Tag Archives: miami food

How to Throw a Chocolate Themed Party

chocolate-fountainFor your next gathering why not plan a theme around chocolate?  To get started you will need to decide what type of invitation you will use.  Depending on your budget, you can opt for personalized chocolate wrapper invites or you can pick an invitation with a color scheme including brown.  Spray your invitations lightly with a chocolate scented perfume such as Demeter’s Brownie. If you enjoy arts and crafts, why not create your own invitation using chocolate themed stickers,stamps, or pictures?  Or you can bake some goodies to be delivered and attach a note including all details of the gathering and some fun facts about chocolate. 

Some interesting facts about chocolate include:

  • Chocolate melts just below your body temperature, so it melts in your mouth.
  • When eaten in moderation, chocolate promotes healthy cardio functions, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Chocolate provides skin benefits and is a natural sexual stimulant!

Decorate with chocolate scented candles to create an arousing atmosphere.  Use napkins, plates, and cups with color schemes such as chocolate with pink, aqua, green or pale blue; or any color of the rainbow. 

There are so many recipes available for this chocolate occasion.  I recommend looking online for different ideas.  Some favorites include brownies, chocolate mousse, chocolate pudding, chocolate cake or cupcakes, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate fondue with fresh fruit, chocolate covered strawberries, and chocolate sorbet with fresh berries.

 godvia martini

As always, I recommend a signature drink for the occasion.  There are tons of great chocolate martinis but my favorite is the Lady Godiva Chocolate Martini, you can find the recipe at martiniart.com.

Rent a chocolate fountain for an elegant touch, (not recommended if children will be present.) 

Important note:  If you spill chocolate on clothing, simply use rubbing alcohol to remove the spot.

Activities can include a chocolate fondue tasting with fruits, bread, candy, and marshmallows.  Be sure to try milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white choclate during you’re your fondue session.  Also, you can fill a jar with chocolate candies (i.e. m & m’s, Hersey’s kisses) and allow the guests to guess how many there are.   If there is time, you can include one of these top chocolate cinemas:

  • Lezioni Di Cioccolato (Chocolate Lessons, 2007, Luca Argentero. Hassani Shapi)
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971 original with Gene Wilder)
  • Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate, 1992, Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos)
  • Chocolat (2000 version, Juliette Binoche, Alfred Molina, Judy Dench, Johnny Depp)
  • Milton Hershey: The Chocolate King (2004 A&E documentary)
  • Merci Pour le Chocolat (Thanks for the Chocolate, 2000, Isabelle Huppert)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005 remake with Johnny Depp)
  • Or my personal favorite : “Chocolate Factory” episode of “I Love Lucy”. It’s available on the season 2 DVD with the official title of “Job Switching”.

Do not forget party favors!  My favorites are:

  • Sweet Beauty Organic Chocolate Spa Treatment by Lisa Françoise

sweet-beauty

  • Chocolate Cookbook
  • Hot Cocoa Gift Bag .

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ATTENTION CHOCOLATE LOVERS!

strawberryAs a European woman, I understand the tantalizing effects that take over your mind, body and soul at the mention of the word “Chocolate.”  Each bite and each taste is equal to a sensual seduction.  The temptation is so deep, that refusing is absolutely impossible!  Chocolate, a divine creation, is considered the food of the Gods.  It’s no wonder it is such a perfected and heavenly experience.

In honor of this exquisite aphrodisiac, a 3-day event is dedicated to entice our taste buds and palate.  Paris presents Salon Du Chocolat, an event so successful it now also takes place in New York, Japan, China, and Russia with two new cities added to the list; Cairo (Egypt) and Madrid (Spain).  Salon Du Chocolate unites fashion and chocolate while also contributing to “The Voice of the Children”.  This year the show celebrates its 15th Paris Consumer Chocolate show and the event will take place from October 14 – 18.  The trade show has attracted over 2 million loyal chocolate lovers and allows chocolate professionals a communication platform.

 What to expect from the Salon Du Chocolat trade show:

–         A fashion show with designs made from, yes you guessed it, chocolate!

–         Music including opera, operetta and musical comedy

–         Demonstrations by top chefs

–         Tasting sessions for new products and novelties

–         Exhibitors from all over the world including Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Italy, Russia, Syria, Switzerland, Sweden, Bolivia, Gabon, Mexico, São Tomé & Principe and Venezuela.

Check out a video from last year’s fashion show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n7bnOyWOFM

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For our local readers, we invite you to the Chocolate Festival at the Aventura Mall, Sunday, October 18, from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.  The event was inspired by Chef Rick in effort to raise funds for the Children’s Craniofacial Association. For more information contact: 305-935-1110 

chocolate

What to expect from the Chocolate Festival:

–         Chocolate inspired fashion show produced by Miami Art Institute

–         Chocolate Super Bowl trophy silent auction

–         17 vendors to sell chocolate, cupcakes, cookies, etc

–         Raffles

–         Kids Corner

–         Carving of a 35 lb. chocolate

Stay in tune with us for tomorrow’s blog on how to create your own Chocolate Theme party!

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Valerie Bihet Named *GODDESS OF THE WEEK*

party goddess

The VIBE Agency is proud to announce that Valerie Bihet has been named “Goddess of the Week” by Marley Majcher, The Party Goddess.  Be sure to check out her website for information on food, party ideas and blogs at http://thepartygoddess.com/.  A special thank you goes out to Majcher for all of her support and guidance.  You can read about Bihet as “Goddess of the Week” at http://thepartygoddess.com/blog/.

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Columbus Day Weekend: East Meets West

chrisFollow the VIBE Agency on an expedition this Columbus Day weekend.  We hope you experience an unforgettable voyage and offer some tips on how to celebrate this weekend.  Here at the VIBE, we loved the idea of the drink titled “East Meets West.”  We have included the recipe for your journey.

EAST MEETS WEST

east meets west

Ingredients:
– 1 1/2 oz Armagnac
– 1 oz Sake
– 3 Shiso leaves
– 1/2 oz Jasmin syrup
– 1 1/2 oz Ginger beer
Garnish: Mint leaves

Mix Armagnac, Sake, Japanese shiso leaves, jasminm syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass over ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with mint leaves. (Cocktail created by Cocktail Times Master Mixologist, Junior Merino)

                                                                                                                                               

For families, this is an opportunity for valuable family time.  Make your own mini versions of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria!  This project is “green” friendly and requires the use of recycled material.  For more arts and crafts ideas visit http://www.kaboose.com/

nina pinta

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cardboard egg cups
  • Brown acrylic craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • ¼ cup modeling clay or play dough
  • 6 toothpicks
  • 1 sheet white paper
  • Scissors
  • White craft glue

How to make it:

  1. Paint the egg cups inside and out with brown paint. Set aside to dry.
  2. Cut sails from white paper. You will need 6 large sails (1.5” x 1”) and 18 small sails (.5” x .75”).
  3. Set aside three of the toothpicks for the large sails. Break or cut the other three toothpicks in half, giving you 6 halves.
  4. Put a line of glue through the middle of one of the small sails. Place the cut or broken end of one of the toothpick halves onto the glue line.
  5. Roll it in the glue to cover both sides, then place another sail on top, sandwiching the two sails together. Flatten the sails together with your fingers and set aside to dry.
  6. Repeat step number 5 with each toothpick half and 2 small sails (each).
  7. Following the guide in step number 5, make the larger salls. For each large sail you will need a toothpick, 2 small sails and 2 large sails. Glue the small sail to the end of the full toothpick, and then glue the larger sail beneath it, leaving a small gap between the top and bottom sail. Set aside to dry.
  8. Roll a small amount of clay in your palm, enough to line the bottom of the egg cup. Place in the egg cup and flatten to cover bottom.
  9. Insert open end of large sail into the middle of the clay. Insert two small sails, one on either side of the large sail, into the clay.

Tips:

  • This project can also be made with open walnut shells.
  • The Nina and the Pinta were both smaller ships, but the Santa Maria was much larger. Make a larger version of the Santa Maria by using margarine tubs, craft sticks and larger pieces of paper.

 

The VIBE Agency wishes all of our clients, bloggers and readers a wonderful and safe Columbus Day weekend!

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DAY 6: CANDY ALTERNATIVES FOR THIS HALLOWEEN

stickersHalloween is the biggest candy holiday of the year that sends a sugar rush throughout the country.  Everyone is aware of the health implications linked to candy and for some, such as diabetics or vegans, this holiday may exclude those with food allergies or sensitivities.  This year instead of serving a pile of sugar to trick-or-treaters take into consideration some of the following items and include a sign outside that states, “Ask me for non-sugar treats.”

 – Stickers – Give out Halloween themed stickers.

 – Chalk or crayons

Sugar-free candy – A healthy alternative for everyone.

Temporary tattoos – EVERY kid wants a fake tattoo! 

Fake money – Advise the kids not to spend it all at once!  They can use this money for play time and learning purposes.

Glow Sticks – Great for safety at night during trick-or-treating.

Slime – A fun way for goblins to add to their costume.

False teeth –These are fun and can be used the same night!

Halloween printed pencils –Pencils are a necessity for all students from kindergarten throughout college. 

Fake spiders – Kids and adults love the opportunity to scare someone by mysteriously placing a fake spider on a sibling’s pillow, chair or personal area. 

Tiny plants packages – Visit your local Home Depot for these inexpensive mini plants that include a pot, soil, seeds and directions.

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DAY 5: CREATE A SPIDER WEB

web Makesandtakes.com offers a varity of at home arts and crafts ideas for children and adults.  Here is an idea we loved from their website! 

Supplies for Lacing Spider Webs:

  • yarn
  • scissors
  • hole punch
  • circle paper – preferably cardstock
  • plastic spider ring – you could make your own spider from yarn or pipe wire as well

web2

First, take your circle paper and punch holes around the edge, as far or close as you want. The more holes, the more web you’ll have.

web3

Cut some yarn, fairly long to lace around the whole circle, and tie it tight at the top through the first hole. Now lace your yarn through each hole. We tried to stay going in a circle to end back up at the top, but you’re welcome to go crazy and lace in any order.

Now you’ll need to attach your spider somewhere in the yarn. You’ll loop him through your yarn on the way to another hole. If you want the spider to slide the best up and down it’s web, attach it before the last hole, then it doesn’t get stuck.

web4

Once you go through the last hole, tie the yarn together in a knot and it’s ready for hanging.

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DAY 4: HALLOWEEN COCKTAILS

jack o tini

We found a great website for cool coctails for every occasion!  Check out cocktailtimes.com

Jack-O-Tini
Ingredients:
– 2 oz Stoli vodka
– 1/4 oz pumpkin puree
– 1 tsp lemon juice
– 2 oz orange juice

Place a large soup pot filled with water on the stove to boil. Carve the tops from the pumpkins and set aside. Scope out the interior and seeds, leaving a think shell. Discard the seeds and flesh, or use in another recipe. Place the pumpkins in the boiling water and boil for about a minute. Remove and drain. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into the pumpkin. Serve with a black straw.

Halloween Cocktail

Halloween Cocktail
Ingredients:
– 2 oz bourbon
– 3 oz orange juice
– juice of half lemon
– Ginger ale
– Garnish: Halloween olive

Mix bourbon, orange juice and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into a tall glass. Top with ginger ale and garnish with Halloween-faced olives. (To make the Halloween olives, choose large unpitted green olives)

Blackberry Widow

Blackberry Widow

Ingredients:
– 1 part 42 Below vodka
– 2 parts dark grape juice
– 1 teaspoon of raw sugar
– 4 slices of fresh ginger
– 4 blackberries
Garnish: 2 blackberries

In a mixing glass, muddle together blackberries, ginger and sugar, add vodka and dark grape juice. Fill with ice, shake well, and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with 2 blackberries.

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DAY 3: GREEN TIPS FOR HALLOWEEN

DinosaurBri-ecolo Idea: dinosaurs pick-candy for Halloween: It is a great idea to take a look around your home for ideas to recreate this Halloween.  For example, here we use an empty laundry soap pitcher and turn into a pretty pitcher-shaped dinosaur, which will be used to collect candy on Halloween night.

Tide ghostBri-ecolo idea: Pitcher has an  Halloween candy: Here is another idea using Tide’s laundry soap container.  Get creative and match which ever costume you are planning to wear for the night.

 

spidersHere is a fun craft, a monstrous spider made from recycled materials.

Beer cap
– End of fabric, felt, cardboard color …
– 8 Swabs
– Seeds of spices: pink pepper, cardamom, star anise,
– Painting
– Glue
– Modeling clay, blue gum (sticker)

CatBlack Cat of Halloween :
     – Empty container of liquid laundry
     – Paint: black, white, pink
     – Tennis ball or other round
     – 6 toothpicks
     – Felt, piece of cloth, cardboard color
     – Buttons recovered
     – Hot glue

These tips will save you money and allow for quality time with children.  Enjoy!

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DAY 2: HALLOWEEN THEMES

al-capone

Halloween is a time to be creative and express your alter-ego.  Once you have discovered your Halloween party  personality, start brainstorming of ideas that will bring your vision to life.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

 “Hollywood Heaven” is a theme where guests are invited to participate in dressing up as their favorite deceased star. 

  • Costume Examples include: Elvis, Michael Jackson, Che Guevara, Bob Marley, Celia Cruz, DJ AM, Farrah Fawcett, Aaliyah, Big Pun, Hector Lavoe, Selena, Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe,  Jackie Kennedy or any of the Kennedy’s, George Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Al Capone, Mother Theresa, Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Anna Nichole Smith, Heath Ledger and so on.  There can be a prize for the best dressed participant.
  • A signature drink could be a magic potion called, “Alive Forever”, hence the meaning of these stars living forever.
  • Decor can be based on Hollywood Glam, with shimmering stars and a color scheme of black, white and gold.

babe ruthfarrah-fawcettbob marley

A “Haunted House” is always an exciting event, but encourage guests to come as something dead.

  • Costumes can incorporate dead brides and grooms, zombies, witches, monsters, ghosts, goblins, vampires and so on.  Ask guests to be creative.  Dead costumes can be sexy, scary, realistic, gory, or cartoonish.
  • Decor will include a fog throughout the house, coffins, bats, and a potion mixing bowl for a witch, and so on.
  • It is important to remember that the decor in front of the house should be just as spook-tacular as the inside.
  • Visit hauntedprops.com for more exciting decorations for your home or venue.

heads coffin

The vampire craze is a pop culture phenomenon and on this day you can experience the latest rage.

  • Whether you would like to create your own vampire costume, or dress as Bella and Edward or Sookie and Bill, think outside of the box to create a unique look.
  • Be sure to serve True Blood to your blood thirsty guests!

bella and edwardsookietrue blood

Another idea could be “Arabian Nights”. It could be another suggestion for those who do not want to participate in haunted or dead activities. 

  • Guests can dress up as gypsies or story tellers. 
  • Decor can include camels, belly dancers, pyramids and so on.
  • Decorate with planety of colors, sequences, pillows, dim lighting, a “magic” carpet, blankets, fake snakes, gene lamps, etc.
  • A good idea is to rent a tent and decorate it as a palace.

Arabian_Nights_menArabian_tentBellyDancersPhoto

Be sure to follow our blog tomorrow and the rest of the week for tips to make this Halloween like no other. 

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DAY 1: HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES

ghostlypinataAs my friend Marley Majcher, The Party Goddess, (http://thepartygoddess.com/) mentioned lots of parties are snoozers and Halloween events are no exception. She mentioned to me, “Why not mix up the activities a little bit and ensure guests of all ages have a ball!” She was right. So let’s get started:

 

Create! Paint and decorate small pumpkins with markers, feathers and gems. Mini-pumpkins come in orange or white, so be sure to pick up at least one of each.

minipumpkins

 

 

 

Design! Pick up a bunch of plain masks that the kids can color, glue and embellish on the spot.

Discover! Think Easter egg hunt in October. Hide mini-pumpkins around the yard (or house if the weather is bad.) Award a prize for the child who finds the most.

 • Bake! Decorate a haunted ginger bread house (or cupcakes) with black frosting and tons of fabulous candies. If the ginger bread house is too complicated, just decorate cookies in the shape of pumpkins, ghosts and witches.

haunted house

hauntedHouse1

Destroy! Hang a Halloween piñata stuffed with goodies in the yard and have the kid’s swing away. If you want to get really devilish and the children are a little older, have the piñata be a ghoulish head hanging from a “noose.”

 • Adorn! Bring in the experts or do it yourself. Have face painters on hand to create instant face masks and someone to apply cool tattoos for the boys.

face-painting-colors-for-halloween

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine! No matter how old or young we are, everyone loves to take a peek into the future.  Tarot and palm readers will create all of the Halloween intrigue anyone needs.

palm reader

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