Tuesday, November 15, 2011

C/B Wedding Flowers

In January I was asked to plan a wedding for Oct. 8th. It ended up that I was also the florist, the decorator, the designer/printer/addresser for the invitations, and singer for part of the ceremony.
The Groom is a Cotton Farmer so a cotton theme was carried out in most details. Burlap, pumpkins, and fall flowers were added to give an over all harvest feel. The guests even tossed cotton at the couple as the exited.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

 CB's Wedding Shower
A delightful couple in my church is getting married next month and to celebrate with the church membership, we hosted a shower in our fellowship hall.
Invitations were made to continue the theme of the party, turquoise and kiwi green with a little brown and ivory. Honestly, this had the largest number of guests that our church has ever seen for a Sunday afternoon shower. I was pleased that the couple received so many gifts and hopefully found out just how much they are loved!
Several hostesses worked to provide the menu items. We used burlap to dress the tables and I stenciled burlap panels to hang as a back drop for the gift table.
The Menu:
Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Tarts
A Crudite Platter with Harris Vegetable Dip
Fresh Fruilt Selection
Brie En Crute (One with Pepper Jelly and the other Strawberry Preserves)
Sausage Stuffed Cherry Peppers
Tarragon and Celery Chicken Salad Tassies
Cranberry and Almond Chicken Salad and Crackers
Mini Cupcakes of Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Icing and  Poundcake and Chocolate Icing
Pecan Brittle Toffee
To Drink: Peach Lemonade and Regular Lemonade served in Mason Jars

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Goat Cheese Toasts with Marsala Mushroom Sauce
The picture is horrible, but the taste of this delicious treat is too good to ignore. Thank you to my brother Jon for introducing this recipe from Susan Spicer to me. The version in the picture is an adaptation of the original recipe seen here:
I urge you to make these- they are so delicious that you will find yourself eating every one and realizing that it is meant to be served as an appetizer not a main course.

Greystone Wedding Reception- As Caterer not the Wedding Planner
I was hired to cater a wedding reception for 100 guests on a Sunday afternoon. Something I thought would require just a little more work than the many parties and showers I have held for 50 guests. My sweet and talented friend Kristen agreed to work with me and we were ready to begin. After quoting a price for a menu for a 3:00 reception- in the client's words: "you know just punch and tea sandwiches", the reception time was moved to 5:00 and we were given the option of using the same items or changing the menu to our liking.

Since the budget had been set and would not be adjusted, we decided to serve a fresh fruit selection of pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, cantaloupe, and honeydew. We kept the spinach dip and crackers and a large cheese board made up of Cheddar and pepper jack slices, cubes of Colby, wheels of brie, goat cheese rolled in herbs, with nuts, grapes, and crackers on the side. We served a vegetable and bow tie pasta salad, sliced Dijon-rosemary pork tenderloin served with rolls, cranberry-almond chicken salad tassies as well as an original flavored chicken salad tassie. The punch was a mango- pineapple sherbet punch. And what southern reception would not include sweet tea, so we served the tea and water out of large crystal beverage canisters. The wedding colors were black, ivory and red, and the client asked if I could do the flowers for the table as well, so to keep to their budget I used red gladiolas in tall vases for the center of the table and low cylinder vases on the sides crammed full of red roses. I wrapped all the vases with a wide black satin ribbon and all the food cards were made out of a black and ivory damask and solid red card stock.
Several gracious guests came to the kitchen to let us know how much they enjoyed the food. The client was most appreciative and complimentary and asked if she could pass our info along to several people who asked for my contact information. I think that is a good sign. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jungle Inspired Shower for Baby Mason

On Sunday, some friends of mine and I hosted a shower for a sweet friend at church. Baby Mason's room has a jungle theme, so I tried to mimic the theme with the decorations. I used burlap  for the tablecloths and lots of twigs and grapevine. Yellow glads gave height to the table and I painted three canvases that matched the animals in the bedding along with really interesting arrangements made of "Kangaroo Paw".
The menu included Brandy's request of Cucumber Sandwiches, Chicken Salad Tassies, Spinach Dip, a Cheese board and Fruit plater, Mini Pound Cake cupcakes, and Mini Key Lime Tarts. We served pineapple and lime sherbet punch.
 For the gift table, we made a mobile from sticks and round cut outs that spelled out Its A Boy.
The nursery is well on its way for being stocked and ready to welcome baby Mason!

Taco Night

I know this beverage tray is missing Tacos, but these were the cocktails for Taco Night- Sangria and Watermelon Mojitos.
 The idea for Taco Night came from a lovely place in Atlanta called Verde Tagueria- see the link here: http://www.verdetacos.com/tacos/. My cousins introduced us to this fun place.
 Some sweet friends from work joined Jay and I at home and we feasted on fajita chicken strips, blackened  grouper (freshly caught from Jay's trip to the Gulf), and ground beef. We had fun toppings like cilantro slaw, caramelized onions, different cheeses, fresh salsa, Robin's pico de gallo, and Kristen's Guacamole. For dessert we were refreshed by Christina's Lemonade Pie. The company was fantastic and the food was fun! We all agreed that we need a good taco establishment in Auburn. I even went so far as to email Verde to ask if they would be interested in opening here. I am still waiting on their response. Until then, we will keep experimenting- maybe we will find enough to create our own menu.

Happy Fourth Of July!

We took our 4th annual Hovey/Chappell beach Trip to celebrate the 4th. Every family member was able to make the trip to Port St. Joe. We packed a cooler for beach lunches made of refreshing items that hit the spot and  allowed us a few whole days spent completely out on the beach.
The menu consisted of cannelloni bean hummus with cilantro, pimento cheese, chicken salad, and spinach dip all served with pita, toast points and crackers. For ddessert we had chilled lemon and blueberry bars, and the most refreshing- a fresh fruit assortment (made of pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries). We reserved a few berries to float in our champagne.
Sherry and Jesse made homemade peach ice cream  and brought it down to the beach for us all to enjoy. While they were back at the house we took a big family picture.

An Afternoon Wedding Shower

I was asked to help host a wedding shower in late May. The shower menu featured mostly old standbys like Cucumber Sandwiches, Goatcheese and Caramelized Onion Tarts, Spinach Dip, Oreo Truffles and Mini Lime Cupcakes. The company of the other hostesses was fantastic. One hostess attempted to make key lime flavored cake truffles which I thought was a great flavor idea to try later. (She didn't like how they looked so she just brought them for us to enjoy while we plated the food- they were delicious!)
We were able to use all the pink hydrangeas from the one pink producing plant that I have- it was just enough for the centerpiece and small little bowls down the middle of the table.
We served Grandmother's recipe of orange punch (with tartaric acid), but instead of normal punch cups we thought it would be more celebratory to serve it in champagne flutes. I made little flags for the stems of the flutes out of the paper that I used to make the invites.
Drinking out of flutes successfully made things seem more festive!

Mother's Day

This year we celebrated Mother's Day with Jay's family out on the deck for an outdoor dinner, the Saturday night before Mother's Day. While my hydrangeas were not quite ready to cut yet, I was able to buy some from a local grocer and they looked lovely in the Sarah's Garden higballs vases.

Then on Sunday we celebrated with my Mom after church. We decided to make it a brunch served on Elizabeth- the most beautiful china pattern in the world. I served watermelon mimosas and we ate Lemon Ricotta and Blackberry Muffins, Grits Casserole with Baked Shrimp Scampi, Roasted Tomatoes, and a side of fresh Pineapple and Watermelon served in Golden Bell sherbet glasses.

Spring Ladies' Dinner 2011

This year's Ladies' Dinner at church landed on tax day. We had 12 lovely tables hosted by generous ladies from church. The overall theme for the evening was Spring is In The Air, so each hostess created her table with that them in mind.
My table was inspired from Matthew 6:26:
Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to Him than they are?
I used our wedding china pattern and for the hostess gifts, I mad birds nests out of chocolate covered pretzels sticks. The I made egg shaped cake balls coated in robin's egg blue candy coating. Hobby Lobby had lovely pewter crosses that I tied to the ribbon closing the bag. I was fortunate to share my table with three lovely ladies; Stacy, her mom Connie and one of Connie;s best friends' Jan.
The menu was fantastic! Catered by Ada Ingram and her dynamic crew. we started with a spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette, followed by a cream chicken over rice, sweet Green beans and roll. The dessert was a fantastic closer. Southern Living's recipe for a pound cake with a buttermilk glaze. You can find what I think is the recipe at: http://www.southernliving.com/food/entertaining/perfect-pound-cakes-00417000071495/
It was a wonderful night!

Shower for Baby Sawyer

In March, my mom and cousins and I hosted a shower for the newest member to soon join our family- Sawyer Stanfield.
Sandra's house was breath taking and the camellias and tulips in her yard were perfectly in bloom. 
The shower was early afternoon and lended a perfect chance for many well wishers to enjoy a lovely spring day and visit with Mom to Be Regan.
The menu was comprised of Lemon Squares, delicious Baby Blue Butter Mints made by a local caterer, darling Mini Cupcakes with blue Swirled Icing, Mini Pecan Muffins, Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Tarts, Cucumber Sandwiches, and a Cheese and Fruit platter.

Valentine's Engagement Party

We chose Valentine's Day weekend to celebrate the upcoming engagement of our sweet friends Ben and Courtney. We hosted a small party filled with their families and a few very close friends. Even though it was a small party, it was hard not to notice the excitement everyone felt for the upcoming nuptials in October.
The menu featured a fresh Crudite assortment, a wonderful Cheese baord with Pesto, Olives and Sopresatta, Shrimp with a zesty Cocktail Sauce, Mini Crabcakes with Remoulade Sauce, Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Dad's fresh Biscuits and a delightful dessert buffet filled with Ben's favorite recipe- Barbara Hise's Pecan Pie, Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Mousse, and mini Lemon Curd Triffles.
I am looking forward to the cotton inspired wedding.

As favors I made shortbread and chocolate shortbread heart cookies. I tied some of the packages to an arrangement. The picture turned out a little blurry though.

Shower for Baby S

In late January, I helped host a shower for Baby Girl Smith who was to be born about a month later. The shower was a brunch- my favorite time to host a shower. On the menu was the following:
Grape Salad, Mini Blueberry Muffins and Mini Pecan Muffins, Sliced Ham to enjoy with Dad's Fresh Biscuits, a delicious Grits Casserole, Sausage Balls, Individual Strawberry Shortcakes, Strawberry Cake cupcakes, and Ghirardelli Brownie Bites.

4th Annual Home for the Holidays Cocktail Party


A couple of days after Christmas, Jay and I hosted our 4th annual cocktail party for some friends from our high school youth group. Each guests brings their own appetizer or dessert to share and we spend a few hours catching up,  celebrating milestones that we have met, and of course we retell some of the old stories.


Cookie Swap 2010

For the second year, I hosted a cookie swap on the first Tuesday of my Christmas Vacation. I hope this will become a steady tradition for my coworkers and other friends who are out on break. It is a lovely way to celebrate the Christmas Season and stock up on some treats before other dinners begin closer to Christmas Eve.
Prior to the swap, we noshed on delights including chicken salad tassies with ruby red craisins and almonds, phyllo cups with piped cream cheese topped with green pepper jelly, pineapple cheese ball, spinach dip, chocolate dipped pretzel rods, meringue cookies dipped in chocolate and crushed peppermint, and a hot chocolate bar.

The company is always delightful and everyone is in such a celebratory mood. The cookies were delicious and it started my two weeks of vacation off very well!

Friday, February 18, 2011

More Ghoulish Fun

Witches Fingers- Cheese Straws with Almonds sitting in alfalfa sprouts.

Mousse with crushed oreos on top and tombstone cookies.

Meringue Bones

Broomstick bags filled with a fun mix of candy corn, peanut M&Ms, witches fingers(bugles), and peanuts.

Ghouls and Glee

I could not resist the chance to host a gathering to serve Halloween inspired foods. I am lucky to be friends with a group of girls that love to have a good time, love the TV show Glee, and appreciate good food. The evite was sent and plans were made for a Tuesday night cocktail party. Each person was asked to bring a festive food item. We watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show Glee style and enjoyed good company and food.

Mom's 60th Birthday Lunch

In August, I was excited to surprise my sweet Mom with a small lunch with some of her closest friends. We certainly missed a few special ladies that could not be there as well. Luckily, the surprise was perfect and we had a delightful time. At the beginning we ate Mushroom and Shallot Goat Cheese Flat bread with a balsamic drizzle and sipped on Grandmother's recipe of Peach Punch.
For Lunch we started with a Strawberry Spinach Salad with roasted Walnuts and Poppy Seed Dressing. The main course followed with Rosemary and Mustard tenderloin Medallions, Israeli Cous Cous,Roasted Asparagus, and Dad's fresh rolls. Instead of one dessert, we had the option to eat some or all of several mini bites: Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Mousse, Madelines dipped in Chocolate, Tiramsu, and Cupcakes filled with Lemon Curd and topped with Chocolate or Butter Cream Icings.
During a computer conversion meeting at work, I found this site
http://www.katiegracedesign.com/2010/07/60th-birthday-ladies-luncheon.html and it became my inspritation for the party. I was delighted to use a colleciton of gold china. The bread plates had butter molded into shell shapes. I found coral colored paper to coordinate with the taupe damask pattern and used shells at each place setting to add to the coral and white flowers.