May 27th, 2010 |
When it comes to Memorial Day, I like to keep it simple. A family BBQ is normally in the plans, and if we are lucky (with our wishy-washy Chicago weather) we’ll get to eat outside! I love this table setting from Pottery Barn….the white paper lanterns dress it up in an easy, DIY-way, and also add that vertical element that I am oh, so passionate about lately!
If you are looking for a couple new recipes for your Memorial Day BBQ, take a look at these…..
Margarita Grilled Corn on the Cob and Grilled Tomato Melts from Better Homes and Gardens. They look pretty fabulous, don’t you think?!
May 20th, 2010 |
It’s been a bit of a crazy week in my house…..all of the hustle and bustle has made me crave a simple weekend on my patio! I was scrolling thru Williams Sonoma’s recipe bank today and found a couple of recipes that I must try! (and I think you may want to, too!) Any of these would be perfect for a summer party, a cocktail and appetizer party, or a Memorial Day bbq.
Images: hammock (potterybarn.com), mason jar lantern (theknot.com)
May 11th, 2010 |
My social life has definitely changed over the last year….we moved to the suburbs, I work from home, and all of my friends have multiple children. So a lot of times, we find time to spend together right smack in the middle of the day – for me it’s a much-appreciated, quick break from work – for them it breaks up their routine! Lunch ideas have been on my radar more and more lately…..especially simple, one dish meals.
This recipe for a salad nicoise sandwich is the perfect choice! It’s fresh, different….and you get your salad and your protein all in one dish! It looks pretty too! The perfect compliment to a simple table setting (toddler-proof, of course!).
Images: table setting (hgtv.com), candles (potterybarn.com), drinks (inthenowweddings.com), sandwich (bhg.com), cheese plate (annstratton.com)
April 30th, 2010 |
Last week I showed you ideas for decorating for a Cinco de Mayo party…..today, we’re talking food! Better Homes and Gardens has an endless supply of fabulous, Mexican recipes….here are 8 that I consider “must-haves” for Cinco de Mayo:
- Mango Salsa
- Chicken Quesadillas with Peppers
- Chicken Flautas with Black Beans
- Skillet Tostadas
- Tequila Lime Shrimp
- Steak Fajitas with Peppers
- Avocado-Feta Salsa
- Barbecue Quesadillas
Is your mouth watering yet?! What do you plan to make for Cinco de Mayo?
April 27th, 2010 |
It’s getting to be Derby-time! Whether you are throwing a huge bash, or watching the game at home with a couple friends….nothing makes a party festive like a few themed cocktails, right?! Southern Living has the perfect combination of recipes for whatever your gathering may be….. A Mint Julip for the Kentucky Derby, a Black-Eyed Susan for Preakness, and a Long Island Iced Tea for the races at Belmont Stakes. The perfect trio!
April 14th, 2010 |
I took a little break from my typical work day yesterday to go to a Giada book signing with my best friend and her 5-year-old, Emma. We both love Giada’s recipes – but Emma, oh, Emma absolutely LOVES Giada! She watches her show (which has inspired her to cook at the mere age of 5) and until yesterday didn’t actually know Giada was “real”!
She’s “real” alright – and was absolutely darling as she greeted Emma and I. Gave her a hug, asked her if she liked to cook – couldn’t have been sweeter! It was a welcome break in my week and I am so happy that I have this wonderful memory with Emma and Teresa!
If you haven’t flipped thru Giada’s new cookbook, Giada at Home, definitely pick up a copy – great, fresh recipes for Spring!
April 6th, 2010 |
It’s not just for cupcakes anymore! You can now dress up your cake plates (round or square) with these lovely paper, filigree wraps. Hmmm….my cakes just got a little bit prettier!
April 6th, 2010 |
With the weather getting nicer everyday, I find my self suddenly craving my very favorite dessert….a lemon tart. It’s light, citrus-y flavor makes this the perfect Spring/Summer dessert and I always find myself counting down the Winter months until it’s “appropriate” to bring this favorite dessert back into rotation!
I’ve tried numerous recipes over the years – but I have to say that my two favorites are from Tartine and Barefoot Contessa. What about you? Do you have a favorite recipe you wish to share?!
P.S. With the dessert table craze still going strong, I absolutely love the idea of making mini lemon tarts – they would be perfect for a dessert table with a yellow color story!
Images: slices of lemon tart (annstratton.com), individual lemon creme tart (bonvivant.wordpress.com), bowl of lemons (cafelynnylu.blogspot.com), mini lemon creme tart (foodbeam.com), individual lemon blueberry tart (lemonmeringue.com)
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April 1st, 2010 |
One of my favorite parts of Spring is that artichokes are in season! Not only are they delicious to eat (we’ll get to that later!), but they can also make for fabulous decorations in your home, or accessories on your table.
Images: bowl (thedailygreen.com), votive placecard (blogs.glam.com), pitcher of artichokes (midwestliving.com), purple artichokes (lidiasitaly.com), egg cup (thekitchn.com), spinach artichoke dip (horchow.com), basket of artichokes (delallo.com)
March 31st, 2010 |
The most frequent question I get asked about cupcakes is regarding how to make buttercream frosting. I get told it turns out too runny or too thick. So I thought I’d share with you a buttercream recipe that I use, that works like a treat each and every time.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
250 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
400 grams icing sugar
1 tbs milk (optional)
2 tbs vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and cream for 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. Add sifted icing sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat for a minute further. Add food coloring as desired.
Buttercream can be stored to up to three days in an airtight container in a cool place. Do not refrigerate.
Now that you have perfected making buttercream, it’s time to decorate. A really simple, yet effective way to decorate cupcakes is to pipe the buttercream in a rose or flower design.
First, you’ll need a closed star piping tip. I like to use a Wilton 2D tip. Pop the piping tip into a piping bag and fill with buttercream. Starting from the center of the cupcake, work your way to the outside in a circular motion. If you don’t get it the first time, please keep practicing, you will get the hang of it in no time and be producing beautiful cupcakes like these!
~Sharnel, My Life My Loves
Images: yellow cupcake with pink butterfly (by me!), cupcakes (shamsD via flickr.com)