Friday, September 28, 2012

Summer Bridal Shower

One of my best friends recently got married (pictures to come in a future post), and I hosted a bridal shower for her earlier this summer. I wanted to host a luncheon that had a casual, light summer feel. 

Pink, yellow and gray were the chosen colors for the shower. Fresh flowers and light foods (sandwiches and salads) were the accent for the party. I also had a carrying chalkboard theme as chalk always reminds me of summer!

Below are a few pics of the day (not nearly enough as I wanted to show each detail). My next event will be prepared early enough that I can take pictures of each detail before the party starts!!

The beautiful Bride-to-Be!
Accent flowers on the food table, alongside some of the food.
Decorated tables. Each place setting has a votive candle/holder with chalkboard space and chalk for each guest to write their name.
Beverage Station (later included the strawberry cheesecake dessert).

Mother of the Groom (left) & Mother of the Bride (right).
Gift opening (myself-left, Katy-right).

Bridesmaids with the Bride-to-Be (minus one bridesmaid)!
Left to right: Myself, Cori, Sara, Katy, Rachel


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Zesty Tortellini

Dan (my husband) travels a lot for work and this week he was able to make it home on Tuesday, just in time for dinner. I wanted to make something simple (as I had to work all day), yet filling.  I decided to throw a pasta together and call it Zesty Tortellini. I came up with the super creative name by combining the type of noodle and sauce I used. ;) The pasta turned out just as I had hoped. I'd definitely make it again (but not too soon as it isn't the most healthy dish).
As you can see above, the dish consisted of caramelized onion, goat cheese, tortellini and basil.  Find the recipe below.

Zesty Tortellini
1 pkg. tortellini noodles
1 jar of Green Mill Zesty Arrabbiata pasta sauce
1pkg. Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage
1 clove of garlic
goat cheese
freshly grated parmesan
Italian seasoning
freshly chopped basil
1/2 sweet onion
2T. butter
2-3tsp. brown sugar

First,  you'll need to chop the onion (I sliced and quartered mine). Next, you'll need to caramelize the onion as this is the longest of the steps (find instructions below). Cook the meat thoroughly and strain once fully cooked. Place meat back in the pan, add the pasta sauce, caramelized onion, crushed and chopped garlic clove, Italian seasoning and parmesan. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Once the pasta sauce is warmed up, add the fully cooked tortellini to it and stir (I cooked the noodles while I was cooking the meat). Last, plate the mixed pasta, crumble goat cheese over the top and also sprinkle the chopped basil over the top.

Caramelized Onion
Place butter in the pan, add the onion and sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of the onion (I put a little bit of salt and pepper too). Cook on med. low - low for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and leave pan covered when not stirring.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Garden Party Wedding

One of my favorite things to see at a wedding is the couple's style incorporated into the day's decor. It's fun to see creativity at work and gain a better understanding of the couple through the look and feel of their wedding.

One of my favorite blogs, Green Wedding Shoes, shares various examples of weddings. Today's post highlights a Garden Party Wedding and is fantastic. Every detail is absolutely beautiful!
Click the picture below to view the full blog post about the Garden Party Wedding.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sugar Coated Voice - Jennifer Nettles

Having a love for all different kinds of music makes it hard for me to pick a favorite musician. BUT, if I were put in a life or death situation and had to pick a favorite musician to save my life (or someone else's), I would stand strong behind the vocal styling's of Ms. Jennifer Nettles. Not only is her voice wonderful, but her personality appears to be a close match.

Jennifer Nettles has done a handful of performances with other "big name" singers. In each of these performances it ceases to amaze me how pronounced each individual's sounds are, yet when put together it's perfect harmony (peanut butter & jelly)! Each time I hear one of the performances I can't help but smile. I've put together a handful of my favorites to share and hopefully result in a smile for you. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pizza with a Kick

My husband and I tend to order pizza delivery on Sundays (due to sheer laziness).  It arrives, we eat it and then feel terrible because it isn't the healthiest choice nor is it as good as anything homemade.  Last weekend I decided to kick it up a notch and make a homemade buffalo chicken pizza to please our palates.

It was super easy to make, turned out quite scrumptious and was far healthier than any pizza that is delivered to our house!

Sauce mixture, using olive oil, buffalo sauce and ranch.
A larger cut for the onion
The base. tons of cheese!
The finished product.

I'm not going to lie, one reason this was so easy to make was because I bought a premade crust as well as precooked chicken. For some reason convenience is key to me on Sundays and this just seemed like the way to go. I will definitely make this again, no matter what day of the week, and I'll stick to the precooked ingrediants!!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Precooked pizza crust (I used thin crust)
Olive Oil (I used a three herb blend)
Buffalo sauce (I used Green Mill's)
Ranch dressing
Blue Cheese crumbles
Roast Chicken (precooked)
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan Cheese (shredded)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut up the onion. Drizzle a thin layer of olive oil over the pizza crust (about 1T). Drizzle the buffalo sauce over the pizza crust (add as much sauce as you think you can handle, being sure to fully cover the pizza crust). Drizzle Ranch dressing over the pizza crust. Use a spatula to evenly spread the sauces over the pizza crust. Pull the chicken and sprinkle over the pizza crust, do this also with the onion and blue cheese crumbles. Last, cover with mozzarella and sprinkle parmesan on the top. Place in the oven for roughly 10 minutes. Take out of the oven when the pizza is cooked to your liking and enjoy. We used ranch to dip it in.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Marvelous Melody

The Marvelous Melody of the day is from Video Chat Karaoke. This is a lovely tune performed by Oscar Isaac and Kate Mara. This song was made specifically for the movie '10 Years'. Enjoy! (click the pic below to play the video)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Football Feed

My husband and his friends have season tickets to their alma mater, the MN Gophers.  This past Saturday's game was the first they were all able to attend and this meant a full day of celebration and fun, (which usually includes several beers).  Because I knew it would be a long day of liquid consumption and not much food, I decided to make them breakfast to ensure they had a good base for the day! 

I chose a Blueberry French Toast bake because it was easy (didn't have to slave over a stove for hours) and sounded delicious.

I threw this together the day before the game, and threw it in the oven the next morning prior to everyones arrival.

I found the recipe via Pinterest, but changed it up a bit to fit our tastes.

Straight out of the oven.

The finished product (minus a covering of syrup).

This recipe was well worth it.  It was quick, easy and delicious!  I recommend you have at least six people to dine with you because it doesn't taste as good reheated as it does when it's fresh. Below you'll find the recipe. Enjoy!

Blueberry French Toast Bake

2 loaves of baguette bread
1 package of cream cheese
12 eggs                              
1/3-1/2c. Pure Maple Syrup  
2c. Milk                              
1 package of blueberries      

You'll want to prepare the dish the day before you plan to eat it so it can sit in the fridge and absorb the flavor.  Grease a 9x13 pan. Cube the baguette.  Place one of the two cubed baguettes in the pan so that they cover the bottom. Next, cube the cream cheese. Sprinkle the cubed cream cheese and the blueberries over the top of the bread. Next, cover with the second cubed baguette loaf.  Next, blend the eggs, syrup and milk. Pour this mixture over the bake. Cover the pan with tin foil and let sit in the fridge 1-24 hours.

When you're ready to eat it, you'll preheat the oven to 375, cook for 30 minutes with the foil on. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and cook for an additional 30 minutes (or until the bread is golden brown). Heat up some syrup, drizzle over the top and enjoy!!