Thursday, June 30, 2011

Party Time Thursday – A Sunny Soirée

Nothing makes me think of sunny days more than the color yellow, which just happens to be trending this season!  Incorporating this vibrant hue into your summer party is easier than you think… check out these sunny inspirations.

Flowers just might be the simplest way to bring yellow to your celebration.  Display in clusters around the party, or accent with a single bloom in a pretty vase.



If flowers aren’t your style, try filling clear vases and jars with sliced lemons or candy.  Save the empty vases and jars you have around your home, or stock up at your local thrift store.

Adorn your desserts with yellow touches, too!  This wedding cake seen at The Knot is lovely, but you could do something similar on a smaller scale.  Try displaying cupcakes in yellow baking cups or add yellow royal icing flowers to them.  

And don’t forget the party favors!  A pretty favor will allow you to send the sunny party home with your guests.  Both of the favors shown here are handmade and available on Etsy.

If yellow by itself is a little too much for you, try pairing it with another color.  Yellow and aqua together feels sort of vintage, while yellow paired with grey or yellow and black seems very modern.  Don’t be afraid to play with this fun color – it really can add so much to your next celebration!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Serve It Up Tuesday: No Bummer Summer Cocktails

Summer is officially here, and what better way to celebrate the sunny season than with delightfully simple summer cocktails!

It seems that lemonade is the official drink of the long, lazy days of summer, so here are two lemonade cocktails that you can make in a flash.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Just Add Vodka Cocktail
Make your favorite lemonade, either fresh with your own lemons, or with a powdered or frozen mix.  Pour ¾ cup of lemonade over ice.  Add ¼ cup of flavored vodka (strawberry, cherry, raspberry, etc) and serve.  Throw it in the blender for a frozen version!

Lemonade Sparklers
Mix 1 cup of lemonade with 2 cups of champagne or sparkling wine.  Add 2 tablespoons of cranberry juice and serve over ice.

For me, it’s just not summer until I mix up a batch of this peach sangria.  I received this recipe from a good friend (thanks, Helene!), and every single person who tries it asks for the recipe because it is just. that. good.

White Peach Sangria
Into a large pitcher, add the following:
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of your favorite white wine
  • ¾ cup peach flavored vodka
  • 6 tablespoons of frozen lemonade concentrate
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 pound sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
Stir until the sugar and lemonade mix have dissolved, then chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably overnight, for the flavors to blend together.  Serve over ice, and be sure to include some of the peach slices in each serving!

And what summer cocktail showcase would be complete without a watermelon recipe?  I think I could live off watermelon for the next three months and be perfectly happy.  Here’s a trick I’ve learned for picking the best one:  look for the one with the most scratches on it.  These are usually animal scratches, which mean those coyotes could smell just how sweet that watermelon was, and tried to get into it before you did.

Water You Waiting For Watermelon Margaritas
Before making the margaritas, you can prep your glasses by adding a sugar rim – just spread a thin layer of sugar on a small plate and rub the rims of your glasses with a lime wedge, then spin the rim of each glass in the sugar to coat.  If you do this first, your fresh margaritas won’t have to sit too long after they’re made.

Next, cut up a watermelon into small chunks, taking care to remove any seeds (or save yourself the trouble and buy seedless), until you have about 3-4 cups.  Add these to the blender, along with the following:
  • ¾ cup tequila (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Triple Sec
Pulse ingredients to blend up the watermelon, then top off with ice, and blend until smooth.  Pour into your margarita glasses, which are ready to go with their sugar rim, and serve!