Saturday, December 1, 2012

7 Letters to a Powerful Word...

Friday, January 22, 2010


Hello to all of you in the Blogsphere. It's been a while since I've been here, last year to be exact, so I have some serious catching up to do. First of all MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY KWANZAA, HAPPY HANUKKAH and any other holiday shout out I didn't mention, oh yeah HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Welcome year 2011!

The holidays were great, but unfortunately I was sick through them :-( I'm still recovering from a serious bout of Bronchitis that left me with sore ribs, ouch! But this is not about me trying to get your sympathy Lol!

This year White Box Parties will be UNDER CONSTRUCTION and revamped. It's not just about entertaining here, but also about fabulous fashion finds, family, flea market and yard sale treasures, Martha Stewart snippets of the week, and the little things that make life... Delightful!

So thanks for your patience during the CONSTRUCTION period, and I look forward to bringing fresh ideas, creative and insightful little tidbits to you! For the time being...Ciao!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Party Time!

Everyone looks better in candlelight! Keep the lights low and use candles around the room...reminds me of a certain episode of Seinfeld :-).

When using candles, be sure to use unscented, so nothing clashes with the food.

Get creative with table decor- flowers are beautiful, but fruit, leaves, gourds...

or a bowl of favorite ornaments make fast, festive pieces!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Aromatic Ambience

Want to set the right mood for your holiday celebration? Let guests follow their noses. Combine water, sliced citrus fruits, and cinnamon sticks or other spices in a large pot and simmer or use a small crock pot.

Try sticking cloves in oranges and arrange them in bowls around the kitchen, dining, and living rooms. Not only are they nostalgic in their scent, but they are also works of art!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Savor The Season

* Bring family and friends together with your favorite foods this holiday season. What's the secret to successful entertaining? Have as much fun preparing as you do sharing. These holiday entertaining tips and ideas will help you bring your best to the table.

*Forgo a formal dinner at your next holiday party and serve a variety of hors d'oeuvres as a meal instead. Include pasta, meats, vegetables and seafood to satisfy your guests. Try this recipe of a quick and easy puff pastry mini quiche...a palate pleaser!

Yield: 6 quiches


  • 6 hard-cooked eggs
  • 6 pre-baked puff-pastry shells
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1/3 cup grated Fontina cheese
  • Crumbled bacon


Slice eggs crosswise and place 1 in each pre-baked puff-pastry shells (found in the frozen-food section). Top with fresh sage and grated Fontina cheese. Bake at 400° F until the cheese melts (about 5 minutes). Garnish each tiny quiche with crumbled bacon, if desired.

* Small Plates are BIG...For your next cocktail pa rty, tap into one of the hottest restaurant trends: small plates. Each plate is just big enough for one or two appetizers. This gives guests greater opportunity to mingle was they nibble. Mix and match styles for even greater interest.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 3 canapés)


  • Polenta:
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese

  • Topping:
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms (about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Gruyère cheese


1. To prepare polenta, bring 4 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually add polenta and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to low; cook 3 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Spoon polenta into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly. Press plastic wrap onto surface of polenta; chill 1 hour or until firm.

2. Preheat broiler.

3. Invert polenta onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut polenta into 36 rectangles (leave polenta on baking sheet). Broil 5 minutes. Turn polenta over. Brush polenta with 1 tablespoon butter. Broil 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheese evenly over rectangles; broil 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

4. To prepare topping, combine 1 cup boiling water and porcini mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain; chop mushrooms.

5. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium he

at. Add shallots to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in red pepper; cook 30 seconds. Add porcini, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms; cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Stir in vermouth, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

6. Spoon 1 teaspoon mushroom mixture on top of each polent

a rectangle; top rectangles evenly with shaved cheese.


* Holiday Cheers...Make sure you have enough glasses to last the duration of your party. For each hour of your party, estimate at least one glass per guest.

Be sure to make the most of your holiday season, start early, make plans, attend holiday open houses and enjoy the company of family and friends and remember...Savor every moment! Ciao!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fabulous and Tasty Fall Recipes!

Here are some comfy and delicious fall food ideas...just click on the pic to get the recipes. Enjoy! Ciao!

Here are some great recipes I found at

Sweet Potato Bourbon Bundt Cake...Wow!

Apple Crisp...Yummy!

Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies= pure decadence!

Pumpkin Cheesecake...Mmm...Mmm


How about some comfort food...

Try this spin on traditional lasagna...Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

Fresh from the oven Buttermilk Biscuits!!

Prep: 20 min., Chill: 10 min., Bake: 15 min.


Makes 2 dozen


  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising soft-wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • Self-rising soft-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


1. Cut butter with a sharp knife or pastry blender into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle butter slices over flour in a large bowl. Toss butter with flour. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with 1 short end. (Fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter-size piece of paper.) Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).

3. Press or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased jelly-roll pan. (Dough rounds should touch.)

4. Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

*Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits: Omit 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Combine 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1/3 cup chopped pecans with flour in a large bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed. Stir together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp. buttermilk until smooth. Drizzle over warm biscuits. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Don't forget the Apple Butter :-) This is how Autumn would taste if it had a flavor!

A mixture of apple varieties, rather than just one type, will produce apple butter with rich, complex flavor in this slow cooker recipe. Good choices include Granny Smith, Jonathan, Northern Spy, Rome, Stayman, Winesap, and York. Enjoy the apple butter over Biscuits, English muffins, or serve it with pork chops or chicken.

4 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup)


* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1/4 cup apple cider
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
* 10 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks (about 2 1/2 pounds)


Combine all ingredients in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 10 hours or until apples are very tender.

Place a large fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; spoon one-third of apple mixture into sieve. Press mixture through sieve using the back of a spoon or ladle. Discard pulp. Repeat procedure with remaining apple mixture. Return apple mixture to slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, on high 1 1/2 hours or until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally. Spoon into a bowl; cover and chill up to a week.

Stovetop variation: Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 1 hour or until a pples are very tender, stirring occasionally. Strain through a sieve as recipe instructs in Step 2. Return m ixture to pan. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.

This my friend is what I call "A Warm Blanket" Hot Mulled Cider

Hot Mulled Cider

MAKES 8 cups ACTIVE TIME: 15 min TOTAL TIME: 15 min

1 orange, washed
15 whole cloves
2 quarts apple cider
3 whole cinnamon sticks

1. Peel orange and insert cloves into peel.

2. Combine apple cider, orange peel and cinnamon sticks in large stockpot. Remove sections from orange and squeeze any remaining juice from membranes into cider mixture.

3. Simmer slowly on MEDIUM until hot and steamy, about 10 min; do not boil. Remove cinnamon sticks and orange peel.

*A cinnamon stick may be used as a garnish in each cup.

Keep this recipe handy for those cold fall and winter nights and let aroma of the season keep you warm and cozy.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tis' The Season To...

We are quickly approaching the holiday season and the idea of having a festive event is already lingering in the mind of the over zealous and anxious holiday lover's mind (me). As soon as the first leaf makes its transition from summery green into a golden autumn orange and is blown to the ground by a gust of cool air...I'm there, ready for the beginning of the anticipated holiday season!

Not only is it the beginning of the holiday season, but Fall festivals galore!!! The apples are ready for the picking and making of the perfect flaky crusted apple pie and the pumpkins are at their peak and look forward to adorning festive autumn tables and filling pie shells as well!

and for those of you who prefer to leave the baking to someone else...

...this will do :-)

Here is a great and yummy way to serve up pumpkin...if you don't like pumpkin, then use sweet potatoes...delish!. I saw this on one of my favorite sites
{Pumpkin bites! Perfect}

Yummm...try them drizzled with a little chocolate!

If you haven't taken the time out to enjoy the colors of fall and are in the Philadelphia area, put on your to-do-list a visit to where Autumn is on display and your local farm and apple orchards where the harvest is ripe!

don't forget the Caramel Apples!


This is more like it!


Now is the time to gather all of your ideas for the type of event you plan to have, the guest list, the style of food, favors, gifts and more. Start now- there's no fun in waiting until the last minute, you'll find that you are too tired to enjoy the festivities.

The following are some ideas if you are planning on hosting a party or shall I say soiree', during the fall months:

Of course you wouldn't replicate this in your home unless you're Martha Stewart and just so happen to have a beautiful barn on your property. Use this design as a mode of inspiration perhaps on a smaller, more realistic scale.

Pumpkins are more than orange. Explore other pumpkin varieties and allow them to be a part of a unique tablescape or festive display.

Candles amidst fall foliage is always a sure winner. There is nothing more serene than seeing the glow of a flame with the scents of eucalyptus, clove and citrus in the air.

Say it with me CHRY-SAN-THE-MUM...Chrysanthemum! Mum (the shortened name) are very versatile and when stuck into a fresh flower oasis ball...voila! A cute, fun and simple arrangement.

Flowers and Fruit make for a simple yet elegant table arrangement. Try buying orange roses coupled with vases filled with apples and wheat for a meaning of Passion, Love and Prosperity, now that's a table arrangement worth having :-)

Why not treat your guest to a little favor?

These cute little bottles of Maple Syrup are adorable and tasty! They can be found at Carmen Brook Maple & Dairy Farm located in maple syrup mecca...Vermont.

and this nifty little maple leaf shape cookie cutter found at partyprimadonna.the aspen is a great trinket to give to your guest as a little gesture of thanks.

So...Smell it, feel it, taste it, touch it...Get out and ENJOY Autumn before it's gone! Ciao!