Thursday, April 30, 2009

Party Planning for Kentucky Derby Party

Giddy Up for a Kentucky Derby Party! May 2, 2009

The 135th Kentucky Derby is on the way! Polish up your Mint Julep Making Skills, Make some Mint Julep Cupcakes, Marinate the Shrimp, and get ready ya'll!
Mint Julep: A Kentucky Derby MUST HAVE! You can't celebrate the Derby without these!!

Southern Living
Mint Julep Recipe
1 serving
1/4 cup bourbon
1 tablespoon Mint Syrup (Recipe below)
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Mint Syrup Recipe
2 3/4 cups
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh mint
2 cups sugar
2 cups water

Tie mint in a cheesecloth bag, and place in a saucepan. Add sugar and 2 cups water; bring mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat; cover and let cool. Remove and discard cheesecloth bag.

Mint Julep Cupcakes

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Jack Daniels (or other whiskey/bourbon)
1/2 cup Creme de Menthe
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mint extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350F, and grease or line 36 cupcake cups.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the extracts, salt, baking powder, and 1 3/4 cups of the flour.
3. Add the milk and liquors to the batter, then the rest of the flour. Mix as little as possible, just until the batter comes together.
4. Divide evenly (I use an ice-cream scoop) among the cupcake cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool.
5. To make the icing, combine the powdered sugar, salt, extracts and melted butter. (I think this works best with a stand mixer with the whip attachment or a hand-held mixer.) Add milk very slowly until the texture is right for piping.
6. When the cupcakes are completely cook, pipe or spread the icing on top and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lulu's Perfect Peel-and-Eat-Shrimp

Hey Ya'll! If you are ever in the Gulf Shores in Alabama, you'll just HAVE to go to Lulu's at Homeport Marina. My family went on a Gulf Shores Beach Vacation about 3 years ago. We fell in love with Lulu's.... peel-and-eat-shrimp (recipe below) and their awesome fried okra!
Lucy Buffett (LULU) is the sister of Jimmy Buffett! Her restaurant is full of fun, drinking, music, pink and bright tropical colors!

Our NEW Fashion Jewelry would be a wonderful accessory for all of your summer cookouts, beach, lake and pool parties! Bright and colorful earrings, necklaces and bracelets! Get yours today!

We found a recipe for their FAMOUS Peel-and-Eat-Shrimp and wanted to share it with you!
Lulu's Perfect Peel-and-Eat-Shrimp
from Lulu's at Homeport Marina, Gulf Shores, Alabama
1 cup hot sauce
1 1/2 cups liquid shrimp and crab boil seasoning
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 large)
1 (3oz.) package boil-in-bag shrimp and crab boil
1/2 cup Creole seasoning
3/4 cup salt
5 bay leaves
3 pounds of unpeeled, large fresh shrimp

1. Combine 1 1/2 gallons of water and first 7 ingredients in a large Dutch Oven, stirring well, Bring to a boil. Add shrimp, and cook over high heat 3 min. or just until shrimp turn pink; drain.

2. Place shrimp immediately in a single layer over ice on a rimmed baking sheet. Let cool 5 min. Remove shrimp with tongs to a bowl; cover and chill. Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sip N' See ~ A Southern Tradition

Sip N' See Parties are part of a Southern Tradition. Ladies drop in to "sip" on something and "see" something. The "Sip" part can be punch, lemonade or tea and the "see" can be wedding gifts or a newer trend is a newborn baby!

So get out your tea sandwiches recipes, silver trays and punch bowls and host a Sip N' See Party! If you have been invited to a Sip N' See Party, may we suggest some of our Personalized Baby Gifts! Our Monogrammed Baby Hooded Towel, Personalized Baby Bib, and Monogrammed Diaper Bags will surely get some oohs and aahhs!

One of our customers just purchased some of our Monogrammed Beach Totes for her Sip N' See Party Favors. We know they will be a huge hit.

Here's a recipe that is sure to be successful at your Sip N' See Party or any Wedding Bridal Shower. Hope you enjoy.
Creamy Vegetable Sandwiches

1 medium cucumber
1 medium-size red bell pepper
3 carrots
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 thin rye bread slices
Peel and seed cucumber; dice cucumber and bell pepper. Grate carrots, and mince garlic.
Combine cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, garlic, green onions, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well blended. Spread mixture on half of rye bread slices, and top with remaining slices. Cut vegetable sandwiches in half diagonally.
Southern Living, MAY 1997

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Easy Easter Egg Decorating Party How To and Pointers!!

Last year I decided to host an Egg Decorating Party! Simple Easter Party Planning Tips from The Palm Gifts!
The list kept getting larger and larger until I had over 30 kids RSVP! One simple thing I did not read up on was how to boil this many eggs for so many kids! I decided to read up on this and have handy just in case any of our readers need help. ONE KEY NOTE: DO NOT BOIL MORE THAN 24 EGGS in one pot at a time! This will save you many trips to the local store at midnight the night before 30 kids come to your house for a party!

Have the eggs ready before kids arrive. Go ahead and color them yourself. Parents will LOVE you for this! Don't forget to have some blue ones for the boys!
Limit number of eggs per child.
Have stickers, glitter pens, markers, crayons etc on tables in your yard ready for the kids to start decorating.
Purchase in-expensive Easter Baskets or have children bring their own to take their creations home in.
Have Easter Music (you can find tons on itunes.) Play during the decorating.
Have a little refreshment table. We had pink lemonade for drinks, orange slices, fresh strawberries, blueberries, grapes. Keep it light and simple.
Have a goodie bag full of Easter stickers, candy and or easter bunny cookies for kids to take home. Keep it simple with a clear cello bag and ribbon tie.
On a side note: Last year, I thought I'd host a "WINE and EASTER EGG BOIL" for the moms prior to our Easter Egg Party for the kids. The moms would meet a day before the party and boil the eggs and socialize. This will help you with your workload because BELIEVE ME boiling 10 dozen eggs takes TIME!

How to boil your eggs: The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg 1 dozen eggs 1 teaspoon salt Boiling the perfect egg isn't difficult, but it does take patience. Cooking the eggs at a low simmer will make them easier to peel and help prevent cracks. Cool immediately after cooking to eliminate the unattractive grayish green circle that can form around the yolk. These hard-boiled eggs can be used immediately, or dyed and decorated and featured first in your Easter egg hunt and later as deviled eggs. Place the eggs in a single layer, without crowding, in a 2- or 3-quart saucepan. Add water to cover by 2 inches and then the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Immediately remove the eggs from the hot water and plunge them into a basin of very cold water to cool down, or rinse under cold running water for about 5 minutes. To peel, roll the large end of the egg on a countertop to crack the shell. Hold the egg under cold running water, and peel away the shell. Store unpeeled hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator until ready to use.