Monday, January 31, 2011

Sweet giveaway from Side Dish!

I have a very yummy giveaway for you today from online sweets shop Side Dish.  Laura, the chef and owner behind Side Dish, studied culinary arts in NYC and had also owns a catering company based in Southern Calfornia called Dish Catering.

Side Dish is giving away all these tasty treats (including shipping) to one lucky reader:

1 dozen Chocolate Bouchons (chocolaty brownies)
1 dozen shortbread cookies (lavender or rosemary walnut)
1 dozen truffles (Caramel with sea salt)

These heart-shaped shortbreads are perfect for Valentines Day!  Side Dish also offers french macaroons, fudge and cookies

How to enter:

• Head over to Side Dish and check out all the yummy sweets
• Leave a comment on this post with your favorite item
• Eligible to US residents only

The giveaway will end on Wednesday, February 2 at 11:59pm CT. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Thursday, February 3. Good luck and I look forward to your comments!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Welcome, Sweet Treats Party Boutique!

I'd like to give a warm welcome to Eat Drink Pretty's newest sponsor, Sweet Treats Party Boutique. Sweet Treats Party Boutique is an online baking boutique owned by three sisters; Elisa, Sasha and Erin. Their shop offers cupcake/baking accessories and party printables.

Here are some of their cute products (don't miss the 20% coupon code at the end of this post!). 

Adorable wrappers add a special touch to any cupcake.
I love these edible icing decals (for anyone that is challenged with piping icing on a cupcake, these are the perfect solution). 

Sweet Treats Party Boutique is offering Eat Drink Pretty readers 20% off their purchase until February 27th.  Please use coupon code EDP20 to redeem the discount.

Advertisers (as well as my readers!) help keep Eat Drink Pretty up and running.  Please check out Sweet Treats Party Boutique and keep them in mind for your upcoming parties! 

If you are interested in sponsoring Eat Drink Pretty please send an email to eatdrinkpretty{at}gmail{dot}com.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ganache-stuffed chocolate chip cookies

{Photo credit: Food and Wine}

I've noticed that indulgent, unhealthy posts on Eat Drink Pretty have disproportionately gone up since I've been on Weight Watchers. A girl can dream right?  And so...here are some delicious looking mini chocolate chip cookies, stuffed with ganache. YUM!

Click here for the recipe from Food and Wine.  I love mini cookie sandwiches, they are damn cute and if you have just one maybe they won't be a diet buster. 

Check out some other cute cookie sandwiches:

Chocolate chip and coconut cookies from With Style and Grace blog
Glittering lemon sandwich cookies
Red velvet sandwich cookies (perfect for Valentines Day)
Mini chocolate whoopie pies
Shortbread sandwich cookies

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kale recipe round-up

{Photo credits: Epicurious, Food and Wine, Joy the Baker, Food and Wine and Food Network}

This post is all about kale and it's for my bestie, Amy.  Amy and I have been best friends for about 17 years and have probably not missed more than a day or two talking on the phone since then (Amy lives in DC). 

Amy is a vegetarian and loves kale.

We were chatting one morning and she launches into this conversation about how she's obsessed with kale.  Then later that day she Gchats me about how she can't stop thinking of this kale salad she recently had for lunch.  Confession, I have never cooked with kale.  It's about time, right?  I am sure Amy thinks so. 

Kale recipes (I realize not all these recipes are vegetarians but most are):

Potato and kale cakes with rouille
Kale and bean bruschetta
Crispy kale with lemon yogurt dip
Kale spinach and pear smoothie
Kale and potato soup with turkey sausage
Spicy parmesan green beans and kale

Do you love kale as much as Amy?  If you have a recipe you'd like to share please comment below or send the recipe to eatdrinkpretty{at}gmail{dot}com.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gorgeous chic dessert table

Sometimes I receive submissions from readers that hands down, belong on Eat Drink Pretty.  Those submissions scream prettiness and make me want to drop everything and post immediately.  This gorgeous dessert table was one of those submissions, sent by Louise of Louise Macpherson Wedding Design all the way from Scotland.  Louise is a loyal reader of Eat Drink Pretty and has sent me sweet emails and comments over the past few months.  I love when readers submit their work!

Photo credits to Christopher Currie Wedding Photography.
As told by Louise:

"As is always the case in wedding trends the UK follows where the USA leads, and dessert tables are only just starting to become more common over here. For me they combine two great loves of weddings and baking, so it was a no brainer for me that I included this in my shoot plans.

My starting point was my brand colours of grey and a minty green, with lots of white to keep it clean and simple. The gorgeous cupcakes and cake pops were supplied by a local small business, but I wanted to show how easy it is to create a stunning cake on a budget so I made the two-tier cake myself, and used velvet ribbon and a big corsage to decorate. I think it looks fantastic and the decorations cost under £10! The meringue 'kisses' were a last minute late-night baking addition. To make sure the images kept a wedding-y feel to them I wanted to add some flower bouquets, but nothing too over the top. I finally settled on a small bouquet of baby's breath which I'd not really considered before (again, this is a much under-used flower in the UK) until seeing your sister's wedding on your blog."









Wow, this cake is STUNNING! I can't believe Louise made it herself!

Louise's gorgeous dessert table proves you can achieve huge impact with simplicity and limited budget.  Thanks so much for your submission, Louise and best of luck with your wedding planning business!  Be sure to check out Louise's lovely website.

Vendors
Cupcakes and Cake Pops - Cup Couture
Stationery - Lovat Press

Do you have a party/dessert table/shower/wedding you would like to share with Eat Drink Pretty readers?  Please send your submission to eatdrinkpretty{at}gmail{dot}com.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Homemade crackers and hummus

Mmmmmmmm....homemade crackers. They are just pure awesomeness.  I love everything about these crackers; the freshly cracked black pepper, sea salt, the crunch.  And they are really easy to make.  If you have flour, salt, pepper, sugar, butter and milk you can have homemade crackers in about 30 minutes.

Hummus goes really well with these crackers.  And I found the absolute best hummus recipe (see below). 

The cracker dough about to go into the oven.

Freshly baked crackers.  If this isn't beautiful I don't know what is.  Seriously.

Salt and pepper crackers (recipe from My Recipes)

Ingredients

2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
1 tablespoon sugar
About 1 tbsp. salt
About 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2/3 cup milk

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, 1 tbsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Add butter and rub with fingers to work it into the flour mixture until no discernible pieces remain. Stir in milk. (Or you can pulse flour, sugar, 1 tbsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a food processor to combine, add butter, pulse until no discernible pieces remain, and whirl in milk.) Turn mixture out onto a floured work surface and knead; form into a ball.

2. Divide dough ball in half. Working with one half at a time, pat each into a rectangle. Roll rectangles paper-thin and transfer each to its own baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut lightly (not necessarily all the way through) into 2-in. squares. (Cut off uneven sides or simply have some uneven crackers.)

3. Bake 10 minutes. Switch position of sheets and continue baking until dough is starting to brown but is still mostly white or golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool on pans. Break into crackers and serve.
I probably didn't get the crackers quite as thin as they should be.  Rolling out the dough was the most challenging part, be sure to have plenty of flour on the counter and rolling pin because the dough is a bit sticky.  I didn't mind thicker crackers.
 


Hummus (recipe adapted from Epicurious)

Ingredients

2 cups drained canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
1/2 cup tahini, with some of its oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, peeled, or to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Preparation

1. Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and begin to process; add the chickpea liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree.

2. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve, drizzled with the olive oil and sprinkled with a bit more cumin or paprika and some parsley.

Note, I halved this recipe and it was still plenty.  Be sure to add salt and pepper slowly to taste.  I really enjoyed the addition of cumin. 

This is the perfect snack and fairly healthy, too.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Real party: a lovely winter baptism

Magdalena of Oh So Chic Celebrations sent this lovely winter party she designed for her daughter's baptism. As someone who is sometimes afraid of using too much color, I adore the neutral color palette of this party.  And the treats look so tasty, don't they?

Photos credits to Joseph K Muscat Photography 






A gorgeous 3-tier cake was the centerpiece of the dessert table, by Artistic Cakes.
I'd love to have a piece of this biscotti with a hot mug of coffee.








All the decor and stationery were designed by Oh So Chic Celebrations.  Thanks so much to Magdelena for sending this party my way!

Do you have a party you'd like to share with Eat Drink Pretty readers?  Please send your submission to eatdrinkpretty(at)gmail(dot)com.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

3-cheese mini macs

{Photo credit: Food and Wine}

How awesome are these mini mac n' cheese bites? They would be perfect to serve at any party; a cocktail party, children's party, even butler passed at a wedding.  Who doesn't love mac n' cheese?  I wish I had some for breakfast, but that wouldn't be Weight Watcher friendly now would it...

Click here for the recipe from Food and Wine.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Homemade focaccia

There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh bread baking in your oven. I've wanted to bake focaccia since I saw this delicious onion focaccia post on With Style and Grace blog and another one recently on Sunday Suppers.

Now that I've finally made focaccia I realize there is no reason to ever buy it at the store again.  This recipe is awesome and so easy, just a few ingredients are needed and all of them should be in your pantry right now.  It does require some planning ahead as the dough needs to rise overnight.  But it is so worth it.  Trust me.

Click here for the recipe.





My favorite toppings were green olives and tomatoes.  The sundried tomatoes got a bit charred but they still tasted great.  I also used dried rosemary, dried basil and roasted garlic. 

If you've never baked bread do it immediately.  It is warm and comforting and super rewarding.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Coffee and doughnut tasting party

What better way to start off the week than with a doughnut and coffee tasting party? I spotted this shoot last week on Somewhere Splendid blog and knew immediately I wanted to 1) quit Weight Watchers and eat doughnuts, 2) attempt frying doughnuts for my next adventure in the kitchan and 3) share this loveliness with my lovely readers.

These gorgeous photos were shot by Tiny Water Photography. The styling and paper goods designs come from talented Alice Koswara and the incredible flowers are from Botanica Floral Designs.

There are a ton of photos so sit back and enjoy...and prepare to salivate.



































Amazing, huh?  In addition to inspiration for a doughnut/coffee bar at a wedding I think this would be an awesome theme for a laid back weekend brunch gathering (hmmm, maybe for my upcoming 31st birthday?).  I would pair the doughnuts with a salty offering, hashbrowns perhaps?  YUM!

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday.  Technically I have the day off but am in the office working on a client presentation. Oh reality....