Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It's hard to believe but this is my 100th blog!!!!  I've been asked 'do you call everything  - a party?'  Well, yes.  Whether it's a dinner on Wednesday or a cup of tea with a friend on Saturday morning, if you are sharing yourself and your hospitality and providing that finishing touch, then it's a special occasion or in other words, a PARTY.  I feel this is the key difference between my blog and those of party planners who produce large and lavish events.  Approaching life as a party and that we're all going to have a good time, especially when entertaining at home, even on a small scale, is my outlook.  I hope you've enjoyed the festivities so far and are anticipating more to come.  So party on with me, the Party Bee.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Clam up

A term for keeping your mouth shut like the clam shell that won't open.  Ah, but when they do, what deliciousness! I just returned from Martha's Vineyard and while there read A Deadly Vineyard Holiday.  This is one of a series of mysteries by Philip Craig set on the island.  In this book J.W. gives a clamming lesson and offers the official song "My darling Clammin' Time".
Clam 101: " the littlest ones are called littlenecks, and about half the people in the world like them raw on the half shell, while the other half wouldn't eat one on a bet.  The next size up are called cherrystones and they usually get cooked, one way or another.  We like them broiled on the half shell with some garlic butter, a few breadcrumbs and a bit  of bacon.They call those clams Casino and a lot of people who wouldn't eat a raw littleneck will scarf down Casinos by the peck  Then you get up to bigger quahogs that you  chop up for chowder or stuff and bake in the half shell."
J.W. also cooks up Ritz ScallopsMix 1 lb. of scallops and 1 cup crushed Ritz cracker crumbs together in a baking dish.  Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the top.  Bake 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Birthday Party(ies)

Another year older  has its benefits ...more than just growing wiser.  My bounty of gifts all have a party element.  I see lots of occasions suggested by these wonderful presents.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Killer Bee

The Killer Bee cocktail is by far the most popular beverage on the island of Nevis, West Indies.  Sunshine’s is so secretive about the drink that I’ve read he mixes the cocktail under the bar to hide the mix from curious eyes. So while this is not exact, it is the closest thing you will find…after a few you won’t notice anyway, right?  You'll be buzzing!

 Killer Bee Recipe Ingredients: (almost)

Mix ahead of time:
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup light rum  (or 151?)
  • 1/2 cup passion fruit juice
1. In microwave-safe bowl, microwave honey and 1 tablespoon water 30 seconds or until honey is dissolved.
2. Stir in rum, juices and pepper; divide evenly between glasses with ice.
3. Top with 1/4 cup club soda
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, starfruit and a squeeze of lime. Raise glass and toast!
Makes 2 servings.
Source:  Rumshopryan

Friday, July 15, 2011

Indoor picnic

What fun!  Kitty invited everyone including the ants to the birthday luncheon.  A good time had by all..... the two legged guests.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

double duty placecard/centerpiece

I love hydrangeas...big, cheerful blooms in white, pink, and shades of blue.  The flowers create a stunning centerpiece and you can use the leaves as placecards.  Simply write guest's name in metallic marker.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

National French Fries Day

a great alternative.  Try these!

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus 2 teaspoons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch squared strips (fry shape) and put them into a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, 1 tablespoon of oil, salt and pepper, to taste, the ginger and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking until reduced to a thick consistency. Remove from the heat, pour over the sweet potatoes and toss to coat.
Rub 2 teaspoons of remaining vegetable oil on a rimmed nonstick baking sheet or use a silicone liner and omit oil. Arrange the sweet potato strips on the prepared baking sheet and bake until brown, about 25 minutes, turning after about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the potatoes to a serving dish.   4 servings
Source:  foodnetwork

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

petite pittosporum

This centerpiece is diminutive in size but creates a great impact.  Pittosporum creates a base for any colorful flower accent.  The vase is a short cylinder 4" high and 3" wide. 

A clever way to disguise stems in a clear 
container is to wrap a leaf around the interior. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wild Kingdom party

Click on photos to get the BIG picture
Greeting at the door

creating a Wild Kingdom

Ladies received fans and men got hats to ward off jungle heat

libations help cool one, also

a miniature jungle
a photo op

mixologist at work
one of these & one of these, ....

crackers were made in lion, elephant & gorilla shapes
elephant ears, buffalo bites, kagaroo pouches, veldt veggies, wildebeesties

all enjoyed alter egos if only in a photo

an unexpected gorilla guest

gorilla, unmasked, comforts a furry friend

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

National Sugar Cookie Day

Cream together  1/2 c. margarine or unsalted butter, softened and 1 cup sugar
Add 1 egg, 1 Tblsp. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla (1/4 tsp almond extract, optional)
Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1 1/2 cups flour.
Roll in balls and additional sugar. Place on greased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 for 8-10 min.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wild Kingdom party

The inspiration was finding a 6 foot giraffe, hence the jungle theme.  I then shopped my basement and stores for props - plush monkeys and tigers, etc.; animal print fabric; baskets; wooden serveware; foliage.....
This will be a cocktail party with an assortment of thematically named appetizers.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wild Kingdom party

Summer parties to be held outdoors must be planned at the last minute,or to be precise, 10 days ahead since weather forecasts are only available for that time frame.  A sunny day is necessary.  Timeline is as follows:  
Thursday - issue invitations by hand or by email
Friday - develop menu and decor ideas
Saturday - start shopping for props
Tuesday - print food labels; place orders with bakery, etc.
Friday - shop for ingredients and prepare food
Saturday - decorate, set up bar and last minute cooking
Saturday night - enjoy your party!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Go fourth and party

Red, White 'n' Blue Salad RecipePhoto and recipe by: Taste of Home Red, White 'n' Blue Salad Recipe

Red, White 'n' Blue Salad Recipe        

  • 1 package (3 ounces) berry blue gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water, divided
  • 2-1/2 cups cold water, divided
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 package (3 ounces) raspberry gelatin
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • Whipped topping and additional berries, optional

  • In a large bowl, dissolve berry blue gelatin in 1 cup boiling water; stir in 1 cup cold water. Add blueberries. Pour into a 3-qt. serving bowl. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Add the cream and sugar; cook and stir over low heat until gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved. cool to room temperature. Whisk in sour cream and vanilla. Spoon over the blue layer. Refrigerate until firm.
  • In a large bowl, dissolve raspberry gelatin in remaining hot water; stir in remaining cold water. Add raspberries. Cool down before spooning over cream layer. Chill until set. Garnish with whipped topping and additional berries if desired. Yield: 14-16 servings.
Buzz:  if you want the layers to be as thick as the picture shows you need to double the recipe otherwise they are about 1/2 inch thick and do not fill the bowl as shown.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

National Macaroni Day

Primavera Pasta Salad

  • 3 1/2 cups  uncooked bow-tie (farfalle) pasta (9 ounces)
  • 2 cups  fresh snow pea pods, strings removed (12 ounces)
  • 2 large  red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 2 medium  carrots, sliced (1 cup) 
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 ounces) 
  • 1 cup creamy Parmesan dressing
  • 2 tablespoons milk 

1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, adding pea pods for last minute of cooking. Rinse with cold water; drain.
2. In very large (4-quart) bowl, mix bell peppers, carrots, basil and cheese. In small bowl, mix dressing and milk with wire whisk. Add dressing mixture, pasta and pea pods to bell pepper mixture; toss to coat.

Friday, July 1, 2011

July celebrations

July is National Blueberry, Hot Dog, and Recreation Month.  You can also celebrate International Joke Day, 56th anniversary of Disneyland, Bugs Bunny's birthday and Ramadan.  I will party on holidays and occasions this month but mostly just because it's summer.