March 18th, 2010 |
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!
- Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
- Tulipes with Raspberry Sorbet
- Mango Tart
- Strawberry Napoleons
- Lemon Blackberry Mini Tarts
- Fresh Strawberry-Cream Cheese Tart
- Key Lime Cheesecake Bars
- Baked Alaska
March 17th, 2010 |
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 – 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:
- 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
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 |
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)
March 11th, 2010 |
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:
- Tie circle tags on to the bottom of a champagne flute or wine glass with each guest’s name on them.
- Anything is better with a monogram! Try these personalized tumblers for your next event!
- Dress up a plain cocktail with an orange-peel lollipop (roll up an orange peel and secure it with a wooden stick)
- Add stickers to plain tumblers to jazz them up for a party (love that you could customize the colors for each party, too!)
- 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
- Tie a simple flower around the stem of a wine glass – the perfect touch of Spring!
- Serve a cocktail in an unusual glass – such as an ice cream soda glass.
- Garnish your cocktails with fruit! Pineapples are a sign of hospitality – the perfect way to welcome your guests!
March 5th, 2010 |
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!
March 3rd, 2010 |
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 |
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!
February 24th, 2010 |
I wanted to share one of my new product obsessions with you: Ticings, thin sheets of edible icing printed with contemporary designs using food-grade inks. They are made in the u.s.a., gluten-free, FDA approved and kosher certified. Best when applied to fresh buttercream frosting; just peel and press to give your cakes and frosted desserts modern decorations in minutes! They are offered in multiple designs (for large orders, you can also request a custom design!) – and are such a simple way to dress up your cupcakes!
Tip: They would also be darling on round sugar cookies! Wrap them up in a cellophane bag, and voila! You have yourself a pretty cute party favor!
February 17th, 2010 |
Since purple seems to be the trend today….I thought this beautiful dessert table sent to me by Shauna Younge was the perfect fit! Shauna Younge Dessert Tables is a high-end dessert buffet design firm in Minneapolis. Each dessert table incorporates beautiful, delicious sweets and meticulous details. As you can see from this example…exquisite work!
This particular table featured a chic, grey cake with floral details to mimic the bride’s beaded Monique Lhuillier gown. Two macaron towers were used to create a beautiful backdrop for hand-painted grey truffles, gourmet marshmallows, and custom cookies.
This is a great example of how you can spin the color purple into a very sophisticated color palette, perfect for a wedding or special event. I love that Shauna paired the shades of purple with grey. It’s a sophisticated neutral that is getting a lot of play time recently!
Images via Tricia Little of Sweet Shibui Photography