Archive for October, 2010

Easy Halloween Decoration Ideas

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Countdown to Hallow’s eve and here are a couple of  easy Halloween decoration ideas.  Create your own quick centerpiece by using these decorative Halloween tinsel.

Or carve out a pumpkin and use it as a flower vase.

Happy Halloween and I hope you can use one of these Halloween decoration ideas!  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Halloween Party Ideas for a Green Halloween

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Here are some last minute Halloween party ideas for a green Halloween for this weekend’s monster bashes.  I also thought I would share some Halloween décor ideas as well.

You don’t always have to stick to orange as a theme for Halloween but of course, this is always a fun way to get to wear and eat the color orange.  But for now, let’s look at Halloween party ideas involving another color such as green and create a menu and decorations for a green Halloween.

For a Green Goblin party, you can start your menu off with green theme cocktails and then serve small bites instead of a formal sit-down dinner.  Rename a mint julep the Green Gremlin and also offer cucumber martinis, mint ice tea or lime flavored soda water and add a drop or two of green food color for fun. Another fun idea is to offer plain water with cucumber, mint and rosemary and color that green as well and call it Frankenstein’s Spa water.

For munchies, here are some green Halloween ideas that are easy-to-make and can be served either as small bites or on small plates:

1.    Guacamole with green tortilla chips
2.    Hallowed out cucumbers with green pepper humus
3.    Endive leaves stuffed with dill cream cheese
4.    Green chili mushroom poppers
5.    Shot Glasses with asparagus soup
6.    Green goddess salad
7.    Mini spinach cupcakes
8.    Penne with pesto sauce
9.    Lamb kabobs with green peppers and mint jelly

You can find the recipe for the humus in Budget Bash.  Of course, Halloween party ideas featuring a Green Goblin theme can’t be complete without dessert.  Why not serve mint brownies or mint ice cream sandwiches?  For a not so sweet finish, you can also pick up green tea ice cream or green tea mochi and garnish them with green grapes and kiwi.

For your Green Goblin Halloween décor, pick up some fun green fabric and use it as an overlay.  You don’t have to sew the edges, just fold them under or pick up a pair of pinking shears to finish the edges.

To keep with a green Halloween theme, as a table centerpiece, here are a few quick and easy ideas.  Just a simple large bowl or platter of green apples interspersed with a contrasting flower is fun.  Or various heights of tall glass cylinders filled with green apples will work too.

Take a green pillar candle and surround it with a wreath of fresh white hydrangeas, or if you can’t find a green pillar candle, use a white one and green hydrangeas instead.

Other fun green Halloween décor includes taking an old white sheet, dye it green and then create little ghosts that you can hang from your ceiling or outdoors from a tree.  Just take the pieces of fabric from the old sheet, stuff a portion on the top to create the head and tie it off with raffia or plain string also dyed green.  Then glue black velvet pieces for the eyes and mouth to create the face and finish them by using fishing string to hang your little ghosts.

I hope you found these Halloween party ideas and Halloween décor ideas for a green Halloween easy and fun to do.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Autumn Table Decoration Ideas

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

The fourth quarter is always the most fun for special event planning.  So many natural elements are available for you to use for fall decorations on your dinner table setting.  Here are some table decoration ideas you can use for your next special event or dinner party.

For your dinner table setting, simply start in the fresh produce section of your local market.  Right now there are so many colorful gourds and other fresh vegetables that can easily be used as fall decorations on your table as well as around the house.  Cluster different colored pumpkins at the doorway or purchase the mini-pumpkins and cluster those at the dinner table along with colorful gourds.

Simple dinner table decoration ideas include using orange colored candles and votives as well as cluster of silk and dried fall flowers.  After Halloween last year, I purchased orange votive candles at 50% off as well as silk flowers at 70% off and kept them stored until now.  You can also pick up fresh flowers at the market, either already arranged in a fall bouquet or simply do-it-yourself with a couple different types of roses, sunflowers and dahlias.

For a dinner table setting at a recent party I hosted, I took out of my party emergency box the orange votives, silk flowers and a gold colored organza table runner and created a simple yet elegant centerpiece for my dinning room table using these fall decorations. (For other tips as to what to keep in your party emergency box check out page 29 in Budget Bash.)

Of course, now with the plethora of fall gourds and vegetables you can also use them for votive candle holders (as pictured below).  Just hallow out either baby pumpkins or various types of squash and there you have an all natural fall votive holder.

Other table decoration ideas to make life easy for yourself during this festive time of year include using fall colored flowers for your centerpiece or creating a submerged flower arrangement like the one shown below.  Just use neutral colored rocks, a glass container with water and a simple dahlia.  Don’t stress, make it fun and simple.

Colored corn husks are great fall decorations for your table as well.  Here’s a fun dinner table setting idea.  Create a cool and hip atmosphere at your dinner party by using hay bales instead of chairs for sitting.  You may have to switch and use a coffee table (because some hay bales maybe lower than a standard chair) or better yet, create the dinner table with the hay bales and surround it with other hay bales as the benches for sitting.  Of course, hay bales require either renting and having them delivered or borrowing them from a friend’s ranch!

Finally, other autumn table decoration ideas include incorporating whole walnuts, fresh apples or dried leaves as table decor.  You can always place the walnuts, apples and leaves on the table loosely or create a fun design within a clear square or cylinder glass vase.

I hope you can incorporate some of these autumn table decoration ideas this fall for your dinner table setting.  You may also want to look to adding fall decorations around the house as well with fun natural decor.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra:  make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Easy Flower Arranging for Fall Flower Arrangements

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

I was recently in New York City and snapped a couple of these fall flower arrangements to show you how easy flower arranging can be.   Streamlined, stylish, simple and quick to assemble.  Just the flowers (stems cut on an angle), vase, water and votive candles if you wish.

Flower arranging using a monochromatic color scheme whether it is yellow for fall flower arrangements, orange for Halloween or white for a wedding can add a hip factor to your special event.

For some simple step-by-step flower arranging instructions and pictures turn to pages 59 to 65 in Budget Bash.  For some added decor for fall flower arrangements use neutral colored rocks on the bottom of your vase or scatter around the vase maple leaves that have already turned color.

Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

Easy Vegan Dessert Recipe Featuring Vegan Chocolate

Friday, October 1st, 2010

I’ve been cooking vegan again and found an easy-to-make, delicious, nutritious vegan dessert recipe featuring vegan chocolate and I thought I would share it with you.  This dessert is one of three simple vegan recipes that I will be writing about in the next few weeks.

What I loved about this vegan chocolate dessert is that it had a similar consistency and taste as regular chocolate mousse but not the same high-caloric, high-fat count as the real deal and therefore, I felt less guilty making and eating this easy vegan dessert recipe.  Ingredients are as follows:

  • 1 cup of vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, such as soy milk or rice milk
  • 2 12.3-oz packages of low fat silken tofu
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Optional

  • Vegan graham cracker pie crust
  • Strawberries
  • Mint garnish

Place the vegan chocolate chips and the non-dairy milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute so that chips melt.  Take the mixture out of the microwave and let it sit and cool down.

Then, using a hand mixer or food processor, blend the tofu, vanilla and chocolate chip/non-dairy milk mixture until smooth.  Transfer into small individual serving dishes or the graham cracker pie crust and chill for at least 2 hours.

Before serving, you can top your mousse  with strawberries or garnish the mousse with mint leaves.  Another variation to making simple vegan recipes using vegan chocolate is to add a cup of fresh bananas while you are mixing the tofu and chocolate mixture to change up the taste a bit.

Want to add some decor to your dessert presentation?  Then place the mousse in a decorative glass or ceramic container.  I used some margarita glasses that I had to add a quick and easy decorative flair to my table.  For other inexpensive decor ideas check out Budget Bash.

Under the same heading of simple vegan recipes is the strawberry mousse I made as well last week.  Again, I used readily available ingredients.  2 packages of frozen strawberries, 1 package of extra-firm silken tofu and 3 tablespoons of sugar or 2 tablespoons of Agave nectar (to substitute for the sugar).

Thaw the frozen strawberries and then blend them in a food processor or blender with the sugar and the tofu until smooth.  Spoon the mixture into four serving dishes and refrigerate until chilled.  You can also serve this dessert with fresh strawberries or another seasonal berry as a garnish.  For a complete vegan dinner menu with recipes, check out pages 98 and 101 in Budget Bash.

I hope you like the easy vegan dessert recipe for the vegan chocolate mousse as well as other simple vegan recipes such as the strawberry mousse.  Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra:  make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!