Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DIY Pretzel Bites


I love these little bites!  They a perfect for all seasons… summer, fall, winter, and spring!  I especially like these little treats in the summer because they have chocolate (an all time favorite) and are a refreshing mix between salty and sweet.  I’m sure you have seen these yummy treats all over the internet, but I put a bit of a Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day twist on them:  Red and Blue M&Ms!!!

Step One:  Lay out pretzels on a cookie sheet.  Put one Hershey Kiss on each pretzel.  Put into the oven at 170 degrees for about 3 minutes.



Step Two:  Take out of the oven and place the M&Ms right in the middle of the Hershey Kiss.  Push the kiss into the melted chocolate so that it is “smushed.”


Step Three:  Let cool, I usually put mine in the fridge to set.  


Then EAT!!!



Have you ever made these delicious bites?  What type of pretzels did you use?  Please share!
  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Question: How Much Food?

I have to admit, I am really bad when it comes to making too much food for a party.  Although leftovers aren’t horrible, food can be expensive and I’m all about being cheap… or at least not wasting money!

My problem is when I want to make a few different desserts or side dishes for a meal, I create enough for each guest of have one of everything, when in reality not everyone eats everything.  I never wanted a guest to miss out of a dish because I didn’t make enough, but usually guests will pick and choose what they want to eat, and then I end up with leftovers. 

I have figured out a few solutions to my issue…

       1.       Suck it up, make all the food and deal with the leftovers (nom nom nom).
       2.       Rather than making more dishes, make only a few dishes and enough for each guest.
       3.       Make a little of each dish and hope that each guest gets a bit of what they want.

   

Let's discuss…

Option 1.  Suck it up, make all the food and deal with the leftovers.  Not the most cost efficient, creates waste, and is kind of the reason I have the problem in the first place.

Option 2. Rather than making more dishes, make only a few dishes and enough for each guests.  This option, although cost efficient and does not create as much waste is not fun at all!  No variety makes for a sad, sad hostess!  However, it doesn’t create leftovers, total win if you have a small fridge!

Option 3.  Make a little of each dish, and hope that each guest gets a bit of what they want.  More variety, not as many leftover (win), however each guest may not get to try everything they want (lose). 

Personally, I want to try option 3.  It haves the variety option that I like, without all the leftover food…

Do you ever have this problem?  Which option would you try?  Have you thought of any other solutions than the ones I came up with?  Please share! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Party Music: A How To for Play Lists

Whether it be smooth jazz lightly playing in the background of a dinner party/cocktail hour, or loud rockin’ music backing up a Bachelorette party, music is almost an essential part of party. 

Music keeps a lull in conversation from turning into an awkward silence or party ender.

I have been told that I have bad taste in music, so I will certainly not advise to which songs are appropriate for different settings (although I would not suggest heavy metal for a low lit dinner party).  I do however have many different ideas on how to gather music for such an occasion, make play lists, and even different ways to play the music….

I currently have many different ways to play music… different Ipods, an android phone, xbox, and laptop.  I have found that all can be helpful when trying to play music, however you don’t want to be messing around with the device all evening trying to forward through a vast music library to get to the proper songs.  

I suggest creating (or having other applications create) a play list.

 

     Now, if you have never created a play list, it may seem intimidating (for those of you “pre CD” types.. think of this as a “mix tape”).  Here are a few un-written (well, I guess now they are written) rules when creating a play list:

      1. Decide on the type of music to fit your event (Light Jazz?  Rock?  Country?  Big Band?) and          try to only pick songs from that genre.  (Mr Fix It Fiance suggests Charles Mingus….)
      2.  Don’t make the play list all one artist.
     3.  Don’t play songs that sound a lot alike back to back.
     4.  Do test out your play list and see how you like the flow of the songs one after another.
      5.  Do make sure that the play list “timing” is longer than the party.  You don’t want to run out of music… its awkward (been there….done that!!)

 If you are feeling creative, go through the music that you have, create a play list yourself!   


      If you aren’t feeling creative, or are lazy, there are plenty of other options:

1.  Itunes (and Itunes Genesis)
      2.  Windows Media Player
      3.  Pandora
      4.  Mixpod.com (haven’t tried this, but looks fun!)
      5.  Playlist.com (haven’t tries this either, but also looks fun!)
      6.  Or have a creative and perhaps musically talented friend make your play list…

Remember, when you play music, no matter what kind, don’t play it too loudly so that guests have to scream at each other.  The music is supposed to be in the background, not the fore front of the party.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rain Dates: I Am Undecided






I need some advice... mostly because I’ve been sitting on this conundrum for the last few weeks and I have a lot of questions.

Here it is: 

Rain dates…

     Are they rude? 

          Are they appropriate for large functions?

               And what about small functions?

                    Are they a MUST for outdoor events?

                         See?

                              I told you I had a lot of questions….


I understand the point of a rain date:  to give another date to hold an outdoor party if the original date has unfavorable weather. 

However, can this be considered rude?  The idea that a guest will not only have to clear a few hours on one day for a party, but possibly a few hours on another day?  Would it be better to just have another place to hold a party if the weather turned ugly?  Or is it the duty of a guest to set aside ample time for a host or hostess’ party no matter what the time frame? 

Is a rain date appropriate for large and small functions?  I could understand a rain date for a large wedding to be held outside, but what about a small dinner party with only a few guests?  Do you put off plans for a small get together for a different weekend so you can use the awesome lanterns you bought on sale at Target (and I say that as Tar-jhay)?

I am undecided.  

I can’t find much as far as advice anywhere from Emily Post to Wikipedia

Personally, I think that the ‘rain date’ idea would only be used for larger events, such as a wedding, because so much time and effort has been put into the planning….  However lots of planning goes into dinner parties so why not have a rain date?!  (See I’m talking in circles and asking questions again.)

I’m sure I am not the only one with a question on this topic, has anyone been able to solve this dilemma?  Do you have any opinions?  I will certainly keep researching, but I want to know what ya’ll think!!

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