Saturday, October 22, 2011

Diwali Inspirations

Ever year I plan on planning a really over-the-top Diwali celebration for our family, but every year Diwali creeps up on me (with so many other things going on during the Fall) and I run out of time to plan! :-)

So, this weekend, I'm going to be scrambling to pull things together. Here's what is inspiring me this year:

I found a FABULOUS new shop on Etsy. It's called Nirman and it's run by two sisters, Manisha and Priya, from the New York area. They have created a great alternative to traditional rangolis (usually made with colored powder and flour), using bright beads and crystals. These rangolis come pre-made, backed on clear plastic. So now you can use rangolis to decorate your home, even if you don't have an outdoor space! The other great thing about these rangolis is that they can be used over and over. I've ordered one for my house and can't wait for it to get here!! :-)

Check out these mini rangoli patterns made around small tealight candles, by RangDecor. Archana uses small metal stencil boxes that you find in India to create these rangolis by sifting/stamping a fine powder through the stencils. Another way to achieve this look would be to use chalk on a surface painted with chalk board paint or even black paper. 

I love these "kolam" patterns made on small pebbles, also from RangDecor. There's something very cathartic about the idea of "painting your prayers". 

Another Etsy find: I love these gorgeous diyas by turquioseme. Thank goodness for Etsy, without which it might be difficult to find diyas of this quality and beauty outside India! :-)

Indian sweets (meethai) are a staple of Diwali--talk about easy inspiration for a dessert table! For a fabulous ethnic-inspired dessert table, we needn't look much farther than the blog of my dear friend, Bird of Bird's Party. Since starting this blog, I have seen so many dessert tables; but, I have to admit, I'm still totally in awe of Bird's Bollywood Bling dessert table! I simply LOVE it. 

But I have a confession to make--I don't really like Indian sweets! He he! ;-)

So for those of us with an Indian heritage (but not an Indian palate), here are some yummy, Indian-inspired, western, sweet treats!

Chocolate diyas from TwoDotts. I think these would make great cupcake toppers too!

Diya-shaped cookies from Anjalis Designer Cookies

And how fabulous are these rangoli-inspired cookies from DessArts?!?!?!?! These really look too good to eat! 

For other ideas, see last year's Diwali Inspiration, Diwali recap and our Bollywood Karaoke Party

Happy Diwali and Sal Mubarak! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tapas or Treats: Halloween appetizer table

I was thrilled when my dear friend, Bird (from Bird's Party), asked me to use her printables to style a Halloween table for her Fall e-zine. I wanted to do something a little different (and after the Spiderman party I was feeling really sugared out!), so I decided to put together a savory, appetizer buffet. My aim was to make small "tapas" style plates that looked like treats! Although the dishes were not true "tapas" dishes, I liked the play on words of "Tapas or Treats". You can see the feature in the Fall e-zine here.

Here's what was on the menu, if you want to re-create this table, using Bird's printables:

"Spider web" guacamole and chips.
This is so simple to make--just top the guacamole with a spider and a sour cream "web" piped on using a piping bag (or even a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off).

"Swamp dip" (aka spinach dip), served with toasted spider bread. 
Cut the bread into spider shapes using a cookie cutter. Serve the dip in tiny "tasting" cups, to keep with the tapas feel.

Goat cheese and poppy seed "bats". 
Mix crumbled goat cheese with cream cheese; roll into bite size balls and coat with poppy seeds; use olives for eyes and blue corn tortilla chips for wings.

"Deviled" eyeballs.
Make deviled eggs per your favorite recipe, garnish with hot sauce "blood" and olives.

"Jack O Lantern" naval orange and pumpkin seed salad.
After scooping out the inside of the oranges, "carve" faces into them like pumpkins. Fill with a mixed greens salad, tossed with the leftover orange pulp and  toasted pumpkin seeds.

"Blood" orange martinis.
Make the martini with vodka, triple sec and orange juice (or use St. Germaine instead of Triple Sec for an interesting twist); drop candy corn  into the glasses and rim with paper bats from the printables collection. The candy corn will bleed a little (no pun intended), creating a nice effect.

I used the paper printables to complete the look.

To make a "pumpkin pom" simple attach a face to a tissue paper pom pom. 

For many other great uses for the printables collection, see Bird's fall E-zine

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...