied fruits, and seeds can replace nuts. To convert a favorite "dark" fruitcake recipe to a "light" fruitcake, leave out the dark spices, use light colored fruits (golden raisins, dried apricots, etc.), and replace dark corn syrup or molasses with light corn syrup.
To prevent overbrowning, line the bottom and sides of the pan with foil. If you leave extra foil overlapping the sides, it will be easier to remove the cake.
When baking, set the fruitcake pan in a baking pan (13x9-inch) half-filled with water to prevent burning around the edges.
Let fruitcake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
For long-term storage, bury the linen and foil wrapped fruitcake in a tin filled with powdered sugar.
Friday, November 28, 2008
This savory "Gobbler" cobbler is yet another great way to enjoy leftover turkey. Serve this cobbler with cranberry sauce on the side and a tossed green salad or fresh sliced tomatoes, if desired. If you're short on time, top the filling with your favorite homemade or refrigerated biscuits just before baking.
I used mini penne pasta in this hearty casserole, but elbow macaroni or small shells would work just as well.
Serve this delicious sauce with pasta or over hot creamy grits. Feel free to add more cheese to this sauce, and smoked ham may be used in place of the country ham.
Prepare this turkey dish for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Feel free to use shredded Swiss or a mild Cheddar cheese in this flavorful turkey casserole.
Serve this creamy turkey and vegetables over hot baked puff pastry shells, or serve over toast or split biscuits.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Large brown paper bag
Piece of corrugated cardboard
Orange or red balloon and googly eyes
Glitter, stickers, or other notions
**For thorough directions an how to assemble please take a look at
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Try these unique and innovative dishes.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Maple Cinnamon Sage Brown Butter
Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus
The Definitive Mashed Potato with Roasted Garlic
Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce
Marinated Butternut Squash: Scapece Di Zucca
Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Spiked Cream
Thanksgiving With a Twist Recipe Gallery
Friday, November 21, 2008
Turkey crafts that your kids will gobble up
Colorful Turkey Caddy
Gourd Turkey Centerpiece
Terra-Cotta Turkey Planter
Tissue Paper Turkey
Turkey Chair Covers
Turkey Napkin Holders
Turkey Napkin Rings
Turkey Nut Holder
Turkey Place Cards
Turkey Place Markers
Turkey Table Topper
Thursday, November 20, 2008
This Chapter was created September 2008 and held its first meeting in October! It is made up of women from Lake Norman, NC. We share a common "Diva Spirit!" We take pride in ourselves for accomplishing the modern day balance of sophistication and traditional homemaking with zest and flair, but most importantly, the support we have for our community! We started with just 9 women and in one month we have grown to 15...
You can recognize us by our brown and pink accessories and by our BIG HEARTS! We plan on doing different drives throughout the year to help make a difference in our community, as well as a variety of fund raising events to raise money for one local charity.
If you'd like to join our organization, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join An Existing Chapter
You can join a chapter in your area and will be graciously welcomed as a Pink Polka Dot Member into your new network of diva friends! For information on chapters in your area, send The Divas In The Kitchen™ Foundation an inquiry email message at: email@example.com. The Divas In The Kitchen™ Foundation will receive your message by email and contact you either by phone or email as requested. Your Pink Polka Dot Membership includes club information, a Pink Polka Dot benefits badge (entitling you discounts on The Divas In The Kitchen™ hostess goods), newsletter and email updates! Pink Polka Dot Membership is $20 per year.
Start Your Own Chapter
In starting your own chapter, you become an official Hostess Diva – a position of honor and respect. The Divas In The Kitchen™ Foundation will send you a Hostess Diva Membership package, including club information, an original Divas In The Kitchen™ Chapter Charter, signed by The Divas In The Kitchen™ Foundation, an official Divas In The Kitchen™ rolling pin (our form of "gavel" to call your meetings to order!), a Pink Polka Dot benefits badge (entitling you to discounts on The Divas In The Kitchen™ hostess goods), newsletter and email updates! Hostess Diva Charter Membership is $35 per year.
Each year 10% of your annual dues will go to the organization Spotlighted for the Cookies For A Cause Gala. The remainder of your dues goes to the maintenance fees associated with the operations of our organization.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Here is one from the back of the Cookies For A Cause, Divas In The Kitchen First Annual Cookie Book.
The Fan, pretty on a plate.
1. Fold top and bottom edges to center
2. Fold top and bottom edges to center a second time.
3. Pleat firmly from the left edge. Sharpen edges with hot iron
4. Spread out fan. Balance folds of each side on table.
Well-starched napkins will hold shape.
There are so many more designs to pick from. Here's a great website http://www.napkinfoldingguide.com/
Monday, November 17, 2008
1 (15.5 ounce) can corn
1 (15.5 ounce) can white hominy
2 (15.5 ounce) cans pinto beans
2 (15.5 ounce) cans kidney beans
1 (12 ounce) jar salsa
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 cup water
1 pound shredded cooked chicken
Stir together the corn, hominy, pinto beans, and kidney beans in a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Stir in the salsa, chili powder, cumin, and water; return to a boil. Cook another 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken to serve.
2 pounds beef tip
1 (18 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons diced habanero pepper
2 pepperoncini, diced
1 tablespoon diced serrano pepper
1 tablespoon diced fresh cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon diced pequin chile pepper
2 tablespoons diced jalapeno chile pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 pounds ground beef
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Brush beef tip with barbeque sauce and grill 5 to 8 minutes on a side, or to desired doneness, brushing frequently with sauce. Set aside.
Stir in tomato sauce, any remaining barbeque sauce and beans. Cut grilled tip steak into bite sized pieces and stir into chili as well. Continue to cook until thickened and flavors have blended and mixture is thoroughly heated. Thin with water if desired.
2 (14 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon cooking oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 banana pepper, chopped
1 apple - peeled, cored, and chopped
1 peach - peeled, pitted, and chopped
Combine the tomato sauce, kidney beans, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and cayenne pepper in a large sauce pan; bring to a simmer over low heat.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat; place the ground beef in the skillet; season with 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and the cayenne pepper; cook until brown; add to the sauce mixture.
Friday, November 14, 2008
How to Care for Silver Flatware and Holloware
Enjoy the Beauty of Silver by Caring for It
If you think about it, though, you know that it doesn't really take long to polish pieces of silver, after all. If you have the right materials and just a little time, your pieces will be looking like new in no time.
Rinse each silver item in hot water to remove surface dust.
While the silver is still warm, use a moistened foam sponge to spread the silver polish.
Spread the cream quickly over the silver piece to cover it completely.
Gently rub each tarnished area. Move around the piece, inside and out, until the tarnish is gone.
Wash with mild dish soap and rinse in warm water.
Dry with a very soft cotton flour-sack towel to remove all water.
Avoid using a silver tarnish dip except for pieces with small intricate cuts or curves or for the tines of a fork. The dips tend to leave a yellowish residue on silver. Also, you won't want all areas to be perfectly shiny. Darkened areas add beauty to the look of old and intricate pieces.
See more information about using silver in your home.
Silver Replating, Repair, and RestorationFind links to sources where worn silver can be repaired or replated.
Tableware Cleaning and CareTips on cleaning, maintaining, and storing silver and tableware.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
America’s Second Harvest changed it’s name to Feeding America. This new name best conveys the mission—providing food to Americans living with hunger—and will be supported through expansive public outreach campaigns that will raise awareness of domestic hunger and our work.
This network is nation wide and is a great way to get involved in the community! In our area (Charlotte, NC) the network is called Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (SHFBM) http://www.secondharvestcharlotte.org/Home/index.cfm and the goal is to make strives through education, advocacy, and partnerships to eliminate hunger by the solicitation and distribution of food. They serve 14 counties in North Carolina. SHFBM has been in existence since 1981 and provides food for over 600 partner agencies--from soup kitchens to low income day care centers.
You can help by giving a financial donation. This is the best way to help because every $1.00 contributed provides 6 pounds of food. You can also donate food or host a food drive, every pound supplied is the equivalent of 1.25 meals for a hungry neighbor.
This is a great "Cause" to give to when hosting a "Cookies For A Cause" event. How exciting to know that every dollar raised will provide 6 pounds of food to people who are hungry!
If you are outside of Charlotte, you can look for the closest network by visiting http://secondharvest.volunteermatch.org/
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The Thanksgiving dinner is a simple meal to prepare. All it takes to pull it off is some advance planning. The best advice is to write down everything you'll do and then prioritize according to you. Here is a great plan to help you get organized and ready for your Thanksgiving day so you can enjoy family and friends.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Cozy Casserole Recipes
Delicious and easy to prepare, casseroles are convenient and comforting. Here are dozens of recipes to please any palate.
Brussels Sprouts au Gratin
Butternut Squash Soufflé
Cheesy Baked Ziti
Full Moon's Mac & Cheese
Spinach Rice Bake
Vegetable Mac & Cheese
Green Chili Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Friday, November 7, 2008
It's time to start thinking about your Thanksgiving centerpieces. Here are a few ideas:
Purchase or make small grapevine rings to use as a base, or bend a piece of coat hanger into a circle. Next, wire on small stems of berries, leaves, and flowers using thin wire wound tightly around the base. Use fresh flowers for a one-use decoration. Or find pretty silk blooms for a longer-lasting design.
What better way to celebrate the Thanksgiving harvest feast than by creating a centerpiece using gorgeous green vegetables. To make the asparagus and green bean wrapped candles, stretch two sturdy rubber bands around a white pillar candle, then insert vegetable stalks underneath the band. Cover the bands with a circle of satin ribbon and decorate the platter with a few white mums and coffee berry sprigs.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Clean dishtowels. Change daily.
Work surface and sink cleaned before, after, and as needed (sanitize with 1 teaspoon bleach added to 1 quart water).
Eggs stored in cartons (not refrigerator door) at 40°F. (Any raw egg drips cleaned up immediately).
Hair tied or held back.
Raw dough or batter is not to be eaten. Dough or batter should be covered and refrigerated if not baked right away.
Oven rack is placed where it is needed before preheating the oven. An oven thermometer should hang inside.
Two clean, dry oven mitts or pads available by the oven.
Counter space and cooling rack ready for hot baked good when it is removed from the oven.
Make sure there is a clear traffic path to it.
Clean containers or new plastic bags should be used for storing baked products.
Instead of plugging in a commercial air freshener or dousing your furniture with "fabric refresher," fill a pot with water, dried cloves, cinnamon sticks, and orange rind and let it simmer on the stove top.
Essential oils, such as orange, lemon, or peppermint, can diffuse pleasant, unobtrusive aromas into the air. Add a drop to furniture polish composed of olive or vegetable oil, and give your tabletops a quick swipe. Another great idea is to dab the surface of a light bulb and allow the aroma to diffuse throughout the air.
Just one more way of using natural substances instead of items filled with chemicals.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Heart-Warming Autumn Desserts By Family Food
There's something so comforting about the desserts we make when it's cold out. Seasonal fruits can be turned into cakes, pies, and drinks that are comforting finishes to any dinner or holiday meal.
Pumpkin Pie (pictured)
Classic Apple Pie
Crumble-Top Apple Pie
Southern Pecan Pie
Creamy Sweet Potato Pie
Gooey Baked Delicacies
Coconut Bread Pudding
Chocolate Lava Cake
Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
Friday, October 31, 2008
2 dozen cupcakes from your favorite recipe
3.4-ounce box of vanilla-flavored instant pudding
green food coloring
1 cup of green melting candy (we used Wilton Candy Melts)
24 large marshmallows skewers
waxed-paper-lined baking sheet
small serrated knife
black gel green
Tic Tac mints
Bake and cool 2 dozen cupcakes from your favorite recipe.
Prepare a 3.4-ounce box of vanilla-flavored instant pudding. Stir in drops of green food coloring until you have a shade you like, then place it in the refrigerator to chill.
Next, microwave 1 cup of green melting candy (we used Wilton Candy Melts, available at party supply stores) for 1 minute at 50 percent power, then stir. If necessary, heat in 15-second intervals until completely melted.
One at a time, spear 24 large marshmallows with a skewer and roll them in the melted candy, coating the sides. Set them on a waxed-paper-lined baking sheet, add M&M's Minis for eyes, and place them in the refrigerator to chill.
With a small serrated knife, remove a 1-inch-wide chunk from the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with a tablespoon or so of the pudding, then spread chocolate frosting around each pudding hole.
Cover each pool of pudding with a chilled marshmallow. Add black gel facial features and 2 green Tic Tac mints for bolts.
Finally, top each monster head with a bit of frosting and muss with your finger or a fork. Keep the cupcakes chilled until serving time.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Article Reprint from Epicurious
Feeding a crowd can be a challenge, so careful planning is mandatory. Choose the menu style that works best for your group: potluck, communal cooking, or bring-your-own.
A potluck works best with an established menu, where contributors are assigned specific dishes and a number of servings. Don't leave anything to chance! Request "baked or fried chicken drumsticks to serve 24," and not "chicken." This will prevent duplicate dishes and ensure that you don't run out of food. Ask folks with dietary restrictions to bring dishes that they will enjoy and that can be shared with others. If reheating facilities aren't available, ask for dishes that can be served at room temperature.
Communal cooking is perfect for a family of great cooks, especially if the party takes place in a spacious kitchen with lots of refrigeration and stove space—if available, large, commercial-sized pots and pans make the job much easier. Cooking together is an excellent way for relatives to reconnect and offers an opportunity to re-create heirloom family recipes. It will help if one person serves as "head chef"—he or she can make a detailed prep list for the recipes and assign chores.
If you go with communal cooking, establish a firm budget, and get contributions from attendees before the event. Be aware that shopping, prepping, and cooking for a big group could take two to three full days. With careful planning, you can buy canned goods and nonperishables well ahead of the reunion, leaving just the meat and produce for a final shopping trip a day or so before you start cooking. You may also find it easier to divide the shopping between volunteers.
For either the potluck or communal cooking methods, you'll need to establish a menu. If you want to get the family involved in the planning, set up a recipe box on Epicurious so you can upload and share recipes.
Keep in mind that many tastes need to be satisfied—overly spicy or esoteric dishes may be savored by only a few. Stick to familiar, time-honored dishes, perhaps with a twist. For example, instead of the expected barbecued chicken with sweet tomato sauce, try Grilled Chicken with White Rosemary Barbecue Sauce, or make an out-of-the-ordinary potato salad, such as Potato and Pea Salad with Chive Aioli. When planning your menu, look for recipes that can be easily doubled or tripled. Cake recipes for instance, don't always multiply well, but a dessert like Berry Tiramisù is simple to make in quantity and couldn't be more delicious.
Bring-your-own is the most hassle-free approach. Each family unit supplies its own meal, which lets them establish a menu to meet individual tastes and set their own budget. It also keeps a rein on cleanup, as each group does its own. If each family makes extra, there can be enough food for a fair amount of sharing. For family members who are coming from out of town and can't cook, have a list of good take-out places available, or ask them to provide beverages.
Of course, there are different combinations of the above that could work for your family. For our upcoming family reunion, we're providing hamburgers and hot dogs (with volunteers working the grills), but assigning side dishes and desserts, and asking folks to bring their own beverages. Another option is to ask everyone to bring their own picnic meal (if grills are available, folks can be responsible for their own charcoal), and to make extra (about ten servings) of their favorite picnic item for a communal buffet. This allows for the fun of sharing and a more familial atmosphere, and if there's too much potato salad, who cares! Whatever approach you choose, be realistic about the time and energy required of you and your family.
Knowing How Much to Make
When considering how much food to prepare, it's always better to have a little too much than to run out. Only you know the average appetite of your group—in my family, I've seen teenage boys eat four hamburgers while their sisters ate half a hot dog without the bun. With a group that includes hungry teenagers and folks who like to load their plates, you should allow more than one serving per person. Ten to fifteen percent extra is a good rule of thumb: If you have 50 people coming, make enough food for 60. And have plenty of plastic bags and containers to store leftovers.
When it comes to beverages, try to avoid a full bar, as it requires stocking numerous liquors, mixers, juices, and garnishes. Instead, limit choices to beer, wine, and plenty of soft drinks, especially if the party is during summer and if there are lots of kids. You can create a budget and fund for communal beverages, or again, ask everyone to bring their own in an ice chest.
Again, personal choices come into play: Does your family prefer wine or beer? Expect adults to drink two to three alcoholic beverages each, and remember that a standard wine bottle contains about five glasses.
As a summertime cocktail that everyone can enjoy, I like to serve homemade lemonade, as it can be sipped on its own or spiked with a splash of gin, vodka, bourbon, or rum. An electric juicer makes quick work of squeezing the fruit, and is a fun make-ahead job for kids.
You'll need ice for the coolers (about 20 pounds for each large cooler) and to fill cups (allow a pound per person). Bring a clean hammer or ice pick to help break up the ice. And, if you plan to serve coffee or tea with dessert, you'll need a large-quantity coffee urn and a way to boil water. For an outdoor party without electricity, hot beverages can be transported in vacuum containers.
What's For Supper Ya'll?
8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)
1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.
4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Posted by Stacy Nelson, Easy Dinner Recipes.blogspot.com