Friday, February 1, 2013

2013 in full swing

We started NYE with a fantastic "treat yoself" style breakfast. Croissants and Champagne.
Since then, we have treated ourselves to a few more delicious breakfasts at home in keeping with a resolution to avoid busyness for the sake of it.
Banana's Foster Sauce for wholewheat waffles...
French toast with hot peach syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice...
 And a dessert that had to be shared. My mom found a pizzelle maker from 1992 that she was given and never used. I was delighted to find it not only worked, but helped make this cannoli like treat of Nutella Mousse with sliced bananas drizzled in chocolate ganache.

Luckily I did a little bit of fun work in January too. Another flower job for AUF- hydrangeas only, invitations for a bridal shower held the week of Valentine's, and somewhere in the month I coordinated a 50th anniversary vow renewal celebration and worked with a couple of wedding clients for the coming year.


Food too delicious not to share...

Jay and I have enjoyed time in the kitchen at night after work. Typically you can find one of us working on a meal, the other researching "projects" from building turkey houses to craft projects or catching up on our twitter and tumblr feeds. If you were to stop by, you would be greeted with the sounds of Mumford and Sons and offered a cocktail. Its our therapy and time to enjoy each other. I took some left over crab dip and turned into a darling appetizer of crab toast points with thyme.I think they were better than the dip was. 
One night we made this pasta dish that was sort of a throw back to our college days when we often found ourselves eating at a Macaroni Grill and drawing on the table.
This was sort of our version- lighter might I add- of Penne Rustica.
We have some dear friends that we don't see too often. She is a fantastic cook and we hosted them for a dinner in December. She made this super decadent peanut butter and chocolate tart. It looks extra special sitting on that Elizabeth salad plate!
And since I was given a few fun doughnut pans for Christmas last year, I wanted to post a pic of one from a platter I made to take to work one morning. Its nice to have a lighter version of a treat that everyone loves.

Christmas time is here...

December started out with a repeat of a new tradition from last year. Gingerbread House building with the "nieces". I felt a little sad to send them home with their parents after their candy intake, but that is what an aunt is for right?
Another tradition that continued was my cookie swap- this year was the 4th Annual. The cookies just get more impressive and delicious!
And another fun tradition that actually started before I was born and reinstated a few decades later- Christmas Eve Brunch at my parents' house.
Each year we make Southern Living's Grand Strawberries and Oranges, see the recipe here:
It is beautiful and fantastic!

Fall Pictures

The fall of the year brought invitations to fun parties and dinners, beach trips, and a flower job for a friend at church. I couldn't resist another chance to make the paper bag broomsticks so I shared those with the hostesses for a pregame bonfire at a lovely home in the "Beehive Neighborhood" in Auburn.
I found a small farmer's market in Opelika that supplied me with my fill of small pumpkins that were used for my fall table at home.
Jay and I were super fortunate to take two late beach trips. The first was with my family and we had a glorious time in Sea Grove. The girls took sometime together in Seaside one morning and made a stop for a beach side treat- a Lobster Roll and a little bubbly.
Fall flower combinations are endless, but I was able to find these beautiful stems to create an arrangement for a friend.
My family is made up of some of the best cooks I know. Not to mention, they taught me and inspired me how to make and do so many things. I had to snap a shot of my plate from Thanksgiving. The table was surrounded by such wonderful people. The food was fantastic and so colorful. I am so thankful to be a part of that family!!!

A sweet Cinderella Birthday

In late September I had the pleasure to help style a very dear friend's daughter's birthday. She also asked that I make a few goodies to add to her menu so I made cheese straws in the shapes of crowns, and cupcakes in three flavors.  I made the cookie slippers and the slipper favors- both in Cinderella blue. My friend is super generous and the guests enjoyed their time at the Bibity Bobity Boo Affair.

Since my last post...

In Early September I hosted a baby shower for my sweet little niece (Baby W) who is Baby Girl No.2. I couldn't resist the opportunity to go the french inspired route. The styling turned our precious and the food for the brunch was delicious!

Since we had a good bit of family in town for Baby W's shower, I also helped host a couples bridal shower for my new SIL and BIL who were married in November.
I did the invites here- she used these colors in fantastic ways at her wedding, so I wanted to use them for the shower too.
Since I am talking about their wedding, the picture below- while very poor quality- should be documented. It was one of the best salads ever. I have since copied it in modified form for two Thanksgiving dinners and other throughout the Christmas holiday season.
The apple was cored out and used as a bowl. Pieces of apples were chopped and mixed with kale, slivered almonds and craisins and dressed with a vinaigrette. The cheese on top was something like a mozzarella.