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Archive for the ‘Gifts for Guests’ Category

Tie Up Your Search for Guys Gifts

I have to thank my friend Hans Gehrke from Chicago for his idea for this post.  He told me about this great site and product.  I just HAD to share.  These collegiate ties from Vineyard Vines www.vineyardvines.com  are just the right gift for the new student, the devoted alum or the sports fan.. Look no further!  These ties will make a huge statement as your favorite guy steps out.  What a win for you, the shopper, and for the lucky guy on your gift list!

Consider the college themed wedding too.  Wouldn’t it be great for the groomsmen to wear these and/or give them as a groomsmen’s gift?  The possibilities endless.

by Kim

Get Cookin’ With These Christmas Classics

Easy Entertaining for the Holidays

Ok, ladies and gentlemen I am going to assist you with your holiday baking plans.  We all know that I can coordinate weddings and events, but I felt the need to possibly help you with a few shortcuts in the kitchen to make you the fabulous employee, neighbor and friend that we know you are.  Here’s a few classics you can make quickly.  Shhhhh do NOT tell anyone our short cuts and secrets.  They’re all yours, keep em that way!

Red Velvet Cake, this is the classic made fast and easy style.  Everyone will be thanking you for going to all the trouble and care.  Don’t let them in on our secret.  Just smile and say, “thank you”. First, purchase a chocolate cake mix.  Many claim Duncan Hines works the best.  You will need 1 box white cake mix (2-layer size) ,1 box (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix, 4 large eggs , 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 cup milk , 1/2 cup vegetable oil , 2 ounces red food coloring.

Cream Cheese Frosting, 4 ounces butter, softened, 8 ounces cream cheese, softened, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 box (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup chopped pecans.  Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs, cocoa, vinegar, oil, and food coloring; beat for 4 minutes on medium speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl several times. Grease and flour 3 cakes pans. Distribute the batter among the pans evenly. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center.
Cool cake on racks.  Frosting: Beat the butter butter and cream cheese until smooth and light. Add vanilla and confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth. Spread frosting over layers and sides, sprinkling each layer with chopped pecans. http://southernfood.about.com/od/yellowandwhitecakes/r/blbb610.htm

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Mayonnaise Cake, ok this might sound disgusting but it is an old time classic that is positively scrumptious.  Nobody will know the “secret ingredient” until you tell them.  So what if it has 500 fat grams? They won’t care, once they have a bite of this moist, choclatey cake.  How do you ice it?  Here’s the killer: chocolate peanut butter icing with recipes for both provided below.  Warning:  Get ready for some oohs and ahhs. 

Recipe for Mayonnaise Cake: 2 C flour, 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa, 1 1/2 T soda, 1/4 t salt, 1 C sugar, 3/4 C mayonnasie, 1 C water, 1 t. vanilla.  Sift flour, cocoa, soda and salt.  Cream separately the sugar, mayonnaise, water and vanilla todgether.  Add dried ingredients to the creamed mixture.  Sit unitl well blended.  Pour into grease layer cake pans or a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Peanut Butter Icing: 1/2 C creamy peanut butter, 1/3 C unsweetened cocoa, 2 3/4 C of powdered sugar, 1/4 t salt, 1 t vanilla 1/2 C evaporated milk.  Cream peanut butter and cocoa.  Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth, adding a little more milk if needed.

Grandma Bea’s Slushy Booze, a signature drink of my grandmother’s.  We had it every Christmas Eve and it really did keep everyone in the holiday spirits.  It is easy and you HAVE to make it ahead of time.  It will be one of your holiday classics and something you won’t mind sharing.  After the mixture has frozen, it will never be rock solid due to the alcohol content, you can spoon some in a goblet add some Sprite, ginger ale or Sierra Mist. Make sure to say “cheers”.

Recipe: 26 0zs. vodka, 2 cans frozen orange juice, 4 cans of pineapple juice, 1.5 C sugar, 8 C. water, 2 cans frozen lemonade . Boil water and sugar. Let cool. Add frozen lemonade concentrate, orange juice concentrate and pineapple juice and stir well. Add 26 ounce bottle of vodka and freeze mixture in plastic containers. To serve, add equal amounts of the frozen “slush” with soda.  

From Grandma Bea and and www.drinknation.com/drink/slush                                                          

Pinwheels, make them fast and furiously.  These little roll ups of chipped beef and garlic cream cheese are wonderful for an appetizer and can be made a couple of days ahead of time.  You will need Buddig chipped beef in the refrigerated section.  Each pack will make two rolls with about five pinwheels to a roll.  You will need garlic salt, cream cheese and a dash of milk. Put the cream cheese in a bowl, add about a 1 T. of milk and 1/2 t. of garlic salt. Beat to a creamy consistency.  If you need a little more milk or garlic add.  Now take the meat and lay on waxed paper.  Spread one layer of the beef out and spread the cream cheese mixture on in a LIGHT fashion.  Now add another layer until you have four.  Next roll them up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate prior to your party.  Slice in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and place on a tray with sprigs of parsley. They are a safe bet to make sure all the guests like your appetizers.