National Guacamole Day Dip & Sip? Challenge Accepted!

I’ve always loved playing hostess at parties and I’m so lucky to have found, in Todd, a willing accomplice to party perfection. We try to throw at least one good-sized party a year (with written invitations, party favors, etc.) but with this year’s bash being the wedding (in 47 days–holy cats it’s getting close!), at-home entertaining has taken a back-seat. Sure, we have our group over for regular game nights but it’s just not the same. Which is why, when I was invited to participate in the Dip & Sip Challenge in honor of National Guacamole Day (today, September 16) and sponsored
Read More

Organizing a Housewarming Party: What to serve

As soon as you are settled in your new house, the odds are that you will want to display your pride and joy to the world and invite your friends to a housewarming party. Here are a few ideas to help ensure that your housewarming party is a success. Essentials It is usually best to start off by compiling a guest list; this will not only help determine the number of friends and family you will have attending, but if you send your friends personalized invitations they will usually make more of an effort to come and share your joy.
Read More

Traditional Holiday Dinner with LAFF Gal Pals 2011

The holidays are over and nobody is thinking about food now, but I always post the photos and recipes to our Christmas feast that Carolyn Mueller and I put on for our LAFF Gal Pals.  It is always held at Carolyn’s lovely home.  This year we had a total of 12 at the table. This is my third year helping Carolyn with the meal and I think this was the best one yet because it was uniquely our own creation, in terms of the recipes we chose.  I really feel there is an art to planning a meal.  We both
Read More

Tales of a Party: Fairy Fest 2011

Have you ever had a party with low attendance because everyone else had the same party date? Happens all the time with all the big holidays and some of the smaller ones, too. Next time, be the happy guest at your friend’s party and let open your own home for a lesser-known holiday on another weekend. One suggestion? Late June gives us the longest day of the year (well, at least the one with the longest amount of daylight) on the Summer Solstice, a holiday also known as Midsummer (or Letha) in some circles. This year was our 2nd Midsummer
Read More

An Ap-Peel-ing Idea

For those who don’t already know, I have a creativity-focused blog, the 64 Arts, that lets me flex the right side of my brain on a regular basis. Last March, while exploring the art of Cutouts (from paper to peel), I created a cute lemon cup that might make a nice addition to your Easter table this year. Originally posted on the 64 Arts on March 24, 2010… ~~~oOo~~~ How Ap-Peel-ing a Little Lemon Bowl To make the lemon bowl, start by trimming each end of the lemon so you have a flat surface for the bowl to sit on.
Read More

Valentine’s Day Traditions

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Today is a very special day where you can show your loved one how much you care! Some people make it a big deal, others don’t. For my boyfriend and I, we usually go out to dinner and give each other gifts. But this year, it was different. We both decided ahead of time we were going to save our money and just enjoy each others company. It still turned out to be a great time and saved us a lot of money overall. The most common is to give your girlfriend/wife flowers, chocolate and a
Read More

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

 This is a Christmas tradition my friends and I have been doing for a couple years. Since we all go to different colleges and never get to see each other, we do this once a year to get together, have some good food and talk. This year, I came to my friend Laura’s house early to help her set up. She was planning on making appetizers and drinks but it turned out to be a lot more than that. For the appetizers, she made buffalo chicken dip, artichoke dip, quesadilla rolls, spanakopita, cheese and crackers, and also had cookies for
Read More

Nibbles & Bites: Lessons From a Party

Learning never stops–it’s one of the few constants in life. I find that whether it’s something as simple as a new flavor combination or a more efficient way to complete a task, the kitchen offers plenty of opportunities the learn something new. Even if it’s what NOT to do! Last weekend I hosted a small Wedding Shower. Here’s what I learned: “Just Enough” Can Still Look Abundant How sad is it to walk into a party and see a few small amounts of snacks laid out on large plates on a large table? That sort of thing makes me hesitant
Read More

CNN Interviews Circle of Food Blogger Mary Johnson

Image by cliff1066™ via Flickr Well, my 15-minutes of fame has arrived. Last week, a reporter from CNN searched for Julia and Julia-themed parties and found a blog post I wrote on a Julia and Julia Christmas dinner  party I helped plan with friend Carolyn Mueller.  She simply left a comment on the blog post which sends an immediate email to me (yes I do read all of your comments).  I immediately responded and the interview was conducted within hours of her initial contact. Her main goal was to gather theme ideas  for parties you could throw for the upcoming Academy Awards. She spent 20
Read More

Nibbles & Bites: The Omelet Station

This weekend was my not-exactly-annual BYOP (bring your own pumpkin) Party and it was a little different than the others I’ve hosted in the past. For one thing, it was ON Halloween instead of the weekend before (the reason being that carved pumpkins don’t last that long down here in Florida’s humidity) and it was held in the morning to allow guests plenty of time for other gatherings that evening or trick-or-treating. Which meant, of course, that the meal changed from dinner to brunch–something I’ve not served to a group in quite some time. While contemplating how to serve egg
Read More