Wednesday, December 29, 2010

winter night out at wcag

Jan. 5 - Broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken, salad, vegetable and dessert
Jan. 12 - General Chicken, fried rice, pot stickers, Asian slaw and dessert
Jan. 19 - Biscuits and gravy, sausage, fruit salad and French toast sticks
Jan. 26 - TBA
Feb. 2 - Chili, salad and dessert
Feb. 9 - Chicken Pot Pies, salad and dessert
Feb. 16 - Pasta Primavera, garlic bread, salad and dessert
Feb. 23 - TBA
Mar. 2 - Build your own burrito, chips and salsa and dessert
Mar. 9 - Pot roast, mashed potatoes, market vegetable and dessert
Mar. 16 - Pizza and salad bar with dessert
Mar. 23 - TBA
Mar. 30 - Creamy mostaccioli, garlic bread, salad and dessert

Monday, July 5, 2010

a lesson learned...

Sometime last summer, I was treated to a delicious dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy, at the end of which we shared one of the most scrumptious summer treats imaginable...Strawberry Shortcake. Not a fancy-schmancy dessert by any stretch of the imagination, but it was really well done. So much so, I wanted to try and re-create it a few days later at home.

I trolled around on the internet looking for light and sweet drop-style shortcakes, and found a recipe I wanted to try. So I promptly took the laptop to the kitchen counter, assembled the necessary ingredients and began to measure and mix.

Can you guess what my lesson here is?

Without incident (following the selected internet recipe) the shortcakes were removed from the oven, topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, and enjoyed. And here's where I really messed up. I turned off the computer without saving the link to the recipe or printing it. Which left me this week starting the internet recipe search all over again. I used a modified Alton Brown shortcake recipe from, and they turned out fine, but I'd still like to know what that recipe was a year or so ago!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

hello, summer!

Is there anything as yummy as a cold bowl of fruit salad on a hot summer's day? Here's a favorite recipe for you to enjoy:

Calypso Fruit Salad

2 cups fresh pinapple cubes
2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
8 large strawberries, sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (optional)

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. dark rum (optional)

Combine fruits in a large bowl, gently toss. Sprinkle with coconut. In a small bowl, stir sour cream, brown sugar and rum. Serve sauce alongside fruit. Smile.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

ladybug baby shower storyboard

This weekend, I had the pleasure of co-hostessing a shower for a dear friend in anticipation of her baby girl's arrival at the beginning of August (or end of July, according to 'Mommy'). I wanted to share some of the fun decorations I created revolving around the pink ladybug theme.

Flower box ~ Partylite Lantern ~ 'Monogrammed' Chocolate ~ Pink Sweets ~

Ladybug Clothespins ~ Goodie Bags ~ Scripture ~ Candle

I'm so thankful to the folks at Hobby Lobby for putting their ribbon 50% off at least twice during the last couple of weeks, to facilitate my bow-tying fascination! A little ribbon makes the world go 'round!

I had such fun brainstorming and putting this party together, I might go through withdrawals soon. Fortunately, Independence Day is coming very soon. Maybe you have a fun event coming up and want some ideas, or maybe just some help tying bows? (wink, wink)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

summer family night out menus

June 2 - Creamy Mostaccioli, Vegetable, Garlic Bread, Salad, Dessert
June 9 - Cheese and Broccoli Stuffed Chicken, Market Vegetable, Salad, Dessert
June 16 - Grilled Sandwiches and Salad Bar, Dessert
June 23 - Shredded Chicken Nachos, Corn and Black Bean Salad, Dessert
June 30 - Spinach Lasagna Rolls, Garlic Bread, Salad, Dessert
July 7 - Build Your Own Burger, Potato Salad, Fresh Veggies, Dessert

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spring Family Night Out Menu

March 3 - Baked Potato and Salad Bar, Dessert
March 10 - Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, Fruit Salad
March 17 - Pizza and Salad Bar, Dessert
March 24 - Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas, Beans, Chips, Dessert
March 31 - Broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken, Vegetable, Salad, Dessert
April 7 - Creamy Mostaccioli, Garlic Bread, Vegetable, Salad, Dessert
April 14 - Nacho Bar, Dessert
April 21 - Oven Fried Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Vegetable, Salad, Dessert
April 28 - BBQ Beef Brisket, Aunt Bev's Rice, Vegetable, Salad, Dessert
May 5 - Build Your Own Burrito, Homemade Salsa and Guacamole, Dessert
May 12 - Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Vegetables, Salad, Dessert
May 19 - General's Chicken, Fried Rice, Egg Rolls, Dessert
May 26 - Build Your Own Burger Night, Potato Salad, Fresh Veggies, Dessert

Thursday, January 28, 2010


In my mind, I am an organized person. Or maybe, I would like to be an organized person. I admire and respect organization in just about any form. I own a book about organizing just about anything.

My problem lies in the maintenance of organization. I can have a great system in place, but if I'm too hurried to keep it up, well...this is what happens.
Let me rephrase. This is what happens when things fall out of my pantry when I open the door, or we hear something take a flying leap during our dinner. I had enough and it was time to start I can breathe. After a good scrubbing of all of the shelves, baseboards and floor, I was ready to reclaim my counter space. I discovered a few duplicate items that could be combined, a few things that were past their 'prime', and thing or two purchased on impulse that were just taking up space in the pantry. Jalapeno lemonade mix?!? I restocked the previously labeled shelves and I think it looks manageable now.

I don't think we'll have any more 'jumpers'. What a relief!

It's been about 3 weeks since the last photo was taken, and I'm really glad to say it looks roughly the same. Here's where the story gets interesting...the project has expanded to other closets, cabinets, storage units and other clutter-tending-locales in the house. Entry closet: done. Master bath cabinets: done. Guest closet: done. China hutch: done. Linen closet: in-progress. Basement: let's not get the cart in front of the horse here! (Don't wait up on that one!)

Good luck with your own de-junk-ifying!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

party by numbers

Everyone remembers painting by numbers from way back when, right? An article in Rachel Ray's Everyday highlights some of the important numbers for hosting a party. Here are some of Rachel's digits, and some from my own experience...

0 - The amount you need to spend on favors.

5.30 ($) - The average cost of a custom imprinted invitation. (Yikes!)

6-8 - The number of appetizers needed per person, per hour for an afternoon or later evening party.

6-8 - The number of gallons of iced beverages needed to serve 100 guests.

8 (#) - Amount of tortilla chips needed to serve 100 guests.

10 - The number of appetizers needed per person, per hour for a lunch time party.

12 (PM) - The time at which brunch becomes lunch.

14 - The number of appetizers needed per person, per hour for a dinner time party (without an entree).

20 - The number of minutes that should pass between the end of dinner and when dessert is served.

30 (%) - The amount of invitees that will RSVP.

50 (°) - The minimum temperature for outdoor entertaining...unless you're hosting a bonfire!

60 - The number of minutes between when a party starts and when dinner should be served.

67 (%) - Average invitation acceptance rate.

80 (%) - Percentage of guests that will accept if offered coffee or tea.

200 - Number of napkins suggested for a party of 15.