Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What a Difference a Season Makes

In an earlier post, I shared the newly planted begonias and creeping phlox that replaced an overgrown evergreen.
Well, they've had all summer to grow and, while the phlox have lost their blooms, the bed looks terrific now!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sweet Treats

For my bachelorette party last Friday, I decided to make a bunch of sweet goodies to eat while we sipped wine and played games.  On the menu were brownies, fudge, and chocolate dipped frozen bananas.  Nom nom nom!  First, the fudge.  If you like fudge or know someone who does, I highly recommend the Famous Fudge Kit by Carnation.  It includes virtually everything you need to make a tray of fudge, including the tray!  The only thing you have to add is two tablespoons of butter.  You can opt to add walnuts, hazelnuts, peppermints, etc., but I decided to keep it simple and just make plain old fudge.

The brownies were from a box, I have to admit, but they were made with love :)  Also, they were made without water, which I was supposed to add but forgot.  They turned out so well though that I think I'm going to skip adding water from here on out!

The chocolate dipped frozen bananas, on the other hand, were made from scratch.  Though I have to say, it's not as impressive as it sounds.  Here is the link to the recipe I found by the Joy of Baking.

All you need to do is freeze skewered, two inch pieces of bananas, melt some semi sweet chocolate, and dip!  I rolled my dipped bananas in hazelnuts, chocolate sprinkles, and sprinkled some pink sugar on a few for a fun variety.  Here's a few pictures of the sweet treats:
Melting the chocolate- a pyrex bowl in a pot is a great makeshift double boiler!
Hazelnut topping- yes, I still need a food processor!
More toppings
The finished product
A tip on the frozen bananas: work quickly to get them covered in chocolate before the bananas start to rewarm.  This will help keep the banana on the skewer and harden the chocolate more quickly.  Another tip, make sure you actually serve the frozen bananas instead of forgetting them in the freezer... Oops!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Groom's Gift

In an earlier post, I hinted subtly at a possible wedding gift.  Well, I'm not one to keep secrets, so I'd like to share what I've been thinking of for John :)


Skagen Men's 567LSLB1 Stainless Steel Big Date Leather Strap Watch
Skagen Men's 233XXLSL Brown Leather Watch
Kenneth Cole New York Men's KC3828 Automatic Gunmetal Ion-Plated Bracelet Watch
In the interest of full disclosure, John and I have gone to try all of these on and I think I already know his favorite :) 

Handsome... but not as handsome as my fiance!  21 days until we wed!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Roasted Chickpeas

I think I may have a new favorite snack.  Again, thanks to Pinterest, I found a new recipe to try out.  It sounded like the easiest thing to make and like it would be really tasty.  And so I gave it a whirl.  To repeat the recipe in the original blog, you will need:
  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or your spice(s) of choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
 The directions are as follows:
    1. Place chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    2. Bake at 450 F for 30 minutes. (You didn't miss anything here.  You don't oil or season them until after they are done.  In fact, for an extra healthy treat, try them when they get out of the oven before even adding the oil.  They are enjoyable all on their own.)
    3. Transfer chickpeas to a bowl and mix thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients.
    4. Enjoy hot, or bring to room temperature and store in an air-tight container.  

    Now, John decided he wanted to try some with curry powder.  So, I halved the recipe and did one half with cinnamon and one half with curry powder.  They were both so tasty, I think I might combine the two spices into one recipe next time... Here are some pictures:
    The supplies
    Raw chickpeas
    Roasted chickpeas

    Roasted Chickpeas with curry powder

    Roasted chickpeas with cinnamon

    A few minor tweaks for the next time around: roast a little bit longer and stir partway through, use a tiny bit less olive oil, and (like I mentioned) try combining the cinnamon and the curry powder.

    Big thanks to the Cupcake Project for the inspiration!

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Jewelry Sneak Peek

    Wedding palooza continued this weekend with the marriage of my good friends Joel and Lindsay.  It was a great day and a beautiful wedding; I couldn't be happier for them both!
    My bridesmaid bouquet is still beautiful hanging out in a Fiestaware pitcher
    In addition to having the honor of being in their wedding, I also made a new pair of earrings this weekend.  I'm planning on selling them on Etsy.  There is one more matching button I may use to make a ring if I can ever find a decent ring blank. But anyway, here is the newest member of my jewelry family

    Check these cute earrings out in my shop!

    I think they're cute... as a button :)  Good for the transition from summer to fall!

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Red Red Wine

    A while back, John and I had a mini white wine tasting to try and pick a few white wines for the wedding reception.  Last night, we had two friends over to sample some red wines.  I'm not a huge red wine drinker, so I figured we should get some extra opinions.  Enter Allison and Dylan: wedding guests and wine aficionados.

    We tried four different red wines, all under $10:
    Liked, not loved

    My personal favorite... tied for first in the group

    Least favorite of the night

    My second favorite, but probably tied for first among the whole group

    In addition to the wine, we had cheese (bleu, Parmesan, and cheddar) and crackers. 
    The Wheat Thins keep it real

    It was a delicious evening, but we're probably going to have to try four more, just to be sure.  Tough work :)

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    One Month to Go!

    I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by!  We are officially one month away from our wedding!!!

    August has been wedding-palooza, and it's really gotten me excited for ours (as if I wasn't already).  With three weddings already this month and another this weekend, John and I put our wedding tasks on a temporary hold.  Now it's back to work to iron out the last little details.  But first, here's some pictures of some of my favorites parts from the August weddings so far!

    Baseball ticket place cards, how cute!
    Wedding trolley - "Just Married" on the back
    Amazing wedding cake - look, their dog is swimming in the lake!
    It's safe to say I have wedding fever :)

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Garden Pot Revival

    We have had a sweltering summer in Minnesota.  After a string of horribly hot days, a few of my pots don't look so hot.  Fertilizer helped save a few, but for those that were lost forever I have found replacements.

    In place of dried up, sad looking flowers, I now have bright and pretty petunias and, how awesome are these?  Ornamental peppers!

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    A Bridal Arm Party

    Having a bit of an obsession with the Man Repeller, I have been thinking a lot about having an arm party at the wedding.  You can check out the Man Repeller's arm parties here... and here... annnnd here.

    Now, I don't think I would go *quite* as far as Leandra Medine for the big day, but a bracelet or two would be a fun addition to the wedding ensemble, especially considering my lovely simple dress :)  I've gone back and forth on pale blue or deep purple (or maybe both?) as potential options, but here is what I've found so far!
    Found here Sterling Silver Oval Amethyst 4x6mm Bracelet, 7.25"

    Found here 7.50 Carat Genuine Blue Topaz Sterling Silver Bracelet

    Found here Modern Style 2.75 carats total weight Oval Cut Swiss Blue Topaz Gemstone Bracelet in Sterling Silver
    Found here Luxurious 1.25 carats total weight Oval Cut Amethyst & White CZ Gemstone Bracelet in Sterling Silver
    Found here 26.00 Carat Genuine Blue Topaz & Amethyst Sterling Silver Bracelet
     I love them all, but I keep going back and forth between which one(s) I love most!  I would love your thoughts....

    Hmm, potential wedding gift, John? ;)

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Summer Dinner: Corn Cakes

    On Pinterest, the website I'm borderline obsessed with, I found this great recipe for corn cakes.  What I love about it is that it uses whole corn kernels rather than a more typical corn meal based recipe.
    The inspiration image and recipe are from, available here
    I was surprised by how easy they were to make, and they were delicious!  Now the hard part is going to be trying not to eat the rest of the goat cheese tonight...

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...