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Cost Plus World Market Contributions To A Christmas Party.

December 19th, 2011 No comments

A formal THANK YOU to Cost Plus World Market for the lovely prizes and party supplies.

All were pleased by the smart kitchen tools, house decorations and gourmet Chocolates.

Thanks also go to my friends who contributed the appetizing FOOD, even the Jack in the Box Tacos cut in half, disguised as an Appetizer — That’s funny Michelle.  What do you call ’em?  Ironically several were happy to eat them, and it was fast, easy and cheap for her.  So be it.

Always look forward to the Chocolate Dipped Oreos from Loretta — Wish I had some now.

Merci, Gracie, Danke Shoen, Mahalo, Arigato, Gracias y mas Cost Plus World Market.

A wave to you for making this 17th Annual Christmas Par-Tay a success.

I tour the world at CPWM.

Quick Dip Mickey Moused Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies.

April 14th, 2011 No comments

Quick Dip — Is that an oxymoron?  Chocolate was melted in the microwave and Oreo Cookies were being dipped 5 minutes from commencement.  And Mickey Moused, because Chocolate wasn’t tempered, nor mixed with wax, cream or butter.  Instead, Milk and White Chocolate Chips were separately melted at 50% power, in approx. 50 second intervals and stirred in between.  It was fast and turned out good, but not as great as those you buy, or the ones my friend Loretta makes.  I don’t think she’d approve of these, but we’re always experimenting.

I was most proud of the design I created on the White Chocolate Dipped Oreo above.

Dippin’ leftover Oreos in Chocolate, from the Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes we made.

Haphazard about thickness and decoration, but wanted to make ’em quick.

All was made in about 10 minutes, which is obvious looking at some.  Next time I’ll pipe the Chocolate through a baggie tip rather than use a spoon — Better design control, less sloppy.

Funny thing, growing up I wasn’t an Oreo Cookie fan and when I did have them, I’d eat the outsides and throw away the middle.  I hadn’t purchased them in years and this time didn’t need to ditch the middle.  Is there less than there used to be, like too many things?

A Christmas Party & Cost Plus World Market During The Holidays.

December 19th, 2010 No comments

A Christmas Party and Cost Plus World Market go very well together.  This year I hosted my 16th Annual Girl’s Christmas Party for several long-time dear friends (and the best sister in the world), and Cost Plus fit right in, since my relationship with it spans equally long.  My first apartment in Belmont Shore was basically furnished by them — I was so proud of its style and still have several cool imports and dishes from way-back when.  For this Sweet 16, CPWM generously provided a Gift Card that was used to purchase all snacks, prizes, drinks, wrap, and most stylish and tasty party supplies.  What a great thing!

Each guest brings an Appetizer, Salad or Side Dish, plus a GIFT for a wild gift exchange with plenty of opportunities to steal what you really want — And this year, as always we enjoyed an abundance of FOOD, fun and laughs.

A PRIZE is awarded to the person bringing the Best Voted Appetizer, an incentive to bring something good.  Guests cast anonymous (and sometimes padded and made-up) votes that are tallied to choose a hopefully legitimate winner.

Desserts are always baked by my treasured friend Loretta, whose goodies can’t be beat.

Having one person bring the Dessert is also strategic — In earlier party days, guests/friends  were asked to bring an Appetizer or Dessert and I learned that it would produce too many Desserts and not enough Appetizers.  Now, Loretta automatically receives a prize for her award-winning Desserts and there’s always enough savory stuff to eat.  This year, Patty aka Tricia won a prize for her Salad pictured at top.  All tasted fantastic — And I’m now trying to obtain the recipe for the Tapenade pictured above, which was made by my friend, Nora’s husband Brian.  If allowed, I’ll share it here, as it was truly outstanding and a runner-up to the Salad.

Wouldn’t you know that I had technical difficulties with my camera this evening, which resulted in mostly blurry and poorly lighted food dishes that can’t be shared. 🙁

Cost Plus World Market recently to stumbled upon Nibbles of Tidbits, and me who is already in love with them — The result is continuous adoration and perfect party supplies (from around the world) for my Sweet 16th Annual Girl’s Christmas Party.  We girls appreciated it ALL!

Because I like handing out prizes and laughing at people playing the stupid games I come up with, each year we play several new and old favorites — This year Nora won the red and white votive candles, Arlene won the Oil & Vinegar Cruets, Loretta won the colander, soap and bath fizzies, and Heidi won the Chocolate Champagne bottle and more.

The pictured snacks were chosen from CPWM‘s seemingly endless selection of international goods.  It was hard to decide, as one could host a variety of party themes with Cost Plus food.

And a BIG SHOUT OUT needs to go out for the White Cheddar Snowball Puffs!  They have a perfect amount of tasty Cheddar flavor and a nicely crisp puff.  They were a hit and I want to go back for more before they disappear.

Cost Plus is the only place I’ve seen thus far with Red & Green Tortilla Chips that taste and look good.  I served them with a favorite Salsa determined during a Salsa Taste-Off.

And if you don’t know already, Cost Plus World Market offers an amazing selection of Beer and Wine.  We enjoyed Stella Artois, Corona Extra and Skinny Dip New Belgium — Had to get it for the name and we were pleasantly surprised by its likable flavor.

To keep our drinks straight, we used the above drink markers, also from Cost Plus.  I turned ’em into a game by awarding a prize to the person picking the prized adjective — Whomever chose DESPERATE won.

Photo of this year’s party attendees and BFF’s.

Although I’ve shopped at Cost Plus for years, I haven’t purchased much of their Beer, Wine or other imported beverages, which is probably a bit odd, since many shop there specifically for it.  Since CPWM sponsored most of this year’s party, it was a great opportunity to sample their infinite offerings — And ultimately there was an overwhelming response to the Cristalino Champagne.  It’s terrifically bubbly, fresh and not too sweet.  It’s an excellent inexpensive Champagne.  Other photos reflect prizes happily won by guests.

Do you like my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree?  It’s easy clean up, but I’m starting to miss a real one.  Maybe next year.  Also pictured is a giant bottle of the Champagne noted above.  The large bottle was fun and oh so good — We went through it too fast.  And I probably talked on the microphone too much, but had to get the attention of the rebellious crowd to participate in the next silly game.  There were cool prizes to be won.

Cost Plus is an old friend that made my Sweet 16th Annual Christmas Party extra special and tasty — All friends were joyful about it too!  Merry Christmas to YOU.

Easter Cookie (And Goodie) Decorating Ideas: Happy Easter.

April 4th, 2010 2 comments

Easter Cookies & Champagne

As you may or may not know, the Nibbles of Tidbits’ Cookie Crew decorates Cookies every major holiday.  Happy Easter!  This year our lovely host, Loretta single-handedly made Cupcakes, Chocolate Dipped Oreos, Chocolate Dipped Graham Crackers and White Chocolate Bunny Lollipops.  The rest of us decorated Sugar Cookies, after toasting with a glass of Champagne and Chambord.

Easter Cookies

Decorating Cookies (and other goodies) is a fun way to spend time with friends and family, then you (and related lucky recipients) get to eat ’em.  Prior to preparation, we had Fish Tacos, a Wedge Salad, Hummus, Bruschetta and Pita Chips — Creative expression flows with a full stomach.

Icing for Sugar CookiesMakin' FrostingDecorating ParafernaliaToasting to Cookies

To provide the latest decorating ideas (although somewhat amateur), we post photos after every gathering.  And now all is on Nibbles of Tidbits as a handy reference to be utilized each year.

Easter Cookie Decorating Ideas

Chocolate Dipped Oreos and one Peep

Easter Cupcakes

Happy Easter from the Nibbles of Tibdits’ Cookie Crew (below), two (Nora and Patty aka Tricia) are not shown in the photo — Pictured (l-r) are Loretta, Kim, Michelle and Shelly (me).

Easter CookiesWhite Chocolate Bunny LollipopsNaked Sugar CookiesCookie Crew (minus two)

Jesus is the reason for the season!

More Christmas Cookie Decorating Ideas With Photos.

December 12th, 2009 2 comments

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Nibbles of Tidbits gets to decorate a lot of Cookies — Our Christmas Cookies this year seem to look a little better than those decorated last Christmas.  The Cookies don’t need to look perfect, because the most fun is had decorating them with friends.

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The Sugar Cookies start out naked as you can see, but gave permission to be posted here.  🙂

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When starting with a blank canvas it’s hard to envision how to decorate some Cookie shapes, thus it’s helpful to view others’ Christmas Cookies for ideas.  We post our Cookies each year to remind ourselves of the possibilities and to assist you with the same.

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Our family, friends and co-workers appreciate the Cookies of our labor — We like hand delivering the decorated Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Dipped Oreos & Graham Crackers, and molded White Chocolate Peppermint Cottages to awaiting smiles.

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Our holiday Cookie decorating tradition is always a great time — We suggest you do the same with your friends.  The Nibbles of Tidbits ‘Official Cookie Crew’ includes all pictured below l-r, Michelle, Loretta, Kim, Nora, Patty (aka Tricia) and Shelly (aka Me).  Merry Christmas ALL!

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Christmas Party Appetizers And Dessert Ideas With Photos.

December 5th, 2009 1 comment

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Every first Friday of December, I host a Girl’s Christmas Party and this year was my 15th annual.  Guests are asked to bring an appetizer, salad, soup or side dish and a $25 value gift for a crazy gift exchange.  A prize and ribbon are awarded to the person bringing the best voted appetizer.  This year’s winning appetizer is posted above and the runner up is below.

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In addition to the winning appetizers, we’ve posted several others to provide a few ideas for your Christmas Party.  Everything was yummy and I’m much appreciative for all contributions.

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We enjoyed baked Bruschetta with Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil and Balsamic Vinegar, homemade Guacamole and Chips, Antipasto, Vegetables with Ranch Dip, Chips and Onion Dip, Chicken Wings, Hummus with Pita Chips, a Chopped Salad, Spring Rolls, Buffalo Mozzarella with Tomato and Basil, and much more.  Some dishes aren’t pictured due to photo quality.

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Dessert preparation is deligated to the best baker in the bunch, Loretta of Nibbles of Tidbits’ Cookie Decorating fame.  She made a few of our old time favorites for all to enjoy.

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Dessert included a homemade Chocolate Cake with Frosting piped using my favorite decorating tip (hair tip), Magic Bars and Lemon Squares.  Loretta receives a prize every year for her amazing efforts.

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The past couple years money was saved on a tree, due to the display of our adorable Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  Champagne flows along with the availability of a semi-full bar and lots of Bottled Water.  And poster boards are accessible to view party photos from all previous years.

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This year I pulled out an American Idol Microphone to facilitate the party along.  We (I) had a fun time with it — It’s a great way to get your guest’s attention to coordinate the games, the gift exchange and appetizer vote submissions.  We usually end the party with a group photo to be viewed on next year’s poster board.  Unfortunately two left before we remembered to take our 2009 photo.  To view last year’s par-tay highlights, click here.  Merry Christmas!

More Halloween Cookie & Cupcake Decorating Ideas.

October 24th, 2009 1 comment

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As a fairly new tradition, a group of us get together to decorate Halloween Cookies.  These photos are from our 2nd annual gathering.  Above the Wicked Witch of the West is melting into several Cupcakes — They’re made with green frosting, a upside-down Fudge Striped Cookie, a Hershey’s Kiss and orange piped icing.  And the other is what the Wicked Witch of the East must have looked like after the house landed on her.

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All the professional looking goodies in this post were prepared by our host, Loretta Shaw (a Personal Trainer by day and Creative Baker by night).  She seamlessly prepared the Chocolate Dipped Oreos and Graham Crackers, the White Chocolate Tangerine Bark and the Eyeball, Finger, Hand and Gummy Worm Cupcakes, while the rest of us decorated the Cookies she baked.

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As noted in previous posts, decorating holiday Cookies, Cupcakes and Candies is a fun way to spend time with friends.  We have a blast, then get to take home the goodies to our awaiting families, who are much appreciative.  Enjoy the ideas and have your own Cookie party.

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Be sure to check back every year, because we 5 Cookies (and another BFF missing from the photo) plan to keep decorating edible Cookies for many years to come.  Loretta (middle) is located in Orange County — If interested in having professional looking (and tasting) goodies prepared for your holiday party, please leave a detailed comment here and we’ll get back to you.  Happy Halloween!

Easter Cookie Decorating Ideas.

April 11th, 2009 1 comment

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Easter Cookies appear to be the most colorful of Holiday Cookies — It’s all the bright pastels, which may make them the most fun to decorate.  Here we decorated Bunnies, Ducks, Easter Eggs, Tulips, Sunflowers, Carrots, Butterflies and Sheep.

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As previously reported on Nibbles of Tidbits (See ‘Cookies’ Category), I get together with my BFF’s to decorate Sugar Cookies most holidays.  It’s a fun way to spend time together and we get to take home yummy cookies for our families.

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A special thanks goes to Loretta for baking all the Cookies and making all the Icings, whereas the rest of us just show up with FOOD, Wine & Coffee, plus the intangible — jokes, political debates, funny stories, concerns, questions, irritations, and gratitude for the time spent together.

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Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies matching the season are always a part of our Cookie Decorating gatherings.  This time the Oreos were dipped in White Chocolate and then swirled with a hot pink colored Chocolate — They’re so good each time.  Happy Easter!

See more Cookie Decorating Ideas here and here.

Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Ideas HERE.

February 9th, 2009 No comments

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These Valentine’s Day Cookies are the masterpieces (if you will) of five fabulous friends together again decorating Sugar Cookies made by Loretta, the intrinsic Orange County Baker.  We’re decorating our way through the 2009 holidays.  It’s a fun way to spend time and our families love it when we bring home trays of yummy Cookies — And Candies, to be posted HERE soon.

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More Valentines: http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=2273

Christmas Cookies: http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=1551

Halloween Cookies: http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=1214

The Best Chocolate Dipped Oreos Around.

February 8th, 2009 No comments

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cookies-valentines-041-copyThe Best Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies are made by Princess Loretta.  She’s the one in the middle with the floating Cookie Tiara.  Her baked goods are much appreciated by her friends, family, clients, and expanding outward.  And her Cookies are magically better than any we’ve purchased.  She uses the best Chocolate for her Oreos.  That’s just one reason why I’m lucky to be one of her best friends.  And since Valentine’s Day is coming up, she made White Chocolate Dipped Oreos with red stripes.  Everything she makes somehow tastes extra good.  Cookies, Cakes and Candies are her forté, after training clients in her Huntington Beach Pilate’s Studio. 

This day a group of us happily got together to decorate Valentine’s Cookies, and take home pretty boxes of Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies, White Chocolate Cherry Kisses and more.  The decorated Cookies will be posted and linked soon.  Gracias Loretta – It’s always a great time!

SPECIAL NOTE:  If you’re local (Orange County) and want your own Chocolate Dipped Oreos by Loretta, please tell Nibbles of Tidbits HERE in a comment.  More Chocolate Dipped Oreos: http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=1247

Christmas Cookie Decoration Ideas.

December 24th, 2008 No comments

Decorating Christmas Cookies is one of our new traditions, thanks to my great friend, Loretta, who makes all the goods.  As previously reported, the rest of us simply show up to decorate, eat and take home our works of art.



Not only do we get to take home our Cookies, but on this occasion we enjoyed, White, Milk and Dark Chocolate dipped Oreo Cookies, Milk Chocolate dipped Graham Crackers, and White Chocolate Peppermint Bark and molded cottages.  As you can see, all look so professional.

The cellophane bags magically turn our labors into gifts.  My office enjoyed much of the above.  Thanks to my wonderful friends for the laughs and goodies.  And Merry Christmas to ALL!


Be sure to check out the related links for more Cookie ideas and to read the story behind the messy apron (above).

Related Links:

http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=1214

http://www.ineedtext.com/FoodBlog/?p=1548

Christmas Party Appetizer & Dessert Ideas.

December 7th, 2008 3 comments

Thanks to my cherished friends (and sis) for delivering the wonderful Appetizers and Desserts to my 14th Annual Christmas Party.  It was a blast like always.  Michelle’s Pesto Loaf (above) was voted Best Appetizer.  Congratulations!  The recipe is linked below.

And every party needs a Fresh Vegetable Platter — Ours was over the top good with Yellow and Red Bell Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers and more.  And continuing on down (L-R), this year we enjoyed Artichoke Dip and Chicken & Lemongrass Spring Rolls.

Chicken Tamales with Colorado Chili Sauce, Salami, Brie and Smoked Cheese with Crackers, and Fresh Homemade Salsa and Tortilla Chips.  The Salsa deserves an honorable mention for its restaurant quality flavor.  I’ve got to get the recipe.

Egg Rolls, Pesto Loaf, and Cream Cheese with Blueberry Preserves and Crackers.  Then moving on to the bakery quality Desserts prepared by Loretta — She took the prize for that category with her Lemon Bars, Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Icing, Magic Cookie Bars, and Chocolate Dipped Oreos and Graham Crackers as the Cake presents.

We had more than pictured here, but some photos didn’t quite make the quality cut.  I do appreciate ALL the food!  We mostly enjoyed Champagne, Chardonnay, Juice and Bottled Water, but many options were available.

This year I have a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree — It’s cute, don’t you think?  Here we are in a rare people picture on Nibbles of Tidbits.  I didn’t get my friend’s approval for the posted photo so it could come down if someone doesn’t like the way they look.  You know how some girls can be – HA. 🙂

Related Link:

Winning Appetizer Recipe (Pesto Loaf) – pesto-dip-appetizer

Decorating Halloween Treats With Friends.

October 26th, 2008 5 comments

Decorating Halloween Treats is now a super fun tradition with my best friends.  One friend makes all the basics and the rest of us just get to show up and decorate them.  I’m one of the lucky decorators. 🙂

The Cupcake topping in the main photo is made from ground Oreo Cookies and the goodies in the bags above are Milk Chocolate dipped Oreo Cookies.  The Halloween Cookies are homemade with my friend’s favorite Sugar Cookie recipe, then cut into pumpkins, bats, witches, cats, ghosts, Frankenstein and more.  The Cupcakes are Chocolate.  All are fresh baked and yummy.


Above are just a few of the tools and below is just some of the fun.  After all, we each get to take home trays of Cookies, Cupcakes and Chocolates.  It’s a lot of laughs too, especially with this crazy bunch. 🙂



I rarely post people pictures on this blog, since it’s all about the food, but I’m wearing my Foodbuzz Apron, so I’d thought I’d let them know.  Thanks Foodbuzz!  And a big THANKS to Loretta for doing all the hard work so we can just show up and have fun.

Related Link:

http://www.foodbuzz.com/