Please excuse the mess as we are tidying up for company.
A Well Crafted Party will be up in running again in no time with ALL of your favorite posts. We are making the move from Blogger to WordPress. In the mean time follow along via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
|Me and Sarah blowing bubbles at the PNW Blogger event Photo via Linnea Paulina Photography|
A couple of weekends ago I had the exciting opportunity to travel up to Seattle with fellow Pacific Northwest Bloggers for a kid-free evening of socializing and talking shop. I love the PNW Blogger meet-ups and was thrilled to be asked by Chelsey, The Paper Mama, to help her plan this Seattle event.
I’m a lucky woman. I have a lot of people in my life who love me and who I love. I’ve had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend so far and have enjoyed every moment of celebrating mothers and being celebrated by my husband and son.
Every Mother’s Day I spend some time thinking about my past and the role of a mother. My story of my relationship with my mother is a long one… there was a time in her life that she wasn’t able to take care of her children the way she wanted to, and had to spend time getting herself help.
When I was younger I’d often wish that my family was more “normal.” Growing up I had a father that had to play two roles at times— both mom and dad. I had two Grandmothers that pitched in to teach me the things that a mother would need to convey. I felt frustrated a lot when it came to my own mother.
After finding the help she needed, she had to struggle to become a role in my life again. I didn’t make it easy. Eventually though, I was thankful to have a mom again. She made or helped buy my prom dresses my Junior and Senior years of high school. She planned my graduation party. She played a big role in my wedding. And, now that I have a son, she plays a big role in his life. She is a great grandma.
I spent a lot of my life being upset about my lot in life. Being upset that it was my grandmother that had to teach me about my period. That it was my father who I had to ask about shaving. That it was me that had to help teach and take care of my brothers and sister as we were growing up.
Now I look back and see that I had amazing examples of the role of a mom. I realize I wouldn’t have had those examples if things had been different. I realize that I would likely not have the relationship with my mother that I do if she had not taken some time to get herself help. I’ve realized that anyone with a big heart, lots of patience, and love can become a “mom” in one way or another. This statement does not simplify the role of the mother…. it is a vital role and it is not an easy one. It’s just true. It is true for all the foster mothers, step mothers, adoptive mothers, single fathers…. this list goes on and on.
I had a lot of people pull together to be a mother to me in a time of need. My father. My grandmothers. The lady I nannied for while I was in college. After getting married I got to know a wonderful mother in my mother-in-law. She has been a constant example to me.
The role of a mother is simple and complicated all rolled in to one. I’m lucky to have the examples that I have in my life. I feel that if I take the best of my examples and try to live up to those examples in my role as a mother that my son has a pretty good shot at a happy life.
Happy Mother’s Day to everyone out there that had to take on the role of mother one time or another. And, a big Happy Mother’s Day to all those mammas out there that are stepping into the role of motherhood and giving it their all. Happy Mother’s Day and a big I LOVE YOU to my wonderful mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother. You’ve helped shaped me in my role as a mom. Thank you.
Over the weekend I enjoyed several different events with tasty food… however, this little treat was my favorite! My friends Joan and Brandon hosted a wine tasting at their home and created all of the appetizers to pair with local wines. Brandon is a taste master… this simple, and quick appetizer is a knock-out winner for any party, but especially with a Muscat wine from Purple Cow Vineyards.
This is a simple and quick appetizer that is perfect for wine tastings, dinner party hors d’oeuvres, spring parties, tea parties, and more. The ingredients and process are also super simple. Make this soon!
Mandarin Orange, Cream Cheese & Mint Appetizer Ingredients:
- Triscuit Crackers
- 1 block cream cheese
- Fresh Mint
- Can of mandarin oranges
Mandarin Orange, Cream Cheese & Mint Appetizer Directions:
- Slice cream cheese into cracker sized slices about a 1/4 inch thick. Brandon sliced the cream cheese with a bit of floss. It made for just the right sized slices without a big mess.
- Top crackers with cream cheese pats.
- Top cream cheese with a mint leaf.
- Top mint leaf with a mandarin orange slice.
If you are in Portland and are wanting something DELICIOUS then drop by the Food Bloggers’ Bake Sale this morning from 10 am until all is sold out. I made CUPCAKES!!!
(By the way… .when I say cupcakes, I say it exactly as cookie monster says COOKIES! That is how big my love for these tasty little treats! CUPCAKES!! Nom Nom Nom.)
I made Cupcakes in a Jar with Martha Stewarts yellow cake and a homemade vanilla bean buttercream. I’m really, really excited about this buttercream because I first made the butter from cream, then I added the vanilla bean and sugar to make the frosting. So, so good.
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
If you are finding me through the bake sale then let me say THANK YOU for supporting a great cause and welcome to my blog. I like to write about a variety of subjects including real parties, food & recipes, fashion, and my son. Follow along or connect through my social networks by using the links below.
This is a part of a food series on leftover party foods. My first post for the series gave tips on party foods that make for great leftovers and how to store them. Today I’d like to talk about Party Food Leftover Breakfasts…. my favorite way to enjoy leftovers.
My Favorite Party Food Leftover Breakfasts:
- French Toast — A leftover baguette makes for a delicious French Toast breakfast.
- Strata— YUM. I love me a good Strata. My favorite kind is from Martha Stewart. But, basically, once you have a basic recipe you can really just throw anything in there!
- Omelets — Throw leftover meats, veggies, and cheeses in with some eggs to make for a tasty omelet or scramble.
- Fried sliced baguettes in a little butter.
- Topped the baguettes with leftover party cheese and let melt. (smoked gouda and an herb cream cheese)
- Fried leftover party meats.
- I had some leftover salad greens and tossed those in a balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Finally, I topped it all off with a fried egg.
Over the weekend I enjoyed meeting a ton of Pacific Northwest Bloggers at a meet-up in Seattle. I had such a fun time that I completely forgot to post about A Well Crafted Party’s 3rd birthday! My very first post on this website was posted April 26, 2010, “Let’s Party.”
I can’t believe that this little blog has been in my life for three years now. It has grown and changed with me. In honor of the blog’s birthday I’d like to share a few things about me and this blog. I’d also like to say THANK YOU to each and everyone of you for reading today and all the other days that you’ve clicked through to one of my posts. You’re the best.
How to Connect
I love, love, love my social networks [some might call me addicted]. I try to keep different information and ideas floating around on each of my social networks. If you wanna get to know me, my family, and have a little insight into my world, then check out my Instagram account. I’ll update about posts here on the blog, give party tips, and free printables on my Facebook account. Twitter is my favorite place to chat about a variety of subjects, update about posts, and promote my favorite brands and bloggers. Google + and I are still trying to figure things out… but, I’m on there. You’ll see my updates and be able to comment on posts. Oh, and I can’t forget about Pinterest! Check out my Pinterest boards to see what is inspiring me lately. I’d love to connect with you as well… comment with your info and I’ll be sure to follow you back!
Favorite Moments Over these Three Years
- My sister’s wedding & cake plate tutorial on Eat Drink Pretty— love that blog and was THRILLED to be included!
- My cherry blossom Japanese-inspired wedding shoot featured on Hostess with the Mostess.
- Modern & Chic New Years Eve Party featured on Pizzazzerie. A collaboration between Portland Bloggers and such a fun photo shoot!
- Finishing and Sharing my Blog Planner Printables
- Had the opportunity to speak to local business ladies about blogging for The CRAVE Company. Such an honor!
- Working with the Portland Bloggers group. This has been so rewarding and such fun!
Some Exciting News
- I just became a full-fledge member of the BlogHer community. You might notice some of the ads here on this site. I never want my site to be annoying with ads. But, I also know that if I start making a little money on this site then I can take more time to produce original and interesting content. I like BlogHer because they tend to have links to products and stories that I feel are a good fit for my readers. The BlogHer TV ad on the left often has great food tips and recipes!
- I’ll be joining some Portland Food Bloggers over the weekend at a Bake Sale for Share our Strength, No Kid Hungry. If you are in the Portland area then stop on by to see me, get goodies from some of your favorite Portland food bloggers, and support a good cause. We’ll be at the Oregon Historical Society’s Outdoor Plaza from 10 a.m. until it is all sold out. More info over at Not Just Baked.
- I am going to be joining some awesome Portland area bloggers at Portland Fashion Week this year as a member of PFW Style Collective. I cannot wait! More about this to come later.
|photo taken by my friend Macey & posted on her instagram— follow her @motormouthmacey|
I am habitually making too much food for parties. I never, ever want to have a party and run out of food! Recently I made way too much food for a ladies night and had a bunch of leftovers. Party food leftovers typically go bad fairly quickly if they are not stored right and used soon after the party. So, when creating breakfast the next day with my leftover party food this series was born. I’ll spend a couple of posts talking about party food leftovers… I include some recipes and tips. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use this list the next time you are working on planning and executing your next party!
Party Foods that make for Great Leftovers:
- Breads with dips on the side
- Cheese Platters (just be careful to not set out for too long— I like to set out small portions and refill as needed)
- Fruit Platters
- Veggie Platters
- Roasted Veggies
- Meat Platters (same as cheese— set out small portions and refill as needed)
- Chips and Dips
- Many Baked Goods and Appetizers make for great leftovers as well
Storing Your Party Food Leftovers:
- Keep the jars or containers that your dips/salsas come in! When you buy a jar of salsa and put out a big bowl of it… keep the jar for storing any leftovers.
- Keep the chip bag! I’ve thrown away WAY too many chip bags to end up just wishing I’d kept them. I serve my chips out of bowls… but, I hide away the chip bag to use in case there are leftovers. Seal the bag with a chip clip and use the chips before they go stale. I like using chips for breading in meals like Crispy Potato Chip Chicken or Salmon Filets with Potato Chip Crust.
- Have tupperware ready to go. That way, when you are exhausted and ready to go to bed you don’t have to take too much time to put up your items. Seal any foods in tupperware. Refrigerate items like cheese, meat, fruit, and veggies. I also refrigerate dips and salsas after opening.
- I put bread items in a tupperware and try to use the breads right away. If you have the time… go ahead and set up a strata for the next day’s breakfast using up your leftover bread, meats, veggies, and cheeses! I mix it up for stratas just using whatever leftovers I have. Just break up your bread pieces and put in a pan with cut up veggies, cheeses, and meats. Pour an egg and milk mixture over the bread, cover with cellophane, and refrigerate. The next day you just need to put the casserole pan into the oven and bake until cooked through. One of my favorite strata recipes is the Canadian Bacon Strata from Martha Stewart.