Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Favorites - SALE TIME!

It seems like EVERYTHING is on sale this week!  I'm stocking up for the rest of the summer! Don't miss out!

Some amazing steals on Moda Operandi!  Perfect time to order for a summer party or wedding!

Love this striped summer scarf - and at a great price!

Ok, it isn't on sale but I ordered this beach bag this week!  I think summer can officially start when it arrives!

Tons of Memorial Day Steals on One Kings Lane - everything you need for summer!

Up to 75% off at one of my favorite new on-line sites!!!!  I'm going to order this clutch that I have been coveting.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Packing for London!

I'm so excited to be off for a wedding in London this summer!  Can't wait!

Our son is joining us but we are leaving the rest of the crew at home.  We can't wait to show him around this magical city!

But, the long flights are never easy so I've started packing my carry-on bag already!  

Hermes Cashmere Scarf - I never get on a plane with out one. 
Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Camera - To capture all of the great moments along the way.
Chloe Scalloped Ballet Flats - So comfy it is like wearing slippers.
The Royal We - A little light reading about a royal couple similar to London's most famous!
The London Activity Book: With Palaces, Puzzles and Pictures to Colour - A little bit educational and a whole lot of fun for my son.
Tabitha Simmons Clutch - I always stick a small easy clutch inside of my larger tote so that I have every type of bag I will need on the trip. 
Big Prada Sunglasses - totally necessary upon landing to cover my dark circles!
The Cure Sheer Eye by Natura Bisse - I put it on as we take off and again at landing.  Love that it is soothing and covers up!
Hair Ties - These are great because they don't leave a crease.
Smythson Passport Case - Almost lost my passport on our Anniversary Trip so I'm ordering this bright passport cover for this one!
Rochas Tote - Love that this gives me enough room for my on-board goodies but is polished enough to carry around London as well.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I'd love for you to be one of the first!

I'm so excited about the release of my next book, Monograms for the Home: The Art of Making Your Mark.  It comes out in September but I've been working on it for a while now and I just couldn't wait to share it with you!  I'll keep you posted on book signings and speaking engagements here but, in the meantime, I hope you will consider pre-ordering a copy now!  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Modern Game Night - Recipes and More!

We had such a blast at our Say It With Clicquot Modern Game Night but it wasn't just fun and games!  We ate a bit too!

Of course, everything we served fit our theme but was still easy to prepare and tasty as well!  Everything goes with Rose and Champagne so it wasn't hard to find the perfect treats.

 We started with some savory bites: 

I love these modern serving pieces from Finell  The coolest!

 Mini Beef Sliders with Bacon, Beets and Smoked Paprika Aioli

Makes 12 sliders

2 lb beef tenderloin cooked medium rare, sliced
2 lb fresh beets (red or gold) cooked until soft and peeled, sliced
12 slices Canadian bacon
12 soft mini rolls

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp smoked paprika

2 roasted bell peppers (cut into hearts and diamonds)

Mix together the mayonnaise, garlic and smoked paprika and spoon onto the soft rolls. Add the sliced beef, beet and bacon and top with the bell pepper heart.

 Smoked Pork and Cilantro Pancakes

with Jalapeno Cream Cheese and Peach Chutney

Makes about 18 appetizer pancakes
For the pancakes;
1/2 cup blue cornmeal
½ cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbs sugar
1 egg
¾ cup milk
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
½ cup finely chopped green onions

corn oil

1 cup whipped cream cheese
 1 jalapeno, finely diced
8 ounces smoked pork or chicken – shredded

½ cup peach chutney

Cilantro to garnish

In a large bowl, mix all of the pancake ingredients together. Heat and Lightly grease a skillet with the corn oil and spoon the pancake mix into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute until brown on the bottom and then turn over to cook on the other side for a further minute. Remove to a cooling rack.

A simple touch to add to our game night theme: we arranged crackers in alternating  directions on our tray to make a checkerboard pattern. 
Fold the jalapeno to taste, into the cream cheese and spoon or pipe with a star tip onto the pancakes. Top with the shredded meat (optional) and finish with a little peach chutney. Garnish with cilantro.

Smoked Salmon Lollipops

Makes about 12 lollipops

8 ounces cream cheese
12 slices smoked salmon
1 Tbs horseradish sauce
12 lollipop or popsicle sticks

Soften the cream cheese and mix in the horseradish. Prepare one-inch diameter balls of the cream cheese, roll and refrigerate.

Cut circles of smoked salmon large enough to wrap the ball of cream cheese.

Wrap each salmon circle around the cream cheese, and twist a sheet of plastic wrap round each ball to form a round shape. Place each ball in fridge until ready to use.

Remove the plastic wrap and carefully place the lollipop stick into the bottom of the smoked salmon ball.

Serve chilled. Garnish with chopped chives (optional)

We arranged these to look like pool cues! 

Next came the sweets!  I always think that the serving pieces are just as important as the treats themselves so I played around a bit with my Minnie and Emma lucite tray.  It is seriously the most versatile entertaining item I have ever owned!  I've used it on coffee tables to wrangle books, remotes and a candle or at parties to serve everything from cocktails to treats like we did here.  For our Say It With Clicquot Modern Game Night, we lined up some scrabble pieces, most of them random and a few spelling out Veuve Clicquot, and stuck them on the copier!  We printed out the paper, laminated it and replaced the monogram sheet that comes with the Minnie and Emma tray with our new sheet!
It was the perfect tray to serve our Double Chocolate Domino Brownies!

Double Chocolate Brownies

Makes 12 brownies

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
8 ounces dark chocolate
2 cups sugar
1 tbs instant espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup dark chocolate chips

How perfect was Amber's playing card purse for Modern Game Night???
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a ¼ sheet pan. ( 12x9x2)

Melt the 1 ½ sticks of butter with the chocolate in a large bowl.

Whisk in the sugar, espresso powder, vanilla and salt followed by the eggs.

Fold in the flour and chocolate chips until combined and spread evenly into the sheet pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes until the top has a dull effect. DO NOT OVERCOOK 

Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and leave to cool and set.


Ping-Pong Bat Cookies

¾  cup butter, softened
1 cups white sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½  cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½  teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten

8 ounces green fondant paste
½ cup vanilla frosting

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll out the dough onto a floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into circles with a 2 inch cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Break off a piece of dough and shape like a ping-pong bat handle and stick to the circle of dough with the beaten egg.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

When cool, roll out the fondant and cut a circle using the same round cutter and stick to the cookie using the vanilla frosting.

Ping-pong ball can be made using rolled white fondant or melting 2 ounces of white chocolate with 
2 Tbs heavy cream and refrigerating until cold, then shaping into a ball.

These darling coasters are from Minnie and Emma for Veuve Clicquot! 

Recipes courtesy of Darren McGrady 
Author of 

Photographs by Kelsey Foster