One of my favorite bites at any Chinese restaurant is the Crab Rangoon. I know it’s not “authentic Chinese food” but I love it. When I found a recipe called Crab Rangoon Dip, I was intrigued.
Fast forward a few weeks and it’s almost time for the Annual Church Christmas Party. The adults all get dressed up, bring fancy food to the buffet, play games, take pictures, and enjoy one another’s company. My husband and I have come to this event joyfully every year for 20 years. This year I thought, “What could be fancier than hot Crab Rangoon Dip with Toast Points?” I’m glad I did. Judging from the empty dishes we brought home, I wasn’t the only one who was glad.
There was one problem though. My son’s fiancé is allergic to cream cheese and that’s a main component in Crab Rangoon. I’ve learned about a great substitute cheese which she can handle. It’s not as tangy as cream cheese, not quite as firm but it works well in every recipe I used it. It’s marscapone cheese.
As you look over the ingredients you may be tempted to elect the simpler pre-shredded packages of Monterey Jack Cheese or Parmesan Cheese but it does make a difference. My dip was smooth and creamy, as it should be. The processing of shredded cheeses causes the dip to be a little grainy. It’s not that appealing to me so I always try to avoid that.
Another cost savings tactic is to buy “crab meat” or “lump crab meat”. They both will work but you need to go through that meat very very very carefully to remove all the shells and cartilage. Nothing will ruin you dip faster than having to pick those out while your eating it.
My local grocery store has a wonderful bakery where they offer sour dough bread made in round loaves and sliced thin. It’s perfect for this recipe. I cut the bottom crust off each slice of bread then cut the slices in a starburst pattern which yielded eight triangles per slice.
Try the recipe yourself. You’ll love it!
Growing up, Daddy always carved a watermelon basket for our summer parties while Momma whipped up yummy food.
"It can't be too hard," I thought, deciding to tackle the family tradition.
Don't look too closely at these photos because they are nothing like Daddy's clean straight lines. Here is my watermelon basket and it wasn't too difficult.
I will walk you through the process step-by-step.
You will need:
1 Large Watermelon
1 Large Watermelon
1 Large Honeydew
1 Sharp Working Space
1 Melon Ball Maker
1 Large Mixing Bowl
1 Large Working Space
Your first job will be to cut off most of the top half of the watermelon leaving a wide handle in the center. (See the photo below)
Next, make melon balls from the pieces you cut off from the watermelon and add them to the mixing bowl.
Move on to making melon balls from the rest of the watermelon until it is empty, adding them to your bowl. Scrape the insides of the watermelon so it is smooth.
Make melon balls from the cantaloupe and honeydew, adding them to the mixing bowl. Mix all the fruit together so there is a pretty color mix.
Add the melon balls to the empty watermelon basket and it is ready to serve.
That's it! It's easier than you thought, isn't it? It makes a great centerpiece for a summer party, BBQ, or outside picnic.
Happy Summer Hospitality!
Celebrations always seem to include good food, sweet drinks, singing, and dancing!
One way to celebrate is to throw a party.
Throwing a party can be intimidating. Don’t worry, though. They key is planning. The planning process involves asking and answering lots of questions.
Answering these questions helps you think through what you are hoping to see happen at your party.
Are you ready?
Party Planning Begins with Basic Questions
Why are we having this party?
What are we celebrating?
What is the occasion?
This might be your son’s graduation from high school, your husband’s fortieth birthday, or Easter, the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection!
When? Where? When?
Next, we decide the date, time, and location!
Choose where the party will be and when. Will it be at your house? Is there enough room at your house?
Who or What is the Party For?
Is There a Guest of Honor?
A special occasion such as a wedding, graduation, or birthday will have a guest of honor. A seasonal party usually will not.
If there is a guest of honor, let him/her play a large role in deciding the menu, theme, decorations, and guest lists. If it is a surprise, try to keep the guest of honor’s likes and dislikes in mind.
Theme & Decorations
What will the theme be?
How will we decorate?
When my friend, Sarah, had her twenty-first birthday, she had a 1950’s Party complete with root beer floats, malted milk shakes, and cheeseburgers. We all dressed up and it looked like the cast of the old television show, Happy Days, had invaded my house.
Choose a theme or at least a color scheme right at the beginning. We have used Western themes (cowboy hats, rope, bandanas, cowboy songs), Hawaiian (pineapples, coconuts, tropical isle décor, island music), Mexican (sombrero, Mexican flags, music), and Teddy Bears (with teddy bears EVERYWHERE!).
Different holidays and seasons bring their own themes and colors. Christmas colors are red and green or burgundy and dark green. Easter colors are lavender, mint green, yellow, soft pink, and powder blue. St. Valentine’s Day colors are reds and pinks with lots of hearts, lace, and roses. Thanksgiving colors are orange, brown, dark greens, gold, and beige.
I just hosted a baby shower and we had a blast playing a brand new game, The Price is Right.
You’re right! It’s based on an old TV show with a baby shower twist.
The Price is Right Baby Shower game is the perfect game to entertain guests at a baby shower.
It’s quite fun to see your guests pricing skills!
Everyone was laughing and having a great time while we played.
The game is easy to play, and afterward, all of the products from the game can be given to the new mom as an extra gift.
What is so great about this game?
Well, each element can be customized to fit the baby shower theme.
From the items you purchase, down to creating the handout – You can be as creative as you want to be!
What You Need for Game
It's so fun to set a pretty table for a special family celebration or when guests come over.
Some moms set a pretty table every night. I'm more of a "special occasion or guest kind of gal."
Let's talk about the basics of setting a pretty table.
A pretty table starts with a tablecloth or place mats with place settings laid out attractively. A centerpiece adds the perfect festive touch.
Before you set the table, stop and think about the general feel you want to create. Is this casual or fancy? Are you serving a special food? Spaghetti can lend itself to an Italian them with lots of red and green. Are you celebrating a holiday, birthday or special occasion. The birthday girl's favorite colors and flowers or the birthday boy's favorite sports team can lend it self to to choosing style and colors.
Tablecloths & Place Settings
We kicked off our Homeschool Geography Co-op with a Plane Ride because our goal is to Travel Around The World through reading, crafts, mapping, and hands-on learning fun this year. Did I mention food and feasting?
This month, we were studying Europe, so we had another Geography Feast using Travel God's World Cookbook.
Each family made a dish from a country in Europe.
I made EZ Paella from Spain. Pattie made Swedish Cabbage Pudding (it also has ground beef and potatoes, too), Molly made Bratwurst and Sauerkraut from Germany, and Leanne made Fruit Crumble from England.
I attended an engagement party this weekend and was excited to discover they had a cupcake bar.
You can see how pretty the display was in the photo. There were little flags in the frosting bowls and paper topping dishes to inform guests what they were looking at.
Guests could choose from vanilla or chocolate cupcakes, just plain cupcakes.
The next step was to choose chocolate or vanilla frosting for your cupcake. If you are having your own cupcake bar, you could also use decorator bags of icing so you could pipe the frosting on fancy.
Once your cupcake was frosted, it was time for the goodies to decorate. You had a choice of ten different toppings.
Five children living at home. Two grandchildren who visit often. Homeschooling (endless piles of papers and stacks of books). Writing (edit copies, piles of research). Worship Team (music).
Can you spell clutter?
More importantly, can you control clutter?
As much as I hate clutter, it invades my home on a regular basis.
To keep clutter at bay requires organization and tidying up on a regular basis. These two things are very different from cleaning. Yes, cleaning is important, but it will not control clutter.
Let's talk about clutter control.