Friday, September 30, 2011

{friday cocktail: savannah fizz}

This Friday's cocktail comes from one of my favorite blogs to find entertaining/party inspiration, Camille Styles.  This recipe includes champagne so naturally I was interested from the moment I saw it.  The Sweet Tea vodka is a bit much for me and I think the cocktail would be better with only 1 ounce of the vodka and some citrus added to it such as a 1/2 ounce of lemon juice.  Here is the original recipe (from here), you can try it and decide for yourself:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

{puff pastry tart}

This past weekend Chris was in the kitchen whipping up a quick snack for some guests and I told him it would make a great blog post.  He then asked me if he could "guest blog" it for me.  I think he is jealous of all the guest blogging going on around here.  Anyways since Chris has a hand in almost all of the cooking on this blog (except the desserts), I couldn't say no.  So here it is in Chris' words and photos:

Last weekend some of my family came up to L.A. to celebrate our birthdays.  While we didn't eat dinner here at our place, I try to always have something for people to snack on when they arrive in case they are hungry.  Using what we had around the house I was able to whip up a tasty apple and caramelized onion tart.

What you need:
  • frozen puff pastry
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1/2 cup carmelized onions
  • 1/3 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • honey
  1. To prepare, thaw a frozen pastry sheet and make sure to patch up any holes, cracks, or seams.  Place the pastry sheet onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and dock with a fork leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge.  
  2. At this point you can really put anything on and it will probably taste delicious but for this recipe I started with a bit of honey, added a layer of caramelized onion, some shredded Gruyere cheese, and then slices of granny smith apples.
  3. Place the tart into a 400 degree oven and check on it after 20 minutes.  Cooking times will depend on your oven and ingredients but ours cooked for about 30 minutes.  
  4. Once it has been baked transfer to a wire rack to cool; this will ensure the bottom stays crisp.  Serve immediately. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

{etsy favorites: halloween edition}

Besides blogs and magazines, I get a ton of DIY inspiration from wandering around on Etsy especially for home decor projects.  I think Halloween might be my favorite holiday to decorate for, although Christmas is a close second.  Here are some fun seasonal items that inspired me on Etsy recently:

Monday, September 26, 2011

{weekend photos}

This past weekend was filled with birthday dinners, shopping and celebrating a friend's completion of his first triathlon.  Here are some snapshots:

 {muji confused by the birthday balloons}

 {trying out a potential champagne for the wedding before heading out to dinner for Chris' birthday}

 {Korean BBQ at Genwa}

 {new necklace from a small boutique across from our place called Bliss}

 {pumpkin scented candles from Target}

 {baked eggs brunch at a friends house}

{portobello mushroom fries with basil aioli from this recipe}

Friday, September 23, 2011

{friday cocktail: whiskey punch}

Whenever we have large groups of friends over, I always love to set beer, wine and cocktails out so that guests can simply serve themselves as they please.  While this is really simple with wine and beer, it can be a bit more difficult with cocktails since most are best when they are made to order.  That is why a punch is the perfect solution.  Our friends served a whiskey punch as the signature cocktail at their wedding and it was a huge hit.  You can see the original recipe over at Bourbon & Bleu right here.  I considered doing another DIY champagne cocktail bar, but a whiskey punch just seems a bit more laid back and fun for our birthday party (plus the punch still has an entire bottle of champagne in it).  The recipe serves 15 and I doubled it for our group of 16 and was more than enough to last us throughout the night. 

 {pom juice for home-made grenadine}


Thursday, September 22, 2011

{salted caramel budino}

I am a sucker for any dessert with caramel in it and one of my all time favorites is the caramel budino from Bottega Louie.  Last month's issue of Bon Appetit conveniently had a straight forward recipe for making caramel budino with cookie crust and I knew immediately that was the perfect dessert for our 26th birthday party.  You can see the original recipe I followed here.  I omitted the whipped cream topping and replaced it with edible gold foil stars.  I also opted to buy the Fluer de Sel Caramel sauce from Trader Joe's rather than make it from scratch in the interest of time.  I was able to make these all the night before and simply added some additional caramel sauce and the gold stars right before serving.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

{diy mini confetti system garland}

Last week I found out I was chosen to be one of The Knotty Bride's Bloggista contributors!!!! Really exciting news for me since out of all the wedding blogs I have started reading since getting engaged, The Knotty Bride is by far the most hilarious one to read- not to mention the weddings and inspiration shoots she features are amazing!

So today I am contributing a tutorial on how to make mini confetti system garland!! (I have definitely professed my love for confetti system in the past when i made the simple squared fringe garland for cinco de mayo- re-live that magic right here)  You may remember seeing it in the background on some of our 26th birthday party posts and now you can make one for yourself!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

{26th birthday party: part two}

When Chris and I sat down to think up the menu for our birthday party, we only knew one thing for sure and that was that the main dish was definitely going to be some kind of pork.  It has become somewhat of on going joke how often Chris chooses to make pork as a main dish.  After finally deciding on a marinated pork shoulder; we added an herbed polenta cake, roasted parmesan potatoes, cheesy spinach gratin and garlic cremini mushrooms to the menu.  The we rounded it out with some herb butter garlic bread and a simple field greens salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, slivered almonds, shallots and goat cheese.  The main goal was to pick dishes that could all be prepared the night before so that we wouldn't have to be in the kitchen very much during the party.  Click on the individual names of dishes above to check out the recipes!

For the appetizers I choose to make simple one bite dishes that could be served cold and could be assembled the an hour or two before the party.  You can see the recipes for the Strawberry Pesto crostini here and the Caprese bites here.  The third appetizer was cantalope and proscuitto which is pretty self explanatory. 

The meal and entire night turned out wonderfully. I cant wait til next year!

Monday, September 19, 2011

{26th birthday party: part one}

Chris and my birthdays are three days apart so we usually have a joint birthday party each year.  Last year we choose to have a dinner party at our home in Silverlake with 18 of our closest friends.  It was so much fun that we decided we wanted to do the same thing every year.  One of the best things about our new loft is the versatility of the open space.  For this year's party we moved out our living room furniture and put a table for 16 in its place...

This year I decided to go with a Viceroy Palm Springs inspired color scheme using mostly black and white stripes with pops of yellow.  I picked up 5 yards of black and white striped cotton and a few yards of bright yellow.  I also grabbed some cardstock in the same colors to make hand-made confetti to sprinkle around the tables.  The finishing touch was some white hydrangeas and yellow craspedia from the flower mart placed in some simple white ceramic vases.

Tomorrow I will share the menu Chris created!