Dec 14, 2010

Christmas Baking Gifts

Christmas Baking Gifts in a decorated tin
Christmas Baking Time is upon us already. So don your apron and get baking! Have a look at some of the amazing goodies Sue (sis) baked this weekend.

Christmas Cookies
Christmas gift plate
Christmas Biscotti, Run Balls and Christmas Cookies
Christmas Tins full of home baked goodies

Goodies to pack ready for our Hampers.

Dec 8, 2010

Fortune Meringue Message Cones

Fortune Meringue Message Cones Image Sourced from  The Hostess with the Mostess Blog
These Fortune Meringue Message Cones are a fantastic addition to any Garden Tea Party, Girl's birthday celebration, Kitchen Tea, Mad Hatters Tea Party, Dessert name the will impress suitably!

Better Homes and Gardens have full instructions on how easy these are to make yourself.

For the younger party guests, you could fill the sugar cones with mini M&M's, candy or small trinket. I've tried filling my cones with flavoured lip gloss which was a smash hit with the 10 year old girls.

These are so simple to won't be disappointed. Embrace your inner party goddess!!!

Dec 7, 2010

Christmas Minute to Win It Games

Christmas Minute to Win it Sourced: Facebook Minute to Win it

Minute to Win it Games are a fantastic addition to your Christmas Party, so don't forget to watch NBC tonight and take notes! NBC is airing an exciting Holiday Special Event Premiere of Minute to Win it Tuesday, December 7, 14 and 21 (8-9 p.m. ET), 2010.

Here is a brief look at games you could include at your Christmas Party function.  Ensure everyone is split into pairs to compete, as most games require teamwork. Have a points scoring system (this could simply be a whiteboard or if you want to really get into the Christmas spirit - award mini candy canes which are placed into team jars). Also remember that wind is an unwelcome guest when playing Minute to Win it games so choose an indoor venue as this works best.

Images sourced from: Lewis Jacobs NBC Hollywood
Deer Nose Dive
This game is similar to the Nose Dive Game.
Required items:
Vaseline (Petroleum jelly)
Red ribbon cut to length approx 40cm. Red craft pom pom (medium size) stuck on end of ribbon.
Antler Ears

Each contestant, once timer has started, must dip his/her nose into the Vaseline.
Contestant may only apply Vaseline to nose by dipping nose in Vaseline.
Contestant must swing the ribbon/red nose and successfully land "stick" the red nose on his/her nose.
Contestant must land the red pom pom onto the nose without coming into contact with any other body part or object.
If a player touches the red pom pom with the hands they will be disqualified.
Contestants may not touch their face with their hands or any other body part.

To complete the game, contestant must successfully land five red nose pom pom onto their nose as described above, within the 60-second time limit. 

Cookie Face Off Sourced from: Video TV Guide

Face the Gingerbread Man
This is played in the same manner as Face the Cookie - just simply use a Gingerbread Man cookie.
Wreath Madness
Required Items
Obstacles: Christmas Tree, bucket of baubles, Candles/Matches
Players must place a Christmas Wreath on their head and successfully walk around various Christmas obstacles (this could be Christmas Tree, pick up Christmas baubles from the floor, light a Christmas Candle...use your imagination). This must be completed within the 60 second time limit. Should the Wreath fall on the floor, the Contestant is unsuccessful. Contestants will be disqualified should they touch the wreath with their hands.

Holiday Kiss Image Sourced from: Videotvguide
Holiday Kiss
Required Items:
String length at least 2mtrs wide hung securely from 2 poles
Table with five large red baubles with bauble wire securely attached to the top of the baubles (located 2mtrs away from string line)

Two Contestants must successfully "pick up" the Christmas bauble by kissing from opposite sides of the ball and transferring it to the string line 2mtrs away.
Should the ball drop, contestants will be unsuccessful at the Holiday Kiss Challenge.
Contestants who successfully hang the five balls on the string win.
A time allocation of 60 seconds will apply.
Contestants must not use any part of their body to support the ball other than with their lips.

Merry Fishmas
Players must use Candy Canes as fishing hooks and hook four candy canes on top of each other. Think Barrel of Monkeys.
Required items:
Santa Hat
30cm plastic pole (think the thickness of say a straw) with a hook on the end
15 cm candy cane which is hung from the bottom of the candy cane (ie; upside down) and securely attached to the end of the pole by fishing line.
4 small candy canes

Jingle Box
This game is played in the same manner as Junk in the Trunk
A player must shake all ping pong balls out of a tissue box that is strapped to the back of their waist. Make the box look decidedly "christmassy" and substitute ping pong balls with plastic Christmas baubles and decorate the box with red Christmas paper.

Christmas Jingle Contestants have to arrange eight drinking glasses filled at different levels of water inside the glass in an order that plays the notes of the song “Jingle Bells” when tapping on the glass with a spoon.

Christmas Bite
This game is played in the same manner as Bite Me

Required Items:
5 Christmas Gift bags of various sizes


Prior to game start, contestant must be in designated start zone with hands at sides.

Once game begins, contestant may use only their mouth to grab, transport and manoeuvre the bags.

Contestant must first place the 25cm, then 20cm, then 15cm, then 10cm, then 5cm bags onto the five podiums.

The contestant may only touch the ground with his or her feet.

If a contestant touches the ground with some body part other than the feet while attempting to grab a bag, he or she must reset by standing up before making another attempt at the bag.

If a player has a bag in the mouth while making an illegal touch, he or she must immediately put it back on the floor with the open end up before making another attempt.

Player may not use the podiums or any other item for balance.

If a bag falls off a podium, it must be reset in the manner described above to complete the challenge.

To complete the game, the contestant must have all five bags concurrently on the five podiums within the 60-second time limit.

Other games to be shown on the Christmas Win to Win It Holiday special include: Christmas in the Balance (maybe this is Stack Attack or Candelier ), Snowball Flight, Deck the Balls, Lolly Pop and more.

Christmas Ball Conveyor
Required Items
5mtr length green ribbon
Bowl full of tree ornaments (baubles plastic with hangers attached firmly)
2 players

Two players spinning in place, transfer tree ornaments using a ribbon looped around their waist. They must transfer via the "conveyor belt" two baubles and place on the tree. Minute to Win It Full instructions can be found at Minute to Win It

Marshmallow Toss
Required Items
One wreath,
Large Bag of marshmallows
One bucket for each player.
Have one person hold the wreath to their side and place the bucket behind the wreath. Players will have one minute to throw marshmallows through the wreath into the bucket. The player with the most marshmallows in the bucket after one minute is the winner!

Wreath Relay
Required Items
2 players
1 wreath (large)
Teammates transfer a wreath using only their bodies from shoulders up from 1 point to another location (Holiday special used a lamp post - I'd use a table)
Full instructions for Wreath Relay

Whipped Cream Tannenbaum
Required Items:
paper plate per player
3 cans of whipped cream per player.
Each player has one minute to spray the whipped cream on the paper plate in the shape of a Christmas tree. The player with the tallest Christmas tree after one minute wins.

Christmas Ball
Required Items
Gift box lid (medium size)
Tree bauble (plastic)
Target area outline

A player must move a tree ornament across the floor and into a target area by fanning the ornament using only the lid of a gift box
Full instructions for Christmas Ball

Do you hear what I hear?
Required items
7 gift boxes of various sizes containing bells varying from 5 bells per box to 35 bells
Table for boxes to be placed upon
2 players
Players must place boxes with different quantities of jingle bells inside in the correct order.
Full instructions for Do you hear what I hear?

Napkin Ring Ornament Madness
Required Items
5 to 10 large napkin rings in a basket/tray
an unsharpened pencil or chopstick for each player.
Set the basket on a table or the floor, a few feet away from a Christmas tree. (A small artificial tree works well.) Players must use the unsharpened pencil or chopstick to pick up a napkin ring, carry it to the tree, and slide the napkin ring “ornament” onto the tree. The player who gets the most napkin rings on the tree in one minute wins!

Christmas Cliffhanger
Required items
12 Christmas Cards placed upright (landscape design)
1 player
Blow standing Christmas cards across a table and get one to hang over the edge.
Full instructions for Christmas Cliffhanger

Raise your Glass
Required items
15 plastic martini glasses
1 table
1 bucket full of small Christmas baubles
1 player

Player must stack three levels of glasses with tree ornaments plus one empty glass on top (four storey tower).
Full instructions for Raise your Glass

Snowball Fight
Required Items
White paper for each player or team.
Place a dividing line in the middle of the room. Players or teams will need to wad up the white paper and have a snowball fight. The player or team who has the least number of “snowballs” on their side after one minute is the winner.


Dec 6, 2010

Junior MasterChef Party - with a crafty twist!

Junior MasterChef Cupcake Design Comp entry
Junior MasterChef has been a huge hit with kids of all ages. In response to our recent popular posting Kids Masterchef Party, we have thrown another party - this time with a crafty twist! This Junior Masterchef party plan works like magic and was a hit this weekend with the girls.

All girls received upon arrival their very own designer Hip Hostess Apron

Hip Hostess designer aprons...lovely
As a warm up activity we designed Candy Kebabs. These are simple to assemble with colourful lollies, strap, snakes, marshmallows onto a bamboo skewer. Party Tip: Spray the stick with Canola Oil to ensure lollies feed thru easily.

Candy Kebabs were placed in a plastic bag decorated with ribbon bow

Candy Kebab design station
Hold the skewer horizontally so not to skewer yourself!
Next we prepared Chocolate Mousse. This activity illustrated measuring skills, melting chocolate, whipping cream and folding ingredients. The end result was enjoyed by all the girls at the party table.

Vanilla Cupcake Baking was next on our Junior Masterchef party plan. Girls followed the Vanilla Cupcake recipe instructions working together and delegating key tasks: sifting, measuring, mixing using the Kitchen Aid, spooning into the cupcake wrappers.

 An essential party of any party plan is in fact, the planning ahead. We had pre-prepared a batch of cupcakes ready for the cupcake decorating challenge. The cupcake decorating activity Ranked Number 1 for the girls at this party. Girls could choose from an array of various fondant cupcake toppers, coloured dream whip icing, coloured shredded coconut, M&M's, lollies, mini marshmallows, silver cashells etc.. The key was to have a large choice, so the cupcake designs were original and varied.
Cupcake design competition entries
Lady Bird Cupcake
Decorating two cupcakes - one for judging, one to take home
Take home plastic cupcake containers
Matt Moran's cupcake design....a bit busy...
Was this the winning entry?
Cowboy Cookies in a Jar was our next challenge. Full details and photos can be found at our Cookies in a Jar post.

Cookies in a Jar

Finally it was time to sit at our designer table setting. We chose an Oriental theme with purple, pink, gold and turquoise blue hues.
Party Table Centrepiece
Oriental material covering canvas frames served as simple table features
Girls enjoyed home made beef hamburgers, whilst playing Celebrity Head and the special Potato Chip Taste Test.
Potato Chip Taste Test
 We had such a great time with a FANTASTIC group of girls. Well done girls!

Cowboy Cookies in a Jar - the perfect gift this Christmas!

Cowboy Cookies in a Jar
Looking for the perfect DIY gift the kids can make this Christmas? Look no further than our fantastic Cowboy Cookies in a jar. Simply measure the dry ingredients and layer for a fabulous effect in a one litre jar. Your lucky jar recipient just adds butter, an egg and a teaspoon of vanilla to the dry ingredients to make the cookies.

We road tested the Cowboy Cookies in a Jar recipe as an activity at our Junior Masterchef party this week. The first step is to measure and layer the ingredients.

Measuring the cranberries
Carefully measuring the brown sugar...
We tweaked the recipe for the Cowboy Cookies ingredients which reads as follows:

In a one litre jar, layer ingredients in the following order:
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cranberries (dried)
  • 1 1/3 cups flour (which has 1 tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp bi-carb soda sifted through it)
Press each layer firmly in place before adding the next layer.

The girls loved the next step of decorating their jar with a label, ribbon and the cookie baking instructions.
Matt Moran observing the Cookie in a jar decorating station
Adding the ribbon and finishing touches to the jar
Instructions on how to bake the Cowboy Cookies reads:

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (347 F)

Line cookie trays with baking paper

In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 egg and 1 tsp of vanilla.

Stir in the entire contents of the jar. You may need to use your hands to finish mixing.

Shape into walnut sized balls. Place 5cm apart on prepared cookie trays.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes in the oven.

Transfer from cookie trays to cool on wire racks.

Cowboy Cookies with white chocolate and cranberries...yum!