Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Simple New Year's Eve Ideas

I know a lot of people (including my family) love to do a bunch of appetizers for a casual New Year's Eve gathering or for a party with friends.

I've rounded up some delicious finger foods and dips that I've served and received rave reviews! Happy New Year and I hope it's a delicious one! Plus a few simple tips. 


I love popcorn for finger foods! it's so inexpensive and you can sweet or salty or both in my examples below. I literally ate 2 batches of the Parmesan ranch popcorn on my own! BE sure to put little cups out with the popcorn to encourage people to eat it! 


This Creamy Tuscan Dip is another crowd pleaser. I kept a little for myself and it was such a treat! (Mine is a red color because I put the sun dried tomatoes in the food processor before)

This Garlic Feta Dip is another unique dip that people will gobble up! Make it for New Year's or for any occasion really. You won't regret it! 


If you don't drink alcohol like me (!) an Italian Soda bar is a fun drink alternative that is both tasty and an experience that allows people to mix and match flavors. Our Best Bites does an awesome how to for how to do it and they are my favorite bloggers so I trust them fully! 


Have I mentioned my cardinal party rule? Always have fruits and vegetables on hand to counter all the decadent sweet and savory foods. It helps everyone eat something lighter and those with dietary restrictions will thank you too for the options also! 

 I love bright colors and fun party picks and straws to spice things up for a cute party! 

 Check out Pinterest for some other awesome party ideas!

Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Meet Austin: Make It Sweet

I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season and a Merry Christmas! I've been soaking in time with family, eating way too much and staring at my baby girl. 

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I've been meaning to tell you all about this place since I first discovered it but now that I've attended two classes there, spoken with the owner multiple times and bought all kinds of goodies I can say I'm a true believer!

Make it Sweet is a locally owned cake supply store, baking class mecca and baking gadget heaven! 

They have a full store with hundreds of sprinkles, packaging supplies, gels, tools, molds, packaging supplies, cookie cutters-pretty much anything you would need to be a master baker! It's perfect for the casual baker when looking for sprinkles or chocolates or the aficionado looking for hard to find gadgets and ingredients. 

Image via Groupon.com

They also have a whole separate part of their store where they host classes. They have cake ball, cookie, cake, fondant, macarons, yeast breads....the list is endless!

I have now taken the Pate a Choux class and the Truffles class with the owner, Jennifer, and I seriously loved both of them and have made both items once home again! Whenever I work up the patience, I will blog how to make these but I would definitely recommend taking these classes if you are in the Austin area. 

Now on to some photos of my class adventures at Make it Sweet!

 Jennifer has a great set up with a central teaching spot that has a camera on the ceiling that projects onto the TV so you can keep up with what's happening! She will demonstrate how to make something and then you get to make it yourself with your group. 
It's a great combination of lecture and hands on experience. 


We made Pate a Choux dough-that's the dough that you make cream puffs and eclairs with. I've never made it so I'm glad I took the class to teach me how. 
 A group working on their dough




 Churro bites! These were insanely delicious. 

 Our finished eclairs. Yum! 

My take home box of goodies: eclairs, cream puffs and gougeres

The second class I took was the Truffles class with my friend Jen. We had a blast and made these truffles afterwards for our friends for Christmas!




 Rolling truffles and they were melting and getting all gooey! 


We had so much fun-thanks Make it Sweet! 


This post was all my own- Make it Sweet is awesome but they didn't even know I was doing this post. Go check it out next time you are in Austin. Visit their website for hours, an upcoming class schedule, and contact information. 

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