{RECIPE} Mini Banana Muffins

by Jillian Leslie on

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Yesterday I styled an Easter brunch table (that will be up on the blog tomorrow).

I thought what's Easter brunch without some delicious muffins! So here's my mini banana muffin recipe. Thank goodness this recipe makes a lot, because I promise you will not be able to eat just one!

MINI BANANA MUFFINS

Ingredients:

Makes 6 dozen mini-muffins or 1 dozen large muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ripe bananas
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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with paper muffin cups

Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon) in a large bowl and set aside.

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Melt the butter and let it cool. If you want some extra flavor, you can brown the butter.

Add the melted butter to a bowl with the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth -- about a minute. Mash the bananas and stir them in. If your bananas aren't soft, you can just put them in the microwave, one at a time. Cook on high for 30 seconds, then turn it over and cook for another 30 seconds.

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Add the mixed dry ingredient to the wet, and stir until it just comes together.

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Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup about three quarters full.

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Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn the pan once to help ensure even cooking.

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They look great by themselves or you can dust them with powdered sugar.

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For more Easter food inspirations, check out these amazing Easter parties on our site!

FREE Easter Party Printables from Love Party Printables

by Jillian Leslie on

If you're planning an Easter Egg Hunt this year, then you are in luck! We've got the sweetest set of Easter party printables you'll want to use, designed by my friend Ana from Love Party Printables!

The collection includes: invitations, party circles, cake toppers, straw flags, favor tags, tented cards, labels, water bottle labels, napkin rings, welcome signs and an "Easter egg hunt" banner!

Download the free Easter printables here!

Here's the whole collection...

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And here are the individual files...

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favortags
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napkinrings
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Thank you, Ana, for this fun collection! I think lots of families will enjoy these!

To learn more about Ana and see all of her designs, please visit her at Love Party Printables.

For more Easter inspiration, take a look at these fabulous Easter parties and all our free Easter printables!

{DIY} How to Make a Placemat Using Real Leaves

by Jillian Leslie on

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Nicole from Tikkido and Tradewind Tiaras is back with a great DIY for spring -- real leaf placemats! 

Years ago, I went to a wedding. A huge, amazing, extremely expensive, extraordinarily beautiful wedding. A food-we're-still-talking-about-13-years-later, $30k-just-on-the-favors wedding.  Everything at this wedding was perfect, including the flowers.

In particular, I've never forgotten the gorgeous tablecloth made entirely of real leaves that covered the cake table.  So lush, so natural, yet so elegant!  I've always wanted to duplicate that look--though on a smaller, more doable scale.  And so, with warm spring breezes on the air and fresh leaves on the trees, I figured out how to bring a little bit of that floral magic to my own home.

Materials:

  • Leaves
  • Paper towels
  • Glue gun
1)  Gather a big pile of leaves, whatever is fresh and abundant in your yard.  Here in Phoenix, that meant lemon tree leaves.  But this would work with absolutely any type of leaf.  The larger the leaf, the less gluing you'll have to do, however!

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2) Tear off a length of paper towels to the size you want your placemat/table runner to be.  You can also use scissors to trim the paper towels into any shape.  I particularly like circle-shaped leaf chargers under plates.

leafplacemat2 3)  Use the glue gun to glue the leaves to the paper towel, overlapping the leaves so that no paper shows through.

leafplacemat3 That's it!  Fast, easy, dramatic, inexpensive. Just the kind of craft I love!

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Thank you, Nicole, these would be perfect on a spring Easter table!

To learn more about Nicole (who enjoys decorating cakes but not eating them, Irish dancing, public radio, Old English language and archaeology, and geekery of all sorts), visit her at Tikkido and Tradewind Tiaras.

{PARTY ON A BUDGET} A Mini Planting Party

by Jillian Leslie on

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Melissa Newell from My Party Passion, is with her first Party on a Budget post for spring!

Happy almost spring, y’all!  It’s me, Melissa – the Party on a Budget go-to-gal.   As I told you at the beginning of the year, I am cutting my budget even more (woot woot) and bringing you a ton of parties on a tight budget, some you won’t even believe, like today's Mini Planting Party to get you in the mood for spring!

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Each year, in our home school, we gather our supplies and start our seedlings early in March even though we won’t be ready for planting outside for about 4 weeks.  Today was a sunny day in New York, and that made it the PERFECT day to start our “Sspring planting”! (Of course I had to make a little party out of it... hehehe!)

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Supplies:

  • Scrap pieces of brown craft paper (Dollar Store) or you can use brown paper grocery bags
  • Paper towel rolls (cut up) or peat pots
  • Dirt
  • Seeds
  • Wooden sticks
  • Markers
  • Washi Tape for decorating (of course)!
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I gathered up all my planting supplies before I called the girls to the deck to help get this party started! We like to save all our “containers” that food came in to use for crafting and today was the perfect opportunity to recycle and reuse!

The girls were allowed to use the Washi tape to decorate their trays that the seeds would be planted in. Then I had the girls put some planting soil (or dirt) into the paper towel tube pieces (I used 1 roll and cut into 7 pieces). Then they put in the seeds into each piece.

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While that was happening, I was writing the type of seed that went into each tube piece and used it for the plant marker (before the girls moved them on me).

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We continued this until we were out of supplies. Look what we accomplished!

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Then it was time for a snack. Of course I had to serve "Planters" peanuts and juice!

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And for decor I used a bunting banner I had for another party, paper tissue pom flower (Party On Designs), and some fresh flowers I pulled from a bouquet in my home.

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 We will put these in the sun during the day but bring them in at night as it still gets below freezing here in NY for about another 4 weeks.  You can plant them with the paper towel tubes attached as they are biodegradable.

I am ready for Spring and all the fun that goes along with it!  I hope this party proves that it does not take a lot of money to celebrate anything!

GO TEAM!

Thank you, Melissa, this party makes me want to play in my garden! To learn more about Melissa, visit her at My Party Passion.

{RECIPE} Irish Oatmeal Lace Cookies

by Jillian Leslie on

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In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, I wanted to share a simple recipe that makes the prettiest Irish cookies! These will take you no more than 30 minutes and the results are stunning.

IRISH OATMEAL LACE COOKIES

Ingredients:

Makes 3 dozen

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar - firmly packed
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the butter, sugar, and vanilla to a mixing bowl and mix on high until nice and creamy. You don't want butter chunks so it really helps to let the butter warm to room temperature. You can also throw the stick in the microwave for about 45 seconds on very low (power 2). It's ok if it starts to melt a little.

Mix the salt and flour directly into the same bowl, then do the same with the milk. Last, stir in the oatmeal with a spoon or fork. You should have a creamy somewhat sticky dough. Don't refrigerate the dough while you bake, you want to keep it nice and soft so it will spread.

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Make teaspoon sized dough balls and place on a cookie sheet. Use a silpat or parchment paper so they don't stick. Flatten them a little bit with the back of a spoon or your palm. You need to give each cookie a couple inches to spread, so you should put 6 on each cookie sheet.

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Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

Because these cookies are so thin they can overcook quickly. Check on them and pull them out when you see a nice brown ring around the outer edge. If your oven cooks at all unevenly, I recommend rotating the cookie sheet after 4 minutes. Let them cool at least 2-3 minutes before you try to remove them from the cookie sheet. They need to harden before you can move them.

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Look how cool they look in the light!

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You can serve them stacked on a plate...

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Or in some tasty mint chocolate chip ice cream, perfect for a St. Patrick's Day celebration!

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For more inspiration, take a look at all these incredible St. Patrick's Day parties on our site and our free St. Patrick's Day party printables!

My Favorite Easter Cupcakes

by Jillian Leslie on

I'm a cupcake fiend! And I love anything cute and colorful having to do with Easter. So here are some of my favorite Easter cupcakes from our site!

Click on the photo or the link to see the whole party...

Lynlee's Petite Cake's Bunny Easter Egg Hunt Party

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Frog Prince Paperie's Preppy Bunny Party

easter-cupcakes Andy M's The Bunny is Here!

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Piggy Bank Parties' A Springin' Gingham Easter

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Tania S's Somebunny Loves You

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Melissa P's Happy Easter Party

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 Nancy P's Easter Party

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For more inspiration, check out all the incredible Easter parties on site, and take a look at our collections of free Easter printables!

 

{TRENDS} Fantastic St. Patrick's Day Parties

by Jillian Leslie on

As St. Patrick's Day nears, I thought I'd share these fantastic St. Patrick's Daty parties from our site! Wait until you see how creative people have gotten with this holiday!

Nicole W's T.C.R.G. Irish Dancing Celebration 

A party to celebrate the art of Irish dancing!

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Heidi K's St. Patrick's Day 1st Birthday

What a way to combine a princess 1st birthday and St. Patrick's Day.

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Party Pinching's St. Patrick's Day Dessert Table 

The treats on this St. Patrick's Day dessert table are beyond clever!

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Marjaneh E's Luck of the Irish

I love all the different shades of green on this dessert table for St. Patrick's Day.

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Laura's Little Party's St. Patty's dessert table on a Dollar Tree budget!

Here's how to create a great party on a shoe string budget using free St. Patrick's Day printables from our site!

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For more inspiration, take a look at the all the St. Patrick's Daty parties from our site, and also check out our free St. Patrick's Day party printables!

{DIY} Decorative Wooden Box for Easter

by Jillian Leslie on

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I like to put out festive decorations during the different seasons, and what I love about Easter is the colors. Pastels make me happy and they definitely make me think of spring.

So when I was at Target a few days ago browsing through the $1 bins, I saw this wooden box ($3) and these rub-on transfers ($1). I decided to put the floral transfers on the box, hoping for a kind of shabby chic look and I love how it came out.

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All you do is cut out the decorations...

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Peel off the back and stick it to the box. Then using your fingernail, a spoon, or any other hard object, rub the transfer so it sticks to the box.

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Peel it off and voila! This is seriously the easiest craft to make, and so much fun.

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Now I've got some quick spring decor and a place to store my Easter chocolates! :)

For more Easter inspiration, check out these gorgeous Easter parties  and free Easter printables on our site.