Setting the Perfect Table

wedding-shower-2447531_1280.png

Everyone loves entertaining! Whether it be a dinner party, family get together, or celebration of a holiday or special occasion, your table setup is the perfect way to showcase your style. The dinner table is the centerpiece of your home and the perfect location to really illustrate your aesthetic and wow your guests. However, determining your aesthetic and picking the right pieces to really shine can be a difficult task! To help make this easier, we’ve compiled a list of “must-have” items on every table, regardless of style, to ensure you have everything you need to complete that perfect look. Not sure what your look is? No problem, we’re sharing some of our favorite inspirational images of various table styles to help you out! 

must-have.png
  • Table cloth 
  • Matching dining set 
  • Chargers 
  • Linen napkins 
  • Candles and candlesticks 
  • Florals 
  • Full set of utensils 
  • Various glassware 
  • Serving dishes 
  • Table runner or similar draping fabric 
  • Additional small decor items 

For more formal events, consider adding a few extra special touches, like menus and name cards, to really finish off the look!

 
design-inspiration.png

What’s the number one design element on your list that you just can’t live without? Or your favorite style? Let us know!

Peach Mocktails

Looking for a refreshing non-alcoholic option to share at a summer event? We've got you covered with some of our favorite summer recipes to help include everyone in the festivities! With August being the month of peaches, we gathered up some peach themed crowd pleasers that are sure to be a hit at all your summer events!


 
 Image and Recipe Credit:  Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

Image and Recipe Credit: Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 2 inch-long pieces of candied ginger, finely chopped
  • 8 – 10 mint leaves
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 10 - 12 ice cubes
  • 1 ginger beer

Directions

  1. Divide the peach slices, chopped candied ginger, mint leaves, and lime juice between two tall glasses.
  2. Use a muddler (or a spoon) to crush the peaches and mint to release the mint oils and juice from the peach.
  3. Fill the glasses with ice cubes.
  4. Pour chilled ginger beer over the ice until topped off.
  5. Enjoy!

Yields 2 gallons (great for large gatherings!)

Ingredients

  • 120 oz of soda water
  • 80 oz of peach juice
  • 8 tablespoons of grenadine syrup
  • 2 bags of frozen sliced peaches
  • ½ to ¾ of a bag of ice

Directions

  1. Pour the soda water, juice and grenadine right in the beverage jar and stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Add ice and sliced peaches, stir again.
  3. Enjoy!
 
 Image and Recipe Credit:  Sur La Table

Image and Recipe Credit: Sur La Table


 
 Image and Recipe Credit:  Real Housemoms

Image and Recipe Credit: Real Housemoms

Yields 10-12 cups

Ingredients

PEACH RASPBERRY PUREE

  • 4 peaches, pits removed and flesh diced into chunks
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup water

SIMPLE SYRUP

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

LEMONADE

  • 7 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice (from approximately 4 lemons)
  • Ice cubes

TO SERVE (optional)

  • Additional fresh raspberries
  • Peach slices
  • Sprig of mint

Directions

  1. Add diced peaches, raspberries and water to a food processor or blender and process until pureed.
  2. Place a sieve over a large mixing bowl and pour peach raspberry puree into the sieve. Use the back of a large spoon to push the puree around so the liquid falls through the sieve and seeds/skin stay inside the sieve.
  3. Discard seeds/skin from the sieve and set mixing bowl with liquid in it aside.
  4. Add granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan and heat over MED heat until sugar dissolves into the water, stirring occasionally. Boil about 3 minutes until liquid has become syrupy. Set aside to cool slightly.
  5. Add 7 cups water, lemon juice and ice cubes to a large pitcher. Stir to combine. Pour in cooled simple syrup and peach raspberry liquid. Stir to combine again.
  6. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. Serve chilled with garnishes, if desired.

Peach Streussel Muffins

Baking with fresh summer fruits is the easiest way to elevate your homemade desserts. These delightfully fresh peach streusel muffins are the perfect summer breakfast, snack, or dessert, and are guaranteed to impress your family and friends.


Yields: 12 muffins    Time: approx. 55 min total

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temp

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs, room temp

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 ¾ cups AP flour

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp. allspice

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • 3 tbsp. milk (any kind)

  • 1 ½ cups peeled, chopped peached (about 3 peaches) OR frozen, not thawed, chopped peaches

 Image Credit:  Sally's Baking Addiction
 
 Image Credit:  Sally's Baking Addiction
 
 
 

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 2/3 cup AP flour

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 3 tbsp. heavy cream

  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract


Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F, and spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray.

  2. Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, combine both sugars, cinnamon, and melted butter, then slowly stir in the flour. The crumb topping will be thick and crumbly. Set aside.

  3. Make the muffins: In a stand mixer, with fixed paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy (~1 min). Add both sugars and beat on high until creamed (~2 min), scraping the sides as needed. Add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until incorporated.

  4. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients until no streaks remain. Add in the milk and mix until incorporated.

  5. Hand-fold peaches into batter with a rubber spatula.

  6. Fill the muffin pan with the batter to the top. Press a handful of crumble to cover the top of each muffin. Crumble some between your fingers for extra chunks of crunchy goodness!

  7. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then reduce heat to 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack while making the glaze.

  8. Making the glaze: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

  9. Gently pop out muffins and place on a wire rack with paper towels below to catch extra glaze. Using a spoon or small pastry bag, drizzle glaze over warm muffins and enjoy!

  10. Make ahead tip: Muffins will stay moist and fresh in a sealed container on the counter for 3 day or in the refrigerator for up to 5. Muffins can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Just thaw in the refrigerator before eating!


Pro Tips

  • To easily peel slightly over-ripe peaches score the bottom of the peaches with an “X” and place in boiling water for 20-50 seconds until the skin begins to peel away from the score. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place directly into an ice bath until cool enough to touch. The skin should peel right off! (If using under-ripe peaches a vegetable peeler works perfectly!)

  • You can use a plastic sandwich bag as a makeshift pastry bag! Just cut a very small hole in one corner and fill the bag with the glaze. It makes for a more precise drizzle than a spoon.


 

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

ice-crea-sandwich.png

As the summer starts to heat up into August, outdoor weddings are extremely popular. But
with summer heat comes sticky guests looking for a fun way to cool down. In the
spirit of today being National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, we love these fun ice cream
sandwich buffets as a revamped sundae bar for your reception. Be inspired by you
and your partner’s favorite cookie and ice cream flavors, and focus on refreshing
seasonal flavors like peach, berries, and citrus! You can even add a sentimental
touch with personalized to-go wrappers!

Refreshing Summer Cocktails

There's no better way to beat the summer heat than with an ice-cold beverage! To spice things up a little bit, we decided to have some fun this summer and make delicious, thirst-quenching cocktails to enjoy on these hot summer days!


 Image Credit:  What The Fork Food Blog
  • 1 bottle moscato
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 2 cups cubed pineapple
  • lemon lime soda

Directions:

1. Pour wine and brandy into a pitcher and stir. Add lime, watermelon, and pineapple.

2. Place fruit in a glass with ice. Pour sangria over and top with lemon lime soda.


  • 1/2 oz. Midori Melon Liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz. Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka
  • 3 1/2 oz. Lemonade
  • Fresh watermelon chunks

Directions:

1. Add melon liqueur, watermelon vodka, lemonade, and ice cubes to a cocktail shaker.

2. Shake for 30 seconds.

3. Strain into a rocks glass over ice and serve!

 Image Credit:  Growing Up Gabel

Image Credit: Growing Up Gabel

Summer Date Night - Shrimp Scampi Zoodles

The spirit of summer is all about having fun and adventuring, whether it be trying a new activity, testing out the latest fashion trends, or experimenting with new foods. Instead of opting for plain pasta, try a healthier alternative with one our favorite shrimp scampi recipes with zoodles- perfect for any summer date night!

 Image and Recipe Credit:  Food Network

Image and Recipe Credit: Food Network

 
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups zucchini noodles, from 2 medium zucchinis (about 1 pound)  
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 
IMG_20170711_194952.jpg

Step 1: Heat your butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.

Step 2: Once the butter has melted, add in garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir the mix until it’s fragrant and the garlic becomes a light golden color (this should take around 2 minutes).

Step 3: Next pour in the wine and lemon zest and cook until the alcohol smell is gone and the sauce turns to a nice golden color (around 4 to 5 minutes).

Step 4: Add in the shrimp, ½ teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir frequently for about 3 minutes or until the shrimp start to turn pink on the outside, but are still translucent on the inside.

Step 5: Stir in zoodles until they are coated with the sauce and begin to wilt slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 6: Transfer into a serving bowl and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.

Step 7: Serve and enjoy!

Note: Recipe takes about 30 minutes and serves 4.  The fastest and easiest way to make zoodles is to use a vegetable spiralizer. Although some can be pricey, there are many more affordable options available on sites like amazon and trust us, you won’t regret buying one!

 

 

 

Fun Twist on the Classic S'more

 Image Credit:  bippityboppityboo

Image Credit: bippityboppityboo

What’s more fun than sitting around the bonfire in the warm, summer nights and roasting some yummy marshmallows?! Even though we love the classic campfire treat, there’s a variety of different desserts that put a spin on the beloved s’mores! You can make mouthwatering s’mores cupcakes topped with a marshmallow frosting and graham cracker crumbs, or gooey s’mores bars! Here’s one of our favorite s’mores twists – S’mores Dip! 

 Image credit:  Five Heart Home

Image credit: Five Heart Home

  • ½ tbsp. butter 
  • 1 ½ cup chocolate chips 
  • 15 jumbo marshmallows, halved 
  • graham cracker squares 
  1. Place a skillet in the oven and preheat oven to 450° (with skillet inside). 
  2. Once oven is preheated, remove skillet and coat it with butter. 
  3. Pour chocolate chips into the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Arrange marshmallow halves over the chocolate chips, covering the chocolate completely. 
  5. Back 5-7 mins or until marshmallows are perfectly toasty! 
  6. Serve immediately with graham cracker squares 

July 4th Cocktails

 Image Credit: Canvas Press

Image Credit: Canvas Press

With Independence Day right around the corner, it’s time to get started on 4th of July party planning! No party is great without tasty cookouts, loud fireworks, and of course fun, patriotic cocktails!


 Image Credit:  Noble Pig

Image Credit: Noble Pig

  • 1 bottle Pinot Noir
  • 1 ½ cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 orange, freshly squeezed
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 8 oz. raspberries
  • 6 oz. blackberries
  • 1 apple, sliced thin
 
  • In a large pitcher, add wine, cranberry juice, brandy, and orange juice.
  • Add blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and apple. Chill overnight.
  • Fill glasses with ice then add fruit from the pitcher. Pour liquid over the ice and fruit, garnish and enjoy!
  • 1 ½ oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 ½ oz. blue curacao
  • 1 oz. grenadine
  • Splash simple syrup
  • Fill a tall glass with ice, and slowly add the grenadine
  • Next, add blue curacao (slowly)
  • Add lemon juice, simple syrup and vodka to a shaker. Cover and shake until blended.
  • Pour mixture into glass on top of grenadine and curacao.
  • Garnish with fruit and enjoy!
 Image Credit:  Budget Savvy Divas

Image Credit: Budget Savvy Divas

Summer Kick-Off BBQ

 IMAGE COURTESY OF: SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS

IMAGE COURTESY OF: SOCIAL VENTURE PARTNERS

The warm summer sun, the sound of laughter from friends and family, and most importantly…the smell of fresh BBQ food! That’s right – it’s the summer kick-off BBQ! Nothing says “summer” like a fun BBQ cookout! Decorate your backyard with tables and stringed lights, make some fun cocktails, and dig in. Here are our favorite BBQ recipes for you to try this summer. Fire up the grill and enjoy!

 IMAGE COURTESY OF: YOUR LIGHTER SIDE

IMAGE COURTESY OF: YOUR LIGHTER SIDE

 IMAGE COURTESY OF: SEEDED AT THE TABLE

IMAGE COURTESY OF: SEEDED AT THE TABLE

Ingredients:
6 whole jalapeño peppers
6 oz. cream cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ oz. shredded cheddar cheese
12 slices bacon

Directions:
Cut off the jalapeño stems and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and membranes.
Combine cream cheese, garlic powder, and cheddar cheese in a bowl. Stuff mixture into the jalapeño halves.
Wrap each jalapeño completely with bacon and secure with toothpicks.
Grill jalapeños cut side down until bacon is crisp (6 mins). Flip peppers over and cook an additional 10-12 mins. Serve and enjoy!

 IMAGE COURTESY OF: CLOSET COOKING

IMAGE COURTESY OF: CLOSET COOKING

Ingredients:
4 (6 oz.) boneless chicken breasts
½ cup balsamic vinaigrette
8 oz. fresh mozzarella ball, sliced
1 ripe tomato, sliced
¼ cup basil, sliced
¼ cup balsamic reduction

Directions:
Marinate the chicken in the balsamic vinaigrette overnight
Grill the chicken until cooked and slightly charred, 2-4 mins per side before topping with mozzarella and tomato (keep on grill until cheese starts to melt a little)
Serve topped with the basil and balsamic reduction

Father's Day Gift Ideas

 image courtesy of: bird's cards

image courtesy of: bird's cards

With Father’s Day approaching, it’s sometimes difficult to find a gift perfect for your hardworking dad. Do you buy him another watch, wallet, or more clothes? We’ve sought out to create a list of gifts that are perfect for every dad out there!

For the dad who loves…

What better way to start the summer season than to set your dad up with the perfect grilling gifts? In addition to buying him new grilling utensils, bring out your creative side and try making this DIY grill set holder,

 
 image courtesy of: porch

image courtesy of: porch

 image courtesy of: lil' luna

image courtesy of: lil' luna

or make fun sauces with labels for all the delicious BBQ foods he makes!

For the dads who have a passion for fishing, reel in some awesome gifts that he will love! From cute keychains with the kids’ names, or another DIY project to hang fishing photos from, your dad will think these gifts are the best catch he can get!

 

 image courtesy of: natasha aloha

image courtesy of: natasha aloha

 image courtesy of: hometalk

image courtesy of: hometalk

 image courtesy of: kristen duke photography

image courtesy of: kristen duke photography

or bake him up some tasty hammer and tools cookies!

Does your dad love to design and build? If so, making him a custom toolbox filled with his favorite goodies is a great gift! Try making him this DIY toolbox filled with his favorite candies and drinks

 image courtesy of: sweetopia

image courtesy of: sweetopia

National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

 Image courtesy of: Life a Little Brighter

Image courtesy of: Life a Little Brighter

June 7th is one of the most important holidays this year that combines two of our favorite things: chocolate and ice cream. That’s right, it’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day! What more perfect way to spend this summer day than to sit back in the sun and enjoy an icy treat in a cone or in a cup topped with an endless amount of your favorite toppings? To celebrate, here’s a tasty recipe you can easily make at home!

Ingredients:
2 frozen bananas
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup milk (can substitute for almond milk)
½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions:
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
Pour contents into a freezer-safe container until solid
Scoop into bowls or cones, and top with your favorite toppings! Yum!

Memorial Day Inspiration Board

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Going into this holiday, it’s important to remember and honor those who have fought for our country. With that in mind, it’s also a day full of great American spirit! Enjoy the outdoors with a cookout, fun games, and great food surrounded by your family and friends!

Mother's Day Brunch

 Image Credit:  Honestly Yum

Image Credit: Honestly Yum

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you lovely women out there! To honor your mother for all of her hard work and unconditional love on this special day, treat her to a fun Mother’s Day brunch! Make sure her mug is full of fresh coffee, or spice things up with a bubbly mimosa, and prepare her one of our favorite brunch items: french toast! Check out these fun variations on the classic recipe below!


 Recipe by:  Hungry Couple

Recipe by: Hungry Couple

 Image Credit:  Hungry Couple

Image Credit: Hungry Couple

Ingredients (2 Sandwiches)

  • 1/2 lb. (Approx. 8 strawberries), hulled and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 Slices brioche or challa bread
  • 4 oz. Cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/4 Cup whole milk or half and half
  • Butter for sauteing
  • Powdered sugar for serving

Instructions

Add the sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar to a bowl and let sit for about 15 minutes to macerate.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Spread the mixture equally on each slice of bread, spoon two of the slices with about a quarter of the sugared strawberries each and top with the remaining slices of bread.

Beat the egg and milk together in a shallow bowl and dip both sandwiches into the mixture. Turn over and dip the other side as well.

Melt butter in a large skillet and add the dipped sandwiches. Saute for a few minutes on each side until the bread is a light golden brown. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar.

 Recipe by:  Taste of Home

Recipe by: Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 slices day-old sandwich bread
  • Optional toppings: butter, maple syrup, fresh berries and confectioners' sugar

Instructions

In a shallow dish, whisk together first five ingredients. Preheat a greased griddle over medium heat.

Dip bread in egg mixture, allowing to soak 30 seconds on each side. Cook on griddle until golden brown on both sides. Serve with toppings as desired. Yield: 6 servings.

National Chocolate Mousse Day

IMG_5760.JPG

Attention all chocolate lovers! Today is National Chocolate Mousse Day, and what better way to recognize one of the tastiest foods than to share one of our favorite mousse recipes with you! With just a few ingredients, you'll be on your way to chocolate heaven!

IMG_5761.JPG
 

8 ounces Milk Chocolate Chips

6 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons vanilla

2 cups heavy whipping cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

IMG_5762.JPG

1.     Melt the milk chocolate chips and water in a saucepan (double boiler)

2.     Whisk the vanilla in the chocolate and let it cool to room temperature

3.     Whip the cream until it makes soft peaks, and then add the powdered sugar

4.     Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the whip cream mixture until it is well combined

5.     Top with extra whipped cream or chocolate drizzle and enjoy! 

St. Patrick's Day Signature Drinks

Looking for a festive, simple crowd pleaser for an upcoming St. Patrick’s Day party? We love these fun signature drinks!

 Image Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Image Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings


 Image & Recipe Credit:  3YummyTummies

Image & Recipe Credit: 3YummyTummies

Ingredients 

  • 1.5 ounces of Midori
  • 1.5 ounces of Vodka
  • 1.5 ounces of Orange Juice
  • 1 C. Ice
  • Optional Garnishments:
  • Green melon
  • Green Sugar for rim
  • Honey

Instructions

  1. Dip rim of martini glass into honey and then sugar until coated.
  2. Combine Midori, Vodka, Orange Juice and Ice in a cocktail shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously until combined and cold.
  4. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with green melon.
  5. Notes: Green sugar is easily made by mixing sugar with green food coloring until desired shade of green is achieved.
 
 Image and Recipe Credit: Tipsy Bartender

Image and Recipe Credit: Tipsy Bartender

Ingredients

  • Green Apples
  • Melon Balls
  • 4 Leaf Clover Cookie Cutter
  • 6 oz. (180ml) Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 4 oz. (120ml) Apple Juice
  • 4 oz. (120ml) Sour Apple Pucker
  • 4 oz. (120ml) Midori Melon Liqueur
  • 2 Green Apple Sodas
  • 1 1/2 oz. (45ml) Blue Curacao
  • Apple Juice
 
 Image and Recipe Credit:  Tablespoon

Image and Recipe Credit: Tablespoon

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/4 cups lemonade
  • 2 envelopes unsweetened gelatin
  • 3/4 cup lime vodka
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • Green food coloring (green + neon green recommended)

Instructions

  1. Pour lemonade into a small saucepan and sprinkle unflavored gelatin on top. Allow to soak in a minute or two. Heat on medium, stirring constantly until gelatin has dissolved (just a couple of minutes). Remove from heat.
  2. Pour in vodka and sweetened condensed milk and stir to completely combine. Separate evenly into three bowls or measuring cups.
  3. Using green and/or neon green food coloring, add enough to achieve 3 different shades of green. Start with just one or two drops – you can always add more, but you can’t take away. Suggested mix: For light green, use 1-2 drops green + 1-2 drops neon green. For medium green, use 2-3 drops green + 2-3 drops neon green. For dark, green use 5-6 drops green + 5-6 drops neon green.
  4. Place shot glasses on a tray and pour the light green layer into shot glasses about 1/4 of the way full. Put in refrigerator for 20 minutes. While shots are setting, cover the other 2 mixtures with plastic wrap to keep warm. If any separation occurs, simply stir again before pouring the next layer.
  5. Once first layer is set, evenly pour the medium green layer into the shots and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Finally, add the last layer and allow to set for at least another hour.
  6. When ready to serve, top with a dollop of whipped cream and gold sprinkles.