Wednesday, June 27, 2012

4th of July Printable Party Give-Away

I have a fun, fantastic, Fourth of July Printable Party from Amanda's Parties to Go from Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/AmandasPartiesToGo?ref=seller_info   Amanda has these amazing printable parties at a VERY reasonable cost.  She sent me her 4th of July Party and I couldn't believe how much I had to play with. Because of the amazing amount of printables you get, these parties are so versatile.  Even Better, I just received this email from Amanda, so if you'd like to get started on this party right away 
JULY 4th Party - 4th of July Printable Set - Stars and Stripes - On Sale - Full Collection with Invitation by Amanda's Parties To Go, listing #75312329   www.etsy.com/listing/75312329/july-4th-party-4th-of-july-printable-set
Here is the banner (and I didn't even use the whole thing).  I found some red honeycomb circles at the dollar store and used some of the stars in the printables to hang fun decorations from the ceiling of my back porch.
Here is the invitation you get with the package.  Since you download and print your own party, you can invite as many (or as few) as you want, isn't that cool? I also loved scattering some of the printed patterns on the table, they are so festive :)

Here you can see the napkin holders and in the background you can see the cupcake liners and cupcake picks :)
Here is a better shot of the cupcakes,  the little circles you see on the wrappers are actually Hershey kiss labels, I thought they looked cute on the cupcake wrappers.  Like I said, this party is so versatile :)
Here are the cones, I used them for chips, but you could use them for favors, popcorn, french fries, or anything else that fits in a cute paper cone :)  I wrapped mine with ribbon, because I can never resist gilding the lily :)
I love the straw flags, I actually used both the stars and the stripes with a kiss cover on paper straws and loved how they turned out.  You will also receive bottle wraps :)
Here is a better shot of the bottle wraps, you will also receive 24 cute pre-printed food tent labels and un-printed ones :)
Here are the adorable Kiss covers.  What a treat to send home sweets and Kisses for your guests to enjoy later :)

Here's the whole party. My All American Diner style 4th of July :)

So What do you need to do to win this fun party?
1).  First Make sure you are following my blog and like my blog page on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shannons-Shanonigins/135210736536443

2). Next, go to Amanda's Parties to Go  http://www.etsy.com/shop/AmandasPartiesToGo?ref=seller_info
and come back and tell us what your favorite thing is in her shop.
Make sure you leave a comment to let us know that you did this :) and please make sure that we know your name and how to contact you if you win.  
I will be drawing for a Party on June 30th, and again on July 1st
That's right, you have two chances to win this fun party.  I hope you got some fun ideas from me, and I wish you and  yours a safe, happy, beautiful, and Delicious 4th of July.
                                                   Let Freedom Ring! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook Give-Away & Review

I recently received an advanced copy of "Taste of Home Cooking School Cookbook, and I have to tell you, I really love this book!  This copy is for a "Give-Away,(because I love my readers, and adore giving you wonderful things :) but I will say, I'm going to be purchasing my own copy of this book :)
Just a couple of the many helpful pages in the book
This book has tons of information for cooks.  Not only does it open with pages like this, but you will find helpful hints throughout the entire book.  This would be a fantastic wedding, or housewarming gift because of all the great information, and tips.
The Chewy Oatmeal Cookies I made, YUM1
I've been searching for a great oatmeal cookie for a long time and I have to tell you that the recipe on page 252 is worth the price of the book alone.  The recipe in the book called  for chocolate chips, raisins, and pecans.  I substituted dried cranberries for chocolate chips ( I know, you thought I'd go for the chocolate, lol) and I'm in  LOVE!  This WILL be my oatmeal cookie recipe :)

Four Fantastic Cookie Recipes on Two Pages

y Oatmeal Cookies
Yields 5 dozen
Janis Plageman, Lynden WA

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon molasses
2  teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1- 1/2  teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup each raisins and chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips ( I substituted dried cranberries)
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, molasses, & vanilla, beat well
Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon & salt, gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in raisins, pecans, & chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack
Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade
The other recipe I made was the Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade on page 32. I made this for my son's graduation party and it was a BIG hit.
I do have to say that our family likes our lemonade a bit tart so I used unsweetened strawberries and half club soda (instead of lemon/lime soda).  We have made this with all club soda and loved it.  I just like to cut down on the sugar where I can, especially if you still end up with a delicious drink like this one :) I also added whole frozen unsweetened strawberries to the container as both garnish and to keep the lemonade cold :)
Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade
Krista Collins  Concord, NC
1 package (10 Ounces) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
1 can (12 ounce) frozen pink lemonade concentrate 
Place the strawberries in a blender, cover and process until pureed. Pour into a large pitcher, stir in the soda and lemonade concentrate
Serve Immediately
To win this book
All you need to do is....
Leave me a comment telling me you would like to win this fantastic cookbook :)
Make sure that I have your name so I know who to contact if you win:)
Good Luck and Happy Cooking

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Simple Pleasures" Book Review and Give-Away

I was lucky this last week to receive an advanced  copy of Cornelia Guest's " Simple Pleasures.
Cornelia Guest breaks new ground in vegan cooking with " Simple Pleasures".  This is a wonderful book, not only for vegans, but for those who have vegan friends, or just want healthy seasonal recipes at hand. This book is not just about great vegan recipes, it's also a beautiful book with lot's of ideas and photo's about entertaining.

One of the many beautiful photos in Cornelia Guest's Book " Simple Pleasures"
Cornelia's entertaining style could best be described as "Understated Elegance". You couldn't really call it casual since she uses things like, polo trophies, and antique dishes in her table scapes. But it's not "Over the top", or stuffy.

Author Bio
Cornelia Guest, 
author of Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining, is an activist, philanthropist, and businesswoman. In 2009, she founded Cornelia Guest Events and Cornelia Guest Cookies, catering charity and entertainment events with healthy, delicious vegan food. She is launching her own line of animal-friendly handbags, wallets, and dog accessories made with a vegan alternative to leather. She lives in New York.
For more information please visit http://www.corneliaguest.com, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter  Here are two wonderful recipes from Cornelia Guest's Book
Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Amaranth 
By Cornelia Guest,

Serves 4
Total time: 45 minutes

Zucchini blossoms are so beautiful. This is so easy to make, and your friends will be very impressed. You can make the stuffing the day before so you can enjoy your friends, stuff the blossoms and have a great lunch. Amaranth is a gooey grain that works well as a stuffing. I serve this dish with iced tea with mint or a crisp white wine. Fresh tomatoes go well with the squash blossoms.
3 cups amaranth
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 zucchini
1 small eggplant (you want to end up with 1-1/2 cups after its is cooked)
1 garlic clove
4 large blossoms per serving
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add amaranth. Simmer and cook until water is absorbed, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Quarter the onion and cook in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 30 minutes over medium heat until caramelized.
3. Dice zucchini and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Dice eggplant and garlic and sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 10 minutes.
5. Mix the cooked vegetables with the amaranth and add parsley. Fill the squash blossoms with the mixture. Serve at room temperature.

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad 
By Cornelia Guest,

Serves 6
Total time: 25 minutes

There is nothing like sweet summer corn. This pairing is smooth and crunchy, colorful, and totally delicious.
4 ears of corn, shucked
1 avocado, sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
1. Heat a grill to medium-high. Grill corn, rotating often, until lightly charred, about 15 minutes
2. Let cool slightly. Carefully cut kernels from cobs.
3. Gently toss corn kernels with avocado, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Serve right away.
I love this photo from Cornelia's book, it's so English Country (my favorite style).

I'm giving on of my readers the opportunity to win a hardback copy of this book (the release date is June 12th).
All you have to do is leave a comment telling me you would like to win this book and I will draw on the 15th.
Please make sure that your name is in the comment (if it's not part of your avatar) so that I have a way of contacting you if you're the winner.
Good Luck