Dress & Dine: Too Cool for School

Dress & Dine: Too Cool for School

Hope you all had a fabulous long weekend/breaking up with summer party. I know, I know...I have waterfalls (aka lots of tears) coming out of my eyes, too. How is summer seriously over already?! When you're a kid you at least you have school to look forward to. Ok, well, not so much the school part, but you know, the whole new supplies (Where my Lisa Frank fans at?!), new clothes, hanging out with friends thing. But as adults, the only thing we have to look forward to are cubicles and paying bills and, well, that's just RUDE. I mean, why should kids have all the fun?! I decided that they shouldn't, so I threw a "too cool for school" back to school party for adults. Think college party, except a college party where we're all older, wiser, have better taste, know how to dress and have more money. In other words, no frats, no keg stands, no $3 rubbing alcohol labeled as vodka. But....there is ramen and hot pockets and mac n' cheese oh my! Don't get it twisted. These are not the foods of your school days. No, these are some sophisticated, delicious spins on what can only be labeled as "college food". I asked two of my blogger babes to join in on the back to school fun (because everyone needs some "study buddies", right?!), and let me tell you, the dishes Rachel and Michelle brought to the table (quite literally) did not disappoint. Your homework assignment? Keep on reading for all the party details, then throw your own back to school party and share it on social media with the hashtag #RCdressanddine. I'll be grading assignments all month!



While the word "preppy" is typically synonymous with back to school clothes (thanks in part to school uniforms), back to school style is truly whatever you want it to be. With a focus on what's trending for fall (go figure, what was trending in high school for me {70's style}, appears to be trending again now), your school style, should be about you and what you like to wear, whether that's more modern, a bit sporty or just plain minimalistic. As you can see, each of us ladies dressed differently according to our individual styles, but peeks of trends (suede for me), preppiness (a button-up shirt for Michelle) and fall (a touch of plaid for Rachel), still shined through, making for the perfect back to school attire.



All of the items we ladies made were our updated takes on school favorites, meaning the table was laden with insanely yummy food that tasted waaaaaay better than anything we had in college. The menu included:

For the Burgers:

I used my ramen burger recipe with a few adjustments to make them bite-sized. Follow the instructions for making the ramen, except instead of forming the buns in ramekins, lightly grease a muffin tin, then place about a 1/4 cup of the noodles into each tin. Slightly press down with the back of a spoon, then freeze for 20-30 minutes. Remove the tray from the freezers, pop the buns out (you may need to use a fork or knife to gently pry them loose), and then continue following the instructions for cooking the buns. FYI, to make 12 sets of mini burger buns, I used 2 packages of ramen and 2 eggs. 

To make the burger patties, follow the ramen burger instructions, just form the meat into mini patties, using about 2-3 tablespoons of meat per patty. Grill for about 3 minutes on each side. The patties can be made ahead, then reheated or kept warm on a baking sheet in a 250 degree oven. Please note that doing this does mean that meat may become dry or tough.

To make the sauces, simply combine 1/2 cup of ketchup with 1/4 teaspoon truffle salt and 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil for the truffle ketchup. For the sriracha mayo, combine 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with 1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha and 3 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon. Both sauces can be made ahead and stored, tightly covered, in the fridge until ready for use.

For the Boozy Cookies & Milk:

For the cookies, simply follow your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, baking whatever size cookie you need to cover the top of the glasses you will be using. As soon as you finish baking the cookies, before you remove them from the baking sheet, use a sturdy straw to form a hole in the center of each cookie (don't be afraid to wiggle the straw a bit to get a decent sized hole). Allow the cookies to fully cool.

To make the milk, mix equal parts milk and Bailey's. Keep cool until ready to serve.

To assemble the cookies & milk, fill your desired serving glasses with milk. Top with a cookie and finish by placing a cute straw through the cookie hole.



Of course, it's hard to resist cliche things like apples and pencils, but you know I wasn't about to just stick some bright yellow writing utensils on the table and call it a day. A little styling and a lot of white spray paint were heavily involved in making a chic tablescape, reminiscent with hints of school days gone by. Here's what I used:

  • Burlap table runner
  • A donut wall as the centerpiece (find the instructions on how to make it yourself here)
  • Apples (perfect for space fillers)
  • Pencils in a Mason Jar (a nice switch from having just flowers)
  • Old books (you could also use textbooks)
  • Milk cartons rinsed, dried and spray painted white (I gave each container about 8-10 coats of paint) + sprigs of eucalyptus (I chose eucalyptus, as opposed to flowers, since I wanted depth and texture, but not a lot of color, on the table)