Sugar Cookies 101

sugarcookies2I got this recipe from “followtheruels”

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softenedsugarcookie1
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt

Instructionssugarcookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 330 degrees.
  2. Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  3. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and almond extracts until just combined.
  4. Mix in the flour 1 cup at a time until all flour is combined.
  5. Turn dough out on to a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap up and place in the fridge until ready to use. Dough can be rolled out right away if your in a pinch.
  6. Place a piece of parchment paper down on the counter top. Roll dough out on the parchment paper, using minimal flour to keep the rolling pin from sticking.
  7. Cut dough out to the desired shapes. Bake for 10-15 minutes until just barely brown around the edge.

Notes

If you don’t have powdered sugar, replace with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.

If you would like to share your favorite recipe do not hesitate your are more than welcome!

How to melt Candy Melts 101

A-Chocolates-webMELTING CANDY MELTS

STEP 1:

Place your candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute only at 50% power.

STEP 2:

Stir. They won’t look melted, but that is okay,  stir + stir + stir. Place back in Microwave for another 30 seconds at 50% power.

STEP 3:

Stir and stir again,  It will still be thick, but stir well for about a minute. Place back in the microwave for  30 seconds at 50% power again.

STEP 4:

Stir again for 2 minutes, then check the temperature on your candy melts. If they are warmer, just set down the bowl and let them sit for a few minutes to cool off. If it’s still clumps,  just walk away and let it sit for a few minutes.

After a few minutes try stirring again and you will find the clumps are melting and it will be getting thinner.Repeat until you have nicely melted candy melts!

STEP 5:

Shortening is the answer if the candy melt doesn’t want to cooperate ! If you find your candy melts are too thick, add a spoonful of Crisco shortening. Once it is stirred in, let it sit for a few minutes. The warm candy melts will melt the shortening, which will in turn thin out the candy melts.

Important Steps for Planning a Party

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Why blogging?

I decided to start blogging because I noticed that most of my costumers have no idea about parties in general. I want to make it easier for people that are planning a party to understand what to look for? How to do it? What to expect? What is budget literacy? Can I DIY? As well as all the “fun stuff” behind the scenes.
There are a few things you should know about planning your party. Grab a pen and paper because we are in for an information overload!


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Date

Choosing a date should be your first step. “Why?” You may ask. The reason is simple, you need a date in order to make reservations, place orders, and to tell your guests when the event will take place. Seems very simple right? That’s not the case, because when you decide to book a party, you want your guests to be available, in order to make that possible you have to pick a date that will be convenient to the majority of your guests. I get that it’s your party, however you want to make sure that people will be able to show up. Try not to set your party on a day near major holidays or holiday weekends. Yes, it’s hard to plan a party for a kid born on Christmas Day or The 4th July but there are certain things we cannot control and you just have to try to be understanding and pick the weekend before or after the holiday so this way the kids won’t be sad to see that his/her friends can’t make it.

There are also weekday parties! If your child’s birthday falls in the middle of the week, you can run into a similar situation. If you’re a stay at home parent you’ve got to remember that your kid’s friends’ parents might not be, and that it may be difficult for them to leave work early. You could have a family party, since most family members will find a way to leave work early to make sure they’re there. You can’t expect the same from the majority of your child’s friends’ parents, this is where you could throw the actual party on a different day if your budget allows.


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Budget / Guest List

Determining your budget and guest list should happen at the same time. Its the second most important step to planning a great party. I am booked almost every weekend and in my experience understanding your budget is very important. Even if you’re doing the party yourself, setting a limit is vital. I could go on and on explaining how important a budget is, instead of overloading you with information I’m going to break it down into a series of logical reasons.
Let’s say you have $1000 to spend. Sure sounds like a lot of money right? However, the value of your money depends what kind of party are you having. For example, you can rent a hall from anywhere between $500 and up, depending on where you rent, and there goes half of your budget.

We will go back and start over with our $1000 budget. We decide to throw our party at home, great we just saved at least $500. Now you need to know how many people you are inviting. The number of people you have at your party directly affects your budget, because the more people you invite the more money you have to spend on food and drinks. If you’re throwing a party at home, you need to make sure that all of your guests will fit comfortably in your house. If not you’ll have to cut the list short or increase your budget and have the party someplace else. Choosing a place is not easy either, because now you have to know what kind of place you want to rent and how much it would cost per person. Most people forget to add the fees that some hall require, like taxes and gratuity. So keep all of this in mind when choosing your location

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Theme

My favorite part of planning a party is choosing a theme. Themes usually vary according to age group, gender and other factors of who the party is for. You need to lock down on a theme for your party. This will enable you to choose decorations, invitations and, all the other details involved. I love explaining themes to customers because sometimes they don’t realize the mistakes they are making especially when they have a low budget. It’s very important to choose a theme that fits your venue. Meaning where the event it’s going to take place. For example if you decide that your daughter loves the sky and the color blue. Now, she will want to go with that kind of color theme for her party. But you booked a restaurant that is decorated entirely red! How can you expect to save money if you chose a place that has nothing to do with your theme? You still want your decorations to look amazing, and you can do one of two things. You can either choose to change your theme to match the place or open your wallet, because now you will have to cover the walls, the chairs, and everything else in the hall to make the place match your theme. My advice is to pay attention to your theme and choose a place accordingly. Sometimes you’re better off spending a little bit more on the restaurant that would match the theme of your party because it’ll save money on then transforming the place to match it. Upon finding your theme and reserving the hall (if one) then you can look for invitations and always make sure to have RSVP number so your guests can confirm whether or not they will attend, and unfortunately for those that do not call, you will need to call them back to make sure they’re going to make it, so you can have your list ready of how many people are actually attending.

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 Food / Drinks

We can probably give you an idea of an average what you need in order to have enough drinks and food. However you’re the only one that knows them well, if your friends are drinkers you have to make sure you have more drinks than usual. Same thing with food, for example my friends like dessert stations, but if most of your friends are into fitness most likely they are not gonna eat as many as sweets has some of mine. You also have to make sure you have food for all tastes and preferences of your guests. Let’s say you invited some people who are vegetarian, vegan, or that have food allergies, you need to make sure you have food for them.


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Entertainment

Music is always a great form of entertainment, you can either have a DJ or a band, whatever fits in your budget. Some people go above and hire performers like: balloon artists, magicians, face painters, belly dancers, comedians, tarot reading, karaoke, etc.

Despite all of the work you’ve got to put in to make your party a hit, don’t forget to have fun. There will always be some sort of setback but once you get through it, you’ll make wonderful memories at your party, you’ll know that it was all worth the work.