Wednesday, December 26, 2012

{Recipes} World's Best Baked Penne

A good friend of mine by the name of Tiffany shared this recipe with me about a month ago and I had been wanting to make it but so much stuff was going (me and DJ moved and finally got our own apartment.) I finally got around to making it and man was it TheBomb.com. Tiffany calls it Baked Spaghetti, but I like the name World's Best Baked Penne. DJ named it :) So Thanks to my friend, Tiffany I now have a new Family Favorite in my home and can't wait to make it again. 




World's Best Baked Penne



Ingredients


8 ounces of pasta (I use penne pasta)
1lb of ground beef
1 large can of spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup chopped green or red bell pepper (I used green bell peppers )
1/3 cup chopped white/or yellow onion
8 ounces of cream cheese
2 tablespoons of milk
Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese
French's fried onions (small can)

Directions

1. Boil pasta according to directions on package. drain and set aside.
2. Brown the ground beef. Drain excess grease. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and reheat.
3. Combine onions, peppers and butter in a small glass bowl. cover and microwave on high until soft.

4. Add cream cheese and milk to vegetables, and stir well. (If the cream cheese is not soft, just nuke it for like 20-30 seconds.)

5. then assemble in a 10x6 dish in the following order:

1) thin layer of spaghetti sauce on bottom
2) Pasta
3) Cream cheese/vegetable mixture
4) Spaghetti sauce and meat mixture
5) Parmesan Cheese and Mozzarella cheese
6) French's fried onions (add last 5 mins of baking)

Bake at 350 for 25 mins, then add the fried onions and cook for another 5 or until they are
browned




Absolutely Delicious! I hope you all enjoy it as much as me and my family did. They all loved
it and it will definitely be added to our family favorites.

Love & Blessings,
Keisha Evans

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Auntie's 41st Birthday Party

Before I dive into the family pictures, I want to make sure to include Thank yous. I want to make sure I Thanked all our family and friends for coming out to celebrate Auntie's party. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you so much for making this night super special!

Auntie's party was so much fun! I asked everyone to wear Blue in honor of the birthday girl's favorite color and everyone did and she was so surprised :0) For entertainment we played our family's favorite game Po-keeno and I wanted to play my Auntie's favorite artist, Luther Vandeross, Robin Thicke, and Eric Benet. The Mashed Potato Bar was a big hit and everyone loved it. They said it was TheBomb.com lol I loved hearing that ;0)


















HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUNITE! 
WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH

Love & Blessings,
Keisha Evans

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Auntie's Damask & Blue Autumn Party

Celebration Type: Adult Birthday Party
Concept: Autumn, Country with a Glitz & Glam feel
Color Palette: Blue, Orange, and Brown


I felted so honored and blessed to throw this party for my Auntie. She came to me and asked me if I would design and host her next birthday party. My Auntie's favorite color is Blue so I knew I definitely wanted to have that as a main color and she loves Fall, so I wanted Fall colors too. And also when my Auntie said, "I'm thankful to turn 41". I knew right then and there I wanted a Autumn theme because whenever I hear the word Thankful I imminently think of Thanksgiving. 
The color palette was Blue, Brown, and Orange. And I wanted a Sophisticated print because my Auntie is a very Classy lady and I thought Damask would be perfect.

DECORATIONS
I wanted to create something with a Autumn Country feel using Bold and Bright colors with Glitter elements. 
CENTERPIECE
For the centerpiece I used Fall items like Pumpkins, leaves, and pine cones, and I wanted it to be very sophisticated with a little added glam so I used Glitter. I had a glitter pumpkin, glitter ribbon, and even had glitter on the pine cones. I found a picture of my Auntie when she was a little girl and I also used one of my favorite pictures of her.

BACKDROP & BIRTHDAY BANNER
For the Backdrop I used Damask fabric and added some Lanterns. No Balloons were used because I wanted a more sophisticated feel.
Of course I had to add some D.I.Y. elements. To me having D.I.Y touches here and there make the party even more special. To created the HAPPY BIRTHDAY Banner I found free Printable Letters for a Pennant banner from Shanty2chic. If you want to get your hands on these free printable then click here and head over to Shanty2Chic to check them out. I just love their blog it's full of amazing projects.



Almost everything was custom made. I made the birthday Banner, the Food & Drink Labels, Tissue pom-poms, Water bottle wrappers, and Mason jar cupcakes.

I used Mason jars to hold the forks, spoons and tongs.

Here is an up close look at the labels I created for the party. To create the labels I used gift tags and cut the top part off and glued them to blue paper squares.


MENU
We had the party the day after Thanksgiving so I knew everyone was going to be still stuffed from the day before so I wanted something small and easy. A Mashed Potato Martini Bar is a super fun and a great idea for a large party on a small budget.
Its served Buffet style with a Martini glass in place of a plate. This was amazing because a Mashed Potato Bar allowed me to not cook! lol
I just chopped, cut, diced, opened, and microwaved stuff, it was super easy and easy to clean up :0)

A MARTINI GLASS + MASHED POTATOES = A MASHTINI



Toppings:

Bacon
Cheddar Cheese
Pepper Jack Cheese
Sour Cream
Popcorn Chicken
Chives
Butter
Cubed Ham
Chili
Steamed Broccoli
Salsa
Olives
Corn
Tortilla Strips
Shredded Pork




DRINKS
Sparkly Orange Punch

This year for Grandma's birthday we went to Las Vegas and we went to a brunch buffet and had Mimosa and they were delish. Me and Auntie still always talk about those Mimosas so I decided to create a Mimosa punch. I wanted to create a drink that tasted just like Mimosa but without the alcohol  Mission accomplished because everyone LOVED my punch.

For the punch I used: Sprite, Ginger Ale, Frozen Orange Juice, and topped with Sparkling Cider. I named it Sparkly Orange Punch because the color of the punch is Orange and when I top it off with the Sparkling cider it sparkles ;0)

Where from the south and use Mason jars all the time and for a Autumn country feel I served the Sparkly Orange punch in Mason jars and I love to "dress my drinks" so I added a sliced orange and cherry.
To create the water bottle wrappers I found 5 Free Digital Damask Paper Pack from Shery K Designs and you can too at SheryKDesignsblog 

FAVORS
Cupcakes in Mason Jars
I made Golden Caramel Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting and drizzled caramel on top.

My Auntie said she Loved everything I did... the colors, the damask print, the Mashtini Bar, the Mimosa punch and even the cupcake mason jar favors. I was so pleased that she loved everything. This party was so fun to plan and I can you believe I only did all on a $100 budget!

I will be posting Family pictures of the party very soon :0)

Love & Blessings,
Keisha Evans

Sources:

Party Styling & Design: by me
Party City: Martini Glasses and Lanterns
Hobby Lobby: Napkins, Forks, Spoons, Lanterns, Fabric, Scrapbook paper and Ribbon
Target: Pumpkins
Walmart: Mason Jars
Banner: Shanty 2 Chic
Damask Paper: Shery K Designs