dinner party

All posts in the dinner party category

Fall Dinner Party Part II

Published November 7, 2011 by sweetcraftastrophe
Hello there lovelies!
This past week I shared the first part of my dinner party series including the menu, the inspiration. Today, it’s all about the tablescapes, the centerpieces, and favors! Oh I LOVE favors and especially the handmade kind- they are so much more special than anything store bought. 
Creating a tablescape isn’t that intimidating at all and in fact you can use whatever you have on hand. There’s no need to go buy colored linens or spend a lot of money. If you have a white/cream colored table cloth, use it! Then layer that with some orange or yellow votives down the length of the table. You can find votives anywhere and to add a special touch tie a ribbon around the votive. Try an orange candle with a light green ribbon or a red candle with a mustard yellow ribbon.
Design Candy

This is the epitome of simple elegance! I found this on Sentimental Sublime and just fell in love with it! You don’t need to go overboard on the tablescape as long as you make some smart design choices. Instead of a tall flower arrangement like the one pictured above use a mason jar and wrap some hemp or ribbon around the jar and use flowers that are fresh in season! 

Place cards

This is just another example of simplistic elegance and understated loveliness! This is actually a centerpiece for a wedding(WeddingBee Boards) but it works for a tablescape too. The colors are all in the green family but look how a monochromatic theme can really spruce up your table. Again, the mason jar centerpiece is just darling! This is definitely rustic elegance that can be easily recreated at home.
You will need
  1. Apples (Gala apples normally have stems on them)
  2. Any color cardstock of your choice
  3. Permanent marker
  4. String/ Ribbon 
  1. Cut your cardstock into squares or rectangles big enough to fit a name onto 
  2. Write down your guests’ names 
  3. Voila! You have a unique place card

Hello Fall…so nice to see you. These favor tags are just absolute perfection for your next shindig! Your guests will love these tags as well as the goodies you put inside them. Thanks to Tipjunkie you can download the file for free! Just click on the TipJunkie link and click on the picture then scroll down to the last picture and the download link is right below it. I’m planning on using sour apple rings or hershey’s kisses as my favors. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Thanks for tuning into my Fall dinner party! 
Have a sweet day!

Fall Dinner Party (Part I)

Published November 6, 2011 by sweetcraftastrophe
Fall is such a special time of year and it’s the best time to gather with your friends and family! So why not throw a small dinner party? There’s nothing better than having a fun time with your closest friends enjoying good food, drinks and a fabulous time! So maybe you don’t like to stress over a party or feel like you’re in over your head well don’t worry because I think that a party hostess should be stress free the entire night! I have always loved planning parties and today you’ll be getting a glimpse into my dinner party ideas for fall. This is part one of my fall dinner party that includes my inspiration, and the menu.
The first thing I always do is start to compile pictures and create an inspiration board. You can save all your fav pictures to your computer and then set up an account (it’s free) at Style Me Pretty and once you have created an account you can start to “build your board”! They have pre-designed templates so all you have to do is drag and drop your pictures into the spaces.
Here’s what inspiration board looks like for my Fall dinner party
As you can see I’m all using all the beautiful colors of nature as my color palette. There’s tons of oranges,yellows, dark reds, greens and white to balance it all out.
So since all of my friends are kind of dispersed in the DFW area we always meet in the middle for our dinner parties at a restaurant. You could also do this at home which, would be much cheaper! So if you are deciding on an at home party let’s get into the good stuff… the food!
What’s a party without some amazingly yummy food?! Well it wouldn’t be much of one so to make this as easy as possible for all you fabulous hostesses here’s a moderately simple menu from appetizers to cocktails.
                      Sweet Potato Fries
Main Dish
Chicken Florentine Casserole


  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 lb.  boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tub  (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups  cooked farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
  • 1 cup  KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • 4 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, cooked, crumbled


  1. HEAT oven to 375ºF.
  2. HEAT oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook and stir 6 to 7 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in all remaining ingredients except bacon. 
  3. SPOON into 1-1/2 qt. casserole sprayed with cooking spray; cover. 
  4. BAKE 25 min. or until heated through, uncovering and sprinkling with bacon after 15 min. 

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a mixed green salad tossed with your favorite KRAFT Light Dressing.
**Substitute : 1 can (15 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, for the spinach.
Baked Mashed Potatoes



  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on brown paper. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Place the bread slices in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. 
  2. Add the remaining breadcrumbs to the skillet and cook until they are lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. 
  4. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the milk and butter. 
  5. Place the potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, add a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender and they crumble when pressed with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  6. When the potatoes are cooked through, drain them well, put them back into the pot, and mash them. 
  7. Slowly mix in the warm milk and butter mixture until incorporated. 
  8. Mix in the grated cheese and cream cheese. Don’t over mix or the potatoes will become gummy. 
  9. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. (Reserve 2 cups mashed potatoes for Round 2 Recipe). 
  10. Put the potatoes into the prepared baking dish, crumble the bacon over the top, and sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs
  11. Bake until heated through and golden brown on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve garnished with chives.

 Sandra Lee’s baked mashed potatoes

Sangria Cupcakes

  • 1 Butter Flavor Cake Mix (yellow or white will work fine too)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Granny Smith apples, diced small
  • 1 cup green grapes, sliced in half
  • 4 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 cup red wine


  1. Combine cake mix according to directions, I use oil, and 4 eggs to make it taste like it’s made from scratch. 
  2. Fold in apples, grapes and orange zest. 
  3. Bake as directed on box. As soon as they come out of the oven, brush the wine onto the tops with a pastry brush.
**If you are serving children, you could use grape juice or another dark juice.


In a sauce pan on the stove, bring the red wine to a boil and let it reduce to one cup, making a red wine syrup. Place in fridge to chill. Beat the Buttercream frosting, and then add the red wine syrup.
Apple Chip Garnish
  • Simple Syrup: 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water – bring to simmer on stove until sugar is dissolved
  • a splash of lime juice
  • 2 apples (Rome or Honey Crisp are best)
Blueberry Mojito


  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 bottle ready-to-serve Mojito mix (recommended: Smirnoff)
  • 1 liter bottle sparkling water
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish


  1. In a large pitcher, add the blueberries and muddle until they release their juices. 
  2. Pour in the ready-to-serve Mojito mix and sparkling water and stir. 
  3. Pour into glasses filled with ice and garnish with a mint sprig and serve. 
Have fun cooking and entertaining!

Stay tuned in the next few days I’ll be covering the tablescape, favor ideas and other goodies!

Have a sweet day!