Archives for December 2011

Millionaires Shortbread

So I’m guessing these are known as millionaire shortbread because they are so decadently rich!  The base is rich, buttery shortbread then topped with a caramel-like filling and topped with a luscious layer of chocolate ganache.

I first heard of this caramel shortbread when browsing through the cookbook “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” but the recipe was a tad fussy so I streamlined it a bit.  Further – I wanted a more decadent chocolate layer to top these bars so I swapped out theirs with my favorite.  Don’t be put off if the instructions look long – I’ve just put a lot of  detail in them.

Some also refer to these as dulce de leche bars.  It doesn’t matter what you call them – they are fantastic no matter what the name:)

To see all of Diva Entertains’ delicious bar cookies, please Click Here.

Planning a summer party?  See Diva Entertains large selection of Flower Favors!

Free Printable Christmas Tags and Stickers

Do you need some cute tags for your gifts this year?  Well, here are a few last-minute free holiday gift tags for you to download, print and use!

The files are in PDF format, and the tags come 20 to a sheet!  Download the files below, print the sheet on white cardstock or full-sheet labels.  Both cardstock AND full-sheet labels can be found at office supply stores. Cut each tag out by hand, OR use a 2-inch circle (or square) punch, and you have cardstock tags or stickers!

I have set up the files individually, so you only have to download what you would like to use.  Click on the image(s) below to begin downloading the PDF.



Graphics used in the designs are courtesy of


New Weekly Email Subscriptions

Announcement!  Announcement!

We have decided to move our email subscription service to a “weekly format”.  Instead of getting DAILY blog email (like you receive now), you can instead get the email ONCE A WEEK, specifically, every Friday.  We will be transferring all our email subscribers to the new AWeber format tomorrow, so if you get an email from the site (or from AWeber) asking you to confirm, we’d love to have you do that, so you can continue getting our emails!

If you are NOT already a subscriber, please consider joining the list!  You’ll get all our fabulous posts in one weekly digest, so you can read at your leisure without clogging up your inbox!

To sign up, simply look to your right and enter your information in the form in our sidebar.  You’ll receive an email asking you to confirm, and once you’ve confirmed, you’ll be a part of the Diva Entertains email list!

FREE Goodies for the Holidays!

This post is for all the “last minute” chefs and entertainers out there… several free recipe e-books and holiday recipes and planning guides that just might come in handy over the next couple of weeks!

First up, a “Gifts In a Jar” e-book from Heavenly Homemakers.

Click HERE to download this free E-Book filled with “gift ideas such as pudding mix, bath salts, diaper rash ointment, cookie mix, seasoning mixes, chai mix, soup mixes, facials, hot fudge and much more”.


If you are looking for free holiday recipes, you might be interested in this FREE Christmas Recipes E-Book, from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures:

You need to subscribe to the blog to receive the book for free, but that’s a very SMALL “price” to pay for 54 pages of recipes!


A must-have for the Holidays, is Paula Deen’s Holiday Hosting Guide.  This free E-book is packed with Paula Deen’s recipes, ideas and tips and recipes for the Holidays.

Click HERE to download Paula’s Hosting Guide.


Have you made a Gingerbread House yet this year?  If not, here is a FREE E-Book with 23 different Gingerbread House ideas!  Recipes, templates, ideas… SUCH a great resource!

Click HERE to get your copy of the Gingerbread House E-Book.


And one last resource for those of you who may be on the hunt for gluten-free recipes, a free Gluten Free Holiday Baking E-Book, from the Baking Beauties:

Click the image above to get the free Gluten-Free Holiday Baking E-book!


Have YOU found any free resources this season?  We’d love to hear about them!


Winter Decor – Whimsy Wednesday…

I don’t know about you, but I’m just a tiny bit tired this week!  Lots of holiday happenings and goings and comings and family visits and get-togethers and…and…  well, YOU know!  So, today’s post is a bit light on the DIY and a bit heavy on the “look what I’ve found, isn’t it lovely and whimsical?”  Hope that’s ok with you!

From the Blue Eyed Yonder blog, an entire post dedicated to whimsy winter decorations:

From Half Baked, the Cake Blog, a fun and whimsical white winter cake with blue and gold accents.  (And be sure to click on over to the post, there are several OTHER cake designs posted too!)

From Green Wedding Shoes,  absolutely fabulous Candy Land party ideas, this time in the guise of a  Rehearsal Dinner:

ALSO from Green Wedding shoes, a lovely “Snowed In” wedding:

You know, I can’t post without at least ONE DIY link… here’s a link to a fab Winter Wonderland Centerpiece post, from CleverlyInspired:

And, from our Diva Entertains shop, Winter Wonderland Wedding Favor boxes:

What wonderful whimsy have you found lately??

DIY Birthday – for the BIG kids

And by big kids, I mean the ADULTS!

I’m planning a 40th birthday party and I’ve been looking for fun DIY birthday decorations and party themes that don’t involve “over the hill” or black balloons.  Thankfully, I’ve found a LOT of inspiration out there!

From Sweet Scarlet, a Paris Theme Birthday.  You can get the very inexpensive party printables in Sweet Scarlet’s etsy shop.

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More party inspiration and ideas, from Kara’s Party Ideas, a gorgeous houndstooth inspired 40th Birthday Party theme:


We have a Tiffany Favors category in our Diva Entertains shop too!


Now, I can’t decide if I want a sophisticated glam theme… or a more FIESTA party theme.  For the latter, I’ve bookmarked this fabulous Fiesta 40th Birthday post on the Hostess Blog:

And I found this paper flower bouquet tutorial for Flirty Fiesta Flowers, from Aesthetic Nest:

Now… just in case I decide to go ALL OUT GLAM for this party I’m planning, I’ve marked this Zebra birthday cake as inspiration:

AND… this Bold Zebra + Tiffany Blue inspired party post. Isn’t this a gorgeous Zebra fondant cake.  Want to have this cake (or a very similar one) for your party?  Print out this picture and take it to your bakery and ask them to recreate! (I do this all the time):

I’m ready to PARTY, aren’t you?

Scallops With Orange Sauce

I’ve been eying this recipe for quite some time but didn’t make it because my husband doesn’t care for scallops.  But when my friend Sally from the Bewitching Kitchen blog posted it and raved about it – I knew my time had come.  I love an orange sauce for fish, seafood and chicken and this recipe didn’t disappoint.  Further – it is simple to make, taking only minutes.  And you can even make it ahead of time.  And, because of the way the sugar in the sauce is cooked, it also has a hint of caramel taste to it.

Quick enough for a week night dinner and elegant enough for weekend company!




Turn to Diva Entertains when only exceptional party favors will do!

Fab Friday – Winter Baby Shower Ideas!

If you are planning a party, and specifically a winter baby shower… have I got some FAB inspiration for you today!  Lots of pinks and reds and blues… and winter goodness!

Check out Bump Smitten, and the Snowgirls, Snowballs and Snowflakes party for glam winter party photos that are sure to inspire:

From Blowout Party, a Fabulous Christmas Baby Shower including an easy to duplicate snowman diaper cake:

Another one from Bump Smitten, a Christmas Candyland, that could easily be adapted for a Baby Shower.  Note that they link Birds Party blog for free party printables– also FAB tutorials:

I don’t know who this next picture belongs to, but I could NOT pass up sharing it.  BABY Poinsettia Cookies…. perfect!

I’ve shared this post before, but it’s just TOO FAB not to share again!  A Snow Sprinkle baby shower, from the Hostess blog:

From whirlibird, on etsy, an ADORABLE winter baby shower invitations… and a whole theme with teals and whites and cardinals could easily be built around this design!

Also from etsy, from MyScrapbookStudio, some gorgeous snowflakes and snowball poms that would compliment a winter shower theme:

If you are planning a shower soon, what are some of YOUR ideas?  We’d love to hear them!

Holiday Cake Pops

It’s our third post about Christmas and Holiday baking…you can read our COOKIE POST HERE and the CUPCAKE POST HERE

And today we are talking about how to make CAKE POPS!

I can’t write a post about cake pops without gushing about Bakerella.  Angie is the premier authority on the cake pop craze!  She has a fabulous book filled with incredible baked goody designs, Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats.  This book is at the TOP of my Christmas wish-list, although I have a feeling I could never make MY cake pops look like Angie’s cake pops.

If I don’t get the Bakerella book from Santa, I’ll cry a little… and then after I dry my tears, I’ll click on over to get instructions on how to make Christmas cake pops, using Bakerella’s cake pop tutorials HERE:

Now, this next post isn’t a tutorial, BUT if you have a little experience with cake pop decorating, you might just be able to figure out how to make some of these fabulous Christmas Cake Pops from Sweetopia.  There are several OTHER designs too, so be sure to click on over!

I love the idea of using cake pops on a dessert table for Christmas, and I think you’ll love the idea too, when you see these next holiday cake pops from Mrs. A In the Cove:  (you’ll need to scroll down to see the cake pops in her post, but she has some OTHER great ideas for decorating a Christmas Dessert Table).

For some seriously cute ornament cake ball pops (or Bauble Pops), check out the recipe and instructions (AND a book review) here on Simply Sweet Home:

During my quest for cake pop designs, I found a fun blog called 365 Days of Cake Pops.  Because “Every Day Should Pop!”  Check out her adorable gingerbread cake pops:

And finally Snowman Cake Pops… the pro herself shows you how to make these Bakerella cake pops:

So tell us, what will YOU be baking this year?  Cookies?  Cupcakes?  Cake Pops?

More Holiday Wreaths!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about DIY Holiday wreaths (you can read it HERE).  Since then, I’ve found MORE DIY wreaths to share, and a second Holiday Wreath post was born!  I’ve got DIY tutorials for you, AND a few gorgeous wreath designs to inspire.  There is STILL time to decorate for the holidays… or even design a wreath for AFTER the holidays!

I am ever so slightly allergic to eucalyptus, but I think I could endure it for a wreath THIS beautiful. Find out how to make this Martha Stewart design by  clicking here :

From A Little McD, a fun tutorial on how to create a knock-off Pottery Barn wreath:

I know I keep talking about ruffles, but they are HUGE right now.  Just look at this lovely felt ruffle wreath, designed by Kristen of Domestifluff.  The wreath tutorial for how to make this can be found on the Design Sponge site HERE:

For a completely unique wreath, why not try making one of the Peppermint Twist wreaths, from Women’s Day:

While out driving around with the kids, looking at Christmas lights, we came across a house that took my breath away.  It was decorated in whites and blues and silvers, and those became my new favorite holiday colors (at least until we saw the NEXT dazzling home).  With my new favorite colors in mind, I was thrilled to find a tutorial for a white and blue GLAM Christmas wreath, from Centsational Girl:

Another really popular look this year is rosettes!  I see them everywhere – on headbands, dresses… and wreaths!  Check out this tutorial from Women’s Day… and make your own Felt Rosette Wreath

If you are more of a CARNATION girl, instead of roses girl, you’ll want to look at this next tutorial from Martha Stewart for a gorgeous Carnation Holiday Wreath:

And now… for some eye candy and inspiration (and maybe a few little shopping temptations!)  It might be too late to actually purchase one of these for Christmas, but like I said before, it’s not too late to decorate for the rest of winter!  Check out these fabulously beautiful wreaths, by various artists on etsy…

Majestic Holiday Peacock wreath, from L & G Designs:

Safari Leopard Print from Luxe Wreaths:

An artificial Succulent Wreath, by Best Dressed Nest Shop:

A super glam pink and white and green Winter Wonderland wreath, from English Rose Designs:

And finally, from our own Diva Entertains shop, a moss monogram “wreath”: