Thursday, August 18, 2011


So we have blogged about Pantry Parties before...first here and then here. The idea of a Pantry Party is fun for an event planner. For us, it's not always about going out and buying is about being creative with what you already have on hand to create something great. That is what we did for today's Pantry Party meal:

Pineapple Salsa with Brown Rice and Blackened Salmon

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple (we had one on hand already)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried diced jalapeno peppers (great to have on hand!) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (we have plenty in our herb garden)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 freshly squeezed limes
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss together pineapple, black beans, onions, dried diced jalapeno peppers, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

Here is a picture of the McCormick Dried Diced Jalapeno Peppers that is good to keep in your pantry as a backup!

Brown Rice - love these SteamFresh packs...easy to make and they cook in 2 1/2 minutes.

Blackened Salmon
Skinless Boneless Atlantic Salmon, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator. We had the Costco brand that is individually packed.

You can then seasoned the defrosted salmon with salt & pepper and your favorite grill seasoning or herb flavored seasoning or what you have or like. Because we are from Maryland we used Old Bay :-)
Place in the oven for 10 -15 minutes under the broiler until "blackened" and cooked thoroughly.

Here is the final product - ENJOY!

Monday, August 15, 2011


This event was a casual open house style event for friends and family. The initial inspiration was the dining room chandelier—upscale yet simple.

We immediately knew we could use the chandelier as a key design element throughout the event design and décor. Since it was a summer party we choose bright pink and green with compliments of black and white since it was an evening cocktail style affair. 

We created the invitation as well as the complete printable collection for this event, which included cupcake toppers, favor tags, party banner, drink tags and labels for the “cake shots”.

We decided that it would be an adults-only desserts and cocktail affair.  And the cocktails would be dessert inspired and the cupcakes were alcohol infused. We provided both alcoholic cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails options for guests to choose from.

Lemon Chiffon Martini
Strawberry & Champagne
Key Lime Mojito
Pineapple & Ginger Martini

Apple Pie
Strawberry Sunshine

DIY Mini Cupcake Bar
Banana Foster
Chocolate & Salted Caramel

The cocktail that received rave reviews at this event, was this Key Lime Pie Mojito from Day Dreamer Desserts: For the “Apple Pie”, we simply combined ginger ale and apple juice. And the Strawberry Sunshine was freshly squeezed lemonade and fresh strawberries. As the strawberries sit in the lemonade their color started to bleed into the juice, which created a cool pink effect on the surface.

We set-up a “Cupcake Bar” with cocktails, mocktails and cupcakes. Guests could build their own mini cupcake using a variety of toppings or choose from the tasty varieties that were already assembled.

The dessert table was centered under the dining room chandelier (our inspiration). We purchased decorative cupcake towers adorned with faux crystals from HomeGoods to anchor the table. The table was filled with a variety of cupcakes from Lovella Cupcakes and decorated cookies from The Cookie Jar. When we started planning the event, we knew we wanted to have decorated cookies and fondant cupcake toppers that matched our printable collection design, so we sent the design layouts to The Cookie Jar (who provided the decorated cookies) and Death by Cupcake (who provided the fondant chandelier cupcake toppers) – they were all great to work with, great pricing, quick service, very friendly and they did a superb job with matching our vision for our event!

We also served some cupcakes in plastic champagne glasses to add a tie in to the “cupcakes and cocktails” theme.  We added cupcakes to the tops of mercury glass candleholders we already had on hand and placed them throughout the event space. It was a great summer party where guests enjoyed the cupcakes and cocktails – plus we provided coordinating takeout boxes for guests to enjoy the cupcakes at home.

Cupcake wrappers: Party Treat 
Fondant chandelier cupcake toppers: Death by Cupcake 
Chandelier and Cupcake Decorated Cookies: The Cookie Jar 
- Tiramisu, Margarita, Chocolate & Salted Caramel, Banana Foster, Nicole from Lovella Cupcakes
- Carrot Cake Shooters, Vanilla Cake Shooters, Snickerdoodle and S’more, Savvy Selebrations 
Event design and décor: Savvy Selebrations 
Party Printables and push-pop containers: Savvy Selebrations Shoppe 

Cupcake stands: HomeGoods
Beverage Jars: One World Market
Metal Jar Label Holders: Crate & Barrel
Fabric: Jo-Ann Fabrics