When I was planning the celebration for my daughter Madeline's recent birthday party (nice and small, just family and a few friends), I channeled my inner pink. Hey, what better excuse to bring it out, right? I knew for the dessert portion of the men


u I wanted to have a feast of all sorts of sugary goodies, a perfect excuse to both try out new recipes and trot out some tried-and-true favorites as well.

Along one side of our dining room, I set up a long banquet table and covered it with a tablecloth. Then I filled a smattering of glass jars of assorted sizes with different pink candies that I picked up at the store. It doesn't hurt that her birthday is right around Valentine's Day ... M&Ms, Peppermint Patties, Hershey's Kisses and even Reese's Peanut Butter Cups all cooperated to join in my little pink celebration.

Then came the home-baked goodies. Cookies frosted with a pink letter M (can I interrupt this to say how much I hate piping?!), Peppermint Bark, pink and white frosted cupcakes, a small monkey-themed cake (she has a slight, um, obsession with monkeys) and Pink Chocolate Covered Pretzels Rods completed the table. The kids decorated a stack of small white treat bags so guests could fill the bags up with goodies as they left.


Madeline loves pretzel rods, so I knew they would be a particular favorite of hers, and they could not be simpler to make. I melted white chocolate in the microwave (though a double boiler would do nicely as well) and then, using a spoon, drizzled it over the pretzels rods one by one. I laid them down on a wax paper covered tray and sprinkled them liberally (and I do mean liberally) with pink sparkly sprinkles and let them set up. Placing handfuls of the finished chocolate covered pretzel rods in clear glasses made for a nice touch on the table, and a simple fun snack for both kids and adults alike.