Category Archives: Entertaining

Shortcut to Fabulous Simple, 10 minute Appetizer.

imagesIf you are throwing a party for Superbowl Sunday this recipe is for you! If you are not, bookmark this page for your next party…this recipe is so easy and make an appetizer that is soooooo good!

Crabatizers


2 cans crab meat

2 5 ounce jars of Old English cheese spread (you find it by the cheese whiz)

1/2 cup butter

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons seasoned salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 packages of English muffins

In a medium bowl mix together everything except for the English muffins until smooth. Spread the mixture on each English muffin half. Put them on a baking sheet and broil 4-5 inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbly hot and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cut each muffing into wedges with a pizza cutter.

If you cut it into fourths it makes 96 little wedges. You could divide the recipe in half to make a smaller serving.

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Shortcut to Fabulous Calm, Cool and Collected outdoor entertaining

Entertaining outdoors is part of the allure of summer, but sometimes it can be unbearably hot. We found an inepxensive fun and chic way to beat the heat with these portable outdoor misters…under $20!



So, be cool, order some misters and enjoy this shortcut to fabulous cool outdoor fun!

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Shortcut to Fabulous Party Etiquette

people-socializing-cocktail_~bul0430Happy Turkey Day All! We thought today would be an appropriate day to say thanks for reading and give you some shortcuts to fabulous party etiquette so you can say thanks to party hosts this holiday season.

There is no better way to say thank you to someone who is hosting a party than to follow some simple rules of etiquette. So here goes….

Cocktail Party Etiquette

If the party is after 7 pm, leave the kids at home unless the invitations specifically state that children are welcome. Parents seem to forget this rule of etiquette and it can often create severe anxiety and stress for a host who has planned an adult only evening and not hidden breakables and child hazards. If you can’t find a sitter, sit this one out and send your regrets to the host. If the party is before 7 pm, it is best to ask the host if it is a “family” or “kid friendly” party. DO NOT ask if you can bring your kids. That puts a host in a very awkward position.

RSVP by the date specified, and if no date is specified, at least one week before the party. This ensures that the host has enough time to plan seating, food, beverages and other logistics for guests. If you have a significant other, don’t assume the host will count them as a plus one. Specify whether your significant other is coming.

Bring the host a token of appreciation for the invitation. Even if the host tells you not to bring anything, the polite and appropriate action is to bring a small gift. Favorites of mine include candles, wine, liquor, liquid hand soap and monogrammed beverage napkins. These are all items any host could use either at the current party or for future parties. NEVER expect a host to open or use the item that you bring at the event. If you have ever thrown a party, you know how difficult it is to coordinate everything and opening your bottle of wine or serving your delectable Bundt cake may not be easy for a host when guests are present and need attention. Avoid flowers unless you know the host well and know they would appreciate them.

Greet your host/s and say thank you. Seems obvious right?! However, sometimes when people have large parties it can be difficult to find the host. The first thing I do when I get to a party is find the host, tell them I’ve brought them a little something and thank them for inviting me. I try to find the host before I leave and again say thank you.

Don’t be the last to leave. The perfect rule of thumb is when about half of the guests have left, start preparing to leave.

Be Fashionably late, but not too late. What is fashionably late anyway? If it is a formal event hosted by an organization or business, ten to fifteen minutes is fashionably late. If it is an informal event hosted by a friend or acquaintance in their home twenty to thirty minutes late is fashionably later. NEVER arrive early.

Dinner Party Etiquette

Follow Cocktail Party etiquette and add….

Call your host ahead of time and ask what you can bring. If the host tells you not to bring anything, suggest some items like beverages, appetizers or desserts. Otherwise, bring a hostess gift such as those listed above in the cocktail party etiquette section.

Never bring surprise guests. When hosting a dinner party, inordinate amounts of time and thought are often put into seating. Adding one extra person to the mix can throw an entire evening off kilter for a host.

Offer to help clean up. If you host declines at least help them clear the table and throw away any items such as paper napkins.

Don’t be more than ten minutes late to a dinner party. Your host has gone through a lot of trouble to serve a beautiful meal for you. Being late can mean cold food and a ruined dinner party.

So, get out your party dresses, follow these etiquette tips and say thanks to those who host parties with our shortcuts to fabulous party etiquette! Please join us on facebook and become a fan for the latest updates, shortcuts and info on contests and prizes!

Thank you for reading, thanks to friends, family and of course God for giving all of us life and beautiful happy moments to share with those we love.

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Shortcut to Fabulous Small Space Entertaining- Dinner Party!

dinnerpartyetiquette1So what if I told you that you could have a Martha [Stewart] worthy dinner party in a 700 square foot apartment? You would flip over the fabulosity right! Guess what? I am about to tell you how!

The key to entertaining in a fabulously small space is to think outside the box and be prepared to re-arrange furniture and rent some items if needed. For example, if you want to hold a dinner party for eight, but have a table for two, consider using your sofa as seating. Here is how it can work: I highly recommend every small space dweller buy one of an adjustable height folding table. You can store the table against the wall in a walk-in closet (behind your clothes) or under your bed when not in party mode. This table is awesome because on the lowest height setting it is at couch level, so can use your sofa as seating. (At the highest setting you have a bar!) Move your coffee table to another room and set up the table in front your your couch. Sit on the sofa and pretend to eat to see where you should place the folding table.

dinner partyIf you need seating for the other side, buy some cheap, yet chic storage ottomans for under $30 from Walmart or Target. These ottomans are perfect because you can use them as extra storage and extra seating. They can be stacked in a closet, grouped together as a coffee table or extra seating in your living room.

Don’t have a square inch to spare to store this stuff? Rent it! Or consider having a buffet style dinner party and renting small tables and chairs to seat two to four and placing several tables in your living space. Regardless of what option you chose, moving your coffee table to a bedroom or balcony is probably necessary in a small space.

Now, on to the tablescape. Need to create a fun tablescape on the cheap? Try using candles and curling ribbon like we did in the tablescape here.  Charger plates instantly glam up a table and can double as serving trays when you are having a cocktail party. Try and get something that coordinates with your china and in a neutral, such as a silver or gold, so you can use and reuse with any theme.

Not sure what to serve or want some tips for cocktail parties? Sign up for our newsletter and learn more shortcuts to fabulous small space entertaining in weeks to come!!!!

So, assess your living space, make your perfect dinner party guest list and enjoy this shortcut to fabulous small space entertaining.

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Shortcut to Fabulous Chocolate Dessert

chocolate trifleMy friend Eddie had a dessert party a few years ago and served a dessert he invented called, “Chocolate Dump Cake.” It was so yummy and fabulous, I went for seconds and thirds. On my way to a fourth helping, I asked him for the recipe. When he told me how he made it, I was shocked at how easy it was. Over the last few years, I have used the idea of Eddie’s dish to create desserts of my own when I need a fabulous dessert in a pinch. In one version, I have modified Eddie’s recipe to speed up preparation and tweaked ingredients to suit my love for chocolaty goodness. I call my version of Eddie’s creation “Chocolate Yum Trifle.” This dish can be prepared with less than twenty minutes of active prep time and less if you buy a store bought chocolate pound cake and store bought chocolate pudding. There are two keys to the quick prep time of this dessert: 1) A food processor or food chopper that can be purchased from a drugstore or big box retailer for under $10 (I promise it will become your new best friend and every fabulous person must own one) and 2) Instant cake mix.

This dessert makes a beautiful presentation and makes you look like you have a fabulous knack in the kitchen. It is great for dinner parties, barbecues, movie nights, even kids parties.

What you will need:

-A glass trifle dish

-2 cups of skim milk

-Cool Whip (the kind that comes in a tub in the freezer section)

-Jello Instant Pudding Mix (chocolate flavor)

-Chocolate cake mix (and ingredients called for in mix, usually eggs, water and vegetable oil)

-10 Oreo cookies

-Colored sprinkles for garnish

First, if you have not thawed the Cool Whip take it out of the freezer to thaw. Next, prepare the chocolate cake according the directions on the box (5 minutes). You will be crumbling the cake, so the size and shape of the baking dish is not important. Once you have placed the cake in the oven to bake, make the chocolate pudding according to the directions on the box (5 minutes). Once you have mixed the instant pudding, cover it with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Go hang out and watch tv until the cake is done. When the cake has baked fully, take it out of the oven and let it cool until you are ready to put the dessert together. (You can wait two minutes or all day if you like). Once you are ready to put the dessert together, put the Oreos in the food processor or food chopper and pulse until they reach desired consistency (1 minute). I like mine to be fine, like coffee grounds, but if you want crunchy chunks that is okay too. Take the pudding out of the fridge and add the ground Oreos and half of the tub of Cool Whip. Mix well (2 minutes). Place a layer of cake in the trifle dish (I just scoop it out of the pan with my hands and crumble it into the dish). Then, place a layer of the pudding mixture. Continue layering until you have finished the mixture, finishing with a layer of the crumbled cake (5 minutes). (Usually, the mixture yields two layers of pudding and three layers of cake). Dollop a bit of leftover Cool Whip on the top in the center with a spoon and garnish with sprinkles or another pretty topping such as slivered almonds, strawberries, caramel, etc. (2 minutes).

Next time you need a fabulous Martha worthy dessert, but don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen, try this Chocolate Yum Trifle. When people tell you how awesome it is, grin internally because you know you’ve found a shortcut to real baking with this fabulous dessert!

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