March 22nd, 2010 |

Passover Dinner: A Seder to Savor

seder dinner ideas

The Seder dinner marks the start of the Jewish holiday, Passover.  Typically held at home, Seder dinners are full of tradition….and some delicious food!  Set a warm, yet elegant table in shades of gold and simple white centerpieces.  Add a personal touch by placing a votive candle with your guest’s names written on a small scroll at each place setting.

The Seder menu is stock full of tradition.  Items such as matzo ball soup have been served during this holiday for generations!  I found a few recipes on Bon Appetit that give a simple update to a few favorites:

These delicious recipes are sure to become new traditions in your family.  Tell me, how do you celebrate the holiday?

Images: tulips (stylemepretty.com), votive candle (epicurious.com), napkin (karentran.com), table setting (lastoriafoto.com)

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March 19th, 2010 |

Mimosa Makeover

It’s no secret that I love a good champagne cocktail!  This recipe from Sunset Magazine is on my must-try list for this Spring!  It’s a sweet and sour combination – just the way I like it!

Pour ¼ cup cranberry juice and ¼ cup pink grapefruit juice into a Champagne flute or a thin glass. Top with your favorite Champagne or sparkling wine. Serve immediately and keep the juices and bubbly chilled for refills.

March 18th, 2010 |

Spring Desserts

With the official start of Spring this weekend, I felt it was only appropriate to share some of the delicious Spring dessert recipes that I have found around the web.  With so many fruits in season, these desserts are sure to look as good as they taste!

  1. Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
  2. Tulipes with Raspberry Sorbet
  3. Mango Tart
  4. Strawberry Napoleons
  5. Lemon Blackberry Mini Tarts
  6. Fresh Strawberry-Cream Cheese Tart
  7. Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
  8. Baked Alaska

March 17th, 2010 |

Spring Salad Basket

Salads can take on so many different forms: green, vegetable, fruit.  But at the end of the day, we pretty much serve them the same way – in a bowl!  Mix things up at your next dinner party by serving your salad in a “basket” made of cucumber slices.

It’s simple to construct.  It’s pretty to look at.  And it will leave your guest saying “ooh…a salad!”

Image via My Recipes

March 16th, 2010 |

Corned Beef: The Day After…

Corned beef – you crave it once a year around St. Patrick’s Day – you cook it, it tastes amazing – but what do you do with all of the leftovers?!  Corned beef sandwiches are great (check out this post from last year for a delicious idea!), but if you are looking for something new, give this recipe for corned beef hash from Food Network a try:

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups diced leftover rutabaga, carrots, potatoes and leek
  • 2 cups chopped leftover corned beef
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups leftover corned beef cooking liquid

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons butter with the vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add half of the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the corned beef and cook until slightly brown, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash the remaining vegetables in a bowl with the parsley and 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Add to the skillet and stir to make a large pancake, adding up to 1/2 cup more cooking liquid, if needed. Cook until the hash is dark on the bottom, about 2 minutes.

Flip and continue cooking, turning occasionally and adding more butter if needed, until the hash is crunchy on the outside but still moist in the middle, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cooking liquid 1 minute before serving.

March 16th, 2010 |

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

st. patrick's day dinner party

I’m Irish.  Like, freckles and reddish-hair, Irish.  Have I ever told you that?!  So, not only do I come from a big, Irish family…but so does my husband!  Since St. Patrick’s Day falls mid-week this year, we had our two big family celebrations on Sunday.  I thought I got the holiday out of my system….but I keep thinking, what are we going to do on the actual day?!  It’s too big of a deal in our families to just let the day slip by unnoticed!

I decided to whip together a quick little dinner party.  You know…. simple.  But festive!  I am going to serve traditional corned beef and potatoes.  But I also want to throw in some green, Spring vegetables – asparagus, broccolini, green beans and snap peas.  I thought it would be interesting to try something new with the corned beef too, so I am going to try these corned beef and cabbage rolls as an appetizer.  It looks yummy – and for those of us that are gluten-free (like me!) – it takes the place of a corned beef sandwich!

For dessert?!  Chocolate-Irish cream cheesecake and an Irish martini.  Sounds delicious, don’t you think?! What are your plans for celebrating?

Images: green dining room (karljuengel.com), napkin (theknot.com)

Fresh Party Invitations from Minted

March 11th, 2010 |

Dress Up Your Cocktails

 

Brides.com has a great feature on “dressing up” your cocktails for Spring.  Simple ways that add a special touch to any occasion, here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Tie circle tags on to the bottom of a champagne flute or wine glass with each guest’s name on them.
  2. Anything is better with a monogram!  Try these personalized tumblers for your next event!
  3. Dress up a plain cocktail with an orange-peel lollipop (roll up an orange peel and secure it with a wooden stick)
  4. Add stickers to plain tumblers to jazz them up for a party (love that you could customize the colors for each party, too!)
  5. L-O-V-E the sleek look of these flutes!  Perfect for a cocktail party, have a waiter (or your husband!) pass these around in this cool, clear tray
  6. Tie a simple flower around the stem of a wine glass – the perfect touch of Spring!
  7. Serve a cocktail in an unusual glass – such as an ice cream soda glass.
  8. Garnish your cocktails with fruit!  Pineapples are a sign of hospitality – the perfect way to welcome your guests!

 

March 5th, 2010 |

Spring Treats: The Perfect Party Accessory

spring treats from williams sonoma

In trying to “relax” last night, I put the computer away and sat down with my brand new Williams-Sonoma catalog.  As I was “oohing” and “ahhing” over every page, I realized that they have the perfect food accessory for so many of our party ideas!  So, check these ideas out:

These little animal brownies would be so cute for a farm-themed birthday party or Noah’s Arc baby shower.  The chocolate robin’s eggs are the perfect accessory for a “Feather-Her-Nest” shower.  The Easter egg and chick sugar cookies are perfect for an Easter egg hunt or brunch, and could you die over these bunny s’mores?!  Mini cupcakes are the perfect accompaniment for any party…especially if you are putting together a dessert table for a birthday party, baptism or bridal shower!  I adore these tiny little penguin brownie pops….wouldn’t they be perfect for our snow day party?!  And last, but certainly not least….macaroons!  This season’s hottest dessert, right?  Did you see Sharnel’s post this week about this hot new trend?

So many darling treats…great for ideas, perfect for any party!

Fresh Party Invitations from Minted

March 3rd, 2010 |

Trend Alert: Mouthwatering Macaroons!

macaroons

Macaroons are crisp on the outside and smooth and soft in the middle, and are on the hot list of what to serve at your next event. Available in so many different colors, you can customize your desserts to coordinate with your party.   Ladurée is famous for their assortment of macaroons, and with each new season they pays tribute to their most famous creation by creating a new flavour.  (see the list below for mouthwatering flavors!)

Feel like whipping up a few of these petite cakes yourself?  Head over to Bakerella for step by step instructions.   If you’re not up for making them yourself, you can purchase them at Williams-Sonoma, Sugarbloom Cupcakes, and Holy Sweet.

-Sharnel, My Life My Loves

Images: macaroon pops (bakerella.com), orange macaroons (amyatlas.com), pink macaroons (cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com), macaroon favor and wedding cake (marthastewart.com), box of macaroons (laduree.fr)

February 24th, 2010 |

Teeny, Tiny, Mini….Darling Mini Cupcake Stands

You all know my obsession with cupcakes….I mean, what’s not to like?!  Bite-size cakes decorated to the nines….nothing beats that!  A special cupcake deserves a fabulous presentation.  If you agree, then these will be right up your alley!  Mini cupcake stands by Rosanna….they come in 4 colors (pink, yellow, mint and white) and are beautiful alone or grouped together.  (so cute for Easter, by the way!)  By far, my new favorite product in my OpenSky shop!

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