1.30.2015

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!!!

It's time for 5 on Friday....I will call this the Randomness Edition!

{ONE}
Do you watch Parenthood?
We didn't start watching it until 2 years ago and thanks to Netflix, we were able to start watching from the beginning. 
Last night was the Series Finale.....I won't ruin it for those who haven't seen it yet, but I don't know the last time I cried so much during a Finale. 
I had the Ugly cry going on. 
Sigh.
Love the Braverman Family!
If you have watched it, read THIS interview from the creator of the show & it gives some fun background info about the fianle.
Even though it was a tear jerker, I feel like I have closure with the show because of how it finished.
Did you watch the finale?

{TWO}
The Superbowl is this Sunday!!! 
The Seahawks & Patriots are 2 of my least favorite teams in the NFL (sorry if you like them) so I am not looking forward to the actual game. I don't want the Seahawks to win because they won last year and they are in the same division as the 49ers, so we have a rivalry going.
I don't want the Patriots to win because of the whole "deflate-gate". I don't like cheaters.
And, the Patriots have won so many Superbowls and if Tom Brady wins another one then he will pass Joe Montana as the winningest Super Bowl quarterback.
So, since I don't want either of them to win, I am all about the food, the friends & the Superbowl Squares for this Sunday!
We are heading to a Super Bowl party at our friends house and I am bringing an appetizer.
I thought I would highlight some of the appetizers I have on my blog in case you are looking for appetizer ideas!

7 Layer Dip:
)
 Recipe {HERE}

Cheesy Pepperoni Dip:
Recipe {HERE}


Chili Cheese Dip:

Recipe {HERE}

Corn Dip:
Recipe {HERE}

Blue Cheese & Bacon Dip:
Recipe {HERE}

Jalapeno Poppers (with Bacon & BBQ Sauce)
Recipe {HERE}

Perfect Potato Skins:

Recipe {HERE}


{THREE}
I have mentioned making homemade Calzones on my blog before, so here is the recipe....quick & easy!

Calzones are one of the first things I made for dinner when Kevin and I were first married. 
The first 2 years of our marriage, I worked at our church & was the Assistant Director of Student Ministries and we would have our youth group kids over for dinner at least once a week. Making them calzones was one of my go-to meals for them because:
1) They are quick & easy to make
2) They are filling
3) They don't cost very much to make (we did not have much $ our first 2 years of marriage because we used most of our money all to buy a house, so we were house poor. I was working at our church and I was getting my teaching credential at the same time. So, needless to say when we had youth group kids over for dinner I needed to make something that didn't break the bank and that was filing....high school kids eat a lot!
I would serve our Calzones with a big Caeser Salad.
Here is what you need:
 - Fresh Pizza Dough ( I got mine at Trader Joes, but Safeway has it also)
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Toppings of your choice (we love Hormel Pepperoni)
- Pizza Sauce
- Olive Oil
-Italian Seasoning

Directions:
Roll out your Pizza dough like you are making a pizza:
 Place rolled out dough on a cookie sheet (I use parchment paper on the cookie sheet...less mess!)
On one half of the dough, add pizza sauce:
Add some cheese:
Add your toppings:
Then, fold over the dough to cover it up:
Make sure you pinch the dough around the outside:
I always like to add a little olive oil on the top of the calzone (just a little bit!) Then I sprinkle with Italian seasoning:
Bake at 450 for 12-15 mintues until the dough is lightly browned:
I know "traditional" calzones don't have sauce in the dough and instead you dip your calzone in the sauce that is on the side. I really like sauce, so I add mine in the dough AND I dip it!

{FOUR}
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{FIVE}
 I wanted to say thanks for your comments on Kate's Pizzeria Party post!
It was really a fun party & pretty simple to throw...not to mention it was probably the least amount of money I have spent on a party!

Now that Kate's party is over, it's time to start planning the next kid party, which is Luke's....in August.
It's never too early to start planning a party, right?
I think I already have a theme....a Construction Theme.
Luke loves tractors & front loaders & all things Construction.
Plus, I saw this cute pin on Pinterest this week and it made me realize how fun this theme could be.

 I really love throwing parties :) 

And.....
Pinspired will be on Monday February 2nd!
Link up your Pinterest inspired outfits with
myself, Sheaffer & Shay
Looking forward to see what you link up!
Have a great weekend!

1.27.2015

Kate's Pizzeria Party!

Friday night was Kate's 8th Birthday & Birthday Party!
Months ago, when I told Kate her birthday was on a Friday night, she immediately said she wanted a Pizza themed party.
You see, every Friday night at our house is Friday Night Pizza Night. 
I started this tradition when Kate was born because even though I love cooking, by Friday night this mama is done! I am tired from teaching all week & of course tired from having 3 young kids, so Friday Night Pizza Night is a must. 
(Plus, we all love pizza, so it's a meal that we will all eat!)
Pizza is also Kate's favorite food, so this theme was perfect. 
I was really excited about it. 
I knew I wanted to transform our kitchen into an Italian Pizzeria with red gingham, pops of green & chalkboard accents
 Here is the invite:
 Here is Chef Kate waiting for her guests to arrive:
 
 Here is how I set up our kitchen for the party:

I covered the table in a gingham table cloth & along the doors, I had personalized aprons for the girls:

 Since it was a make your own pizza party,  I wanted to make  the girls personalized aprons to protect their clothes.
(I did the same thing for Kate's 5th Birthday Party which was a Rainbow Art Party, I had pink & purple aprons and I sewed on their initials in rainbow fabric)

The white aprons are from Oriental Trading and then bought some red gingham fabric & sewed on their initials to make them personalized.
(I was having sewing machine issues, so thankfully my friend Heather came to the rescue to help with the sewing!)
I had a simple bunting & a huge 8 balloon along with a chalkboard that said "Happy 8th Birthday Kate"
On the table I had pie tins (for the girls to bake their pizza in) and I had rolling pins for them to roll out their pizza dough:


I had mason jars with red lids & green straws. I added chalkboard stickers & wrote their names on them:

And, red carnations in mason jars:
Welcome to Kate's Pizzeria!
 Other side of the kitchen:

How awesome is this cheesy photo back drop? I took a photo of each girl & will be printing it out for them and putting it in the thank you card. This back drop was $1.50 on clearance. Score!

 Close up of the laterns I hung up on the ceiling:
On our kitchen island I had all the toppings for the pizza:
 Kate picked out each and every topping she wanted for the pizzas:
I also made a sign that had directions on how to make your pizza:
I also made mini Fruit "pizzas"
 (I made the cupcake toppers to go along with them)
I also had veggies & hummus for the girls to snack on:
Drinks were Fruit Punch & Lemonade:
When I was making the food labels, I decided to have the drinks in Italian :)

Activities:
When the girls first arrived, Kate brought them their apron & then I had a coloring station set up in our dining room for the girls to decorate their Chef Hat:
I also had coloring sheets that had pizzas on them to color:
The "Big" Activity was Make your Own Pizza"
This was a little ambitious of me because I bought real pizza dough at Trader Joes & had the girls roll out their own pizzas.
I split each bag of pizza dough into 3 balls of dough.
The girls were all 7 & 8 years old, so I thought rolling out pizza dough wouldn't be too hard, but it just took a long time....and there was flour EVERYWHERE! 
They had fun doing it, but if I were to throw a Pizza Party again, I would probably use pre made crust like Boboli OR I would roll out all the fresh dough & bake them for 5-7 mintues first so that they didn't have to roll them out.
After they rolled out their dough, they put it in their pie tin (I had tons of extra pie tins left over from Claire's Cowgirl Party and there were perfect to bake individual pizzas)
The girls added their own sauce, cheese & toppings
We baked them in the oven:
Then I cut them into slices & put the pizza on plates since the pie tins were too hot to eat out of.
Enjoying their homemade personal pizzas!
Then it was time for cake. 
If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know that my Mother in Law makes the most AMAZING cakes for my kids birthdays. She does it for fun, but she is SO talented. 
Kate's request this year was a cake that looked like a pizza.
This is what my Mother in law created:
That is a cake, not a real pizza.
She made the "toppings" out of candy.
The "pepperoni" is really fruit roll up.
The "basil leaves" & "green peppers" are sour strips.
The "olives" are crows black licorice candy that she cut up & hollowed out.
The "mushrooms" are marshmallows that she dusted in coco powder & then shaped as mushrooms.
The "cheese" is white chocolate that she grated (with a cheese grater)
Isn't it INCREDIBLE?
This might be the best cake she has ever made because it was just SO realistic.
It was so trippy eating it because you expected it to be pizza, but it was actually delicious cake!
Kate loved us singing to her. She was so excited the entire party...I have never seen her that hyper or excited!
The inside of the cake after it was cut:
Yum!
After we had cake, it was onto our final party activity. Kate & all her friends are totally into American Girl Dolls, so Kate had her friends bring their American Girl Doll.
Then they all watched the McKenna American Girl Doll Movie with their dolls. 
Of course they need snacks (popcorn & candy!) while they watched the movie!
I popped a bunch of movie theater popcorn& added "Italian Seasoning" to it, which was really just red, green & white sprinkles:
"Italian" Popcorn :)
For the candy, I set up a little candy bar from them to make "Caprese Salad"
The candy "Caprese Salad" was cherry "tomatoes", Marshmallows "mozzarella" and jelly belly "basil"
The tomatoes are cherry heart candy, but you could use red licorice bites, red m&m's, red skittles, etc.
 For the green "basil" I used green apple jelly bellies, but you could use green m&ms, green skittles, etc.
The Candy Caprese Salad was one of my favorite details of the party :)
I got the cute little red gingham paper bags at Target.
Yum!
The party favors for the party was their apron & also a pizza cookie.
I made the sign say Thank you & Grazie (which is Thank you in Italian)
I made Snickerdoodle Cookies {Recipe HERE
I put a fondant pizza topper on top of the cookie by adding a dab of frosting to the back.
I think they turned out so cute!
(I got the toppers from THIS Etsy shop. She also made the toppers for Claire's Tangled Birthday Party)
I also had a bowl of mints next to the favors, because every Pizzeria has mints for you as you leave :)
It was such a fun party, but wow, was it exhausting! 
These girls had a LOT of energy! And, it was a 3 hour party. Phew!
Note to self: Don't have a party on a Friday night again...they were all wound up! Ha!

Here are Kate's other Birthday Parties:

And, to see ALL the parties & showers I have thrown, you can click the Parties tab above or just click {HERE}

 I loved doing the Pizzeria theme & seeing it all come together!
This theme would be perfect for either a boy or girl party...of any age!

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