Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Amazing wedding food and drinks

{Photo credits: Meg Perotti via Style Me Pretty}

Today's post is all about this amazing wedding that had the most delicious looking cocktails, cheese and mini burgers I've ever seen.  If the food is this gorgeous, curious to see how amazing the wedding was?  Head over to Style Me Pretty to check it out.
















Monday, August 30, 2010

Mini chocolate whoopie pies

As promised, I spent Sunday morning baking up a storm. After spending time researching different recipes and reading reviews for whoopie pies, I decided on one I found on the iPhone Epicurious app (love that app, by the way).

These Whoopie Pies are by no means healthy, but this recipe uses whole wheat flour. I also reduced the amount of marshmallow cream because I don't like frosting being overly sweet. These desserts were relatively easy. To ensure the little cookie/cakes were all the same size and had a nice shape, I piped the batter onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Mini chocolate whoopie pies (recipe adapted from Epicurious)

Ingredients

Cake:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, such as Droste
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk

Filling:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup marshmallow cream

Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make the cakes:

Whisk together the flours, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg and beat at medium speed until incorporated. At low speed, add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk, mixing until just blended.

Pipe 1 inch rounds of batter onto each sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cakes (instead of piping the batter you can also use the drop method). Bake the 2 sheets at the same time, 5 to 7 minutes, until springy to touch. Let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, and transfer to racks to cool completely. Change the parchment and repeat using the remaining batter.

Make filling:

Beat the butter and confectioners' sugar at low speed until blended and then beat at high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and marshmallow cream and mix at low speed until blended, about 1 minute.

Match pairs of cake with the same shapes and spread the bottom side of 1 cake with filling and sandwich together with the other cake. (Store the finished whoopee pies in a covered plastic container and chill for up to 3 days.)



Since these guys are pretty sticky, putting them in cellophane bags wouldn't be the best. Instead, I tried to package them in short canning jars, but then you can only fit one, and that's just not enough. These are really yummy and I wanted to eat like 16 of them (but then I remembered I'm in 3 weddings in the next 6 weeks).

Definitely give these a try. They are satisfying treats and would look adorable on top of a cake platter stacked on top of each other for any party.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Whoopie pies - getting back in the kitchen

{Photo credits and recipes: Cooks, Bakerella, Food Network, Martha Stewart}  

Remember when I used to cook/bake and post recipes? Yeah...I barely do, either. It has been way too long since I have had time to spend in the kitchen and I miss it so much.

Luckily, I have all day Sunday set aside for some much needed baking and I am going to attempt one of these whoopie pie recipes. Whoopie pies have been making their way around the blogosphere and I am basically obsessed with little sandwich cookies. Remember these shortbread and the red velvet sandwich cookies I made?

Whoopie pies would be perfect wrapped in a cellophane bag tied with a ribbon or stacked on top of each other in a mason jar. They would also be a nice addition to any dessert display.

Stay tuned to see how they turn out and I hope you all have an amazing weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Real party: southern bridal shower luncheon

{Photo credits: Kristen Steel Photography}

This gorgeous, feminine bridal luncheon was sent to me by Kristen Steel Photography. She attended the shower and shot all these lovely photos.  What's not to love about this party?  I adore the soft color palette and the vintage-inspired decor.  I would say that bride-to-be Kelly is one lucky gal! 

As told by Kristen:

This vintage-inspired luncheon was brought to life by amazing milk glass vases and floral arrangements by Leah of Whimsical Gatherings, gorgeous cupcakes by The Cupcakery and oh-my-gosh-to-die-for food by Luxe Catering and Events. Anderson Rentals provided the tables and our fun and frilly pink table linens. Heather with Simplicity Event Planners graciously donated the Chair covers and helped coordinate all of the fun!



The amazing menu:

Chicken Salad Stuffed Pasta Shells with Parsley and Pecans
Heart Shaped Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
Fresh and Savory Winter Salad Stuffed Pears
Mustard Roasted Potatoes with Buttermilk Aioli
Lemon Cheese Cake Puffs topped with Strawberries, Blueberries and Mint
Assorted Seasonal Fruits
Veggies, Cheeses and Breads
Honey Ginger tea


Thanks so much for sending this amazing bridal luncheon my way, Kristen!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Real party: a LumberJack and Jill couple's shower

{Photo credits: ICG Photography}

I love this couple's shower designed by Trish of Frilly Milly Events. It incorporates personal interests of the couple with a completely unique theme and the food....wow!

As told by Trish:

The original concept/theme was somewhat of an “enchanted forest” due to the couples’ love for vintage/outdoorsy/retro pieces, but when it all came together I decided it was more appropriately titled “Lumber Jack and Jill”.



Because it was a couples shower, Trish wanted it to not only be feminine and dainty, but have a strong masculine presence as well. In order to do that she incorporated plaids and wildflower prints.
Trish served bbq foods (burgers, baked beans, corn on the cob, etc.) in small packages (sliders, tiny baked bean pots, etc.).  I am in love with those baked beans in a jar and the french fry cones!!!


Trish put together little brown bags with all of the ingredients to create s’morea with a  label that read “s’more love” and on the backside the couples’ wedding date.
Be sure to head over to Trish's blog, Frilly Milly Events and check out photos from the "photo booth" she set up as entertainment for the party.

Amazing job on this couple's shower, Trish.  This is one party I'd love to attend!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A cabin weekend

Erik and I spent a relaxing weekend at a cabin in Wisconsin.  It was very rustic, peaceful and lovely.  It was a much needed weekend with just the two of us and it was awesome, every minute.  I documented our trip through photos and I hope you enjoy!
The cabin we stayed at was located on the Black River.  On Saturday morning it was hazy and beautiful.
We made a scramble for breakfast with yellow tomatoes, red peppers, potatoes, bacon, eggs and cheese.  It was delicious.  Aren't those tomatoes gorgeous?  After breakfast we went on a hike. 


In the afternoon we headed to the beach for a picnic.  We found an absolutely perfect spot right on the water with a cute picnic table.
I have to give my honey some credit for putting up with me because we can't do anything normal like just have a picnic.  We have to have a picnic photo shoot (fellow bloggers, I know you understand!).  But...after noting that "people are staring honey" he relaxed and enjoyed the picnic.  We had great food after all.  We strayed from the menu I originally planned though.
Mason jars have so much utility, I used them for storing all the food.
I made tomato bruschetta with a favorite, easy recipe. 

Bruschetta

Ingredients

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Baguette, bread or crackers

Preparation

Drain the can of tomatoes.  Combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar, oilive oil and parmesan cheese in a bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill for 30 minutes to an hour. 

Top bread with tomato mixture and serve.
I made really good sandwiches and wrapped them  in parchment paper tied with baking twine. Cute!

The sandwiches were made with herb bread I purchased at the Minneapolis Farmers' Market. They had provolone cheese, yellow tomatoes, avocados, bacon and mustard.


After the picnic we grabbed a couple beers and sat outside of the cabin, overlooking the river.
When the bugs got bad we headed into the porch to play a few games of Yahtzee.  I won two out of three. Yes!
And then there was the sunset, the perfect, unbelievable sunset. 
What a perfect weekend it was...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sun-drenched and lovely

{Photo credit: Christine Farah via 100 Layer Cake}

Happy Friday!  I have to keep this post short because I am busy packing and prepping for the cabin weekend with my honey.  We are leaving mid-afternoon on Friday and I am so excited for two whole days with just Erik and I.  We will be hiking, grilling, relaxing and having our first picnic of the summer.  

These gorgeous engagement session photos perfectly captured how I hope my weekend will be; sun-drenched and lovely. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fresh Home magazine

Fresh Home magazine is relatively new to the market and focuses on home decor, DIY projects and food. I first saw an issue in my ad agency and took it on the train home with me one evening. A rosemary shortbread cookie recipe caught my eye which I promptly made when I got home.

I thought the cookies were fantastic and brought them to work for my coworkers to sample. They shared the same sentiment.
So I did what any normal person would do (um....), I sent an email to the editor letting her know how much I loved that recipe and the next issue included that note in the letters to the editor section. Plus...it featured my photo of the cookies off my blog. So cool!

Be sure to check out my post on the rosemary shortbreads and make them for yourself and let me know what you think!

Fresh Home has a blog and you can follow them on Twitter