Sunday, May 17, 2015

Little Man Baby Shower

For my friend's baby shower I was in charge of games, and decorations and my mom did the flowers and a baby sock topiary.  We chose baby blue as the color with white and silver accents.  

For the activites, we set up a few stations for people to do on their own and the played blind folded diaper changing and baby bottle chugging.  

I was able to order 8oz main jars, ikea picture frames, the baby bottles, and mustache banner on Amazon. Etsy had a lot of great little signs, but to be able to make more of my own personalizations, I made my own templates in Microsoft Word.  

This was the first baby shower I have ever even attended.  Although I got the majority of my ideas on Pinterest, there was very little direction as where to find all of the things needed to make them. What I didn't get on Amazon I found in Michaels, the dollar store, Home Goods, and Party City.  The baby food I got at BuyBuyBaby but then realized they sell at the grocery store.  

We set up an activity station for everyone to participate with instructions.  For the baby bottle chug - I got slow pour bottles, and filled them up 3/4 of the way with water.  I suggest Filling up only about 2 inches.

Plates and napkins from Party City.  I used extra mason jars to hold the utensils.

Blind folded diaper changing was really funny!  We put the diapers on with "poop" candy inside that they had to change without losing the poop.  

Diaper Decorating had the most participants! I bought diapers in size 1 & 2 and used markers I already had.  I recommend not to use very thin pen like makers - they tear through the diaper.

This is a plain bear from build a bear with a baby bowie from Target.  The parents can use the bow tie for the baby when he is born and the bear can go in his nursery.

For the guest book, I used a scrap book and instead of markers, coloring pencils so nothing would leak through to the other side. 

I got the idea for these mason jars on Pinterest, bought everything at the dollar store for the inside, but Essie polishes would be so nice with a larger budget. 
4x6 white Ikea frames, sign from Home goods
I made labels in Word by making a 1" circle and adding text to it.  Then I copied it spread out on 1 page and printed on a card stock sheet from the craft store and used 1" circle punch.  I suggest buying the individual sheets in 8x11 so they fit the printer easily.  I also used the circle with a number inside for the baby food game.  They all fit on one sheet for the number I needed.

We used 4 of these centerpieces for the tables, and out out a few smaller arrangements on mason jars.

Tea Party Brunch Birthday

This year I planned an all girls tea party for my mom's birthday... with lots of light foods and dessert to reflect.

from right to left:
white tray: west elm
pitcher: Waterford 
silver tray: overstock
sangria pitcher: crate and barrel
square silver tray: Pier 1
*hostess tip: freeze grapes and use instead of ice cubes to keep your drinks cold
My mom's non-alcoholic punch, that guests could mix with tonic water or sparkling wine, had white grape juice and grenadine

buffet table spread 
3 tier serving bowls - Bed, Bath & Beyond
silver acorn salt & pepper - West Elm
cutting board - Costco
Bud vase - Crate & Barrel
smoked salmon
goat cheese spread
gluten free
dessert table
white cake with raspberry mouse 
made these little cups with whipped cream (non sugar) and a mixture of fresh berries and berries mascersted in orange juice over night.
tea cups and saucers from Royal Dulton 

cake cutting set - Vera Wang
cake stand - Oleg Cassini from Bed Bath & Beyond 
Eat Cake napkins from Home Goods

My beautiful Mother and I
I am wearing a Michael Kors dress with a BCBG belt
My mom is wearing a Jones New York dress and Ivanka Trump flats


cheese tray, smoked salmon platters, egg salad, tuna salad, whitefish salad, tomato bruschetta, sushi tray, berry salad, assorted breads, cake, assorted cookies & pastries, fruit platter.

Thanks for visiting!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I made this healthier version of the normal beef, veal, and white rice stuffed bell peppers common in Russian cuisine.


- 1 Bag of assorted small peppers and 3 small green Hungarian peppers -cap and seeds removed
- 2lbs ground chicken
- 1 +1/3 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 onions chopped & separated
- 8oz canned tomato sauce
- 1cup chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp chopped dill (or herb of your choice, use more if you like)
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- cumin - to taste, I used 3 tsps
- salt - to taste, I used 1 Tblspn
- pepper - to taste, I used 3tsps

Stuffed peppers: 
1. Saute 1 of the chopped onions until golden brown and slightly caramelized - let cool 
2. Mix raw ground chicken, cooled quinoa, cooled onions, herbs, cumin, salt and pepper well in a large bowl
3. At this point I sauted about 1 teaspoon of the mixture, until cooked, to taste check for seasoning.
4. In a large dutch oven, lightly oil to bottom and turn to a low heat.
5. use a teaspoon to stuff each pepper until filled 
6. place peppers into the pot. Lay peppers on their side. Fill up the whole pot with one later, than start on a second layer, etc.

1. Seperately, saute the 2nd chopped onion until golden brown
2. Ad canned tomato sauce, let heat and slightly reduce
3. Add broth and sour cream to the sauce Heat until well mixed
4. season with a pinch of salt and pepper

-Add sauce to pot with peppers, bring to a simmer and cook, covered, on medium-low heat for 45minutes.  

Note - If you have left over stuffing - you can make them into meatballs, saute on each side for 3 min and add to the pot.

This made about 10-12 portions. To increase or decrease this recipe maintain about 1:2 ratio of quinoa to ground meat.

The peppers came out soft and sweet.  I couldn't taste the quinoa in there at all really (for those who like me, do not love the texture of quinoa on its own).

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Arranging Platters

Arranging Platters is one of my favorite ways to display foods.  I pick easy things that look beautiful  together but usually is based more on assembling than cooking.  It's low stress but always impressive.  

Bellow are some of my favorites from the past year.  I usualy choose a large platter or cutting board and assemble things  with bright colors.  Anything that's mushy I put aside into a smaller dish
Picnic: fruit and veggie platter
My farmers market haul
Store bought lunch arranged as if it were home made - special treat to make my grand parents feel like they were on a luxurious get away.
Fruit platter a ranged by colors on a silver tray for added elegance to end a fall holiday meal
Veggie tacos for lunch on a cutting board with extra goodies on the side.
Pot luck for work, I bring everything separately  in zip lock bags and put it in the fridge until it's time to eat.
Other ideas are a mixture of cheese  and cold cuts on a cutting board. I like using my cutting  boards instead of having a separate cheese platter because my kitchen is so small I can not store so many different things. It also makes a study surface to cut on. 

This also make a good gift - if you are going to someone's house or a pot luck- you can buy them an inexpensive  platter or cutting board that you arrange nicely and then later they can keep it.

Christmas Eve 2014

Last year we hosted a small Christmas  eve dinner for Chris' immediate family.  This year, as our first year of being married, we had 8 people over: my parents and Chris' family.  I spent all weekend preparing with the help of my parents while my husband was away at work.

My decor was white, glass and Metallic on top of a black tablecloth.

Summer beef sausage
Smoked cheddar
My deconstructed version of this tomato and whipped feta Crostini 
Baked salmon: salmon fillet topped with mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and shredded Parmesan cheese. Baked at 350F for 15 minutes.
Roasted chicken breast sliced with garlic and thyme.
Silky mashed potatoes: courtesy of my dad.
Mushroom sauce: courtesy of my mom.
Barefoot Contessa's green beans gremolata.
Salad: romaine lettuce, arugula, shaved pepper cheddar chese, italian herb olive oil

Kate Spade Ellis Street grey vase from Homegoods filled with while roses and tulips.
Michael Aram wine holder
Lennox wine glasses
The Cellar square while dishes.
Large white platters from Home Goods and Bed Bath & Beyond
Black tablecloth from Amazon
Votive candle holders from Crate and Barrel.
I spent Christmas morning wrapping gifts for Chris' family. I love how the baking twine looks like peppermint and the silver paper and black tags make it look a bit more elegant.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Midweek Lunch Feast

This lunch fed my mom and fiancĂ©. 
Apple Yogurt Coffee cake, made from a post on Cupcakes and Cashmere.
Salad had grilled grape tomatoes and mushrooms, cubed mozzarella and smoke mozzarella, and basil on a bed, all on a bed of sweet baby spring mix. 

Normally I would prefer to have had fish with this dairy meal instead of sausage, but BF is scared of fish, so chicken sausage it was.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lab Girl Chic - silk, lace & gold

It can often be a challenge to dress for a casual laboratory environment.  This Lab Girl Chic series will be a guide to dressing for the laboratory setting.  Where large cocktail rings or adorable cut out flats just don't make sense when working in tight medical gloves with a wide range of reagents, and manicures have a shelf life of 1-2 working days!

Aqua white blouse, Ann Taylor Loft cardigan and jeans, Geox flats, TJMaxx bangle, gifted necklace

I really like the mix of the silky white blouse with the delicate and lace fabric on the nude pink carding, it feels so light and feminine.  Pairing with a dark wash jean makes this outfit look more mature.  Comfortable shoes, like Geox makes are a must for me when walking around all day.  I also like a good grip on my shoes so I won't be worried about slipping while carrying reagents.