Monday, July 25, 2011

Taste Test Extravaganza

This past weekend my husband and I were busy busy. We woke up Saturday and went to the Marietta Farmers Market, and let me just say it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! We got loads of fresh produce, and my favorite purchase was a homemade red pepper jam! Yum! Serve it with a little cream cheese on wheat thins! So delicious, creamy but has a little bit of a kick! The owner of the booth said she makes the jam herself at home and bottles it and everything! She had about 12 flavors and they were to die for! My plan is to get a different flavor each time we go! Saturday evening we had a house full of people, and Sunday our friends that were moving from New Orleans to Philly decided to stay an extra night, so we got extra time to enjoy their company!

Needless to say, my husband and I had an amazing weekend entertaining friends. With the holidays right around the corner I decided it was the perfect time to break out some new recipes for my guinea pigs…I mean my friends!

I have recently become addicted (like many people) to Pinterest. I found a few recipes on there and decided to make them this weekend. I am going to order them from my most to least favorite!

1. Artichoke Dip Stuffed Bread
This was a huge hit! It is basically an artichoke dip and you use a piece of French bread. Cut in half and hollow it out. Fill the hollow with the dip and throw some extra cheese on it and bake it! YUM! It was delicious and the crowd went wild, so this one is a keeper!
Time: 40 minutes

2. S'mores Baked Delight
My favorite kind of recipe, 3 ingredients, simple, simple, and so good! You use a can of crescent rolls, lay them out and place the mini semi sweet chocolate chips and mini marshmallows on them and then roll them up and bake them by what the crescent directions are! Add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and you have a heavenly treat!
Time: 15 - 20 minutes

3. Crispy Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini
You need zucchinis, mozzarella pearls, panko bread crumbs, one egg, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Cut zucchini in 3/4 in slices and use a melon baller to make a little hole in the zucchini, make sure there is a bottom, don't go through the zucchini slice. put mozzarella pearl in the whole, dip in beaten egg and then dip the zucchini in the breading mixture (bread crumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper) place on baking sheet, and drizzle a little EVO over them and bake for about 15 minutes, and then broil for 3 -5 to get them nice and brown!
Very Yummy, but I felt like they need a sauce next time I will add a dollop of spicy aioli sauce to each one when I take them out of the oven.
Time: 20 minutes

4. Spicy Crab Stuffed Cucumbers
Cucumbers sliced about 1/2 inch thick and a hole made with a melon baller. Fill with the Crab mixture (crab meat, cream cheese, hot sauce, mayo, salt, pepper, green onions). Everyone else seemed to love them, but they weren't my favorite. Still a good recipe and something light with no baking.

Sorry there are no pictures! By the time I had the food ready there were vultures (I mean friends) swarming over head, waiting to taste them! I will do better next time and make sure to take some! I have a few fun projects I am working on this week, can't wait to post them with all the details and how-to's!
Time: 20 minutes

Happy Monday!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberry Goodness

Hi! I stumbled upon this recipe about a month ago and have made it for a few events and it has been a huge hit! I thought I'd share it with my friends! It is so easy, and so few ingredients that absolutely anyone can do it!

Check out my treats for the 4th of July!


You will need:

  • 1 8ounce package of cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • strawberries
  • a topping ( you can use crushed graham crackers, chocolate, heath bar, coconut, nuts, Oreos, almost anything will work, that's why it is so fun! You can literally change it up every time!)
  • Core out your strawberries with a paring knife
  • mix cream cheese, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar in a bowl
  • once it is mixed well, use a piping bag to fill the holes in the strawberries
  • put your topping on a separate plate and dip the top in it to cover the top of the strawberries
  • if you need your strawberries to stand up, slice a small piece off the bottoms (that is what I did with my 4th of July strawberries, and I put the sliced bottoms into a fruit salad)
  • Make them pretty and serve!
Time: 20 minutes

It is so easy, and so delicious! But I warn you if you are coming to a party at my house you better not bring them because I will have already made them! I am sure they will be a party staple in our house for a long time! Easy, fast, and cost effective!

Enjoy! :) 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Truly Southern Experience - Plantation Wedding

This weekend my husband and I traveled down to Moultrie, GA to help celebrate one of his best friend's wedding. The event was held at Gin Creek. It was a beautiful outdoor plantation wedding facility. The wedding party took over the entire property, and took advantage of it too! There were separate cottages for the groomsmen, bridesmaids, family and friends of the bride and groom. They were adorable little cottages, with country flair.

 The mother of the bride was an event planner, and the grandmother a florist, so naturally they are DIY experts! When we arrived Friday afternoon, the mother of the bride was coring out apples to use in the centerpieces for the reception, I knew that this event would be full of wedding inspiration!

The rehearsal dinner was Friday evening, and we were blessed with an afternoon thunderstorm that cooled everything down. The rehearsal dinner was a fish fry, and it was amazing! They did all the flowers and centerpieces themselves. They also brought in a canoe filled with ice and beer! It was so cute, and the perfect way to serve alcohol at an outdoor fish fry!

Saturday morning, we woke up to rain, and lots of it! It seemed never ending! The bride’s aunt hosted a surprise bridal luncheon and the father of the groom hosted a cookout for the groomsmen. The luncheon was cute, outdoors under a tent, with centerpieces made up of blue and green hydrangeas and white roses. The bride was showered with gifts to take on their honeymoon, beach towels, kozzies, bags, sunscreen, even a few pieces of lingerie. It appeared to be a great start to her wedding day, minus the rain! I wish that I had taken picture of the luncheon, but I forgot my camera! Sorry!!

The rain finally let up around 4:30. My husband and the rest of the bridal party went and took their pictures, and then ushered all the guests down the aisle. The bride arrived in a horse drawn carriage, and walked down the aisle in the most stunning dress! They were married in a gazebo that sat above where the guests were sitting, so everyone had a good view. There was even a microphone so you could hear everything they were saying (definitely something we missed at our wedding).

The reception was indoor/outdoor. Food, cake, and tables were indoors and the bar, DJ, and dancing was outside. Below are some of my pictures of the special touches I loved. (Click to see the pictures larger)

The Canoe! Full of beer and ice and decorated with red hankerchiefs on the seats. 

Centerpieces for the rehersal dinner, the fish fry. Patron shaped vases and daiseys sitting on the same red hankerchief with candles.

No outdoor Georgia wedding is complete without fans! These were passed out to guests as they entered the ceremony. Perfect to keep you cool, and a great keepsake.

The gazebo where the bride and groom were married .

The groom's cake was amazing! My picture does not do it justice! The couple was a big fan of the "Lost" TV series. The cake showcases so many of the main elements of the show! You may have to be a lost fanatic to understand it, but luckly I am! Awesome cake!

The movie poster! So adorable!! The couple is also a big fan of the show "How I Met Your Mother". Awesome show, check it out! The movie poster was so adorable and the guests were asked to leave a message for the bride and groom!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our DIY wedding

My husband and I were married on June 4th, 2011 in the North Georgia Mountains at this gorgeous bed and breakfast that felt like it sat on top of the world. After sitting down and realizing the realities of our wedding budget, we went from having a large wedding of 170 guests, 7 bridesmaids and groomsmen to a ceremony of 27 people and a reception held at a later date of 120.

To accomplish this, we had our wedding ceremony on the 4th at Lucilles Mountaintop Inn. We scaled back and just had our Maid of Honor and Best Man stand with us. We only invited immediate family and our closest friends to a weekend full of wedding festivities. It was perfect, we had a sit down meal, we were able to have a brunch the day of the wedding, and the stress and fuss of trying to get a wedding ready for 170 people went out the window. It was small and intimate. To top it off, there was a hot air balloon convention that weekend, so about 10 minutes after the ceremony right in the midst of picture taking we found ourselves surrounded by hot air balloons! We could not have asked for anything more picturesque.

After the wedding, we headed down to San Destin, FL for our honeymoon. We spent a week relaxing, sun bathing, eating good food, and enjoying each others company. When we got back we held our reception, on a Friday evening. We held it at the Roswell River Landing, a beautiful venue right on the Chatahochee River with an added bonus of supplying your own food, alochol, and linens. Perfect for someone who loves DIY! Needless to say it was another event full of DIY projects! It was casual, laid back and fun. We served BBQ, beer, wine, and Frozen Peach Bellini’s and danced the night away!

Some of our DIY Projects from our ceremony.

"B" Fans. We used fans instead of programs, and I know that our guests so appreciated it! It was 90 degrees at 6 p.m.! It seemed more practical then providing a program that would be tossed in a day. We used the Cricut to create the template and the letter B. I bought the flowers from Michaels, and with just a bit of hot glue, wahh-la!

Total Cost for 28 fans - $35

"Meant to Bee" Place Cards. Our place cards were also our favors. Kate Spade, "Meant to Bee" candles with a special twist. We used a Cricut to make the labels, and I tied them to the ribbon. I hand glued the bee's to each label.

(click on pictures to make larger)

Total Cost for candles and labels - $90

White Hydrangeas and Yellow Rose Centerpieces. The only flowers we had a florist do were the bouquets, and boutonnieres, and they were absolutely gorgeous! Below is a picture of our centerpieces. We ordered 8 bunches of white hydrangeas from Costco, and bought 48 yellow roses. Since we only had 5 tables, we bought 5 vases from Michaels as well as river rock. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and best friends helped assemble them while we were getting ready! We also purchased enough flowers to decorate our cake.

Total cost = $140

Personalized Wine Bottles. We had a bottle of white (Chardonnay) and a bottle of Red (Pinot Noir) on all of the tables, to dress them up and make them match our decor. We ordered custom wine labels. One would think this would be an easy project, but by far the most tedious. We had to soak all the bottles and use goo gone to get the old labels off and the new labels were so hard to put on without wrinkling.

Total Cost of 48 labels = $28

Reception Projects

Sunflower Stuffed Mason Jar Centerpieces. Because we went with a French country theme, we used mason jars, and sunflowers as centerpieces. We bought 2 cases of mason jars, ordered 140 sunflowers from Sam’s Club, and used river rock in the bottom of the jars, and topped it off with a raffia bow wrapped around the jar. The sunflowers came in boxes and quite frankly worried me. I ordered them so they arrived a day in advance, so by the night of the party they were the most beautiful flowers. I gave them away at the end of the night, and my friends said they lasted for over 2 weeks!

Total Cost for 24 centerpieces = $150

Card Box. I created this card box to be used on my gift table. I bought the wood chest from Michaels, a can of black spray paint, and some press on letters from Hobby Lobby. Hot glued the flowers and voila! Custom made card box to match the black, white, and yellow decor!
(picture to come)

Total Cost = $30!