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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tropical Christmas Tree

Tropical Themed Christmas Tree

Decorating  your Christmas Tree in a theme can be really fun. If you love Tropical we have some great ideas for you. Using a variety of store bought and homemade beach themed decorations you can create a tree that everyone will love.
First you need to decide what type of tree you will get. Real or fake? Do you want a white one or traditional green? Personally with a beach theme I prefer a real tree flocked white to set off my ornaments but a green or artificial tree will look just as nice.
You can use a decorative fish net as a tree skirt around the bottom of your tree instead of a traditional tree skirt.  This will give your tree a beachy tropical feel.
I like to use clear lights to spotlight each ornament. The number of light strands you use on your tree should be one strand for every foot, so for a seven foot tree you will need approximately seven strands. The lights should be put on the tree before anything else. Start at the bottom of the tree and work your way up. To add depth to your tree wrap the light strand around the tree branch from the back out to the front of the branch.
If you want a more Hawaiian look you can use a bright colored Lei Garland in your tree.
For more of a beachy look you can with a Natural Shell and Raffia Garland.
You should have an average of 20 filler ornaments and 10 themed ornaments for every 2 feet of tree. For a seven foot tree that would be a total of 100 ornaments. If you have more than that then use them to. I don't think you can ever have too many ornaments as long as you have a variety of styles.
Filler ornaments are the solid color ball ornaments that you can usually buy in a box of six or more Instead of using a particular color filler ornament for a beached themed Christmas tree I suggest going with clear ornaments and then filling them with small shells, small pieces of driftwood and beach sand. They come in both glass and unbreakable ball ornaments. If you have children or pets I would purchase the unbreakable ornaments.
If you don't live near a beach or have access to sand you can purchase a bag of fine sand and mini seashells.
You could also hot glue mini shells to the outside of clear or colored ornaments for a great beach themed ornament.

Theme ornaments are ornaments that represent your overall theme. In this case it would be ornaments that are beach oriented. Things like shells, ocean animals and fish, anything you would typically see at a beach. There are several cute beach themed ornaments available from a variety of stores on the Internet.

Finally replacing the traditional star on the top of your Christmas tree would make a nice addition to a beach themed Christmas Tree. Maybe a large seashell or a star fish. If this topper doesn't have any lights on it you may want to make sure and string your Christmas tree lights right up to it so it will stand out.
Your Beach themed Christmas Tree is now complete, just add presents.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween Party Ideas

Halloween Party Ideas

Are you having a Tropical Halloween Party?  Here are some ideas to help make your party a success.  Dont forget to order your Tiki Hut Bar.

Costume Ideas:

Luau Girl or Guy 
Tiki Drink 
Shark attack 
Cha Cha Girl 

Carved Pumpins or Fruits:

Add some fun to your decor with tiki carved pumpkins or even watermelons. 
Angry Tiki God Pumpkin


Tasty Trance Teasers
Makes 10 servings
Step 1 - Dye egg whites. In medium saucepot, bring 5 eggs and enough water to cover to a boil; remove from heat and let sit 20 min. Let cool; peel shells. Halve eggs. Remove yolks to bowl; set aside. Meanwhile, in separate bowl, combine 2 cups water and 10 drops green food coloring, like wilton. Place hollowed egg whites in green water; let sit 30 min, or until eggs reach desired color. Pat dry and place on plate.
Step 2 -Pipe Filling. Meanwhile, in bowl, mash egg yolks with 3 TBS Mayonnaise and 1 tsp honey mustard. Season egg mixture with sale and pepper to taste, if desired. Spoon mixture into pastry bag fitted with star tip; pipe yolk mixture into dyed egg whites..
Step 3 - Create eyes. Place 1 TBS mayonnaise in small resealable plastic bag; snip 1 corner. Place 1 dot of mayonnaise on tip of each egg; top dots with a caper. Add a second dot of mayonnaise and top with a pink peppercorn to form pupils. Gently press small bunch of fresh rosemary into yolks to make eyelashes on each egg eye. Place eggs in pairs, pupils facing each other, on serving plate, if desired. Chill eggs until ready to serve.

Blood Shot Eyes
Makes 24 pieces
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 can (4oz) deveined shrimp, like Geisha
2 Tbs sour cream
24 cherry tomatoes, cored
24 each black olive slices, pink peppercorns and parsley leaves

In a bowl of food processor, blend softened cream cheese, shrimp and sour cream 2 min, or until mixture reaches smooth, creamy consistency. Spoon cream cheese mixture into pastry bag fitted with medium-size round tip (wilton #8). Using melon baller or grapefruit spoon, hollow out cherry tomatoes. Pipe 1 1/2 tsp cream cheese mixture into each tomato. Top with black olive slice for eye. Place pink peppercorn in center of each olive slice for pupil. Add fresh parsley leaf for eyelashes.

Funky Fingers
Makes 32 pieces
1 tube (13.8oz) refrigerated pizza dough
1 pkg (1 lb) hot dogs
1 egg
32 almond slices
1 Tbs crack black pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough; divide into 32 rectangles. Halve hot dogs lengthwise; halve again. Stretch dough pieces to measure 2" x 3"; wrap around hotdogs, pinching to secure. In bowl, lightly beat egg with 1 Tbs. water; brush dough. Gently press almonds into tips for dough for fingernails; using black pepper, sprinkle knuckle lines. Bake on foil lined and greased baking sheets 25 min or until golden.

Jello Jiggler Shots
  • 3 oz Jell-O or other gelatin (any flavor)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) vodka (or other distilled spirit)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Jello Jiggler Halloween Molds
  1. Chill the liquor and cold water mix in the refrigerator so they are a consistent temperature.
  2. Pour gelatin into a bowl.
  3. Add boiling water, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  4. Stir in chilled liquor and water mix and food coloring (optional).
  5. Pour into shot glasses, molds, or a baking pan for a sheet of Jell-O to cut up once set. Tip: The small, plastic shot cups are perfect because the drinker can just squeeze the shot out.
  6. Refrigerate until the liquid sets. (At least 2 hours, but overnight refrigeration is recommended)
  7. Serve cold.

Spicy Vampire Bat Wings

Spicy Vampire Bat Wings
Tbsp.  chili powder

Tbsp.  minced garlic

tsp.  ground red pepper (cayenne)

Tbsp.  lime juice, divided

Tbsp.   chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, divided

whole  chicken wings (3 lb.)

cup  KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce


 green onion, sliced

tsp.  lime zest
MIX chili powder, garlic, ground red pepper and 5 Tbsp. each lime juice and chipotle peppers until well blended. Pour over chicken in large shallow dish; turn to coat both sides of each wing. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate, turning chicken after 15 min. Meanwhile, mix remaining chipotle peppers with barbecue sauce.
HEAT oven to 400ºF. Remove wings from marinade; place in single layer on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Discard marinade.
BAKE 35 to 40 min. or until wings are done, turning after 20 min. Brush with half the barbecue sauce mixture; bake 5 min., turning and brushing with remaining barbecue sauce mixture after 3 min.
MIX sour cream, onions, zest and remaining lime juice. Serve with wings.
Serve these flavorful appetizers with vegetable sticks.

Mummy Spinich Dip 

 Halloween Mummy Spinach Dip recipe
pkg.  (16 oz.) frozen pizza dough, thawed

 egg, beaten

sticks  KRAFT or POLLY-O Mozzarella String Cheese

 black olive slices

cup  BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream

cup  KRAFT Lite Ranch Dressing

pkg.  (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained

 green onion, sliced

cup  finely chopped red peppers

cup  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

tsp.  ground black pepper

 WHEAT THINS Original Snacks
PAT dough into 12x6-inch oval on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Indent dough, about 3 inches from one end of oval, for the mummy's head. Let rise in warm place 20 min. or until doubled in volume.
HEAT oven to 375ºF. Brush dough with egg. Bake 18 to 20 min. or until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Pull apart string cheese to make about 16 strips; arrange on bread for the mummy's wrappings. Bake 1 to 2 min. or just until cheese is melted; cool slightly. Press olive slices into bread for the mummy's eyes; cool completely.
MEANWHILE, mix sour cream and dressing in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in next 5 ingredients. Refrigerate 30 min. or until ready to serve.
USE sharp knife to remove bread from top of mummy's body; scoop out bread from center, leaving thin shell on bottom and side. (Reserve bread top. Discard removed bread or reserve for another use.) Fill bread with spinach dip just before serving; cover with top of bread. Serve with WHEAT THINS. (Nutrition information is for dip and WHEAT THINS only.)
Serve with WHEAT THINS Crunch Stix or TRISCUIT Thin Crisps.
Dip can be refrigerated up to 6 hours before spooning into bread shell.
Serve dip with cut-up fresh vegetables.


Banana Moon

Makes 6 servings
3 cups cranberry juice, like ocean spray, chilled
1 1/2 cups mango nectar, like Looza, chilled
2 bananas, sliced
4 cups ice cubes

In blender, combine cranberry juice, mango nectar and bananas. Add ice cubes; blend until smooth and thick. Divide mixture among 6 glasses. Garnish each with skewered banana wedges with cinnamon candy eyes and black sugar hair. 

***For an adult treat. add 3/4 cup of apple rum to blender before pureeing. Garnish each with apple slice, if desired.

Draculas Punch

    1 cup of purple grape juice
    cups of cran-strawberry juice, chilled
    6 cups of raspberry ginger ale, chilled
    One 1 quart tub of rainbow sherbet 
    Have ready 2 sheets of candy bat molds with 2 bat molds on each and a large punch bowl. Secure the bat molds on a baking sheet with foil to keep them from tipping. Carefully pour grape juice into molds, freeze.
    To serve. Pour the cran-starwberry juice and ginger ale into punch bowl. Spoon sherbet into bowl, stir to mix. Place the frozen bats on top.
    Makes about 15 cups