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Kir Royale

Kir Royale

Kir Royale

Ingredients

  • creme de cassis
  • Champagne

Instructions

  1. Fill champagne class one-third full with creme de cassis
  2. Wait until immediately before serving to fill glass remaining way with champagne
http://tonispilsbury.com/kir-royale/

 

For more “royal” recipes and appetizer ideas, visit our “Royal Affaire-Fare” menu:

A Royal Affair-Fare Menu for The Royal Wedding

A Royal Affair-Fare Menu for The Royal Wedding

 

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She Bop

So what did Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, The Breakfast Club and I have in common this past weekend?

We all celebrated my niece’s 14th birthday at my house- 80’s style.

With my husband and kids away for the weekend in Utah, I had promised my gorgeous niece, Mira that she could have a sleepover at my house for her birthday present.

What I learned from this experience of having very little time to plan and make party preparations  (thanks to a more-than-usual hectic week) is that a little imagination can go a long way.

With the party seriously just hours away, I had to think- and think quick- about how to make her 80’s Party come to life.

 

How To Throw An “80’s” Party

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

The Cupcakes

Mira’s only request was that there be neon-colored cupcakes- a request I thought would be no problem thanks to all the recent blitz about cupcakes… thank you Cupcake Wars.  Unfortunately, none of my local cupcake boutiques were offering up neon, and it was too late for a special-order request.

With a can-do attitude and a handful of ideas, I headed off to Michael’s Friday night and purchased two black poster boards for $.59 each, a box of Duff neon food coloring, some bright feathers, candy and gift trinkets.  And, after swinging by my grocery store for some cake mix and powdered sugar, I was set.

neon cupcakes

Duff neon food coloring found at Michael’s

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

watch out Cupcake Wars!

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

 

The Decorations

Next, I printed out different images from the 80’s- album covers, movie posters, etc.  It wasn’t difficult for me to find these images since I’m a child of the 80’s, my brain was able to remember names easily.  I cut out the images, glued them to the poster board and splashed neon paint on it.

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

bringing back memories

 

Every party needs a party table.  Starting with a base, I built from there.

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

setting up

 

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

just about done- the party is just minutes away!

 

The Food

Along with some pizzas, tater-tots and chicken wings (they are, after all, 14-year old girls), I made some neon-colored spaghetti to serve with either alfredo or marinera sauces. The girls loved it.

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

neon-colored spaghetti

 

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

We are ready! Let the 80’s party begin!

 

80's Party Plan by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

Happy Birthday Mira!

Party Time

I assumed the girls had a great time, or as I gathered from the laughing- no shrieking- coming from downstairs all night.  It sounded like Justin Beiber just walked into my house about every 20 minutes… until about five in the morning.  They played Just Dance, called boys on the phone, made random trips outside to the trampoline.. and ate every last cupcake.  Oh, to be 14 again.

As I locked myself in my room away from the noise with a glass of wine and my laptop, I watched this video that made me want to shriek myself- thank you, Chromeo and today’s youth for embracing just how fabulous and fun the 80’s were.  I’m trying not to feel old, but my niece is throwing an 80’s-themed party the way I would have thrown a 50’s-themed sock hop in my younger days.

Ouch.  I feel another glass of wine coming on.

See if you can identify dances from different 80’s movies in this super-fabulous video by Chromeo:

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Serve Up Simple- 4th of July Simply Delicious Menu

Serve up simple.  Simple and delicious, that is.

If you’re entertaining for Independence Day, I have a recipe to make your life a lot easier.  Skip the traditional hamburgers and hot dogs and try this menu:

4th of July Menu from The Organized Cook

 

By marinating the steak a day or two in advance and making the salads which take just minutes to prepare, you’re time will be free to enjoy 4th of July festivities.

What’s great about this menu is that it covers all the basics- steaks, potatoes, pasta.  So, when guests ask, “what can I bring?” tell them to bring easy items like fruit or drinks.

4th of July Menu Flank Steak from The Organized Cook

If you’re not entertaining, it’s the perfect combination for just you and the family- I know- because this is what we had for dinner this past Saturday night and it was delicious….tasted like summer.

Toni’s 4th of July Menu

Ingredients

  1. Flank Steak 3-4 lbs, cut into 2-inch strips against the grain
  2. Dijon Mustard -1/2 bottle
  3. Soy Sauce- a few shakes

    4th of July Menu Red White Blue Potato Salad from The Organized Cook

    Dice potatoes into quarters

  4. Red Wine Vinegar- about 1/3 cup
  5. Fresh or Dried Oregano & Basil

 

  1. Petite Red, White & Blue (purple, actually- but close enough) Potatoes (I found the perfect ones at Trader Joe’s), cleaned and quartered
  2. Blue Cheese Crumbles- 1 small container
  3. Sour Cream- 1 cup

 

  1. Cavatappi Pasta- 1 lb
  2. Zucchini & Squash- 1 each, diced into half-chunks
  3. Grape Tomatoes- 1 pint

    4th of July Menu Cavatappi Salad from The Organized Cook

    Dice zucchini and squash into halves

Where I got my potato salad inspiration- basically, I think making traditional potato salad is a ton of work.  You have to peel, cook and dice potatoes and eggs, dice potatoes, etc.  So, unless my mom is here to make it (she makes a great potato salad), then I want to find an easier alternative.

I was shopping in Trader Joe’s and spotted these miniature potatoes and thought how perfect they would be in a salad.  I wanted to make it lighter, without mayonnaise, so I decided to try sour cream.  With some blue cheese to add to my “red, white and blue” theme, this potato salad came out better than I’d hoped.

4th of July party menu from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

 

Directions

Steak

  1. A day or two in advance, combine mustard, soy sauce and vinegar in a bowl or casserole pan with about a half cup of olive or canola oil; mix well
  2. Season steak with salt, pepper, basil and oregano
  3. Dip steak into marinade and coat evenly
  4. Place steak in zip-top baggie and pour remaining marinade in; seal tightly and place in the refrigerator on a plate or platter to marinate overnight

 

Potato Salad (can be made a day in advance)4th of July Menu Red White Blue Potato Salad from The Organized Cook

  1. Place oven on Broil
  2. Place potato chunks onto baking sheet
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with some salt; use your hand to toss
  4. Broil until potatoes are brown, approximately 35 minutes
  5. Transfer to mixing bowl
  6. Add blue cheese and sour cream; toss

 

Pasta Salad (can be made a day or two in advance)

  1. Put zucchini and squash slices next to potatoes to Broil until brown, approximately 20 minutes
  2. Boil pasta in salted water until tender; drain and rinse under cool water
  3. Add vegetables to pasta
  4. Drizzle with olive oil; toss4th of July Menu Cavatappi Salad from The Organized Cook

When it’s time to eat, just grill steak- or hand it off to the hubby to grill like I do.

 

 

4th of July Menu Flank Steak from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

Happy 4th of July!

 

If you’re looking for a summer beverage for 4th of July party, try my Summer Sangria!

Summer Sangria from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

And, for the absolute most adorable place setting, check out this Patriotic Place Setting design by Social Couture.

 

 

 

 

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