Party planning should be fun and easy, so get things done in 15 minutes or less.

The 15-Minute Party Planner's blog breaks down basic party-planning tasks into simple actions that take 15 minutes or less. We're not here to make you the next Martha, we're here to help you be crafty quickly!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

6 Quick and easy Ritz Cracker appetizers

When you want to make some appetizers in a hurry, grab a box of Ritz Crackers and get creative. Not the creative type? Read on for six quick and easy Ritz cracker appetizer ideas that will take no more than a few minutes to make.

Now available in six varieties, you can find everything from Whole Wheat Ritz to Roasted Vegetable Ritz; simply choose your favorite and get started!

  1. Ritz with brie & marmalade
    To save time, pick up a package of sliced brie cheese. Place one slice of bread on the Ritz cracker and top with a dollop of marmalade or jam in whatever flavor you choose.

  2. Ritz Caprese
    Top your Ritz with a slice of mozzarella, tomato, and basil.

  3. Ritz with prosciutto & melon
    Slice prosciutto and melon (ripe honeydew or cantaloupe) into Ritz-sized pieces and place atop crackers.

  4. Ritz with chutney
    Simply buy any pre-made chutney and top your Ritz with them.

  5. Ritz with peanut butter & jelly
    Perfect for a back-to-school bash, this old school favorite is a favorite for a reason.

  6. Ritz sandwich
    Place a bite of sliced turkey and a bit of American cheese between two Ritz crackers for easy Ritz sandwiches.
Of course, if Ritz isn't your cracker of choice you can try Melba toast (holds up to heartier fare), Town House (a personal favorite), or any other simple brand of cracker. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Speed-clean your kitchen in 15 minutes

When you're expecting company, you can speed-clean your kitchen in mere minutes. Just follow these tips and you'll be party-ready in no time.

Clear out clutter. (4 minutes)
Clear off counter tops by stowing away any appliances you won't need at the party. By tucking away the food processor and the toaster, you'll have more room for food prep and easy-access to dishes. Fill a basket with any other miscellaneous items (stray cookbooks, mail, half-eaten boxes of cereal) that would get in the way of your party. Tuck the basket away and sort after the guests have gone home.

Wipe down surfaces. (4 minutes)
The 15-Minute Party Planner unabashedly loves Clorox cleaning products because of their ease and efficiency. Grab some Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and give a quick cleaning to all surfaces -- counter tops, stove tops, cabinet doors and handles, faucets, tables, and the handles and doors of your appliances.

Empty trash and recycling bins. (2 minutes)
By emptying your trash and recycling bins pre-party, you'll not only have a fresher-smelling kitchen, but you'll have more room for guests to toss their empties during the party. Want to keep your bins smelling fresh? Sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of each bin to soak up odors.

Clean floors. (4 minutes)
No one likes to mop, but an all-in-one product like the Swiffer SweeperVac or Clorox ReadyMop makes the chore a little easier and quicker. Go over your floors quickly, then pop off the cloth and throw it away. There are no messy buckets of water to dump out and no dust pans to empty.

Light a food-scented candle. (1 minute)
Nothing makes a party more inviting then the smell of food wafting from the kitchen. If you don't have anything cooking when guests arrive, consider lighting a candle to add to the kitchen's appeal. Consider lighting a pumpkin candle for a Halloween party or a Christmas Cookie candle for your next holiday gathering.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Free giveaway: Fantastic cocktail recipe book!

Because the 15-Minute Party Planner has been on a bit of a hiatus, it’s time to come back full-force with a giveaway! Since the 15-Minute Party Planner is all about the belief that party planning should be quick and easy, I've selected a great book, Fantastic Cocktails & Mixed Drinks, which shows the reader step-by-step directions to producing delightful cocktails. And, because the book is broken down by the type of spirits featured, it’s a great resource for any 15-minute party planner, who won’t be running to the store to stock up on crazy ingredients.

I’d like to reward my faithful following with this giveaway! I’d also like to boost readership and comeback full-force. So, if you’d like to win, here are the rules:
  • The contest is open to everyone. You’ll get one entry just for leaving a comment on this blog with your favorite quick-and-easy party planning tip.
  • You’ll get additional entries for each of the following (just note which ones apply in your comment on the post):
    +2 entries for becoming a fan (or having already been a fan) of The 15-Minute Party Planner on Facebook
    +2 entries for following ITandO on Twitter
    +5 for reposting this contest announcement on a social networking site (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) Just send me the link for your announcement! (And sorry, but only the first post on each site counts for the extra points.)

  • Once all of the entries are in, I'll give each entry a number and then feed them into an online random-number-generator. The entrant whose number corresponds with the generated number will be the winner!

  • Of course, in order to get you your prize in a timely fashion, I’ll need a way to contact you. Please provide your e-mail address, website/blog contact page, or some other way to contact you, provided you win.

  • The contest ends Saturday, August 21st at 11:59 p.m. EST.
Good luck!