Posts tagged ‘Decorating’

April 11, 2011

Inside the Queen’s Studio with Denise Silverman

by Casserole Queens

The Queens periodically interview someone we find interesting and inspiring. In this installment, we are proud to introduce you to Denise Silverman.  Not only is Denise the CEO of CLINK (a fabulous event production agency that designs and coordinates special events in Texas, across the US and abroad), but she is also a loyal Casserole Queen customer and dear friend! Denise has been planning show-stopping events here in Austin since 2002 and boasts about 75 events/year, many of which have been published and/or featured in various news media outlets.  She is sharp, fearless and has impeccable taste.  And we do mean impeccable.  See for yourself, on the CLINK company blog. Enjoy!

Tell us a little about yourself.

First and foremost, I’m a Mom and a wife.  My family is what motivates me to be successful in everything I do.

What is your “recipe” for success?

Making people happy.  I’m a people-pleaser and I don’t like to disappoint.  So whether it’s my clients, my staff or my family – I am constantly working to keep people happy.  That, and Friday nights at El Chile with my family.  There’s nothing better than making it through a busy week and looking forward to our weekly tradition of margaritas and Tex Mex with my two favorite boys.

If you weren’t the CEO of CLINK you would be…

A swim coach.  I grew up on a swim team and it was probably the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.  I held my coach in the highest regard and learned from him the value of hard work and how it pays off.  I loved the look of pride on my coach’s face when I would beat my best time or win a race! I would love to be able to teach/motivate that way.

If a casserole described your personality – what would it be?

Gooey apple butter cake . . . sweet and indulgent!

What’s your favorite dish you’ve served at an event?

I would have to go with the make-your-own stuffed avocado bar.  There was so much delicious-ness all on one table.  The caterer was so creative with the fillings and the guests couldn’t get enough.  And I was lucky enough to get the leftovers!

Name one event disaster you’ve had.

I’ve never had a full-on disaster (knock wood!), but Mother Nature has certainly given me a few grey hairs.  Of course, we are always prepared with a fail-proof rain plan, but having to make the call on whether to execute the rain plan tent is both stressful and expensive!  I hate having to advise clients that we really need to execute the rain plan!  Everyone wants to think it’s not going to rain on their wedding day, but I’m paid to think that it will!  And no matter how much planning goes into a good rain plan, there are inevitably little, unexpected glitches.  The key is working through those glitches so that the client and the guests never knew a thing!

What was the most fun/interesting event you’ve worked on?

What makes an event fun is the guests.  If the guests are happy, fun, friendly people, the event is going to be fun.  If the guests are hard-to-please and/or rude, well . . . it’s going to be a long night.

What’s your most favorite part of your job?

Making people happy.  There’s nothing better than receiving a thank you note from a client after the event is over that says, “We couldn’t have done it without you.”  Also – the food! I love trying new things and love when my clients are excited about food!

What was the craziest request you’ve received from a client?

Some day, I will write a tell-all book about all the crazy requests and other madness that has occurred over the years.  Until then, mum’s the word.

If someone wrote a book about you, what would the title be?

People Pleaser.

February 11, 2011

Can you feel the love?

by Sandy Pollock

My dashing man of 12 years and I don’t do Valentine’s Day. We never really have. We typically try to find a place to grab some dinner and drinks that would normally be packed if it weren’t for it being Valentine’s Day.

When February popped up on the calendar, and isles at the grocery store started to look like cans of red paint threw up everywhere, I thought I should try to embrace the holiday and post something Valentiney! So, in my attempt to be more valentine-focused, I rocked out some love cookies. They are crazy easy to make, super yummy and all around awesome.

Here’s how it went down:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1 cup butter (softened)

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour

Cream together butter and sugar

Add the egg and vanilla and mix

Sift together the baking powder and flour

Add flour a cup at a time. The dough will be stiff, but if it is too stiff and does not hold together in a ball just add some water (a teaspoon at a time).

That’s what you’re looking for.

Form a ball with the dough and turn it out on a lightly floured surface.

Roll the dough out. You are looking for 1/4-inch thick cookies (they will rise in the oven a little)

Using your favorite cookie cutter, start stamping out your shapes. I was being kinda nutty and went with a heart shape. I know it’s out of the ordinary, but I’m an artist.

Time to make the icing:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons water

Food coloring

Stir confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and water together. Stir in food coloring if desired. This glaze must be stirred each time you use it. If it is not stirred before each use it will dry with a mottled look instead of a solid color.

It’s true.

I had some sprinkles so I rolled the uncooked dough in the sprinkles and into the oven they went. I think they are simple and pretty (and yummy).

The end.

November 6, 2010

Tailgating with Casseroles

by Casserole Queens

With cool weather settling in and football season in full swing, we wanted to help you bring your tailgate to the next level with a few tips and ideas from the Casserole Queens.

While hamburgers and hotdogs are usually a tailgate staple, there’s no reason not to bring something new to the game with a new recipe, or of course, a casserole!  Because casseroles are easy to transport, easy to heat up, and easy to serve a lot of people, they are a no-brainer for your next tailgate.  Check out these crowd pleasers that will make your tailgate the most popular pre-game party place.


Kick-off with a Kick Casserole

1 ½ cups of dried elbow macaroni
2 cups of broccoli florets
1/3 cup dried tomatoes (not oil pack)
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil, crushed
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups milk
1 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded Gouda cheese

Cook macaroni. Add broccoli; drain. Set aside. Meanwhile, snip dried tomatoes. Place tomatoes in a small bowl; add enough warm water to cover. Let stand for 10 minutes or until softened; drain well. Set aside. In a medium saucepan cook green onions in hot butter over medium heat until tender. Stir in flour, basil, cayenne pepper, and salt. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add cheeses, a little at a time, stirring constantly after each addition until melted. Stir in macaroni-broccoli mixture and softened tomatoes. Transfer to an un-greased 1 1/2 –quart casserole.

Bake, uncovered, in a 350° oven about 30 minutes.

casseroles are a perfect complement for every tailgate.  To go with your game day casseroles, here are some ideas for decorations, drinks, tailgating games, and even some kitschy outfits to support your favorite team.

A great way to incorporate a casserole into your game day menu is to heat up your casserole at home then pack it in a cooler where it will stay warm until you arive on -site. Once there the Queens recommend disposable chafing dishes.  They are easy to set up, and the wire frame/holder can be reused and really do a great job at keeping food hot.  A sample is at the link below but you can find these at any party supply store.

Disposable Buffet Serving Kits

For more tailgating recipes, check out


Food Network


Be Prepared

Pre-pack food (make a list the night before of items to pack in the morning, as well as items to pick up on the way to the tailgate, like ice.), prepare for weather (make sure you have covers for your dishes, and a place to store things in case of a downpour), check regulations (from alcohol to barbecue pits, check with the school website before bringing these items to your tailgate)



Have a fabulous tailgate while showing your team colors with these easy tips.  If you don’t already own your own table cloth and plates with your teams logo, there are plenty of sites you can order them from.  Most party supply stores also have paper plates in cups in a plethora of colors, so you are sure to find everything you need in your team’s colors there.  Here are some helpful sites:

Tailgater Zone

Tailgating Party Supply

Visiting your team’s official website is also a great place to start looking for inspiration and unique items.

A couple helpful hints when buying your decorations: First, set a budget. Try to buy items that can be used all season to help cut down on costs. Next, scout out your tailgating spot so you can know how much room you have, and so that you can take full advantage of your surroundings (surrounding trees, shady areas, and good places to set up tables and chairs.)



Since just beer isn’t enough at the Queen’s tailgate, impress your guests with some of these must have beverages for game day:




Even if you can’t dress in an apron and heels, try these sites for retro inspired t-shirts and outfits with your team’s logo

Distant Replays

The Original Retro Brand


Watching the game at home

Even if you can’t make it out to tailgate every week or your team is playing away, watching the game can be just as fun.  Get out your decorations, and dress in your teams colors. You can even set up your favorite tailgating games in the backyard or in the living room.


The Casserole Queens

Crystal and Sandy


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