Food and Drink: August 02, 2007

Halloween: Pop-Gram Gourmet Kettle Corn

September 23, 2013

Our friends at Pop-Gram Kettle Corn have some fun Halloween treats to share!

Pop-Gram3

Just contact Pop-Gram to order one of their popular flavors (such as caramel kettle corn, cheddar kettle corn, or spooky purple kettle corn), then add your own fun Halloween surprises. 

Pop-Gram2

Pop-Gram offers creatively pre-packaged or custom treats perfect for party favors and gift bags, and they'll deliver anywhere in the country.

If you’re in the LA area, you can even book Pop-Gram's new six-foot popcorn cart for on-site popping at your next event. Whether you're looking for a favor for a backyard birthday party or a midnight snack for a black-tie affair, Pop-Gram will work with you to offer customized, fun options that suit your budget. Angelenos can also look for Pop-Gram at local farmers' markets.  

Invite friends over for a fall get-together with our Boo Bunting Evite Invitation, and include a popcorn bar featuring sweet and savory flavors!

Boo Banner 

Evite Eats: Monkey Bread

September 09, 2013

Our VP of Publishing, Lizzie Alberga, shared the perfect fall dessert or brunch dish with us: monkey bread. Everyone goes ape for it -- and it's so easy to make!  

  Evite Eats Monkey bread

Monkey Bread

  • 3 packages refrigerated biscuit dough (12 ounces each)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup margarine or butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9- or 10-inch Bundt pan.

Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and/or raisins, arrange them among the biscuit pieces as you go along, pushing some into the dough.

In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.

Bake for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Monkey Bread 2

Try the recipe for a great excuse to host a family gathering, book club meeting, brunch or any other casual get-together this fall. No matter what the occasion, celebrate the new season with this Evite invitation

Fall Evite Invitation

Meanwhile, get more easy, amazing party-ready recipes from our Evite Eats series below.

Sports League: Half-Time Snacks

September 03, 2013

It's that time of year again: Local sports leagues are starting their seasons! To fuel your budding athlete(s)  -- not to mention the spectators cheering them on -- we put together a few half-time snacks as well as post-game treats.

Half-time Snacks

First, whether you're the one playing or watching, stay hydrated. For the players, go with healthy fruit snacks, such as bananas, apples, or seedless tangerines. Or try little veggie cups with ranch-flavored Greek yogurt -- just sprinkle in a little dried parsley, chives, and dill -- in the bottom of a plastic cup for dipping.

Healthy Snacks

If you're watching, make sure you have some peanuts, trail mix, or other munchies on hand. They'll hold you over until the game ends and you can celebrate your victory with a family dinner.

Peanuts & Trail Mix

And finally, when the game is over, let kids have a little treat.

Snacks

P.S. Don't forget to browse our selection of Sports League Evite invitations  to invite friends and family to the next big game! 

Evite Eats: Rosemary Cashews & Cheese Plate

August 29, 2013

For the latest installment of our Evite Eats series, our in-house party stylist, Jessica Bailey, put together one of her favorite appetizers for a casual get-together: a cheese plate starring her Aunt Mae's rosemary cashews.

Evite Eats Cheese Plate

Rosemary Cashews

Rosemary Cashews

  • 1 lb. unsalted cashews
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spread cashews out on the foil. Toast in the oven until warm, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine rosemary, cayenne, salt, sugar, and butter. Toss the cashews with the spiced butter and serve warm.

Cheese Plate

Now for the always-a-crowd-pleaser cheese plate: Jessica included a hard cheese (manchego), a soft cheese (goat cheese), and a blue cheese so there's something for everyone. Her crackers of choice are La Panzanella's Rosemary Croccantinis, though any rosemary or plain cracker will work. Offer the rosemary cashews and fruit to munch on; grapes are the classic choice, but Jessica couldn't resist adding the figs, since they're rarely in season. Her crowning touch? Truffle honey for guests to drizzle on their cheese and crackers.

Remove the cheese from the refrigerator an hour before serving, since cold mutes the flavor. Serve with napkins or small plates, and put out a different knife for each cheese.

Cheese Plate

  • Blue cheese
  • Manchego
  • Goat cheese
  • Fresh figs
  • Champagne grapes
  • Truffle honey
  • Rosemary crackers
  • Rosemary cashews

Beer Pairing

Finally, Jessica's tips for pairing drinks with your cheese plate: You can't go wrong with Sauvignon Blanc. If you'd rather serve beer, choose something light, such as Blue Moon, Hangar 24, or Allagash, to match the mostly mild cheeses. Want to switch up the cheese and serve something sharper (aged cheddar tasting, anyone)? A beer such as Guinness pairs beautifully.

Got your own can't-miss cheese plate tips? Post them in the comments below.

Evite Eats: Cherry Cream Cheesecake

August 28, 2013

As the week winds down to Labor Day, we're focusing the blog on the "labor" at Evite through our Evite Eats series... and we've discovered that the men in our office are no slouches in the kitchen. Case in point: Shime Simmons, Manager of Customer Service. After some cajoling -- er, encouragement, Shime agreed to share his recipe for this outstanding cheesecake, which makes a great addition not only to a Labor Day celebration, but just about any get-together where dessert is a must.

Evite Eats Cheesecake
Cherry Cream Cheesecake

Crust:

  • 1 package Honey Graham Crackers
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
Filling:
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 3/4 can of Comstock Cherry Pie Topping

Crust: Preheat oven to 300°. Mix graham crackers, butter, and sugar thoroughly. Spread mixture into pie plate and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in refrigerator while making the topping.

Filling/Topping: In a large mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, cream cheese, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Remove prepared crust from refrigerator and evenly distribute filling. Chill for another 2 hours. Remove and spread ¾ can of Comstock topping. Chill for one more hour before serving.

Evite_eats_cherry_cheesecake

Be sure to check back for the next edition of Evite Eats!

Evite Eats: Grape Jelly Cocktail Meatballs

August 26, 2013

Our VP of Finance and Business Operations, Erin Miller, spilled the beans on her mother Harriet’s famous grape jelly cocktail meatballs for our next edition of Evite Eats. This classic appetizer, taken from the 1970s cookbook The Elegant but Easy Cookbook, is a southern favorite made with sweet grape jelly and savory tomato chili sauce. Mmm!

Evite_Eats_Meatballs
The original recipe recommends simmering meatballs in a chafing dish until browned, but we pan-seared them for a little spin. Check out the mouth-watering recipe below:

Cocktail_meatballs
Ingredients:

Meatballs
:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • Salt to taste

Sauce:

  • 12 oz. bottle chili sauce (we recommend Heinz)
  • 10 oz. jar of grape jelly
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions: In a large bowl, combine onion, egg, and salt. Add the beef and mix well. In a separate medium bowl, combine chili sauce, jelly, and lemon. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and pour in sauce mix. Using a 1-inch ice cream scooper, drop ¾-inch meatballs into hot skillet. Cook until brown (approximately 1-2 mins.) on each side. Meatballs can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until your event. Before serving, bring meatballs to room temperature and reheat in chafing dish or oven. Serve with cocktail picks.

Tell us what your favorite appetizer is in the comment section!

Summer Evening Picnic Essentials

August 22, 2013

As the end of summer draws near (September 21st to be exact), it's crucial to take advantage of warm weather and longer days. Gather friends and family for one last summer hurrah outdoors! Whether it’s at the beach, the park, or in your own backyard, read on to learn how to host a fabulous, low-key affair.

Summer_picnic_essentials1

When rounding up supplies, a picnic basket, tote, or backpack is essential for easy lifting. We kept our picnic menu simple by picking up sandwiches and chips from the local deli and storing cheese, crackers, and fruit in Tupperware with dividers to keep items fresh. For dessert, we packed a box of cookies to make serving easier.

Summer_picnic_essentials2
A water-resistant pincic blanket makes the outdoors more comfortable (no one likes a damp bottom). We used this lightweight Bed Bath & Beyond blanket, which comes in a convenient carrying bag with large storage pockets. Perfect for a fuss-free gathering!

Summer_picnic_essentials3
Comfort's key when lounging outside. Pack a few pillows and blankets in your tote to make sunset-watching more bearable. Remember, the later into summer we get, the chillier the air is at night! The tote also serves as a weight to keep the blanket down. Flameless LED tea lights provide easy outdoor lighting and are fire safe.

Summer_picnic_essentials4
A portable speaker amplifies a summer playlist and sets the tone for a relaxed gathering with friends. Check out our list of picnic essentials below to make packing a breeze.

Picnic Packing Essentials:

Last, but not least, don't forget to pack some wet wipes to keep hands clean, a trash bag, and a few Ziplock bags for leftovers. Enjoy the last weeks of summer!

Find a Safeway near you to purchase these products and more!

Comic Book Party: Super Bar

August 19, 2013

We taught you how to make a super cute DIY string art backdrop for décor and put together an amazing superhero-themed spread. Now, we all know a comic book party wouldn’t be complete without a self-serve Super Bar. Clearly, this option is for an adult soiree, but if the party has kids in attendance, drinks can easily be made sans alcohol.

Comic_book_bar

We made the Super Bar drink menu and grabby signs using this free comic book font, acrylic paint, and Painters Paint Markers. It may seem like a minor detail, but the outcome packs a huge punch!

Comic_book_party_sign
Our in-house party stylist painted this bar backdrop herself using acrylic paint and Painters Paint Markers. You can create something similar by printing out a Google image and using the free comic book font to write your own message, or simply hang a comic book-themed poster on the wall.

Comic_book_party_drink_menu

Classic drinks such as the Admiral Schley Punch got a superhero spin by morphing into “The Speeding Bullet.” A Dark ‘n’ Stormy, which is made with rum, ginger beer, and lemon, became “The Dark Knight” and a Jäger Bomb (vodka, Jägermeister, and Red Bull) was renamed “The Spider Bite.” It’s the little touches that count!

Our bar cart has three levels. On the first, we displayed the drink menu, alcohol options, garnishes, and decorative straws for easy sipping.

Comic_book_party_bar_cart

On the second level, we stored an ice bucket, colorful cups, bar napkins, and a cocktail shaker for simple self-service. The third level holds the non-alcoholic soda “POP!” options.

If you prefer guests be served, designate a close friend or significant other to bartend. The host should never be stuck serving drinks all day and night!

What’s your go-to party drink? Tell us in the comments.

Comic Book Party: The Food Table

August 14, 2013

A party inspired by the beloved cape- and mask-wearing superheroes that grace the pages of comic books must have an equally impressive spread. In the second post in our series, we put together a delicious power lunch using jazzed-up, store-bought finger foods that make hosting the party (and cleanup) a breeze. The result is a tablescape perfect for a guys’ birthday, or a superhero-and-villain-themed Halloween party.   

Comic_book_party_food table
We started with our DIY string-art sign as the backdrop, then swept a black-and-white talecloth over the table for a solid base. Black trays, red metal boxes, and clear apothecary jars helped set the stage for the food.

Comic_book_party_sandwiches
We anchored the menu with “SUPERMANwiches” composed of store-bought subs wrapped in yellow tissue paper and tied with black-and white baker’s twine. The food labels were made using this free comic book font, quote-bubble cutouts, and toothpicks. 

Comic_book_party_potato_chips
Potato chips are pretty much a must if you're serving subs, so we photocopied comic strips in black and white then rolled them into cones to hold “POP! Chips.” A wooden serving tray turned upside down and drilled with holes made a great chip holder. If drilling isn’t your thing, display chips in vintage cocktail glasses.

Comic_book-party_ sweets
Candy can contribute to the color scheme and count as decor when cleverly displayed. Two types of “Kryptonite” (blue and green), “Fire” gumballs, and “Sidekicks” PEZ dispensers add panache to the display.

Comic_book_party_cookies
Classic black and white cookies touted as “Two-Face” treats add a villanous (and delicious) touch. You can't eat just one!

Comic_book_party_lunch
An array of comic books completes the theme and provides festive take-home reading material for favors. 

Comic_book_party_Evite
comic book-themed Evite Invitation is just what you need to get the party started!

Hard Iced Tea Bar: 3 Recipes for Summer Sipping

August 07, 2013

Summer is the perfect time to whip up a batch of refreshing iced tea, and if you’re brewing some for a party, why not spike it for a spin on the usual alcoholic beverage? We rounded up three of our favorite hard iced tea recipes and created a whole specialty bar around them! It’s a great idea for a guy’s birthday party, or a coed baby shower. Whether you try our takes on the popular recipes or whip up the originals, everything you need to know for your next summer soiree is below.

Hard_iced_tea_bar1
We pre-mixed the drinks, poured them into fancy glass dispensers (a trick that makes self-service more appealing), and placed fresh garnishes (think mint sprigs, berries, and limes) on the side. Serving drinks in mason jars with striped straws add a touch of nostalgia, and having dishtowels on hand is a must for easy cleanup. Writing drink names on brown paper tags makes them more identifiable.

Hard_iced_teac_mason_jars

Blackberry-Bourbon Iced Tea:

Blackberry_bourbon_iced_tea

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh mint sprigs, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 12 black tea bags
  • 2 ½ cups bourbon

Directions: In a large bowl, mash blackberries, chopped mint, and sugar. Bring 1 1/2 quarts water to a boil in a medium saucepan, remove from heat, and let tea bags steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour the tea over the blackberries, mint, and sugar mixture. Pour bourbon into the mixture, and let sit for at least 1 hour. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a drink dispenser, pressing on the solids. Cover and refrigerate until cold (at least 2 hours).

Click here for the original recipe.

Blackberry_bourbon_iced_tea2

We placed a julep cup filled with fresh leaves of mint, a plate of blackberries, and a mason jar of rock-candy sugar sticks on dishtowels for garnish.

Smokey Iced Tea and Whiskey Cooler:

Smokey_iced_tea
Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups brewed black tea, chilled
  • 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups ginger liqueur
  • 1 ½ cups whiskey
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • 2 lemons for garnish

Directions: Fill drink dispenser 1/3 full with ice and combine tea, lemon, ginger liqueur, whisky, and bitters. Stir well and garnish with lemon slices.

Click here for the original recipe.

Smokey_iced_tea_whiskey

Rock-candy sugar sticks and lemon slices provide the perfect garnish for this tea.

Gin Rickey:

Gin_rickey_iced_tea

Serves 10

 Ingredients:

  •  2 1/2 cups gin
  • 4 chamomile tea bags
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 4 12 ounce cans seltzer, chilled
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh lime juice (10-12 limes)
  • 2 limes, sliced for garnish

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the gin, tea bags and cloves and let sit for 2 to 4 hours. Fill drink dispenser 1/3 full with ice and strain mixture into it. Discard the tea bags and cloves. Add seltzer and lime juice.

Click here for the original recipe.

Gin_rickey_iced_tea2

A side of lime slices and rock-candy sugar sticks are the perfect garnish.

What's your favorite recipe for a twisted iced tea? Tell us in the comments below!