Monday, April 30, 2012

Roasted Sliced Potatoes

Once upon a time, I would not have considered myself much of a potato person.  8,345 recipes later, I can exactly say that anymore.  Add another great recipe to the mix, one that reminds me when I meet a vegetable I don't particularly like, I should keep trying out new ways to serve 'em up.  OK, so in the grand scheme of vegetables, the potato gets, like, an F or something for diet foods, but.....it's not chocolate cake, right? 
I found this recipe via plainchicken's blog.  It's a keeper! 
Roasted Sliced Potatoes
Ingredients:  2 large potatoes, scrubbed and sliced in 1/4 inch slices, 3 T. olive oil, 1 T Italian Seasoning, 1 t. salt, 4 T Parmesan cheese. 
Instructions:  Toss sliced potatoes in the oil/seasoning/salt mix.  Lay in one layer on a baking sheet and bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes.  Once potatoes are lightly brown, top with 4 T. of Parmesan cheese (I added more, don't tell).  Bake an additional 5 minutes. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Paris: Bridal Shower

April 11th, some friends and I got together to host our pal, Sarah's Bridal Shower.  I've been looking forward to this, and I've known exactly what them to do for several years now.  She just had to get the groom.  She got 'im! 
I posted abou the invitations-Sarah's love for her husband-to-be, hate for chocolate, and passion for Paris here
 I've been posting little details from the shower all week, paper goods I pulled together like this little banner....
 Guest left advice for Sarah about love and marriage. 
 Uhhh....I learned a lot about some of my friends, and....ummm....marriage via these advice cards. 
 I got smart, and went ahead and punched holes, and brought a be-ribboned ring to put these cards on so she has a little book ready to go.  She can scrapbook this later, keep it somewhere special, but....the point is it's together now until she figures out what she wants to do with it.  I always wonder what happens to these little slips of paper I send home with brides, but now, at least I know they live together. 
 Food included champagne (pin thanks to raspberries and a splash of pomegranate), lemonade (pink-that was a given), cream puffs, fruit, cheese, crackers, bread, croissants with butter, strawberry jar, nutella (sorry Sarah, it was for us), mini quiches, and strawberry cupcakes. 
I blogged about these cupcakes earlier this week as well. 
 We also added a lot of flowers.  Sarah loves gerberas, in fact, I'll be weaving some together for her wedding in June and her bouquets, but I also made this carnation topiary I blogged about last week. 
 Sarah and her maid of honor. 
 I blogged about the favors, but this was an idea I was excited about b/c it's non-edible, but still interactive.  I believe in making people work for their favors.  It's a bath salt/scent bar where guest got to mix up their own bath salts. 
I love my friends.  Sarah is the kind of gal that would do anything for anyone, and is a really thoughtful gal.  It's been fun to celebrate these happy days with her.   And, it's just the beginning for Sarah.  In the next few weeks we are headed out of town for her bacherlorette, another party with friends, and eventually I'll be tossing together some flowers for her wedding at the end of June.   In the meantime, I'll just treasure the memories made, and more to come!   Here's the link to all the shower pictures I've posted. 


Friday, April 27, 2012

Paris: Favor-Scented Bath Salt Bar

 Soooooooo.....I've hosted/helped host a lot of showers in my day, and my two favorite parts are the book ends.  I love a great invitations that sets the tone of what is to come, and I love a great ending that leaves the guests with a great taste in their mouth....figuratively speaking, though it's usually more 'literal.'  I was really scrounging around for ideas for Sarah's shower.  She's not a huge fan of chocolate, but I wanted something that sort of went with the "Paris" theme.  I thought about all sorts of desserts that scream Paris, but so many involve chocolate, and then....I thought about perfumes. 
I decided to use the same recipe I use a lot for the guest to utilize to make up some bath salts to take home with them.  It's affordable, and fun, and.....different. 
Basically, they were asked to take three scoops of epsom salt, 1 scoop of baking soda, and a drop of bath scent. 
 I was thinking about buying jars at Hobby Lobby, but Lauren suggested we raid our fridges for all sorts of different fun shapes.  Fortunately, one of the other hostesses also has a baby right now moving quicly through jarred baby foods! 
We used this techique for decorating the lids with different black and white patterned papers.  So easy, so quick, so cute.  I love doing this for the seasons/gifts as well!
 I bought some different scents in the soap/lotion sections of the craft store.  The bottles were originally 10 dollars each, but I used a 40 percent off coupon. 
 Here's Sarah scooping out her bath salts. 
I left a bowl by the favor bar for the guest to dump all their goodies in to mix before putting it in a jar. 
 I also left spoons to pour the scent into....a little goes a long way!
 A gift to go home!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Paris: Advice on Love-Guest Sign In and Banner

 I'll be posting lots of details from the Paris themed shower we threw two weeks ago, but here are some of the paper products.  I made the above banner using book pages I inked the edges of with pink ink.  I mounted them on black paper, and added a crepe paper ruffle, then tied them together with tulle.  You can see our work zone that day, so....lots more details to come.  On each letter, I tried to add a different detail to give it color. 
A got an Eiffel tower stamp and some pink sequins. 
 I made a magazine flower thingie for d....
 O was pinned with an old earring I found. 
 R got some bedazzled pink flowers.
 E got a scrap of lace. 
I also bought an Eiffel tower stand, and made little cards we bound together in a little book for the bride to keep from all over us with advice on love.
 I decorated each page with Eiffel tower stamps, and this french script stamp I have.
  I still have no idea what it says, despite too many years of language to be able to tell you about without an extensive level of shame, but it looks pretty. 
I had printed off Advice on Adore, stamped the page, and then sliced it up into the shape of tags. 
 I added a ring and some ribbon. 
 I used the same two stamps to decorate some plain pink cups.  Champagne was the drink of choice, but we also had some cups for the non-drinkers, which includes me.  I made a sleeve using a coffee sleeve template, stamped it up.  Heather taped them onto the cups for me, and then I added a little black strip of tulle. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Paris: Crockpot French Onion Soup

I saw this recipe for French Onion Soup....in a crockpot at Smashed Peas, and I knew I had to try it out.  First, I'm always looking for great recipes from the crockpot...because they are easy....AND....I had this spectacular French Onion Soup in France a few years ago, and I've been seeking out this memory from this point forward.  Usually French Onion Soup is relatively high mainatance, so I was skeptical at the ease of this soup, BUT....it was my favorite to date!  I'm keeping it for sure!  I halved the recipe, which made enough for 4, but this is the full list of ingredients. 
Crockpot French Onion Soup Ingredients
3 onions, sliced (I used a mix of white and yellow), 3 T. butter, 3 T.  flour, 1 T. Worcestershire Sauce, 1 t. sugar, 1/2 t. pepper, 2 32-oz cartons of beef broth
Baget, Swiss or Gruyere cheese (I just bought slices from the deli). 
Crockpot French Onion Soup Instructions
Melt butter in the bottom of a crockpot. 
 Add onions, toss, and then cook covered for 45 minutes. 
 This carmalizes the onions, mine never looked as brown as they usually do when you carmelize onions on the stove, but it still tasted great. 
 Add the rest of the ingredients (except the cheese and bread).  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.  I actually added the ingredients, but it in the fridge, and then pulled it out in the morning before heading to work and let it cook all day. 
I sliced the bread then, added the cheese to the top and placed these in bowls of soup in the oven and broiled it on high for a few minutes (until cheese is melted).  You can also just put the bread and cheese on a cookie sheet and toast them up until the cheese is melted at about 300 degrees for a few minutes.