Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pirate P'aaaarrrrr'ty!

ARRRRGH! Happy 3rd birthday to my little pirate!!
My baby three-year-old loves Disney's Jake and The Neverland Pirates so he wanted a Pirate Party for his birthday this year. So that is exactly what we did, me hearties!

AHOY - the food spread!

We grilled ye some Mr. Smee's Sea Biscuits (hamburger sliders) and served those along with some Seaweed Salad (pasta salad). We also had Ships & DipsFruit Swords, and Pirate's Gold (cheddar cheese cubes).

After eating some pirate grub, we headed over to the pirate games!

As guests came in, they could grab ye parrrrty favors, i.e. their pirate gear, and set sail for the games!

We had a relay race to find the treasure. Each matey had to complete the course in order to find the treasure chest (a pinata filled with pirate coins and candy!) Our guests' ages ranged from 11/2 - 41/2. They had to 'Walk the Plank' and then 'Swab the Deck'.  They walked across a board raised slightly above the ground. They then had to take the sponge and dunk it in the soapy water and 'swab the deck'. Once they finished swabbing the deck, they had to run the sponge back to the next matey in line. When they were all done, they got to go to the treasure chest!

the cap'n walking the plank 

and then swabbing the deck

one lad running the sponge back to the next little pirate - so fun!

Shiver me timbers...THE TREASURE CHEST!

Once we were done with the games, it was cake and presents time...
but we decided to take a quick detour and give the donkeys a treat first!

The dessert table consisted of cookies, cupcakes, candy and even a pirate hat birthday cake for the birthday boy!
To see how I made the pirate hat cake, you can click here. Super easy! To make the black icing, I bought chocolate fudge icing and mixed in black food color paste (found at Michaels).

 (Chips Ahoy and chocolate hazelnut pirouettes)
 (Vanilla Oreos)
 (Pixy Stix)
 (Peanut M&Ms)

And what pirate wouldn't want to finish his adventures without a swim?!? Everyone got to go overboard and cool off in the pool afterward. YO HO!

We had so much fun and of course we couldn't have had such a blast if our friends and family hadn't been there to help us celebrate! Fair Winds, me buckos! Here's to another great year!

Photos courtesy of Jennifer S.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rowdy Howdy Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 packages cream cheese (8 oz each) at room temperature
1 cup mayo
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
1 can (4 oz) diced jalapenos or 4 fresh seeded jalapenos
For topping:
1 cup Panko Japanese style breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted

1) Preheat oven to 375° F.
2) Mix first six ingredients together and spread in a greased two-quart baking dish.
3) In a separate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, the remaining Parmesan cheese and melted butter all together.
4) Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over the dip and bake in oven for 20 minutes or until top is browned and the dip is bubbly.
5) Serve with pita chips or crackers.

2 Infinity and Beyond!

Clark has become obsessed with two things. Woody and Buzz. From the movie Toy Story. Even before he saw the movie, he loved Woody and Buzz, so it was plain obvious to us what his theme for his 2nd birthday party would be!

The invitations were done by SuperMom Saves the Date and they came out perfect! Blending a pool party with Toy Story wasn't an easy thing to do! :)

Despite the rain, everything turned out great thanks to all the wonderful family and friends that came!

First up on the menu, "Slinky" hot dogs with "Space Fries" & ketchup! To make the dogs like Slinky, we just spiral cut them!

Here is a great tutorial on how to spiral cut hot dogs:

Some other Toy Story characters popped up with some of their yummies as well!

The jalapeno popper dip was a big hit and I was asked to share the recipe, so here it is!
Rowdy Howdy Jalapeno Popper Dip

We had a "Bullseye's Watering Hole" set up as the drink station. We had lemonade, soda, and Buzz H2O (water), "cowboy juice" (milk) and juice for the kiddos!

The water bottles were just covered with metallic silver duct tape (thank you Pinterest tip!) to transform them into the space ranger's H2O!

We did cupcakes this year in lieu of a cake. I found how to make these cutie alien cupcakes on the Disney website here! I just used mini marshmallows instead of dinner mints for the eyes.

And we had to have ice cream of course to go with our cupcakes, so what better ice cream to serve than Astronaut Ice Cream in honor of Buzz Lightyear!

The table decor was easy to make with just some scissors, glitter paper, and glue!

The guests got to take home a Woody hat, Sheriff badge and a Buzz/Woody cookie as a thank you for coming! Cookies were made by Bella Cibo bakery.

And the party wouldn't be complete without Buzz and Woody attending themselves! Here is my now 2 year old (gasp!) hugging his favorite "toys"!

Clark had a blast and even the rain was a huge hit with him! He got to get wet playing in the rainfall and when the sun did come out, he got to get wet by swimming in the pool! But the most important thing was that he got to do this with all his family and friends! Being 2 has already been so much fun, we can't wait to see what the rest of this year brings!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Blue Cheese Veggie Burger

Sometimes all a girl wants is a burger and beer. One that she can really sink her teeth into...even if that girl is a vegetarian! So when I got tired of just watching my husband enjoy his gourmet BEEF burgers, I decided to create my own VEGETARIAN one!

Just take some Gimme Lean - ground beef style and some blue cheese...and whatever other toppings you would like!
For a big burger, take about half the Gimme Lean and almost a 1/2 cup blue cheese.
Combine cheese and soy meat together to form a patty. Salt.

Grill over medium heat for about 15 minutes (flipping over half-way through) and serve with fries & a beer for a yummy, filling meal! I topped mine with veggie bacon (Morning Star brand), avocado, lettuce, tomato and onion. I happen to LOVE blue cheese so I sprinkled just a little on top of the patty as well. Served on a big kaiser bun (toasted just a bit), this meal was so filling I couldn't finish it despite how good it was!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Baby Shower: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

This weekend I, along with some girlfriends, had the pleasure of throwing a shower for a close friend who is having a baby girl in just a few weeks!

"But this tree in the yard--this tree that men chopped down...this tree that they built a bonfire around, trying to burn up its stump--this tree had lived!"
 -Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Being the book lover that this new mommy is, it was only fitting that her baby have a name with a strong and meaningful literature connection. Brooklyn.
Since she was named after the classic book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I decided to run with this in creating the diaper cake. Her nursery's colors are brown and various shades of pink, so the branches and little blossoms fit perfectly into the color scheme!

And instead of the traditional sign-in looseleaf paper, we bought a hardback copy of the book and had all the guests sign in it for Baby Brooklyn.

The invitation to help welcome guests in!

Here is the guess-the-date calendar set out on the sign-in table. The guests were able to guess Brooklyn's birthday by placing a gemstone on the date they think she will be born and sign their name next to it! The Tree of Heaven (another book reference) marked the baby's due date!

Our yummy menu at Pompeii Italian Grill!

The tables were adorned with pink flowers in glass baby bottles tied with cute ribbon and little baby rattles giving the restaurant atmosphere more of a baby-chic vibe! ;)

For the cake, fresh flowers were put on top to match the ones on the table. Beautiful!

We played three fun games at the shower!
1) "Guess Who's Pregnant?" in which guests had to match the animal to the length of pregnancy. Be thankful we are not elephants...they are pregnant for 22 months!
2) "What's in the Bag?" -This is where guests had to name 10 things that might be in Kim's diaper bag!
Here is the mama-to-be unveiling all the items in the bag! The first item was a change of clothes! 
Will definitely be needed!!!
3) "Baby Trivia" - A multiple choice quiz on all sorts of fun baby facts!!! Did you know babies were born without kneecaps?!? Crazy!
We had little frozen yogurt mixes to give away as prizes - sounded so yummy in this heat!
Mojito frozen yogurt? Yes please!!!

The other hostesses and I wish Kim and Baby Brooklyn all the best! We had so much fun planning the shower and seeing it all come together! We can't wait to meet Baby Brooklyn!