Monday, November 21, 2011

My Best Friend's Wedding: November 19, 2011

Some great photos taken from a friend of the bride on facebook.  I had my camera with me all day but I was too busy to remember to take any photos.

My Best Friend's Wedding: Bridesmaid Luncheon

I've got to be completely honest...I wasn't very good about taking pictures all weekend.  I really wanted to, there just wasn't a good moment, or enough time, or I had 50 other things to think about.  Luckily some good friends of the bride and the bride's mother took photos that I snagged from Facebook so I could blog my experience. 
 This isn't a restaurant, it is an actual home.  The mother of the bride has two neighbors who are expert entertainers and a lovely entertaining space.  The linens belonged to one neighbor had been used in 3 generations of family weddings, she also supplied the china.  The other neighbor supplied the silver and crystal. Everything was beautiful and thoughtfully done just for the bride.
 A cake featuring the charm pull tradition. The charms were fun...but the chocolate cake with mocha ganache and cream cheese icing was "funner".
 A photo of us about to pull charms.  The hosts wrote a special poem for the bride that included all the charms featured.

A photo of all of us girls after dinner.  The bride gifted us afterwards with a handmade Christmas ornament, a monogrammed luggage tag, a monogrammed tote bag and a pashmina.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christmas Cards from Shutterfly

Ladies and Gentlemen my 2011 Christmas Card...


Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

This was our afternoon project.  After church Baby had a bath and blow dry.  Then a couple of friends followed us to the park to take photos of us for our card.  Shutterfly is having a great promotion right now with free shipping (SHIP30) and 40% off cards  (Card40).  I seriously bought these cards for a song!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In the Kitchen: Skinny Taste mashed potatoes and meatloaf

Skinny Taste has done it again!  I made this dinner last week and it was a fantastic, comforting meal on a chilly day.  Please visit her site to see her presentation...she made the most darling meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato icing.

1 lb lean ground beef
1 cup grated zucchini, remove all moisture with a paper towel
2 tablespoon onion, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt

Mashed Potatoes:
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons fat free chicken broth
2 tablespoons fat free sour cream
1 tablespoon skim milk
1/2 tablespoon light butter
1 tablespoon dried thyme (recipe actually calls for 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme)
salt to taste
ground pepper

Put potatoes and garlic in a large pot with salt and enough water to cover and boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender.  Drain.  Add other ingredients and mash until smooth.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease a loaf pan.  In a large bowl mix beef, zucchini, onion, breadcrumbs, ketchup, egg, and salt.  Place meatloaf mixture in pan and bake uncovered for 30 -35 minutes or until cooked through.

Friday, November 4, 2011

In the Kitchen: Mummy Cupcakes

This recipe was featured in Skinny Taste's blog.  I encouraged you to visit the link to see her photos of these cupcakes...much better than mine!  I cannot sing her praises enough, I visit weekly when I'm trying to think of recipes to make for dinner and I have yet to be disappointed, she had some super cute ideas for Halloween but this is the one I chose to make for the tailgate.

Super Moist Low Fat Cupcakes:
Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
1 package sugar free, fat free instant chocolate pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/3 cups water

Preheat oven to 350* and line a cupcake pan with liners.  Combine pumpkin and water in a bowl and mix.  Add pudding and mix.  Add cake mix and beat for 2 minutes.  Fill the liners with batter (it will be thick), make sure to only fill to about 2/3 full.  Bake for 25 minutes and cool on a wire rack.  I made these the night before and they were still super moist the next day.

The vanilla icing:
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup light butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons boiling water

Combine all ingredients and whisk to icing consistency.  Add a little more water to make it thinner or a little more sugar to thicken it.  I placed mine in a piping bag with a small tip.  My icing wasn't quite thick enough but it was so chilly I think the heat from the apartment or during travel in the vehicle made the icing spread.  They look best when eaten right away so if making them for a party, pipe the icing before serving.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

East Carolina Homecoming Game

This year homecoming was Halloween weekend.  It was also blistering cold outside.  It was snowing in the northeast and snow fell as close as Northern Virginia so NC received some of the cold wind and dark clouds even though we didn't see any snow ourselves.  I've been to many homecoming games and this one by far had the lowest attendance which made our win less joyous.  In any case we tailgated, several hours in the chilly air.  I had about 3 layers on and a blanket.
 Here is Thompson posing as the centerpiece of our table along with some mini pumpkins I had decorated for the event.
 Mummy cupcakes...recipe will be posted in another post.
I had saved a photo years ago of mini pumpkins decorated with glitter and sharpie markers.  I finally decided I'd use that idea to make a cute decoration for the apartment that could double as a centerpiece for the homecoming tailgate.  I'd definitely do this again, maybe next year I'd do something more elaborate!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011: Pumpkin Carving

I'm trying to get my Halloween posts finished and everyone is already talking about Christmas!!!  Sorry these are a few days late, my blogger has been temperamental lately with posting photos.  Anyway, we carved pumpkins last week and I wanted to show ya'll our creations :-)
 R is excellent at scooping pumpkin guts!  He definitely had the "better pumpkin", we selected his early in the month and kept it inside.  I waited a little longer to get mine hoping we would go to the bigger pumpkin patch in our area but after we went I couldn't find one that I wanted.  I ended up with a sweet fat pumpkin that had a few scars but lots of personality!

 We watched The Nightmare Before Christmas while pumpkin carving so I created one of Jack Skellington's faces.
 The finished product!
I thought R's was much neater when it wasn't lit.  He tried a different method this year of "scooping" the skin of the pumpkin instead of carving it.  He tried to replicate a cool pirate skull he saw online and at first it didn't look right but after the pumpkin sat outside for several days the teeth started to look more prominent and it was really scary.  The only downside to this method is the inside of the pumpkin doesn't get any air circulation so it starts to rot quickly.  When R went to toss his last night it crumbled in his hands.  I think next year he'll be back to carving.  We had a great time with it though and next time I'm getting my pumpkin early!