A couple of months ago, I was asked to throw the end of year Teacher Appreciation Luncheon at my son’s preschool. I love being hospitable to others. In fact, I’m pretty sure that has turned out to be my calling in life. I really hope that statement doesn’t come across as boastful. In fact, I mean it to be anything but that.
You see, back when I was in school, I felt like everyone knew what they wanted to “be when they grew up”………… EXCEPT ME!
When asked that question, I think I came up with something original, like…… an actress! I even convinced myself that I REALLY wanted to do that and even got as far as auditioning for the Raleigh Christmas Carol, which happens to be ran by no other than Ira David Wood, which happens to be the father of Evan Rachel Wood, (the hollywood actress). (I realize I just gave you ENTIRELY TOO MUCH information!)
Anyway, I had to sing for my audition and as it got closer and closer to my turn, I realized VERY QUICKLY that I did NOT want to be an actress afterall !!! Well, God must have heard my plea to make something happen that would allow me to crawl out of the building prior to my turn because literally 3 turns before my own ( I know this because I was counting as I sweat profusely) , they announced they would be taking a quick break.
I QUICKLY seized the opportunity to turn to my mom and let her know my thoughts and after seeing the shear TERROR in my eyes, she lovingly abliged my departure. (*THANK GOODNESS!)
Honestly, I cannot believe I just told you that! Oh well, I guess it isn’t a secret anymore………. The point is, I’m glad that I have found something I love to do for others and that I have turned out to be at least decent at and others appreciate.
BACK TO THE HOSPITABLE PART!….. 😉
I had a great group of ladies jump in to help me. We decided to go with a “Super Hero Theme”.
Now, I cannot claim ALL these ideas. I searched Pinterest (the Holy Grail of Ideas) and put our own spin on them.
The picture above is an IKEA picture frame that cost a whopping $. 99 ! That’s right, 99 cents!
Then, I just found a picture of Wonder Woman and sized it to 4×6 and printed on regular computer paper. The picture frame is double sided, so I printed 2 per frame ( I had 3, so I did 6 total) and lined them down the banquet table.
The table cloth is a simple deep blue also purchased from the Dollar store as well as red paper plates and gold napkins secured with red ribbon.
We did a candy bar and used jars from IKEA ( I had just gone a trip so they all really came in handy) .
I made the labels using glitter foam sheets found at the craft store. They are sticky back so you can play around with them how you like. I used a circle punch to make the white circle and then stuck them to the clothes pins. The clothes pins simply clip on to whatever container you choose. The small scoops were purchased at The Party Store for $.89 each.
I found the cutest Galvanized Container at Sams Club and layered chocolate chip cookies and specialty cupcakes from a local cupcake shop.
What candy bar would be complete without goody bags to put them in?
The goody bags are simply brown paper bags purchased at the Dollar Store and cut to fit (my best interpretation of The Captain America logo) sticky back glitter foam sheets left over from the candy labels.
Did you know that local establishments will graciously donate items to functions like this? All you have to do is ASK! Of course, it would be very courteous to give them adequate notice and NEVER FORGET to send them a “thank you” note to let them know just how much you appreciate their kindness. We were very lucky to have wonderful people in our community from a few different restaurants graciously donate to our function. The result was AMAZING!
These cool dispensers were picked up at Sam’s Club for $29.99 for the pair! Chalkboard necklaces let the teachers know which drink is which. Simple decorations that the volunteers found in their children’s rooms decorate the table. 🙂
We made gift baskets for each of the teachers as well. I found the coolest drink cups (even though you can’t see them very well) at Michael’s. They had Wonder Woman on them and they were PERFECT! Paired with girly items from the Target dollar bins, they made a cute little gift for the teachers to take home.
I have to admit, when I was first asked to do this, I kind of PANICKED! What did I know about Teacher Luncheons??????
Well, after it was all said and done, I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to do it and the response from the teachers was worth it.
If you are planning or have been asked to help throw a Teacher’s Luncheon, I hope this may have given you some great ideas!
Have you thrown a Teacher Luncheon? If so, what was your theme? I would love to know!
Until next time…….
It’s been a while since I did a blog post. I have been buried waist deep in these awful things called taxes. Have you ever heard of them? Oh my word, they are awful! I’ll have to tell you about them sometime……. maybe some OTHER time…..
The important thing today is cake! Not just any cake. The kind of cake that makes you wanna slap your momma! *Sorry momma! I never liked that saying. At least not until after I became a momma!! 😉
You know, I have to say, I really surprised myself on this one. Even though it was the easiest of cakes to make (more on that in a minute), it didn’t taste like it was.
It all started with my oldest turning 10 at the beginning of the month. We usually make whoever’s birthday it is, their favorite meal and their favorite cake or one of their choosing. I had just bought these premade “lemon bliss” cupcakes, or so they were called from Sam’s Club. Lee absolutely fell in love with them…. and so did everyone else.
It was decided that she wanted a cake version of the cupcakes. Now, if I were really organized and thinking ahead for this blog post, I would have taken a picture of them. But that just wouldn’t be me. 😉
So instead, picture a lemon cupcake with a dollop of lemon pudding on top with a thin ring of buttercream icing around it.
Oh, how I love lemon!!!!
While I didn’t decide to use buttercream….. only because I felt it would have been just too much for the entire cake. I decided to go the whipped cream route instead.
This is what I did:
I took a lemon boxed cake (yes, boxed) and 2 packages of instant lemon pudding.
I did my best to evenly distribute the cake mix into two pans so that the layers would be as even as possible.
Now, here comes the stacking. However, what this picture doesn’t show is that right after this, I decided to put wax paper under the first layer to allow for spills with the whipped cream icing.
I took half of the lemon pudding and spread on top of the first layer. Then, I topped it with the second layer and spread the remaining pudding on top.
I spread it out to the edge as far as possible without dripping over.
Now, time for the whipped cream. I used my tried and true whipped cream recipe. It’s the same one I used for my Mixed Berry Tartlets. You can see it here. However, I added a teaspoon of lemon extract to amp up the lemon taste for this recipe.
Then, I just dumped it all ( a little at a time) because, well, WHY NOT?
I love whipped cream because it spreads so much easier than buttercream. I actually looked like I knew what I was doing in this pic.
Then, I just sprinkled some lemon zest on top and voila! I carefully pulled the sheets of overlapped wax paper out from under the cake and it made it look very clean.
I was so happy with how it turned out! It wasn’t just pretty, it was RIDICULOUSLY GOOD ! This recipe would be great all year long. It is light enough for Summer, even though I fixed it in the Winter.
If you fix this, I would love to know what you think !
Here is the Recipe:
Recipe: Ridiculously Good Lemon Cake
– 1 Lemon Flavored Box Cake ( I used the Very Moist Version) *You will also need oil, eggs, and water according to cake mix.
– 2 Boxes Lemon Instant Flavored Pudding
– 1 1/2 Cups Skim Milk
– 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
– 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
– 1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
– Lemon Zest (Optional)
– Prepare cakes according to directions. Allow to cool completely.
– When cakes are completely cooled, prepare lemon pudding by mixing together 2 packages pudding mix with milk. Whisk for 1- 2 minutes or until pudding becomes thick.
– Prepare whipped cream icing by mixing heavy whipping cream with sugar and lemon extract with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks.
– Start layering cakes by first, laying wax paper pieces in an overlapping patter on top of a cake plate. Put first cake layer on top of the sheets.
– Spread half of the prepared pudding on top of first layer.
– Top with second cake layer and gently press on top, allowing the pudding between layers to spread slightly.
– Spread prepared whipped cream over top and sides of cake.
– Sprinkle with (optional) lemon zest.
*For best results, refrigerate for 1 hour prior to serving.