Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Easter Grazing Board

Holidays come and go so quickly, don't they!!

Even though Easter was late in the spring, it
is sad to see it over with.  

We had a lovely family dinner, and all
the kids were able to be here.

 I am always looking for something different to do,
and I have loved making Chocolate Boards lately, 
so I decided to do an Easter Grazing Board for our feast.

The huge board in the background was made by my
son and his wife.  They gave it as a gift to my daughter
last year for Christmas, so I asked to borrow it.  I might 
also have hinted that I would like one of my own!!  It
is six feet in length and makes such a fun anchor for
the grazing board.

I gathered most of my MacKenzie-Childs Courtly 
Check for the feast, and that added an elegance to
the more rustic presentation on the board.

These fun chocolate eggs were found at 
Home Goods this year and they were 
the inspiration for the chocolate part of the 

Look at this beautiful pink marbled one.

Fruits and assorted chocolates filled 
the board. 

I decided to place the meats and cheeses 
on a separate board, to keep them away 
from the desserts.

The space between the boards was filled in with 
leaf lettuce.

The green and purple chocolate bunnies 
also came from Home Goods this year.

I chose buttery croissants and fresh bakery 
bagels for the sandwich bases.

Fresh fruit, chocolate, treats and breads, 
how could you go wrong - something for everyone!

The best part is seeing the reaction of the adults 
when they come in.  Truly, I got one of the best
reactions every from them on this feast!  

We were celebrating a DIL's and a SIL's 
birthday, so my daughter asked for 
Cheesecake Factory's Oreo Dream Cheesecake. 

We topped it with some Cadbury Eggs - our
personal favorite Easter Eggs!!

In addition I made Cadbury Egg Rice Krispie Treats,

Easter Churro Toffee (a spring version of 
Disneyland's Churro Toffee),

and candied pistachios.  My little 3 year old granddaughter 
just loves pistachios, so I thought these would be fun. 

My oldest daughter made these Strawberry Macarons. 
They were half gone by the time they got to our house!!! 
Her oldest daughter, who is 14, has been making 
them by herself, but she had cheer tryouts that day.

We had our celebration on Saturday, so the kids could 
go to their in-laws on Sunday.

The grocery store had these gorgeous 
hydrangeas colored in spring shades, so I 
just had to have them.  The ranunculus blossoms 
are from Trader Joe's. 

The bulbs literally opened for Easter,

and the flowering plum tree was perfect too.

We separate the egg hunt into babies, kids and adults, 
as we don't want injuries!!!

It is a mad race and over in less than a minute, 

then everyone gathers in the living room to 
open their eggs.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter too.
Thanks for visiting to see our Easter 
Grazing Board, of course this would work 
for any time of year, and any occasion.

There is nothing like being able to gather 
together as a family.

I will be posting this with

Monday, April 15, 2019

Harry Potter Yule Ball

As you know, we have been crazy busy this
last month with Harry Potter activities for our
Young Single Adult Ward.  My husband is the
Bishop of the Ward and I have fun throwing
fabulous parties for them.

To end the month of house competitions, I
decided it shouldn't be just an awards ceremony,
but a Yule Ball.  Now asking these kids who
are age 18-30 to come to a ball, could be kind
of risky, but we knew that if we made it magical,
showed them how pretty it was going to be, fed them, 
and then turned the lights down they might dance!!!

I invested a little money in netting, sparkling
silver tablecloths and runners, and fairy lights,
but other than that, I used what I had.  

Our Ward cultural hall is smaller than most and
carpeted rather than a gym floor.  It also has the
advantage of having accordian walls that can make
the space smaller, so we closed off a third of the 
cultural hall.  Then we strung a wire across the back
accordian wall to hang the fabric and fairy lights from.

The tables were set with my white pinch pleat
tablecloths that I purchased for my daughter's
wedding six years ago.  The vases and votives were
ones that I glittered for a friend's wedding reception.

I purchased new silver glittered table runners.
Then I filled the vases with water beads, submersible
lights and white and silver naturals.

We had electric candles in vases leading up to the
front door of the church and hung netting curtains
at the front to make the entrance inviting.

A chalkboard sign directed them to the right
entrance door.  We had the ball music playing 
in the foyer as they entered.

As they entered the cultural hall, they saw the
final results for the competition in the bottles.  They
also were to put their names in the cup for a special
drawing at the end.

The star of the dessert table was the five tiered
chocolate fountain.  My daughter used to have a
chocolate fountain business where she supplied 
them for wedding receptions and events, but
that changed when everyone got small ones
that they purchased themselves.  I still get a 
thrill seeing a huge chocolate fountain.  

I also filled tall vases with the water beads
and placed two submersible lights in those.

Some of my metallic trees anchored the table ends.

I ordered a three-tiered cake from Sam's Club
(only $65 - such a steal) and then added a
Hogwart's seal that I printed on my edible
printer, surrounded by edible pearls.

I also created a Yule Ball Chocolate Board for 
the dessert table.

The dessert table was anchored on the other 
end with a candy selection and in the center
The Triwizard Cup (which I purchased recently
at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter).

My niece had given me a set of Harry Potter
Cookie Cutters from Williams Sonoma, and I
made shortbread cookies and dipped the bottoms 
in chocolate.  

Our final item on the dessert table was Golden Snitches
made by a member of the Relief Society Presidency.

On a side table we served sparkling apple cider
in plastic goblets from Dollar Tree.  I have used
and reused these a dozen times - I just throw them
in the dishwasher.

I came as Hermione with the side pony tail and pink 
ruffled skirt, and hubby came in his dress robes.

The invitation said, 
"Dress to impress!"  This was a ball, after all.

It wasn't required, but we had quite a few who 
dressed up.

Ravenclaw was the winning house with over 
15,000 points!  The closest competitor had 7,000 points.

It was a huge success and with the help of some of 
the Young Adults, we had the whole room transformed 
in about a total of two hours.

I will be posting this with

Water Beads (I used 1 lb)
Table Runners (I used 10)
(I used 3 but more would have been nice)
(I have had mine for years, but this is similar)

Monday, April 8, 2019

Harry Potter Cup Competition for Young Single Adults

This is our second Harry Potter competition for
the Young Single Adult Ward my husband is
the Bishop over.  We did another one a couple
of years ago, and you might remember it.

I transformed the cultural hall into the Great Hall
with each house having a table in their own color.
Electric candles and banners were hung over the
house tables.

We dragged all of our Harry Potter paraphernalia 
over to create the Great Hall.  Hubby is Dumbledore,
and I am Professor McGonagal.
I blew up a picture I had taken of
the podium at the Harry Potter Studios in
London to make the owl for the podium.

I borrowed some very cleverly made
spell books from a friend for some decor.
I have to make some for myself.

Everyone came in through a maze of hanging letters
in the entry of the building

to find Ollivander and to choose
their wands. 

 I had made 80 wands from two sizes of chopsticks
and hot glue and beads.  They were then spray painted
and placed in a foam block to dry.

Of course, if you are a Harry Potter fan, you know 
that you don't choose the wand, the wand chooses you, 
so I had them pick a number between 1-4, and then
a number between 1-15.  The first number determined
the drawer they would open in my little old desk,
and the second number was counted from right to left,
thus choosing the wand.

After being sorted by the Sorting Hat and
Professor McGonagal, they were led down
the hall by one of the professors or staff.
If they wore a costume from their house, they
were automatically sorted into that house.

This is our Bishopric, Ward Clerk and High Councilor
and their wives.  You might notice Ollivander, Professor Umbridge
(boo), Professor Trelawny, Hagrid and Snape.  They took turns
escorting the kids down the hall into the Great Hall.

The lights were turned low so that the candles
all glowed.

This year we were lucky enough to borrow
someone's slushy machines to have Frozen Butterbeer.

I have also made it using my ice cream freezer,
but this machine can produce a lot.  I really
would love one of these machines.

I had printed off stickers and placed them on
plastic mugs for the Butterbeer.

You could choose to top it with the cream or not.

The meal served was a breakfast of pancakes
and sausage (or bangers) and baked beans (very
authentic and served at the Three Broomsticks
with breakfast.)

The month proceeded as shown above while
we tried to make everything Harry Potter related
throughout the month.  

We had the ward over for egg rolls one night
after ward prayer.

Even the kitchen was decorated for that,

and house totals were shown in the jars. 
The jars kept reappearing with the levels
changing as the house points changed.

We made over 100 egg rolls.  The kids really loved this.

Once a month I serve a brunch to the Ward Council,
and I chose to try Toad in the Hole.

It is Yorkshire pudding or popover batter with
sausages baked in.  You could have it with
syrup or onion gravy.  I really loved the onion gravy.

Throughout the month the
Young Single Adults could log onto to a web site
set up by one of the kids with specifications
on how many points they could earn and for
what, and house totals.  This really encouraged
them to do a lot of service and activities.

Points were given for all kinds of activities,
focusing on service and getting to know one another.

The kids could log onto the site to get ideas and
then post their points and even pictures of 
some of the things they had done.

The most points were awarded for the Scavanger hunt,
because it was the most intensive, but each person could
earn 250 points for participating.

So you can see I and my alter ego, Professor
McGonagal have been very, very, very busy
this past month.  

Our closing ceremony was the Yule Ball,
which turned out so great, but I will
save that for another post.

Hope you or your group can use some of
these fun ideas.  This was so much fun for
the kids in the Young Single Adults Ward.

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