Firsts

by Rebecca Robison

We had a weekend of firsts. Firsts deserve to be celebrated! One grandson shed his training wheels for his first solo ride. Another grandson lost his first tooth, while their dad graduated with his (first) bachelor’s degree. My daughter had her first root canal and was happy to be celebrating that it was over.  Being a group of sun worshippers, we were happy campers when the sun decided to join our party of “firsts”. It was our first sunny Saturday in weeks! That gave us good reason to have our ‘first’ BBQ of the season. So we literally dried off the BBQ after weeks of rain and roasted a Double R Ranch Co. Center Cut Roast for a great summertime BBQ Beef Salad.  It was perfectly delicious.

It was a first for some of our guests to savor the flavor of this exceptional beef, and to see a roast prepared on the grill this way. I have included the recipe because it’s a keeper! My favorite way to serve this salad is buffet style with all the ingredients in separate bowls so guests can dress it the way they like. It makes for a casual, colorful and impressive presentation. If you have never grilled a whole roast on the BBQ, let us know how your ‘first’ attempt turns out. I bet you will be thrilled with the results!

Don’t forget dessert! We had some beautiful nectarines that were refusing to ripen, and firm fruit is best for grilling. Slice the fruit in half, remove the pits and roast them until they are slightly charred on both sides. It’s so easy, it is ridiculous! Grilling brings out the sweetness and juiciness of fruit. Drizzle with a bit of honey and top with ice cream, a killer combination.

BBQ Beef Salad
1 head Iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup Jicama, peeled and cut into julienne strips
1 ½  cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned sweet corn, drained, or fresh corn cut off the cob
3-4 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup green onions, sliced
6-8 corn tortillas, sliced thin into two-inch strips and fried (see below)
1- 2 lbs beef, seasoned with dry rub (recipe below)

Ranch and BBQ Dressing
Toss first six salad ingredients together, reserving the cilantro, green onion and tortilla strips for the top. Rub roast with the dry rub and grill on medium to medium high heat, (30-35 minutes) turning often until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees using an instant read thermometer. Remove from grill and tent with foil. Roast will continue to cook to 145 degrees. For medium doneness, roast to 145 degrees. (See Double R Ranch Co. website for more complete video instruction) Thinly slice roast and place 5-6 slices on top of each salad serving. Top with cilantro, green onions and crisp tortilla strips.

Tortilla Strips (can be made in advance)
Stove top method: heat 2 inches of oil in a skillet and fry in batches, not overcrowding the pan. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Dressing
Mix ranch and BBQ sauce. 2-1 ratio (2 cups ranch, 1 cup BBQ sauce)

Dry Rub
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon *Yakima Applewood Smoked Salt, or kosher salt
1 tablespoon each of dried thyme and dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, chopped fine

Mix ingredients together and rub the mixture on all sides of the beef, rubbing well to cause some friction

*NOTE: See the Double R Ranch Co. website for more on these great salts.

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Surf & Turf on the Oregon Coast

by Rebecca Robison


We rented a beach house on the Oregon Coast for Spring Break.  The beauty of going to the Oregon Coast in March is that you are guaranteed breathtaking waterfalls (due to all the rain), misty, foggy walks along the beach (due to all the rain), unbelievable cloud formations and rainbows (due to all the rain). There is so much to see and do, even in the rain! Sitting in the jacuzzi under the porch, out of the rain was pretty sweet too, watching the waves crash to shore, and the incredible ever-changing weather.

As with any gathering, great food makes it even more memorable. So, I planned ahead to have a surf and turf night featuring Double R Ranch Co. Filet of Rib Eyes and fresh crab.  Double R Ranch Co. steaks are so portable. The meat comes frozen, so by the time you get to your destination they have thawed out perfectly in the cooler.

When the day came for us to go crabbing to complete our dinner, I thought maybe I would have four or five committed participants willing to throw on rain gear (just in case) and head to Brighton Marina five miles outside of Rockaway Beach. But to my elation, the entire family was up for the adventure! That means we had a total of 17 people, including eight grandchildren.

So, to keep it economical, we crabbed right off the dock. Good decision, because we would have been out on the boat in the…RAIN!

Crabbing 101:

1. Choose a Marina with a seasoned salty fisherman. In our case, his name was Kelly at Brighton Marina outside of Rockaway Beach. There was actually a sign out front that said,  “Kelly is here!” We soon found out why you would even care why Kelly was there- he kept us in stitches from the time we arrived, caught seagulls with his bare hands (hey… are you holding a piece of fish in your hands?), kept a toasty outdoor hickory wood fire going for us to get warm in-between checking our crab pots, and he was very helpful and informative (for first time crabbers).

2. Crabbing is best when the tide is in, and when there is very little rain. Crabs like the saltiest water possible and the fresh rain water makes them swim back to the ocean.

3. Make sure you give your crab pots a hefty throw, almost like the javelin wind up, but be sure no one is behind you or you may knock your friend, or lover, or mother in the drink…yes, it has happened.

4. Pull up the pots quickly, to keep the crabs from scrambling out. Throw back the females, you can’t have them!

5. Stomp on the bait each time…which our grandkids were more than happy to do, especially the boys. They loved the squishy squirty mess…and yes we all had to wash our fishy shoes later that day.  Side notewear rubber boots or Crocs when you go.

6. Move crab pots often and be patient.

We had eight pots going at the same time. It was quite comical as each pot was pulled up on the dock when we broke out in a chant:  “Crabs! Crabs! Crabs!” (as if that would help). We would all run to that crab pot in hopes of a fine catch, dangerously weighing down one side of the dock in the water. Pretty soon we got the hang of it and waited until the pots were safely anchored on the dock. Fortunately, no one slid off the dock and into the ocean.

After boiling our catch right there for us, Kelly showed us how to clean the cooked crabs. The top of the crab shell pops off as easy as popping a can of soda. Then you pull off the gills, clean out all the guts (which are still edible), juice and all; (remember they are now cooked inside and out completely). Our salty sea fisherman demonstrated the fine art of drinking the crab juice right from the shell and eating some of the guts and heart (the heart is shaped like a star). We didn’t have any takers when he offered to share; not even our die-hard sushi lovers!   We were excited to get back to the beach house and throw our steaks on the cast iron griddle and feast on the crab. Kelly had suggested a perfect spot to harvest fresh mussels on our way home to add to our surf and turf dinner.  So, while I was putting together all of the trimmings and began boiling an extra pot of water with a few spoonfuls of ‘Old Bay seasoning’ for the fresh mussels, four of our crew went mussel hunting. When they returned, we cleaned and cooked our tasty mussels and proceeded to devour succulent tender juicy steaks, fresh crab with lemon garlic butter, seasoned mussels and more!

Now the grandkids have souvenirs of freshly caught crab shells and claws harvested from the sea-by themselves, and many of them were brave enough to eat crab for the first time. Those that did not want to try crab were happy with their “claws” and there was more crab for us. Yippee! It was a bonding family event from start to finish, and we came away greatly enriched. This quote sums it up:

“There are magical lessons learned at the table. Serving food family-style teaches a child to share, to leave something for the next person. Sitting together and eating creates a kind of intimacy and gently teaches the art of conversation and the importance of community.”

-From ‘Spoon Fed’ by Kim Severson

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Great Food, Good Fortune, Happy Endings.

by Rebecca Robison

The moment that you taste something really delicious, it leaves an indelible mark on your memory.  You know the moment when you take that first bite, and turn and say, “Here, you HAVE to taste this,” and your sharing fork is on its way for someone else to sample.

It is also amazing to me how a delicious dinner can unlock the tongue and remarkable conversations flow. I recently had the opportunity to prepare and experience such a dinner with Matt and Kim McKain and Dan and Barbara Henderson.

The Menu:

Sear-Roasted Double R Ranch Co. Petite Tenderloin Filets
Marinated Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Boursin Cheese
Spring Greens with Julienne Granny Smith Apples, Pomegranate and with a Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Coconut Crème Pie with Blackberry Cassis and Mango Coulis

The finished product!

Even though our backgrounds were all quite different, we discovered how many things we actually had in common. Sharing a great meal and personal stories with these remarkable, talented people reconfirmed how small the world is, and how the power of simple acts of kindness can change lives.

Here is Barbara’s story, (or at least one of them):

“I came to America as an exchange student from Yugoslavia in 1992. At the end of my exchange year, I was desperately trying to find a way to stay here.  I had been offered many scholarships to a number of universities but unfortunately none of them were “full-ride.” I knew I had to earn extra money to get into a school.  With a student visa, I was not allowed to work anywhere, so my plans to remain in the states were quickly diminishing.  My host family offered to pay me “under the table” to work at a burger joint.

At about the same time, I was invited to a dinner party by a friend who was also from former Yugoslavia.  At the party I met Sherry, an amazing woman who had traveled to Yugoslavia.  She had been to my country several times and was absolutely fascinated with our people and the culture.  We talked and talked and before we knew it was early morning!

Barbara telling her story...

During our conversation I mentioned my struggle to stay in the USA and the work offer proposed by my host family.  Sherry is an attorney and a very ethical and honorable person who could not bear the thought of illegal dealings and the possibility of exportation.  She called me the very next day, and within a week I had a new home. In addition to opening her home to me, she paid the difference necessary to attend The College of Idaho. Later, she was instrumental in helping me get my parents to America. Her good deeds go on.

I call her my Guardian Angel, my American ‘Mother’.

Sherry also introduced me to another wonderful woman, Patricia who would later become my mother-in-law.  Patricia wanted to introduce me to her son, so I reluctantly agreed to a blind date.  The date didn’t go as she had hoped.  Her son Dan and I were on different paths.  He had just graduated from college; I was just starting my freshman year. Occasionally our paths would cross and we would laugh about our awkward “first date”.  Many years passed and I often wondered what would happen if he and I ever did get together.  In August of 2006, I was hiking the Loon Lake trail outside of McCall.  As I was hiking up the hill and not really paying attention, a mountain biker came down and nearly wiped me off the trail! As he apologized for almost taking me out, he recognized me and said, ‘Barbara…its Dan Henderson!’  I had no idea who he was with the helmet, glasses and all the biking gear.  After a few minutes of chatting we both agreed that we needed to get together.  I continued up the hill, he went down. Later that day, I found his number on a card attached to my car.

The rest is history.

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Erin Go Bragh: One Woman’s Tale of Food & Festivities

-Written by Annella Morris

There are few things for certain that you can count on when my group of friends gather together: good times, great conversation and amazing food!  When it comes to food, we all generally take turns making a main dish, and while it is not a competition, we never want to disappoint.  This past weekend we all got together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a little early, and after seeing the KTVB segment featuring The Double R Ranch Corned Beef, I knew this was the recipe I  wanted to share with my friends.   It seemed like the perfect opportunity to show off a great recipe and get everyone in the mood for St. Patty’s, so with recipe in hand, I set out to make what I hoped would be the perfect dinner for my good friends.

I took to the store with my shopping list, and while I have never been one to follow a recipe and when I downloaded this one and saw it had horseradish and onions in it, I wasn’t sure if I could do it.  Anyone who knows me, knows my disdain for onions, but I was determined to make this corned beef look as good as it did on TV, so with some reservation, I picked up those little green onions and tossed them in my cart.  With all the goods purchased, a group invitation email went out and everyone had sent in an RSVP.  That is a lot of corned beef, my friends!

Prepped and ready for the oven...

I spent all day Saturday cooking.  The savory smells of corned beef roasting in spices and garlic filled my home and made my whole family ask, “What’s for dinner”?  While the corned beef was roasting, I prepped the potatoes and cabbage, covering them in the horseradish, butter and onion combo (yes, against my better judgment I added the onions- I had to follow the recipe after all).  If the dinner would taste as good as my house smelled, it was going to be a hit!

...Ready for dinner!

Everyone commented on how wonderful it smelled and how they’d been looking forward to dinner all week.  My dear friend Cathy even told us she was not the biggest fan of corned beef, but after seeing the recipe, had been waiting all day to try it.  Everything came out of the oven looking delicious, even those little green onions covering the potatoes looked scrumptious enough for me to enjoy!   We all filled our plates with tender corned beef and horseradish potatoes and cabbage.  Everything was amazing!  And while she may not be a corned beef convert, Cathy even said this was the best corned beef she’d ever had.  This is the comment I heard most when serving this recipe, “I don’t even like corned beef, but I liked this.”

Everyone enjoyed the dinner and could not say enough about how amazing everything tasted.  We truly enjoyed an evening full of Irish blessings:  good company, amazingly tender Double R Ranch Co. corned beef and perfectly roasted potatoes and cabbage. There was even enough for leftovers, and everyone got to take home corned beef for the next day.  The dinner party was a success!  The day of cooking on Saturday had proven to be well worth it.  I felt great about the dinner knowing everyone had enjoyed it.  And to top it all off, Sunday morning I got a text from one of my friends that said, “We just enjoyed the best corned beef hash we’ve ever had, thank you so much for everything, it was amazing!”

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Corned Beef Recipe & Giveaway

Here is the delicious corned beef recipe as prepared by Chef Rebecca Robison on KTVB Channel 7 in the noon cooking segment!  Recipe courtesy of  www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.

Dijon Glazed Corned Beef with Savory Cabbage and Red Potatoes
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
1 boneless corned beef brisket with seasoning packet (3-1/2 to 4 pounds)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
2 cups water
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup thinly sliced green onions, including white and green parts
1/2 cup horseradish
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 head green cabbage, cored, cut into 6 wedges (1 to 1-1/2 pounds)
1-1/2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, cut in half

Glaze:
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

Instructions
1. Position oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Place corned beef brisket in roasting pan; sprinkle garlic, contents of seasoning packet and peppercorns around and over brisket. Add water; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Braise in upper third of 350°F oven 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until brisket is fork-tender.

2. Meanwhile, place butter, green onions, horseradish, ground pepper and salt in glass measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until butter melts; mix well. Place cabbage wedges on 1 half of baking sheet and potatoes on other half. Drizzle horseradish-butter mixture over vegetables, turning cabbage and tossing potatoes to coat. Cover with aluminum foil. Roast in lower third of 350°F oven with brisket 55 minutes. Uncover vegetables; continue roasting 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and begin to brown.

3. Combine glaze ingredients in small bowl. Remove brisket from roasting pan; place on rack in broiler pan so surface of brisket is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Brush glaze over brisket; broil 2 to 3 minutes or until glaze is bubbly and beginning to brown.

4. Carve brisket diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with potatoes and cabbage.

Nutrition information per serving: 568 calories; 34 g fat (16 g saturated fat; 12 g monounsaturated fat); 129 mg cholesterol; 1344 mg sodium; 44 g carbohydrate; 9.3 g fiber; 22 g protein; 2.9 mg niacin; 0.3 mg vitamin B6; 1.4 mcg vitamin B12; 4.1 mg iron; 29.7 mcg selenium; 4.4 mg zinc.  This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc; and a good source of niacin and vitamin B6.

Giveaway

But don’t you need some corned beef to be able to recreate this delicious dish yourself?  Well, leave a comment on this blog, and you will be entered in to win a Double R Ranch Co. Corned Beef  package!  This package includes 2- 2 pound pieces of corned beef, delivered in a cooler box, right to your door, a $75 value!  The winner will be selected (at random), Friday March 11th and you will receive your package Wednesday March 16th, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!

Enjoy trying out the recipe yourself, when you win this delicious package!

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QUICK DINNER IDEA

The winning team was comprised of members from Denver, Washington, North Dakota, Kansas, Tennessee, and California.

It might have been freezing in Denver during the recent National Cattlemen’s Beef Association annual convention, but the Beef Innovation’s Group sponsored a very heated recipe cook off between state representatives. The contest called for Double R Ranch Co. tenderloin medallions as the basic ingredient and each team prepared a different recipe.  The winning recipe not only tastes great, but it can be prepared quickly for dinners on the go.  Great job Brown Team!           

Medallions with Peanut Sauce

Plate presentation was taken seriously by the winning team.

1-1/2 pounds Medallions
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 package (16 ounces) frozen Asian vegetable blend
1/4 cup water
3 cups hot cooked thin noodles (such as vermicelli, Chinese noodles, rice noodles)
3/4 cup prepared peanut sauce
Salt
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)

 

  1. Combine red and black peppers; press evenly onto beef medallions. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in skillet over  medium heat until hot.  Place 1/2 of beef in skillet; cook about 5 to 6 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.  Remove; keep warm.  Repeat with remaining beef adding oil if needed.

  2. Add frozen vegetables and water to skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add noodles and peanut sauce; toss to coat. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.

3.   Serve over noodle mixture. Top with peanuts, if desired.

Makes 6 servings

Funded by the Beef Checkoff  

www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com

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TO STAY IN OR DINE OUT?

I would like to say that every week night I enthusiastically march home upon leaving the office and create phenomenol home cooked meals and that weekends include visitng the local farmer’s market followed with dinner parties that turn my dining room into gourmet central.  The reality is that while these instances sometimes occur, I also have become an expert in supporting the neighborhood restaurants in close proximity of our home.  Fortunately, I think I found balance between enjoying my range at home and food prepared by chefs at local restaurants.

This last summer I spent an immense amount of time with chefs spanning from Denver to the Napa Valley that were dedicated to their craft.  Their enthusiasm was rather infectious and I found myself actively discovering new cookbooks and following more food blogs then ever before.   In the end, I remembered how simple cooking can be with the right ingredients, and that somehow my lifestyle had made cooking a chore.  During my life on a working cattle ranch, I had prepared meals almost every day and I even planted my own vegetable garden and small fruit orchard.  The exposure to wonderful chefs across the world and the grind of business school and a career somehow made me lose site that a “home” kitchen is a place of connecting with friends, family and even yourself.    Restaurants are wonderful, but as with everything, we need balance.

The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Napa Valley

On our journey to build our culinary data base for theDoubleRRanch.com, I ultimately gained confidence preparing home cooked dishes in my kitchen again.   My friends and colleagues actually ask me culinary questions instead of just restaurant recommendations.  My favorite culinary technique is extremely simple.  It is called the Steakhouse Style or skillet-to-oven cooking method and it basically requires a cast iron skillet, stove top and oven, seasonings-like smoked sea salt- and a steak or petite roast .   I learned from great chefs that made the technique very simple.  By following their simple instructions linked below, you can bring restaurant quality steaks to your kitchen as well.  The side dish is up to you, though!

Bon Appetit!

“Steakhouse Style” Video and Step-by-Step Instructions 

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Family

 

The Bailey Family: Shana, Allissa, Easton, and Justin

Many organizations speak about the importance of family, but it is actions that speak more loudly than words.  This last week, one of our managers, Shana Bailey, moved  her young family back to the working cattle ranch that her grandfather started in the 1940′s.  Over the years, we have watched Shana grow from a young bride, quite fresh out of college, to an expert in the cattle business as well as an incredible mother to  two children, Easton and Allissa. Although we will her miss her greatly, we respect and admire the choices that led her and her husband, Justin, to set permanent roots at the base of the Blue Mountains, near Pendleton, Oregon.  Shana’s children are now part of the fourth generation on this pristine working cattle ranch.

We are excited for the adventure that this young couple  have set out on.  They embody the characteristics of the family ranchers we admire: integrity, work ethic, and commitment.  We look forward to continuing to work with them as partners in the cattle industry and to follow Justin’s career as a top performance horse trainer.  To follow the adventures of Shana and Justin as they build there working cattle and performance horse operation, visit her heartwarming blog “The Ranch Life”.

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RAIN OR ROTISSERIE?

 

TV Weather Personality, Larry Gebert, with Double R Ranch Co. chef Rebecca Robison, and me at the KTVB Channel 7 studio kitchen

 I thought I knew almost every method to cook the perfect prime rib. Over the spring and summer, I dedicated a substantial amount of time working with some of our industry’s top research chefs in order to determine the best cookery methods to simply prepare each of our beef cuts. Little did I know, we missed one, and it would not be a chef who pointed out our oversight. In fact, I never would have guessed that it would be our local Boise celebrity weather personality, Larry Gebert that would recognize our omission. After all, this is the person I follow every morning to provide me with the information that assists with my daily wardrobe choices (i.e. rain coat vs. sweater, boots vs. sling-back heels), not the person I would expect to turn to for expertise in the kitchen.

Last week, while I was at our local NBC affiliate, KTVB, for Double R Ranch Co.’s feature on the Noon News Culinary Segment, I was surprisingly refreshed to observe the interest level of the reporters regarding cooking, specifically preparing beef. During an off camera conversation, Larry Gebert stunned me with his knowledge about breeds of cattle and how to properly feed and graze them. His questions and answers were extremely insightful and it is obvious that he is truly interested in the knowledge he gathers by conducting an immense amount of interviews at events throughout the Treasure Valley.

For those of you who only associate the word rotisserie with the roasted chicken typically found in supermarkets’ deli departments, you might be surprised to know that it is actually a traditional method of cooking that uses a “spit” or “rod” and a heat source, like a barbecue or an oven, to prepare various types of meats. As Larry clearly explained to me, this method allows a roast to baste in its own juices, thus creating a perfect cooking solution for well marbled prime rib. He further explained that he uses the same ingredients we recommend, like salt and pepper, although he does add a few other seasonings. I have made a special request of Larry asking him to prepare one of our ribeye roasts in his rotisserie oven using his personal recipe. I anxiously await his opinion, but I beg that he keeps his day job at KTVB so his fans can continue to follow his interesting whereabouts on the air and at Where’s Larry, and my wardrobe choices continue to stay in sync with the weather! 

 

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THE SUGAR BAR

The Vibrant Green Chocolate Covered Almonds were a hit!

When the idea for the Double R Ranch Co. was born, we truly wanted to impart the piece of our Western culture that revolves around making food a cornerstone of joining together with friends and family.  For those of us with a ranching background, we appreciate the fact that meals are a time to reconnect, not just to refuel.  Although the primary products of Double  R Ranch Co. are premium beef and the necessary accompaniments, this does not mean we do not have an appreciation for all great food.  In general, we love entertaining! 

Much thought is put into each gift

One of my favorite parties each year is the “Annual Girlfiend’s Christmas”.  This party was started five years ago by my glamourous friend Dana to celebrate the friendship of a group of ladies that all live in Boise.  Instead of purchasing gifts for each of our friends for this special holiday, we each are assigned one person.  The gift exchange rules change each year- sometimes we are assigned a specific person, one year we each brought a gift for a needy child, and this year we each brought a gift that was opened by someone other than ourselves and the gift opener than chose who would best like the gift.  The hostesses of the party and the locations changes each year and it is up to the party planners to choose a theme.  The one thing that never changes is the quality of the menu and the extensiveness of the planning.  Girls who literally can not cook, attempt more intricate recipes, or when in doubt, they call great caterers.

 

Cupcakes can be decorated to match any theme...the wrappers were metaliic red!

 This year’s theme was “Glamour and Glitz”, or something to that effect.  Bar none, it was our most fun party ever.  The women in this group are all independent and intelligent and have families and/or impressive careers and/or sports that take up much of their time, hence it is a BIG deal that we all get together for this great date and we actually dress up.  Not to disappoint this year, one of our co-hostesses, the vibrant Cori, cleared out the living room of her home and brought in a full dance floor, complete with DJ’s, crazy wigs and sunglasses to dress up with, and a “Sugar Bar”.  Just to clarify, the “Sugar Bar” was a buffet set up with a large assortment of sweets, from lime green chocolate covered almonds to sparkly cupcakes.  Yes, early on there was a lovely catered buffet to complement the more formal gift exchange, but the “Sugar Bar” was the hit.  Just give a bunch of ladies that love spending time with each other an immense amount of delectable sugar and provide them with an endless array of eighties tunes and VERY colorful wigs and you now have a great party!

Here are a few things I love about the “Sugar Bar”.  Its simple, you can incorporate desserts that appeal to a wide variety of palates, and you can change the theme to match any party. 

Choose a wide variety of sweets to please all of your guests!

  In our case, it was colorful and had quite a bit of sparkle.  Not to mention, the lollipops were portable and could be enjoyed while grooving (dare I admit there was even “clogging”) on the dance floor.  Here are a few more ideas:

  • Sit down formal dinner-  set up exotic chocolates, like Vosges ( I personally love their exotic chocolate bar AND truffle collection), on beautiful crystal plates and pair with a variety of dessert wines or coffees.                             
  • Southern BBQ dinner/party- place your favorite pies  on varying heights of mismatched cake plates.  Set 10 X 10 baking pans filled with cobblers on the table and a large bowl of sweet whipped cream.
  • Children’s birthday party- set up an old fashioned candy store.  Fill clear jars with colorful traditional candies like flavored striped canes and circular lollipops.  As a gift favor, you can send children home with mini-mason jars filled with cellophane wrapped candy.

The list is endless… be creative!!!!!!

The best thing about the “sugar bar” theme is that the party  attendees tend to mill around and talk.  It is a fun way to spur conversation and enjoy each other’s company!

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