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Spring Fling!

Amidst the heaviness and extreme exhaustion of pregnancy, your favorite “hostess with the mostess” was busier than ever! My comrade and I threw a Spring Fling office party and it was a delicious success.
Complete with my traditional bunny cake, a family hand me down recipe, we welcomed spring with open petals..I mean, arms.

Here are the yummy photos to prove it! Ps. The centerpieces were edible!

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I’m back!

It has been quite awhile since I last posted to my blog, but several parties and one baby later I’m back!

Since I’ve been gone, I wanted to share with all of you the wonderful and delightful blessings that have come my way over the past year.

Our beautiful second son was born August of 2012 and we could not feel more lucky or blessed than we have been in 2012 and now in 2013. Busier yes! But definitely enjoying every minute!

I will be posting and sharing photos of the parties and gatherings that took place while I was on “blog leave” over the next few weeks. Please feel free to comment or pin at will!

Miss Delilah

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Holiday Office Party Spectacular!

Holiday Office Party Spectacular!

I know, I know; better late than never though! Amidst the chaos of the holiday season, a few parties were observed, but none more filled with drama than the Holiday Office Party. As I contemplated whether to take on this daunting task, I felt that for the good of those who wanted to celebrate, the party was a no brainer. So here I am, planning my own personal Holiday Dinner and taking on the Holiday Office Party as well. I was going to need help. I enlisted the help of my best office gal and got to work designing flyers and a food sign up sheet using Microsoft Office templates. The invitation/flyer is the first impression, so make it a good one! It’s all in the details.

Several inner office emails were distributed announcing the party and putting the fire under people to sign up if they wanted to partake in this bountiful feast (in the most polite and lady-like manner, of course). The sign up sheet was filling up fast with some really great dishes!

The day of the event was insane. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE’s dishes needed to be heated and our non-profit office’s breakroom was definitely not a fully equipped kitchen. With one microwave, in 2 1/2 hours we heated a fully cooked, 16 pound turkey with all the trimmings, several casseroles, side dishes and hot desserts! Not to mention, decorated, set up enough tables and chairs for 20 people, and managed to display the crockpot, iced appetizers, cold salads, bread and desserts. Needless to say, it was finished and the turn out was perfect! Our co-workers were happily eating away their waistlines as Michael Buble’s Christmas CD crooned festively in the background.

All drama was headed off at the pass as a co-worker who brought bowls of empty tupperware for filling was told that every person’s food would be packaged and given back to them, so no one would be taking home leftovers except for what belonged to them. Because nothing belonged to her (she did not contribute), she went home empty handed and cursing under her breath in Spanish. I don’t know what she said, but I smiled the whole time and thanked her for coming.

The entire day was devoted to the party and clean up was no less painful than set up. 4:30pm rolled around and exhaustion set in. We did it though! Folks were talking about our festive feast for weeks and could not wait until the next one. I swore the planner for the next office party would not be me, but we all know that when parties are in your blood, there is no such thing as a polite decline.

Regardless of the effort and drama, I feel that offices who would like to celebrate should have the opportunity to eat, fellowship and enjoy each holiday in their workplace. With all of the different religions and beliefs these days, I think it can still be done while incorporating everyone. And if someone is not interested, they can simply not attend gracefully and no one will think worse of them. Face it; it is in our being to be joyous and celebrate life for whatever reason!

Find your joy and spread it to the masses. You’ll be surprised at how much happiness others will derive from your spirit.

Reeling from the Holidays,

Delilah

Humane Society Bake Sale

Humane Society Bake Sale

My husband’s employer is holding a bake sale to benefit The Humane Society, and I am making these little beauties I call Delilah’s Party Cups and selling them for $1 a piece. By using cheap yet festive holiday cellophane bags found at the Dollar Tree for packaging, we can offer a bite sized cup of delicious goodness to those wishing to benefit the cause.

These little cheesecake cups are the perfect dessert for entertaining because they are individual, so no doling out portions or having to use dessert plates or utensils, and they’re super easy to make! The perfect recipe for a bake sale.

This recipe yields 12 cheesecake cups. Double for 24 servings.

Delilah’s Party Cups

Ingredients:

  • 12 pieces Nestle Tollhouse refrigerated chocolate chip cookie bar dough (or any other flavor you like)
  • 1 package 1/3 less fat Neuchâtel cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 can cherry pie filling (or any other topping of your choosing)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F for 10 minutes. Paper line 12 muffin cups (paper or foil). Get festive with printed holiday papers.
  2. Place one piece of cookie dough into the center of each muffin cup.
  3. Bake for 8 minutes or until cookie dough has spread to edge of cup. Take care to not over cook.
  4. Beat softened cream cheese, condensed milk, egg, and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. You can use an electric mixer on medium speed or hand mix. I use old-fashioned elbow grease and hand mix, but make sure you mix your batter, taking care to smooth the lumps. Great exercise for the arms.
  5. Pour 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each cup. If you use more than 2 per cup, you will not have enough.
  6. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until set. I find that the cheesecake begins to crack at around 15 minutes. Keep watch to prevent cracking.
  7. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Top with topping and refrigerate for 1 hour. If you are transporting, you may choose to add toppings just prior to serving.

Note: Get creative! You can mix and match all different types of fillings and toppings with your cookie dough. Add chocolate chips or diced strawberries to your cheesecake filling, or make chocolate cheesecake filling and use a peanut butter cookie dough; top with blueberries, peaches, strawberries, cherries, whipped cream, cool whip, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Organize a bake sale this Fall/Winter to benefit a cause close to your heart. Folks will love to contribute by buying your yummy treats and you can end the day feeling good because you helped those in need, either human or furry friend. Helping others is a true sign of a lady, so let your inner lady shine!

Friend of Furries

~ Delilah

Thanksgiving Dinner Centerpiece

Thanksgiving Dinner Centerpiece

Thanksgiving is always a fun and happy time in our home. We are so thankful for all of our family and friends and the idea of gathering for an evening of family fun is next to Heaven! After all the cooking and stress, the most important thing besides your food is the mood you set for your guests – including the table and all of its trimmings.

I cannot remember just where I came across the idea, but I began making the Pumpkin Dinner Centerpiece several years ago and my guests have always been no less than impressed. This fun and unique dish takes many of your favorite flavors and spices them up with a little pumpkin. By using the actual pumpkin as your serving dish and a decorative element, you can create a table centerpiece that is festive and delicious!

Here is my personal recipe, but feel free to make it your own. The filling can be made to your liking with any number of ingredients.

PUMPKIN DINNER CENTERPIECE

Ingredients

  • 1 -1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain and wild rice (feel free to use a mix)
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans mushroom, well drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans French cut green beans
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell’s condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 large pumpkin

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut top of pumpkin and scoop out seeds and strings. Set aside top of pumpkin.
  3. Mix ground beef and sausage and cook over medium heat in large skillet, stirring frequently until browned. Mix in brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. After draining your meats, mix in rice and chicken broth. Cover, and cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  5. Mix cream of celery soup, cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms and green beans into the meat mixture. Spoon mixture into the pumpkin, and replace pumpkin top.
  6. Place pumpkin on a large baking sheet, and bake 1 hour in preheated oven, or until pumpkin is tender.
  7. While serving, drag your serving spoon up the side of the pumpkin, making sure to scoop both filling and pumpkin.

Enjoy your lovely centerpiece and delicious dish! This receipe can feed about 10, depending on how much food you are serving. I have found that it is more than enough for 10, if you are serving turkey, ham and all the trimmings.

This year at Thanksgiving, surrounded by my loved ones, I will treasure the moments that will become memories. I hope that this idea will become a treasure for your table as well as mine.

Happy Thanksgiving!

~ Delilah

Office Birthday Club

Office Birthday Club

When it comes to birthdays, most offices do not have a committee or money set aside to celebrate employees’ birthdays. I believe that each person should feel special and loved on their birthday, so I created The Birthday Club for my co-workers. Every member of the Club contributes and participates in giving that special person an experience they will never forget! We never know what someone may be going through at home, what their financial situation may be, or if they even have someone to make them feel deserving of attention and praise; so for one day, they can come to work and feel like the people they work with truly care about them and that this is their special day.

Here’s how it works -

As the coordinator, I have a list of all birthdays of those wishing to participate, and one month prior to the next birthday on the list, I send out a cute little email to the Club reminding them of the next birthday on the list.

Within the next two weeks, we casually discuss ideas for a theme and food and come to a formal decision.

I then collect $5 from each member to offset decoration costs; all decorations are purchased at the Dollar Tree in order to keep costs fair and cheap so that everyone can participate.

*If the member’s birthday falls on a weekend, we usually try to have our celebration on a Friday, because the mood in the office is always upbeat due to the upcoming weekend. If the birthday falls during the week, we will celebrate on the actual day. Depending on the theme chosen, we will have a potluck style luncheon in the office, or will choose an appropriate restaurant according to the liking of the guest of honor.

After all the details have been agreed upon, an invitation is made, usually using a template from Office, and distributed stealthily to all members of the Club. The birthday theme, lunch location and style is always a surprise to the one having the birthday! We try to mix it up to keep everyone guessing.

The co-founder and I meet up after work during the next 2 weeks after the theme is set and money is gathered to choose the decor.

One week prior to the date, an email goes out to all members from the coordinator announcing an after hours decorating party on the evening prior to the actual event. We then gussy up our co-workers cube or office according to our chosen theme.

The next morning is always fun to see the look on their face when they see their Birthday surprise! Cameras are flashing and we never seem to fail in getting a great response from our guest of honor.

We have had very successful themes in the past such as:

  • Hawaiian Luau
  • Mardi Gras
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Cupcake Heaven
  • Over the Hill
  • Disco Diva

Gifts are not required, although some staff members choose to give gifts. We only ask that if a gift is given, it is left on the desk of the guest of honor with no pomp and pageantry involved. Not everyone can afford a gift in addition to the decoration fund dues, and the last thing we would want to do is to make anyone feel left out.

A card is purchased and signed by all members of the Club and left on the desk of the birthday guest for them to enjoy at their leisure.

We have been very successful with this practice in our office, and it is an idea I am happy to share! If you enjoy celebrating birthdays and would love to incorporate this practice in your office, this may be the blog post to help you get started planning your own special Birthday Club.

Here are some photos from a few of our latest Birthday Club events:

Luau Party

Winter Wonderland

Mardi Gras

Cupcake Heaven

Start your own committee and give some love to your co-workers! It helps to build relationships within your team and makes others feel special on their special day.

Happy Birthday everyone!

~ Delilah

Twilight Viewing Party

Twilight Viewing Party

Ok….so I am a huge Twilight fan and a mom so I guess that makes me a Twi-mom (even though my son does not watch Twilight nor care about it other than the fact that it involves vampires and werewolves). Last year for my birthday, my wonderful husband threw me a Twilight themed party complete with this AMAZING Twilight themed cake that he and the masterminds at our local Publix bakery dreamed up. I could never top his production, but in honor of the release of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 being released in theaters on 11/18/11, I am hosting a very low key Twilight viewing Party for myself and a few other Twi-hard friends.

Again, because this is a small gathering, I used a Halloween forest themed invitation that I found at Evite to invite my guests and track their responses and comments. I even added a fun little poll to get an idea of who is Team Edward and who is Team Jacob! I developed a witty spin on a Twilight quote for the body of my invitation:

About three things I was absolutely positive:

First, Edward is a Vampire…

Second, there is a part of me — and I don’t know how dominant that part might be — that thirsted for more Twilight…

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with the Twilight Saga.

Please join me for an afternoon of obsession as we prepare for the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 with a Twilight movie marathon!

At 1:00pm, we will begin with Twilight, followed by New Moon and lastly, Eclipse. Pizza and popcorn for all as we indulge in our own teenage fantasies!

So RSVP by 11/3 and come get your Edward on! (Or Jacob, if you like smelly dogs.)

P.S.
NO BOYS ALLOWED!! (Except Edward, of course…)

 

For dessert, I am planning a special surprise for my guests. I found this amazing recipe for a low fat Black Forest Trifle that will look impressive and taste light and delicious to satisfy our sweet tooth without adding inches to our ladylike frames!

After each movie, we will play a round of Twilight Trivia to test our Vampire and Werewolf knowledge. The winner gets to have their photo taken beside a life size hanging Edward tapestry (can you tell whose team I am on?). I will send my guests off with visions of dreamy vamps and hunky wolves and a baggie of Twilight themed goodies.

All in all, the bottom line is that we love to get together and host fun gatherings for any type of occasion, even obsessive movie viewings. There doesn’t have to be an excuse to celebrate, just close friends and family to celebrate with! Choose your favorite movie and have some friends over for themed fun and laughs; you’ll be glad you did.

~ Bella (I mean, Delilah)

 

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