Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wolfgang Puck's 20.21

When I'm not blogging, cooking or throwing parties I can be found downtown Minneapolis working at an ad agency. Yup, that's my day job. I consider myself pretty darn lucky to have a job over the past 5 and a half years that I actually like, a lot. Some days I'd even say I love it. It's my ad agency gig that allows me to dine at fabulous places like 20.21 in the Walker Art Museum. I work in Media which means I get to hang out with great Media brands/content providers like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Fortune Magazine, BBC network, Architectural Digest, Better Homes and Gardens, social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and the list goes on and on.

These partners take me and my team at work out to dinner on a fairly regular basis. Did I mention above how much I like my job (oh yeah...I did). Fortune magazine took my team and I to 20.21 the other week and we ordered the tasting menu. Oh my god it was the most amazing array of courses, 10 courses to be exact. By the end of dinner I was experiencing physical pain from eating too much.

I won't say much more because the photos speak for themselves. If you can swing the steep prices at 20.21, go immediately.

My bellini - champagne with passion-fruit puree. I could have drank 99 of these, they were so good, but I practiced some self control (with the drinks, not the food) and only had one.

Possibly my favorite part of the entire meal, the tuna sashimi cup. Everyone should experience this once. Chicken cashew salad. My boss, Kathy's favorite.

Shrimp tempura.

Chicken in a lettuce cup.

The dinner entrees piled on my plate. I can't even begin to remember everything here.

A cookie buffet for dessert. Those are homemade marshmallows on the left.

Some sort of chocolate dessert. I had a bite but at this point in the dinner I was beginning to hurt. The best part of the dessert is the chocolate spoon with the cherry, to replicate the sculpture in the garden in from of the museum.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Breakfast at Tiffanys

I was a very lucky gal the other weekend and got to have breakfast at Tiffanys...literally. My friend Jill's sister bid on a private breakfast event at a charity silent auction for 10 of her friends, and I got to go as Jill's date!

As a girly girl I must admit there was something kind of magical about being in Tiffany before normal store hours for your own private breakfast and the best part...trying on all the sparkly gorgeousness they have to offer.

I managed to find and purchase one of the cheapest items in the store (a pendant necklace on a black cord from the Notes collection), but I actually love it and just got lucky that it didn't break the bank.

The brunch food was not very extensive, some mini quiches, fruit, pastries and mimosas (my favorite part). The decor was beautiful, those pinks and blues would be a lovely color combo for a wedding or any fun, girly event.

There is a funny story to go along with my purchase. Jill took a photo of me holding up the blue box and sent it to my husband. He called within about 30 seconds of receiving the photo to be sure I wasn't spending too much money.

We got to try on gorgeous engagement rings. This one was my fave (but I still love mine more)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Real party: a vintage-themed baby shower

I co-hosted a vintage themed baby shower last weekend for my dear friend, Jill. We were paired up randomly as roommates freshmen year of college and have been close ever since. I am very excited for her upcoming bundle of joy.

The shower was a lot of fun and no details were overlooked. Don't forget to click here to see the inspiration board and menu for the day.

Enjoy the photos!

The dessert display. The cupcakes are red velvet and homemade. The cake was not.

A menu, chrysanthemums in glass baby bottles and a vintage (looking) frame with a black and white photo of the mom to be when she was a baby. Cute!

Mini cucumber sandwiches. These were simple, but delicious.

Caprese skewers. Always a hit.

The red velvet cupcakes with "babycakes" and "sweet" pennants. I made each of those pennants by hand using a free template from Vintage glam blog, click here if you are interested in the template. Very easy but a bit time consuming.

Chrysanthemums in cylinder vases with the invitation displayed.

More flowers in a vintage (looking) vase surrounded by crystal scatters.

This was a simple double layer cake with raspberry filling from Target bakery. I decorated it with green ribbon and flowers. The cake received a ton of compliments on taste.

I love this candy cone box. I got the idea from Hostess with the Mostess blog (a great entertaining blog) and had my friend Libby's boyfriend build it. I decorated it with satin ribbon and vintage-y fabric. The cones are filled with the mom to be's favorite candy. Click here to get step-by-step directions on how to build your own.

All the paper products were coordinated to match the vintage-y paper from the invitations.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Men and Manny's Steakhouse

There is something about men and Manny's that go together really well. My friend Libby and I decided to take our significant others on a double date to Manny's steakhouse a couple weeks ago and the date was a smashing success. I don't think the guys have stopped talking about the perfect rib eye or the amazing martinis since.

Now this is not the type of date we go more than a couple times a year because there is nothing affordable about Manny's. We spent about $350 for the four of us which I realize is a ton of money, but it was worth it.

We ate a lot and everything was amazing.

On the table - Martinis. Porterhouse. Ribeyes. Oysters on the half shell. Mashed potatoes. Mushroom. Creamed spinach. Chopped salad.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Quesadillas - a very easy dinner

Black bean and vegetable quesadillas are a great go-to meal. They are healthy, easy and quick, perfect for those long days when you get home from work after 7pm but do not want to eat dinner from a drive-thru, a can or anything that can be microwaved.

In the summer months veggie quesadillas are awesome because I get most of the vegetables at the Farmer's Market. I think I may seriously shed a tear or two when the market is over for the year, it is one of my favorite moments of each week, strolling down Nicollet Mall and taking in all the wonderful sights and smells.

Back to the quesadillas, I make them by sauteing mushrooms, onions, squash and zucchini with a tablespoon of olive oil, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, some cayenne pepper and cumin. They take about 5 minutes to sautee and then I take a whole wheat tortilla, spray a frying pan with olive oil spray, lay the tortilla in the pan and begin to layer with cheese (any kind), black beans (rinsed) and the sauteed vegetables on half of the tortilla. Fold over and press down with a spatula. Flip after about 3 minutes and finish the other side until lightly browned.

Serve with cilantro, sour cream, diced tomatoes, lettuce and salsa. Yummy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Post wedding session pics

Erik and I did a "post wedding session" which basically means that I got to put on my wedding dress again and take photos with my hubby. Post wedding sessions are somewhat of a new trend, it is nice because the couple is more relaxed and has more time to take the kind of photos they may not have been able to take on their wedding day.

My photographer (Jennie Sewell) suggested this type of shoot, these are her favorite types of sessions because you can incorporate unique elements. As you can see, we included balloons which was kind of whimsical and fun and I wore cowboy boots.

This session was really awesome because I was a bit of an anxious, stressed-out mess on my wedding day. It was unfortunate, but I got sick the day before my wedding and basically lost my voice and had an awful cough. Don't get me wrong, I still had an amazing day and looking back I wouldn't have changed anything (except the sick part), but these photos allowed me to have the kind of relaxed, laid-back, loveliness that I didn't really have on my wedding day. And the shoot was just plain fun, I got to wear my dress again and hang out kissing my hubby for two hours at a lovely location.

Erik was a good sport, and he agreed to do the shoot without too much pressuring from my end but I'm pretty sure he still thinks I am crazy.

Enjoy the photos, they are really incredible (thanks to Jennie) and I absolutely love them!