Evite Eats: Cherry Cream Cheesecake

August 28, 2013

As the week winds down to Labor Day, we're focusing the blog on the "labor" at Evite through our Evite Eats series... and we've discovered that the men in our office are no slouches in the kitchen. Case in point: Shime Simmons, Manager of Customer Service. After some cajoling -- er, encouragement, Shime agreed to share his recipe for this outstanding cheesecake, which makes a great addition not only to a Labor Day celebration, but just about any get-together where dessert is a must.

Evite Eats Cheesecake
Cherry Cream Cheesecake


  • 1 package Honey Graham Crackers
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 3/4 can of Comstock Cherry Pie Topping

Crust: Preheat oven to 300°. Mix graham crackers, butter, and sugar thoroughly. Spread mixture into pie plate and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in refrigerator while making the topping.

Filling/Topping: In a large mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, cream cheese, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Remove prepared crust from refrigerator and evenly distribute filling. Chill for another 2 hours. Remove and spread ¾ can of Comstock topping. Chill for one more hour before serving.


Be sure to check back for the next edition of Evite Eats!

Evite Eats: Grape Jelly Cocktail Meatballs

August 26, 2013

Our VP of Finance and Business Operations, Erin Miller, spilled the beans on her mother Harriet’s famous grape jelly cocktail meatballs for our next edition of Evite Eats. This classic appetizer, taken from the 1970s cookbook The Elegant but Easy Cookbook, is a southern favorite made with sweet grape jelly and savory tomato chili sauce. Mmm!

The original recipe recommends simmering meatballs in a chafing dish until browned, but we pan-seared them for a little spin. Check out the mouth-watering recipe below:



  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • Salt to taste


  • 12 oz. bottle chili sauce (we recommend Heinz)
  • 10 oz. jar of grape jelly
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions: In a large bowl, combine onion, egg, and salt. Add the beef and mix well. In a separate medium bowl, combine chili sauce, jelly, and lemon. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and pour in sauce mix. Using a 1-inch ice cream scooper, drop ¾-inch meatballs into hot skillet. Cook until brown (approximately 1-2 mins.) on each side. Meatballs can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until your event. Before serving, bring meatballs to room temperature and reheat in chafing dish or oven. Serve with cocktail picks.

Tell us what your favorite appetizer is in the comment section!

Party Tips: Fantasy Football Draft

August 23, 2013

Fantasy football has exploded in popularity: It seems every guy is getting in on the interactive competition that allows users to compete against each other as general managers of virtual teams built from actual players. With the fantasy football draft officially upon us, what better time to have friends over for a fuss-free party? Order a couple of pizzas, put some beers on ice, and let the drafting begin! Our football-themed Evite invitations make it easy to get the party started.

Here's what you'll need for the draft:

  • Dry erase board or butcher paper taped to the wall
  • Pens, pencils and highlighters
  • Money for entry fees (if any)
  • Clip board
  • Blank draft roster grid

Click here for a full list of fantasy-football draft tips!

Summer Evening Picnic Essentials

August 22, 2013

As the end of summer draws near (September 21st to be exact), it's crucial to take advantage of warm weather and longer days. Gather friends and family for one last summer hurrah outdoors! Whether it’s at the beach, the park, or in your own backyard, read on to learn how to host a fabulous, low-key affair.


When rounding up supplies, a picnic basket, tote, or backpack is essential for easy lifting. We kept our picnic menu simple by picking up sandwiches and chips from the local deli and storing cheese, crackers, and fruit in Tupperware with dividers to keep items fresh. For dessert, we packed a box of cookies to make serving easier.

A water-resistant pincic blanket makes the outdoors more comfortable (no one likes a damp bottom). We used this lightweight Bed Bath & Beyond blanket, which comes in a convenient carrying bag with large storage pockets. Perfect for a fuss-free gathering!

Comfort's key when lounging outside. Pack a few pillows and blankets in your tote to make sunset-watching more bearable. Remember, the later into summer we get, the chillier the air is at night! The tote also serves as a weight to keep the blanket down. Flameless LED tea lights provide easy outdoor lighting and are fire safe.

A portable speaker amplifies a summer playlist and sets the tone for a relaxed gathering with friends. Check out our list of picnic essentials below to make packing a breeze.

Picnic Packing Essentials:

Last, but not least, don't forget to pack some wet wipes to keep hands clean, a trash bag, and a few Ziplock bags for leftovers. Enjoy the last weeks of summer!

Find a Safeway near you to purchase these products and more!

Top 10 Songs for a Labor Day Celebration

August 21, 2013

Labor Day is a federal holiday held on the first Monday of September that traditionally honors the economic and social contributions of workers. Today, it’s become a day of rest, or a time to celebrate the last days of summer. If you choose to do the latter, we suggest adding some work-themed songs to your party playlist. We compiled a list of ten such whistle-while-you-work jams below:

 1. “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton: Written and performed for the 1980 comedy of the same name, which starred Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton, “9 to 5” is one of the few Billboard hits to feature the clacking of a typewriter and bring about better working conditions for women.

2. “She Works Hard for the Money” by Donna Summer: One of the biggest hits of this singing sensation’s career, this song is all about working hard and playing harder.

3. “Working for a Living” by Huey Lewis and The News: This 80s tune shouts out to all the working people of the world – from busboys to bartenders – who do what they have to do to survive.

4. “Money” by Pink Floyd: An ode to the economy, this 1973 track is considered one of the greatest guitar songs of all time.

5. “Takin' Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO): Used for hundreds of advertising campaigns, films, and TV shows, this song is a classic. 

6. “Working for the Weekend” by Loverboy: Another 80s hit, this song keeps its eye on the prize: Friday to Sunday night revelry!

7. “Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)” by Pet Shop Boys: The irony of this UK classic is that it pokes fun of those who think they’re going to make lots of money, and don’t; and ode to its punk rock mentality.

8. “Back on the Chain Gang” by The Pretenders: Covered by countless of musicians, including Selena who turned it into a Spanish classic, this song is a top 5 Billboard hit. 

9. “A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles: This chart-topper was inspired by Ringo Starr’s realization that the band would often work until the wee hours of the morning.

10. “Working Class Hero” by John Lennon: John Lennon’s first post-Beatles solo album featured this single about working class individuals being processed into what he considered, “the machine”.

Comic Book Party: Super Bar

August 19, 2013

We taught you how to make a super cute DIY string art backdrop for décor and put together an amazing superhero-themed spread. Now, we all know a comic book party wouldn’t be complete without a self-serve Super Bar. Clearly, this option is for an adult soiree, but if the party has kids in attendance, drinks can easily be made sans alcohol.


We made the Super Bar drink menu and grabby signs using this free comic book font, acrylic paint, and Painters Paint Markers. It may seem like a minor detail, but the outcome packs a huge punch!

Our in-house party stylist painted this bar backdrop herself using acrylic paint and Painters Paint Markers. You can create something similar by printing out a Google image and using the free comic book font to write your own message, or simply hang a comic book-themed poster on the wall.


Classic drinks such as the Admiral Schley Punch got a superhero spin by morphing into “The Speeding Bullet.” A Dark ‘n’ Stormy, which is made with rum, ginger beer, and lemon, became “The Dark Knight” and a Jäger Bomb (vodka, Jägermeister, and Red Bull) was renamed “The Spider Bite.” It’s the little touches that count!

Our bar cart has three levels. On the first, we displayed the drink menu, alcohol options, garnishes, and decorative straws for easy sipping.


On the second level, we stored an ice bucket, colorful cups, bar napkins, and a cocktail shaker for simple self-service. The third level holds the non-alcoholic soda “POP!” options.

If you prefer guests be served, designate a close friend or significant other to bartend. The host should never be stuck serving drinks all day and night!

What’s your go-to party drink? Tell us in the comments.

Comic Book Party: DIY Photo Ops & Props

August 15, 2013

Nowadays, you can’t go to a party without stumbling into a photo booth with friends. These makeshift photo op areas, typically created around a party’s theme, are a great way to keep guests entertained and capture the moment. With a little creativity and some superhero props, we created a photo booth perfect for our series of comic book party ideas. Here’s how to create your own:



  • Roll of black butcher paper
  • 3 white poster boards
  • 2 cardboard boxes
  • 2 cans matte gray spray paint
  • Scissors
  • Painter’s tape
  • Elmer's Craft Bond Glue Spots
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Photo props

Step 1: Using painter’s tape, adhere black butcher paper to the wall. For an adult party, use two 36” sheets of paper. For a child’s party, one sheet should be sufficient.

Step 2: Cut cardboard boxes in half and spray paint one side of each gray. Let dry for at least 2 hours.

Step 3: Cut moon and clouds out of poster board and using painter’s tape, affix them to black paper backdrop.

Step 4: Cut building “windows” out of yellow construction paper and affix onto gray cardboard, once dry, using glue spots.

Step 5: Set up your cityscape and display superhero props for guests to grab and snap.


Not everything needs to be DIY. We found our superhero props on Etsy and mixed them with “Happy Birthday” signs printed using this free comic book font. You can also scour thrift shops for superhero Halloween costumes and masks to use as props.


Remember to take lots of photos capturing guests getting into superhero character! And we recommend using Walgreens photo printing service, and including photos in your thank you notes!



Comic Book Party: The Food Table

August 14, 2013

A party inspired by the beloved cape- and mask-wearing superheroes that grace the pages of comic books must have an equally impressive spread. In the second post in our series, we put together a delicious power lunch using jazzed-up, store-bought finger foods that make hosting the party (and cleanup) a breeze. The result is a tablescape perfect for a guys’ birthday, or a superhero-and-villain-themed Halloween party.   

Comic_book_party_food table
We started with our DIY string-art sign as the backdrop, then swept a black-and-white talecloth over the table for a solid base. Black trays, red metal boxes, and clear apothecary jars helped set the stage for the food.

We anchored the menu with “SUPERMANwiches” composed of store-bought subs wrapped in yellow tissue paper and tied with black-and white baker’s twine. The food labels were made using this free comic book font, quote-bubble cutouts, and toothpicks. 

Potato chips are pretty much a must if you're serving subs, so we photocopied comic strips in black and white then rolled them into cones to hold “POP! Chips.” A wooden serving tray turned upside down and drilled with holes made a great chip holder. If drilling isn’t your thing, display chips in vintage cocktail glasses.

Comic_book-party_ sweets
Candy can contribute to the color scheme and count as decor when cleverly displayed. Two types of “Kryptonite” (blue and green), “Fire” gumballs, and “Sidekicks” PEZ dispensers add panache to the display.

Classic black and white cookies touted as “Two-Face” treats add a villanous (and delicious) touch. You can't eat just one!

An array of comic books completes the theme and provides festive take-home reading material for favors. 

comic book-themed Evite Invitation is just what you need to get the party started!

Comic Book Party: DIY String Art

August 12, 2013

If there's one thing a male never outgrows, it's his love for comic books and superheros... and we think that's a great place to start for a guy's birthday-party theme. We've got a party's worth of awesome ideas coming up, beginning with this unique DIY backdrop for hanging above the food table or anywhere else guests tend to congregate. Just follow the easy instructions below, and give your guy's birthday some comic book "Pow!" 


  • 5 ½’ x 4’ x ¾” sandeply wood board (hardware stores can cut this for you)
  • White paint
  • Paintbrush
  • 1 ball of yarn, any color
  • 2 boxes #16 x 1-1/4” wire nails
  • Hammer
  • Painter’s tape
  • Printer
  • Printer paper

Step 1: Paint your wood board white (not shown) and let dry for at least 2 hours. Print out letters on standard 8 x 10 paper and cut. Using painter’s tape, affix letters onto board.

Step 2: Nail around the border of letters.

Step 3: When you are done outlining your letters, pull off the paper.

Step 4: Use painter’s tape to make your border starburst outline.

Step 5: Hammer a nail at each point around starburst border and remove painter’s tape.

Step 6: Make a double knot with yarn at corner of first letter and working counter-clockwise, weave back and forth from starburst border point to nailed letter border. When ready to move on to the next starburst point, simply weave yarn like a figure eight down the border of your letter to the next point.

Step 7: Continue weaving yarn, making sure to fill space between letters. 

Step 8: When finished, tie off a double knot of yarn and trim the end with scissors.

The great thing about this DIY project is you can move it to a more permanent location post-soiree. Pair the string art with a comic book-themed Evite invitation such as the one below to set the superhero tone for the party.



Hard Iced Tea Bar: 3 Recipes for Summer Sipping

August 07, 2013

Summer is the perfect time to whip up a batch of refreshing iced tea, and if you’re brewing some for a party, why not spike it for a spin on the usual alcoholic beverage? We rounded up three of our favorite hard iced tea recipes and created a whole specialty bar around them! It’s a great idea for a guy’s birthday party, or a coed baby shower. Whether you try our takes on the popular recipes or whip up the originals, everything you need to know for your next summer soiree is below.

We pre-mixed the drinks, poured them into fancy glass dispensers (a trick that makes self-service more appealing), and placed fresh garnishes (think mint sprigs, berries, and limes) on the side. Serving drinks in mason jars with striped straws add a touch of nostalgia, and having dishtowels on hand is a must for easy cleanup. Writing drink names on brown paper tags makes them more identifiable.


Blackberry-Bourbon Iced Tea:


Serves 10


  • 6 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh mint sprigs, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 12 black tea bags
  • 2 ½ cups bourbon

Directions: In a large bowl, mash blackberries, chopped mint, and sugar. Bring 1 1/2 quarts water to a boil in a medium saucepan, remove from heat, and let tea bags steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour the tea over the blackberries, mint, and sugar mixture. Pour bourbon into the mixture, and let sit for at least 1 hour. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a drink dispenser, pressing on the solids. Cover and refrigerate until cold (at least 2 hours).

Click here for the original recipe.


We placed a julep cup filled with fresh leaves of mint, a plate of blackberries, and a mason jar of rock-candy sugar sticks on dishtowels for garnish.

Smokey Iced Tea and Whiskey Cooler:

Serves 12


  • 4 ½ cups brewed black tea, chilled
  • 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups ginger liqueur
  • 1 ½ cups whiskey
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • 2 lemons for garnish

Directions: Fill drink dispenser 1/3 full with ice and combine tea, lemon, ginger liqueur, whisky, and bitters. Stir well and garnish with lemon slices.

Click here for the original recipe.


Rock-candy sugar sticks and lemon slices provide the perfect garnish for this tea.

Gin Rickey:


Serves 10


  •  2 1/2 cups gin
  • 4 chamomile tea bags
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 4 12 ounce cans seltzer, chilled
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh lime juice (10-12 limes)
  • 2 limes, sliced for garnish

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the gin, tea bags and cloves and let sit for 2 to 4 hours. Fill drink dispenser 1/3 full with ice and strain mixture into it. Discard the tea bags and cloves. Add seltzer and lime juice.

Click here for the original recipe.


A side of lime slices and rock-candy sugar sticks are the perfect garnish.

What's your favorite recipe for a twisted iced tea? Tell us in the comments below!