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Video: Pull off a last-minute party with style

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    >> scheme of blus and purposinblues and purples and got branches from the backyard and added twinkle lights from christmas and added ornaments from the tree but in blues in different colors. we got rid of the red and green a little while.

    >> anything tiffany blue is different.

    >> you're watching today. you dressed for the party.

    >> i love what you did with the detail around the glasses there.

    >> thank you. i'm going to show you how to make that but have to point out the place cards. we took corks and put a split in them and easy.

    >> yeah.

    >> we have really simple and festive place cards.

    >> looks great.

    >> we just took aqua ribbon and where the seam is we added embellishments from the craft store. it's a special finishing touch, right?

    >> just stick on there.

    >> tell me about the pedestal here.

    >> it always looks better on a buffet if you give a little bit of height. you have different heights all the time. we bought scrapbook paper to match our color scheme but you can use left over paper. we cut it to the shape of a vase and flipped it upside down. super easy and festive and matches your color scheme . for the candles, also very simple. it's a little bit of water. you can do this any time of year. we add in a drop of blue and i'm getting it all over my fingers. if you only do it halfway first and then you pour the rest of the water in, then it will stir all on its own.

    >> nice.

    >> is that a special kind of candle to float in there?

    >> a floating candle.

    >> there you go.

    >> amazing.

    >> easy.

    >> so this idea i love. for the end of the year, your wish list looking ahead a little bit.

    >> absolutely. there's a little wish box you can make. we hung them on the back of each of the chair. we spray painted them with the glitter paint and we stuck little letters on them with little adhesive dots. we hung them on the back of each chair and everyone can put their wishes or resolutions or whatever they have.

    >> exactly.

    >> and you reached your wishes.

    >> along with taking that home they can take home a bag of black eyed peas . in the south we think they bring prosperity so you can give them these on the 31st and they can make them the next day.

    >> this looks amazing. made with black eyed peas . we call it dixie caviar. how is it?

    >> delicious.

    >> it's good, right?

    >> we have a cheesecake bar here. so you can get them pick their own cheesecake. you can make it or you can buy store bought and add caramel sauce, chocolate sauce , cherry. a little nut medley.

    >> we're coming to new years

TODAY recipes
updated 12/26/2013 2:36:43 PM ET 2013-12-26T19:36:43

Recipe: Dixie caviar cups

Ingredients
  • 1 (15.8-oz.) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 medium-size plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium-size green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced*
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 30 Belgian endive leaves (about 3 bunches)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Preparation

1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal bag, and chill 24 hours; drain.

2. Spoon mixture into a bowl; stir in cilantro. Spoon about 1 rounded Tbsp. mixture into each endive leaf. Dollop with sour cream. *2 1/4 tsp. finely chopped pickled jalapeño peppers may be substituted.

Tips

For testing purposes only, we used Bush's Blackeye Peas.

Serving Size

Makes 15 appetizer servings

Recipe: Cheesecake bars with cherries jubilee sauce

Ingredients
  • Cheesecake bars
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Cherries jubilee sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 (12-oz.) packages frozen dark sweet cherries (do not thaw)
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • Garnish: orange zest
Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter; press into bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool completely on a wire rack (about 20 minutes).

3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Combine sugar and flour; gradually add to cream cheese, beating just until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over prepared crust, spreading to edges of pan.

4. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack (about 2 hours). Cover and chill 8 hours. Cut into bars. Serve with Cherries Jubilee Sauce.

Cherries Jubilee sauce
1. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a medium skillet; whisk in orange juice. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cherries, and, if desired, orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in brandy, and return to heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Cool slightly. Garnish, if desired.

Serving Size

Makes 2 dozen

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