Pulsar Watches sent me one of their newest solar light-powered watches to try out and help me celebrate “Life in Real Time.” This new campaign is about savoring each and every moment in time. With our new family addition on the way, I was totally onboard with this idea; savoring these quiet moments while we have them has been a new priority for me. It’s so easy to get caught up in my full inbox, and ever growing to-do-lists, but my husband and I have been making it a point to slow down a bit more on the weekends, live in the moment, and appreciate the time we have together as a family of two.read more
I’m a mission to bring more funfetti-flavored carbs into the world. It’s a noble quest, and one I decided to invest some time in this weekend as a mini-celebration to ring in 7 years of blogging. If this blog is going to have a birthday treat, you better believe it’s going to get a funfetti-waffle. This idea is so simple, it doesn’t even need a recipe. Just whip up your favorite waffle or pancake mix, and fold in a few handfuls of sprinkles right before popping them in the griddle or waffle iron. For good measure, top with homemade whipped cream and extra sprinkles (I served mine with some salted caramel syrup, yum!).read more
There are few things I adore more than styling up a pretty table for a gathering — so I jumped at the chance to borrow vintage jadeite and milk glass pieces from the new Pop and Circumstance rentals collection and pull together a festive New Year’s Brunch. Jadeite was probably one of the first vintage items that I started to collect when tagging along with my mom and aunt to estate sales and flea markets. I’m drawn to the rich cool colors and all of the variety in how the material was used for kitchenwares. This collection has grown to include quite the comparable set of milk glass as well, and Becky — the owner of Pop and Circumstance— and I have bonded over our mutual love for the pieces. I used a few pieces from my collection as inspiration and Becky filled in the rest with vintage linen napkins, milk glass tumblers that were used to hold flatware, and even a nesting set of jadeite bowls for me to mix up my mini-pancakes in. These tiny pancakes were the focal point of the brunch — mini-stacks topped with berries make for an easy grab off the buffet table when guests are mingling (and isn’t everything cuter when we make it bite-sized?).
This weekend I was busy testing some recipes for Thanksgiving ideas (and blog posts!) and the best thing ever that can happen when you’re cooking occurred: I had leftover stuffing. My family has a special little trick for leftover stuffing, we use it to make a little breakfast hash. It’s barely a recipe, which is just how breakfast should be made: add a tiny pat of butter to a hot pan and throw in the stuffing and, if you have it, some chopped onions, sausage, bacon — you can’t mess it up! After the mixture cooks together for a few minutes push it the sides to make an opening in the center of the pan. Crack in egg in the center of the stuffing and let it fry up, then slide that whole thing on a plate and dig in! I garnished mine with some fresh chopped green onions, and let me tell you, it was tasty.
Those that know me well know that I like to brunch, and brunch hard. Among my favorite brunch elements is the Bloody Mary. I love a Bloody Mary for a few reasons: first, they always give me this little burst of nostalgia reminding me of my when I was a kid and my dad would order them when we were on vacation. Every time I order one I get transported back to the porch of the Spring House Hotel in Block Island and think about my dad sipping one on a sunny summer day. I also love them because I’m a sucker for any sort of savory, salty drink; I also love the garnishing options — a big spear of green olives for me please! One of my best buds also has this same affinity for Bloody Marys, so this year for her birthday I made her a little Bloody Mary kit as a party favor. A small jar of Bloody Mary mix, a pair of vodka nips, and teeny-tiny tabasco bottles for a little bit of spice made up a Bloody Mary-on-the-go! I think it’s a perfect idea for a little hostess gift, or favor for a post-wedding brunch!
I left one little detail out of recap yesterday of Alison’s baby shower — the food! And for an important reason: this topic deserves its own post. For the shower I tried out Kitchensurfing for the first time, which is an awesome service where you book a private chef to prepare a meal customized to your event, cooked right in your own home. Now, I was excited to try out Kitchensurfing because I mean, the bulk of the work that comes with throwing a party revolves around prepping, cooking, and serving food, and having someone else take care of all the handwork really frees up time for things like … taking the curlers out of your hair more than 8 seconds before you guests arrive while pulling appetizers out of the oven.
So, Kitchensurfing matched me up with a great chef named Tim, who worked with me to customize a gourmet brunch men full of bite-sized treats including: mini biscuits and maple sausage bacon, crispy potato cakes with roasted corn, individual caramelized onion and goat cheese quiches, and candied bacon – YUM! And for a real show stopper – Tim made individual bowls filled with crispy bacon and onions, butter brioche toasts, and a cracked to order sous-vide egg on top. I was a little nervous before the event that I’d be anxious about giving up control of my kitchen, but the truth is that Tim such a great job that I was really able to enjoy the party instead of being stuck in the kitchen, and what’s better than that?
This weekend I hosted a baby shower with the help of my friend Lindsay for one of our blogger besties — Alison of Long Distance Loving. It’s funny, I’ll always refer to Alison as my ‘blogger friend’ because that’s how we met, and we continue to work together on Boston Bloggers. But since meeting through the blogging world we’ve become great friends outside of the blogosphere, and I was so delighted to be able to celebrate her and her little baby-to-be! Alison is keeping the baby’s gender a surprise, so we went with a gender-neutral theme – bright yellows that we used in garlands, sunflowers, and cheery striped straws. We also made little yellow flags out of washi tape that we used for cupcake toppers and in potted succulents for favors. Oh and the food was pretty tasty too! More on that tomorrow…
I’m super lucky to work so close to Flour Bakery — when I go there for lunch, which is often, I tend stick to the same order each time. This week though, a quiche on their weekly specials board caught my eye: sweet potato and blue cheese. These are two of my favorite flavors, but I never thought to put them together until I saw them on the menu. I ordered the quiche — it was amazing — and left with determination to use this flavor combination in a dish of my own soon. My spin on the Flour Bakery quiche is a sweet potato blue cheese frittata — full recipe below:
1 Large sweet potato
1 Small yellow onion
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup of milk
1/3 cup of crumbled blue cheese
1 tsp fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel sweet potato and dice into small cubes, thinly slice yellow onion and toss with sweet potatoes in a pie dish with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing mixture at the halfway point. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before crumbling 1/3 cup of blue cheese over the roasted mixture. In bowl, whisk 6 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk and 1 tsp of fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over sweet potatoes in pie dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Sometimes inspiration just comes in bursts, doesn’t it? I have been scooping up ideas from so many gorgeous parties around the web — like a darling garden party from Grey Likes Weddings — I need to dip-dye some napkins just like those! The color palette, the bows, the florals, and the stripes are all perfection in a Kate Spade-inspired bridal brunch. And a sweet little farmer’s market picnic party has my wheels turning for some spring-time fetes!
I mentioned earlier this week that my weekend was a bit of a carb-fest. One of the highlights of my breaded-binge was making homemade popovers and strawberry butter. It’s sort of a family tradition to make these delicious egg-y pastries. When my sister and I were kids, my mom and aunts would take us to have lunch at Neiman Marcus, and the popovers were always a highlight of the meal. So when they visited this weekend I broke out the Neiman Marcus Cookbook and whipped up a batch. The strawberry butter is the best part, it’s just strawberry jam and butter whipped together, but for some reason it tastes absolutely amazing — I want to put it on everything!