Last Minute No-Cook Picnic Recipes

Easy red, white, and blue Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries. Image/detailed directions at: thekitchenismyplayground.com

Easy red, white, and blue Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries. Image/detailed directions at: thekitchenismyplayground.com

 

 

 

Scrambling for get-togethers can be daunting. Especially on super picnic weekends like July 4th. Here are a few last minute no-cook recipes that can save you time in the kitchen:

 

 

Star-Spangled Mini Trifles

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Part 4: Minecraft Madness!

The Minecraft Periodic Table, courtesy of Stubby EE on  Minecraftforum.net

The Minecraft Periodic Table, courtesy of Stubby EE on Minecraftforum.net

This is part of a series of how we pulled off a Minecraft gaming party for over 45 people. Part 1, includes a game tutorial, dealing with vendors, and helpful links. Part 2, shared our gaming trailer experience, event schedule, glitches and making a Minecraft invite for a girl. Part 3, we go over decorations, food containers transformed into Creepers, party favors/bags, tableware, and several links for printables to make 3D table toppers.

Every post has helpful links, so please check them out if you’re thinking of having a Minecraft party. For Part 4, we’ll go over foods you can match with the Minecraft Periodic Table, and drinks. Continue reading

Part 3: Minecraft Madness

We enlisted our entire family to help with decorations and favors. The Creeper/Endermen were made from gum packs. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All rights reserved.

We enlisted our entire family to help with decorations and favors. The Creeper/Endermen were made from gum packs. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All rights reserved.

This is the third segment in my series of tutorials for a Minecraft party. Part one went over making a Pin the Tail on the Minecraft Pig (my version in 3D). The second segment went over the gaming trailer, party schedule/plan for an event of over 45 people and it included several links to printables for invitations, skins, and more.

For this post, we’ll go over decorations: tables, centerpieces, banners, and favors/bags.

Table Decorations

For simplicity, we used throwaway green plastic tablecloths. Yes, we could have added large, black squares for eyes, nose and mouth (for a big Creeper), but we had so many dishes of food (with printed Minecraft labels), Minecraft food containers, and 3D table toppers that we didn’t feel the need.

Utensils and Plates

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Part 2: Minecraft Madness!

 

Using a girl skin helped us make our simple invite work for our daughter. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

We chose a skin that emulated Megan in the Minecraft world. The simple graphics gave us the space needed for info to parents. Invitation image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

This post is part of a series of how we successfully pulled off a Minecraft gaming party for over 45 people. Follow the link to Part 1: Minecraft Madness, if you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the first tutorial.

When we first mulled over the idea, we knew we wanted the party taken to a new level. Yes, some may feel it is a bit extravagant, but looking at other options of bowling parties, activity zones, and other options for 9-year-olds, it only cost a few hundred more for THE party of a lifetime. You know, if a husband gets excited about a kid’s party, there’s credence to it. Continue reading

Part 1: Minecraft Madness! DIY Party Ideas

One of the tables for our Minecraft party. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

One of the tables for our Minecraft party. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

Does your loved one know every type of potion, brick, mineral, and creature that exists in the Minecraft world? Well, then you may consider making their dreams come true with a Minecraft Gaming Party!

Having had the recent pleasure of throwing a Minecraft party gives me the opportunity to share what worked and what didn’t work so well. I’ll be adding a 1-3 tutorials at a time, since they can be lengthy. So check back frequently for follow-up posts.

The Party : Prepare for Glitches

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DIY Noise Makers for New Year’s Eve

This beautiful vintage inspired noise maker can really wow your party crowd. Image courtesy of vintageimagecraft.com

This beautiful vintage inspired noise maker can really wow your party crowd. Image courtesy of vintageimagecraft.com

What could be more fitting than to add a nostalgic popper to the night we often look back on as we sing the Scottish poem of Auld Lang Syne? A soda can has never looked better and the tutorial is easy to follow.

You can also let 2014 go out with a bang by making a bunch of noise makers with the recent leftovers of gift wrap, basket fillers, candies and more!

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Part 3: Let the Baking Begin

Neapolitan cookies have multi-layers of flavor: Almond, raspberry, apricot, and chocolate. Image courtesy of thehopefulhestia.wordpress.com

Neapolitan cookies have multi-layers of flavor: Almond, raspberry, apricot, and chocolate. Image courtesy of thehopefulhestia.wordpress.com

This is part 3 of the series: Get Ready for the Christmas Baking to Begin. These next two holiday favorites are easier to make than expected. Both goodies run about $9 a pound at your local bakery and this frugal gal knows that you can go broke trying to purchase a nice platter of these delightful morsels. With that in mind, I offer you two great gift-worthy recipes:

 

 

 

Italian Neapolitan Cookies
*Coming from an Italian family, I can tell you this recipe is authentic in nature. Other recipes call for other flavored fillings, but most bakeries use these ingredients.

Supplies: Continue reading

Part 2: Let the Baking Begin!

Italian Chocolate Balls that appear to have chocolate frosting instead of white in our family recipe. Image courtesy of Applecrumbs.com

Italian Chocolate Balls that appear to have chocolate frosting instead of white in our family recipe. Image courtesy of Applecrumbs.com

This is part 2 of Get Ready for the Christmas Baking to Begin.Today, I’ll be adding three more recipes:
Italian Chocolate Balls (our own family recipe), Peanut Butter Balls (some call them buckeyes, but they really taste like a Reese cup), and
Almond Sugar Cookie Cutouts (my very own recipe that has been acclaimed by many).

 

 

Italian Chocolate  Balls

*This batter takes a fork and a strong arm for mixing or a heavy duty mixer. Yet, the results are so worth it.

Supplies: Continue reading

Get Ready for the Christmas Baking to Begin!

Homemade Christmas cookies warm just about everyone's heart.  Find your favorite recipe that you can pass on for generations. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

Homemade Christmas cookies warm just about everyone’s heart. Find a favorite recipe that you can pass on for generations to come. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

The days are ticking quickly by and if you are anything like me, you already have your supplies on hand. No? Well, I can offer you my most requested cookie/candy recipes that have been pleasing people for over 35 years. Since some directions are longer than others, multiple posts will be needed as follows:

Part 1:                                    Part 2:  Chocolate Italian Balls
Spicy Gingerbread Cookies               Peanut Butter Balls
Italian Butter Balls                                 Almond Sugar Cookies
Rum Balls

Part 3:                                    Part 4:  Butterscotch Haystacks
Chocolate Fudge                                 Coconut Balls
Italian Neapolitan Cookies                  Truffles (multi-flavored)

Part 1: Spicy Ginger Bread Cookies

Gingerbread man image courtesy of What Ronronia Wants

Gingerbread men image courtesy of What Ronronia Wants @ blogspot.

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DIY Fall Table Runners and Placemats

It's easier to make than you think: A Fall table runner and placemats. Image courtesy of shopfonsandporter.com

It’s easier to make than you think: A Fall table runner and placemats. Image courtesy of shopfonsandporter.com

Adding to our Goal: Bringing a Fall Table Setting Together

We started with Fall Centerpieces to Fall in Love With, followed by Fall DIY Napkin Rings and now we move on how to make your own table runners and placemats.

Budget Decorating, by Tonya Lee has a great tutorial on making a basic runner. Although they use fusing bond in their directions, using a Hi/Lo glue gun can help create a runner even faster and let’s not forget the old stand by: sewing(the most time-consuming).

My suggestion is to put some thought into the time and energy you will have as well as the durability from possible years of use.

With that in mind, check out some of these beautiful runners and placemats that can wow a crowd. Most will have a link to the original site tutorials – so you can make your own! Continue reading