Things We Love: Caramel “Apples”

Caramel "Apples"

Caramel "Apples"

I found these beauties on the Busy Mom website.  They are so cute and so easy! I can’t wait to try them.

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Sake & Sushi

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Want to entertain but don’t have much time to throw things together? Try having a sushi night. Veggie sushi is quick, easy and cheap!

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Ingredients:
water
tempura
sweet potato
zucchini
cucumber
avocado
green onions
nori (sea weed sheets)
peanut oil
rice
vinegar
sugar

 

Directions:

1. Place 1.5 cups white rice and 3 cups water in rice cooker. Start and set aside.
2. Peel cucumber, zucchini, and sweet potato. Slice all veggies into spears.
3. Prepare tempura according to package instructions. Cover sweet potato and zucchini with tempura batter.
4. Fry tempura covered veggies in peanut oil. Set aside to drain off extra oil.
5. When rice is done, transfer into bowl. Mix with a small amount of vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. This makes the rice sticky.
6. Lay nori out on bamboo sushi roller (we got ours from Food4Less for a buck or two). Spread rice evenly on about 1/3 of the nori. Layer on your vegetables.
7. Use the sushi roller to fold/roll nori in on itself.
8. Cut roll into bite sized pieces.
9. Mix up your favorite sauce, poor some sake and enjoy!

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What is a get Togethor Without Great Food?

Carrots - PDX Food Love

Everyone with Simply Soirees loves food. It isn’t a requirement for hanging out with us but if a 30 minute conversation about cheese sounds boring, you may want to find somewhere else to be. We like to talk about food, but we love to eat it.

With that in mind, last month we had our first cooking club get together. The plan is to get together a few Sundays a month to make healthy, affordable lunches for the week. It’s also an opportunity for us to talk about our current projects and ideas for the future. Plus, there is always wine ; )

Rebekah documented our first meeting on her regular food blog PDX Food Love. Head over their to see what we made!

While there are famous faces out there, like Jamie Oliver, and billions of blogs dedicated to the subject, many people still seem to have the misconception that eating well requires spending a lot of money or time. Sure, having a souffle with truffle shavings for breakfast every morning may not be a reasonable option, what about a fried egg on homemade whole wheat toast? Or buckwheat waffles made from scratch? This week I have had a gluten free pizza piled high with veggies, black bean & butternut squash tamales, spicy black bean & cheese tamales, and creamy roasted red pepper soup. These were spread out among 7 meals for myself, fed my husband & daughter for a night, where all made from scratch, 80% organic ingredients, cost me around $12 total and were all made in one go to save time during the busy week days.  Our passion for good food in our private lives definitely seeps into our business lives.  If you could have local, organic, delicious and overall healthy, homemade food at your get together, why wouldn’t you?

When we prepare food for an event we aren’t looking to make the largest profit or take the shortest amount of time but provide our client with something they are proud to serve. We also try to make it something they can duplicate down the line with confidence.  Everyone loved the snack sized baggies of candied walnuts we provided for your son’s birthday party? We’ll send you the recipe and our tips for making them yourself. This isn’t just a business for us, it’s something we truly care about and want to share.

What is your favorite “make-ahead” recipe?

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Things We Love: DIY Cork Floral Centerpiece

Rope Flowers - Design Sponge

I’ve been really interested in flower alternatives. Not that I don’t absolutely adore having a giant bouquet of hydrangeas or sunflowers on my table, but with how busy life can be, they seem to wilt before I get a chance to enjoy them. Sure, I could slow down, but what fun would that be?

Enter fresh flower alternatives. With the increasing popularity of upcycling the interwebs have been littered with fantastic alternatives. We aren’t talking about the sea foam green silk atrocities of my mothers late ’80s nuptials here. These are an honest to goodness art form. And like all of my biggest loves, one you can mimic in your home with very little money and time.

Design Sponge took it up a notch to make this elegant, eco friendly centerpiece. Check out their page for step-by-step instructions and photos!

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Princess Sleepover – Glitter Shirts

So easy and super fun!  Kid’s love to make their clothes messy, there is something that makes them extra excited when you tell them they can paint on their clothes, in fact you are encouraging it!

What You Need:

Tank Tops (I found ours for $2.75 a piece in Target’s clearance section)

Fabric Glitter Glue (WARNING: Do not get this from the Dollar Store, it peels right off after it drys. We were able to get it for a few dollars at Joann’s Fabric)

A hard surface

Creative Kiddos

We laid the tank tops out with the fabric glue and let the girls go!  Our ladies are very into creating something on their own, but if you have kids that need a little inspiration you could do iron ons, have stencils available or a book with related pictures.

*I need a new camera!

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Princess Sleepover

My 6 year old and one of her friends decided two months ago that they desperately needed to have a princess party, I of course conceded after about 5 minutes of “please, please, please, please, please.”

As soon as the yes was uttered I had two squealing little girls on my hands in the middle of OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) and almost instantly realized how much of my love for party planning and organizational style had rubbed off on the little one.

“Do you have a pen Brigette? We need to make a list.”

“I’m not sure, can it wait until we get to the car?”

“No, I don’t think so, I don’t want to forget.”

A list! A girl after my own heart. We found a seat and pen so the girls could get to work. After five minutes of going back and forward about the correct spelling of  “jumping on beds” the girls were ready to continue exploring the museum. The final list consisted of the following:

Jumping on the bed

Princess dresses

Princess movies

Crowns

Wands

Glitter

Cupcakes

Treasure

Plan B (yes, they had a full backup plan just in case I couldn’t get them all of the above)

Dance party

Candy

Make necklaces

Mickey Mouse pancakes

Outside of their list of requests they wanted it to be a complete surprise for everyone involved, so they didn’t want to hear about the exact plan.  They were so adamant about the surprise factor that they didn’t even want to tell the third guest what was happening until she got there!

To keep in line with their lust for surprise I did follow their list of requests but added a few items and got creative with the execution.  For example: instead of just giving them everything they needed to play dress up I created a map to various items. Since all of the girls could read I made sure to include at least one written clue and written directions to accompany the pictures on their map.  You could easily adjust the activity to work for children who are not proficient readers yet or make it more difficult by adding multiple stops (clues/maps leading to more clues/maps) for children who are a bit older. Once they finished their treasure hunt they returned to their “Kingdom” to put on their princess attire, do their make up and design their castle (butcher paper on an entire wall with crayons).

After they were satisfied with their outfits they decided to write and perform a play.  This wasn’t a planned activity but ended up being the most fun! They even enlisted our roommate to stand in as their king so that everything was perfect.

Next we moved on to cupcake making. They didn’t want to risk ruining their princess outfits so they put on PJ’s early and headed to the kitchen.  My grandma purchased a BabyCakes cupcake maker for X last Christmas and it proved to be perfect for this occasion.  Since we weren’t using the oven we were able to have everything set up and ready to mix on the counter.  Once the batter was ready the girls poured it into the BabyCakes maker on their own and closed the lid, waited for the light to turn green (similar to a waffle maker) and pulled the cupcakes out.  We could have used a standard cupcake pan and the oven, this just gave the girls a greater sense of independence.  When the cupcakes were plated we set them aside to cool overnight and it was princess movie time in their kingdom!

There was a birthday party to get to at 11 so we didn’t get a chance to decorate the cupcakes but they didn’t care.  Understandably so, who doesn’t love ooey gooey chocolatey goodness?

Overall the girls thought it was a huge success.  I would have to agree, the cost was miniscule and they stayed entertained for their entire stay.  They are already planning their next overnight themed adventure!

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Things We Love: Strawberry Bean Bag Tutorial

One Charming Party has done it again with a perfect summer time party theme of strawberries. My favorite part is her tutorial on this strawberry bean bag game.

What are your favorite picnicking games?

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