Tag Archives | party planning

Tips for Making Neon Pasta.. or Why You Should Make Neon Pasta

Neon Pasta

I first posted these photos in 2012 as a fun tribute to the opening of Disney’s the Lorax. This answers the question of why I originally wanted to make neon pasta. Yes, the broccoli was meant to represent the trees from the movie and the blue alfredo sauce- the river.  But after my neon pasta photo was listed as a Pinterest favorite photo of the day and has been shared thousands of times, I figured that maybe more than Lorax fans would want to cook up some neon pasta of their own.  Here’s my tips to making your pasta pop (we’ll answer the “why” later):

The Lorax Pasta

Toni’s Tips for Making Neon Pasta

Tip #1:  Choose A Fun Shape

Bowtie, penne, elbow, or my favorite- cavatappi pasta…. the purpose behind making neon pasta should undoubtedly determine its shape. Having a rainbow-themed party? Elbow. Want to bring the 80’s to dinner? Linguine.  And, for a formal affair, use bowtie, of course.

Tip #2:  Use Premium Food Dye

You can use an entire bottle of a cheap grocery store food dye and it still won’t give you the bright colors a professional food dye can (can you say “Pinterest fail”?). My favorite dyes are Wilton and Duff, which can both be found in Michaels or Walmart. In fact, Duff has a special line of neon colors like “Electric Pink” and “Electric Purple”.

Tip 3:  Don’t Toss Your Gold (your pasta water, that is)

If you follow any of my tips, you’ll want to follow this one. I call my pasta water liquid gold because I save it to the side for when my pasta gets dry and dehydrated, I simply splash some pasta water over the pasta to get it shiny again.  Take a glass measuring cup and scoop out the water before draining the pasta, one cup for every half pound of pasta.

scoop out pasta water

Tip #4:  Don’t Mix Your Water

Yes, you will have to boil each color individually (I know, duh). I start with my lightest color first and work my way up to the darkest colors. This makes saving your pasta water to rehydrate the pasta even more critical. The alternative is to get out three or four pots and boil them at the same time in separate pots, but personally, I only like to wash one pot.

 

Why You Want to Make Neon Pasta (come on, you know you want to)

I know you’re probably searching your brain for a reason to make neon pasta by now, right? The truth is that it’s just a fun touch to a party. Here are my reasons:

Reason #1:  80’s Themed Party

A few years ago I threw an 80’s themed party for my niece and thought a nice addition to some pizza would be a big bowl of neon spaghetti with their choice of marinara or alfredo sauce to top. It turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the party when I only thought it would be just a nice added touch. The girls talked about it all night.  You can read more about it here:

80s party

Reason #2:  Beach Themed Party

Okay, I might have gone a bit too far with this one. A friend was having beach-themed party for her daughter and needed some help so I made some “Surf’s Up Pasta” (blue cavatappi pasta for the waves) with a choice of Shark Attack Sauce (marinara) or “Sunset Sauce” (alfredo).  Yep.  Big hit.

Surfs Up Pasta

 

Reason 3#:  Because It’s Fun

Do you really need a reason to make neon pasta?  If you do, please refer to reasons 2 & 3 above.

Share Your Neon Pasta Photo #OrganizedCook

If you decide that neon pasta should be served at your next party and decide to take a photo, please tag me at @OrganizedCook on Instagram or Twitter, or post a photo to my Facebook.  Would love to share it with the rest of our readers!

 

Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 0 }

A Fairy Garden Birthday Party

How To Throw A Fairy Garden Birthday Party

It’s Springtime… the perfect time for a garden party.  Or, more specifically- a Fairy Garden Birthday Party.

fairy garden party

How To Throw A Fairy Garden Birthday Party

Ingredients For A Fairy Garden Birthday Party:

  1. Fairy-Berry Lemonade Punch
  2. Garden Cupcakes
  3. Fairy Talent Games
  4. Gardening Fun
  5. Party Printables

party printables from the TomKat Studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These party printables came from the TomKat Studio including invitations and adorable party circles that I used for a variety of decorations.  I also love party printable designs from BellaGrey Designs.

 

3 Party Activities for Fairy Garden Birthday Party

Activity #1: Which Fairy Talent Are You?

fairy garden birthday party

Which Fairy Talent Are You?

Using the theme of Disney’s Pixie Hollow Fairies, I cut out emblems for each fairy talent: water, garden, light, animal and- of course- tinker talent.  I attached each emblem to a paper bag containing an item related to that talent:

Water Talent: glitter water balls from Michael’s

Garden Talent: flower seed packets and small terracotta vase

Light Talent:  mini kaleidoscopes

Animal Talent: small resin animals

Tinker Talent: toy tools

I hid the bags around the yard and had the kids hunt for them.  Whichever bag they found, decided their fairy talent, similar to how Tinkerbell found her talent in the Disney movie:

Activity #2: Face Painting

If you’re fortunate enough to have an artist in the family to perform slave labor for you, like my oldest daughter, Rayana, a talented and creative individual who loves is forced to help out with my projects, face painting is the perfect activity for a Garden Fairy Birthday Party.

Most of our young fairy guests wanted  face paintings like butterflies, bunnies or flowers.

 

Activity #3: Take A Garden Home

Everyone gets to be a garden fairy today.  A flat of flowers from the nursery, a bag of potting soil and individual vases creates a lot of garden fun.  Each fairy guest got to pot their own flower to take home.

fairy garden birthday party

flower potting

 

I found these adorable individual vases in the dollar bin at Target and felt like I struck gold- the perfect size, color… and price.

 

And now for the answer to the most-asked birthday party question, “where did you get your cupcakes?”

Was it our local celebrity baker from “Cupcake Wars”?  Nope.

I got the perfect garden-themed cupcakes from Sam’s Club Bakery.  I couldn’t have designed them any better myself.  They may have only set me back $40, but these cupcakes could share the battlefield with their $100-opponents anytime; plus I got a mini-cake… bonus!

 

It’s time for mamma to get those “oh-my-God-you’re-seven-already” photos:

 

 

Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 5 }

Tiffany-Inspired Party Punch

Tiffany-Inspired Party Punch

Tiffany-Inspired Party Punch

Ingredients

  • Blue Hawaiian Punch in Blue Rasberry- 1 gallon, chilled
  • sweetened condensed milk- 1 can, chilled

Instructions

  1. combine ingredients in mixing bowl
  2. whip with electric mixer until foamy
  3. pour over ice
http://tonispilsbury.com/tiffany-inspired-party-punch/

 

Tiffany Punch

A Tiffany-Inspired Birthday party

Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 4 }

Memorial Day Barbeque Menu to Remember

Memorial Day Barbeque Recipes

Looking for something to barbeque this Memorial Day other than tired hamburgers and hotdogs?  These simple Memorial Day recipes are easy to make and delicious.  Print out a complete Grocery Shopping List for this menu below!

Memorial Day Menu

Memorial Day Menu

Memorial Day Menu

memorial day menu

 

 

Grilled Herb Flank Steak

I marinate my steak about two days in advance, so come Memorial Day the steak is ready to grill- saving me lots of time.

Memorial Day Steak Recipe

Grilled Herb Flank Steak

Ingredients

  • Flank Steak 3-4 lbs, cut into 2-inch strips against the grain
  • Dijon Mustard - 1 cup (no need to measure exactly- it's more than half of a 12oz. bottle)
  • Red Wine Vinegar- 1/3 cup
  • Soy Sauce- 1/4 cup
  • Dried Oregano & Basil- 1 tablespoon each

Instructions

  1. Marinate steak a day or two in advance
  2. Make Marinade:
  3. Combine mustard, vinegar, soy sauce and herbs; mix well
  4. Place sliced steak into large zip-top baggie or shallow container
  5. Cover with marinade and coat steak evenly
  6. Seal and place in refrigerator to marinate
  7. Time To Grill:
  8. Remove steak from marinade directly to hot grill
  9. Cook until brown on both sides and desired wellness
http://tonispilsbury.com/memorial-day-barbeque-menu-remember/

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad

Memorial Day potato salad

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • Petite Red, White & Blue (purple, actually- but close enough) Potatoes (I found the perfect ones at Trader Joe’s)- 3 lbs cleaned and quartered
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles- 8 oz.
  • Sour Cream- 12 oz.
  • Salt- 1 tablespoon

Instructions

  1. Heat oven on Broil
  2. Place potato chunks onto baking sheet and season with salt
  3. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and toss loosely to distribute oil
  4. Cook until potatoes are brown, approximately 35 minutes
  5. Transfer to mixing bowl
  6. Add blue cheese and sour cream to potatoes and toss
  7. Serve warm or chilled
http://tonispilsbury.com/memorial-day-barbeque-menu-remember/

 

 

Summer Vegetable Cavatappi Salad

Memorial Day pasta salad recipe

Summer Vegetable Cavatappi Salad

Summer Vegetable Cavatappi Salad

Ingredients

  • Cavatappi Pasta- 1 lb
  • Zucchini & Squash- 1 each, diced into half-chunks
  • Red Grape Tomatoes- 1 pint, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Yellow Grape Tomatoes- 1 pint, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Olive oil- 1/2 cup
  • Salt- 1 teaspoon
  • Parmesan cheese- 8 oz., shredded or grated

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta in salted water until tender
  2. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water, then rinse pasta under cool water
  3. Transfer cooled pasta to salad bowl
  4. Heat oven to Broil
  5. Place zucchini, squash and tomato slices onto baking sheet and season with salt
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to cover vegetables
  7. Cook until vegetable are tender and tomatoes begin to release juice, approximately 12 minutes
  8. Add vegetables with juice to pasta along with pasta water, then toss
  9. Top with Parmesan cheese
http://tonispilsbury.com/memorial-day-barbeque-menu-remember/

 

Memorial Day Barbeque Menu

Happy Memorial Day!

 

The Grocery Shopping List

Print the below grocery shopping list for this entire menu here:

Gourmet 4th of July Menu Grocery Shopping List

Gourmet 4th of July Menu Grocery Shopping List

Ingredients

  • Flank Steak 3-4 lbs
  • Petite Red, White & Blue (purple, actually- but close enough) Potatoes (I found the perfect ones at Trader Joe’s)- 3 lbs
  • Zucchini & Squash- 1 each
  • Red Grape Tomatoes- 1 pint
  • Yellow Grape Tomatoes- 1 pint
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles- 8 oz.
  • Parmesan cheese- 8 oz., shredded or grated
  • Sour Cream- 12 oz.
  • Cavatappi Pasta- 1 lb
  • Dijon Mustard - 12oz. bottle
  • Staples:
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Basil

Instructions

  1. This menu serves 6 people, so double for 10-12 people
  2. Check back to tonispilsbury.com for more holiday recipes!
http://tonispilsbury.com/memorial-day-barbeque-menu-remember/

 

Memorial Day Beverages

Ditch the beer this Memorial Day and refresh with Homemade Summer Sangria.  For the best sangria, prepare 2 days in advance.

Homemade Summer Sangria from Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 1 }