Sunday, September 29, 2013

Scrumptious Gulaman!

Another simple, yet yummy, dessert for a mini home party!

Here's a very simple Gulaman refreshment for your home party especially if the event is set during the extremely hot weather condition. What one good thing about Gulaman is that it's a lot cheaper and very easy to prepare, you can have a dessert in just few minutes.

Pinky and yummy Gulaman dessert we tried last weekend
 I love the pinkish color of this Gulaman. Party guests will surely 
be delighted with this very simple and yet mouth-watering dessert!

For added pleasure and enjoyment gorging this dessert, include a whipping cream and fruit bits of your choice in the ingredients, chill for few hours before serving to enhance its taste and coolness. It is best to mix the two color combinations, for example strawberry red and white, to come up with a more party-looking Gulaman dessert.

Pour the mixture into trendy molds and containers to achieve 
an elegant and enticing Gulaman dessert

For this preparation, we used a gulaman powder in two color combinations, strawberry red and white, with heavy whipping cream and brown sugar. One important reminder to achieve a desired consistency: Pour only a half cup of whipping cream to two medium sachets of Gulaman powder.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Afternoon Tea Party with Muffins and Scones!

This is one of my all-time favorite party themes...

Hello Party Folks!!

Are you preparing for another party weekend at home with friends and kids?It's time to hit the kitchen with another pastry recipes perfect for everyone to enjoy...

Last night, I and my sister baked pastries to try the new oven toaster she recently bought, we wanted also to experiment some recipes for a small business. I insisted to prepare Scones instead of Cookies hehe! Scones are just the same with cookies the only difference is that with scones, a heavy cream is included as part of the ingredients, you can experiment with other dessert mixtures for this recipe but do not replace buttermilk with margarine, it will affect the creamy taste concept of scones. We also prepared Muffins and to make it a little healthier, we decided to use squash as a main ingredient instead of using flour alone.

Scones and cookies can be creatively designed using cookie cutters. I bought different designs of cookie cutters when I baked Panini Whoopies months ago, my favorite shapes are hearts and flowers, it's simply lovely and elegant to look at and it stimulates hearty appetite.

Scones are perfect for Tea and since I am often taking an afternoon tea break (a very British tradition), this sweet pastry is just so perfect. What I love about scones and tea is the perfect balance of taste: bitter and creamy, it picks my sagging energy in the afternoon. 

Most modern home parties in the western world choose Afternoon Tea Party theme to entertain guests and set a relaxing party mood at home. It is very elegant and classy. This party theme was originated in England during the Victorian Era when one of the Queen's Ladies-in-Waiting, the Duchess of Bedford, suggested to make the 4:00 0'clock in the afternoon as her tea time to invigorate her mood. The habit was pick up around England including the royal family and went on to become one of the most enduring English traditions in history that has been copied all through out the globe. Now, Afternoon Tea Party becomes the annual tradition at Buckingham Palace when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh hosted garden parties twice a year.

So why not include this very royalty habit into our own party tradition also? It signifies glamour, elegance and relaxation. Some of the most famous Tea Party themes are Vintage and Mad Hatters Party, the latter is originally taken from Alice in the Wonderland fairytale story. 

Afternoon Tea Party is very easy to organize, all you need is to prepare the venue with lots of cut paper decorations in pastel colors, you may choose floral designs to reflect the vintage concept of tea. Prepare tea cups, hot tea variations with honey and milk as balancers for those who dislike a bitter taste. Tea foods refer to small cuts of pastries and sandwiches. Most popular tea foods are scones, cookies, biscotti, cucumber sandwiches, whoopies, truffles and canapes, cupcakes and muffins.

Here, I will introduce to you the two party tea foods: Scones and Muffins.

Sweet Kisses Scones

I called it sweet kisses because I used the heart-shaped cookie cutter for this pastry. I was not able to find a pink food color so I opted for strawberry red, it's equally elegant. 
 Heart-shaped Tea Scones
 To get this pastel shade, do not mix the food grade coloring right away before making a dough,
mix it when you are finish battering the pastry , just before you cut the dough.
 At the party, you can present the scones through different designs to make it more attractive
 Or you may use marshmallows as additional sprinklers and decorations
Oh so sweet and romantic!!

Ingredients for Sweet Kisses Scones:
All-purpose Flour
All-purpose Cream
Brown Sugar
Butter (softened)
Vanilla Extract
Baking Soda
Almond or Peanut (for toppings, optional)
Food grade coloring

Softened butter and mixed with flour and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix all-purpose cream and vanilla extract, pour in the flour mixture and mix the baking soda, make a dough then mix a little amount of food coloring enough to create a pastel design on the dough. Mix the toppings. Cut using a cookie cutter then baked for 5 minutes.

Squash Muffins:

You can create a healthy pastry using vegetables and fruits. In this muffin, we used squash. Since we forgot to buy a cupcake paper, we just used the Leche Flan setter hehe! But try to use cupcake paper for your own creation, it is more lovely to look at.
Healthy pastry: Squash Muffins!  

Ingredients of Squash Muffins:
All-purpose flour
Squash (remove the green portion)
Baking Soda
Evaporated Milk
Brown Sugar
Vanilla Extract

Grate the squash and bring to boil until tender. Mix with the remaining ingredients. Pour on the individual cupcake paper and baked for less than five minutes.

Happy home party everyone!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Post Birthday Celebration of Jelaine Abendan

I loooooove kids!!!

I always find them charming and engrossing that help lighten a gloomy day. Their pure innocence, their laughter and care-free aura made me to think that life is super generous and uncomplicated. I love talking to them because I can be with myself. It feels as though there's an everlasting peace and stillness in my environment!

Belated Happy Birthday Jelaine!!
May you'll be protected by God's comforting embrace and may you grow up a God-fearing, obedient and courteous girl who would bring joy, delight and inspiration to your family. Wishing you a wonderful and fulfilling life ahead. 
Photo Credit: All photos I posted in this entry ---
taken from the FB album of Miss Ophelia Abendan :-)

Last night I had this fascinating conversation with a very smart, cute and lovely kid, Jelaine Abendan, who had just turned eight (8) years old last August 21, 2013 (the celebration was postponed due to bad weather last Wednesday), she is so charming and cool!

I extremely love this sweet child, she is so bubbly and cheerful, and unlike other kids her age, Jelaine can carry a beautiful conversation without apprehensions with adults, she responded to my inquiries well and not reluctant to express her ideas on every question I asked. She spoke with a vibrant facial expression and very attentive to what I said.

One thing I love about children is that they can be incredibly honest. Yeah!!Nothing beats children when it comes to honesty and I adored the way they uttered innocent words, it brightens my day.

The smart and charming birthday girl surrounded with party balloons blew up 
manually by her dear Tita Nening (Miss Ophelia Abendan) hehe!
Jelaine's holding a cake decoration from Goldilocks and she curiously asked 
me how she would put it in the cake when it's a cartoon, the cake might turn messy haha! 
She asked me why the Princess stood in front of the forest, 
so I told her a fairytale story that sometimes Princess roamed around 
the forest to search for a Prince! We giggled both hehehe! Just love talking to kids...

The celebration last night was plenty of fun, I got to meet some kababayans, but I had to constantly fight with boredom --- my "common illness" in a gathering with no specific activities because I don't drink liquor, beer and softdrinks, I don't eat Pork and too much sweet and junk foods, I don't sing in videoke when I am in public gosh, so what do I do, hehe! Unless the party is a hosted one with activities requiring the participation of guests, I could never fully enjoy the event. So I struggled to fit in, felt like I was stuck in a dead wall, my thoughts flew elsewhere, I longed for something to amuse myself like, uhmmm, books!hehe

I only sprung to life when Jelaine went downstairs so I started talking to her, I asked her so many things about school, her colour and toy preferences, her eating habit. Then she asked me something about the box on top of the cartoon containing one large layer of Goldilocks cake, so I began telling her about the story of Princess Goldie and Cinderella and Princess Belle then she threw another innocent question "Why the Princess stood in front of the forest?" Hmmm...I thought for a second, then told her, the princess looked her prince somewhere, then she asked me where's the Prince, I told her, maybe we could draw both the location of the Prince so that the Princess can be guided where she would go next, hahaha! Such an innocent and magical conversation, it made my night so amusing and fulfilling hehe!

It was a great party anyway. All the guests had a wonderful time, enjoying the food and drinks, I chose the grilled milk fish (bangus) and took two slices of cream cake from Red Ribbon, there was a suckling pig (Lechon) which according to Jerome, he ordered directly from Cebu, but since I am no longer into Pork, I could not relate to the "scrumptious" description they had for Lechon. Nevertheless, my stomach was full, I devoured pasta, rice and fish. 

OMG!I looked so wasted here!Hahaha!
Yeah it was already 10:30 in the evening 
and I felt so sleepy glad the birthday girl went downstairs 
and we had a nice cutie conversation, then she ushered me upstairs 
because she wanted to play an online game hehe!

This sounds absurd but I am not a party girl and I never enjoyed the night life so a gathering that lasted until wee hours brought weariness to my system. But did you know that I love organizing parties? Hehehe, so ironic!

Back in Davao I used to organize parties, I love experimenting party ideas because it brings out the best in me, my creativity and my artistic skill. But organizing an event takes time to prepare and I normally need one month before the actual party date to organize everything. Since I cannot do it for Jelaine's birthday, I just prepared a simple home-made cheesecake with strawberry topping. 

Cheesecake is one of my favourite party foods because it requires less time and effort of preparation and the taste is just so good and kids as well as adults love it.

Here's how to prepare this delectable dessert:

Home-made Cheesecake with Strawberry topping (you can choose other toppings based on your preferences, sometimes I used Blueberry Jam)


2 cartoons of All Purpose Cream 
1 cartoon of Cream Cheese
1 can of Condensed Milk
8 envelopes of Unflavored Gelatine (reminder: never use a gulaman or jelly powder)
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (optional) 

Strawberry Fruits (fresh or canned)
Strawberry Jam (for mouthwatering taste, but last night I wasn't able to buy a jam)

1 pack of Crushed Graham Biscuit
225g of Butter

  • Prepare a large container and cover the base with aluminum foil or cake paper. (I forgot to buy aluminum foil last night so I immediately lined up the crust in the cake pan which I find very messy)
  • Melt the butter. Mix the crushed Biscuit with melted butter. Make sure it is moist enough to be flattened on the container. Continue adding butter until it becomes sticky. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until the crust is hardened.
  • Prepare 2 cups of water. Bring to boil.
  • Prepare another container, pour the unflavored gelatine. Pour the boiling water, stir until gelatine dissolves. Make sure there's no more lumps.
  • In a separate bowl, melt cream cheese. Mix one cartoon of all purpose cream.
  • Pour all ingredients into the cake pan with dissolved gelatine. 
  • Refrigerate until hardened.
  • Top strawberry fruit or jam and serve.

Belated Happy Birthday Jelaine, many happy returns!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Create a Magical Kiddie Party at Home

I always love children and every time I attend a kiddie birthday party, I felt a different surge of excitement, so the idea of organizing a dreamy home party for kids often crossed in my mind.

 Personalized Cupcakes, the latest trend in party organizing

Kiddie party is more fun and stress-free to organize because you don't have to be serious with anything and you can experiment/explore party ideas as much as you can.

The party catalogue I requested from Party Pieces of the Middletons
Princess party is the most common birthday theme among young female kids

I frequently visited PARTY PIECES, a UK based mail-order site for party essentials owned by the family of Kate Middleton (wife of Prince William), to get some tips and guide how to organize a magical party celebration at home for children.

Here are some of the best tips I got from Party Pieces and other online sources:

Identify the type of party
Before you decide to pick a party theme or set the budget, try to identify first what type of party you will going to organize,   a garden party, a simple home party, a pool side party, a beach party or a grand party in a fancy restaurant.

Magical party!
Set the Budget
Create a checklist or an organizing sheet, write down everything you need for this party, from party supplies to food to party favours and assign a cost limit for each item. Determine if you need a magician or someone to entertain the guests or just a host to facilitate the celebration.

Choose a party theme
To other parents having a party theme may not be necessary, but this is very ideal because you can easily choose what essentials to buy, what program to prepare, how the celebrant would be dressed up and what kind of invitation to dispatch.
Princess party theme of my goddaughter, Brea Faustino, last September 4, 2012

Choose a venue
This depends on what type of party you will going to organize and how much budget you will going to shed.

Size of Guests
Before you dispatch the invitation, create a guest list first and determine how many children and adults you will going to invite. This will allow you to itemize the cost and if you need extras for food and drinks.

Party Foods
The food will depend on the time of the party. Is your party a sit-down meal at lunch or dinner?Or just a mid-morning or afternoon party? Themed cupcakes are now the latest trend in a kiddie birthday party so put it in your top list for party food.
Themed birthday cupcakes!
Sweet bar for kids!
My favourite party food: Fettuccine Carbonara!

Party Essentials and accessories
The party decorations will depend on the theme of the party, you can make everything simple anyway by spending more on balloons. Curling decorations, tarpaulin, bunting, balloons, party hats are the most basic party essentials you have to include.
Fill the area with lots of balloons to create a magical scene for the party
Princess party theme essentials

The Party Games
Make sure your games are suited for the party and signifies entertainment so that guests, especially children, will not get bored. Avoid rude and inappropriate games. Try to include guessing games also to be participated by parents and their kids so that there's a cooperation of everyone and the atmosphere is lively.

Party Souvenirs
Make simple party bags filled with children stuff something they can use at school or during playtime.

Essentials & Elements to prepare for a magical kiddie party:

  • Invitation (be creative in preparing a party invitation)
  • A conducive venue that can accommodate the invited guests
  • Tables, chairs
  • Cutlery sets
  • Table napkins
  • Balloons
  • Bunting, Tarpaulin
  • Party Hats
  • Themed venue decorations
  • Bag fillers as souvenirs to guests
  • Prizes for games
  • Food bar area

Other Important Party Tips to Consider:
  • Discuss with your child if she or he has something in mind for the celebration, if there's anything he or she wants to be included in the party.
  • Before setting the date of the party, check with primary guests if they are available on the said date, your child will not be happy if one of the best friends cannot make it to the party.
  • Prepare a party checklist weeks before the date, write down every detail of the celebrations.
  • Visit party vendors to window shop for essentials.
  • If you are hiring a host for the party, make necessary arrangements what games to prepare and how the program will run through to make the celebration vibrant and entertaining.
  • Always consider the children attending the party, after all this is a kiddie party so their presence is the most important, make the celebration more fun and exciting for kids to enjoy, choose foods appropriate for them before considering the adult guests.
  • Upon arrival, create a fun game for children to settle the mood before foods will be served.
  • If the preparation is too much for you, ask assistance from friends or relatives to help you out.
  • Don't forget to give adults with some souvenirs to take home too.

So that's it. The basic tips I got around the net, from Party Pieces and from my own idea of creating a magical kiddie party at home. May you have a wonderful, fun-filled celebration out there!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Panini Whoopies: Party Food!

Thinking what to prepare for a simple home party?

Here’s another yummy recipe for your party needs that is really appealing not only to kids but to adults as well. I just created this party food recipe last week and it turned pretty okay.

 My Panini Whoopies topped with Marshmallows

The kids will surely love the attractive presentation

This is best suited for children’s party or any simple celebration at home, you can quickly work on it even just for an hour of preparation. No need to worry for any mishap, there's no complicated procedure involve for this food!

I used the basic ingredients of Scones for this party food. Children will really love this because of the attractive presentation, you may use your own creativity in decorating this food.

 Kids will surely love the attractive presentation of this food!

And because I only invented this recipe and this is far from scones (hehe) I named it Panini Whoopies!

To get the ingredients and procedure how to cook it, visit my site HOME LIFE WITH JOYCE

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Additional Features and Packages

I will be using Party Fab Essentials as my final paper in Development Enterprise, one of my subjects in MBA. This will provide me a good chance to take a quick tour on the things that I should be doing in party organizing. This will also give me an opportunity to fully develop the concept of party essentials.

Since we are required to create a unique business with an edge from the competitors, I will include the party organizing and mail-order-catalogue as additional features for Party Essentials. I'd never heard any party suppliers in Davao city that offer party organizing.

Our new features and packages:

Party Organizing - We will be offering a party planning and organizing to our clients. This will be added to all the party packages available in our site.

Party Foods - As of this time, we can offer only simple party foods, choices of cupcakes, carbonara, cheesecake, biscotti and scones, to our clients as part of the packages. We will come up with a unique catalogue for this essential.

Party Games - For birthday, bridal shower and anniversaries, and depends on the wishes and wants of our clients, we will add a hosted party games based on the party theme that our clients choose.

Initial Party Themes:

Each package covers a minimum of 20 persons

Hello Kitty 
Happy Prince
Tropical Mood