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entertaining

Nov25

7 Printable Place Cards for Your Thanksgiving Table

By |By Season, Entertaining, Fall, Printable Place Cards, Tips & Ideas|1 Comment

Printable place cards for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, we’ve not only begun meal planning and grocery shopping, but it’s time to iron our festive linens, polish silver, and map out seating arrangements for the big feast! We love to use designated seating arrangements to encourage conversation and new friendships, which is why a simple, printable place card is a must-have for our Thanksgiving dinner!

Oct4

How to Set a Beautiful Holiday Table

By |Entertaining, Fall, Holiday Decorating, Holiday Entertaining, How-to's and Tips, Tips & Ideas|3 Comments

A Beautiful Autumn Table: Layering

Think of the place setting the way you would an outfit: you might layer a shirt with a sweater and add a scarf to give it some interest. Apply that same layering idea to your table. Start with a crisp linen tablecloth, combine our Holiday Branch dinner plates with our Southern Living dinner and bread plates and layer in metal chargers for extra style. Now add in color with linens and flowers. These amazing greenery illustrations were commissioned just for us—and they work double-duty as a garnish for your food.

Oct26

The Best Holiday Hot Chocolate!

By |Holiday Decorating, How-to's and Tips, Recipes, Recipes and Entertaining|0 Comments

Hot Chocolate – What Could Be Better?

When it is cold outside, the thought of a great cup of Hot Chocolate is about as good as it gets. So here is a simple recipe to make a rich and special hot chocolate that you can make in the microwave and impress your family and friends.

Recipe

1 (14oz.) can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

½ Cup of unsweetened cocoa

1 ½ teaspoons  vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 ½ cups hot water

Marshmallow Topping*

Combine all ingredients except marshmallows in a 2 quart glass measuring cup.  Microwave on high 8-10 minutes – stirring every 3 minutes.  Top with marshmallow

Dennis Dean’s Tip

*To make the marshmallow swirl on the top, place marshmallows in A HEAVY-DUTY /FREEZER BAG –cut one of the corners of the bag off at an angle – now microwave the marshmallows for about 15 to 30 seconds – checking every 10 seconds until marshmallow is melted – remove from microwave carefully – HOT.  Squeeze the bag and form a swirl on top of the cocoa – if you have a torch – you can crisp the top of the marshmallow.

This hot chocolate can stay refrigerated for 5 days – so it is always ready for your Holiday guests!

Oct25

How to Throw a Festive Buffet-Style Party by Dennis Dean

By |Entertaining, Entertaining Experts, Recipes and Entertaining, Tips & Ideas|4 Comments


We’re all so busy throughout the year that the holidays always seem like a great time to throw open the doors and invite friends and family to gather together over food, drinks and plenty of good cheer. This year we asked renowned Atlanta caterer, Dennis Dean, of Dennis Dean Catering, for tips on how to throw a stress-free, buffet-style affair that’s as sophisticated as it is easy. Because, after all, you want to be able to enjoy your own party.

Oct25

Buffet Recipes from Dennis Dean

By |Entertaining, How-to's and Tips, Recipes, Recipes and Entertaining|0 Comments

Brownie Pops

 

  • One 9×13” Pan of Brownies – Use your favorite recipe, but remember the fudgier, the better
  • One Package Milk or Dark Chocolate Bark, or White Chocolate
  • Assortment of Sprinkles, Chopped Nuts, or Coconut (whatever topping you like)
  • Parchment Paper
  • Popsicle or Lollipop Sticks

Line a 9×13” pan with greased parchment paper, pour in brownie batter, and bake brownies to a slightly firm fudgy consistency.

Let brownies cool slightly and remove from the pan with parchment paper backing. With a greased knife, slice crusts off of the brownies, and slice the remainder of the brownies into approximately 24 squares. Allow brownies to cool further until they are comfortable to handle.

With greased hands, roll each brownie square into a ball shape, taking care to roll the crisp top parts into the center so that you have an even consistency on the outside of the sphere, which will result in a smooth chocolate coating.  After all brownies have been rolled into spheres, insert either popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks firmly into the center of each brownie ball. Place in freezer to firm them up.

Melt Chocolate Bark over a double-boiler until it is a smooth, even consistency, making sure to not allow any water into the chocolate, as it can cause it to seize up and make it difficult to dip the brownies in.

Take brownies out of the freezer and dip each individual brownie pop in the melted chocolate. It is easiest to dip it 2/3rds of the way and then roll them to completely cover up to the base of the stick. Let the chocolate set for about 10 seconds and roll in sprinkles or nuts as desired.

Set bottom-down on parchment paper to cool.

Makes approximately 24 brownie pops.

Oct25

How to Make a Buffet Food Label

By |Entertaining, How-to's and Tips, Tips & Ideas|4 Comments

Food labels are great for buffets – not only do they identify the food – but help people identify foods that they are allergic or sensitive to.  The labels are super simple to make and really give your table that extra little touch!  First you will need some 3/16″ diameter wooden dowels easily found at your local craft store.

Then we chose an oval and a rectangle and some wooden Holiday ornaments to create our labels.  You can paint them with chalk board paint and write the names of the food on them – erase them when done to be used over and over again.

For the ornaments, we painted them white and green, used a glue gun to attach the dowel on the back of each of the Ornament Labels.  These are so simple to make that you could do a family project with them.  To make the labels stand up on the table, we used some votive candle holders with small decorative stones in the bottom.

We think Food Labels are a personal touch that make your guests feel special at your buffet table!

Jul20

How to Select the Right Size Dining Room Chandelier

By |How-to's and Tips, Lighting|1 Comment

Select the right size chandelier

A chandelier adds ambiance and provides general lighting for dining and entertaining. You’ll want to choose one that’s large enough to wash the entire table in light, so you don’t leave some of your guests sitting in the shadows.