Baked Tomato Recipe with Parmesan

Baked Tomatoes with Parmesan

I made these oven baked tomatoes last night and I was so delighted with not only their taste (superb) but also with how fast these came together.  This recipe and the amazing photography is from Monica at LicktheBowlGood blog.

Oven Baked Tomatoes

The original recipe is from the book Simple Suppers by Jennifer Chandler but Monica has added her own (very helpful) notes to the recipe

Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

 

Last Minute Father’s Day Printables

Ok folks, there are just two more days (counting today!) before Father’s Day this year.  My kids are mostly ready with their gifts to give Dad some kudos on Sunday, but in case YOU aren’t, here are a couple of last minute FREE printables that might help.

From Amanda’s Parties to Go, a CUTE tie Father’s Day free printable!  You will need to like her Facebook page to get the download, but other than THAT, it’s FREE!

 

From Dearie Designs, you can get a whole page of printables… and I’m especially loving the donut tags.  She has step by step instructions on how to put these together… so go get ’em!

And from Strong Armor, a printable that you can use to make Dad feel REALLY good. I love that my kids can write a list… and it will be not only a record of what they think about Dad this year, but also a record of their writing abilities.  (You know my husband will be keeping these lists FOREVER!)

Happy FAB Friday!

4th of July Dessert Recipes

I realized yesterday that June is basically HALF over already.  (Wait, what??)  And that means I better get a move on with my 4th of July party plans.   SO, I went in search of ways to celebrate and EAT well for 4th of July.   (And I was specifically looking for EASY ideas, because… well, it’s summer, and I don’t want complicated!) Found these terrific 4th of July dessert recipes that I had to share!

From Bakers Royale, check out these adorable EASY Fruit Pops.  I love, love, love the star shapes!


If you are looking for a super cute, super EASY 4th of July patriotic dessert, check out the Red, White and Blue cookie from Get Off Your Tush and Cook:

So, I’m not a fan of the beet and blue potato chips idea in this next tutorial from Martha Stewart, BUT I love the free printable paper cones.  I’m thinking popcorn would be cute in the cones, and maybe even colored popcorn!?

I’ve seen a lot of variations for EASY 4th of July Fruit Kabobs, but my daughter is voting for this recipe from The Frugal Girls.  Why?  Because it has MARSHMALLOWS!  (Bananas would work too, but we love marshmallows around here).

And finally, because I couldn’t help myself, I have one more EASY Fruit and Brownie Kabobs recipe for you.  And this recipe from Simple Organized Living?  Has brownies!  AND Marshmallows. Oh yea, baby!

Is it July yet??

Party Popsicle Style

Did you know popsicles aren’t just for kids anymore?  Impress yourself and your friends with these homemade popsicle recipes for you to enhance your warm summer evening get togethers!

From ModClothBlog, a pina colada popsicle recipe:

From LilSugar, a YUMMY looking fresh fruit popsicle recipe (and these ARE ok for kiddos too!):

From HWTM blog, a quick and easy way to add popsicles to cocktails...

Endless Simmer has a HUGE list of “pop-tails” recipes… which are popsicle/cocktail combos.  I’m pretty sure my favorite will be Strawberry Peach Vodka Collins Popsicles… but you can click through the link and find YOUR favorite!

And finally, if you are really popsicle-ambitious, you need to check out IcyPops.com for a whole SITE-full of great popsicle ideas. There are DIY recipes for fun shapes, flavor combinations and more!

Bring on the POPS!!

Wine Bottle Accents for your Wedding or Shower

So, today I’ve got a collection of “odds and ends” for weddings and bridal showers that I just need to share!  These are all unique ideas that add just that special touch to your event!

First up, I found a GREAT post from Bespoke Bride, with 21 alternative and unique guest book ideas.  My favorite?  Wine Glass guest books:

Gracefully Southern, on etsy.com, has another unique, alternative wine bottle guest book idea:

From Martha Stewart comes this very simple AND elegant table number idea:

And speaking of table numbers, how about these CHALK wine bottle table numbers, from Julie Ann Art? Click for instruction on how to spray paint wine bottles include how to make chalkboard wine bottles!

And of course you can see our wine bottle and wine related favors and accents in the Diva Entertains Shop.

Do YOU have a unique way to use wine bottles for your event?  We’d love to hear about them!

Thai Beef Salad Recipe

Friends of mine at www.eat.at have been singing the praises of this flank steak salad recipe for quite some time.  Now that I’ve made it I’m definitely chiming right in with them: it’s delicious!  Thanks to a divine sauce that is, at once, both marinade and dressing – the salad has great flavor.  Although a light meal compared to steak and potatoes, add a roll with a great crust and a glass of good wine and you’ve got yourself a wonderful meal.  Easy too!

Ellie Krieger, a host on Food Network, developed this recipe which I’ve adapted a tad.  I like her use of thinly sliced shallots (not as strong as onions) as well as mixing basil and cilantro.  However, as I serve it throughout the summer, I’m going to add a few more ingredients such as thinly sliced cucumbers, matchstick carrot strips, mushrooms (I might saute those first to brown them a bit and bring out more of their flavorful) and even dried cherries.

Flank steak, once cooked, needs to be sliced thinly and across the grain, otherwise it will be very tough.  I explain and show how to do this in my Maple-Soy Marinade for Flank Steak.

You might like to check out Diva Entertains Beef Recipes.   And if you are planning a celebration – don’t forgot about the fabulous favors offered at Diva Entertains.  Her Plantable Favors, including personalized Herb Favors, are sure to be a hit!

FAB Friday Free Printables – From The Kitchen Tags

Do you do a lot of baking?  Canning?  Make gifts of food for others?  Well, today’s FAB Friday FREE Printables are for YOU!  I designed some “From the Kitchen” tags for you to download and use on your baked and foodie type goods.

These free printable tags are 2 inches round, and come 20 to a sheet.  The downloads are in a PDF format file.  Just download, print, and then cut.  (We recommend a circle punch, like THIS ONE, but scissors work too!  Punches are low cost and once you have one you’ll find zillions of reasons to use it)

You can punch a hole and add tags to your baked goods with string or ribbon… or if decide to print them on STICKER paper, these will make great seals for canning jars too!

DOWNLOAD THE Blue Tags HERE

DOWNLOAD THE Red Tags HERE

Happy Friday!

Chalkboard Place Settings

Did you know chalk is BIG right now?  And by big, I mean super cute… super easy… super fun… for your party accessories!  Check out a few ideas for using chalk to enhance your party.

From Signature Style, a quick and easy tutorial for using dollar store trays and chalkboard paint to make a fun hostess gift or menu board

And look at this tutorial from Just Short of Crazy… add chalkboard paint to the bottom of wine glasses!

From Emaline Bride, a FAB tutorial for making little chalkboard flower pots.  Perfect for place settings!!

And also from Emaline Bride, an easy tutorial for adding chalkboards to mason jars!  Doesn’t get more shabby chic than that, does it?

So, do you have chalkboard ideas?  We’d love to hear them!

We also have chalk items available in the Diva Entertains shop.  Check out a few below:

Wine Chalkboard Table Settings  |  Chalkboard Votive Candles  |  Chalkboard Table Numbers

Summer Craft Activities for Kids

In our household, the words “I’m bored” are not allowed.  I’m harsh like that.  BUT, my kids also know that there are PLENTY of options for fun and games and crafts around our house.

And if we run out of ideas, we know where to go!  Our local craft shops ALWAYS have classes and kids’ camps that are perfect for learning new skills and trying new things.

If you are looking for fun with the kids this summer, check out JOANNS.COM and their “Kids’ Camp”… browse through projects and classes, and get your kids signed up today!  Sewing classes, cake decorating, crochet, jewelery making – you name it, they’ve got it!  And, there are also LOTS of great options for Moms (and Dads and Grandmas…) too!

 

Michaels Craft Classes for Kids is another great option for classes and events. Cake decorating, painting, bracelet making… my kids can’t decide WHICH class they want to try most!

Do you have a Hobby Lobby in your area?  Well, Hobby Lobby has a ton of great Project Inspiration ideas on their website.  You can browse through fun project ideas, and get a list of supplies needed, and GET BUSY!

And if you don’t live near any of the the three shops listed above, don’t worry!  Craft and fun project ideas are only a google search away!  Type in “Summer Crafts for Kids”, and you’ll be SET!

Happy crafting!!

Rolo Cheesecake – So Good, So Easy

caramel cheese cake recipe

I made this this past weekend for out of town guests and it was a BIG hit! *BIG*.  The recipe (and beautiful picture) comes from Hugs & Cookies XOXO.  Danielle is a fabulous baker and has a knack for the ‘right’ combinations.  That being said, you can use her recipe as a base and add the chopped candies of your choice! (Rolos are small so they don’t need to be chopped).

The only departure I make from the recipe below is that I always make a chocolate ganache glaze using heavy cream and chocolate.  I bring one cup of heavy cream to a boil, add 1 (12 oz.) bag of chocolate chips and take off heat.  Let sit 5 minutes then stir to combine until smooth.

BE SURE TO bring the cheesecake to room temperature before serving or else the Rolos are too hard to chew.  You’ll be safe if you take it out of the fridge an hour before you serve.