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Valentine’s Day: Last Minute Ideas

Okay, so it’s only 4 days before the most romantic holiday of the year. The day after Christmas we already saw the boxed chocolates and stuffed bears lining the aisles but perhaps you missed the memo and running late on ideas of what to do for your sweetheart. No worries, we got you covered and if you’re looking for some fun and unique things to do on Valentine’s Day check out just a few of our ideas below. But no matter what you decide to do to make your Valentine’s day special this year also remember to show your hunny some love year-round from our site.

Roller Skating

Most dates will be hitting the ice skating rink come Valentines Day, which is also fun, but go old school by taking your date roller skating instead. And I don’t mean just show up there bust out your tube socks and short shorts and get in the true spirit of the sport. The roller rink makes for a super-fun Valentines Day setting; you can hang out in the arcade, buy your date a candy necklace, and get cozy for a couple’s skate.

Sexy Scavenger Hunt

Design a sexy scavenger hunt for your hunny this Valentines Day. Create clues that lead to special places you’ve been together and reward them with sexy prizes. (Try recreating your first kiss.) Bonus: This can be completely free, and you’ll score major points for creativity, she/he won’t even realize you forgot about the holiday.

Bowling

Bowling may not reek of romance, but c’mon, it’s fun! Throw back a few cold ones, grab some junk food and settle in for some healthy competition this Valentine’s Day. Make things a little more interesting by keeping score and promising the winner a Valentine’s Day “prize.”

Indoor Picnic

Skip the restaurant scene, where you’ll inevitably be stuck with an overpriced pre-fixe menu and a seat that leaves you knee-to-knee with other star-crossed lovebirds. Spend your Valentines Day dinner enjoying an indoor picnic instead. Spread out the blanket, break out the fancy accouterments — and don’t forget the bubbly.

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Christmas Movies to Cuddle Up to

So it’s a few days before the big jolly day! While I’m sure there have been plenty of last-minute shopping, hectic work deadlines and bustling traffic to keep you busy the earlier part of December, don’t forget to take some time to reminisce on the holiday classics and perhaps even a few of the newer Christmas films as well. Here are a few of my personal favorites for this time of the year:

Home Alone

White Christmas

The Santa Clause

Elf

Frosty the Snowman

a Christmas Story

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Last Minute Christmas Party Dessert Ideas

Ok, so it’s exactly one week until Christmas! That means these upcoming days are going to be filled with plenty of parties, family gatherings and office gift exchanges. Which means you will more than likely need some festive Christmas party desserts to bring along with you. Lucky for you I’ve put together a few really delicious dessert ideas you can bring with you to any event you may be heading to this holiday season.

Caramel Christmas Wreath

Carmel Christmas Wreath

Ingredients

* 1 1/2 cup(s) sliced almonds

* 1/2 cup(s) butter or margarine

* 1 cup(s) water

* 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt

* 1 cup(s) all-purpose-flour

* 4 large eggs, at room temperature

* 1 cup(s) heavy or whipping cream

* 1 can(s) (13.4-ounce) dulce de leche (see Tips)

* 2 tablespoon(s) confectioners’ sugar

* Raspberries, for garnish

* Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using 8-inch plate or cake pan as guide, with nontoxic pen, trace circle on parchment. (If not using nontoxic pen, flip parchment over so that ink does not touch food.) On 15 1/2″ by 10 1/2″ jelly-roll pan, spread almonds in single layer. Toast 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Cool almonds in pan on wire rack.

2. In 3-quart saucepan, heat butter, water, and salt to boiling on medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low and add flour. Stir continuously 1 minute or until mixture leaves side of pan and forms a ball. Continue stirring 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture begins to coat bottom of pan. Transfer to large mixer bowl and cool 2 minutes.

3. With mixer on medium speed, beat mixture 1 minute. Continue beating and add eggs, 1 at a time, then beat 2 to 3 minutes longer or until satiny. The mixture should still be warm and cling to the side of the bowl. Transfer dough to large piping bag fitted with 3/4-inch plain tip or to large self-sealing plastic bag with one corner cut to form 3/4-inch hole.

4. Using circle traced on parchment as guide, pipe dough onto parchment on cookie sheet in 1-inch-thick ring just inside circle. Pipe second ring inside of first, making sure dough rings touch. With remaining dough, pipe third ring on top of center seam of first two rings. With moistened finger, gently smooth dough rings where ends meet.

5. Bake 20 minutes. Reset oven control to 375°F and bake 25 minutes or until golden. Remove wreath from oven; with tip of small knife, make several small slits all over to release steam. Bake 10 minutes longer. Cool wreath completely on cookie sheet on wire rack.

6. While wreath is cooling, whisk cream until soft peaks form. In large bowl, with mixer or wooden spoon, beat dulce de leche 5 minutes or until soft.

Gently fold almonds into dulce de leche. With long serrated knife, slice wreath horizontally in half; remove and discard moist dough from inside. With spoon or spatula, spread almond mixture into bottom of wreath; top with whipped cream. Replace top of wreath.

7. To serve, dust wreath with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with raspberries and mint leaves.

 

Mocha Bûche de Noël

Christmas Log Dessert

Ingredients

Mocha Cake:

* 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa, plus additional for dusting

* 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder

* 1/8 teaspoon(s) salt

* 2 tablespoon(s) instant coffee or instant espresso powder or granules

* 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

* 6 large eggs, separated

* 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar

Chocolate Glaze:

* 4 ounce(s) semisweet chocolate

* 3 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine

* 2 tablespoon(s) corn syrup

Coffee Cream Filling:

* 1 cup(s) heavy or whipping cream

* 1 tablespoon(s) instant coffee or instant espresso powder or granules

* 1/4 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar

Directions

1. Prepare Mocha Cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 1/2″ by 10 1/2″ jelly-roll pan; line with waxed paper. Lightly grease waxed paper.

2. In small bowl, combine cocoa, baking powder, and salt. In cup, combine instant coffee and vanilla, stirring to dissolve coffee.

3. In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until whites stand in stiff, glossy peaks when beaters are lifted. Set whites aside.

4. In another large bowl, using same beaters, with mixer at high speed, beat egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 minutes or until thick and pale yellow. With mixer at low speed, add coffee mixture and beat until blended. Beat in cocoa mixture just until blended. With rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into cocoa mixture, one-third at a time.

5. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when lightly pressed with finger. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 10 minutes.

6. Sprinkle clean kitchen towel with some cocoa. Immediately invert warm cake onto towel; carefully peel off waxed paper. Starting from a long side, roll up cake with towel inside, jelly-roll fashion. Transfer roll, seam side down, to wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

7. Prepare Chocolate Glaze: In 1-quart saucepan, heat chocolate with butter and corn syrup over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove saucepan from heat. Let glaze stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes to cool slightly and thicken.

8. Prepare Coffee Cream Filling: In medium bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream and instant coffee until soft peaks form. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

9. Gently unroll cooled cake. With metal spatula, spread filling evenly over cake almost to edges. Starting from same long side, roll cake without towel. (Cake may crack slightly as you roll it.) Cut 1 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slice off 1 end of roll and reserve. Transfer roll to large cookie sheet.

10. Spread some glaze over roll, but do not spread glaze on ends. Place reserved end piece on side of roll to resemble cut branch. Spread remaining glaze over branch, leaving cut side unglazed. Refrigerate cake, uncovered, until glaze sets, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or up to overnight.

Pecan Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Pecan Pie

Ingredients

Pie Crusts:

* 2 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour

* 1 teaspoon(s) salt

* 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

* 1/2 cup(s) shortening, chilled

* 2 tablespoon(s) water

* 1 tablespoon(s) cider vinegar

* 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Pecan Filling:

* 6 large eggs

* 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

* 2 1/2 cup(s) light corn syrup

* 1/4 pound(s) unsalted butter, melted

* 1 1/2 cup(s) (firmly packed) brown sugar

* 1 teaspoon(s) salt

* 4 cup(s) pecan halves

Bourbon Whipped Cream (optional):

* 1 cup(s) heavy cream

* 2 teaspoon(s) confectioners’ sugar

* 1 tablespoon(s) bourbon

Directions

1. Prepare the dough: In a food processor with blade attached, place the flour and salt and pulse 2 to 3 times to combine. Add butter and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal — 6 or 7 pulses. Combine water and vinegar and add while pulsing, stopping as soon as the dough begins to come together. Remove dough and form into a ball. Divide dough in half and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Prepare Pie Crusts: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly flour one disk of dough and place it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Roll out a circle of dough about 12 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. Remove top sheet of plastic and carefully transfer dough to a 10-inch pie pan. Remove the plastic wrap. With a knife, trim edges; form scraps into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill in freezer. Place the prepared pan in the freezer for 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining disk of dough. Fit a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the entire crust into each pie pan. Fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake until golden brown — about 10 minutes.

3. Prepare the Pecan Filling: In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with vanilla. Add corn syrup, butter, sugar, and salt and mix well. Place pecan halves, flat side down, along the bottom of the baked crusts until covered. For each pie, carefully pour one-half of the filling over the pecans and allow the pecans to float to the surface.

4. Make leaf decorations: Roll out reserved piecrust scraps between layers of plastic wrap. Peel off one layer of plastic. With a small knife or a mini-cookie cutter, cut out 1 1/2-inch leaf shapes using all available dough scraps. Use the back of a knife and lightly press to create a vein pattern in each leaf. Paint the piecrust edge with the beaten egg and “glue” leaves onto pie crust. Lightly brush the tops of the leaves with the egg as well. Place pies in the oven and lower the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake 45 to 50 minutes until brown and bubbling. Cool pies on a rack completely before serving.

5. Prepare Bourbon Whipped Cream, if desired: Beat or whisk the cream, sugar, and bourbon until soft peaks form. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with pie, if desired.

Winter Fruit Strudel

Winter Fruit Strudel

Ingredients

* 2 pound(s) (5 to 6 medium) Bartlett or Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

* 2 pound(s) (5 to 6 medium) Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

* 1/2 cup(s) dried cranberries or raisins

* 3/4 cup(s) granulated sugar

* 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) margarine or butter

* 1/4 cup(s) plain dried bread crumbs

* 1/4 cup(s) walnuts

* 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon

* 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg

* 8 sheets (17′- by 12-inch) frozen (thawed) phyllo

* 1 cup(s) heavy whipping cream

* 2 tablespoon(s) pear-flavored brandy, such as Piore Williams (optional)

* 1 tablespoon(s) confectioners’ sugar, plus additional for dusting

* Mint leaves and fresh cranberries for garnish

Directions

1. In 12-inch skillet, cook pears, apples, cranberries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons butter, uncovered, over medium-high heat 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; continue cooking 8 to 10 minutes longer or until all liquid evaporates and fruit is tender, stirring frequently. Transfer mixture to medium bowl; cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 3 days before assembling strudel.

2. In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse bread crumbs, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until nuts are finely ground. (Nut mixture can be stored at room temperature in self-sealing plastic bag up to 1 week before using.)

3. Assemble strudel, up to 6 hours before baking: In 1-quart saucepan, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Cut two 24-inch-long sheets waxed paper; overlap 2 long sides by about 2 inches. Place 1 sheet phyllo in center of waxed paper; brush with some melted butter, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons nut mixture. Working quickly, continue layering phyllo with butter and nut mixture. (You should have about 1 tablespoon butter left.)

4. Starting along 1 long side of phyllo, spoon cooled fruit filling to about 3/4 inch from edges to cover about one-third of phyllo rectangle. From fruit filling side, using waxed paper to help lift dough, roll phyllo jelly-roll fashion.

5. Place roll, seam side down, diagonally on large cookie sheet. Brush with remaining butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake strudel 35 to 40 minutes (45 to 50 minutes if strudel is cold) or until phyllo is golden. Cool on cookie sheet on wire rack about 20 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, prepare whipped cream: In medium bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add brandy, if using, and 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, and beat just until stiff peaks form.

8. Transfer warm strudel to platter; dust with confectioners’ sugar. Garnish with mint leaves and cranberries. Cut strudel crosswise into slices. Serve with whipped cream.

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Unique Wedding Favors For A Winter Wedding

“Snowy Notes” Notebook Favor

Glistening winter landscapes set the mood for joy, love and merriment. Make “Snowy Notes” – handy little notebooks – the chosen favor for your winter time celebration. Guests can easily slip them into a purse or keep them in a car. Personalized with your choice of color, a sleek snowflake design, your message, names, and date. Each white notebook opens up to reveal a blank white notepad inside, and the white retractable pen conveniently holds everything together in one place. A perfect practical reminder of your wedding day.

Notebook favors

Snow Flurry Glass Ornament

Drifting down like delicate bursts of white, winter’s unique gift provides a lovely motif for gifts of the season. The “Snow Flurry” Holiday Ornament Place Card and Photo Holder is a snow-lover’s delight inside and out, making it the perfect favor for your winter wedding or holiday party.

Snowball placecard holder

Winter Wonderland Snowflake Design Favor Box

Snowflakes are truly one of nature’s most amazing creations, just a single snowflake is an intricate – but fleeting – thing of beauty. In honor of this winter wonder, Fashioncraft designed this frosty favor favorite that captures the beauty and allure of the snowflake in a lasting and useful way.

Snowflake box favor

“A Winter Holiday” Snowflake Acrylic Favor Boxes

Just as no two snowflakes are exactly alike, no other couple shares the special love between you and your husband to be. Make your favors as special and rare as your love with these one-of-a-kind snowflake acrylic boxes. These personalized favors are perfect for filling with delicious treats like jelly beans and candy that no one can resist. Our personalized labels make these truly custom favors for your winter wedding that become permanent keepsakes for your guests. Once they have gobbled up your treats, they can refill them with their own favorites and remember your special day with every bite!

Snowflake shape box favor

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Satin Bag Favors For Any Occassion

Imagine not just giving your guests the best favor ever but handing it to them in one of our many personalized satin bag favors! With plenty of event-themed designs to choose from you will surely find your perfect satin bag that your guests will treasure forever. Check out just some of these amazing designs:

holiday satin bag

Baptism satin bag

Those are just a few of from our amazing selection of satin bag favors. For more great designs check out our selection on our website.

 

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5 Fall Desserts That Will Leave You Asking For More!

Let me just get this out there now, I LOVE FALL DESSERTS! Now that the weather is beginning to become cooler you can keep your ovens running a little longer without worrying about sweating to death as you would in the summer. Your mood simply changes and making a pie or whipping up a cake seems like a grand idea rather than something you have to do for a BBQ. You will also probably notice all of these recipes have pumpkin in them as well which can go along quite while you are carving them this season. But the following fall dessert recipes are absolutely perfect to get your Kickstart into this fall weather. Check out my pick of 5 fall desserts that will leave you asking for more:

Chocolate-Glazed Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (about 24 cookies)
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate pieces or white baking pieces (about 1/3 cup), melted (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. In a medium bowl toss together butter and crushed chocolate wafer cookies. Spread into pie plate; press evenly onto bottom and up sides. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

2. In a large bowl beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Stir in pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour pumpkin mixture into baked crust.

3. Bake about 40 minutes more or until mixture is slightly puffed around edges and just set in center. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.

4. In a small microwave-safe bowl combine dark chocolate and cream. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 30 seconds to 1 minute; stir until smooth. Let stand for 15 minutes. Pour chocolate mixture over the cooled pie, spreading evenly. Chill, uncovered, for 1 hour. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours more. If desired, drizzle with milk chocolate.

Pumpkin-Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 10 ounce jar cherry preserves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil; grease foil. Set aside. In a small saucepan, combine cherry preserves, dried cranberries, and the 1/3 cup butter. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the 1/4 cup butter and the shortening. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Carefully spread batter over preserve mixture in pan.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

4. Carefully invert onto a large serving platter; remove foil. Spoon any preserves mixture remaining on the foil onto cake. Serve warm. Makes 12 servings.

No-Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers
  •  2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 8 ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
  • 2 8 ounce package fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Directions

1. For crust, in a medium bowl, stir together crushed graham crackers and melted butter until crackers are moistened. Press mixture onto bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Cover and chill while preparing filling.

2. For filling, in a food processor or blender, combine the reduced-fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1/4 cup of the milk, the vanilla, and orange peel. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.

3. In a food processor or blender, combine fat-free cream cheese, pumpkin, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup milk, and the pumpkin pie spice. Cover and process or blend until smooth.

4. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over orange juice; let stand for 5 minutes. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Stir 1 tablespoon of the gelatin mixture into the white cream cheese mixture and the remaining gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture.

5. Pour pumpkin mixture over chilled crust in pan. Carefully pour white cream cheese mixture over pumpkin mixture. Using a narrow, thin-bladed metal spatula or a table knife, swirl pumpkin and white mixtures.

6. Cover and chill overnight before serving. To serve, using a small sharp knife, loosen cheesecake from side of springform pan; remove side of pan. Cut into wedges. Ma kes 12 servings.

Harvest Pumpkin Trifle

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce frozen pound cake, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons cream sherry or orange juice
  • 1 16 ounce can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 4-serving-size package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions

1. Divide cake cubes evenly among eight 10- to 12-ounce, 4-inch-tall glasses. Or, layer all cake cubes in a 2-1/2-quart clear serving bowl or souffle dish. Sprinkle cake with sherry or orange juice.

2. In a small bowl stir together the cranberry sauce and orange marmalade. Spoon mixture over cake cubes. In a large bowl stir together pumpkin, pudding mix, milk, cinnamon, and ginger until well combined. Spoon the mixture over cranberry layer.

3. In a chilled mixing bowl combine cream, sugar, and vanilla. Beat with chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gently spread over pumpkin layer. Cover; chill 2 to 5 hours. Sprinkle with walnuts before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Pumpkin Mousse

Ingredients

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup(s) sugar
  • 3 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 15 ounce(s) canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon(s) ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 tablespoon(s) dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon(s) powdered gelatin
  • 3 ounce(s) shaved dark chocolate

Directions

  1. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water and set aside.
  2. Whisk the yolks, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and 3/4 cup cream together in a medium saucepan. Heat while stirring continuously with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon over medium-low heat, until thickened and the mixture coats the spatula — about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set over the ice bath. Stir to cool.
  3. Add pumpkin, vanilla, spices, and salt to the egg mixture. Stir 1 tablespoon rum and 1 teaspoon gelatin together in a small bowl. Heat the remaining tablespoon rum, and stir in to the gelatin mixture until dissolved. Gently whisk into the pumpkin mixture. Beat 1/2 cup cream to stiff peaks, and fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour into a shallow dish, cover and chill until cold and thick enough to fall from a spoon in heavy dollops — about 8 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Beat the remaining cream and sugar to stiff peaks. Alternately layer the pumpkin mousse and whipped cream in a glass serving dish. Sprinkle the chocolate shavings between top two layers. Serve chilled.

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Easy Halloween Party Ideas: Get Creative This Year!

It’s officially Fall ladies and gentleman! Of course this means cool weather and Thanksgiving is coming right up but let’s not forget about Halloween! Not that you could anyway with the the grocery stores filled to the ceilings in orange and black haha. Check out some interesting Halloween themed party ideas I found searching the web:

Super Easy Halloween Party Decorations

These Zorro-inspired pumpkins are adorable and are extremely easy to do! Simply print out one of these three mask designs, enlarge it to fit your pumpkin, and cut it out. Trace twice onto black felt. Cut out both felt masks and sew together with a basting stitch. Glue to a simple store-bought mask, and replace the elastic string with a black ribbon. Tie mask onto pumpkin. See? EASY!

Aw ghosts never looked so cute! Here’s another easy idea for ya! Wrap the fabric around a styrofoam ball. Tie tightly with tulle. Fluff the fabric and tulle. Using the sharpie, draw the face on. Happy, scary, surprised – all faces work great!

Spider webs (fake ones of course hehe) are another really great idea to give your house that spooky look. This is a great example of how a simple spider webs can create a simple Halloween decoration for your home.

Spooky Yet Yummy Dessert Ideas

I’ll just let the pictures do the talking ;)

You can fill these with orange sherbet and freeze them to make perfect little Halloween deserts.

There’s a good one for those little witches!

Create plain cupcakes and simply add in a plastic spider ring or a few candy corns and you’re on your way to a simple yet adorable Halloween dessert!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN :)

 

 

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5 Easy Red White and Blue Recipes For The 4th of July

With the 4th of July being just around the corner I thought I would put together a few ideas for all your upcoming celebrations. Whether you are the host of the party or just bringing over a dish to a friend’s house, these 5 easy red white and blue recipes are perfect for any 4th of July celebration. Although I must warn you, these desserts are so delicious your friends may be asking you to make them year after year!

Stained Glass Jello- Red White and Blue Edition!

Recipe found on: Thebrowneyedbaker

Yield: One 9×13-inch pan

INGREDIENTS

4 boxes (3-ounces each) Jello (or store brand gelatin dessert) in different colors
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (Knox)
Water

DIRECTIONS

1. For each flavor, dissolve one box of Jello in 1 cup of boiling water. Pour into a square container that is about 6 to 8? square and chill at least 3 hours, or overnight. (Try to use the same size for all four so that the blocks will come out the same. In this case the smaller the better – I used 8? pans and felt my “blocks” were a little too flat.)

2. After chilling the flavors, cut them into small blocks.

3. Carefully mix the blocks in a 9×13-inch pan.

4. In a separate bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin into ½ cup cold water. After the gelatin blooms, add 1½ cups boiling water and dissolve. Add the can of condensed milk. Stir and let cool. Pour cooled milk mixture over Jello blocks in 9×13 pan. Skim off any small bubbles that are created when you pour the condensed milk on the Jello pieces. Chill overnight or at least 3 hours until firm.

5. Cut into blocks or shapes and serve.

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries- Red White and Blue Edition

Recipe found on: Cupcakes for Party


INGREDIENTS
2 lbs fresh strawberries with fresh green caps attached
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 spoon shortening
blue sugar crystals
blue nonpareils

DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash and dry the strawberries, leaving the green caps.
  2. Melt one cup of white chocolate chips and one tablespoon of shortening in a metal bowl placed over some simmering water, and stir until smooth.
  3. Pour blue sugar crystals and blue nonpareils in small bowls.
  4. Dip the strawberries in the melted white chocolate. Then in the sugar or nonpareils.
  5. Then place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet until they harden.

Rice Krispies Treats- Red White and Blue Edition!

Recipe found on: Lil’ Luna

INGREDIENTS

– 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

– 1 package marshmallows

– 3 TB margarine or butter

– Food coloring (red and blue – I like Betty Crocker Gel Food Colors)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Gather your supplies and divide the rice krispies and marshmallows in three for the three layers.
  2. I like to microwave my marshmallows because it’s easier. I stick them in for a few minutes or until they start to get big and almost touch the top of the microwave. Take them out, stir well and add the food coloring. Then add the 2 cups of Rice Krispies and stir well. Press into well greased 9×13 or 9×9 depending on the thickness of your treats. I wanted mine more thick so I used a 9×9.
  3. Do this for all 3 layers starting with the blue, then white and then red. Pat down all layers really well using wax paper.
  4. Let set for a bit, then cut, serve and enjoy!

4th of July Firecrackers

Recipe found on: Six Sisters’ Stuff

INGREDIENTS

A box of Ho Ho’s (I Love Hostess!)
Frosting split into two colors – one red and one blue
The Flame or Firecracker Wire Confetti – found at the dollar store

DIRECTIONS

  1. They are about as simple to make as they look. We decorated them with a frosting ring on top and 4th of July words in the middle. Then you can put the decoration on top.
  2. The trick of transporting them is to stick a blob of frosting on your plate and then place the completed Firecracker on it. They will stay standing much easier with the added support.

Fruit Kabobs- Red White and Blue Edition!

Idea found on: Chandler+Brianne The England’s

INGREDIENTS

  1. Strawberries
  2. Blueberries
  3. Bananas
  4. Kabob Sticks

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rotate between strawberries and bananas as you stick them through the kabob stick.
  2. Then for the blue part of the flag arrange the blueberries on the upper half of the kabob stick. (about 4-5 sticks depending on how big your flag will be)
  3. Arrange your kabob sticks to create the American Flag!

What Will You Be Making This 4th of July?!

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Unique Wedding and Party Favors

The last thing you want your guests to say at your wedding or party is “I’ve seen that before.” You want your special day to be a one of a kind, super unique event.  One of the more popular  trends for wedding favors  or party favors is to plan a reception, bridal shower or party around a theme. The most unique are the ones that speak to your own personal style, flair or cultural background.  

For Wine Lovers

“Maison du Vin” Wine Cork Place Card/Photo Holder with Grape-Themed Place Cards (as low as .95) — When two wine lovers wed, perhaps in a lovely vineyard, and the house wine at the reception is naturally spectacular, there’s a favor made just for you. You can share your affinity for wine with guests by choosing this charming place card/photo holder.

 

 

 

A Touch of  Irish

Shamrock/Trinity Love Knot Key Rings (as low as $1.05) — Throughout Ireland, both the shamrock and the trinity love knot are much loved emblems of the country’s culture and spirit. And, these keychain favors bring both together in one special memento.

 

 

 

 

The Glamour Couple

Crystal Kissing Swans (as low as $2.65) — Add an enchanting touch of elegance to your event with these charming favors.

For more unique wedding or party favors, check out Moments of Elegance’s Unique Wedding Favors Catalog.

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Get Your Party Planning Questions Answered HERE

images1Planning a wedding can be a wee bit stressful, can’t it? How many people should you invite? How much should you budget for flowers? And likewise, planning any event, a birthday party, holiday gathering, baby shower, wedding shower, anniversary party, you name it, and it’s tricky. Well, never fear Moment of Elegance is here! Here to help you answer any party planning or entertaining questions you may have.

Need to know how many bottles of wine you’ll need for your next party? No prob. Here’s the wine bottle equation, figure one bottle of wine yields four glasses. Next figure that you’ll need a half of bottle of wine, per guest, (that’s two glasses per person). If you have 20 guests coming to your party you’ll need ten bottles. Or for you math savvy peops, 20 people x 2 glasses = 40 glasses of wine.  40 glasses/4 = 10 bottles.

If you have party or wedding planning questions, that you need answered ASAP, here’s what you need to do, just post your answer below in the comments section and our party planning expert will respond.

Want to sign up for special offers and coupons? You do! Great! It’s so easy. Just enter your email address in that little box over there to the right of the post. See it? Perfect.

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ZS5jb20vYmxvZy93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzUtbW9lYmxvZ2xvZ28ucG5nIjtpOjE7czo3ODoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb21lbnRzb2ZlbGVnYW5jZS5jb20vYmxvZy93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzQtbW9lYmxvZ2xvZ28ucG5nIjtpOjI7czo3ODoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb21lbnRzb2ZlbGVnYW5jZS5jb20vYmxvZy93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtbW9lYmxvZ2xvZ28ucG5nIjt9PC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29feW91dHViZTwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIGh0dHA6Ly93d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20vdXNlci9Nb21lbnRzb2ZFbGVnYW5jZTwvbGk+PC91bD4=