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HOLIDAY entertaining

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Food Presentation Ideas for Easter

food presentation for an easter or a housewarming party

food presentation for an easter or a housewarming party

I came across the wonderful housewarming party planned by Jessica of Modern Moments in collaboration with photographer Courtney Jade. The style of the buffet table was developed around the nest, which is a theme all appropriate for Easter. Look at how a lemon gained interest when it rested on a nest.

food presentation of savory appetizers

They opted for a mix of sweet and savory food. See how original is the way they serve a Caesar salad. Paying attention to food presentation brings its rewards. If you use your imagination, you can keep the food simple and impress without passing too much time in the kitchen. And what I like about this concept is that you can do a lot in advance: shopping for your props and designing the table.

tulip centerpieces

Finally, look at how easy it is to create a wonderful centerpiece with seasonal flowers. Tall wine glasses are a good option if the flower stems are kept short.

I wish that looking at these pictures have inspired you to to adapt the theme to your style of entertaining.

SOURCING:
+ Welcome to our little nest housewarming party from Modern Moments – photos by Courtney Jade Photography
+ Arbor Mist Brunch by Hostess with the Mostess – includes free printables

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Creative Hardboiled Eggs for Easter

easter eggs hardboiled shapes chicks

easter eggs hardboiled shapes chicks

With the creative work that goes into decorating eggs for Easter, it always seems a shame to crack open the colourful shells to eat the hardboiled egg inside. But it turns out you can have just as much fun decorating eggs once you’ve peeled off the shell!

  • Jenn of JustJenn Recipes tested out the Chickie Eggs from The Manga Cookbook, a popular step-by-step guide to preparing simple Japanese dishes using ingredients found in North American kitchens.
  • It takes a few tools and a bit of patience to create this carton of just-hatched chicks, but kids will love the result (it may even entice them to eat the eggs!).
  • If you’re looking for something simpler, check out Anna’s instructions for these heart-shaped eggs. They’re easier to create than you might think and a thoughtful way to show some love for your guests at Easter brunch. (You may want to stash this idea for a romantic Valentine’s Day breakfast too).

Japanese Egg Molds

easter egg molds japanese bento

Easier still are these adorable, inexpensive egg molds typically used in Japanese bento boxes. Available in a variety of shapes and characters, the bunny is particularly fitting for Easter buffets.

How do you use eggs at Easter? Are they just for decorating or are eggs part of your meal too?

SOURCING:
+ Chickie Eggs via JustJenn Recipes
+ Chicken Egg Family How To from Eye Candy
+ Heart-Shaped Eggs from Anna the Red
Kotobuki Plastic Egg Mold, Amazon.com, $3.99 USD
+ Fun with Japanese Egg Molds Tutorial from Just Bento

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Flower Word Graffiti for Mother’s Day

mom word graffiti with wallflower

mom word graffiti with wallflower

I talked about this concept executed with Umbra’s wallflower wall decor before, but this one is so cute that I must share it with you. It is a DIY project that you can do for your mom on Mother’s Day. You will need 56 flowers to write Mom like that; which means that you will need to buy 3 packages. Affix them to a frame that she can keep or use it as the background of a photo booth.

This look would pair with the flowering cherry blossom branches that Heather introduced yesterday.

SOURCING:
+ Wallflower wall decor $25 for a pack of 25

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Entertaining Ideas for Your Easter Brunch

easter chocolate egg boxes :: chocolate and wheatgrass centerpieces

easter entertaining ideas 2011

Here are a few entertaining ideas for your Easter brunch. Serve fresh juices or a jar of smoothies into an ice bath. They will stay cold without risking to water them down.

Bunny-shaped cookies bring a camping treat to Easter. You could bake your own recipe, set up a s’more bar or opt for the ready-to-consume version at Williams-Sonoma.

Bunny Egg Cozies

david and victoria bunny egg cosies in felt

Egg cozies will keep your eggs warm while adding a festive touch to your table. Parkhaus named their felt bunny cozies David and Victoria. You can  combine them in so many ways. When designing a egg station, it might be a good idea to one David and several Victoria. This way, David will add the unexpected touch. Or go for only one model, all in the same color except for one egg cozy that you select in a contrasting hue.

Easter Craft Projects

Hen-shaped egg cozies and easter individual centerpieces

If you feel crafty, Martha Stewart shared a template to make your own Hen-Shaped Egg Cozies. Both will look great with the Felt Easter Bunny tutorial we did two years ago.

Easter Centerpieces

easter chocolate egg boxes :: chocolate and wheatgrass centerpieces

Eggcups make a great vase for individual Easter centerpieces. Look for tiny, seasonal flowers. Adding a colored eggshell makes it more festive. If you prefer an edible centerpieces, you can design something cool with the chocolate colored Easter eggs from Knipschildt Chocolatier. The small chocolate bunny hidden in a wheatgrass garden centerpiece will please kids and adults.

SOURCING:
+ Bunny S’mores $24.95 USD at Williams-Sonoma
+ Punch Bowl Ice Bath from Martha Stewart Living (June 2010)
+ Easter Egg Chocolate Box $35 USD at Dean & Deluca
David Bunny Egg Cozie £8 at Little Baby Company
+ Victoria Bunny Egg Cozie $12 USD at Dean & Deluca
+ Flower Arrangements in eggshells in from Martha Stewart
+ Wheatgrass Setting with Chocolate Bunny Favors from Martha Stewart

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Easter Decorating Kits from Eggs to Cupcakes

easter cupcake decorating williams sonoma

easter cupcake decorating williams sonoma

Easter is spring’s first opportunity to indulge in a little holiday decorating. These all-in-one kits are a wonderful way to wrap up the season’s colors and charms without wasting time in multiple kitchen or craft shops collecting supplies.

With brightly colored cupcake liners and adorable animal picks, Williams-Sonoma’s Easter Fun Cupcake Decorating Set would also work well for spring baby shower, or little girl’s birthday party.

easter egg decorating williams sonoma

If you’ll have at kid’s table at your Easter gathering, be sure to stock up on Williams-Sonoma’s egg decorating kit. Packed with egg dyes, stickers, markers and other craft supplies, it will keep little hands busy before and after the meal.

Easter party Invites and Decorations

easter cupcake decorating printable tomkat studio

Etsy is always a wonderful source for well-designed complete printable party kits. This cheery collection – just $10 USD – comes with party circles that can be used as gift tags, cupcake toppers, place cards, napkin rings and more. The set also comes with a blank invitation design, treat bag fold-over labels and striped flags for a coordinated look.
SOURCING:
+ Easter Cupcake Decorating Kit $12 USD at Williams-Sonoma
+ Easter Egg Decorating Kit $19.95 USD at Williams-Sonoma
+ Bunny Love Easter Printable Collection $10 USD from TomKat Studio on Etsy

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Valentine’s Gift Ideas: Breakfast in Bed in a Sexy Bedroom

A menu for breakfast in bed for Valentine's Day

A menu for breakfast in bed for Valentine's Day

I conclude our Style Collective’s Valentine’s Day gift round-up with items to prepare a romantic Valentine’s breakfast and to decorate your bedroom.

1. My Pick

I suggest a breakfast in bed. “Your guy will earn points if he brings you breakfast in bed on Valentine’s Day. To make it easy for him, he could get the heart-shaped egg rings and serve your eggs with a warm French croissant and your favorite berry jam. He can make you a tasty cup of coffee, serve you a chilled glass of Veuve, and then finish the meal with a heart-shaped whoopie pie.”

Heart-shaped eggs fry rings, $15 USD at Williams-Sonoma; Bodum Chambord Coffee Press, $34.99 CAD at Amazon.ca; Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Rose, $77.40 at LCBO; SVALKA Champagne glass, $6.99 CAD for 6 at Ikea; Red Velvet Whoopie Pie Mix, $8.95 USD at Crate and Barrel.

2. Ceri from Sweet Potato Chronicles

pancake recipes for valentine's day gifts

“For those who are new to our site: we’re all about healthy family food. Scratch the surface, however, and you’ll find pancakes. Every kind you can imagine and more in the works. You could say we’re a little obsessed. So if our sweethearts wanted to spoil us this Valentine’s day they could whip up a batch of these Pumpkin Gingerbread pancake and make them in these sweet molds. Oh, and let us sleep in.”

Valentine Heart Pancake Mold on sale $2.50 USD at Crate & Barrel

3. Allie from Gifted

let's make up pillow_ for valentine's day gifts

“A little something for your special someone (or current makeout partner). This Valentine’s Day, if you’re feeling a little shy, let the pillow do the talking.”

She is right, before you go back to bed, you could engage in activities inspired by the Let’s Make Out pillow by Alexandra Ferguson available for $89 USD at her Etsy shop.

4. Coco from Coco&Lowe

Pretty Sweet Boutique lollipop treats

As a bonus, Coco also suggested what are “The most delicious way to anyone’s heart has to be through their tummy, so why not indulge them with customized cake or cookie pops? Made lovingly by PrettySweet Boutique [in Toronto], these delish pops come in any color combo and can be made to say anything you like to your love, bestie, co-worker or even to yourself!”

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Valentine Gumball Necklaces

diy gumball necklace birthday

diy gumball necklace birthday

These adorable gumball necklaces with silky ribbon ties put the candy necklaces of our childhood to shame.

Little girls will love giving and receiving these wearable Valentine’s. This DIY project would also be a fun activity or party favor for a girl’s birthday party, especially when made and packaged in colors to coordinate with the party’s theme.

Find the instructions for creating this easy, pretty project at One Charming Party.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

A Heart-Shaped Valentine’s menu

heart-shaped dessert recipes

heart-shaped food for valentine's day

It is quite easy to find heart-shaped desserts but what are the rest of the menu. Except for the main, this menu features heart-shaped food.

+ For your Appetizer: Sweetheart salad by Martha Stewart
+ For your Main course: I suggest the Asparagus, mint and lemon risotto recipe. I know that it is not heart-shaped but this recipe is so delicious that I had to share it. Find here my advice for making this Jamie Oliver’s risotto recipe. I even share a wine pairing wine.

heart-shaped dessert recipes

+ For dessert, I gave you 2 choices: Chocolate Strawberry Heart-Shaped Ice-Cream Sandwiches or an Heart-Shaped Cheese Platter.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Three Bubbly Cocktails for New Year’s Eve

champagne cocktails

champagne cocktails

Instead of serving a glass of Champagne, you can serve Champagne cocktails. You can either use real Champagne or a sparkling wine. We found that the Roederer Estate Brut NV from California is a wonderful substitute to the real thing. A versatile Champagne is the Veuve Clicquot.

The Kitchn shared three bubbly cocktails. Their Pear-Cranberry Champagne calls for an optional dash of orange bitters. For next time, I found two online sources; one in Canada and in the United States.

SOURCING:
Champagne Bar for New Year’s Eve: Three Bubbly Cocktails on The Kitchn
+ For Canadians: Fee Brothers Orange Bitters $ 7.99 CAD
+ For Americans: Fee Brothers Orange Bitters $6.99 USD

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Three Holiday Recipes by Ricardo

Creamy fudge spread by ricardo

Creamy fudge spread by ricardo

Here are three simple Holiday recipes from Ricardo Larrivée, that many of you know from his cooking show Ricardo and Friends at Food Network Canada. For party favors or hostess gifts, you can make several jars of Creamy Fudge Spread. It will also come handy if you host a brunch.

cookie kit by ricardo

No need of having any baking skills to bring a Cookie Kit in the jar to the hostess. Simply write the step-by-step instructions on a nice piece of paper or a gift tag.

clementine-flavored vodka by ricardo

You can bring at a party a bottle of your own Clementine-Flavored Vodka. It is made with freshly squeezed clementine juice, lemon juice, sliced clementines, sliced lemon, sugar and your favorite vodka.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Cocktail Party Essentials

glamorous drink station

drinkware

Holiday party season is in full swing. Whether you’re hosting family and friends for dinner, neighbours during an afternoon open house or a glamorous New Year’s Eve gathering, consider upgrading your existing bar accessories or invest in these essentials pre-party. A well-appointed bar with all the tools of the trade will help you quench all of your guest’s drink requests.

Stylish Glassware

Even if you’re well-stocked with a variety of glassware styles, these fun and festive options will have your guests lining up to claim their cup. Check department stores for other seasonal options that are likely already on sale.

Cocktail Shaker

Cocktail shakers

A cocktail shaker is essential for creating martinis and other mixed drinks. You can find inexpensive, basic shakers at most kitchen and department stores. Personalize this vintage-inspired shaker from Pottery Barn with a frosted glass monogram. For a statement shaker you’ll want to leave on display, consider this gorgeous, but pricey, stainless steel Bauhaus design by Alessi.

Large Tray or Bar Cart

glamorous drink station

Use a tray, or bar cart to create a serving station and keep bar tools and glassware corralled. You can also re-purpose an existing console table or your dining table for the occasion.

airy modern drink station in white and blue

Style at Home proposed an airy, modern take on the drink station that would be perfect for New Year’s Eve.

Sticks and Picks

Cocktail picks and coasters

Cocktail picks are great for garnishes and do double-duty as stir sticks. My “pick” for a holiday party? This stainless steel set topped with jingle bells from Crate and Barrel.

Coasters

Coasters are a must to protect furniture and other valuables from glassware. There are sets to fit every party theme and decor, from glass to ceramic to pretty letterpressed paper.

SOURCING:
+ Winter Tree Stemless Glassware $25 USD at West Elm
+ Mr. and Mrs. Highball Glasses by Furbish Studio $18 USD (set of 2)
Bauhaus Cocktail Shaker by Alessi $388 USD at Unica Home
+ Hotel Cocktail Shaker $29 USD at Pottery Barn
+ Drink Station by Lulu Powers for Lonny magazine – December 2010 issue – photo by Patrick Cline
Small Space Cocktail Party Planner by Style at Home – photo by Michael Graydon
+ Jingle Bell Picks $10.95 USD (set of 6) at Crate & Barrel
+ Letterpress Coasters by Red Bird Ink $10 USD (set of 4) on Etsy