Weddings // September 9, 2014

After The Hangover films were released, Las Vegas once again became the sought after destination to spend your last big night before entering wedlock. So here a few top tips for all you brides-to-be for planning a trip to the bright lights and casinos of Viva Las Vegas.

Where to go?

The agenda you choose for your bachelorette night will probably be determined by the size of the budget you have for it. If you want to keep costs down, then you can always hit one of the casinos in your hotel for the night. On the other hand, if you want to step out a bit more, you can try your hand a more up-market casino like the Bellagio or Caesars Palace. However, if you're a tech geek, then you have the opportunity to even play games at online casinos in New Zealand. If you want to get out and see the city there are numerous clubs, shows and restaurants to try.

What to wear?

Let’s keep it classy ladies! The matching t-shirts and novelty outfits are funny but not fashionable. Try something new and dress like you are a grown woman on your bachelorette night. A cute dress will do. And if you have to make a scene, add a “I’m The Bride!” button or sash.

What to play?

While you might be tempted to hit the poker tables, if you have never played before your bachelorette, this is probably not the best place to start. Casino games like the slots will be the best option for those in the group with limited gambling experience (as well as being fast and fun to play). The members of your group who know the ropes a bit more will most likely be attracted to play poker and blackjack.

Have fun and be safe! Remember what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… unless you’re getting married.

Published in Weddings
Friday, 08 March 2013 21:34

Recipes | Easy Party Appetizers

Recipes // March 11, 2013

Whether it’s a girls’ get together, a poolside soiree, or a group of close friends coming over for game night, most of us find ourselves racking our brains for the perfect party appetizers when it’s our turn to host. And while most of us love to impress, we don’t want to spend hours agonizing over food preparation. I’ve come to rely on a few easy snack staples that always seem to please a crowd and allow me to have some fun, too.

Crostini – I love crostini because it is so simple: Just slice up and lightly toast a baguette, then top each piece with almost anything you can imagine. Try any of these combos:

  • Brie, sun dried tomato and artichoke hearts
  • Goat cheese and cranberry jelly
  • Gorgonzola and honey

The options can go on and on. Remember this go-to party snack the next time your girlfriends pick your place for wine night.

Cheese board – This is my favorite party platter because it doesn’t require cooking and most people like to sample different cheeses. Pick at least 3 or 4 good cheeses, and go with a variety. The cheese counter at your local grocer may have some suggestions, but typically it’s best to go with a mix of hard (like cheddar or asiago) and soft cheeses (like brie or bleu). Pair with some dried cranberries or apricots and fresh grapes, along with almonds or crackers for some crunch.

“Sausage en croute” – My husband had one simple request at our wedding: Pigs in a blanket. To class it up, the caterer called it “sausage en croute.” Grab a pack of Hillshire Farms Lit’l Smokies and a pack of Pillsbury crescent rolls. Cut the crescent roll in half, roll the sausage into it and bake according to Pillsbury package instructions. Serve with a tasty arrangement of dipping sauces, such as spicy mustard or chipotle ketchup. It may not be the healthiest or fanciest snack ever, but it will certainly win over the crowd!

Frozen Baby Quiche – I am not a huge fan of frozen foods, but it’s nice to have small bites on hand that don’t have to be made from scratch. I know quite a few ladies who throw a package of frozen baby quiche into the oven and serve them to guests, and they get snatched right up. Try a few brands, pick your favorite, and be sure to always have your freezer stocked. Easy!

Roasted chickpeas – Have you ever tried this!? If not, just trust me. 

Roasted chickpeas are a unique, easy munchie for a party, and bonus -- they are a relatively healthy option. Toss a can of chickpeas in olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin. Then roast at about 425 degrees (adjust according to how hot your oven runs) until crispy -- usually around 30 minutes. The result? A savory bite -- a bit crispy and a bit creamy -- that packs a flavorful, satisfying punch. People don’t expect this snack, but they usually love it, so go with this if you’re looking for a twist on classic party snacks.

Pulling together food for a party doesn’t have to cut into half your paycheck or cause a day’s worth of stress. Just select a few easy appetizers that will look good, taste great and appeal to your guests. The easier the food, the more fun you will have as a host. Isn’t that the point of a party, anyway?

Published in Lifestyle