Looking for fun ways to keep the kids entertained on Thanksgiving? We’ve gathered a cornucopia of simple activities they’ll love, from decorations to snacks to their own serving of butter! Seriously, the kids’ table never seemed so cool. (Follow the links for instructions.)
Category Archives: Party and Event Planning
The holidays are upon us, which means egg nog is filling the shelves at your local grocery store. This creamy treat is a seasonal favorite, but have you ever tried making your own? Once you try it, you may never go back to the mass-produced options at the grocery store because this stuff is liquid gold! Though not low calorie, it has a whipped lightness that makes it a refreshing treat. Make a batch and serve it at your holiday party with a tray of Mrs. Fields cookies. (We love it with our cinnamon sugar Nibblers bite-sized cookies, but feel free to choose your own favorite.) And one more thing–use fresh nutmeg for best results.
Homemade Egg Nog
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
4 egg whites
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until they become light and lemony in color. Add the 1/3 cup of sugar and beat until sugar is completely dissolved, then add the milk, cream, and bourbon and nutmeg. Stir well. In a separate mixing bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar as it is mixing, and whip until peaks are stiff and hold their shape. Gently fold the egg whites into the milk mixture until the two are combined and texture is smooth and creamy. Chill before serving.
HINT: Leave the bourbon out for a non-alcoholic version.
HINT: The recipe contains raw eggs, so be sure to warn anyone with health concerns before serving.
If you are busy putting together your Thanksgiving menu and need some inspiration, we’ve journeyed deep into our archives to gather our absolute favorite recipes to share to save you the trouble. These are the best of our best, crowd-pleasing favorites that you’ll love to share with your family and friends this Thanksgiving.
Cranberry Jalapeño Dip – An easy, make-ahead appetizer that will wow your crowd. Sweet and spicy and absolutely beautiful too.
Flavored Butters – Sweet or savory, these butters can be made in advance and are the perfect pairing for warm rolls.
Glazed Carrots with Feta – A delicious spin on your regular cooked carrots. Not mushy and definitely not boring!
Mashed Cauliflower – A great alternative to mashed potatoes if you’re looking for an alternative to mashed potatoes.
Roasted Parsnip Stuffing – This may be the recipe to finally decide the stuffing debate–delicious!
Spicy Cranberry Chutney – Say goodbye to the jiggly can-shaped cranberry sauce. This sauce adds a perfect zing to your turkey.
Perfect Pie Crust – The ideal canvas for all your favorite fillings. Flaky, buttery and delicious every time.
Ice Cream Pies – A favorite of kids and adults alike, decadent ice cream pies are another make-ahead favorite.
Key Lime Pie – The perfect balance of tart and sweet and creamy.
Brown Bag Apple Pie – The pie of all apple pies, our absolute FAVORITE no-fail, anybody-can-make-this-pie pie.
Banana Pudding – Fluffy, creamy, not-too-heavy, this dessert is delicious and should be made 24 hours in advance.
Basic Cheesecake – A standard recipe to top with your favorite fruit or sauce.
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Cream Sauce – Pumpkin pie meets cheesecakes meets adoring crowds.
Bread Pudding – A comfort food classic. Makes a great breakfast for overnight guests, too.
Peach Tart – If fruit pies are too sweet for you, this tart is like a gift.
Do you have a favorite Mrs. Fields recipe? Let us know!
Soup season is finally here and nothing pairs better with a steamy bowl of broth or stew or chili than a crusty, chewy bread bowl. This fun serving idea is a classic, and easier than you think to pull off! We’ve taken our favorite artisan bread recipe and transformed it into these personal-size loafs that serve as both serving dish and side dish. Try it yourself with your next favorite pot of comfort food. (Note: this recipe requires a dutch oven. If you don’t have one already, it’s time to invest. You’ll love it!)
Homemade Bread Bowls
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups very warm water
In a large mixing bowl, stir flour, yeast, and salt together. Add the warm water and using a large spoon, stir until dough is wet and shaggy in texture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 12-18 hours. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put a dutch oven in the preheated oven and allow to heat for 30 minutes. While dutch oven is heating, scoop dough onto a floured surface and divide into three or four equal pieces, depending on the size you prefer your bread bowl. (Think four for cup-size servings and three for bowl-size.) With floured hands, shape each piece of dough into a ball, tucking any rough edges underneath. Place plastic wrap on top and allow to sit until dutch oven is ready. Remove preheated dutch oven and, with floured hands, arrange the dough balls inside, barely touching. (Careful not to burn yourself!) Place the lid on top and put it back in the oven to bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. Before serving, use a serrated knife to cut a cone shape into the bread. Remove the top and fill the bowl with your favorite soup and serve.
Dressing up for Halloween this year? Why not make it a family affair? We’ve gathered up the best of the best for family costume fun, so grab your loved ones and dress up for some unforgettable ensembles.
SHARK ATTACK: For the family who lives every week like it’s Shark Week.
STICK FIGURE FAMILY: Your favorite group from the rear window of the minivan brought to life!
SUNDAY DINNER: This super simple costume is a lot of bang for the buck.
BLT: Another food theme, this adorable family is cute enough to eat!
GILLIGAN’S ISLAND: You can’t go wrong with a classic like Gilligan’s Island, especially if you’ve been invited to a three-hour Halloween party.
101 DALMATIONS: You’ll have everyone seeing spots with this adorable crew in costumes that are surprisingly simple to pull off!
COPS & ROBBERS: The money is in the bag and it’s anybody’s guess who wins in this cops and robbers battle. (Our bet is on the cops!)
Do you have a favorite family costume idea? Share it with us on our Facebook Page!
Our fall catalog is hitting mailboxes, and oh what tricky treats it entails! As usual, we’ve gathered a few of our favorites from this year’s lineup to make you drool, but check out the entire catalog and order your own copy if you don’t get it already. And don’t forget to check out the exclusive discount for blog readers at the bottom of this post!
The Autumn Splendor Box is an incredible combination of our original cookies, brownies, and frosted cookies. It makes an ideal hostess gift for any fall occasion!
Our bestselling box full of bite-sized treats is dressed up in fall colors for any of your gift-giving needs. It’s an ideal thank you, even if the person who needs thanks is yourself!
How do we keep topping our world-famous gift baskets? With gifts like our Festive Fall Basket, that’s how! You’ll love every bite of our freshly baked cookies, and the sturdy, keepsake basket can find use after use around the house.
For your favorite trick-or-treater, nothing beats our Candy Corn Carryalls. They arrived filled with our favorite bite-sized cookies, and the carryall is ready for Halloween night!
Sure to sell out, our Book of Spells is an enchanting treat and perfect party favor for your annual costume contest. Loaded with our favorite brownies and cookies, it’s bound to have everybody under its spell.
Check out the entire catalog to find your own favorites, and use code 14GTD at checkout for an exclusive discount:
10% off your purchase of $50
20% off your purchase of $75
30% off your purchase of $100.
You love caramel apples. You hate the sticky mess. Now you can have your caramel apple and eat it too (without the need for soap and water). Check out these five brilliant caramel apple hacks for the sticky-averse!
1. If you love the original, maybe you just need a crash course in how to properly cut and serve caramel apples. Serve individual slices with a toothpick.
2. One-bite mini caramel apples on a stick are great for kids or those who want just a taste.
3. Make an inside-out caramel apple by hollowing an apple half and filling it with caramel sunday syrup. Chill until caramel is firm, then slice into wedges!
4. A caramel apple martini is a delicious, no-stick grownup spin on this favorite treat.
5. Caramel apple trifles are ooey-gooey delicious, but served with a spoon!
Do you have a favorite way to enjoy caramel apples?
Looking for a great party idea? A glow in the dark party is fun, creative, and easy to put together for kids or adults. It’s also a great alternative to a traditional Halloween costume party. The key to a glow in the dark party is a dark space, so arrange your party to start after dark or, if you need an earlier start time, opt for a basement space and darken the windows with black paper. And, of course, you’ll need to exchange regular lightbulbs with black lights (available at most box and home improvement stores). Invite guests to wear white or neon colors. Everything from the decorations to the food itself can be absolutely glowing, with these simple ideas…
Glow rings underneath plastic plates and cups make a brilliant display for a dining table, and great ambient light during a meal.
Glow sticks inside of helium balloons make impromptu lighting. A bouquet of balloons makes a great party chandelier.
Wrap cotton candy around glow sticks for perfect party fair.
Use non-toxic neon paints and allow guests to decorate themselves and each other.
Prepare your favorite drink mix with tonic water for a delicious glowing concoction. (The quinine in the tonic water is what makes it glow – perfectly safe!)
Speaking of tonic water, use it to make glow in the dark frosting for your favorite cupcakes.
Glow in the dark duct tape (available at most craft stores) is not only great for decoration, but a good idea for outlining doors or stairs.
Do you have a great glow in the dark party idea? Let us know!
Bake some cookies and gather the family on the couch for a movie night dedicated to our favorite back-to-school flicks!
1. Dead Poets Society
2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
4. The Breakfast Club
6. Sixteen Candles
7. Pitch Perfect
8. 10 Things I Hate About You
9. Say Anything
10. October Sky
11. Mean Girls
13. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
14. Lean on Me
15. The Outsiders
16. Napoleon Dynamite
18. Never Been Kissed
22. The Karate Kid
23. Stand and Deliver
25. Back to the Future
Did we miss any? What’s your favorite school-themed movie?
Labor Day Weekend is the last hurrah of summer, so we’ve put together some great ideas to get your whole family outside for some friendly competition and lots of fun. Fire up the grill, invite some friends, and get everybody out on the lawn to get their game on.
Croquet. The best thing about playing croquet is that you can design your own course, making it as easy or difficult as you please, and perfect for players of a variety of ages and skill levels. Brush up on the rules by watching this helpful video.
Yard Yahtzee. Otherwise known as Lawn Dice Game, this outdoor game is absolutely ideal for a big group of people of all ages. You can play in teams or as individuals. Everyone will love taking a turn tossing the oversized dice and wishing for luck!
Lawn Twister. No need to drag the flimsy Twister mat outside, use a simple cardboard stencil and spray paint to create a Twister board right on the grass. (Don’t worry, it won’t damage the lawn and will only last until the next mowing.) Allow paint at least an hour to dry before playing.
Tailgate Toss. Sometimes called Corn Hole, this game is both easy and fun. A few bean bags (or corn bags, as it were) and two teams for tossing, and a little bit of luck or skill turns this simple game into hours of fun.
Bocce Ball. Despite what you might think, you don’t need an official bocce ball court made with sand or gravel. A clear, flat rectangle of grass will do just fine. All you need is a bucket of balls and a quick review of the rules, and you’re ready to play with any group and all ages.
Lawn Jenga. If you’ve got leftover lumber, transform it into a an outdoor Jenga tower. Pull out individual “bricks” to build the tower higher until it collapses. (This game is not recommended for small children.)
Do you have a favorite yard game? Share your ideas in the comments!