Tag Archives: party

Punkin’ Chunkin’

Every year, at the end of their season, the produce stand down the street from my parents’ house invites their neighbors to come pick the pumpkins that they didn’t sell.  Which means it’s time for the annual Punkin’ Chunkin’.  My parents’ neighbor, Steve, built a trebuchet in their field, and after picking a few truck-loads worth of pumpkins, a bunch of friends get together to launch them.  This year’s Punkin’ Chunkin’ happened last weekend, and here are the highlights.

I won’t go into the specifics of how the trebuchet works (mostly because I don’t really know).  But basically a big counterweight rushes to the ground, which sends a pumpkin into the air, catapult-style.

When the pumpkin lands, it explodes and everyone cheers.  Add some beer and maybe a little whiskey and you’ve got yourself hours of entertainment.

before

after

The pumpkins then stay in the field and rot, which enriches the soil for next year’s crops.  So it’s basically like really violent fertilizer.

All day, there were half a dozen dogs, a bunch of kids, and more than fifty adults having an awesome time.

This was my niece Cadence’s first Punkin’ Chunkin’.  And while I’m not sure she knew exactly what was going on, she sure had a good time.

A family friend was painting faces all afternoon, and my mom was one of the first in line.

Of course, any time my family gets together, the biggest star of the day is the food.  My mom made a fruit crisp with cherries from her cherry tree that she had canned as pie filling.

I contributed to the feast with homemade pumpkin and black bean chili (I got the recipe here), and some very alcoholic chocolate bourbon balls (I’ll post the recipe soon).  I didn’t get a chance to photograph them, because as soon as the food went out it was every man for himself.

Another tradition is that, periodically throughout the day, the trebuchet breaks.  Nothing serious usually, but that doesn’t prevent a whole bunch of dudes gathering around and staring at the one or two people actually fixing it.  Welcome to the South, y’all.

The evening ended with a bonfire behind Steve’s barn.  A couple of people brought musical instruments, and there was an impromptu bluegrass jam session (complete with a bluegrass version of “I Wanna Be Sedated” — it was surprisingly good).

It was pretty much a perfect fall day.  The party planner in me had to take a day off and not try to stick a decoration on anything that wasn’t moving.  It was kind of nice to just relax and enjoy the party.

Side note:  I’m sure you have noticed the moving GIFs in this post.  Making GIFs is completely new to me, so don’t judge me too harshly.  But I can say that it was so fun making them, that I’m sure you’ll see more from me in the future.  Anyway,  I’m going to leave you with one of Jason and me trying to get a nice portrait together.  Sigh, we can never have anything nice.

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Halloween Party Luminaries – Free Printable

I’m actually not throwing a Halloween party. Every year, I say I’m going to throw a party, then every year something keeps me from doing it. This year, a couple of friends of mine are actually having a party that promises to be way more epic than anything I could throw together. Maybe next year?

So I basically designed this project for my imaginary party. But hey, are you throwing a party? Because if you are, I’d be thrilled if you used this idea.

I’m not actually going to do a step by step tutorial for this project, since it’s kind of a no-brainer. (Does that count as a pun?)

Basically, all you need to do is cut along the dotted lines on the printable, and glue or tape each insert into a 3-3/4″ square hole in a standard paper lunch bag. Well, my bags measure 5-1/8″ x 3-1/8″ x 10-5/8″, so I’m assuming that that’s a standard size. Anyway, place each square hole 1-3/4″ from the bottom of the bag. You want the placement to be pretty low so you get a lot of flicker behind the insert.

I used calligraphy paper to print my inserts onto, but any light colored paper would work. I bet this would be really cool printed on vellum. If you try that, please let me know how it comes out.

The last step is to put a little sand or rocks in the bottom of each bag, and add a candle. I used battery operated candles so I didn’t have to worry about them burning my house down. Obviously, if you’re using real flame candles, you don’t want to close the top of each bag. And if you burn your house down, don’t blame me.

OK, so here’s the printable. I really hope you enjoy, and have an awesome Halloween!

Click the Image Below to Download the Free Printable

Click the image to download

P.S. I’m sure you’ve figured this out, because you’re so smart, but you can use this printable for lots of things. Make the bags and use them as goodie bags, or paint the bags bright colors and use them to decorate a Dia de los Muertos altar. Use your imagination! Oh, and if you want to share this printable, please credit me. Thanks and Happy Halloween!

Special thanks to http://falln-brushes.deviantart.com for use of the amazing smoke brushes!

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Boozy Popsicle Party

I bet you thought I was kidding with my Booze and Popsicles Party invitations a couple of weeks ago.  Well, not only did I throw a boozy popsicle party, but it was a total hit.  Who knew that so many people liked their libations in frozen form?   Here are some of the highlights from the party.

First, the menu:

For those looking for a kick, there were Mimosa Popsicles, Sangria Popsicles, Lemongrass Pineapple Granita (with vodka), and Lemon Thyme Granita (with triple sec).  The milder offerings were Chili Cantaloupe Popsicles, Green Tea Avocado Popsicles, Rose Water Ice Cream, and Chocolate Walnut Brownies.  And to drink, we had Lavender Lemonade and Sweet Mint Tea.

Everything was good, but the popsicles were definitely the star of the show.  People especially loved the Mimosa Popsicles, and the Cantaloupe Chili Popsicles were my personal favorite.

I wanted to have some outdoor seating, so I strung up big oval paper lantern surrounded by some mason jar hanging lanterns and some teeny tiny hanging poufs that I cut out of honeycomb paper.  After a brief rain scare, the weather cleared for an awesome evening.

It was a big day for all of us, but Louis hung in there like a champ (with the exception of a nap or two).

All in all, it was a really fun party.  I am so excited to share recipes with you guys, so stay tuned!

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Maple Ginger Cookie Sandwiches

I almost called this post “How to Cheat at Dessert,” since that’s really what this recipe is all about.  A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I hosted a baby shower for his (very pregnant) sister.  At the last minute, I decided I needed another dessert besides the cupcakes I was making.  And the cookie frosting sandwich was born.

Now, I’m certainly not saying I invented putting frosting between two cookies, but I can’t remember ever seeing this before.  What’s important is that this technique really helped me out in a pinch.  And when, sooner or later, you need a last minute dessert, it just might save you as well.  Anyway, let’s get cooking frosting.

You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk (see notes at the end of this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 one pound bag ginger snaps (I like Murray’s, but any cheap ones will do)

1.  Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream together the fats.

2.  Sift in about 1/2 a cup of confectioner’s sugar, add a splash of milk, and beat to combine.  Repeat until all the sugar and milk have been incorporated (this should take less than five minutes).

3.  Add maple extract and beat until fluffy (about two more minutes).  If frosting looks a little too soft, beat in up to another 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

4.  Fit a pastry bag with a large star-shaped pastry tip and fill the bag with frosting.

5.  Place one cookie upside-down on a clean working surface, and pipe a circle of frosting close to the edge of the cookie.  Don’t worry about filling the circle in — there will be enough frosting without it.  Place another cookie right-side-up on the frosting, and press gently.

6.  Repeat until you run out of frosting or cookies (they should run out at roughly the same time).  Now place your cookies in the refrigerator.  For how long?  Well, that’s up to you.  If you have a couple of hours, that’s better.  That way the cookies will soften a little, making them slightly easier to eat.  But by all means, you can eat these right away.

Some notes about this project

  • Make sure you use cheap cookies.  Expensive, gourmet cookies somehow don’t work as well.  Neither do homemade cookies.  The cheaper the better for this project.  You could probably even use canned vanilla frosting with maple extract mixed in.  I haven’t tried it, but if you do, let me know if it worked.
  • My maple extract had a really dark brown color.  If yours doesn’t, throw a teaspoon or so of cocoa powder into your powdered sugar when mixing.  That’ll give your frosting a nice maple-y color.
  • It is imperative that you use a fancy piping tip for these cookies.  Otherwise, they’ll look rushed and sloppy.  Since this recipe is so simple, it’s worth getting out that pastry bag!  Oh, and I got my bag and tips from Bake it Pretty.  I would HIGHLY recommend this kit.  (Full disclosure:  I used to work for BIP, but I don’t any more.)
  • These cookies are a little messy to eat.  The longer they are refrigerated, the less messy they get.  If you want, you can even freeze them for an hour or so and serve them frozen or partially thawed.  What I’m saying is that this recipe is pretty versatile.
  • I don’t consume dairy, which is why this recipe calls for soy milk.  You can definitely also use almond milk, rice milk, or even canned coconut milk.  I’ve tried it with all of them, and they all work well.  If you want to use cow’s milk for this recipe, I’m not gonna stop you.

Those may or may not be the actual crumbs from an actual cookie sandwich I ate during this photo shoot.  They’re just so tiny and irresistible!

As always, if you make these, let me know how they turned out.  Or if you have questions about this recipe (or any other recipe or project you see here) let me know.

You can leave a comment on this blog post, email me at info@papertuesday.com, or find us on facebook or twitter.  I’d love to hear from you!

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