I have a large collection of colorful party planning books that I browse when I'm in need of inspiration. Cocktail Parties With A Twist by Alexandra and Elliot Angle is part of said collection. Written by the owners of top LA catering company, Aqua Vitae, the book features ideas for 14 parties complete with extensive cocktail coverage and deliciously paired recipes. They teach you how to host a party in a teeny studio, a cold garage, a local restaurant, a snowy mountain top, and a seaside dock. The pictures are gorgeous and the ideas innovative. My favorite party is the day after party in which they provide recipes and cocktails that will ease the pain of a hangover. Thanks to this book, I enjoyed many successful parties!
Posts for August 2007
I know that you gals aren't really fans of unitasking kitchen gadgets, but as I was looking through the Yum Market, I couldn't help but notice quite a few interesting kitchen tools. Some are incredibly over priced, but some I might actually consider getting. Check out this red, collapsible funnel, for example. A funnel is a kitchen accessory that I do not own and never think to buy when I'm out at Williams-Sonoma. However, every few months I curse myself while running around the kitchen attempting to make a funnel out of foil. If I just sucked it up and got this handy one that can easily fit into any flat drawer, I would never be faced with this problem again.
I also found some other random things that might float your fancy – parakeet garlic press, anyone? — so browse the selections below.
To learn how to bookmark culinary gadgets on TeamSugar please read geeksugar's how to.
Think you know what happened on YumSugar this week? Take our new weekly quiz and see if you do! All of the answers can be found in this past week's posts, so let's find out whether or not you've been paying attention! Ready to start?Take the Quiz
Have a problem breaking the ice? How about drinking so much you can't remember where you live? Either way there are now novelty napkins that can help you out. The Hello Napkins allow you to fill in your name, your star sign, phone number and more, while the Cabbie Napkins allow you to fill in your address and where to find your cash. I think they're pretty clever, the hello ones could be fun for a mixer, but the cabbie napkins sort of creep me out — do we really need to support drinking that much?
Both sets are available for $3.50 and come with a dozen 3-ply 5" square napkins each.
Usually when I plan a party, I base the colors around the invitation. But this week's invite — for an end of summer barbeque — was a hot dog, and I don't want neutral shades to set the tone for a warm weather bash. So I've decided to use a watermelon as my inspiration and create a look with bright green, hot pink, white, and black. Set the tables with white tablecloths and pink floral arrangements in over sized margarita glasses. Watermelon shaped candles are festive and fun. Plate the nacho potato skins on plates stamped with a watermelon print. Serve the white peach margaritas in classic marg glasses and let guests make their own burgers on lime serving platters. Stack green and pink striped linen napkins next to the food to wipe messy condiments off lips. Night falls earlier at this time of year, so hang green paper lanterns from the trees and deck. Use moss green crepe paper to create garlands and line tables. What decorations are you using this weekend? Share your ideas with us below!
- Are you ready to spend nearly $200 on a sandwich? - Serious Eats
- There's still some great produce out there, so take advantage of these recipes for a late summer harvest. - iVillage Food
- This is one of the neatest things I've read all week: When it's hot outside, you can bake cookies in a car. - Baking Bites
- Are convenient foods really convenient? - Slashfood
- When someone sends you an invite, do you remember to RSVP? - Chow
- Got a wedding coming up? Learn how to plan a wedding reception menu. - Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen
- Is the diet fork a good idea, or just a horrible joke? - FitSugar
- Don't fret, the taste of summer can be preserved in a glass. - Culinate
- Here's a quick tip: Use clean shower caps as bowl covers. - CasaSugar
- Are those 100 calorie snack packs really worth it? - Will Work For Food
- Do you really have to soak your skewers, or is that just a myth? - Epi Blog
Congratulations you've made it to the long weekend! How about fixing grilled chicken tostadas tonight as a rewarding dinner? The chicken is flavored with simple taco seasoning and grilled quickly on both sides. Packaged coleslaw is mixed with salsa for a semi-homemade topping, followed by refried beans, chopped tomatoes, and salty feta. Serve with a pineapple cocktail and let the relaxing by the pool begin. You know you want the recipe so, read more
I'm off to Spain to visit mis amigos and I'm bringing some fun little gifts with me. I told you about my best buddy over there — he's kind of like my big Spanish bro — Antonio the mixologist and bartender. He specializes in shots so I asked you to help me find him a new set of shot glasses. You looked for practical, but cool glasses with a bit of a rocker edge and you bookmarked them in the Yum Market on TeamSugar with the keywords Shot Glasses.
I love the set of colorful, wobbly glasses that gruaig_rua saved, but my favorite are the subway map shot glasses discovered by bfly1133. These are super fun and something one definitely won't be able to find in a Spanish tienda. At $10 for a set of 6, the only way these glasses could be better is if they were maps of San Francisco's BART!
Check out geeksugar's explanation for more info on TeamSugar's fun feature.
Earlier this week, I was feeling a little under the weather. My head was cloudy and I couldn't decide what I wanted for lunch. It did however, get me wondering: What do you like to eat when you're sick?
Ever wonder if the children of famous chefs eat better than yours (or you for that matter)? This past weekend Parade magazine ran an article where five well-known chefs discuss what they put in their children's lunches.
Surprisingly, while wonderfully delicious and healthy, their tips are actually effortless and easy to recreate in your own kitchen. Wolfgang Puck opts for cold pre-pressed paninis, while Emeril Lagasse — whose children seemed the most adventurous — suggests shrimp spring rolls with fresh veggies.
However my favorite quote comes from Tyler Florence who sends his son Miles to school with wraps filled with grilled veggies and goat cheese.
"If he happens to trade what I made for him when he gets to school, it’s a great way to break the ice with the girls."
How adorable is that?!
To eat like Tyler and his son do, check out the recipe for Tyler's BLT with a Twist, read more