Friday, May 7, 2010

Party Here...Party There...Party Everywhere!

Boy oh Boy...I threw two major parties in two weeks. I loved it and hated it all at the same time. I have been struggling personally with finding time to fit everything in lately. I know this is a common frustration many new and old mom's have. I thought I would be different though. I thought, I am organized enough to keep things running smoothly. Boy oh boy was I wrong. You see although you may set aside time to do still happens. And in your plans, there are your children's plans, friend's plans, family plans and other human beings who think they have it all together as well...plans. I am trying to roll with the punches and keep my sanity. I feel like I don't really even "do" anything. I wake up... work..take care of my adorable son...clean... shop(grocery..the worst kind of shopping), and then make dinner and back to bed. You always hear women wanting "ME" time. I think that sounds a little selfish..but everyone does need time to do things they love. Planning parties is actually something I love. So, like I said, it was a love/hate relationship I had going on with these parties.
I, of course, made way too much food...but I want to try so many different things all at once! In fact at both parties almost every single person said they were coming. You always account for those who get sick or may have to end up working..but I still thought I was planning well. Anyways, I could have cut everything in half...but if I had I am sure I would have needed to send The Hubs to get more..that is just how it always goes. Geesh, I could so write a book about this. I think every woman could!

Shane's 1st birthday was the first party we hosted. It was so much fun! I decided to stick with his nursery theme and go with the cowboy theme. I ordered the cutest invitations online from Etsy. We had tin buckets filled with peanuts and of course a BBQ feast. I know that Shane will have no recollection of this day..but momma loves to plan parties and unfortunately whether or not he ever cares to remember the small details like peanuts in a is gonna happen. Sorry sweetie..momma has issues!

The second soiree..was my sister's Engagement Party. Now I have to say I had not given this party as much thought as Shane's. Because kids bdays are fun..but anything to do with weddings I am all about and if I began to put all my energy in would have been a mini wedding:). Originally I had planned this very formal occasion. Diamonds, crystals, mini wedding and white. Yeah..that did not happen. I snapped myself out of that lala land real quick. You see that would have cost me a pretty penny. I love my sister and if I could have I would have, but I don't so I won't. I ended up finding some cute plates that were specifically for an engagement party on the clearance aisle at Party City..which I do not care for their selection I must say. I made an array of desserts: mini cake, cupcakes, brownie pops and ring and wedding cake sugar cookies. It ended up being a casual evening. People don't dress up anymore. In my mind engagement parties are drink fine wear their finest..women all in dresses...Frank and Dean in the background...WAKE UP!!! Oh sorry I faded away to my lala land again. We now drink soda in our jeans and try to make an appearance and leave asap so we can get back to our crazy hectic lives..oh the good ol' days.
Wow, can you tell it has been awhile since I have written??? I guess I had a lot to talk about, with my fondness for the old days, party etiquette and party planning. Now to the good stuff pics and recipes..that's all you care about...not my ramblings:).

Brownie Pops

1 pan (13x9) brownies, baked and cooled
1/2 cup chocolate frosting
1 lb chocolate-flavored candy coating
40-50 lollipop sticks
Decorative toppings (sprinkles, nuts, coconut, etc) I just used sprinkles and decorated with the candy coating.

1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or waxed paper.
2. Place the brownies in a large bowl, and crumble them roughly with your hands. Add the chocolate frosting, and begin to mix it with your hands into the brownies, working until the brownies are crumbs and the mixture is evenly moistened. You want the brownie mixture to easily hold together when you press it into a ball, but still retain a little texture. My personal preference is to have some “crumb” left to the brownie, so that it is not just a gooey frosting ball. Of course, tastes vary, so add more frosting if you want a fudgier pop.
3. Using a cookie scoop or teaspoon, form the mixture into small balls and roll them between your hands to get them round. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
4. After the pops have been frozen, remove them from the freezer. Melt the chocolate candy coating in the microwave and stir until completely smooth.
5. Use a skewer to poke a hole in the bottom of each brownie ball. Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melted coating, then stick this end into the hole made by the skewer, to help hold the stick in place.
6. To prevent cracks from forming in the chocolate coating, you want to dip the brownie pops when they have lost some of their coldness from the freezer, but do not allow them to get so warm that they fall off the lollipop stick when being dipped. I’ve found that a moderately cool temperature is best. Dip the pops one at a time in the coating, holding the dipped pop over the bowl and allowing excess coating to drip back in the bowl.
7. While the coating is still tacky but no longer dripping, sprinkle the desired toppings (nuts, coconut, sprinkles, etc) on the brownie pop before setting it on a baking sheet to finish setting. Alternately, you can stick the pops upright in Styrofoam to allow them to finish drying.
8. Brownie Pops can be served immediately, or they will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. The chocolate coating will get softer as time progresses. Allow to come to room temperature for best taste and texture when serving.

Ranch and Bacon Dip (How can you go wrong?)
I served this at the Cowboy BBQ
1 8oz container of Sour Cream
1 pkg Ranch Dip Mix
1/4 cup of Bacon Bits
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Mix all together and simple. I like to serve with Triscuits.