Category Archives: entertaining

Thanksgiving Cheese Ball

We woke up to a few inches of snow here…and our first snow day from school. Seems a bit early, no? I don’t remember ever having a snow day this early in the school year. Check out instagram to see Stella’s first walk in the snow….hilarious. I hope you had a fabulous weekend. I know that many of you are getting ready for the big turkey day….and I wanted to share one more great appetizer to serve up to your guest….Have a great Monday friends:)

Realizing that this is my 2nd cheese post within the last couple weeks….love me some cheese:) Cheese ball & holiday’s….it’s like peanut butter and jelly….bacon & eggs….mac & cheese…you get the point…. I used to love going to the mall during the holidays and seeing that big Hickory Farms kiosk…..guarantee sausage sample….It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Sausage and cheese….hellllooooo:) So in the spirit of the big day of turkey…I thought I would create a turkey shaped cheese ball. It is so fun to play with food:) You can obviously make this into any shape you desire…..go play….Thanksgiving cheese ball @cleverlyinspired (2)

I bought a box of kitchen gloves…and I use them all the time for recipes like this….getting cheese out of nails=not fun at all…..

 

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Combine everything except the bacon. Make a basic turkey head by shaping the body and then a small ball for the head. Roll the entire thing in bacon….wax paper makes for  quick cleanup:)

 

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I used 3 kinds of crackers to create a “feather” effect.

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Thanksgiving Cheese Ball
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 C shredded smoked gouda
  • 1 T chives
  • dash of tabasco
  • ⅓ C bacon chopped or bacon bits
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except bacon.
  2. Form into turkey head
  3. Roll in bacon (spread bacon on wax paper for easy clean up)
  4. When ready to serve, place crackers in "feather" shape and cheese in the center.

 

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You can make it ahead and then just place the crackers on before guest arrive:) Try not to say gobble gobble to much:) (recipe adapted from RachelRay)

xo

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

Rustic Thanksgiving Table & DIY candles

Talk about one-stop shopping! With Thanksgiving and holiday entertaining coming up, I wanted to create a beautiful yet simple DIY centerpiece with common household items. I think I succeeded! To make this tablescape, you’ll need just a few things from your local True Value hardware and grocery stores, but other than that it’s an inexpensive, rustic and easy table to put together. While I used an assortment of vegetables and candles, you could really use anything you wish. I think tablescapes can often be kind of intimidating because all we see is the end result, but I created a gif below to show you how I went about putting this one together and you’ll see building blocks is all it is…building one thing upon another. Here is how I created this rustic table…perfect for your fall entertaining :)

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For my table, I picked up a few cabbages, oranges, pomegranates, eggplant, squash, sweet potatoes and a 2 lb. bag of lima beans. Some good additions would be pumpkins, cranberries and apples. Of course you definitely need some mood lighting. I added candles of all shapes and sizes using votives, tapers and some DIY candles too.

 

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I cut a small round hole in the cabbage and oranges and scooped out some of the “guts” so that my votives would sit inside. Tearing off the outer layers of the cabbage makes a perfect little vessel for a votive candle. I think the key is just adding layers. Starting with a clean, wide open table, add in some inexpensive kraft paper, which you can find in the paint prep area of your local True Value. Add in some height with cake platters. Upside down vases also work great. Start with the biggest vegetable, working down to the smallest. For mine, I placed the squash than added the eggplant, cabbages, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, oranges and finished up by scattering the lima beans. I love the varied texture and colors that all the different vegetables bring together. (click on this picture below to see how I arranged from start to finish)

tablescape[4]

Start with a clean wide open table, add in some inexpensive craft paper, which you can find in the paint prep area at True Value. Add in some height with cake platters, or upside down vases also work great. Start with the biggest vegetable, working down to the smallest. For mine, I placed the squash than added the eggplant, cabbages, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, oranges and finished up by scattering the lima beans. I love the varied texture and colors that all the different vegetables have together.

 

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Mixing in some more elegant candlesticks against all the rustic tones makes it feel casual and thrown together but with purpose.

 

 

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These simple oil lamps make great use of different size jars (how-to below!). You just want to make sure that the washer fits on the top because that is what’s going to hold your wick. These wicks make great use of wine bottles also:) I like the fact that this tablescape is really no fuss; it could be used for a Thanksgiving buffet or a sit down dinner, and when you’re done you can use all your vegetables. Win win!

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To make these DIY oil candles, you will need:

· 3/8th inch size washers

· Cotton roping (I buy this cotton wick material online)

· Lamp thread kit (1/8th inch sold at True Value in the lamp repair area)

· Lamp nuts (1/8th nut)

· Clear lamp oil

· A bottle with an opening that is no wider than your washer. I found these vinegar glass jars at my local Dollar Tree, but a wine bottle also works.

 

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The bottles that I bought said “vinegar” on the side, so to hide the words on the side I used some kraft paper and double sided tape to wrap the bottles. Burlap ribbon would also be great! I would suggest that you take the washers with you when you’re looking for the glass bottle that you want to use.

*Caution* The wax rests on the top of the bottle, so always keep your eye on the candle and do not leave it unattended. You can read more about fire safety precautions here.

 

 

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The washer sits in between the two nuts and threads onto the lamp rod. The cotton wick goes up through the middle.What I love about these DIY candles is that they make use of an old bottle…plus you can make as many as you need! They are so pretty all lined up on a table.

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Putting together a casual rustic table is easier than you thought right?? So just add these things to your Thanksgiving list…and your shopping will be done!

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xo

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

Baked Cheese Appetizer (Easy Thanksgiving Snack)

Hey yall! We are in the beginnings of basketball season here! My buds is the manager of the freshman basketball team for his high school. He is so stinkin excited about it! We are thrilled he is meeting so many nice boys…and he loves being a part of the team. I am trying my darndest to get my holiday things organized. Figuring out where things go and what to decorate will be a challenge this year:) I am NOT one of those bloggers who has it all together and all the holiday stuff is out and looking fabulous:) As always….I blog in “real time”…I try to give you some things to work on ahead of time…like this recipe I am sharing today. It is a great one to have for Thanksgiving festivities….

Don’t you love a recipe that starts off with “3 ingredients”….it’s screaming “HEY YOU—seriously this is the easiest thing ever!!!” Make this for Thanksgiving….it will impress your guest…and it so easy you can have your 11 year old put it together. I made a couple for my party a few weeks back…and it is always gone.

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You can use any seasoning packet that you would like. I used dried onion soup and spinach garlic. Any of those dried dip mixes will work. If you need to make your own….here is a post I shared last year that would work perfectly.

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Baked Cheese Appetizer (Easy Thanksgiving Snack)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 1 packet of dried dip of your choice
  • 8 oz cream cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375
  2. Roll out 4 crescent rolls into a rectangle. I roll it out on wax paper to prevent sticking.
  3. Sprinkle half of the season packet on crescent
  4. Place cream cheese on rectangle.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining seasoning.
  6. Gently wrap the crescent on top of cream cheese.
  7. Place seam sides down on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes until browned.

 

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Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

DIY leather napkin holder with free thanksgiving printable

So my peanut is going to her first high school dance tonight:) She is very excited! She is going with a very nice boy….we are friends with his family–which gives some comfort to the whole situation. I’m sure I will share a pic on instagram if you want to pop over there later.

Here is an easy little napkin holder to make for your Thanksgiving table this year:) I hope you have a great weekend!!…..

Thanksgiving is probably one of the only times of year that people actually spend more than 2 seconds worrying about what their napkins look like. My friends at the LeatherHideStore.com sent me some gorgeous tortoiseshell leather and I thought it would make really pretty napkin ties.

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It doesn’t take a lot of leather to make these but they do add a lot of interest to the table paired with some inexpensive jute roping a nicely pressed white napkin and some favorite silver. I’m sure you aren’t using your white dinner napkins right now…so if you are hosting the big shin-dig this year…you might as well get a head start and make these up this weekend. They will be one less thing to worry about:)

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I love the mix of textures….makes it look really warm on the plate. I encourage you to stop by Leather Hide Store.com to see the huge selection of all sorts of beautiful leathers. You can order any quantity that you need. There are so many fun projects that you can incorporate leather with…like all of these on pinterest.

What you will need is 12 inches of leather, some jute roping, double sided tape,  this free printable that you can download and a white dinner napkin.

First for the super easy napkin fold….

lay pressed napkin on a flat surface and fold one corner up almost completely to opposite corner

roll in both side until they meet in the center

Flip over

Fold the rolled edges over

Flip napkin back over and place on the plate.

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For the tie:

cut a piece of leather 10-12 inches in length

cut out notches on each end as shown below

use some double side tape to secure leather to each other.

tie with some jute roping

tie on the printable

guest can fill out the printable during the day

 

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You can right click on the printable below to save it to your computer. I printed mine in “wallet” sizes.

Brown Multi Layered Background

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Easy!! Slide the silver into the pockets in the napkin. Wow your friends and family:)

Have a great weekend!

xo

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

Kids Thanksgiving Treat

I will be sharing a few things to do/make for Thanksgiving this week and next. It seems every year that Thanksgiving gets no respect….it is that awesome holiday before Christmas…remember? I love Thanksgiving….a holiday about food…and thanks…what’s not to love? I wanted to share with you this fun kids treat that would work great for a Thanksgiving party at school. I shared it recently over at Jen’s…but I didn’t want you to miss it:)

It seems we are always looking for a fun way to present a treat for the holidays or school gatherings. These little graham cracker “wheat stalks” would be so cute lining a kids table at Thanksgiving time. Even better, you could put the older kids in charge of making and displaying them for the younger ones…win win!

I used peanutbutter for the filling….but you could use something else if you have allergy kiddos….kids thanksgiving treat @cleverlyinspired (5)

 

 

What you will need:

cute straws:)

graham crackers snapped into rectangles

peanutbutter

dipping white chocolate or milk chocolate

holiday sprinkles

 

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To put together:

 

flatten the top part of the straw

spread peanutbutter onto both graham crackers (creating your “glue”)

place the straw and top with another cracker

let set and finish making the others

melt the chocolates

Dip into white chocolate set onto wax paper (hold by the base of the cracker for most support)

dip into sprinkles

Let dry

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How sweet would these be on the kiddos table this year?!?

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Fun with food:) Awesome:)

xo

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.
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