Smarty Had A Party Review and Giveaway!

This giveaway is now over. The winner is Emma Peel. Congrats!

Sponsored by Tomoson.comI like to make things easy for myself.  Every other year we do Christmas Eve at my house, and I hate all the dishes that it brings (especially when we are talking 11 adults and 4 kids).  Granted, we have a dishwasher, but it still stinks.  After a dinner with everybody, we end up having to run at least 2 loads in the dishwasher to get everything clean.

That is where Smarty Had A Party comes in.  First of all, who doesn’t love that name?  Smarty Had A Party is the premier online retailer of elegant disposable dinnerware, offering an attractive alternative for classy parties, weddings, holidays and elegant events, at a substantial cost-savings over rentals. Although these dishes are sturdy and elegant enough to be used for an important event, they can be conveniently disposed of, and all at reasonable price. They even offer free ground shipping on all orders over $275.00!

We recently tried these out.  At first look, they look real.  It isn’t until you sit down and use them that you realize that it is plastic.  They definitely dress up your dinner, and this is a product I’ll be using again for family holidays.  Everybody was impressed with them, and it made cleanup a breeze.

Since we liked these so much, I’ve arranged for one lucky reader to get their own Smarty Had A Party prize pack!  They prize pack consists of:

10.25″ Smarty Ivory and Chocolate Dinner Plates
Reflections Long Dinner Forks
Reflections Grand Heavy Knives
Reflections Spoons
Chocolate Brown Dinner Napkins

Here’s what you need to do:

Head over to the Smarty Had  A Party site and tell me what products you like best.  Is it the silverware?  Or is it the
10.75″ Platinum Ebony Black Plates?

These will give you one additional entry (for each thing):

1. Twitter about this contest. I’ve added a Tweet button at the top of this post to make it super easy to do too! Just let me know in the comments that you did. Also, you can do this daily!

2. Add this post to social media sites like Stumble, Digg, Kirtsy, Blogging Zoom, Reddit, Propeller, Etc. (1 extra entry per site)

3.  Like this post on Facebook (There is a like button at the beginning and the end of this post you can use).

4.  Add this to any forums you belong too. Please give me the URL, so I can verify.

5. Comment on any other post on this blog. Let me know which one and you’ve got an additional entry. (One entry per post you comment on, so if you comment on 5 post, you’ve got five extra entries! Comments must not be spam.)

6.  Follow Smarty Had A Party on Twitter.

7.  Like Smarty Had A Party on Facebook.

Each of these will give you 5 entries:

1. Blog about this on your blog. Please give me the URL, so I can verify.

2. Subscribe to this blog using either my email or RSS feed

3. Add my badge to your sidebar:

Lisa Cooking

For 10 bonus entries:

Subscribe to my blog using your Kindle!

Good luck! This contest will end November 23rd, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST.

[Product review & giveaway disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”]

Pillsbury To The Rescue

candy_bar_pieAs many of you know already, I am doing Christmas Eve dinner at my house.  Now, last time I did this, I catered it.  This year we are making dinner.  I have never ever ever made a turkey in my life.  I have never made real mashed potatoes either (I am great at instant though!  LOL).  Needless to say, I am a tad worried about Christmas Eve dinner especially now that my husband has informed me that he didn’t take off (if looks could kill . . .).  However, in this insanity I call my life, there is one thing I can count on.  Dessert.

I have to thank Pillsbury for making dessert so much easier for me.  I’m all about easy cooking, and once again, they have come through for me.  Did you know that Pillsbury has pie crusts?  All you need to do is roll them out in your pie pans!  How much easier does it get than that?  Now, they also save you when you are looking for an easy pie to make for dessert too.  By checking out Pillsbury‘s website, you can find a ton more pie recipes.  How does this one sound?

Candy Bar Pie

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Start to Finish: 3 Hours 40 Minutes

Crust
1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box

Filling
5 bars (2.07 oz each) chocolate-covered peanut, caramel and nougat candy
4 packages (3 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Topping
3 tablespoons whipping cream
2/3 cup milk chocolate chips

Heat oven to 450°F. Place pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until very light golden brown. Cool while preparing filling. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Cut candy bars in half lengthwise; cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Place candy bar pieces over bottom of partially baked crust. In small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1 egg at a time until well blended. Add sour cream and peanut butter, beating until mixture is smooth. Pour over candy bar pieces. Bake at 325°F for 30 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours.

In 1-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream until very warm. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Spread over top of pie. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.

Do you have any tricks that you use for your pies?  Any time saving tips like using Pillsbury Pie Crusts?

Foodie Events

All events are in Chicago unless noted:

Latin Cuisine – Macy’s is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Latin and Spanish cuisine with area chefs.  It is free on Friday and Oct. 1 at 111 N State St.  Please call 312-781-4884 for more information.

Autumn Cooking – Jeff Muldrow is teaching an autumn cooking class. $65.  Friday at 6:30 pm at Va Pensiero, 1566 Oak Ave, Evanston.  Please call 847-475-7779 for reservations and more information.

Kids Can Cook – Kids from 7 – 11 years old can learn to make dinner in a hands-on cooking class.  $40.  6-9 pm on Friday at Sunset Foods, 835 S Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest.  Please call 312-752-2206 to register.

Sweet Treats – Learn to cook pies and tarts with Joy Shields.  $40.  7 pm Tuesday night at Beverly’s Pantry, 1907 W 103rd St.  Please call 773-238-8550 to register.

European Adventures – Dominick Kwentus is teaching a 4 week course that cover Italian, Spanish, French, and German cuisine.  $192 for nonresidents and $160 for residents.  This will be held Oct. 1 – 22 at 6:30 pm at The Depot, 401 Thatcher Ave., River Forest Park District.  Please call 708-366-6660 for more information.

Mastering risotto – Daniel Tucker shows you how to make the perfect risotto.  $10.  Oct. 2 at 6 pm at Room 21, 2110 S. Wabash Ave.  Please call 312-328-1198 to register.

Teaching organics – The Organic School Project is hosting a benefit and silect auction supporting its outreach services.  $50.  Oct. 2 at 6 pm at The Golden Triangle, 330 N Clark St.  Please call 312-924-0195 for tickets and more information.

Pizza – Learn to make artisan pizza dough with Jonathon Fox.  $30.  Oct 4th at 11 am at 59 W. Grand Ave.  Please call 312-329-0400 to register.

Halloween Fun – Susan Maddox is teachinga hands on Halloween and Spooky Treats Class for ages 8 and older.  $45.  Oct. 5 from 10 am – 1 am at Le Titi de Paris, 1015 W Dundee Rd., Arlington Heights.  Please call 847-506-0222 to register.