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Fourth of July Entertaining

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, we are hosting family for the weekend & looking forward to all of the festive fun!! I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite foods & entertaining ideas for the holiday weekend.

We love to do fruit & cheese boards for every holiday, especially if we are entertaining. They’re easy, festive & fun for kids!! Anytime I am out shopping and find fun crackers, I will always buy them knowing I will find a way to use them in a platter later on. I thought these sourdough strip crackers were so pretty for this board!! I used red & blue fruits, and then just cut regular white sharp cheddar into star shapes using a small cookie cutter!

Our favorite Summer dessert is always Jell-O cake!! It is so yummy and refreshing, we usually end up just eating it out of the pan with a fork!

DIRECTIONS // For Jell-O Poke cake (in the simplest directions possible because that’s how we roll): make a white cake according to directions (I use a box cake mix). Let the cake cool, and then using a toothpick, poke holes in the entire cake, the more holes you can make, the more the Jell-O will be able to seep through to the bottom. Once your holes are poked, make your Strawberry Jell-O (one cup boiling water + one cup cold water) and then pour the mixture over the cake very slowly allowing Jell-O to penetrate the cake. Put in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours to chill, and then frost with whipped cream! I usually decorate with strawberries, but also add blueberries or blackberries for the Fourth! (more detailed recipe here).

A few other fun ideas that I have had saved:

These DIY patriotic popsicles.

The prettiest, most festive ice cubes of your life.

Mini pancake stacks, a fun breakfast idea!

Wishing you guys the happiest Fourth with your families & the ones you love!! Let’s hope our kiddos all stay awake til fireworks!! XO

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Fall Entertaining

We just decided that we are going all out & having a Halloween party this year, complete with movie themed couples costumes & our Hocus Pocus drinking game! Hashtag never grow up. The other night I put together this festive fruit & cheese tray when we had a few friends over & thought this would be so fun to serve for Halloween parties, especially with a few fake spiders added to the mix!! I wanted to share it for a little bit of inspiration along with some of my favorite things for Fall entertaining!!

For this cheese tray we used blackberry goat cheese (the pretty purple!!), two kinds of crackers, mozzerella cheese cut into star shapes (pick your shape based on the holiday!), figs (always make things feel like Fall!), walnuts and some dark chocolate covered pretzels for a sweet + fun twist! I used my favorite polka dot cheese knives that I found last year (similar here!) but have also had my eye on these gold ones that would work for any occasion! Check your local thrift stores or flea markets for the best, worn cutting boards, my mom found mine before Harper was born at Goodwill for under $10! I love this wood + marble cutting board and this super festive black & white stripe one!!

For our Halloween party, I plan to recreate this, but extra SPOOKY along with some dry ice witches cauldrons & as many sweet treats as I can get away with. If you have any favorite festive recipes or games, I would love if you shared them with us! Who else is Halloween partying this year?! xo287

Homemade Stovetop Popcorn Three Ways

Hope you all have been enjoying your holiday week! We have been extra lazy enjoying these slow last few December days, but have been getting pretty excited to ring in the new year! Brandon’s family came to surprise us and will be staying for NYE. We are planning a fun evening in with the kids (and probably a balloon drop just for added flair!) but I wanted to share some festive old fashioned stovetop popcorn that we have been loving lately that I think would be such a fun treat for the new year! I found a year in review newspaper that made the perfect way to serve it, each cone filled with different toppings. We make these all the time, and for those of you who have asked on snap or IG, we don’t use any special popcorn maker, just a pan on the stove & a big jar of popcorn kernels! It’s so easy and so much fun, especially for the older kids who can enjoy it!

Here are the basics for making stovetop popcorn.

Heat 2-3 tbsp canola or coconut oil in a large pan or dutch oven that has a lid. We used a wok here because the lid is glass & the girls love to see it pop! Shortly after you start heating your oil, drop in 2-3 kernels of popcorn, and watch for them to pop to let you know that your oil is hot enough. Once they have popped, pour in 1/4-1/3 cup of popcorn kernels, remove the pan from heat for 15 seconds, and then let it POP! It should pop evenly without burning, shake the pan around a bit to help keep the kernels to the bottom. Once you feel that most of the kernels have popped, remove from heat and immediately dump out the popped corn into a bowl! Your house will smell SO good!!!

Now for the toppings. Our three favorite ways to eat it are:

  1. Good old fashioned melted butter + coarse sea salt. Seriously addicting!
  2. 1 tsp truffle oil + 1 tbsp melted butter (mix together in a saucepan), drizzle over popcorn & add finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  3. 2 tbsp melted butter + handful of mini marshmallows (mix together in saucepan) & pour over popcorn quickly mixing together with a spoon. Tastes like a combination of popcorn & rice krispy treats!

POP! Fizz! Clink! Enjoy your new year friends!!! XO

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