Archives for September 2013

Apple Crumb Bars

apple crisp bars

As fall approaches, I start testing apple desserts.  And this easy apple bars recipe passed with flying colors.  I didn’t even need to use beaters or a stand mixer; a pastry blender* worked just fine (you can also use a fork to mash the crumb mixture).  They also go by the name of apple crisp bars.

Although I tend to use Grannysmith apples when baking because they hold up well and I like their tartness contrasted with the sweet crumb, feel free to use your favorite baking apple! (or a mix of apples.)

Apple Crumb Bars

For The Apple Layer

  • 3 1/2 cups diced apple (from about 2 large apples)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (you can also use pecans)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

For The Crust and Crumb Layer

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg

Maple Glaze (Optional)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream (or milk)
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.

Place all ingredients for the apples into a bowl. Toss to coat and evenly distribute all ingredients.  Let sit 5-10 minutes and then toss again.

Place first 5 ingredients for the crust/crumb into a bowl. Blend the ingredients together using a pastry blender or a fork until the butter has been incorporated and there are crumbs about the size of peas. Add the egg to the crumb mixture and lightly fold just until the egg has been incorporated. Try not to over work the mixture. You want for there to still be pea-sized crumbs after adding the egg.

Reserve 1 heaping cup of the crumb mixture. Pour the rest of the crumb into the prepared baking dish. Using your hands or the bottom of a measuring cup, gently press the crumb mixture into the dish to form a level crust.  Next evenly distribute the apple mixture over the crust.  Finally, sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the apples.

Bake for about 50 – 60  minutes or until crumb is golden and apples are soft.  Start checking after 50 minutes.  Remove and let cool.

To make glaze, add powdered sugar to a small bowl.  Add maple syrup and 1 Tbsp. of the heavy cream or milk.   Mix well.  Continue to add cream, a little bit at a time, until you achieve the glaze consistency that you like (I like mine thick).  Once bars have cooled (wait at least an hour after they come out of the oven) drizzle glaze over the bars.

*Pastry blenders can be purchased inexpensively at most kitchen stores or stores that have a large kitchen section (such as Walmart or Target); they can also be purchased online.

Fab Friday FREE Damask Place Cards

We talked about DIY Damask projects yesterday, and I couldn’t help myself!  I made some FREE damask place cards (or table signs) for you to download and use.



These damask place cards are a tent-style, and they come 4 to a sheet.  The download is in a PDF format file.  Just download, print, and then cut.  There is a light gray edge around each place card on the PDF, so you have a nice line for cutting.  Simply fold over where the damask and white edge meet in the middle, and you have a tent style place card or table sign.

You can use these as place cards, table signs for candy or dessert buffets, or even gift tags on a present!


And if you’d like  CUSTOM party place cards, you can click HERE to order place cards personalized and customized for your event!  We’ll customize, print, and ship them right to you!

DIY Damask Projects

I think damask prints go well on almost anything – simple decor like candle holders, walls, iphone cases, coasters… you name it, damask makes it better!  And I’ve found a few DIY Damask projects for those of you who feel the same way!

From Style Me Pretty – a DIY Coaster project.  Now, theoretically you could use most any design or print (like zebra or leopard even), but since we’re talking damask today… use damask!


From GreyGrey Designs, a damask and diamonds party post – with some tips for how she DIY’ed her way through the decor!  Sometimes it’s really easy to DIY when decorating, especially if you shop at Hobby Lobby!


A very simple favor box DIY idea… from the Ruffled blog.  DIY Candy buffet take-out boxes, with damask accents!


And we actually have some FAB damask products in the Diva Entertains shop, if you aren’t quite ready to DIY…  check out these damask favor boxes!


Cars Theme Birthday Parties

Last week, I posted some fun PLANES party ideas (here), and my boys saw the post and wanted to know where the CARS “stuff” was.  So… here it is!

First, from So Wonderful, So Marvelous… a..well, MARVELOUS Cars Birthday party post!  Lots of fabulous inspiration here… check out the mini pit crew bags!

finn's birthday 050

From Adorable Antics, another amazing (and adorable!) party for a 3 year old Cars buff!  Love her dessert table!


Organized Chaos has a great post that is race cars-related, but not Disney Cars specifically.  Some great ideas here, either way you go!


And from the Pethel Family, some incredible ideas for decorating and feeding folks at a Cars party!  LOVE the dessert table ideas…

Spencer Cars Bday 060


FAB Party Photos with Shoe Favors

We have some fun FAB pics from a recent customer – these feature a shoe party theme with some our Diva Entertains Shoe Favors.

I love the gorgeous shoe centerpiece, don’t you?  What a brilliant idea to use pillar candle holders to display the shoes. And she used the our zebra shoe place card holders.  Special thanks to Jan for sharing these pics with us!







Reese’s Cupcakes!

reeses peanut butter cupcakes

Oh my – these Reese’s cup cupcakes are sooo good!  Easy and fun to make too!  Although you can certainly made the chocolate cupcakes from scratch, I used a packaged cake mix.

chocolate reeses cupcakes

Reese’s Cupcakes:

  • 1 package chocolate fudge cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Moist Supreme)
  • 24 snack size (.55 oz each) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. corn syrup
  • additional chopped up Reese’s for decorating cupcakes (about 4)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Prepare 2 cupcake pans with 24 liners.
  2. Placed unwrapped Reese’s cups in the bottom of each liner.
  3. Make cake mix according to package instructions.  Pour batter into each cupcake liner so that they are 2/3rd full.  Bake according to package directions.  When done, remove from oven and let cool 30 minutes on rack.
  4. Melt butter in medium saucepan.  Turn heat to lowest setting and add chocolates and corn syrup. Stir constantly until chips are melted and fully blended, then remove from heat.  Let frosting cool for 15 minutes.
  5. After frosting has cooled, frost each cupcake and then decorate with chopped up Reese’s. (If frosting is too warm the Reese’s pieces will melt.)