Archives for January 2010

Little Touches: Bud Vase Place Settings

The majority of Diva Entertains posts will be recipes.  However, here and there I’m going to slip in  simple entertaining tips and ideas.  Things I call “Little Touches”.  That have ‘big’ impact.  Like place setting ideas.  Today, specifically, Bud Vase place settings.

Although I’ve never been a collector, as of late I’ve been collecting bud vases.  I love the look of having little bouquets or single stem flowers throughout my house.  And when we have company I love using them for dinner place settings.

Diva Entertains Iris-Lily in Shot GlassDiva Entertains Lily in Jam Jar

I typically don’t set the table with all bud vases matching, instead I sort of ‘mix-and-match’.  Some bud vases were purchased specifically as bud vases (I’ve purchased them at gift stores, Michaels, on Ebay, etc.).  Others were glass vessels that  I simply felt could be used as bud vases.  This includes inexpensive shot glasses (Target), jam jars (once the contents have been used) and other small glass food or beverage containers that had a unique shape.  It’s amazing how these little gems can transform ordinary place settings into elegant place settings.

Diva Entertains Mini Bouquet Jam Jar VaseDiva Entertains Single Lily in Green Glass Vase

You can use the same flower(s) in each vase, or mix and match a ‘set of flowers’ (all flowers here were from the same store-bought bouquet).  Or use different flowers but all in the same shades of a particular color.

For parties (weddings, events, birthday parties) that include a formal sit-down meal I love using bud vase place card holders (see below).  The coiled wire with pearl detail actually firmly holds a place card. (As an aside, the  table that holds all the place card looks so beautiful as the guests enter the reception).Diva Entertains Bud Vase Place Card Holder with Pearl

And once last “little touch” idea.  A bud vase next to the sink in your bathroom (or the sinks in the bathrooms of where ever you are holding your event) is nice extra touch.  One that will be noticed and remembered.

Diva Entertains offers the cutest Baby Shower Cupcake Favor in the form of cupcake candles.

Brie and Fig Preserves Appetizer: Simpl(e)-ly Delicious

SDiva Entertains Fig and Brie Appetizer

Diva Entertains Fig and Brie Appetizer

It doesn’t get much easier than this.  Or much better!  This is my ‘go-to’ appetizer when in a hurry.  Heck, even when I have loads of time (insert ‘laugh’ here) I serve this.  Because people love it.  *LOVE* it!  And, interestingly, most of my guests have never had it before.  And they leave with the promise “I’m going to serve that in my house”.  Which gives me the warm fuzzies all over.


  • Brie Cheese, at room temperature (preferably a double or triple cream brie if you can find it)
  • Fig jam or preserves
  • Your favorite crackers

Set out the Brie and a small cheese knife.  Put a teaspoon in a the fig preserves.  Set out crackers.  Watch guests swoon.

Turn to Diva Entertains for elegant, custom Cherry Blossom Favors.

Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (embarrassingly easy to make)

When I ran across this recipe it was the Milanese Style Cutlets that the sauce was an accompaniment to that caught my eye.  And the cutlets were indeed good.  But the Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce was amazing. AMAZING! And I immediately knew it was going to be a staple around our house.

Diva Entertains Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Sauce

I have since served this over fettuccini with spicy hot Italian sausage, over ravioli and topped with slices of fresh mozzarella and then baked in the oven, even over an omelet!  And of course just over a side of pasta…repeatedly.

If you think I was, perhaps, exaggerating how easy it is to make…here’s the proof:

Diva Entertains Humble Ingredients

Aside from some olive oil and seasonings – that’s it!

Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (adapted from CuisneatHome, Oct. 2009)

  • ½ cup diced onion
  • extra virgin olive oil for sautéing
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • ¾ to 1 cup roasted red bell peppers
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Saute onion in 1 T. oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour can of tomatoes (including juice) into a blender.  Add the red pepper.  When the onion is done, add the onion.  And the tablespoon of vinegar.  Puree for about 5 seconds (less time if you want a chunky sauce, more time if you want a smoother sauce).

Pour mixture into saucepan and salt and pepper to taste.  Keep sauce warm until ready to serve and add the basil right before serving. (I forgot to add the basil in the picture above and it was still outstanding!)

Cheats way (which is still darn good!):  Buy cans of tomato that already include onions. Or garlic and basil.  Or whatever looks good on the shelf.

Throwing a ‘girl’ party?  Diva Entertains has beauty favors, soap favors, zebra and leopard favors including Leopard Print Picture Frames.

You’ve Got Cookies

Diva Entertains "You've Got Cookies"

Diva Entertains "You've Got Cookies"

Even though I prefer to cook than bake, I am constantly baking because I love to have something to bring to friends, neighbors, my doctor’s office, the pharmacy, the post office…  Well, you get my drift.  I am constantly giving away baked goods.

Soon after I married I came across a recipe for a cookie similar to what I’ve posted, however, it was made with (I shudder at the thought) ‘butter flavored shortening’ and it didn’t have enough, in my humble opinion, chocolate chunks.

Diva Entertains Chocolate Chip Malted Cookie

Diva Entertains Chocolate Chip Malted Cookie

Anyway, I immediately improvised as written below and it was a huge hit with my husband.  And family. Friends.  Doctors, pharmacists, postal workers……

Safari themed parties are the rage!  And Diva Entertains offers fabulous Zebra Print Picture Frames that can be personalized.   Come see why it’s one of her most popular party favors!