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Parties Made Simple

June 1999 Newsletter


This month's newsletter is in the form of a Web Page. Please let me know if you like receiving the newsletter this way or if you would prefer to receive it as an email.

If you have any great party craft ideas, cake ideas, family receipes, or party planning tips - please send them to me and I will include them in a newsletter. If there is anything that you would like me to include - please let me know and I will do my best to research it and include in the next issue of this newsletter!


Join My Birthday Club

In This Issue

Placemat Idea (for 3-5 year olds)

Summer Dessert

BBQ Rubs & Mop Sauce

Setting Up a Buffet Table

Baseball Cap Cake

1-800-PartyShop June Specials

1-800-PartyShop July Specials

4th of July Products

New Millennium Products

New Everyday Products

Contact Information



Placemat Idea

This idea was given to me by an individual from a message board. It is appropriate for 3-5 year old children and will help occupy their attention while you are waiting for all the guests to arrive at the party.

Take a coloring book - with the appropriate theme of your party and have the individual pages enlarged to 11 x 17. You can do this with a scanner (if you have one) or take it to your local copy shop. This may require some trimming and customizing once they have been enlarged. Create each guest's name in a "fun type" font in brightly colored letters, cut out and attach to the "placemat". Once you have done this for all the placemats, create stickers with your child's name on it - Mary's 5th Birthday on June 2, 1999 - put one sticker on the back of each "placemat". Laminate each "placemat" - you can get self laminating sheets at any office supply store. Set each space at your party table and have plenty of washable markers out - each guest can sit down at the table and color while waiting for all the guests to arrive. Remember to send each guest's placement home with them - great goody bag idea.


Strawberry-Blueberry Shortcake

It's berry-picking season, and this recipe mixes up the best of the red and the blue--fresh strawberries and blueberries spooned over tasty shortcake biscuits and topped with a dollop of whipped cream.


5 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine or shortening
2 cups milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar together in a large bowl. Slice the margarine sticks into pats and add to the dry mixture. Using a handheld pastry cutter or your fingertips, mix the margarine and dry ingredients until they resemble a coarse meal. Avoid overmixing. Make a small well in the center and pour the milk into it. Stir just until the mixture holds together. If the dough appears too sticky, sprinkle in a little more flour.

Turn the shortcake dough onto a lightly floured countertop or pastry cloth and pat into a 1-inch-thick circle, handling it as little as possible. Do not knead the dough; doing so will make the shortcake biscuits heavy.

Use a biscuit cutter or inverted cup to cut out the shortcakes, and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool before serving. Makes 10 to 12 shortcake biscuits.



2 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar

Wash and hull the strawberries and slice them into a glass bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar. Stir a few times, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The strawberries will release some juice and make a light syrup. Stir once again before spooning the berries on top of the shortcakes.



1 pt. whipping cream
2 tbsp. maple syrup

Before whipping the cream, place a stainless steel bowl in the freezer for a little while to chill. Pour the whipping cream into the chilled mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup (you can substitute a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a couple of tablespoons of sugar) and whip with an electric mixer or a whisk until stiff. Keep refrigerated until you're ready to serve the dessert.

To serve the shortcake, split the biscuits into halves. Spoon some of the strawberries and syrup onto the bottom halves. Cover with the remaining shortcake halves and spoon more of the strawberries on top. Top with the whipped cream and garnish with fresh blueberries.


All-South Barbecue Rub
Recipe By : The Thrill of the Grill by Chris Schlesinger

2 Tablespoons salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons black pepper -- freshly cracked
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
4 Tablespoons paprika

All you do is throw them together and mix them well.

Merle's Mop Sauce

1 C Vinegar, cider or wine
5 Tb Worcestershire sauce
2/3 C Salad oil
3 Tb Butter
1 Ea Lemon, thinly sliced
3 Ea Cloves, crushed
2 Tb Ginger, grated
2 Tb Dry mustard

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat until flavors are nicely blended. Use to baste any meat or poultry.


Here are some tips on how to set a Buffet Table

How you place the food on the Buffet table is important. The first thing on the table should be a stack of plates, cutlery and napkins too, unless those are already on the tables where your guests will be eating.

Next place the buns and butter, salads, pickles, cold meats, hot vegetables or entrees with the hot meat main course as the very last item. The sequence should be salads, veggies, meats, and then desserts. The exception to this is placing a 'one per person' main course item on each persons plate at the beginning. Something like a BBQ'd New York Steak and then letting them help themselves to salad and baked potato bar etc.

Desserts, coffee and tea can be on another table if desired.

There are a variety of ways to actually arrange the tables:

~ Several long tables strung out in a row, against a wall or free standing so people can access the food from both sides.
~ Round tables in a row
~ Round tables in a cluster of three, like a clover leaf, boards to fill in the gaps.
~ Long tables side by side with a raised section down the center (pile of boards) for a centerpiece.
~ Three long tables side by side and people walk around the big square table, this leaves room for an impressive center piece.
A main consideration is 'traffic flow' so that people picking up their meal and returning to their tables, don't have to cross over into those that are just starting to serve themselves.


Since Summer is Baseball season, I thought this would be a very appropriate cake to select for this month's newsletter. If you decide to make this cake - let me know how it went and send me a picture. I will put the picture on my webpage!


1 baked 8-inch round cake
1 dome cake (baked in a 1 1/2-quart bowl or 6-inch sphere)
3 cups frosting (blue and red)
Red shoestring licorice
1 red gumdrop
Red M&M's


Cut the 8-inch cake so that it is shaped like a brim and arrange it next to the bowl cake. Frost the hat blue and the brim red. Add shoestring licorice to the crown with a gumdrop button. Outline your child's initial in M&M's.


1-800-PartySHop June Specials


1-800-PartySHop July Specials


4th of July Specials

Each picture will take you to another page with the information for each theme. Remember to the click on the back button on your browser to return to this newsletter!


Flag Impressionist Party Box


Stars & Stripes Party Box


The New Millennium & New Year's Eve

This is being called the "biggest party" of the millennium and it won't stop at New Year's Eve. 2000 will be the biggest party year yet! 1-800-PartyShop has just released our party packs for the year 2000. Our decorators have intentionally left out New Year's Eve 2000 and replaced it with Celebrate 2000! Just so everyone can use the products year round. Not only do we have a great party pack we also have great party accessories. Each picture will take you to another page - giving all the details for each item. Remember to click on your back button to return to the newsletter.

2000 Celebration Party Box

2000 Celebration Party Accessories


New Everyday Themes

1-800-PartyShop has just released some new everyday themes and I wanted to share them with you. Each picture will take you to another page - remember to click on your back button to return to this newsletter!

Animal Print


Cafe Cuisine

Family & Friends

Spring Bouquet

Stargazer's Lilies

Van Gogh's Garden

Contact Information:

Beth O'Connor


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