Saturday, June 30, 2012

leek and gruyere frittata

a word about weddings & tradition... :)

i've had a lot of time to think about weddings recently,
as all my friends and family are tying the knot.

if you know me, i love tradition.
i love routine and i love doing the same things every year with the ones i love.
example: those things you always do at christmastime.
be it viewing the neighborhood lights,
watching the same movie,
or decorating christmas cookies.
i love love love that!

some traditions, however, should be rethought.

here are my current two for thought:
1. the purpose of the bridal party and who qualifies
2. your bachelor & bachelorette parties

my thoughts on who should be in the bridal party...
*sisters/brothers & future sisters/brothers in law are a no brainer
*friends that you know you'll be friends with for the rest of your life
*please no random or new friends
*as many or as few as you want
*no, there doesn't need to be the exact same number of boys and girls

my thoughts on the bachelor/bachelorette party...
*the fact that you are celebrating a last night of singleness
totally defeats the purpose of why you are getting married in the first place
*be excited to get married
*think about a JOINT party
*celebrate together with ALL your girl and guy friends that you're about to tie the knot
*no raunchy antics please. we're classier than that.

cheers :)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large leek, thinly sliced
kosher salt
6 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup gruyere cheese


1. preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in a 10" cast-iron skillet.
saute leek slices until soft and jest barely browned, 6-8 minutes.
season with plenty of salt and pepper.

3. meanwhile, beat eggs and milk to combine in a mixing bowl.
pour over the leek slices. sprinkle the top with cheese.
let it cook for about 5 minutes, or until just set on the edges
(it will still be very runny in the middle)

4. stick it in the oven for exactly 8 minutes, it should be just set throughout.

5. enjoy!!

 the frittata is my new go-to in the kitchen.
perfect for a healthy and super easy breakfast.
you can use this basic recipe and change up the
ingredients based on whatever is in the fridge.


have a great saturday! :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

chocolate dipped pretzels

as i mentioned here my grandma's dance moves are off the chain

don't believe me? take a look...

although i can't stop laughing from watching this video over and over again,
i also wanted to share with you a quick and easy way to brighten up your 4th of july festivities.

chocolate dipped pretzels with red, white & blue sprinkles.

long thick jumbo pretzels
high quality chocolate chips
(i used ghirardelli)
wax paper


1. heat about 1 cup chocolate in a microwave safe bowl
stirring every 30 seconds until melted completely through.
(amount of chocolate you'll need depends on how many treats you're making)

2. dip pretzels into chocolate, using a spoon to spread the chocolate
as far up the pretzel as you want. i made mine half-dipped.

3. let cool just slightly before sprinkling with holiday appropriate sprinkles.
do this over a large bowl to catch extras :)

4. lay the pretzels gently on wax paper to cool.
if you want them to cool faster, pop them in the freezer for a few minutes.

5. enjoy!!! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

watermelon basil gimlet

the 4th of july is quickly approaching,
and i like any excuse to celebrate and throw a party.

so naturally, i'm starting to plan my 2nd annual 4th of july bash.
i decided that these frozen watermelon ice cubes are a must.

so cute and practical, right??

i actually wasn't sure about this cocktail at first. basil??
but, it was quite refreshing.
totally a change from the sugary cocktails i'm used to drinking.

and the watermelon ice cubes can go in any cocktail your heart desires.
would be great in this, this, or this.

seedless watermelon
8 basil leaves, torn, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 ounce vodka
3 ounces seltzer

recipe via martha stewart


1. cut watermelon into 1-inch cubes, and freeze in a single layer for at least 1 hour.

2. muddle basil leaves with sugar in the bottom of a glass; stir in lime juice and vodka.

3. add watermelon cubes. top with seltzer; garnish with basil.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

wedding weekend top ten

the next time you go to napa, you have to stop by this market. it's amazing.
there is a shop for just about anything you would ever want.
wine, cheese, cupcakes, mexican, olive oil, coffee, ice cream, etc.
we stopped on the way in from oakland and our way back home.
the perfect way to start and end the weekend :)

2. family dinner & s'more dessert bar

the night before the real festivities started, my dad threw a family dinner party.
it was a genuis idea. just sort of a time for close family (i think there were 12 of us)
to connect and hang out before everyone came into town.

my dad throws amazing parties :)

the evening was held at the solage, and started with cocktail hour on a reserved back patio.
lights were strung, the evening was warm, and drinks and appetizers were served.

about an hour later, we moved inside for a two course meal.
it was obviously delicious.

finally, we went back outside to enjoy an ice cream sundae bar as well as s'mores over the bonfire.
it was an evening seen only in the movies :)

(dad giving a toast)


(mom & step-dad)

3. ladies brunch & spa day with the girls

friday morning started with a ladies brunch.
all moms, sisters, grandmas and aunts were invited to the hydro grill for breakfast.

we also doubled this day as christina's bachlorette party.
so, naturally, the silly costume was necessary :)

from there, the girls (christina, alison, kinsey & i) went to indian springs for a spa day.
it was a bit chilly at first, but we ended up having an amazing time.

we toured the grounds, got massages, facials & mudbaths, soaked in their warm pool,
popped bottles of champagne, opened presents, etc.

sisters are the best :)

4. rehearsal dinner

after rehearsing over at the property, we had rehersal dinner at the calistoga inn.

we had the whole back patio, which had a classy backyard BBQ feel.
there was a horseshoe pit, great music, a slideshow, wine, and toasts!

5. sunday brunch & farmer's market

sunday morning was the only time i had free time all weekend.
i decided to grab brunch at serafornia and then walk
through main street and enjoy the farmers market.

by now, our family and friends had pretty much taken over calistoga.
so we stopped for about 20 minutes on every street corner talking to people we knew.

6. getting ready with the girls

about noon, we started getting our hair and make-up done.
it was such a low-key afternoon, just watching everything get set up,
listening to music and relaxing.
(definitely the most low key wedding day i've ever been a part of!)

7. the wedding!!!

the wedding was amazing.

the ceremony happened over by the pond and was pretty short and sweet.
(christina looked gorgeous)
it was followed by cocktail hour at the pool as the sun set over the vineyards
and champagne and appetizers were being enjoyed.

dinner and dancing followed down in front of the ruins,
and dessert was set up inside the ruins with chandeliers glowing in all the trees.

8. raleigh & grandma virginia's dance moves

if i had to pick my three favorite people in life, they'd probably be:
1. my 6 year old brother raleigh
2. my grandma virginia

both raleigh and grandma's dance moves took me by surprise!

first of all, leading up to the wedding, i kept asking raleigh if he had any good dance moves.
he kept saying 'no, i don't dance' LOL!

he had the most out of control dance moves i had ever seen.

i guess i shouldn't be surprised.
when i had asked him what his favorite song was he said 'sexy and i know it'

when i finally found him falling asleep at the head table,
i told him how impressed i was with his dance moves,
he responded by saying, 'oh yeah, i almost ran out'

gotta love that kid :)

second, and maybe even more surprising was my grandma's showing :)

let me just preface this story by saying my grandma
is the sweetest most classy lady you will ever meet.

she quietly sat on the side of the dance floor for most of the evening,
until uncle neil pulled her on to the dance floor to participate in a conga line
that included every single person at the wedding.

let's just say that she stayed on the dance floor for the rest of the night.
i was so impressed!

9. farewell brunch & champagne tasting at schramsberg winery

sunday morning we had a farewell brunch at the house.
it was a perfect time for friends and family to stop by and say goodbye
as everyone headed their seperate ways.

we spent the afternoon touring schramsberg winery and cellars.
i would highly recommend the tour! i learned so much about sparkling wine.

(brad is pictured below with the 9 liter schramsberg champagne
bottle they popped at the wedding and had all the guests sign)

10. amazing times with my favorite people...

i feel like i was so spoiled this weekend.
all my favorite people were in one place and it wasn't even my wedding!
it was so great to see family from both near and far,
and it truly was one of the most magical weddings i've ever been to.

great people. great memories.

congratulations bradley & christina!!

(more official wedding pics soon)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

tomato-pepper tartlets


i'm still recovering from an amazing weekend in napa celebrating my little brother's wedding.
tomorrow you can look forward to a TOP TEN from the weekend.

until then, i'll share with you my new fave appetizer.
puff pastry tartlets!

super easy, and a great basic recipe that can tweaked to your heart's desire!

 recipe via cooking light, small modifications by me :)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
(i put mine in the fridge overnight)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
1 small garlic clove, minced
16 grape tomatoes, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
baby bell peppers, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rings
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or basil leaves


1. preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. unfold dough; place on a work surface lightly dusted with flour.
roll gently into a 10 x 9–inch rectangle. cut dough into 20 (2 1/4 x 2–inch) rectangles.
score each rectangle about 1/8-inch from edge. prick each dough piece liberally with a fork.

(don't worry, this part doesn't need to be perfect)

3. arrange dough pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; chill 10 minutes.

4. combine cheese, mayonnaise, and garlic, stirring well.
spread a scant 1/2 teaspoon cheese mixture over each dough piece.
top each tartlet with about 2 tomato slices and 2 bell pepper rings.

tip: use a variety of pepper colors for visual appeal.
also, i would skew heavier on the tomatos. those really brought the best flavor to the pastry.

5. bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until dough is lightly browned.
remove from oven, and sprinkle evenly with thyme or basil.

i sprinkled half mine with thyme, like the recipe called for, and half with basil.
i far preferred the basil, but i'm obsessed with basil and substitute it for
practically any other spice i'm supposed to be cooking with. so, it's up to you :)

6. voila! you have the perfect little appetizer.

these were great warm or cold! perfect for parties.

for more puff pastry recipes and ideas, click here.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

panzanella salad

need to be cheered up this morning?
let me tell you a little story that will make
you feel like you're so much better at life than me :)

and we started talking about taxes or something like that...
and all of a sudden i realize i haven't received my tax return. hmm.
so i ask, 'um, how long should it take for me to get my return back?'

let's just make a long story short and say...
although i thought i had submitted my taxes back in march,
apparently they were NOT submitted.

yes, that happened.

about 4 cups stale country bread cut into 1" cubes
1 yellow roasted bell pepper, roughly diced
1 red roasted bell pepper, roughly diced
1 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
4 olive oil packed anchovies, finely chopped
1 large handful of fresh basil

i really enjoyed this recipe from my father's daughter.
super easy and a great little salad to compliment any main course! 


1. first, to prep your ingredients.
if you're like me, you don't have stale bread... no problem :)
if you have fresh bread, just cut into cubes and toast lightly in the oven
(i spread mine on a baking sheet, and bake roughly 10 minutes at 350 degrees)

then, seed and quarter your bell peppers. throw them on a baking sheets
and roast in the oven at 350 until tender.
(you could also do this on the grill if you have one!)

2. now, combine the bread, peppers and tomatoes in a large bowl

3. whisk the vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and anchovies in a small bowl.
drizzle over salad.

4. tear in the basil, toss everything together and let sit for 15 minutes.

5. serve and enjoy!! :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

make-shift spritzer

a classy girl is never desperate.
but as we move into summer party hosting,
it's always good to have a back up cocktail on hand.

here is what i'm calling a 'make-shift spritzer'
adapted from bon appetit

(all of which i'm hoping you already have in your kitchen, like i do)
1 tablespoon raw sugar
3/4 cup seedless berry jam
(i used raspberry)
4 cups soda water
2 cups vodka (plain or lemon)
(i used lemon)


1. combine sugar and 1 tablespoon hot water in the bottom of a pitcher.
stir to dissolve.

2. add jam, stirring with a wooden spoon

3. add soda and vodka

4. fill tumblers with ice, fill to the top.
serve with a lemon twist if desired :)


Friday, June 22, 2012

a summer staple: the mojito

what do you think of when you think of summer?
i think of volleyball at greenlake, laying by the pool at black butte ranch,
outdoor happy hours, BBQing with friends, lake parties,
boat shoes, red cups filled with lemonade, bonfires at golden garden,
s'mores, the smell of sunscreen and mojitos.

ahhh, summer. you are the best :)

6 ounces light rum
12 mint sprigs, 8 roughly broken apart
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons sugar
club soda
4 slices lime

recipe via food network


1. place ice in beverage shaker then add in the rum,
8 broken up mint sprigs, lime juice and sugar.
shake well and serve over ice in a high ball glass.
top off each glass with a splash of club soda.
garnish each with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

2. enjoy!! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...