Tag Archives: Cooking

Recipe Card Generator

27 Jul

Always wondering how to share a recipe that someone asks you for?  Thanks to HowAboutOrange this little generator has two different designs to choose from and forms to fill in the ingredients, steps, and title.  It has limited space to write in the information, so stick to easier recipes.  This would be great for an attachment to a babyshower or other lunch get together.  You can find the generator SkiptomyLou.

Bachelorette Bash

16 May

For some oddball reason when we chose our wedding date, it was only two weeks after my graduation from graduate school.  Not to mention that I was planning it in my hometown which was a 2 and a half hour drive away.  That meant, between 16 credit hours and thesis writing, we had to go down practically every weekend to plan food, the venue, the flowers…well, you get the idea.

So, some little things fell through the cracks like my bachelorette party.  My bridesmaids were scattered throughout the state and the country, and two of them, to top it off, were getting married the month after my wedding.  We were all stressed out and pressed for time.  My then fiance stepped up and planned my bachelorette party.  There was just a mass party invite on Facebook, which included boys and girls, and mostly involved people in the area since I sent it out a week before hand.  I had a great time– don’t get me wrong– but after attending other people’s more planned parties, I took on the challenge to see what I could have come up with and ideas that would have been fun to do.  I am still working on a budget since it has just become a habit to me now.

Themes

Some themes that aren’t too tacky or expensive:

  • Black & White Party. This is where all invited guests must wear black or white and the bride (and maybe the bridesmaids too) wear a vibrant color.  The theme would work well since every girl has the iconic black dress somewhere on hand.  Works well if you are going out on the town.
    • IDEA: I would then have either bright feathers and ribbons to attach on the guests to signify they are with the party. Like a pin or something easy to make and it could be a favor as well.  Activities help people who know the bride well, but maybe not the other guests– it can act as an icebreaker.
  • Destiny Revealed Party: This might involved a little bit of money if you were to hire a fortune teller to tell all the guests futures.  The decorcould involve lava lamps, beaded doorways, and a crystal ball.
    • IDEA: A set bag of questions that a magic eight ball would reveal and help the girls meet one another.  This would be if you were not leaving the site and were there the entire night.
  • Brides-Night-In: This idea seems really fun, again, if you can swing hiring someone.  The night would be contained in a residence or somewhere large enough to host a slew of girly things:
    • Hiring a pole dancer to teach your guests pole dancing would be fun or know somewhere to go that offers pole dancing lessons;
    • Hosting a passion party (its something to giggle at, but at the end of the night, the representative will most likely expect people to buy products which could put off some people)
    • Hire a belly dancer to give lessons to everyone.
  • Sparkling Party: My maid of honor did this for her party.  Everyone who attended was asked to wear head to toe sparkly- sequins, fake jewelry, anything that would be fun and bright.  At her house before hand, we made more glittery stuff from little gems and feathers to wear out.  This is a nice cheap way to get everyone involved and it made for some great pictures!
  • Girls Night Out on the Town: Do the typical games and presents at someone’s home or hotel room, then go out on the town with the girls.  This one could escalate in price if you go wild on food, decorations, and game props.

Invitations

Facebook invites are good and all, but I really enjoy the paper kind of invitation.  There is a wide variety of invitations that range from tea party to explicit.  I would like to cultivate the European idea of sexy as opposed to the American idea (i.e., slutty).

I like Brandy Seitz’s (how to instructions on link) lace up invitation via make-your-own-invitations blog.

Invitation Total: 95¢

Investment Purchases Total: $28.68

Creating this invitation will be a bit higher if you do not already have some of the tools needed.  You could always skip the eyelets and just punch holes, but I think you would looks the tied look a bit.  For the price, I would assume that the eyelet kit and hole puncher are investment products simply because you can use them for other projects.

  • Eyelet Puncher with Eyelets: $24.49
  • Hole Puncher: $4.19
  • Ribbon: $1.72/roll (I would say 3-4 cards per roll, so 43¢/card)
  • Card Stock: $12.99/25 pack of 12″x12″ or 52¢/sheet (I like this neat sparkly card stock, but the linen will be good too)

IDEA: The insert could have a fish net stocking stretched across it as a belly band or maybe surrounding the entire invitation.

IDEA: Since the invitation invokes a lingerie aura, then the invitation should suggest that guests bring something for the bride to wear, or use, on her honeymoon.

Looks

Outfit Total: $110.06

  • The dress from Forever21 is something I normally wouldn’t wear, but a girls night out deserves something a bit more fun for $27.80.
  • Next, the earrings would be something slightly sparkly like these from Express for $19.50.
  • The bangle is something I am starting to like.  This one is from Forever21 as well for $5.80.
  • The clutch is something that should add to the dress, but not be missed when your out dancing.  This one is from Target and goes for $16.99.
  • I love a cute pair of black heels and these look like they could be dressed up or down from Tilly’s for $39.97.

Another look that would go well with the sparkly theme:

Outfit Total: $122.99

  • The dress is flashy but understated from Express for $69.50.
  • The shoes are still sparkly, but doesn’t take away from the dress from Target at $22.99.
  • The earrings and bracelet are stylish and can be worn again from Forever21 both for $5.80.
  • The clutch ties everything together for $18.90.

Decor & Favors

I think even if you are only staying a few hours at someone’s house or a meeting spot that can be decorated, do it.  It provides a fun backdrop to pictures, and most decorations can be reused for another person’s party.

  • The favors mirror the lingerie party theme, and offer to be decorations on the tables for $20.28/12 or $1.69 ea. (comes in an assortment of colors).
  • A another cute idea to call out the bride is a personalized sash that could be bought by bridesmaids as a gift since it is $24.50 ea.
  • The Candlesare an easy inexpensive project.
    • Purchase varying sizes of pillar candles (these can double as favors/prizes for games) at $5.24 for 8″ candles.
    • Cut out the desired paper size to wrap around and attach with either spray adhesive or two sided tape.
    • Use your newly purchased eyelet puncher and kit to duplicate the look of the invitations.
    • Lace ribbon through.
    • You can embellish the edges with pearl ribbon or jewels– just remember to keep it is a candle and things can catch fire!
    • IDEA: Place inexpensive mirror tiles (at Walmart) underneath the candles and the boas and sprinkle with sparkly confetti to complete the tablescape.
  • Feather Boas are easy as displays on tables and also can be worn once you leave to party (image via blog australiaentertains).  I would use sparingly since one 6′ feather boa runs about $9.99.

On the Menu

For the bar, there can be several different serving options to choose from:

  • Make-your-own
    • Provide a selection of alcohol and mixers, maybe a blender, for people to dabble.
    • Provide various fruits to mix in like limes, lemons, strawberries, etc…
    • Place suggested drink recipes on cards near the ingredients.
  • Made-to-order
    • Either have pitchers of sangria, mimosas, or other easy to mix drinks on the table.
    • If you have a friend willing to man the bar, have them make mixed drinks in the blender from a selection of drinks for the guests.
    • Place cards of what you are offering that evening that coordinate with your decor.
  • Remember to include staples like wines, beer, and sodas.

  1. Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail
  2. Sangria Blanco
  3. Plastic Glasses at $11.99/25 or 48¢ ea.
  4. Red Headed Slut shot (could change it to whatever color the bachelorette is) Ingredients: 1.5 oz Jägermeister,1.5 oz Peach schnapps,Fill with Cranberry juice
  5. Vodka Ginger Lemonade
  6. Cosmo Slushie
  7. Jello Shots (The link has some good recipes for jello shots). Don’t forget the Shot Glasses! The glasses could be customized with stencils.

For the nibblers on the table, Myrecipes.com suggests:

“Most bachelorette parties end up with the guests out on the town for a second round. Serve some simple but sophisticated food that will get the evening started without much prep time. The girls won’t be too full to party, but will have enough to keep going. To make the most of the time catching up with friends, choose food that’s easily eaten without utensils. Finger foods move with the girls as they mingle through the party.”

  • The cake is something that is a little unexpected: you will need a cleaned Ken doll and different sizes of cake rounds.  You can easily make little outfit and miniature paper money to stick in his hands.  This is especially good when you do not have a stripper, or want one.

Cooking & Clipping

19 Apr

I began dabbling in cooking as soon as I married my husband (Hubs).  After the wedding, and the ensuing wedding registry gifts, I felt I owed all those relatives and friends to learn how to actually use all those random trinkets I scanned in at Macy’s and Target.  I was in school full time and Hubs was part time school and full time work.  I took it upon myself to make sure we had a home cooked meal everyday.

Yes, I know this sounds pathetically patriarchal.  Didn’t those women in the 60’s burn their bras to get away from stuff like this?  Well, those ladies didn’t have to deal with student loans, rising gas prices, and the threat of no job when you graduate.  I get a lot of slack from my single girlfriends about me cooking every night and actually being excited when I find a new recipe.  I guess it is what I get for living in a liberal college town.

Yet, there is more to cooking at home than just falling into a stereotypical housewife.  I have learned to completely budget our grocery costs to where we are down to $140 for 10 days of meals (or $7/day/person or $2.30/meal/person).  It takes a keen eye on sales and diligent coupon clipping, but we are making it work.  I’ll get into how I achieve this feat later on.

Most of my meal creations come from Cooking Light, like the pizza below with had provolone, pears, arugula, and prosciutto.  I used turkey bacon because it is cheaper, and a heck of a lot healthier than prosciutto. I’ll show how a laymen like myself can create pretty nice food presentations as seen below.  These images are taken right off my dining room table, so excuse some of the quality of the images.

Another awesome recipe from CL was their Spicy shrimp and grits.  I had never cooked, or even tried, grits before.  *Gasp!* A girl from the south has never had grits!  It must be a crime somewhere in Florida.  However, I might be sold on this recipes addition of Parmesan cheese.  This recipe is a five alarm ringer due to the addition of cayenne pepper at the end.  Uber hot!

A forgotten veggie is fennel.  I have come to love this anise tasting veggie in all aspects– sautéed, raw, and steamed.  I tried CL’s Pita salad with cucumber, fennel, and chicken recipe, and it did not disappoint.

Advantages to cooking at home are that you control the amount of fat and salt that get added to your meal.  I know as a 20-something, my generation tends to think that nothing will bring them down, but good health does not start when something bad happens.  You have to take care of yourself now in order to enjoy everything later.