Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Fine Art of Tailgating

It’s official: football season is here. Tailgating is a great way to revel in game day excitement, but more importantly, it is the perfect chance to entertain without having to clean your house. The key to success is to huddle up and pre-plan your event:

Décor & More
Just because you are in a parking lot does not mean you can’t decorate!

- Your team colors can be tied into every aspect of the decor. Cover your table with a solid table cloth in your team’s primary color and then offset it up with a table runner in your team’s secondary color or jazz it up with some funky placemats. Compliment the table with coordinating cups, napkins, utensils and a great new tailgating accessory: plastic plates with built in cup-holders! Add some sparkle to your tent by hanging strings of party lights powered by a portable generator. And the finishing touch: a simple floral centerpiece in your team’s colors.

- Flying a flag on a very high pole makes your tailgate location easily identifiable from the far reaches of the parking lot. Instead of spending $175 on a flagpole kit, you can purchase a telescoping window washing extension pole for about $20 from stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond. They extend to up to 15 feet and you can use zip ties to attach your flag.

- If it’s going to be a windy game, use the 3D Photoframe to keep your napkins, plates and tablecloth from blowing all over the place. Put up to three photos of you and your friends from your college days inside and the invisible mirrors inside the crystal cube will create a cool 3D illusion. You can switch in new photos before each game.

Tailgate Tools

- What would a tailgate be with out hot dogs? Now you can scorch your team's logo right into the side of your hot dogs or brats with the Grill Mounted Hot Dog Branding Iron. Simply set the portable grill topper onto your existing grill rack, place the hot dog on top, and voila – edible team spirit!

- Just because it’s 5 below and you can’t feel your toes, does not mean it’s time to pack up the tailgate. The 3-in-1 Cushion / Blanket / Poncho has a patented heated seating surface and it converts from a stadium cushion to a fleece lined windproof blanket to a hooded poncho with kangaroo pouch warmer in just seconds.

- Treat your tailgaters to gourmet pizza right in the parking lot! The ZaGrill Pizza Cooker is created especially for barbecue grills. It’s unique design prevents burning and ensures a crisp crust and evenly melted cheese. And the non-stick surface means that even gooey cheese messes clean up easily and quickly.

Featured Recipe
The best tailgating food are creative, quick, and tasty. With buffalo wing dip, you get the great taste of wings but without the mess.

2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
¾ cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
1 cup Ranch or Bleu Cheese salad dressing
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and hot pepper sauce and mix until well blended. 2. Stir in the salad dressing, chicken, and Cheddar Cheese.
3. Spread into a casserole dish.

This dip can be served cold or hot (bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes) with tortilla chips, crackers or veggies.

For more great event planning tips, visit www.detailsbykellymiller.com

Thursday, December 10, 2009

To Wine or Not To Wine? That is the Question...

‘Tis the season to be social! But what to bring to all those holiday parties? Add your own distinctive stamp to the events you attend by choosing from our unique list below.

1. A Bottle of Wine

Yes, its cliché. But it’s always welcome! Wine is the perfect compliment to nearly any setting or any group of attendees. But be warned: the holidays are not the time for discount wine. Spend a few extra dollars to get a respectable brand and vintage.

For an extra special touch, present the bottle to your host with Vinotagz around the neck. These wine tags have a simple, modern vibe which sets them apart from other stem markers that were popular a few years back. They’re made from translucent silicone that you can write on the back side with a ballpoint pen (and later wipe clean) if you want to personalize the reusable tags with each wine drinker’s name. They even double as napkin rings.

2. Flowers

Who doesn’t love being surprised with flowers? Delight your host by calling a local florist and arranging to have a seasonal floral centerpiece or holiday wreath sent to his/her house the day before the party. Your thoughtful gift is sure to evoke that warm, fuzzy holiday feeling.

3. Cranberry Salsa

Sweet, spicy and tangy, it's easy to make and looks festive presented to your host in a glass jar topped with a holiday ribbon. Make a big batch ahead of time and portion it out over the holidays.


12 oz. cranberries, fresh or frozen

1 clove garlic

1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

1/2 cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Place cranberries and garlic in food processor and pulse a few times. Add onions, pepper, lime juice, sugar, salt and cilantro and pulse. Add oil and pulse to desired texture. It goes wonderfully with crackers, goat cheese, or scoop chips.

4. Liquor Filled Chocolates
These treats are a blending of the best of both worlds - delicious adult flavors and the rich, decadent taste of chocolate. They’re great for gifts, entertaining, or just a treat! Choose from a yummy array of filling options including Kahlua, Southern Comfort, Grand Marnier,
brandy, and even champagne.

5. Music

A party would not be a party without great music. Purchase some funky party CDs for your host or burn your own personalized playlist onto CD. If you really want to indulge your host (and budget is not an issue), buy him or her an iPod and download hours of party music onto it.

Though it's not mandatory to give the host a gift for inviting you to the soiree, giving a token of your appreciation will surely make him or her feel extra special. And giving a memorable gift is sure to guarantee an invitation for the next party!


details by Kelly Miller is a Philadelphia-based event consulting company specializing in weddings, corporate events, and social events. From invitations to entertainment, we'll help you create an unforgettable event that suits your style and your budget.
Visit www.detailsbykellymiller.com for more information.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Don't Get BOGGED Down This Thanksgiving

Autumn is one of the most gorgeous times of the year: beautiful falling leaves, orange pumpkins, vibrant cornucopias, and colorful apples. This Thanksgiving, bring that warm, festive feel into your home with these fun tips.

Play with Your Food

Cranberries are a Thanksgiving staple and there are endless ways to incorporate them into your decor. Add a vibrant touch of red to your Thanksgiving table with one of our creations below.

Group three glass containers of varying shape and height in the center of the table. Place floral netting or berry garland at the bottom of one or more containers. Fill the containers with water, then add drops of red food coloring. Float cranberries, fresh flowers, and dark red floating candles (cinnamon scented would be ideal) on the surface of the water.


Wash and dry 3-4 wax-covered paper milk cartons. Fill them with water and cranberries about 2 inches from the top. Float a tea light on top of the water in each carton, and place them in the freezer. Allow them to freeze completely.
Right before your guests arrive, tear away the cartons; revealing your beautiful frosted cranberry candles. Place them in a row down the center of your table and scatter fallen leaves, loose cranberries, seasonal gourds, and raffia around the candles. Remember to place each candle on a small dish to protect your tablecloth from the melting ice.

Fill the bottom of a clear vase with cranberries and add tepid water until the vase is about two-thirds full. Cut the stems of budding red flowers (think Calla lilies, gerber daisies, or even lilies) or berry stems diagonally with sharp scissors. Arrange the flowers in the vase and encircle it with votive candles to add a bit of sparkle.

Turkey Day Tips

- Rather than rushing out to buy expensive new china, glasses and silverware for your Thanksgiving get-together, consider renting it. The prices are reasonable and by renting rather than buying you also avoid having to store the items year after year.

- A lit fireplace + a room full of people = overheated guests. Instead, fill your fireplace with lit pillar candles. You'll still achieve a beautiful, cozy look but without the excessive heat.

- Dress up your Thanksgiving dinner table with homemade place setting cards. Spray paint miniature pumpkins gold, tie a hand written place card to each stem, and place one at each guests’ setting.

Featured Recipe

Cranberry Infused Vodka
When packaged in a decorative bottle, it’s an excellent host/hostess gift. Infused vodka generally takes two weeks or longer for the flavors to blend, but this recipe lets you do it in just 3 days.

- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 fifth quality vodka

1. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, mix the sugar and water. Swirl the pan occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens, swirling occasionally.

2. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cranberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 2 hours.

3. Pour the mixture into a large jug or canister and top with the vodka. Seal it tightly and place either in a refrigerator or in a cool, dark place. For at least 2 days, let the flavors mingle with the vodka, swirling occasionally.

4. Pour the mixture through a colander or strainer into a large jugand then using a funnel, pour the vodka back into the bottle or other decorative container. Place the vodka in the freezer until ready to serve.Your cranberry vodka can be enjoyed straight up, on the rocks, or used as a base for cranberry martinis with a touch of vermouth. Garnish with frozen cranberries and enjoy!