April 6th, 2009 |
A weekday lunch with the girls. I’m thinking something light….
Scallops with Asparagus
- 1 lb medium asparagus
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lb large sea scallops, tough ligament removed from side of each if attached
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
Trim asparagus, then cut stems into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices, leaving tips whole.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté asparagus, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate, reserving skillet off heat (do not clean).
Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté half of scallops, turning over once, until browned and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer scallops with tongs to another plate as cooked.
Wipe out skillet with paper towels, then add remaining tablespoon oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté remaining scallops, turning over once, until browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total, transferring to plate. (Do not wipe out skillet after second batch.)
Carefully add wine and vinegar to skillet (mixture may spatter) and boil, scraping up brown bits, until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 1 minute. Add any scallop juices accumulated on plate and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated.
Add asparagus and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
Serve scallops topped with asparagus and sauce. Recipe via Epicurious.
A couple of compliments for our Scallops with Asparagus: to drink, Campari & Soda and for dessert, Strawberry Genoise with Whipped Cream!
April 2nd, 2009 |
I love this idea from Matthew Mead Style – a box full of celebratory snacks. Perfect for the newlyweds as they depart their wedding, a lovely gesture for a special friend on her birthday, or even for a modern-day picnic in the park.
Packed full of specialty items such as champagne, crackers and cheese, fruit and chocolate….this gift is sure to put a smile on the recipients face! The clear packaging makes this concept look new, and oh so enticing. You can find an acrylic box, such as the one pictured above, at Container Store.
March 30th, 2009 |
I like to think of myself as a cookie “artist” – I decorate sugar cookies for every holiday and have been known to get a couple of compliments. BUT….my cookies don’t come close to these! I’m totally jealous of their modern designs.
Gumdrop Cookie Shop offers “couture” cookies and will ship them right to your door! Choose from a variety of adorable designs, or ask them to customize with your unique design, logo or message. These cookies would make darling party favors for any party!
If you are looking for a creative idea for your child’s birthday party, I absolutely love this idea…..Gumdrop Cookie Shop will send you a kit with frosted cookies, edible ink markers, cello bags and raffia (to package) – the kids can design their own sugar cookie! It’s a great activity and favor!
Images via Gumdrop Cookie Shop
March 30th, 2009 |
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 750-ml bottle Prosecco or other sparkling white wine, chilled
Ice cream maker
Toss berries, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Let stand until juicy, about 30 minutes. Puree mixture in batches in blender. Press through fine strainer into medium bowl. Mix cream and lemon juice into puree. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to container; cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.Place 1 scoop sorbato in each of 8 glasses. Fill each glass with Prosecco (sorbato will float to top).
Now, although this recipe from Bon Appetit sounds FABULOUS…..I don’t own an ice cream maker (shocking, right?!). I think you could substitute store-bought sorbet – strawberry, raspberry – and make these oh, so pretty drinks quickly for your next party!
March 29th, 2009 |
I don’t know about you, but I like to celebrate the weekend with a casual Sunday morning breakfast with family or friends. The weekend always goes by so fast, and Saturdays are always my run-around-and-get-everything-done-day….but Sundays….Sundays are my fun days!
Keep it simple with easy-to-make dishes, and enjoy the company!
Here are a couple of ideas from Williams Sonoma for your Sunday morning breakfast:
March 28th, 2009 |
Looking for a great gift for a Chocolate lover?
Try these indulgent gifts from Plum Party – they would make a great hostess gift or birthday present!
March 28th, 2009 |
Need a good dessert, fast?! Don’t have time to bake?
Try these adorable new Sweet Treat Cupcakes from Cold Stone Creamery. It’s way too difficult to decide which you want….which is probably why they are sold in 6 packs!
Perfect for birthday parties, dinner parties, or an office birthday.
Which flavor will you choose?
March 26th, 2009 |
I was purusing some of my favorite blogs this morning – and the colorful ladies at Lilly Pulizter found these great novelty ice cube trays from Fred. These would be so fun for a party! You can find them at a few different on-line boutiques, such as popdeluxe.net and some are also available on amazon.com.
Here are a few of my favorites….but there are tons to choose from!
March 26th, 2009 |
Today I am answering an email from a reader:
“Dear Hostess, Every time I go to a party or to a friend’s house for dinner, I feel like my friends always ask me to bring an appetizer. I’m sick of my same old recipes! I can’t make another Mexican layer dip or ‘pigs in a blanket’…..can you help me come up with some new ideas?”
Here you go….hope these inspire you!
Appetizers are the first taste of the party….they can be an indicator of what’s to come with the meal, but they can also be just a fun display of different tastes. Here are some of my new favorites:
March 25th, 2009 |
These little bugs are easy to create and are sure to get rave reviews!
All you need are Oreo cookies, red and brown melting chocolate, lollipop sticks and 1/4″ icing eyes (all available at Country Kitchen Sweetart).
Pry apart the Oreo cookie and scoop out some of the frosting to place in the lollipop stick. Press the cookie back together into a sandwich, and dip in the red, melted chocolate. Place treats on a parchment-lined baking sheet into the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes. Then pipe the head (attach the icing eyes), dots and line in the center with the brown chocolate. Return to the refrigerator to chill.
Here are a few more lady bug treats I found on flickr.com to inspire you: