Monday, October 31, 2011

BOO!

I made these Ghastly Meringues last night that I mentioned on the blog earlier this month. They turned out super cute and were VERY easy! Allow about 2.5 hours for the entire process (it only takes about a half hour to make, the rest is cooking and cooling time.) These would be GREAT cupcake toppers too. 

Hope everyone has a safe and a little bit spooky Halloween! 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Apple Mania!

This past Sunday Mr. Fo and I went apple picking with Drew (sis-in-law, Mr. Fo's sis), Michael (Drew's husband) and Brooke (their 20 month old daughter and love of my life...I mean my niece). For those of you that know me personally, this is not normally something I would do, but Mr. Fo's family did it when their kids were young and I ended being VERY excited about it! More details about our apple picking adventure later in the post, but for now...what the heck are we going to do with all these apples? I found a bunch of mouthwatering apple recipes for your apple abundance:

Apple Desserts:

Apple desserts have gone way beyond apple pie these days!

Smitten Kitchen made these adorable apple pie cookies - how cute are they?!


Apple Pie Cookies Recipe: HERE

Pioneer Woman makes a beautiful and simple apple tart using pre-made puff pastry.



Apple Tart Recipe: Here

YumSugar showcased a bunch of apple recipes, including this Caramel Apple Bar/Brownie concoction..YUM.

Caramel Apple Bar Recipe: HERE


Whoops...I think I talked about dessert first :) How about some savory apple dishes?

Savory Apple Dishes:

This apple, potato and onion au gratin from Bon Appetit would make a perfect fall side dish!

Apple au Gratin Recipe: HERE


Apple on a Pizza? Why not...Pair sweet apple with bacon for a salty and sweet combination!

Apple and Bacon Pizza Recipe: HERE

Now this is something I'm going to have to try: Apple Cheddar Squash Soup from the Food Network - how yummy does that sound?

Apple Cheddar Squash Soup Recipe: HERE

Now for that apple picking adventure I was talking about. We went to Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC. The scenery was beautiful, but we might have gone a little too late in the season because the orchards were pretty picked over. We did manage to find some apples though. Ahem...I was up in a freaking tree picking  apples and it was AWESOME. Basically I'm a complete outdoorswoman now. (I could totally survive in the wilderness with only a swiss army knife.) In addition to picking apples, we ate fresh apple cider donuts (yum), played on the playground with Brooke, checked out the animals and just enjoyed the beautiful trees. I also picked up some pumpkin butter for yours truly, and apple butter for my mom. It was a lovely day in nature and I had a great first-time apple picking experience! Some photos for your enjoyment....

Mr. Fo found the first apple of the day!


Gorgeous scenery at the duck pond!

Brooke quacking at the ducks (this was hilarious and she's way advanced as she knows many animal sounds.)


Playing on the slide :)


Sky Top Orchard rules...we abided by these religiously (sort of)


Picked over apple trees :(


Cute apple signs that indicate what types of apples on each row!


This was a great fall activity, and I really think that aplesp you pick with your bare hands (while up in a tree) taste fresher and sweeter.

I'm going to end with a quote from one of my favorite movies, Good Will Hunting:
 
"How about them apples?"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tablespoon Articles

Good Monday Morning to you out there! I'm in a surprisingly fantastic mood for a Monday, I must say. 

I want to apologize for being a bit slack on the blog lately. Between coordinating events, regular work and writing a marathon of articles, it's been hard to get a free moment. Basically, I have blog ideas floating around in my head at all times. If someone could invent a device that could transmit blog ideas from my head to the computer, that would be great. :)
Here are a few of my articles that recently went "live" on the fab foodie site Tablespoon.com. There are tons of great Halloween treat ideas on the site right now, so check it out!

Candy Apple Bites - While candy apples are pretty to look at, I've always found them difficult to eat. I created these candy apple bites so you can just pop them in your mouth! These would be perfect for a Halloween party. Keep your apples fresh by tossing in Fruit Fresh, or any fruit preserving powder (found in the canning section). Check out the recipe and more deets HERE!






Use Fall Foliage for decorating! - I really do love this idea of fall place cards. Using a paint pen or a metallic sharpie marker, write guests names on a leaf for a FREE and festive addition to your fall table! Send your kids outside to find the perfect leaves! Smaller leaves would also make perfect wine glass charms. Check out more fall leaves ideas HERE.






Greek Salsa  - The nice folks at Tablespoon were participating in the roll out of the new Betty Crocker Big Red Cookbook. They asked their bloggers to create a new twist on some of Betty's classic recipes. I was assigned Salsa and decided to put a Greek spin on the classic. Check out my Greek Salsa recipe HERE! 





I'm excited to say I am writing for another site now, Celebrations.com. My first articles went "live" last week...they're all about CHRISTMAS! Yes, it's coming early this year! More on that later this week, and I hope to post some pictures from the weddings I've coordinated this month as well.

Have a great Monday!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ghastly Meringues

Whoops! Long time no blog ... sorry friends :) Combine planning a rehearsal dinner with a wedding, and planning a festival, plus writing articles galore and my head is spinning! I miss all my blog friends and plan to catch up on my blog stalking later this week. Forgive me?

SO...I have a quick blog post for tonight. I saw these ghostly treats in the Food Network magazine and thought they were so cute and easy! I plan to make them for Halloween if I have time! I love meringues and these are definitely the cutest ghosts ever. Not scary at all...maybe scary delicious...muah-ha-ha. 


Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Beat in the sugar; increase the mixer speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes.
Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe 8 to 10 swirls on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until dry, 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let cool completely.
Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on 50 percent power until melted, about 1 minute, stirring halfway. Transfer the melted chocolate to a zip-top bag and snip a corner. Pipe the chocolate on the meringues to look like eyes.

BOO! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Parmesean Crisps

I've been going through my neglected stack of magazines and have stumbled across some fabulous Halloween decorations. recipes and articles. You will see I am seriously behind because a lot of these are from August. Whoops...can't really do those "late summer recipes" in October!



I did stumble across a great recipe from Food & Wine magazine. The photography in Food & Wine is so gorgeous, I just love flipping through this magazine. Even though some of the recipes are probably too difficult for me and use ingredients that frankly, I've barely heard of, I still love it and pretend like I am fancy enough for it! BUT, I know I can handle making these Paremesean Tuiles (aka Parmesean Crisps.) Check these out:


These would be so great in a salad, as a soup topper, or simply as a stylish appetizer for a cocktail party or dinner party. Food & Wine pairs these with an heirloom tomato salad, but I think you could do a variety of toppings. A caprese salad would be delicious, as would some roasted fall vegetables. Plus you can make these crisps a week ahead and store them until serving. Check out the recipe HERE.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! I'm working this weekend - on a rehearsal dinner tonight and coordinating a wedding tomorrow! I can't wait to see how everything turns out, and am so happy the bride and groom gets beautiful weather! Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Throw a Pasta Party!

It's no secret how much I love pasta. Spaghetti, ravioli, gnocchi, rigatoni - you name it, I love it. Yum. It's 7:20 a.m. and I think I could go for a big bowl o' pasta for brekkie. So, when Tablespoon.com wanted me to write a post about a "Pasta Party," I invited over some friends and prepared for a carb fest. My favorite kind of fest!

I made 3 different dishes for this party. For ease, I boiled one type of pasta, and made three different sauces to go with it. I chose penne pasta because it goes with everything; it's kind of like the little black dress of pasta.

Sauces:

1) My Family Gravy Recipe with Meatballs (aka regular marinara for you non-Italians)
2) Vodka Sauce - I love Rachel Ray's recipe
3) Tomato-Caprese Sauce - I created this sauce recipe for the Tablespoon post, it's quite good!

I think this is the easiest way to throw a pasta party, because you can prepare the sauces in advance, plus everyone has options! Make a great salad and serve some bread for a complete meal. Don't forget the red wine, of course! Keep it simple and serve all the food out of the kitchen - let people serve themselves!



Pasta Decorations!

Give your guests a "pasta-cation" by displaying various types of pasta so people can learn a little bit! I set out dried pasta on a construction paper Italian flag. !



Use a red and white checkered tablecloth for that old Italian restaurant feel.

I used breadsticks, tomatoes and garlic as decor. I also used diced tomato cans as vases. Just make sure to thoroughly rinse out your cans, I don't know how good "tomato water" is for flowers! 








Check out my Tablespoon article for more details! Throw your own carb fest this fall! 
Your friends will love you for it.