Tag Archives: entertaining

Party Drinks: Ward 8

The Harvard Common Press is celebrating their New England ties by hosting a virtual cookbook potluck with a bunch of local food writers. So when they reached out to me to join on the fun, I of course said yes and said I’d bring the cocktails! I dug through the Harvard Common Press’ book Party Drinks! and found one recipe that seemed like the perfect fit for the occasion: a Ward 8 — named for the 8th Ward of the city of Boston. In a cocktail shaker over ice you pour 4 oz of Rye, 1/2 oz of Grenadine, 1/2 oz Simple Syrup, and fresh lime juice. Shake it up, strain it out into two glasses, and garnish with an orange and cherry, and of course give a clink of the glass and toast to something fun!

partydrinkspartydrinks1partydrinks5partydrinks3partydrinks6Please note: Harvard Common Press sent me a complimentary copy of Party Drinks!; all photographs and opinions are my own. 

Thanksgiving Leftovers Stuffed Mushrooms.

Guys! We’re one week out from my very favorite holiday (because it’s all about food and family, my two favorite things!). Being as food obsessed as I am, I’m already thinking about delicious leftovers. The day after Thanksgiving at my family’s house is usually a continuation of the festivities, we dig into leftovers and friends and family pops in to visit. Of course no one would turn down a post-Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich, but I thought I would mix it up this year and try to repurpose some leftover side dishes to make a festive appetizer to enjoy while family is still visiting at the end of the holiday weekend. Leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing, and sweet potatoes got a little dressed up and repurposed as filling for stuffed mushrooms — the taste of Thanksgiving in a bite sized snack! Full recipe below.
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Ingredients:
  • Mushroom caps
  • Leftover mashed potatoes
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Leftover baked sweet potatoes (1 potato)
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • Leftover stuffing
  • Cooked italian sausage
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley (for garnish)
  • Green Onions (for garnish)
  • Crispy bacon (for garnish)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Clean the mushroom caps and remove stems.
  • Using a small spoon or melon-baller, scoop out the inside of the mushroom caps to make room for filling (cup the mushrooms in your hand to keep them from breaking.
  • For Mashed Potatoes: fill mushroom caps with leftover potatoes, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  • For Sweet Potatoes: combine sweet potatoes with a drizzle of honey and melted butter; fill caps with mixture.
  • For Stuffing: combine leftover stuffing with cooked and chopped italian sausage, fill caps with mixture.
  • Arrange filled mushroom caps in a baking dish, salt and pepper to taste, and bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
  • Remove and garnish: add green onions to the top of the mashed potato stuffed mushrooms; chopped crispy bacon to sweet potato stuffed mushrooms, and minced parsley to the top of stuffing filled stuffed mushrooms.

4 Fun Twists on Thanksgiving Recipes.

At the Wayfair + Boston Bloggers ‘Home for the Holidays’ Event last weekend, my Boston-blogging partner in crime Alison gave a great chat about planning your content around the holidays and one of her pieces of advice was resurfacing old posts to share when seasonally relevant. It got me thinking about some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes from blog posts past. As I’m sure you’re in a similar Thanksgiving menu planning mode that I’m in this week, I thought I’d round up four of my favorite that offer a fun twist on a traditional Thanksgiving food element.

To start things off: a seasonal cocktail that brings apple cider to the forefront, Apple Autumn Punch. A tasty appetizer that brings in the sweet flavors of apple pie but the savory balance of a baked brie, Baked Brie with Apple Compote. We always have mac and cheese on our Thanksgiving menu for the vegetarians, and this version is baked in cored apples; Mac and Cheese Baked Apples. For dessert, I’ve tried a bite sized version of pumpkin pies and used cookie cutters to spell out a message of thanks: Thankful for Pie.

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Four Festive Place Cards for the Holiday Table.

I spent Saturday at the Wayfair + Boston Bloggers‘ Home for the Holidays event and it got me majorly into the holiday spirit. I’m fine waiting a little longer until we start chatting about Christmas, but Thanksgiving is just 3 weeks away so you better believe I’m starting to scheme up holiday  tablescape decorations. I started to test  a few ideas for place cards using natural elements — first, a big fresh artichoke centered on a plate with a small hand-drawn paper banner that I lettered in gold. For the next  place card I tied a silk blush ribbon around the stem of a tiny pumpkin (I love the golden and green colors in this one!). I used a deep red pomegranate and a gold permanent marker to create some faux-calligraphy for another option. And my fourth and final test was a small wreath that I made out of fresh thyme sprigs. A small piece of peach ribbon covered up where I tied off the wreath and I personalized it with a gold glitter monogram sticker. This one was my favorite because it smelled so fresh and rich! So what do you think, any favorites?
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Kitchensurfing.

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.

2014-10-26 13.04.49So, 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?Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Want to try Kitchensurfing? Sign up here and receive $50 off your booking!

Please note: Kitchensurfing provided their serves free of charge, all opinions are my own. 

 

A Blogger Bestie Baby Shower.

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…

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Occasions Magazine.

I’m so excited to have been interviewed by the folks at Occasions Magazine recently, hop on over there and read all about my entertaining style, tips, and inspiration!

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Tassel Wine Charms.

When it comes to planning a bridal shower, it’s the little extra details that make all the difference in creating a special experience. When my fellow bridesmaids landed on a mimosa bar for the shower, I decided it would be fun to jazz up the rented champagne flutes with a little extra flair. Using embroidery floss and an easy-to-find tutorial from Pinterest, I made tassels in coordinating corals, peaches, and lilacs. Using wine charm findings I attached the tassels with an extra piece of embroidery floss. The result was a bright pop of festive color on the champagne flutes, and an easy way for guests to locate their drinks!
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Modern Geometric Bridal Shower.

I shared a few sneak peeks of a bridal shower for one of my best buds this weekend if you follow me over on instagram, and I have loads more to share here today! I had so much fun planning details for this shower because there are few people in this world that would appreciate them more than this bride-to-be. It was also so much fun because of the all-star bridesmaids involved — these girls pulled out all the stops: from stocking a candy buffet fit for Willy Wonka, to hand-making favor boxes out of coordinating cardstock, to arranging gorgeous blooms brimming with bright pink peonies (this gang was so on top of things that we all showed up in coordinating outfits without even planning!). My favorite detail was the mimosa bar, stocked with Pop-Fizz-Clink drink stirrers and signage from Laura Hooper Calligraphy and a wall of cascading tissue bursts in peaches and pinks and lilacs from Shop Sweet Lulu. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day, it was a sun-shining, mimosa drinking kind of a celebration!

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Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad.

Sometimes a few simple ingredients can be combined to make something wow-worthy — and I totally feel that way about this easy to make summer salad of grilled peaches and arugula. I made this salad for a summer rosé party held by The Urban Grape, and it was a hit — the sweetness of the grilled peaches is a perfect balance for the peppery arugula and tang of reduced balsamic. Check out the recipe below and be sure to click over to Boston.com to read the full article with smart tips from Hadley & TJ of The Urban Grape  to throw your own rosé party!

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Ingredients:

  • 6 Peaches
  • 1 cup of Mozzarella balls
  • 8 cups of Arugula
  • 1/8 cup Pine Nuts
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar

Peel peaches and cut into wedges. Heat grill and lightly coat with cooking spray to keep peaches from sticking. Grill peaches until marked on all sides. Set aside to cool. In a small saucepan, heat the Balsamic Vinegar on a medium-high heat, and let it reduce in half, about 5-8 minutes. As the Vinegar is reducing, toast pine nuts lightly in a small pan (be careful not to burn). In a large bowl, assemble arugula, layer mozzarella and peaches on top, and then sprinkle with pine nuts and dress with the balsamic reduction. Toss to serve.

Photography: Brian Samuels Photography

 

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