By now you probably have your Christmas dinner menu planned, but have you thought about what cocktails to have? If not, don’t sweat it! I’ve compiled some of the most delicious and unique cocktails for you. Because let’s face it…sometimes the only thing that gets you through dinner at the in-laws is a steady supply of alcohol!
Time’s slipping away and Christmas will be here before you know it! But don’t panic! If you haven’t had time to bake any Christmas cookies I have gathered some of the best and cutest Rice Krispy Treat recipes that you can make in no time flat. You’ll have fabulous, festive desserts for the holidays!
‘Tis the season for awesome Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties! If you love the 1950s and 1960s, can’t get enough of Mad Men, and would love to show off your Mid-Century Modern decorations, you should throw a Mid-Century Modern Christmas or New Year’s Eve cocktail party. Here are some suggestions on how you can throw a Mid-Century modern themed party:
Set the tone right away with the invitations you send.
Here are some e-vites that will help set the tone for the party. Be sure to mention on the invitation that it will be a themed party. Since it is close to Christmas and New Year’s Eve, here are some e-vites you can send out quickly from paperlesspost.com
2. Decorate for the holidays and within your theme
Since you are having a cocktail party, guests will be using barware and glasses, so consider updating your glassware and buy new items that will fit in with your theme. Here are some beautiful ideas for toasting at midnight on new year’s eve.
3. Serve drinks, appetizers, and desserts in the theme
Find some fabulous themed recipes online that will take your retro party up a notch! Here are some Mad Men-style retro cocktails that will be perfect. And here are some recipes that you can make to accompany the cocktails you serve from Food Network.
4. Play music in the background that fits your retro theme
Music is amazing for helping to set the mood for a party. Play songs like “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “The Chipmunk Song,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “Christmas.” Make a playlist on iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube so you can start the music and keep the music going all night.
5. Play a classic Christmas movie
If you want to add extra ambiance, you could also have a Christmas movie from the 1950’s or 1960’s playing in the background. White Christmas (1954) and Babes in Toyland (1961) would be great choices. This will help put people in a holiday mood, and it will also give your guests something to do and to talk about.
6. Play some games
When the mingling dies down, create some excitement by playing vintage games. Pull out a deck of cards and play a good ol’ fashioned card game. Or look on eBay for classic board games like Yahtzee, Battleship, or Dominoes.
We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season full of good cheer and vintage merriment!
Summer is almost over and school will be in session again soon. And while I have mixed emotions about this – yay! for some alone time during the day – nay! for being alone all day! I’m happy to get back to a more schedule routine for the sake of my sanity, but I’ll miss the lazy days of summer for sure.
For me, the worst part about back to school besides having to buy all those annoying school supplies, is packing lunches every. single. damn. day. Ugh! I hate it. Especially since my daughter gets what I like to call “school lunch fatigue.” This is when I pack the same snack and or lunch more than 2 days in a row. It’s a pretty serious affliction. Symptoms include whining about what was in her lunch, complaining that her lunch was boring, stories of the glorious and delicious lunches her friends have and uneaten lunches being brought back home.
So I decided I needed to scour the internet for interesting, tasty, and easy to pack lunches so my daughter doesn’t, you know, like, totally die from the boring lunches I make her.
Oh and I promise I will only share realistic lunch ideas. I mean, seriously, how many kids do you know who are wanting caprese kabobs? Not my kiddo that’s for sure! Not only would she not eat that, I’m looking for easy lunch ideas. i.e. grab some stuff and throw it in the lunch box.
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1. Fruit and Cheese platter – Apple slices and cubes of cheese are yummy and delicious! Add some pita chips or bagel chips for some crunchy texture. Bonus tip: To keep the apple slices from turning brown, slice your apple (Be sure to keep the core) and then reassemble it and place a rubber band around it.
2. DIY Lunchables – These are so fun and you can put anything in them! Try some trailmix, wraps, cubes of cheese, or anything else you can come up with. And you can get some really inexpensive containers that have compartments in them so they are super easy and fast to pack. Like these ones from Amazon:
3. Salad in a Pocket – My daughter loves when I do this. They are so simple add your favorite lettuce and veggies and your done! I told you these would be easy ideas. You can find these in the bread isle and sometimes they are called pita pockets. Like these ones:
4. Cheese Quesadillas – Ok, I admit these take a little bit of planning ahead of time. But you can make a few up at a time and refrigerate them and then they are ready to go. I just take a flour tortilla, spray some pam in my skillet and warm the tortilla until it is browned. Add your favorite cheese – we like cheddar – and then fold in half and continue warming until cheese in melted. Remove and cut into triangles. Tada! Your done! And it doesn’t take much preparation time.
5. The Whatever Lunch – This is something my daughter created and while it isn’t a “traditional” lunch she really likes it because it provides the variety she craves. I take a bottle of water, her favorite fruit of the moment (last year it was kiwi), 1 pack of fruit snacks, a serving of pretzels, and a cheese stick. Sometimes I give her one of those Sargento Balanced Breaks instead of the cheese stick. She really likes those. You can mix and match items to suit your child’s taste but while it isn’t a ton of calories she feels like she’s getting a ton of food!
6. The Tried and True Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich – While this isn’t always the most exciting lunch it is good in a pinch. Plus you can make some ahead, pop them in the freezer and they will be ready to throw in the lunch box whenever you need them. They will thaw before your child eats! It’s genius! Of course, if you are like me and a bit on the lazy side when it comes to lunches you can always buy Smucker’s Uncrustables Frozen Peanut Butter and Jelly Sanwiches. Plus I don’t have to cut the crust of the bread!
7. Hard Boiled Eggs – Now this one doesn’t work for us because my daughter refuses to eat eggs! But, it can be a really super easy and healthy alternative for your lunches. Prepare the eggs at the beginning of the week. Peel them and put in a ziploc bag and they are ready to grab and go.
8. Cheese Stick Wraps – Oh my gosh you all! These are so easy. 1. get a cheese stick. 2. wrap your favorite lunch meat around it. 3. wrap that in a mini flour tortilla. That’s it. Super easy but yummy and fun!
9. Peanut Butter – Everything tastes better when it is dipped in peanut butter! So send your kiddo off with a small container of peanut butter and then put different items to dip into it. Pretzels, celery, pita chips, apples, bananas, tortilla chips, the list goes on! And again, a nod to the lazy lunch packers like myself, you can buy single serve on-the-go peanut butter packages from Jif. No messy spoons or knives to clean up. I’m tellin’ ya peeps it’s the simple things in life that make me happy.
10. Nutella – Ah lovely Nutella! It’s perfect for lunches and so versatile. My daughter loves it in a sandwich. But you can put it on tortillas, send it a container so they can dip stuff in it, or slap it on some bread. Not only is it yummy it’s healthy too! And just like the peanut butter to-go- packages above, Nutella comes in single serve containers as well.
Ok, I’m exhausted just thinking about making all those lunches in a few weeks. What are your favorite go to lunches? Comment below!
I may have mentioned before how I’m not really good in the kitchen. I really try and I always have wonderful intentions of making something perfect and yummy and something that looks like Julia Child made it. The vision I have in my head is this:
Unfortunately more often than not this is the reality:
However, my 14 year old daughter has recently started showing an interest in cooking and baking and has even started watching the Food Network like crazy! Since I am her mom I figure the responsibility of teaching her how to cook falls to me. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE spending time with her and making memories. It’s just difficult when I am trying to teach myself at the same time I am teaching her.
We recently stumbled upon my husband’s grandmother’s cookbook. I absolutely adore it and love paging through and looking at all the recipes, poems, information, quotes, and more that she has written in there!
So my daughter and I set out to pick one recipe and make it today. We decided upon Dream Whip Pie. The Ingredients are as follows:
2 envelopes Dream Whip
2 3/4 cups cold milk, divided (1 cup with dream whip, 1 3/4 cup when adding Danish Junket Dessert)
1 tsp vanilla
1 package Danish Junket Raspberry Flavor
20 graham crackers crushed
1/3 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
After reading the ingredients I figured it was sort of like a modern day Cool Whip Pie! Super easy to start out with. 🙂
Helping me with this baking journey is my lovely daughter, Linnea. Oh! And that’s our dog Spot. He’s 16 years old and still kickin’! He doesn’t help much with the cooking but he sure does like to catch anything the drops on the floor!
First, we had to see if stores even still sold Junket Danish Dessert or Dream Whip for that matter. To my dismay the local Woodman’s grocery store had both of them. Being a modern type mom I decided to buy the already crushed graham crackers rather than crush them all myself. I mean seriously, I don’t want to work myself too hard!
Next I went to the next page of the recipe book and to my disbelief there were no directions! Ok, we can do this…I think.
First we put the 2 packages of dream whip in the mixer with the milk. And I made my first mistake! I put all 2 3/4 cups milk in with the dream whip – you are only supposed to put 1 cup. Sigh.
Good thing I know myself and know I am bound to make a mistake of some kind…so I bought Cool Whip while we were shopping…you know…just in case!
So, I dump out the ruined mixture, put in the cool whip, add some vanilla, add the Junket Danish Dessert Mix (which is just a powdered jello like substance), and the correct amount of milk. Mixed it all up on high for 2 minutes and stuck in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
Next we made our graham cracker crust. Crushed graham crackers, 1/3 cup butter, melted and 3 Tbsp of sugar. Mix that all up and put it into a pie plate. Set that in the fridge to chill.
So far so good! The finished product turned out Ok. We topped it with fresh raspberries!
While I wouldn’t necessarily call this an overwhelming success cooking wise, my daughter and I had fun and laughed and made some wonderful memories! Thanks to my husband’s grandmother! 🙂
10 Side Dishes That Will Wow Everyone this Memorial Day
It’s that time of year again. School is ending for summer break, the weather is getting warmer, and Memorial Day is right around the corner. All of this means picnics, barbecues, and bonfires are on everyone’s schedules. Let the fun times begin!
Then the next question is what should I bring to Aunt Sue’s annual Memorial Day picnic?
Don’t worry! We have you covered. We’ve looked high and low and found some fabulous and tasty and unique side dish recipes that will have everyone raving about your culinary genius!
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I had the fortune of eating this recently at a fundraising dinner I attended. It was so good! And you can make it the day ahead so you aren’t rushing around on the day of your event. As a matter of fact it tastes better after all the flavors have a chance to sit and marinate together.
Oh potato salad how I love thee! This recipe is just like the one my mom makes. I always ask her to make it when I am home visiting. Maybe it’s the love she puts in it when she is making it, but this simple, easy to make recipe is my favorite!