Friday, June 29, 2012

In Love on the 4th of July!

This is likely my last post until I get back from the Outer Banks.

While I am off getting married on the beach (I can't wait to share photos with you later think sunrise skies, mimosas and pink frosted donuts with rainbow sprinkles) I thought I would leave you with some of my favorite holiday party treats from That's so Michelle and a few of my other favorites!

Of course I had to start with my festive red white and blue "bomb pop" jello shots! Check out the instructions here these were a huge hit at a recent get together and really not that hard to make!

Homemade salted butter caramel ice cream. You'll have to have Google translate this recipe from Gastro Blog but oh man ... it will be worth it

How cute are these Watermelon Krispie Treats from Glorious Treats? I love them.

This one is from my idol (and she has the same name as me too!) Check out these amazing Sugar Cookie Pudding shots from Jelly Shot Test Kitchen.

. . . . and I think I might just have to serve these sometime during my wedding week bash at the beach. They are perfect! From another leading jello shot lady these are Prosecco Floats from Bakers Royale.

Wanna read something dreamy? Check out what I was doing last year on what will be the day of my wedding!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Bridal Shower

Rainbow sorbet and pink chardonnay punch ... A perfectly sunny room overlooking the pool...  Pink balloons and streamers and gorgeous flower arrangements ...

I don't know if  bridal shower can get any better than that. My hostess even put together these fun party favors for my guests.

They were filled with my favorite candy (licorice), pretty body lotions that smelled like vacation and lip gloss! These girls are talented!

I stayed up late the night before because I really wanted to make a pink ombre cake (you know like the ones all over Pinterest). I just neeeeeeeeded to have one at my shower.

The cake was perfect! It came out just how I had imagined. I used this recipe with boxed white cake and with some tips from my mom it wasn't that hard! If you are interested I can do a recipe post on it later.

The French macarons were not as successful (some how this doesn't surprise me). You can see from the photo there was about 10 macarons.  There should have been 50! The first batch had no "feet" and almost all of the second batch (yes it was a late night) cracked .

It was also my fiances bachelor party the night before the shower, so something to keep me busy all night and not worrying was a good thing. (They surprised him and "kidnapped" him from an alfresco lunch we set up. You should have seen his face when they carried him into this big white van! Priceless.)

Ericka also made these strawberry champagne cupcakes that were delicious. Check out the recipe here.

I am so grateful and it really warms my heart to see all the wonderful women that came together to celebrate me and the love of my life and our special day. I have so much and I am so lucky.

Just a little over a week now .... I can't believe it's so close <3

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Top Recipes to Beat the Heat

If you've been looking for a new post and kept seeing that same over the top Cheez-It recipe, I am so sorry! With just two weeks until the wedding, a bridal shower this weekend, an empty bank account, 100 degree weather, and an insane news cycle keeping me plenty busy at work ... I have had no time to update the blog :(

I'll be making some French macarons and a pink, ombre cake this weekend and I will definitely be able to share those with you. For now here are a few of my favorite summer recipes that will keep you out of a hot kitchen while we endure this heat wave (this is going away soon right?)

Strawberry and Avocado Salsa
This first one was actually just featured on the official South Beach Diet website! Check out the recipe here.

Broccoli Salad
This recipe has been passed down in my family for several generations and I just can't get enough of it. You have to try it! Recipe here

Smoked Salmon Pizza
This cold pizza is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Recipe here

Tuna Avocado Ceviche
This is the ceviche of all ceviches. My absolute favorite. I want some right now! Recipe here

Try and stay cool! Pink cake and French macarons coming soon!

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Cheez-It Mac and Cheese

Maybe I shouldn't have ... but I did.

We had a left over box of Cheez Its that I was dying to get out of the house (so addictive!) and after looking up a few options on pinterest,  I went with the Cheez-It mac and cheese.

No, this dish is not on the wedding diet plan. (whoops)

Next time we have some extra Cheez-Its around the house I am going to try this chicken recipe.

Hope everyone had a nice Fathers Day Weekend. Welcome back to work!

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Cheez-It Mac and Cheese
1 box elbow macaroni
3/4 stick of butter
8oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups crushed Cheez-Its
Salt and pepper
Chives for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil macaroni until it's tender. 7-10 minutes (check firmness) Strain and set aside.

2. In a medium sauce pan melt your butter, then add a splash of your cream. Add a handful of cheese and stir until combined. Add another splash of cream and stir again, add more cheese and stir again. Repeat this process until you only have a little cheese left (reserve that to sprinkle on top later).

3. Pour your cheese sauce on top of your cooked macaroni and stir. Pour into a an oven save pan or casorole dish. Stir in some crushed Cheez Its and salt and pepper. Sprinkle your remaining cheese on top and all of your Cheez Its.

4. Bake for 15-20 mins or until Cheez Its are lightly toasted on top. Serve with a chive garnish on top!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Top 7 Wedding Diet Tips

Want to know why it's essential to have these in your freezer (and my top 7 wedding diet tips)? Check out my guest post on The Sweet Life click here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bourbon Peach Butter

There is something about Bourbon Peach Butter that sounds really good doesn't it?

Then again butter anything is usually pretty amazing. This was the first time I made my own "butter" and it was everything I expected to be and pretty easy too.

I can taste this dish all over again just looking at this photo. Such a good dinner! Salty, a little fruity and still healthy.

The grilled chicken was seasoned with some salt and pepper and just a little crisp on the outside from the grill marks but soft and moist on the inside.

We had some left over "butter" and I can't wait to try it on some chicken wings instead of breasts next time.

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I think if I was a fruit I'd be a peach, sometimes I even look like a peach! This summer I am going to try and use peaches as many ways as I can. I think I am going to work on a savory, peach breakfast next!

Bourbon Peach Butter (recipe from Cooking Light)
1 1/2 pounds coarsely chopped peeled peaches (about 5 medium)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup bourbon
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 250°.
2. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Combine peach mixture, bourbon, brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor or blender, and process for 1 minute or until smooth. Transfer peach mixture to a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Bake at 250° for 2 hours and 15 minutes or until thickened.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

OMG Peach Crunch Cake

Dear Bakerella,

Did you really come up with this peach crunch cake recipe? Because I think I love you. I mean, I really love you. Just five ingredients and my mouth is still watering. There has been a magnetic force pulling me toward the kitchen since about 3pm.

This is seriously the easiest and most delicious thing I have made in a long time. Nick said so too.

I had to throw the "OMG" in the title because it's just that good.

One can of peaches. Then sprinkle on one box of yellow cake. One cup of brown sugar. One stick of butter. Half a cup of nuts. Bake.

Really that's it.

Good thing today is my boss's birthday and I can bring this into work tomorrow or I  just might ruin all of the progress I've made in my wedding diet.

Look at all that ooey, gooey, peachy goodness at the bottom.

And then the top is all brown sugary and crunchy. Okay, I have to stop or I will go eat more.

Make this cake/cobbler thing from Bakerella. You won't be sorry (unless you need to fit into a wedding dress anytime soon).

Peach Crunch Cake (from Bakerella)
24.5 oz jar of sliced peaches in light syrup
1 package yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), cut into 16 pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used almonds, I bet pecans are good too, or you can skip the nuts too!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Pour the peaches and syrup in a 13 X 9 dish, cut up the peaches so they are evenly spread around the dish.

3. Pour your box cake mix on top, do not mix!

4. Top with the pads of butter next, then with your cup of brown sugar and nuts.

5. Bake for about 40 minutes. Serve warm or cold… with or without ice cream.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Very Pinteresting: Purple Edition

I was out of town this weekend because one of my very best friends mother passed away unexpectedly and I went home to Connecticut for the services. There was nothing more important than being there for her.

Since I didn't spend any time in the kitchen, I thought I could  share some things that I have seen pop up on Pinterest that make me happy. Purple was my friends mom's favorite color so I thought I would start there today ...

 Purple Ombre Sprinkles Cake by Raspberry Cupcakes 

Clean Eating Super Berry Smoothie by The Gracious Pantry

Purple Ube Mochi Cake by Une Deux Senses (You HAVE to try this!)

Purple Cupcake Jello Shots by Sweet Tooth

Creamy Blackberry Frozen Yogurt by Kitchen Corners Food Design
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