Quick and Easy Aioli Recipe

by Jillian Leslie on

Quick and Easy Aioli Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

I was asked by Strongbow to come up with a recipe that would pair well with the flavors in their hard apple cider. When I think of drinking hard ciders, with their warm apple-y bite, I think about hanging out with friends on a winter day in big, bulky sweaters (maybe that's what I'm thinking about right now because it's cold and cloudy here in Northern California). So I wanted to come up with something that would work well for a casual winter get-together.

I love serving French fries when I entertain because... everyone loves French fries. Honestly, do you know anyone who doesn't? But to elevate them, I like to serve them with unique and flavorful dipping sauces. So enter my quick and easy aioli recipe!

I've made aioli a bunch of time before, but in this new recipe I made two important changes. The first was I added apple cider vinegar so it would pair nicely with the Strongbow Apple Gold Hard Cider.

My intention was for both the cider and the aioli to bring a tangy sharpness and strong apple flavor to the mix, but in complementary ways, like two shades of the same color. And it worked! They played off each other beautifully. And adding in some steak fries, with their warmth and salty richness, made for a very satisfying dish.

I loved how this turned out, and I will definitely be serving this this winter. It was delicious and totally totally addictive!

My second change was I used a food processor instead of a mortar and pestle. When I took the ingredients shot above, I wasn't sure I was going to risk it in the food processor, but it actually worked great, and I was able to make the aioli in about five minutes, with no tired hands. This is definitely the way to go.

So check out how I did it...

Quick & Easy Aioli Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (medium sized)
Quick and Easy Aioli Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

Directions:

Add the garlic cloves, salt, and a couple tablespoons of the olive oil to a food processor. Pulse until the garlic is very finely chopped. If the garlic starts to accumulate on the side of the food processor, use a spatula to push it down.

Add the egg yolks and pulse until completely integrated. Add the remaining oil, about a tablespoon at a time. Pulse after each addition, until that oil is completely mixed in.

Once you've pulsed in all the olive oil, and have a nice light creamy texture, add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and pulse until completely integrated. Repeat with one more teaspoon of vinegar, then one teaspoon of lemon juice.

Aioli is best when served fresh, but you can cover and refrigerate and use the next day.

Quick and Easy Aioli Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

Quick and Easy Aioli Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

Quick and Easy Aioli Recipe | CatchMyParty.comYum!

Quick and Easy Aioli Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

Quick and Easy Aioli Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

Aioli is one of those great multi-purpose condiments, and I tend to prefer it to mayonnaise because of it's complexity. In addition to French fries, I like to eat it with Brussels sprouts and artichokes, and definitely on turkey sandwiches. It just makes everything taste better!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Strongbow. The opinions expressed herein are all mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Strongbow.

Cupcake Stand DIY

by Jillian Leslie on

Check out this easy to make holiday cupcake stand DIY! See more crafts and DIYs at CatchMyParty.com!

Here's a quick and easy cupcake stand DIY that's perfect for the holidays from Kristen and Missy from Sweetly Chic Events & Designs!

Today we are sharing a perfectly simple and inexpensive way to display all of your party sweets and treats! Whether for your next holiday party, or birthday celebration, this DIY 3-Tiered Cupcake Stand will allow you to showcase your delicious desserts with the perfect touch of chic simplicity:

Supplies:

  • 2 pieces 8 1/2 x 11 unfinished wood plaques
  • 1 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 unfinished wood plaque
  • 2 crystal candle holders (We found ours at our local Dollar Store!)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Foam paint brush
  • Sturdy adhesive
Materials for Cupcake Stand DIY | CatchMyParty.com

Instructions:

1. Begin by painting your unfinished wood plaques in the color paint of your choosing. We chose a classic white paint for our cupcake stand!

Materials for Cupcake Stand DIY | CatchMyParty.com

Materials for Cupcake Stand DIY | CatchMyParty.com

2. After your paint has dried, it is time to secure your first crystal candlestick holder to one of your larger unfinished wood plaques. This first piece will serve as the base of your cupcake stand.

Apply a thin coat of your sturdy adhesive to the rim of the base of your candlestick holder and firmly press it to the center of your unfinished wood plaque.

Materials for Cupcake Stand DIY | CatchMyParty.com

3. Once the base of your candlestick holder is secure, apply a thin layer of adhesive to the top rim of your candlestick holder and then place your second larger wood plaque centered on top of it.

This will be the middle tier of your cupcake stand.

Assembly of Cupcake Stand DIY | CatchMyParty.com

4. Repeat this same process with your second candlestick holder and your small piece wood plaque. This will serve as your top tier.

You now have a fabulous 3 tiered cupcake stand fit to display all of your delectable desserts.

Assembly of Cupcake Stand DIY | CatchMyParty.com

We filled ours with delicious vanilla cupcakes that we dressed up with these amazing, modern holiday cupcake wrappers and toppers from Lillian Hope Designs Black & Gold Christmas Printable Collection!

Cupcake Stand DIY | CatchMyParty.com

We hope you love your new DIY 3-tier cupcake stand as much as we do! We love that this cupcake stand is simple, stylish and so very versatile! It would make the perfect serving piece for all your holiday parties and events to come!

Thanks, Missy & Kristen for sharing your chic and easy cupcake stand idea! Looking forward to the crafts you come up with in 2015!

To learn more about Missy and Kristen, please visit them at Sweetly Chic Events & Designs, and on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram.

California Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

by Jillian Leslie on

orange-california-cosmopolitan-recipe-title

We were asked by DeKuyper to come up with a signature cocktail that would be fun to serve during the holidays. Most people think of eggnog or peppermint as their Christmas flavors of choice, but when I think winter... I think citrus!

I love the sweet and tangy flavors citrus brings to a drink, and since I am a California girl (by way of New Jersey), I wanted to create a California cosmopolitan cocktail recipe that highlights the relaxed, casual, West Coast lifestyle and would brighten up any holiday party.

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California Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe

 Ingredients:

1 cup Pinnacle vodka 1/2 cup DeKuyper Triple Sec 1/2 cup orange juice 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup sanding sugar (for the rim of the glass)

Directions:

Dampen the rim of your martini glass with a wet paper towel. Dip the rim in sanding sugar to give the glasses some sparkle and the drink a touch of sweetness. I used yellow to complement the color of the cocktail.

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Combine vodka, triple sec, orange juice, and lemon juice in a pitcher. You can chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

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And for my final garnish, I cut a round slice of orange, removed the juicy orange part, then thinned out the peel with a paring knife. I held it in a tight twist for a few seconds, and let go. It made the prettiest garnish!

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What I love about this drink is the sweetness from the Triple Sec mixed with the acidic punch from the orange and lemon juices. It's a nicely balanced cocktail with fun boldness.

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Happy Holidays! Let me know if you use this recipe at your holiday party. I'd love to hear what you thought.

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Tis the season for great cocktails! What will wow your guest and set your holiday party apart, the perfect cocktail made by you. DeKuyper offers over 50 mixable and versatile flavors of cordials, liqueurs, crèmes, brandies and schnapps for thousands of amazing cocktails. Explore our website at dekuyperusa.com to find one that is perfect for you or visit us on Facebook and Pinterest to see some of our favorites. Plus, you can always create your own recipe and share it with us!

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by DeKuyper via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of DeKuyper.

Winter Wonderland Party Ideas

by Jillian Leslie on

how-to-throw-a-winter-wonderland-party3

I'm so happy Melissa Newell party pro from My Party Passion is sharing all her winter wonderland party ideas from a recent playdate party she threw. I always love her budget friendly ideas!

Happy winter from snowy New York! I am so happy we had some of the white stuff for Thanksgiving and a little into December also. Hoping more to come for Christmas!

I started this tradition of inviting over one of my mom friends and her twin girls for a fun holiday movie. I set up a craft for them, some fun finger foods and decorate the house up in the theme of the movie we will be watching. Last year it was Polar Express and you can check out that party at my Catch My Party page!

Winter Wonderland Playdate Decor | CatchMyParty.com

This year it was Winter Wonderland theme with us watching Frozen after crafting and snacks. It was so much fun.

DÉCOR:

Using blues, whites and silver for my color scheme, I was able to complete this party on a tight budget!

Winter Wonderland Playdate Decor | CatchMyParty.com

Winter Wonderland Playdate Drinks | CatchMyParty.com

I found this great wrapping paper with a silver base and white snowflakes at the dollar store. Using this for my food table cover was an easy clean up and perfect with my theme!

Winter Wonderland Playdate Decorations| CatchMyParty.com

I found a few free printables for signs online, too! (credits at the bottom of the post)

Winter Wonderland Playdate Decor | CatchMyParty.com

FOOD:

Keeping it more about fellowship and fun, I kept the food very simple: some carrots and celery sticks with dip, cheese and crackers, and some powdered donuts. These options kept them coming back to the table throughout our movie.

Of course, hot chocolate was the drink of the day complete with snowman Peeps on a stick!

CRAFTING:

The girls had a blast making these winter scene snow globe pictures.

Winter Wonderland Playdate Decorations| CatchMyParty.com

There was also an ornament craft. I used tops to inexpensive boxes that I found online. They were a “less than perfect” find on a famous crafting/party site, but they were perfect for the craft! Using fake snow, some winter themed miniatures, the girls created these beautiful ornaments to give away to special people at Christmas.

Winter Wonderland Playdate Collage | CatchMyParty.com

GOODIES:

I always have some sort of take away goodies for the girls. This year I was lucky to enlist the help of Pamela over at Pamela Smerker Designs and her new Squatles Snowmen were perfect for the girls to take home and call their own.

Winter Wonderland Playdate | CatchMyParty.com

In addition to that, I blinged up these wands that I found at Catch My Party with a plastic snowflake and some washi tape. THESE WERE THE GIRLS' FAVORITE item of the day!

Winter Wonderland Playdate Decorations| CatchMyParty.com

The playdate was great and, of course, who can’t watch Frozen for the 30th time..hehe… I hope your holidays are filled with great memories and fun celebrations! Until next time – Party On Friends!

Winter Wonderland Playdate Decorations| CatchMyParty.com

Credits:

You can see Melissa’s other fantastic parties on our site, her blog, My Party Passion and her Facebook page.

For more inspiration, check out all the Winter Wonderland parties on our site!

Santa Mason Jar DIY

by Jillian Leslie on

Check out this easy Santa mason jar DIY, perfect for last minute gifts! CatchMyParty.com

Kristen and Missy from Sweetly Chic Events & Designs are here with an easy Santa Mason Jar DIY that is simple to do and oh so cute!

Santa Mason Jar DIY | CatchMyParty.com

With Christmas just around the corner, it's time to think about a creative gift that would be the perfect way to say Happy Holidays to teachers, neighbors, family and friends! We don't know about you, but with so many special people on our list, we wanted a gift that was simple, budget friendly, but still chic and unique!

So, these DIY Santa Mason Jars were the perfect fit! All you need are a few inexpensive supplies and a few minutes of time, and you'll soon have a festive gift that will be sure to make the recipients' holiday season merry and bright!

Supplies:

  • Quart Size Mason Jar
  • Red Candies (you can use Sixlets, M&Ms, or red licorice pieces)
  • Black Ribbon (7/8"-1.5")
  • Gold Glitter
  • White Buttons (3/4"-1")
  • Modge Podge
  • Paint Brush
  • Hot Glue Gun
Santa Mason Jar DIY Supplies | CatchMyParty.com

1. Begin by cutting a piece of the black ribbon so that it fits around your mason jar. This will serve as Santa's belt. Once your ribbon is cut, dip your paint brush into the Modge Podge and paint the outline of a rectangle in the center of your ribbon.

Gently sprinkle the gold glitter onto the Modge Podge. Shake excess glitter from the ribbon. Santa's belt now has a glittering, gold buckle! Wrap the ribbon about a third of the way up from the bottom of your mason jar and adhere with a drop of hot glue.

Santa Mason Jar DIY Assembly | CatchMyParty.com

2. Next, add a drop of hot glue to the back of one of your white buttons and adhere to your mason approximately 1/4 inch above the gold buckle on the black ribbon belt.

Santa Mason Jar DIY Assembly | CatchMyParty.com

3. Add hot glue to your remaining 2 buttons and adhere vertically above your first button. You now have the buttons from Santa's suit!

Santa Mason Jar DIY | CatchMyParty.com

4. Now it's time to fill your jar with the red candy! We chose to use red Sixlets, but red M&M's, or even red licorice bites would work just as well!

Santa Mason Jar DIY Candy | CatchMyParty.com

Santa Mason Jar DIY Candy | CatchMyParty.com

5. Finally, it's time to add a bit of glitz and glam to the lid of your mason jar! You'll need your Modge Podge, paint brush and gold glitter.

Santa Mason Jar DIY Supplies | CatchMyParty.com

6. Add a layer of Modge Podge to the rim of your mason jar lid and sprinkle with glitter. Shake off excess glitter and allow a few minutes for it to set and dry.

Santa Mason Jar DIY | CatchMyParty.com

And there you have it! Your DIY Santa Mason Jar is now complete! Now all that's left to do is give these cute and creative homemade gifts to all those special people in your life!

Santa Mason Jar DIY | CatchMyParty.com

We hope you enjoyed making your DIY Santa Mason jars as much as we did and hope your holidays are filled with peace, love and joy!

To learn more about Missy and Kristen, please visit them at Sweetly Chic Events & Designs, and on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram.

For more inspiration, check out all our crafts and DIYs on Catch My Party.

Easy Eggnog Pound Cake Recipe

by Jillian Leslie on

Easy Eggnog Pound Cake Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

 Shauna Krantz from Ella and Annie Magazine is here sharing a delicious and easy eggnog pound cake recipe!

I love eggnog. I first fell in love with eggnog as a barista at Starbucks. Yes, I worked there for 8 years and enjoyed every minute of it! I will say eggnog is an acquired taste.

Whether you’re adding it to your morning coffee, brandy for a nightcap or this delicious pound cake, you are in for a holiday treat. This pound cake recipe has a mild eggnog flavor that even my toddlers are going crazy over!

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Chocolate and More

Eggnog Pound Cake Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 ¼ cups eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons eggnog or milk
Combine all dry ingredients. Whisk together. Set aside.

Whisk eggs, eggnog and vanilla together.

Eggnog Pound Cake Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

Pour the melted butter and egg mixture into the flour mixture. Fold in wet ingredients. You will have a thick batter. This recipes makes two 9” loafs. You can even split batter between mini loaf pans, perfect for gifts!

Cook 55-60 minutes. Insert toothpick to make sure the loaf is fully cooked.

Allow to cool completely.

Prepare glaze. Spoon glaze over cooled loaf and allow to sit until firm. Enjoy!

Eggnog Pound Cake Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

Slice and serve. It's delicious!

Eggnog Pound Cake Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

I can't wait to try this, Shauna. Thanks so much for sharing it with our community!

To see more of Shauna's work, check out Ella and Annie Magazine and visit them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

For more inspiration, check out all our recipes on Catch My Party!

Frozen Wonderland Party and More!

by Jillian Leslie on

My 4 favorite parties of the week 12.14 | CatchMyParty.com

This week my four favorite parties include a Frozen Wonderland party and more!

You'll love this gorgeous winter Frozen girl birthday party, a lovely, modern garden party bridal shower, a magical secret garden ballet recital party and a fun pink and black surfer girl birthday party. You'll be blown away by all the creativity!

Clockwise from top left:

Just one week until Christmas break!  We're heading to Las Vegas for a quick getaway before Christmas. I love Las Vegas. My plan is to spa, see a show, and eat good food. I can deal with one more week of holiday stress to get there! How are your holidays?

Christmas Ornament DIY Ideas

by Jillian Leslie on

first-official-video

I was invited by Tend to create a video, sharing some of my favorite Christmas ornament DIY ideas. I can't tell you how fun this was.

I headed to a cool DIY space in San Francisco called Workshop. They had everything set up there (including a makeup and hair person). Given that I spend most of my days in my office (garage), in my yoga pants, in front of my computer, it was such a change, and I felt like a real celebrity. Kim Kardashian, watch out!

Take a look at the video and see what you think. Then please give it a thumbs up if you like it, and I'd love it if you commented, too. I promise I'll answer back.

Which was your favorite craft? If you can only do one, I recommend the cinnamon stick stars because they smell so good!

Here are some shots from the shoot...

Christmas Ornament DIY Shoot |CatchMyParty.com

And if you like what you see, please subscribe to the tend YouTube Channel to see all my future videos (fingers crossed).

Christmas Ornament DIY Ideas |CatchMyParty.com

Christmas Ornament DIY Shoot |CatchMyParty.com

Christmas Ornament DIY Ideas |CatchMyParty.com

Christmas Ornament DIY Shoot |CatchMyParty.com

Christmas Ornament DIY Ideas |CatchMyParty.com

 

Fabric Gift Bag DIY

by Jillian Leslie on

Fabric Gift Bag DIY | CatchMyParty.com

Shauna Krantz, with Ella and Annie Magazine, is showing us a fabric gift bag DIY today!

I absolutely love wrapping up gifts in fabric. These easy to make drawstring bags are perfect for dressing up those holiday gifts. Make them various sizes. They are perfect for the oddly shaped presents that are nearly impossible to wrap with paper. Best part, the are reusable! A great way to go green this holiday season.

Create your own custom bags with all the adorable fabric and ribbon selections available for the holidays. I plan to make a handful of these and use for our baked goodies.

Why not give it a go!? Don’t have a sewing machine? A needle and thread work just fine.

Adjust fabric measurements as needed for larger or smaller bags.

Cut two pieces of fabric 10x13”. Place right sides together.

Fabric Gift Bag DIY | CatchMyParty.com

Mark a 2” mark on each side of the top of the bag.

Fabric Bag Wrapping Tutorial measure | CatchMyParty.com

Sew sides and bottom, leaving the 2” at top open on sides.

Fabric Bag Wrapping Tutorial line up | CatchMyParty.com

Sew a diagonal line on each corner of bottom of bag. This will give the bag a more boxed base. Trim.

Fabric Bag Wrapping Tutorial line up | CatchMyParty.com

Fabric Bag Wrapping Tutorial tucking | CatchMyParty.com

Using pinking shears cut rough edges of bag. This will prevent fraying.

Fabric Bag Wrapping Tutorial cutting | CatchMyParty.com

Fabric Bag Wrapping Tutorial cutting | CatchMyParty.com

Fold in the open sides at top of bag, iron. Fold top down ¼” and iron. Fold top down again to where the 2” mark was. Iron. This is now the tubing for ribbon.

Fabric Bag Wrapping Tutorial measure | CatchMyParty.com

Fabric Bag Wrapping Tutorial edges | CatchMyParty.com

Sew each side of tubing. Make sure not to sew bag closed. Sew each side separately.

Fabric Bag Wrapping Tutorial sewing | CatchMyParty.com

Grab a safety pin. Attach to end of ribbon. Thread each strand of ribbon through each side of tubing.

Fabric Bag Wrapping Tutorial ribbon | CatchMyParty.com

Fill with presents or sweets and tie sides together in bows! There you have it!

Fabric Gift Bag DIY | CatchMyParty.com

Fabric Gift Bag DIY | CatchMyParty.com

To see more of Shauna's work, check out Ella and Annie Magazine and visit them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Candied Orange Slice Recipe

by Jillian Leslie on

Candied Orange Slice Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

If you're serving cake this holiday, and need to save time, do what I did here. Buy a white cake at the grocery store, and add some homemade touches like candied orange slices and I promise your guests will be impressed.

Making these candied orange slices was super easy. The only thing you need to be aware of is that your orange slices need time to dry, like two hours in a warm oven. Other than that, there's really nothing to it and the candied orange slices were delicious -- sweet, tangy, and chewy. They're definitely great for cake decorating, but you can serve them on their own as a candied treat, and your guests will eat them up!

Candied Orange Slice Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups of water.
Directions:

Thoroughly wash your oranges. I like to use organic oranges when I plan to use the zest, or in this case, the whole peel.Cut off both ends of the orange then cut into 1/4 inch slices.

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To remove the bitterness from the peels, you'll want to blanch the slices. Put the slices in a pot of cold water. Bring the water to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the slices from the pot and put in a bath of ice water to stop them from cooking.  If you really don't like any bitter taste, blanch them for a second or even a third time.

Add 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of sugar to a large pan. I used a 14" skillet. Heat on high heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the orange slices, and let it barely simmer for about 45 minutes, until the peels  start to turn translucent.

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Let dry on a drying rack with parchment underneath until cool.

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Bake in a low temp oven at 170 degrees for two hours, to thoroughly dry them out, although they'll still be soft and chewy. Add 1 cup of sugar to a bowl, and coat each slice of orange. Enjoy!

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BTW, the small slices in the picture are an extra lemon we threw in - the lemon tasted great, too, and definitely not too sour.

Candied Orange Slice Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

After cake decorating, I served the candied slices with some mimosas. It was the perfect compliment.

Candied Orange Slice Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

Candied Orange Slice Recipe | CatchMyParty.com

 

And check out my holiday garnish post on Babble to show how to use garnishes in two ways!

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