Monday, July 26, 2010

Check It Out!

I'm going to try to do a "check it out" post every so often to just share various vendors, resources, and inspiration that I run across.  Today's spotlight is on a company called Rifle Paper Co.

This is a fun and whimsical company that offers a lot of "hand drawn/hand painted" type of pieces from wall art to recipe cards to invitations and wrapping paper.  Their site isn't completely up and running yet, but I'm pretty sure you'll be visiting time and again to check out all that they offer!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nutella Banana Party-In-Your-Mouth

One word here people: UNREAL!!  I cannot wait to make a million-and-one varieties of these things and throw a party to celebrate them! Yum, yum, YUM!!!

So I'm sitting on the couch last night working on the computer with the tv on in the background.  I think it was on Bravo or something...I don't even know.  I couldn't even tell you what show I was watching other than several chefs were being interviewed about their most unique or favorite food experience at a restaurant.  Some were disguisting, others I don't even remember because honestly, I wasn't paying that much attention.  It was just noise in the background until one guy says the word, "Ebilskivers".  Huh??  Is he speaking in a foreign language?  Well, yeah actually, he is.  Ebilskivers are a beloved treat in their native Denmark.  They are light, puffy pancakes that can be filled with fruit, chocolate, jam or cheese and served for breakfast or as an hors d'oeuvre, dessert or light supper (description courtesy of Williams Sonoma).  As many times as I say "the possibilities are endless!" you must know by now that I love anything that offers me an endless variety of combinations and flavors.

So, I purchased my first Ebilskiver Pan and went to town.  It was incredibly easy to make, and even easier to eat! :)  If I can recommend one thing to you today - it's to go out and get yourself and Ebilskiver pan and start creating!  Just make sure to invite LOTS of people over to eat up these little bites of heaven, because I promise you - once you start, it's awfully hard to stop!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I heart tjmaxx

I mean, who doesn't, right?!  I'm working on my next party - this time it's a couples shower and I have to say, I'm pretty excited about it!!  I made a quick run to tjmaxx over my noon hour and stumbled upon these wooden "baskets".  It was love at first sight!  The ideas start running through my head a mile a minute!  I bought 2 full sets (at $15/set how could I not?!) since I love symmetry and have learned that I should just make a habit of buying things in pairs :).

I also stopped at my new favorite store after work...Goodwill!  The Goodwill by my house is the golden ticket, no joke.  Since I'm somewhat new to the Goodwill experience, I love learning the best way to get an even better deal.  The first Saturday of the month everything is 50% off, orange price tags are 50% off their marked price, and if you spend $25 or more, you get $5 off your purchase!  So, tonight I walked away with 3 amazing picture frames, a mirror, 2 vintage flat sheets, a men's plaid shirt and a wooden pony - all for the party I mentioned above.  Curious how that all goes together?!  Ahhh...just wait and see!  It's gonna be good!!!! :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ahoy, It's a Boy party!

I love doing this, I really do.  It's so fun when you've spent weeks or months in the planning process and you finally get to see everything come into place just as you envisioned it (and sometimes even better!).  This party was extra special since it was in honor of a friend (and co-worker) who is having her first little bambino!  It was also such a treat to work with the hostesses of the party - Ashley & Christie.  They were the perfect "partners in crime" and jumped right on board with my vision (pun intended :)) and were so gracious to allow me creative freedom in many of the details.  We made a really great team and I hope there are future opportunities to work together again!  SO...without further ado, here are the pictures from the shower...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Strawberry Short"cups" Recipe


3 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
4 t. baking powder
3/4 t. cream of tartar
1 c. unsalted butter (room temperature)
2/3 c. heavy cream
1 egg, beaten
2 (16oz) containers strawberries, sliced
1/4 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and cream of tartar.  Cut in butter using a fork or pastry cutter.  Add in heavy cream and beaten egg until well combined (may require some messy hand mixing :)).  Lightly flour a clean surface and knead the dough for a couple of minutes or until it makes a solid ball (no "flakeyness").

Using a regular size muffin tin, take an "egg" size ball of dough and press into individual cups, spreading evenly up the edges and at the base.  Fill all containers until you've used up your dough (I made about 16 "muffins").  Sprinkle each cup lightly with sugar.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until the edges are just a light, light golden brown.  Once finished, remove from oven and allow to cool momentarily in pans before removing.  Now the tricky part.  Because of the dough consistency, it's going to want to "puff up" in the center rather than staying in a nice bowl shape.  I used tiny "pinch" pots (see picture below - it's the size of the bottom part of an egg) to round out the center while still warm.  I'm thinking about baking them with the pinch pots IN the center next see if that works even better.  Either way, it gave me the result I was wanting doing it this way as well.  You could use the bottom of a glass or any small "rounded" object to accomplish the same thing.

Carefully remove each cup from the tin and place on a cooling rack (I say carefully because shortcake is very "crumbly" and can easily fall apart).  While they're cooling, slice your strawberries and place in a medium bowl.  Add sugar.  Start with 1/4 c. and add more if desired (I like to make sure there's lot of "sauce" for the shortcake, so I throw in more).  Stir and let sit for about 20 minutes or until the sugar has created a nice sauce in the strawberries (you could also do this while the cakes are baking if you are on a time crunch).  Finally...the whipping cream...

Whipped Cream

1 c. heavy cream
1 t. vanilla (I use the real stuff)
1 T. powdered sugar

In a medium metal bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form.  Add in vanilla and sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.  Do not overbeat (you don't want to make butter! :)).  Place in a covered container in fridge until ready to serve.  Stir before serving.


Using a large spoon, pour a large helping of strawberries into each cup, making sure to use plenty of juice as well.  Top with a dollop of whipped cream (I like to do two seperate dollaps on top of each other...just like the way it looks :)).  For an added touch, place a sprig of a mint leaf in each or a few slices of strawberries on the plate.  Or if you realy want to go crazy, drizzle a chocolate swirl on the plate before placing the short"cup" on it.  The possibilities, as always, are endless, so have fun with it!!

Strawberry Short"cups"

Tuesday night one of my friends mentioned strawberry shortcake...and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since.  It's by far one of my favorite desserts - so light and refreshing.  So, when I stopped by walmart to pick up a few things last night and walked by the huge display of strawberries...I just couldn't pass 'em up!  I always like to mix things up a bit though, so instead of a making a large cake or even small biscuit size portions, I decided to make individual cakes with a nice little "well" so that the strawberries had a perfect resting spot and all the juices could soak in.  Of course, I had to make some real whipping cream, because that's just how strawberry shortcake is done.  This would be a great summer dessert - especially if you made a cute little "topper" for each portion to serve to your guests...maybe with a little scripture or fun saying...or even just a cute strawberry patch illustration!  The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Now to combine the last two posts...

How about jewelry AND trees??  LOVE this necklace from Cursive Designs!
Love the jewelry and hairpins featured on Eat Drink Chic's blog today!  I've already spent way too much time drooling over all the goodies from Tamar and Oh, Hello Friend's Etsy shops.  Now go "frost yourself", ladies! :)

An Enchanted Forest

Anyone that knows me knows there are three things I really love:

1. Trees
2. Plaid
3. a Party :)

So, when I got together with a friend of mine to discuss a couples shower she is hosting, I was SO excited at the idea of going with a "woodsy" theme!  The couple that is getting married is having a very "old timey" style of wedding - lace dress, vintage shoes, old church...all things I love.  We're carrying out that concept in a more masculine-meets-feminine way for their couples shower through the use of a masculine plaid combined with tons of dainty, girly details.  There will even be a fun photo booth at the shower with all sorts of great props! 

This weekend is the "Ahoy, It's a Boy!" shower, so be sure to come back after the weekend to see all the updates, details and photos!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

When life hands you keylimes, make bread!

I saw this adorable bag of tiny limes (keylimes) at the grocery store and couldn't resist!  They were just begging to be made into something delicious!  I have a more complex recipe for the remainder of the limes, but for now...the house smells like a sweet and slightly tart loaf of yummy goodness!

Today's Inspiration: Let's Colour!