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!