The Joy in Jolley

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Super Bowl Chaos

Angela's Posts, Events, Recipes, TestimonialsCole ImperiComment

I remember when Super Bowls for me meant enjoying a beer with my husband/friends, making a variety of yummy appetizers and eagerly awaiting the half time show...last night I did watch the Super Bowl but I was also making homemade play dough for my son's preschool, eating a Digiorno pizza and dvr'ing the half time show to watch after wrestling my toddler to bed! Life sure has changed but I love the crazy chaos. I am sharing the play dough recipe I used with you all to make for your kiddos. This was SUPER easy and although I was hesitant at first because I just didn't see the play dough forming...after about 7-9 minutes on low heat it really did come together and my son and I enjoyed making a variety of colors.

best-playdough-recipe-ever

If you were lucky enough to host a party with your friends here was a fantastic food idea that I shared on my Facebook page earlier last week. I love this because it is perfect for any fall/winter party and very easy to throw together, it even includes some great printable labels! Courtesy of: Celebrations at Home Blog

Photo courtesy of: Celebrations At Home

 

Local Cincinnati Craft Brews

Featured, TestimonialsCole ImperiComment

When I think of March I think of St. Patrick's Day, warmer weather and basketball...all of which are better enjoyed with an ice cold beer. Therefore, when I think of March I also think of beer! There is no better person to talk beer with than my husband, Adam...he has transformed me from a bud light only girl to a real craft beer lover!
 
Here is what he has to say about beer, mainly local Cincinnati beer:
 
Cincinnati local beer
 

Being Mr. Dulce Designs has always had its perks.  Our basement is a candy amusement park with color-coded chocolates, a zoo-like assortment of gummy animals, and spools of ribbon as far as the eye can see.  My wife has a real passion in working with brides and event planners and providing a truly fun resort from their otherwise hectic events.  When she asked me what I could offer in lines of a passionate guest blog, my ideas rattled off like an immature Instagram recount of the bachelor party to one of her weddings.  Beers, bourbon, and baseball.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve collected over 30 bottles of bourbon.  Through travel and my previous occupation, I’ve counted nearly 600 baseball games I have attended.  But my true passion is beer.  It’s really one of the most universal conversation starters and maintainers we have in this world.  Beer isn’t just a beverage; it’s a memory as consistent as any “first”.  People ask me “what’s the best beer you’ve ever had,” and I never really have a solid answer.  The story always goes to Bell’s Hopslam because I remember drinking two (and it feeling like 10) the first Opening Day Reds game I attended with my dad.  Or Founder’s Centennial because it was the first beer I bought to impress a girl at a “Thirsty Thursday” in college.  I drank a Stone Cali-Belgique the day my son was born.  My wedding night was celebrated with Abita Pecan Harvest.

Its this glamorization of memories that’s softened my stance as a beer supremacists over the past few years.  For years I turned my nose on the Bud Light crowd for their notion that quantity and costs seemingly outweighed the importance of beer taste.  Then I remember the first time I mowed the lawn of a house I owned.  It must have been 120 degrees outside in your typical swampy Cincinnati summer.  The only drink cold in our fridge was a can of Coors Light that had been shuffling around our crisper in the fridge.  But sitting on MY back porch, looking at MY perfectly lined green carpet, that swill from Golden, Colorado rivaled anything the geniuses from Kalamazoo or San Diego could ever brew.

Still, if you’re willing to take a step away from your local gas station beer selection, Cincinnati is a bustling brew city.  Over the past 18 months new breweries have made good beer more accessible and less costly in the I-275 circle.  Take Rhinegiest, the old lamp factory with west-coast brewers who make simple and consistent beers.  Or Madtree and the amazing creativity that a few home-brewers have used to become Ohio’s first canned beer.  Christian Moerlein, Rivertown, Mt. Carmel, Bad Tom, Cellar Dweller, Triple Digit, and Blank Slate are just a few of the other breweries that have popped up in town at local bars and their own tap rooms.

So while “good beer” is still a subjective term that depends on your current attitude situation, I’ve compiled my top 10 local beers with a brief description.  Hopefully you can find one of the below to put the exclamation point in one of your own memories.

·         Blank Slate – Fork in the Road : An amber IPA that hits malty and hoppy.  I’m fascinated with how smooth it starts and how crisp it cuts off its flavor

·         Rhinegiest – Truth IPA:  The best IPA in the city is available in cans

·         Madtree – Happy Amber: Another amber IPA available in cans

·         Madtree – Sprye: a rye IPA that finishes long after an initial IPA pine

·         Madtree -  Curse of Simcoe:  I’m heavy on Madtree eh?  This is seasonal but feature simcoe hops which probably is my favorite type consistently

·         West 6th - Lemongrass Wheat:  Local can be Lexington right?  For the lighter crowd, this would be fantastic at GABP during a meaningless June Sunday afternoon

·         Christian Moerlein -  Emanicpator :  won the silver medal among bock style beers in the US this year

·         Triple Digit - Chickow : brown, syrupy, warmth on a chilly day

·         Rhinegiest – Cougar:  A great gateway beer for those loyal to Budweiser or pretentious enough to think Stella Artois is a good beer

·         Madtree – Pumpcan:  I’m in the 3% of Americans that hate pumpkin pie.  Refuse to drink pumpkin spice lattes (although this also could be because I’M A MAN).  But this is amazing.

Beer flight

Coconut-Chocolate Pecan Pie

Angela's Posts, Featured, Recipes, Testimonials, UncategorizedCole ImperiComment

So every year for Thanksgiving I am responsible for the desserts, big surprise there!! The funny thing is I am not a baker unless you count things from a box or no bake pudding pies. So I usually always order the desserts from a great local bakery, this year we had yummy bite sized desserts from Sweet Petite Desserts and they were nothing short of amazing. In addition to these desserts I found a recipe in my Family circle magazine that I just had to try and it looked easy enough for me not to mess up.  It was for coconut-chocolate pecan pie, which are all of my dad's and husband's favorite ingredients. This was my very first pie, I do not count the pudding pies because there is no baking involved...but they are equally as awesome, so much so that I'll have to do another whole blog post on just those!! Anyway, the pie turned out PERFECT and I was so proud of myself...although I do feel bad for my family because they will be getting this for every holiday during the next year. Here is the recipe that I am sure you all will love, courtesy of familycircle.com!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sweetened flake coconut, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (from a 15.5-oz pkg)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool.

2. Meanwhile, coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Roll pie crust slightly and fit into prepared dish, fluting edge.

3. In a bowl, whisk corn syrup, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in pecans. Spread coconut into pie crust; top with chocolate chips. Carefully pour pecan mixture into crust.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, covering crust with foil if browning too quickly. Cool at least 2 hours, then refrigerate until serving. Garnish with whipped cream and toasted coconut, if desired.

Minimally Grand Package Review

Angela's Posts, Testimonials, WeddingsCole ImperiComment
Dulce Designs

You may remember in February when I first created and posted about our newest DIY package, if not check it out here. Well, we were super excited to book our first wedding with this package to take place this past June. This worked out perfectly because I was still on maternity leave so I was able to still purchase some decor and stay busy with Dulce without stressing myself out with a large wedding to prepare for. My bride for this wedding, Lauren, was amazing to work with and incredibly sweet!! The result was fabulous and I cannot wait to book more DIY packages in the future. Here is what Lauren had to say about her experience with Dulce Designs and also some photos she took and was kind enough to send me of the candy buffet she created with my decor and supplies.

"Angela is fabulous! She worked with me to develop a unique package where I was able to rent her jars and scoops for a small fee and then I bought my own candy and assembled the buffet. Angela even gave me ribbons and bows to match my colors as well as using Disney font for the candy labels to go with our Disney theme. She was extremely flexible and sweet whenever we talked, and it is obvious that she loves what she does. I would highly recommend Angela at Dulce Designs for a candy buffet!"

Dulce Designs

Dulce Designs

Thanks again Lauren, I wish you and your new husband all the happiness in the world!!

For more information on renting some of our supplies and decor with our Minimally Grand package contact us today, it is a perfect addition to any event!

Chocolate and Chick-lit

Angela's Posts, TestimonialsCole ImperiComment
sushi for beginners

Before I start my new weekly posts there are two things I must admit- 1) I am biased when it comes to candy and tend to choose chewy or sour candy over chocolate 2) My favorite authors are Emily Giffin and Sophie Kinsella and I compare a lot of my books to these, since in my opinion, they are 5 star authors! This past week I finished reading the book, Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes. I am typically a pretty quick book reader, especially since my dear husband bought me a kindle, but I had a hard time getting through this book.  This particular novel went from slow to slower in my opinion. It is the story of three women and their journey to find love and happiness in life. It shows one finding love that was always right in front of her, another finding happiness after learning to love and appreciate yourself first, and the last learning a tough lesson when it comes to love and friendship. So the overall storyline was a good one it was just WAY too long and took place in Ireland thus making some of the details harder for me to understand. It barely talks about sushi but it does reference how wonderful American candy is…which I have to agree! I also have to admit that I found some of the characters rather annoying while at the same time really liking a few others that were not in the book enough.

This is a great beach or airport read but other than that I think I would pass on this particular book…I am not giving up on this author though, I have heard she is amazing!

The “chocolate” I tried this week that was new to me and one that I must share with others was: diet soda cupcakes. I know that this sounds absurd…but I promise they are amazing and very low in calories! For those of you familiar with Weight Watchers they are 4 points for one cupcake.  You can do any combination of cake mix and diet soda for different flavors. I chose to do a chocolate cake mix with a diet cherry soda (my husband’s favorite) and the result was YUMMY!! I don’t think I will ever bake a cake/cupcakes the old way again. I added a little whip cream to the top in place of frosting and it was a total success.

See below for recipe courtesy of ehow.com:

Things You'll Need-

  • 1 box traditional cake mix
  • 1 can diet soda
  1. Obtain your cake mix and diet soda. Use a traditional cake mix that requires eggs, oil, etc. on the box - pudding cake mixes, brownie mixes, and angel food mixes generally do not work. Choose a 'light' colored soda for white and yellow cake, and a 'dark' soda for chocolate or devil's food cake.
  2. Combine the box of cake mix with the can of diet soda in a medium mixing bowl. If desired, add sprinkles or miniature chocolate candies to make confetti cake - yum! You can color a light colored cake with a bit of colored sugar or food coloring as well. Mix well to make your cake batter.
  3. You may now follow the baking directions on the box - this will make two layers, or twenty-four cupcakes. Otherwise, use the following baking guidelines: 24 cupcakes: 18-21 minutes at 350 degrees 2 9-inch layers: 28-31 minutes at 350 degrees 2 8-inch layers: 33-36 minutes at 350 degrees 1 13x9 pan: 32-35 minutes at 350 degrees

    Make sure to switch the positions of the pans in the oven, halfway through baking!

  4. Allow to cool in pans for about a half hour before you frost or try to eat your cake. You can enjoy this cake as is - it's far more moist than normal cake. Topping ideas: fat-free whipped topping, strawberry or fruit preserves, honey, marshmallow fluff

Chick-lit Reading List

Angela's Posts, Testimonials, UncategorizedCole Imperi2 Comments
chic-lit

Another one of my great loves is reading! I love to settle in with a good book and read for hours on end. My favorite type of books are quick witted romantic comedies...I used to call them bubble gum pop love stories, until I found out the proper name for them, chick-lit. It all started with the recommendation that I read a Sophie Kinsella book, then after reading all of her books I moved onto Emily Giffin (my favorite thus far) and I was then stuck on all books chick-lit. I have dabbled with a few other authors like Lauren Weisberger and Candice Bushnell, but in my personal opinion while these books are good I do not LOVE these books as I do the other two authors.  I have since been looking for other similar authors to read and just yesterday I came across this article from TresSugar.com...see below: 

Chick lit gets a bad rap, but we don't think it's a waste of a genre. Breezy and smart need not be mutually exclusive, so we asked you for your favorite chick-lit novels that are as intelligent as they are fun.

Here's 20 books to watch for when you want a read that's light but not empty.

 

  1. Can You Keep a Secretby Sophie Kinsella
  2. Something Borrowedby Emily Giffin
  3. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  4. Smart Girls Like Meby Diane Vadino
  5. Sushi For Beginnersby Marian Keyes
  6. Twenties Girlby Sophie Kinsella
  7. My Best Friend's Girlby Dorothy Koomson
  8. Pink Slipby Rita Ciresi
  9. Trading Up by Candace Bushnell
  10. The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank

Get the other 10 below.

  1. Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell
  2. The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne
  3. The Godmother by Carrie Adams
  4. Something Blueby Emily Giffin
  5. Last Chance Saloonby Marian Keyes
  6. The Lace Makers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri
  7. My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great by Dixie Cash
  8. Sweet Dreams at the Goodnight Motelby Curtis Ann Matlock
  9. Four Blondes by Candace Bushnell
  10. The Pactby Jodi Picoult

So in between designing candy buffets for upcoming events I am going to attempt to read my way through this list, I will keep everyone updated with my thoughts after each one. Keep in mind I have already read all the Sophie Kinsella, Lauren Weisberger, Candice Bushnell and Emily Giffin books so I will not blog about those, but if you have any questions or comments about them I would love to chat about it.  Or if you have any other recommendations that are not on this list let me know. 

Just last night I started reading Sushi for Beginners...so far it is a quick witted funny book that takes place in Ireland. I will keep you posted on my review!