Creamy Red Hot Dipping Sauce

With New Year’s Eve parties planned for this week, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my new favorite dip recipe.  I originally made this as a dipping sauce for meatballs, but we’ve tried it on just about everything.  It’s a great sandwich spread.  It makes Sauerkraut Balls even better.  I’ve even eaten it just spread on a cracker.  Besides all that, I find its orange color kind of festive.

Creamy Red Hot Dip by Crafty Staci
Creamy Red Hot Dip by Crafty Staci

Creamy Red Hot Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup sour cream

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons minced parsley

Creamy Red Hot Dipping Sauce Ingredients
Creamy Red Hot Dipping Sauce Ingredients

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Mix with a mixer or stir until completely blended.  This is even better after it sits in the fridge for a few hours.  If it’s too thick for your taste, just blend in a little milk or cream.

I called this “Red Hot” because of the pepper sauce, and it is spicy, but not in a crazy way.  I can’t wait to try this on a burger, or as dip for chicken tenders, or with french fries, or veggies…

Creamy Red Hot Dipping Sauce from Crafty Staci
Creamy Red Hot Dipping Sauce from Crafty Staci

Friday Favorites–New Year’s Eve

I’m floored by the fact that we’re about to flip our calendars over to 2015.  I mean, didn’t the 90’s JUST happen?  I remember crossing our fingers on December 31, 1999 and hoping that our giant, dial-up computer would still work when we got up the next morning.  Just so I don’t leave you in suspense, it did - it just reset to 1980.  No one around here is looking to turn back the clock this year though.  We had a lot of big adventures in 2014 and we’re anxious to see what 2015 has to offer.  Our first goal is to stay awake long enough to greet the new year.

New Year's Eve - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I don’t remember ever attending a New Year’s Eve party that required a dress.  We tend to celebrate a little more casually around here.  However, you never know what the future may hold, so I’m keeping this Party Dress DIY from Mark Montano in my file.

Party Dress DIY from Mark Montano

I tried to do a time capsule with my kids on the above mentioned New Year’s Eve of 1999.  I made up the sheets to fill out and put everything in a box – but never filled anything out.  At least, I don’t remember doing it.  I might get a big surprise one of these years.  Anyway, don’t be me – make this make this New Year’s Time Capsule from The Imagination Tree with your kids.  And remember where you put it.

New Year's Time Capsule for Kids from The Imagination Tree

Monsieur and Madame Champagne from Squirrel Picnic would be adorable on your New Year’s Eve buffet.  And no headache the next day!

Monsieur and Madame Champagne Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

I love little snacky food for New Year’s Eve, especially desserts.  These Hot Cocoa Mug Mini Desserts from Bird’s Party would be fun and leave you with room to sample other goodies.

Hot Cocoa Mug Mini Desserts from Birds Party

Whether we like it or not, the new year is when many of us start thinking about making some healthy changes to our eating habits.  These Salted Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Slices from Etc might be a good bridge to get there.

Salted Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Slices from Etc

And how beautiful would a plate be filled with those oranges and these Cherries Dipped in White Chocolate from Simple Provisions?

Cherries Dipped in White Chocolate from Simple Provisions

What’s a party without chips and dip?  Check out the festive way that Caramel Potatoes came up with to serve them.

If you have little ones, sometimes it’s tough keeping them entertained when they’re sugared up and they have that second wind because it’s WAY past their bedtime.  Consider helping them make these New Year Wishing Wands from Baby Centre – maybe before the party starts.

New Year Wishing Wand from Baby Centre

Another fun kid-idea is this Memory Scavenger Hunt from No Time for Flash Cards.  I kinda want to do this myself.  Maybe I can get my husband to hide them for me.

Photo Memory Scavenger Hunt from No Time for Flash Cards

If you’d like to send your guests home with a little something after the party, make some of these New Year Boxes from Mein Lila Park

New Year Box from Mein Lila Park

I don’t ordinarily link from my round-up here to another round-up, but B Lovely Events has so many great ideas for a Neon Glow in the Dark Party that I couldn’t resist.  This was compiled for a Sweet 16, but wouldn’t this be an amazing New Year’s Eve party?

Neon Glow in the Dark Party from B Lovely Events

Friday Favorites–Welcome to the Jungle

I’m about to show my age here, but if you’re familiar with the song title I’m using, bonus points to you.  When my daughter was a tiny little thing, she used to sing it with her dad.  It was the cutest thing ever.  Today is that same girl’s birthday, and while she would (and does) happily sing this with her father, she’s all grown up now.  This week’s Friday Favorites is dedicated to my first-born monkey!

Welcome to the Jungle - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Around the same time as all that singing, my little girl could not get enough of The Lion King.  That was back when we were all watching on VHS, and the tape was so well-worn it had a permanent stripe across the top of the screen.  Needless to say, we had a lion-themed birthday or two in there.  This little Jungle Party from Simply Designing would have been perfect for my fruit and vegetable lover.

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This Jungle Vine from One Charming Party is a great idea, and I think you could probably recycle paper bags for the vine, making it very inexpensive.

Jungle Vine from One Charming Party

It’s kinda crazy how easy it is to make this Zebra Stripe Cake from My Cake School.  I have got to try this.

Zebra Cake from My Cake School

Craft, Interrupted shares an adorable Feed the Monkey Game here, but what I particularly liked was the little Banana Beanbags.

Banana Bean Bags from Craft Interrupted

A couple of basic paper shapes and some clothespins are all you need to make these stand-up animals from Estefi Machado.

Clothespin Safari Animals from Estefi Machado

This No Sew Leaf Girl Costume from Alpha Mom would be great for your rainforest girl.

No Sew Leaf Girl Costume from Alpha Mom

These sweet Sleep Toy patterns from Livemaster remind me of some I had when I was a little kid.

Toys for Sleep from Livemaster

I remember my kids coming home from school with rain sticks they had made, like these from The Imagination Tree.

DIY Rain Stick from The Imagination Tree

Make play binoculars for your mini explorers with this DIY from Make Life Lovely.

DIY Binoculars from Make Life Lovely

I adore every single part of this Felt Safari Quiet Book from A Handmade Tale.

Safari Quiet Book from A Handmade Tale

Friday Favorites–Super Bowl

I have a confession to make.  I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials.  We usually play board games while the football part is happening.  I’ve been known to choose which team I’m rooting for by the color of their uniforms.  This year, though, I’m going with Seattle.  Not because I know anything about them as a team, but because I like Seattle, the city.  I haven’t visited Denver yet, but I’m sure it’s a great place as well.  I know I just made some of you football fan grit your teeth, so how about some Super Bowl crafts and recipes to make up for it?

Friday Favorites - 10 Super Bowl Crafts and Recipes - Crafty Staci

One of the most important parts of any Super Bowl party is the food.  These Pizza Bites from Somewhat Simple would be a great addition to the buffet.

Pizza Bites from Somewhat Simple

Right up there with the food are the beverages.  This Super Bowl Dessert Cocktail from She Knows is such a great decoration it would almost be a shame to drink it.  Almost.

Super Bowl Dessert Cocktail from She Knows

To protect your furniture and make those drinks look even better, whip up these Burlap Football Coasters from Snap.

Football Coasters from Snap

If you have little ones who might have an even shorter attention span for football than I do, let them play along with these Football Player Peg Dolls from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy.

Football Peg Dolls from Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy

I love pickles, so I think this Dill Pickle Dip from Foodie with Family would be a perfect Super Bowl addition.  In fact, if you use low fat or fat free cream cheese, it’s also a pretty healthy one.  Don’t tell anyone.

Dill Pickle Dip from Foodie with Family

Thanks to the chalk-on-green on this Football Field Serving Tray from 504 Main, it could transition right into St. Patrick’s Day after the big game.

DIY Football Field Tray from 504 Main

You’ve got to have some sweets, so my vote is for these Football Macarons from Creative Juice.  They taste like Snickers.  Mmmmm.

Football Macarons from Creative Juice

There are plenty of snacks and utensils that need to be stored on Super Bowl Sunday, so you’ll need a few of these Football and Field Party Cans from Mom on Timeout.

Football and Field Party Cans from Mom on Timeout

Show your team spirit with these Sports Jersey Beverage Holders from Positively Splendid.

I seriously want a pair of these Kids Fan Fingers from Every Day is a Crafting Day.  I guess I’ll have to find out what color Seattle wears.

Fan Fingers from Every Day is a Crafting Day

Good luck to your favorite team (or your favorite commercials)!

Friday Favorites–New Year’s DIYs

2014.  I feel like we just went through the whole Y2K thing.  Yeah…14 years ago.  Let’s clink our glasses together and welcome another year of inspiration, creation and doing it ourselves.  And not blinking and finding out it’s 2020.

10 New Year's DIYs - Crafty Staci

If ever there was a night when kids should be allowed, even encouraged, to make lots of noise, it’s New Year’s Eve.  Help them along with these Paper Plate Shakers from The Centsible Life.

Paper Plate Shakers for New Years Eve from The Centsible Life

To make a New Year’s decoration that can be reused last year at Christmastime, try this banner from 504 Main.

Reversible Holiday Wish and New Years Banner from 504 Main

I love these fun, happy cookies from The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle.

Happy New Year Cookies from Sweet Sugar Belle

This Exploding Year Box from Glitter Adventure is amazing.  What a fantastic way to relive the year’s great memories!

Exploding Year Memory Box from Glitter Adventure 

There are several fun New Year’s ideas here from Fiskars, but I especially like the clock cupcake toppers.

New Years Eve Party Decor from Fiskars

Even if you indulge in a little nip or two for New Year’s, you’re bound to have some pint-sized guests, people who choose to abstain or designated drivers who all deserve something special too.  Keep them included in the festivities with these Perfect Pina Coladas from Over the Big Moon.

Perfect Pina Coladas from Over the Big Moon

Everyone is always making resolutions for the new year, but I love this DIY twist.  UCreate shares a Creative Bucket List printable.

Creative Bucket List from U Create

Creative food is a must to ring in the new year.  Check out this Cupcake Fondue from Pint Size Social.  Imagine the possibilities.

Cupcake Fondue from Pint Size Social

If cupcakes aren’t your thing, here’s some Chocolate Pop Rocks Rice Krispy Treats from Cupcake Project.

Chocolate Pop Rock Rice Krispie Treats from Cupcake Project

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time for some photos to remember the old year and ring in the new.  Add a little something special with these New Year Photo Props from I Heart Naptime.

New Year Photo Props from i heart naptime

Happy 2014!

Friday Favorites–Hot Cocoa Bars

Last year I made hot cocoa bars for my husband’s work party and a family gathering at Christmas time.  They were really fun to put together, and were a hit at both events.  However, I managed to not get a single decent photo to show you.  No worries though, we’ll be doing it again this year.  In the meantime, other cocoa cooks have some great ideas, inspiration…and photos.

Friday Favorites - 10 Hot Cocoa Bars - Crafty Staci

We’ll start our tour with this beautiful blue Winter Warmer Party from Catch my Party.  If this doesn’t make you want a hot cup of cocoa, I don’t know what will.

Catch My Party

The use of wrapping paper as a backdrop makes this hot chocolate bar from Parties for Pennies very affordable, and those peppermint cookie pops are the perfect accent.

Parties for Pennies

I love the milk jars and chicken wire in this version from Clean and Scentsible.

Clean and Scentsible

Hymns and Verses’ cocoa station has a lovely antique feel to it.

Hymns and Verses

This hot cocoa bar on Hostess with the Mostess has lots of fun details, including kid-friendly cups with caps.

Hostess with the Mostess

Also from Hostess with the Mostess, this party is whimsical enough to bring out the kid in anyone.

Hostess with the Mostess 2

With the chaos of the holidays, sometimes it’s a good idea to let someone else take on some of the work.  Check out this Hot Cocoa Party Collection, personalized just for you, from passforparties on Etsy.

passforparties

Sometimes you don’t need an entire bar, just a little cocoa centerpiece will do.  Gluesticks has you covered.

Gluesticks

Hanging strings of mini marshmallows to decorate your hot cocoa bar?  Love!  Thanks to Style Me Pretty.

Style Me Pretty

You just can’t go wrong with red and snowflakes, proven by this party from Amanda’s Parties to Go.

Amandas Parties To Go

Hot cocoa bars are great, not only for ordinary parties, but things like teacher appreciation events or cookie exchanges.  The potential mix-ins and combinations are endless.  When I made mine last year, I used this cinnamon syrup recipe from Food Network, made orange syrup from Foodie Knowledge, made vanilla syrup from Annie Eats and tried this chocolate sauce from AllRecipes.  Now that I’ve started talking about it, I can’t wait to do it again!  Who wants a cup?

Friday Favorites - Fruit

One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit available.  I ate so many strawberries the summer I was pregnant with my daughter, she’s lucky she didn’t turn out red and covered in seeds.  When we moved to the house we live in now I was almost giddy to find several mature blueberry bushes.  We added a few raspberries, an Asian pear tree and apples.  We also have wild blackberries, whether we want them or not, and wild huckleberries.  Yep, I sorta like fruit, just a little bit.

I’ve been admiring this Porcelain Berry Basket from Etsy seller forestclearing for at least a year.  How cute would this be sitting around with fruit in it?

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My daughter has a thing for pineapples, but she’s going to have to learn to crochet if she wants this Pineapple Fridge Magnet from Pottage Publishing.

pineapple

These Lightbulb Pears from Todd & Lindsey Creating are a brilliant way to recycle old light bulbs.  I especially like the stick stem.

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This Watermelon Skirt from Sun Scholars looks pretty simple, not to mention adorable.

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Speaking of watermelon, have you ever heard of watermelon jelly?  I hadn’t, which is why I’m intrigued by this Watermelon Jelly recipe from Food in Jars.

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I’m filing this idea for Fruit Balloons from Oh, Happy Day under “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Everybody covers other fruit with chocolate, but Heather’s French Press went with Chocolate Filled Raspberries instead.  Sign me up.

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I can’t say I’ve ever gone out of my way for marmalade, but for some reason this Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate Marmalade from Simple Bites sounds delicious.

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I’ve actually made Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips before, similar to this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything, and I could pretty much replace any meal with it.

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And, just because it’s Friday, I leave you with Strawberry and Cream Elves from Weelicious.  Otherwise known on my Pinterest board as Ninja Strawberries.

Strawberries-Cream