Valentines Day Party

As seen in The Drive Magazine

I always jump at any excuse to throw a party for my girlfriends and this Valentine’s Day is no exception. I gathered all the sweets, all pink & red décor I could find, and whipped up some super easy appetizers that are sure to be crowd pleasers. I am sharing these quick Mediterranean style recipes with you, plus some tips on putting together your own Galentine’s Day party!

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Décor for a themed party is key. Luckily, Valentines Day is all about the sweets and pink hues when it comes to decor which makes things super fun and simple to put together. For this party’s table top décor, I started off with a pink and gold table cloth I picked up at Home Sense. However, you could totally use any pink hue or neutral for the table cloth as it will mainly act as your base. Then you can play around with colour in other aspects like the charger plates and accent pieces. Before I decided on good old pink, I was actually playing around with a pale blue colour that was to die for!

For the serving pieces, I used some old small vases I had on hand to store the pink and red candy I had grabbed from Bulk Barn, as well as the odd ice cream bowl to hold additional candy. What I like to keep in mind while setting the spread for the table is “layers”. I love to create a 3 dimensional look using different heights of serving ware. To continue with this method, I also added a small cake stand for the cookies and left the remaining appetizers to be on flat plates, lowest on the table.

Next, I added some fun Valentine’s craft supplies I had lying around which included some red, pink and white pompoms (just from the dollar store), heart shaped balloons from Canadian small business Joonie + Joe, as well as the “BE MINE” mini banner that I found at Home Sense. I love using these items to fill in the empty spaces on the table between the serving ware to give it that overflowing look.

Lastly, I finished by adding my charger plates, dinner plates, napkins, cutlery, and glassware. This part is pretty standard, but I want to add that you shouldn’t stress if you don’t have any Valentine’s serving ware. I didn’t either! I used basic off white charger plates and some gold accented napkins that I thought matched the table nicely. Where you can tie in the Valentine’s theme is what you decide to use for the plated favours. I decided on note cards, but you could always use name cards or mini candy favours or anything else you can dream up. The options are truly endless.

Next is the FOOD! You can find some easy and quick recipes below :


Hummus Dip

What you will need:

·      2 cans chickpeas

·      ½ cup tahini

·      ½ cup lemon juice

·      2 tbsp olive oil

·      4 tbsp water

·      Salt to taste

·      2 cloves garlic (optional)

Directions:

1.     Begin by boiling the chickpeas in a pot of water for 45min.  Once they are finished boiling, strain the chickpeas and rinse.  As you are rinsing the chickpeas, massage them with your fingers to help break the skins away from the peas.  Removing these skins will help to make the finished hummus extra smooth.  Once you have rinsed the chickpeas, fill the pot with water just enough so the skins float to the top. This makes the removal much easier.

2.     Next, transfer the chickpeas to a food processor with the blade attachment in place.  Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth.  If you are adding garlic, you will need to crush the garlic before adding it to the processor.

3.     Time to plate! The great thing about hummus is how versatile it is. You can go the traditional route by topping it with olive oil and garnishing with a small amount of paprika or get creative with it!

Bocconcini Cheese & Basil

Makes 15 pieces

 What you will need:

·      5 regular sized Bocconcini cheese rounds

·      2 Fresh tomatoes (I like Roma for this recipe)

·      10-15 leaves Fresh basil leaves

·      1 tbsp Olive oil

·      Pinch of Salt and pepper

·      French Baguette

Directions:

1.     Begin by slicing the tomatoes and bocconcini about ¾ cm in thickness, then the baguette about 1cm in thickness.  Cut the bread on a slight angle to create more elongated pieces.

2.     Layout the bread on a plate, then, place the slices of bocconcini and tomatoes on top in that order. One piece of each per slice of bread. Next, sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over the tomatoes and place a basil leaf on top of each.

3.     Once you are ready to serve, drizzle olive oil across the leaves and your done!

Zaatar Pita Pies

Makes 6 pieces

 What you will need:

·      6 mini pitas or mini naan bread

·      ½ cup zaatar blend

·      1/3 cup olive oil

 Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

  2. Take a small bowl and combine the zaatar and olive oil to make a smooth paste like consistency. Then, take your pitas and spread enough zaatar to cover the centre, leaving a thin crust around the edges.

  3. Add the finished pitas to a baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes or until they just start to brown.

  4. Enjoy these pitas with chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, or use them alongside hummus dip!

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I hope you found this guide to throwing your own Valentine’s Day party helpful! I would love to hear any party tips or recipes you swear by. Let me know in the comments below :).

Happy Planning!

-Mona

DIY Holiday Party Crackers

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It’s that time of year where all the sparkles, trinkets, and pretty papers come out to play! I was so excited to put together this DIY…it’s only been on my to do list for the last 3 holiday seasons LOL.  I remember making these in elementary school and it being so much fun…They didn’t make it home, of course popping them was way more fun.  This time around, however, I thought I would go fancier than the usual  and use funkier tissue paper designs and wrap.  My forever favourite is Rifle Paper Co. anything or Abbie Paulhus Illustrations. But there are so many cute wraps out there to choose from, so go nuts!

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For this project you will need:

  • Wrapping paper (Cut to the size of the recycled toilette paper tube)

  • Recycled Toilette Paper Tube

  • Tissue Paper

  • Cracker Snaps

  • Ribbon

  • Small items and/or Candy to fill

  • Decorative items like pom poms or pipe cleaners

  • Tape

  • Scissors

  • Glue Gun

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I found these cute nutcracker ornaments at Michaels!

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To begin:

  1. Insert your cracker snap centred in the toilet paper tube.  Tape one end down to the tube from the inside.  This will hold it in place when you go to grab the ends later to pop the cracker. Next, add your treats inside.

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2. Roll the tissue paper over the tube and tape it to hold it in place.  The ends at this point will be much longer than needed.  However, wait to trim them to a later step.

3. Cut your wrapping paper to the width and length of your toilet paper tube.  Leave your self about an inch in extra length to work with. Then, wrap it around the tube and tape in place.

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4. Next, tie a couple pieces of ribbon around the ends of your crackers and trim the excess off the ends.

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5. Now the fun begins.  Feel free at this point to add additional decorations to your crackers like pipe cleaners, pom poms, sparkles, stickers, etc.  I added pom poms to the ends of mine using a glue gun.  Others I just left as bows.

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That’s it! Super easy right?!  The only thing to note is to not fall in love…their days are numbered and I am already sad to have to pop mine soon! Haha

Let me know your thoughts below! If you make some of your own crackers, be sure to show me by using the tag #ohsomonaDIY. I can’t wait to see! Happy Crafting!