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Spring Festivals In Arizona!

Posted by on February 13, 2017 in News | Comments Off on Spring Festivals In Arizona!

Springtime is coming which means calendars will be filled with tons of outdoor events! The Phoenix area is a great place for a variety of interests and no matter who you are, you’ll be able to find some way to entertain yourself! Below you’ll find an event going on for each month this Spring that’s sure to provide fun for all. March 3/3-3/5 You don’t have to go far to find a musical festival around here. While it may not be Coachella, Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo, we think McDowell Mountain Music Festival is still pretty far up there. What makes this one stand out above the rest is that it’s 100% nonprofit. Flume, Grouplove and The Shins are just a few of the many artists that will be performing there.   April 3/31-4/2 Art, music, food, beer. What else could you ask for on a beautiful weekend day? Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts has all that in one area. The 40th annual festival will showcase over 300 artists from around the country. You’ll also be able to check out local restaurants, breweries and shops. So much to do in just a few days!   May 5/13-5/14 At Creative Hands we love to use Schnepf Farm’s peaches in some of our favorite recipes. We’re already dreaming about the amazing peaches we’ll be able to eat at their Annual Peach Festival! Peach flavored foods, peach flavored drinks, peach flavored sweets, peach themed crafts, ALL THINGS PEACH. While taking a break from the eating part (which you may never want to do) they’ll also be hay rides, live music train rides and...

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Love is in the Air!

Posted by on January 30, 2017 in News | Comments Off on Love is in the Air!

It’s almost February, the month of love and couples and good sweets and heart shaped things and pink and red! For some, Febuary 14th is an exciting day for love and for others it’s a great excuse to indulge in foil wrapped Dove chocolates and cocktails. Either way some type of food or other Valentine’s Day themed things are somehow coordinated into the day.   Whether you’re attending a Valentine’s Day party, preparing a romantic dinner for a date or drowning in sweets and drinks here’s a little LOVEly inspiration for your February 14th wherever it may be.   Brownies and cheesecake are divine sweets but mixing the two together is simply genius. All you have to do for these Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies is make the brownie layer and add the cheesecake layer on top and that’s it! But if you want a little bit more detailed recipe keep scrolling.   – Here’s what you’ll need – For the brownie layer:                                                                     ½ cup unsalted butter, softened ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ teaspoon salt For the raspberry cheesecake layer: 8 ounces cream cheese, softened ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt 2 large eggs ¼ cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup raspberries, lightly mashed Cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar with electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again until combined. Add flour, cocoa powder and salt and mix until combined. Spread brownie batter in 8×8 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and set aside. Make the cheesecake layer. With electric mixer, whip the cream cheese, Greek yogurt and eggs. Add sugar, flour and vanilla and mix until combined. Fold in the raspberries. Spread cheesecake mixture on top of the brownie batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool for an hour and chill for 2-3 hours before cutting the bars into squares. After those amazing cheesecake brownies you’ll probably need something to wash them down. Next up, raspberry pink champagne floats. This recipe only makes one so if you plan on sharing (or drinking a few yourself) you’ll have to double or triple the recipe!                                                   – Here’s what you’ll need –                                                   2-3 scoops raspberry sorbet 1 cup pink champagne Fresh raspberries or other berries for garnish – Place scoops of sorbet in large wine glass – Pour champagne over sorbet – Top with berries – Eat with a spoon or sip with a straw!           If you’re planning to host a party this Valentine’s Day you probably already know that balloons are a huge trend this year! See how you can amp up your simple party balloons with some themed colors.   -Here’s what you’ll need –   Fine glitter (red, pink, silver, gold for Valentine’s Day theme) Clear balloons Funnel Spoon Balloon pump -Stretch each balloon. Insert funnel into balloon and add glitter using a spoon. Adjust amounts to achieve desired color. -Using pump, inflate each balloon. Knot balloon. Attach strings to them or create an arrangement on the wall!...

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It’s Super Bowl Season!

Posted by on January 24, 2017 in News | Comments Off on It’s Super Bowl Season!

It’s that time again, time to get together with family and friends to root on your favorite team. The 51st Super Bowl is less than two weeks away and if you need some snack-spiration you’ve come to the right place! We have some great team themed recipes to spice up your Super Bowl party and delight your Patriots fans and Falcons fans. Super Bowl parties are notorious for the amount of fun snack food and football themed appetizers. We have just a couple of our favorite h’ors d’oeurves, desserts, and drinks that we’re sure your guests will adore. Dips are a crowd favorite, but it seems that every tailgate or Super Bowl party has the same boring dips, here’s an idea if you want to “beef” up a traditional queso. Here’s what you’ll need: 8oz of ground beef 2 tbsp of fresh Cilantro 1/4 cup of canned green chilies 1/2 cup of canned tomatoes 1/4 cup of salsa verde 1/2 tsp of chili powder 1 tsp Emerils essence creole seasoning 1 tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tbsp of olive oil 1/2 tsp of cumin 1/2 cup of Monterey jack cheese 8oz of Velveeta Cook the beef first, set aside, melt the cheese, and add everything together and your queso will be done in 15 minutes! Your guests won’t be able to resist this decadent dip that you can scoop with any chip. If your guests are looking for something a bit lighter try making lobster rolls. This is a great alternative to the usual hamburgers and hot dogs that you see at every large event. These lobster rolls are also a healthy option when you’re surrounded by the usual unhealthy Super Bowl food. Here’s what you’ll need: Lobster meat Greek yogurt Mayonnaise Finely chopped celery Sea salt Boston lettuce Tomatoes Uncured bacon Depending on the size of your party you may need more or less of the yogurt/ mayonnaise base. Use half Greek yogurt and half mayonnaise. Chop the lobster meat into small easy to eat pieces along with the celery with a pinch of sea salt. You can either wrap this delectable lobster roll with lettuce or warm Texas toast, tomato and bacon are optional. Garnish with lemon or garlic salt. This is a dish New England fans are sure to love! We know that preparing for any party, let alone a Super Bowl party can be stressful for the host. We have found the perfect football themed dessert that is delicious and easy to make! These Chocolate Peanut butter Footballs can be made a couple days prior to the party, which makes it an even more desirable dessert. Go ahead, do your touchdown dance. Here’s what you’ll need: 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter 3 tbsp. salted butter, softened 1 cup of powdered sugar 8oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips) Mix peanut butter and butter into a mixing bowl, mix in powdered sugar gradually until doughy. Let the dough sit about 15 minutes to firm up. Shape the dough into a football and place on a baking sheet. Once finished place the baking sheet in the fridge and let the footballs sit for about 30 minutes or until they hold their shape. Next melt the chocolate in to a bowl, once footballs...

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Football Season Fun!

Posted by on September 6, 2016 in News | Comments Off on Football Season Fun!

This upcoming Thursday kicks off the 2016 NFL Football season, and we couldn’t be more excited! Game days are the perfect time to get together with your friends and family to cheer on your favorite team. If you want some delicious inspiration for your next football party or tailgate, then read on! Throwing football-themed parties or tailgates can be so simple, yet so much fun; all you need is a great drink and some yummy snacks to make it a blast! We’ll show you some of our favorite recipes for a little bit of game day inspiration. Having your guests all eating dip out of one bowl can be messy and everyone can get congested around the bowl (and HELLO double-dippers, we see you). Single serve chips and dip cups are so easy to assemble, you can do so many variations of them, and your guests are free to grab a cup and mingle or watch the game without having to keep returning to the crowded dip bowl. Our favorite variation is so simple: just choose your favorite guacamole recipe and place it in individual cups, place a few tortilla chips into the cup, and you’re set to go! Skewers are another appetizer that is so easy and versatile and can be eaten straight off of the grill. All you need is meat and veggies that are cut up into bite sized pieces, season them with your favorite spice blend, thread onto a wooden skewer and pop them on the grill. We’ve chosen salmon skewers with red onion and multi-colored bell peppers that create a skewer that is sure to wow your guests. If you’re looking to stay on the lighter side and add some football spirit to your menu, we’re loving how adorable these chocolate covered strawberries are! Simply dip the fruit into some melted milk chocolate and then pipe on football stitching in white chocolate to make an easy desert that looks so great. Lastly, you can’t watch football without a drink in your hand! The classic ice chest full of beer is always a hit, however our recipe for caramel apple sangria is sure to impress. Simply mix together one gallon jug of apple cider, one bottle of pinot grigio (or any white wine you prefer), one cup of caramel vodka, then top it with some cubed apples!...

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Cool Down With These Refreshing Beverages!

Posted by on June 15, 2016 in News | Comments Off on Cool Down With These Refreshing Beverages!

Refreshing Beverages That Will Help You Keep Cool This Summer It’s going to be a HOT one this weekend, so we wanted to share a couple quick recipes to keep you cool! Pinot Slushies A perfect beverage to cool you off during cocktail hour Ingredients 4 oz. Pinot Grigio, chilled 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier 3 frozen orange juice cubes 4 frozen pineapple juice cubes Directions Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on the lowest setting for couple of seconds. Just until the ice cubes are broken up. Pour into a chilled glass. Serve immediately Orange Creamsicle Float Both you and the kids can enjoy by the pool! Ingredients 2 small scoops of good quality vanilla ice cream Good quality orange soda Whipped Cream Instructions Place the scoops of ice cream in a tall glass and fill the glass with the orange soda. Top with whipped cream and serve...

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Summer Trends- 2016

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in News | Comments Off on Summer Trends- 2016

This is What’s Trending in 2016! Our Favorite Trend- CUISINE! According to the National Restaurant Association, who conducts an annual survey of nearly 1,600 professional chefs a year, has found that the leading newest trends in the culinary industry are leaning towards more locally grown and operated food industry, sustainable food practices, and a new interest in ethnic foods and spices! Consumers today are more interest in how their food is made, and knowing exactly where it comes from more than ever! That’s why chefs are now moving towards locally grown food and using more natural ingredients and less processed foods. Chefs today are also more environmentally concerned than ever before, and are choosing to use products that promote sustainable food practices. Lastly, as we enter the age of globalization, so does our culinary world. Chefs are now trying to incorporate ethnic spices into their cuisine and authentic ethnic dishes into their menus. Our operations manager, here at Creative Hands Cuisine, recommends Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company for their locally crafted Arizona beers and their locally sourced fresh ingredients. Now, What is Everyone Drinking? Cocktails treads are heading in the same direction as our food trends predictions. Bartenders and patrons are interest in finding locally crafted and produced beer, wine and spirits. Customers are also looking for destination based cocktails with fresh ingredients. Don’t forget to try some fresh herbs in your favorite cocktail! FASHION ALERT!! Get ready to pull out all your white clothes in your closet… because white is in this season! Everywhere from Tommy Hilfiger, to Polo Ralph Lauren, to Nordstrom’s are all focusing on white this summer. Just take a look at Tom Hilfiger’s new pair of women’s shoes! It’s a beautiful new shoe with a flower cut out print on the front of the shoe, with a gold trim around the outside. This is a simple and clean look that goes well with pretty much any summer outfit. This can also tie into any white themed summer party you may attend! If you want to spice up your look this summer, try accessorizing your outfit with a pop of lightly colored clothing; like a pastel top, or a darkly colored belt to contrast the rest of your...

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The Art of Proposing: Lauren & Cameron

Posted by on March 22, 2016 in News | Comments Off on The Art of Proposing: Lauren & Cameron

The Art of Proposing Cameron & Lauren   The Meet Cute: I was very hesitant to meet Cameron at first. I had been set up by friends before, and it never ended well. I finally gave in, and agreed to meet him after his GCU baseball game with the rest of our friends. We went to the teams favorite sports bar, Zipp’s, for dinner after the game. I sat across from Cameron, and we talked like we had known each other for years. I was almost embarrassed at how much he made me laugh. I couldn’t wait to see him again after that, and we made an effort to see each other each weekend despite him being in Phoenix, and I being in Tucson. The First Date: Our first date was actually on the Evening of Easter 2012. He came to pick me up after my family dinner to take me to dinner and see a movie. Little did he know, all of my family was still lingering at my house. After he parked his truck, my aunt and uncle, who were walking to their car, turned around to walk back inside to meet him. The poor guy was bombarded by my family standing around him and me in a semicircle asking us about our date. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough! The rest of the evening went smoothly, and everything was wonderful again. I was so sad to drive back to Tucson for school the next day. Flash forward to 4 years later: Cameron knew that I always wanted to take a trip to Sedona, AZ and stay at the beautiful L’Auberge Resort. He surprised me with a trip, saying that it was my Valentine’s Day present, but told me that we were staying at a different hotel. As soon as we pulled up to L’Auberge, I knew something was up! As we waited for our room to be ready, we sat by the creek and enjoyed a nice glass of French Rose’. We checked into the room, and it was the most beautiful cottage I had ever seen. We even had our own outdoor shower and creek-side patio! As we walked to our “scheduled wine tasting,” I notice that he was taking me in an odd direction. He tried to convince me that it was a short cut. He walked me to this beautiful secluded gazebo with an amazing chandelier and a table set for two, with two glasses of champagne. The moment we stepped inside, he grabbed both of my hands, and I knew that it was really happening. I was completely in shock. Tears of joy were shed, and I could not be happier to be spending the rest of my life with the man of my...

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Creating Your Perfect Tablescape!

Posted by on March 8, 2016 in News | Comments Off on Creating Your Perfect Tablescape!

How to Create Your Perfect Spring Tablescape! Springtime is a season for gathering with friends and family to enjoy the beautiful weather! Want to WOW your guests with a beautiful spring tablescape? Read on to see some of our favorite tips and tricks to creating unforgettable ambiance. Find Your Color Palette! It is important to keep to a theme when decorating your table! Try finding a fun tablecloth or candle holder to base the rest of your décor on! Vary the Height! When using a lot of candles, make sure to vary the height! It will make your table look lush and full, and interesting to the eye! Mix It Up! Don’t be afraid to mix and match your dishes! Using an assortment of fun dishes, silverware, and glassware can help add a touch of whimsy to your spring gathering! Check out fun spots like Home Goods, Crate & Barrel, and Target for fun pieces at affordable prices! Layer, Layer, Layer! The real key to any amazing tablescape is LAYERING. Don’t be afraid to keep adding! The use of place mats, chargers, napkins, place cards, and menu cards can add a very elegant ambiance to your gathering, and it is so fun to see how your setting progresses layer by layer! Use What’s In Season! Don’t be afraid to stray away from typical floral. In Arizona, citrus season is HUGE, and you should take full advantage! Put beautiful peaches, lemons, and grapefruits in your centerpieces to add a bright pop of color and a wonderful fresh...

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NYFW Inspiration

Posted by on February 16, 2016 in News | Comments Off on NYFW Inspiration

New York Fashion Week We here at Creative Hands Cuisine are drawing some inspiration from all of the amazing and unique looks from New York Fashion Week! With all of the bold florals and bright colors ahead for spring from designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Jill Stuart, and Monique Lhullier, why not add a touch of floral whimsy to your food display like we did here for your next party?! We absolutely love the use of bright colors in fresh spring salads like this one! Take advantage of what is in season to create an amazing and beautiful salad for your guests, and add some edible flowers for that extra WOW factor! Some Colorful Additions in Season: Brussel Sprouts Beets Citrus...

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The Art of Proposing – Thomas & Danielle

Posted by on February 8, 2016 in News | Comments Off on The Art of Proposing – Thomas & Danielle

With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, what better way to get into the loving spirit than reading a heartfelt proposal story?! Tom & Danielle — I first met Thomas at the weekly improv comedy show at the University of Arizona that my roommates and I would always attend in order to avoid doing homework. Tom and I had all of the same best friends, so it was inevitable that we would meet. After many nights of watching Breaking Bad, talking about our passions and future ambitions, and lots of hiking, Thomas took me to see the movie Argo. Despite holding hands throughout the movie, I refused to let him call it a date. A few weeks later, he asked me to be his girlfriend during homecoming weekend, after a candlelit guitar serenade. We have been inseparable ever since, from surviving the rest of our college years together to moving to Colorado right after graduation. We love sharing adventures together, whether it is camping on a glacier in Canada, driving around Oahu, or snowmobiling in Breckenridge. I had known since we started dating that this was the person I wanted to spend my life with — I could picture us growing up and growing old together. I didn’t get sick of being around him all the time, and he helped me make one of the best life decisions to date — adopting a cat while we were camping in Sedona! Thomas proposed on a weekend camping trip in Moab, Utah. We were hiking in Canyonlands National Park with a couple of friends, one of whom is a photographer. Tom Mentioned that we should take a couple of cute couple-y pictures, which I immediately said YES to (I should have known then – he never wants to take gross kissy pictures!). After a couple of shots, I turned around to see him on one knee. I was so surprised and overwhelmingly excited to say YES to spending the rest of my life with him. I couldn’t hold my tears back any longer when he told me that he had already asked my dad for permission. It has been an incredible ride full of travel, laughter, and love, and I can’t wait to see what our future holds. — It is certainly hard not to think about your own significant other when reading such sweet stories like this! Thomas and Danielle are an incredible couple, and we can’t wait to see what their future brings (hopefully more amazing pictures like these!). Happy Valentine’s Day to all the other love birds out...

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