February 29, 2008

The Best... Edible Presentations

Today's 'The Best' post features unique food-served-in-food presentations. Impress your guests with these clever and appetizing dishes, where the food is both flavorful and functional.

- Salad wrapped in mandolin sliced cucumbers is a dish similar to one that I ate while on my honeymoon. It looked and tasted very impressive!
- Bacon cups complete with instructions and photos on the blog Not Martha. This was the inspiration for today's theme because I absolutely can not wait to try these!
- Feta Shrimp Soup in a Bread Bowl sounds delicious for lunch on a cold winter day. I love the flavor a bread bowl gives the soup and vice versa. Recipe and photos from flickr user sashertootie.
- Butternut Squash Risotto in a Pumpkin Bowl recipe from the evite blog. Now, I know you wouldn't actually eat this bowl but it looks so good I just had to include it.
- Spinach Salad in Parmesan Frico Cups by Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis promise to please both the palette and the eye.
- Peach and Mascarpone Phyllo Cups are the perfect sweet finale to this post. Recipe and photos from The Budding Cook blog.

So ends another week for Tastefully Entertaining. Have a great weekend and make sure to check back next week for a St. Patrick's Day party, another exciting edition of Wedding Wednesday and much more!

February 28, 2008

Showered with Spring Yellows

Today's post is yet another attempt to jump ahead to Spring colors and warmer weather. I was perusing the Brides website and came across this yellow table arrangement. I immediately felt the need to plan a yellow baby/bridal shower for upcoming Spring parties.

I started by looking for the perfect invitation to set the tone for the party. I selected this pale yellow hydrangea invitation from FineStationery.com. His designs are classic, modern, sophisticated and beautiful - I love them all!

Next, I found this square dinnerware set at Target. I like the simplicity and modern square shape. Try serving some White Avalanche cake on the plates and it will look (and taste) great!

Lastly, I wanted to include a yellow favor and found an article about yellow and white DIY favors on Martha Stewart. So pick which one you like best and look to Martha for the instructions.

February 27, 2008

Wedding Wednesday!

I am so very excited for today’s post! Tastefully Entertaining is teaming up with Kati from The Finer Things to bring you Wedding Wednesday, a creative battle til the stationery folds competition! Well, maybe not that dramatic but definitely a lot of fun! Kati and I have been talking a lot lately about our blog ideas and found we both wanted to include a regular wedding related feature entitled Wedding Wednesday. So we decided to use this as a platform to show how one invitation can fit into more than one event motif. Below you’ll find my first edition of Wedding Wednesday featuring William Arthur’s elegant letterpress wedding invitation from FineStationery.com.

The combination of deep burgundy and bright blue makes this layered card truly stunning. The square shape and letterpress text are both elements that are extremely popular right now. I started putting together today's board by looking for cakes. I love wedding cakes and admire those artistic enough to make such beautiful and delicious works of art. I saw this particular cake, created by JollyBe Bakery, and absolutely fell in love. Not only did it tie in the color scheme but its playful combination of birds, flowers and vines is just spectacular.

I couldn't believe my luck when I found the perfect bouquet for this color scheme! I love how the shades and textures come together to create an very interesting look. The bouquet combines begonia foliage and porcelain berries with dark red tree peonies, dahlias and Black Beauty roses.

I like when a couple incorporates a signature cocktail at their wedding reception. It's a great way to really personalize some of the smaller details. So, the next element of my theme is the Something Blue cocktail. The recipe is rather simple: 2 oz Hpnotiq, 2 oz white wine and 1 oz ginger ale. Not only does the bright blue match the color scheme, but it also carries the 'something blue' to another level.

Lastly, I worked on selecting a favor that would reflect the style and colors of the invitation, cake and flowers. I selected this attractive tin of jasmine tea by MarieBelle New York. I have always thought the best favor is something useful to your guests and tea is universally well-liked.

I hope you enjoyed my version of Wedding Wednesday! Here's a little taste of Kati's theme interpretation based on the same invitation. I absolutely love her choice of this vintage blue dress! Make sure to check out the rest of her ideas at
The Finer Things and check back next week for another edition of Wedding Wednesday!

February 26, 2008

Real Meal - Stuffed Peppers

Last night my husband prepared yet another scrumptious meal - Stuffed Peppers. His family has been talking up his amazing recipe for years, yet this is the first time he's made them for me. And let me just say, it was long overdue because I am now a avid fan of the stuffed pepper! Photo and recipe follow. Enjoy!

Make sure to stop by tomorrow...I'll be unveiling an exciting new feature on Tastefully Entertaining. You won't want to miss it!!

February 25, 2008

British Pub Dinner Party

[pickled eggs image via flickr user ranzino]
[sheperd's pie image via flickr user cknlomein]

Treat your next set of dinner party guests to a mini-trip to London! We start today's British pub inspiration with their traditional and most popular snack- Pickled Eggs. Next, you'll obviously be serving drinks so try to locate an authentic British beer such as Bass Ale, New Castle Brown Ale or Boddington's. Present your beer in these stylish pint glasses by Red Envelope. With the optional personalization these would be a great addition to your collection or make a good hostess gift. Use the Bass Ale beverage tray for serving and set each guest's drink on a brand-name bar mat. Lastly, prepare Shepherd's Pie and your guests will feel like they've stepped into a British pub in Trafalgar Square. Cheers!

February 22, 2008

Delectable Desserts

I was really craving desserts today so I've put together an appetizing assortment of options...

- Funnel Cakes
- Retro Cool Cupcake
- Caramel-Cashew Brownies
- Peanut Butter Cheese Cake Minis
- Cake Ice Cream Cones
- Cookie Sandwich Cocktail
- Pistachio Biscotti
- Dipped Pretzels

I'm definitely trying the funnel cakes over the weekend- they look so good!! Enjoy!

February 21, 2008

Stylish Umbrella Baby Shower

Today's post takes a bold and contemporary umbrella invitation and shows how it can be used for both a boy and a girl baby shower. We start with the invitation from FineStationery.com that strays from the normal pink and blue. I just love the mix of teal, hot pink and gold.

For the 'It's a Boy!' shower, I started with this teal with gold polka dot fabric. It would look perfect as a table runner. Next, I picked a gold charger to serve as a place setting on the table. Lastly, I chose teal and gold M&Ms to use as a favor or to put in a little candy dish for snacking.

And now for the 'It's a Girl!' shower...I found this adorable table set-up using pink criss-crossing runners on a white table cloth. Add in a beautiful arrangement of flowers in multiple shades of pink and the look is almost complete. Finally, I picked this cute gold with white polka dot favor box.

February 20, 2008

The Best... Place Card Holders

Today I'd like to introduce a new feature entitled 'The Best...' Every week or so I will present an array of similar products. For instance, today's 'The Best...' post showcases place card holders.I feel that place card holders are often overlooked when it comes to planning an event. Though they're small, they can really help accentuate your theme and show your creativity. Here are some of the best place card holders I've seen:

Eiffel Tower- Perfect for a Parisian themed wedding or get-together
Corks- Useful for a wine tasting, a wine and cheese party or a Little Italy party (think Lady & the Tramp)
Ornaments- Cute for use around the holidays without overdoing the red and green
Domino- Great for a game night or for use at a kid's table for any event
Fleur-de-lis- Classic and elegant for your formal dinner parties or gatherings
Gold Leaf Blocks- Simple, subtle and suitable for any entertaining you do
Elephant- Original, interesting and will definitely attract your guests' attention

2 other unique ideas not pictured-
Scrabble- Use your scrabble racks and spell out guests' names with the tiles (you may need more than one game or additional tiles for this)
Chalkboard Candle- [via 2modern]- neat way to personalize both a favor and a place marker; this may also work on small terracotta pots if you wanted to use a little potted plant instead

Please feel free to comment with suggestions on what you'd like to see next time in The Best...

February 19, 2008

Modern Sophistication Dinner Party

Today's post was inspired entirely by this stunning table arrangement from AllModern.com. I just love the table runner being used in a non-traditional way to highlight the 2 place settings. Now these are a little extravagant for me, as I would rarely spend $114 on 2 table runners but I think they literally define modern sophistication. Add in the pin dot napkins and you have a touch of a new pattern that really helps accentuate the overall look. Set of 4 for $62.00.

Next, I chose the Moon Coupe place setting to emphasize the contemporary feel of this theme. This 16 piece dinnerware set is only $29.39 from Target. You certainly can't beat that! I also found this aluminum serving tray at Target for $37.99. (Can you tell I love the offerings at Target?) This tray will be a great addition to your serve ware collection as you can use it for almost any event. And lastly, I chose an invitation from FineStationery.com to match the modish theme.

February 18, 2008

Dessert & Drinks Party

The best thing about a dessert party is that most of your food can be made a day or 2 ahead, leaving you with more time to clean, decorate and prep on the actual day. For the novice hostess, a dessert party is a lot easier than a cocktail party -no worrying about timing your hot hors d'oeuvres or being able to mix a multitude of drinks. You can focus your attention on one or two drinks and on the plating and finishing touches of your desserts.

I started the theme with this cute invitation from FineStationery.com. I love the dark brown ink color and envelope as it really screams 'chocolate'. Next, I wanted to include this chocolate fountain. For only $39.99 (from Target) this feature will be the hit of any party you throw. The choices for dipping are endless and can be customized to fit your theme. For a dessert & drinks party, I'd suggest any of the following: fruits, pound cake, marshmallows, pretzels, oreos, brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Also from Target are these adorable dessert plates. Each features a different dessert and a cute saying. These would also make a great hostess gift if you are attending a dessert party. Set of 4 in a cute little hat box- $19.99.

I've been reading the blog, Bakerella, and basically drooling over her creative desserts so I just had to include her adorable Nutter Butter Balls. See her blog for that recipe and a ton of other great ideas. The strawberry parfait image is from flickr user sweet pleasure : plaisir sucre. If you're looking for more dessert suggestions, try
anything by Paula Deen or Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network.

The chocolate martini from Cocktail Times would be a lovely choice for a dessert party cocktail. Other suggestions would be the German Chocolate Caketini or the Irish Tiramisu.

February 15, 2008

Romantic Dinner for Two

I am extremely lucky because my husband loves to cook. For our Valentine's Day candlelight dinner, he made the delicious dish pictured above- Chicken Parmesan. I wanted to include the recipe and a picture for inspiration in case some of you are still trying to plan your weekend Valentine's Day meal. The recipe came from one of our favorite chefs, Tyler Florence and is as follows:

I found this dish absolutely scrumptious but let me know what you think! Enjoy!

February 14, 2008

Springtime Bridal Shower

The bright and sunny weather has me longing for Spring temperatures and colors, so I chose to post about a Springtime bridal (or baby) shower. My inspiration came from this gorgeous floral centerpiece by Martha Stewart. The arrangement combines fringed tulips, parrot tulips (my favorite flower) and peonies in a stunning mix of pink and orange hues. I decided to carry these vibrant and fun colors through the rest of my theme. The simple but pretty invitation is from from FineStationery.com.

Most showers include a favor of some sort for guests to take home. The favor above, as shown on The Knot, would look great on your place setting. The peach box with pink bow provides endless opportunities for what you include inside. One neat suggestion is to to order personalized M&Ms. To bring the decor to new heights these pink and orange paper lanterns from Luna Bazaar are a beautiful and easy way to decorate your room.

Next I really wanted to include a cute dessert and, as a friend has been extolling the virtues of cupcakes lately, I had to find some to fit the theme. These cupcakes could be made from your favorite recipe and topped with an orange died frosting and pink sprinkles or any pink accent you can imagine. And lastly, I just loved the look of the Rose Gimlet cocktail from Cocktail Times. The recipe includes 1 oz rose hip infused gin, 1 oz simple syrup, 1 oz fresh lime juice, 1/2 oz rose water and rose petals for the garnish.

February 13, 2008

Beautiful Blue & Classic Black- A Dinner Party

As I said in my last post, I love dinner parties. They can be as simple or as extravagant as you like but both are fun to plan and a delight for your guests. I was inspired today by a new invitation at FineStationery.com. 25 invitations are only $78.25 printed or if you want to flaunt your own creative skills, you can order them blank for $28.25. After selecting the invitation, I moved on to dreaming about the table decor. This black candelabra is a great eBay find for only $15.95. As the candelabra is a basic black it's definitely a worthwhile investment, as you would surely use it again. Almost a perfect match to the invitation, this plate from Target would serve as a contemporary canvas for your dinner menu. Set of 6 plates for $29.99. To top off your plate, try these adorable blue place card holders from Plum Party. And finally, for an unexpected twist try a cocktail like the Blue Monday to tie in the beautiful bright blue. As an added bonus, the recipe is rather simple: 2 oz vodka, 1/4 oz triple sec and 1/4 oz blue curacao.

February 11, 2008

Tastefully Entertaining

Hello and welcome to Tastefully Entertaining! This blog will cover ideas and inspiration for planning memorable events, all while focusing on practicality and working within a budget. Tastefully Entertaining will include concepts for bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties and much more. I will also concentrate on dinner parties (my personal favorite) by recommending recipes, creative cocktails and ways to impress your guests. Most of all, Tastefully Entertaining will inspire you to get together with friends & family.


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