Friday GIVEAWAY – $75 Visa Gift Card

I’m so excited announce the winner of our last incredible giveaway… with the prize of a KINDLE FIRE!!  The winner is……

STACIE!  Stacie, you’ll be getting an email from us this morning!

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And now, on to this week’s giveaway… we are giving away another visa gift  card – a $75 Visa gift card, in fact!


One lucky (US) winner will win this $75 visa card on December 14th.

We’ve tried to make it as simple as possible to enter… AND we are giving you multiple chances to win!

1. Sign up for our once-a-week blog recap email list HERE and then leave us a comment below letting us know.  (If you are already a follower, just leave a comment saying, “I already receive your weekly recap email”)

2. Write a Facebook post about our giveaway, and then leave us a comment below letting us know.  You can also SHARE this post on Facebook if you like!

3.  Click “LIKE” on our Diva Entertains Face Book page – HERE, and then leave us a comment below letting us know.  (If you have already liked us on Facebook, just leave a comment saying, “I am already a fan on Facebook”)

4. Post on twitter about our giveaway, and then leave us a comment below letting us know.

5. And finally… post about it on YOUR blog, and then leave a comment below letting us know.

SO, to recap… you can enter our blog giveaway up to FIVE times.  Do any or all of the above five things, and leave a comment EACH TIME on this giveaway post.

We will choose a winner on December 13th at midnight, and announce the winner on December 14th.  Winner must have a US shipping address.

And, just in case you aren’t sure about entering, just check out our most recent winner Madeline, with HER Visa gift card.  The next photo could be you!

Theme Thursday – Blue and White

It’s time for another Theme Thursday, and today I’ve chosen blue and white themes… these colors together make a wonderful backdrop for winter weddings and events.

From Bentley Meeker comes an incredible display of blue and white.  I especially love the trees as decor.  If you want LOTS of eye-candy, you have to spend some time on their site.

From Blissique, a BEAUTIFUL blue and white bridal shower, with some fab ideas for decorating and favors.  I love the little bits of blue surrounded by white.  So lovely and easy to do!  Perfect for a blue and white baby shower too!

 

How about decorating with branches?  They make such a fabulous touch, and they really aren’t that hard to make!  Check out Save-On-Crafts for the tutorial:

And finally, from the Hostess blog, check out this FAB gallery of Winter Wonderland in blues and whites.  Included in the post are several links to DIY tutorials, so you can re-create a look like this for YOUR event.

DIY Christmas Ornaments

It’s that time of year – holiday DIY time AND Christmas tree trimming time!  I’ve got some great tutorials for homemade FAB Christmas ornaments, that you can keep OR give away as gifts!

First, from A Petite Cottage, some amazing (and oh, so DIVA) leopard print ornaments – I love the variations she made, but all with the leopard print material.  LOVE that she made them  from some recycled items like a leopard print skirt from the thrift store, some old ornaments and some vintage buttons and button covers.

From Life and Other Shenanigans comes a pretty quick and easy DIY “squiggle” ornament, using puff paint!  I can imagine this in all shades of color and puffiness. These would be great Christmas ornaments to make with kids!

From Sweet Something Designs, a great tutorial how to make glitter ornaments!  She calls it “UpCycling” – gotta love that!

From Mother Rising, a very simple, yet elegant idea for using feathers inside ornaments.  I love the peacock feather ornament!

And from Do It Yourself Divas, a gorgeous DIY Pearl Ornament tutorial: (so easy!)

Christmas Party Bites

It’s officially the after-Thanksgiving, after Black Friday, ALMOST December “Holiday Season”!  So.. expect a lot of holiday cheer (AND posts) around here this month.  Today’s post is brought to you by the words “party” and “bites”.  We normally offer FAB recipes on Mondays, but there are just so many great recipes out there waiting to be made, I thought I’d share a few links specifically for your holiday food/party planning.  I’ve got a little savory.. a little sweet… and a lot of Holiday thrown in!

First, from Happy Hour Projects… Bite Size Party Bark.  Not  only do these Christmas party appetizers look great – they taste great – offering a little bit sweet and a little bit salty all in one.  The link includes great instructions and step-by-step instructions. What an incredibly cute and fun way to use candy or ice cube molds!

From Betty Crocker, a fun holiday twist on the Christmas cheese ball… why not turn it into a Snowman Cheese Ball?

For the kids (and kids at heart), check out these fun Christmas Santa Crackers, from Free Fun Christmas.  Not a lot of gourmet in them, but a cute addition to a Holiday party!  Easily made with round butter crackers, pepperoni slices, ricotta or cream cheese, capers and celery.

From Dandelions and Lace, a cute twist (ha!) on using Bugles as a party food.  It’s another great sweet/salty combo that is perfect for a holiday party.  Photo step-by-step instructions in the post.

And finally, from City Wife, Country Life… an adorable penguin Christmas party snack.  Now, I’m not sure what Penguins have to do with the holidays exactly, but I just couldn’t pass up using this one!  Olives, carrots and cream cheese is all it takes!

What kind of Holiday Party “bites” will you be making this year?  We’d love to hear about it!  Leave us a comment, and a blog link if you have one!

Marshmallow Brownies with Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies on Top

peanut butter rice krispie brownies

That’s quite a mouthful of a name!  But darn if these aren’t great.  Everyone I’ve given a piece to has asked for the recipe.  And that’s a lot of people!

The recipe was based off of one published in Taste of Home magazine.  The only change I made was using a box brownie mix for the first layer instead of making one from scratch.  Doing that made this a very easy recipe.

The top layer is a combination of chocolate and peanut butter that has been melted and combined (that is one heck of a divine combination) to which rice krispies have been added.  If you aren’t a rice krispies fan you can easily leave them out.

DON’T Forget about our KINDLE FIRE giveaway

Happy Black Friday! Just a quick post to any of you who might be surfing the net looking for deals today..we wanted to be sure to remind you about our KINDLE FIRE giveaway!

Did you enter yet?  Click on over to THIS post for ALL the details!

 

Happy Thanksgiving from Diva Entertains!

Happy Thanksgiving!

©iStockphoto.com/Olga Lyubkina

Last Minute FREE Thanksgiving Printables

Yesterday we talked about last minute fun foods for Thanksgiving, and today I have some last minute FREE printables for you!  If you are still trying to decide on a decor for your Thanksgiving table, check out some of these ideas:

From Anna and Blue, a great collection of download and printables for Thanksgiving:  Make sure you scroll to the end of the post for the printables and suggestions how to use them!

 

From Dimple Prints, a GIGANTIC collection of Thanksgiving printables!

From Food, Art Party… a collection of cupcake wrappers and toppers:

And from Paper Glitter, a fun collection that would be perfect for the “kid’s table”:

Last Minute Thanksgiving Fun Food Ideas!

This is a VERY busy week for hostesses all over the United States!  I am personally cooking TWO turkeys this week, along with ALL the traditional fixin’s for Thursday’s big feast day.  I’ve made lists and more lists to keep myself organized, and in between making lists, I’ve browsed for ideas for making our holiday fun and unique! I was thinking mostly about foods my kids would enjoy (or could help with the making), but these ideas are great for “kids” of ALL ages!

From Living Locurto, some SUPER FUN  Thanksgiving veggie tray ideas for the holidays:

 

From 7th House on the Left, she teaches how to make turkey cookies (adorable, no bake!):

 

From Dash Recipes, check out these teepees!!

And from Woman’s Day, super cute pilgrim hat cookies!

Chocolate Caramel Filled Cake with Sea Salt

If you need a ‘go to’ chocolate cake, one that is easy to make, super delicious, incredibly moist – this is it.   The  salted caramel filling and rich chocolate ganache frosting pairs beautifully with it, yet you could also fill and frost with other flavors.  Sprinkling a bit of sea salt on the top of the frosting is the perfect final touch.

About that caramel cake filling.  I must admit, I haven’t had much luck making caramel filling in the past, yet this recipe was a breeze to make.  The only thing that I might do in the future is to make one and half times what the recipe calls for, but that’s because I like a lot of filling.  But make it first, as is, to see if you agree.

Also – I used Hershey’s dark cocoa for this cake, however, you can use any cocoa (your cake will be a bit lighter in color and if not using the dark cocoa).

I always like to give the source of any recipe I use but, unfortunately, I cannot remember where this one came from.  I’ve adapted it a tad by adding an extra egg yolk – I almost always add an extra yolk to any cake recipe I make; it makes for a richer, moister cake.

Chocolate Caramel Cake with Sea Salt

Serves 10 – 12

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot water

For the Salted Caramel Filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

  • 1 lb. bittersweet (dark) chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  1. Make the cake: Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until the batter is smooth.  Divide batter into two greased 9-inch cake pans.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 25-35 minutes (start testing at 25 minutes), or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.
  1. Make the chocolate ganache frosting: Place chocolate in a large bowl.  Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan and pour the hot cream over the chocolate.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Stir until it’s a smooth cream; cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate briefly to thicken (check after 30 minutes to see if it is a good spreading consistency).
  1. Make the salted caramel filling: Place sugar, water and corn syrup in a large saucepan on low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium and allow mixture to cook without stirring until the sugar turns a dark amber (about 10 minutes).  Remove from heat and pour in the cream (it will bubble as you do so). Stir well.  Stir in butter and sea salt.  Let cool in the refrigerator.
  1. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on a plate or cake stand and spread the caramel cream over the cake.  Add the second layer of cake.
  2. Frost the cake with the chocolate ganache.  Sprinkle with a little sea salt on the top of the cake.
  3. Keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

Diva Entertains has a large selection of terrific Birthday Favors – come take a look!