Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blindfolded Dinner Experience!

 Amazing food, beautiful table decor, great conversation...all these things make for a great dinner party.

Oh, I forgot blindfolds. Say whaaat? I'll explain. 

Well a few weeks ago I got this invitation in the mail, and I knew I was in for quite the dinner party.

All Photos by Rachel Fesko Photography. Additional Vendor Credits at the end of the post.

       

            


Wow Factor Cakes (who makes delicious and spectacular wedding/specialty cakes) hosted this gorgeous event with food and wine pairings from Passion8 Bistro. (Side note, the food was amazing and I'm headed there asap.)When the blindfold came in the mail with instructions to bring it to the dinner party, I knew I was in for something seriously eye-opening. 

I loved the chic table decor and the black and white florals. I'm looking into using the black and white anemones for a wedding I have coming up...they're so unusual and fun. The table decor goes perfectly with Wow Factor's stylish studio, which has a beautiful chandelier, and photos and cake models of their beautiful work. 






Of course the main attraction was the food, although we couldn't see it. Yes, we were completely blindfolded for the four-course food and wine tasting! It would have been a shame to not see the beautiful food presentation, but luckily the chef explained each course to us (and showed us the presentation) after we ate! We had fun eating the courses blindfolded and trying to determine exactly what we were eating! 

The first course was a delicious scallop with fabulous flavor accoutrement. It was definitely difficult to eat blindfolded, but it was also a fun element of surprise.



Lobster was also served for the occasion. If you're wondering, eating lobster blindfolded was not easy!



We were also served creamy risotto with liver. Yup, liver - it was surprisingly delicious! I was blindfolded so I didn't know what I was eating, but who knew - I'm a liver fan!

      


All I remember about the dessert was how decadent it was and the fact it was served with a dessert beer - who knew they had dessert beer? 

                               


Neets Sweets created a beautiful dessert table with dessert favors for us all to take home. Full disclosure, despite eating my face off at dinner, I most definitely ate a few Neets Sweets in the car on the way home. They were just so pretty I wanted to see if they tasted as good as they looked! Btw - they did. Take a second and read about Neets Sweets mission which is so important. 

                            

                                 


Chef Luca from Passion8 cooked up a storm in WowFactors kitchen. I'm always amazed when chefs can create delicious food outside of their own kitchen comfort zone. 

                              


WowFactor had a paint by numbers cake that all of us could help paint. It was such a cool idea; each shape had a number that corresponded to an edible paint color. I'm no artiste, but it was fun to contribute and see the finished product! 




Amy with WowFactors was a huge help in our "blind" eating by telling us which utensil to use. 




Blindfolded guests...



There's me below on the right! I sort of look like I know what I'm doing, right? I will admit to drinking someone elses wine and stabbing myself in the face with a fork a few times. Otherwise I totes handled myself. 



This was an absolutely amazing experience and is something I may try at my own dinner table one day! Thanks to all the vendors below who helped make such a fun night. 


Invitations: Olive Paper
Event Design: Favor Me Events
Florals: Carey Roberts
Event Rentals: Party Reflections
Dessert Table: Neets Sweets

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Roaring Twenties Party Inspiration!

You guys! Can we talk about how excited I am for my good friend Hillary's 30th birthday party? While I'm of course excited that she is joining the 30 club with me, I'm simply thrilled that she had the fabulous idea to have a"Roaring our of her Twenties" party to celebrate turning 30.
 Get it... a Roaring 20s party? Obsessed. 

Although I wasn't around for the actual '20s (duh), I gather that the decade was chock full of glitz, glam and fancy cocktails. Um sign me up?! Who needs modern day conveniences when you have champagne a-flowin' at all times?

When I think of the roaring 20s I think of my favorite book, The Great Gatsby, which I've read countless times. In fact, I think it's due for another read. 



I should get on it before the new movie comes out. Leo as Gatsby? Sold. Romeo and Juliet, Titanic and Gatsby? I think it's been proven that Leo can do no wrong in the cinema. 



Let's peruse some '20s party ideas, shall we? 

This girl is having fun with her fabulous flapper look and fun cocktail in hand.



Check out this bar set-up....Prohibition whaaaat?



This party really nailed it with a homemade photo booth. I'm loving the girls long pearls on the left.


If I smoked I would use these long cigarette holder thingies to look cool. Fo sho.



Pearls and feathers are a must for party decor.



I adore this flapper cake...the fringe on the side is amazing!

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I love the framed vintage photos on the black table runner for this setup.

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This grandiose feather centerpiece is ridonk. It really sets the scene for glamour, if you will.



I also love the idea of using vintage brooches for napkin rings. 

   


The party will clearly be a costume party, as if I even needed to say that. I'm super into this feather headpiece. And side note, the girl looks badass with her tattoo, doesn't she? A tattooed flapper...bet the 20s never saw that.




I'm going to find a glittery flapper dress to wear for the party. Something like this. 
I'll make Gatsby proud.

I can't wait to celebrate Hillary, the roaring '20s and do this: 


   

Have a glitzy, glamorous day! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Easy Tomato Basil Sauce


Sometimes you want pasta with homemade sauce (or gravy as I waxed on about in my very first blog post) but you don't have time to let it simmer for 3 hours. Or maybe you want a lighter, meatless option because the weather is more spring-like than hibernating in the winter-like. Or maybe you literally have no time but you're craving pasta. 

I typically find myself in the latter scenario. I get a hankering for pasta on a weekly basis ...sometimes a daily basis. Whatev. Lucky for me I've discovered Pomi chopped tomatoes. The ingredients? 

Chopped Tomatoes. 

Yup, that's it. And it comes in a box, not a can. It's simply a box o' tomatoes that smells like freshness. This is the base for your super simple tomato basil sauce.




Start by dumping the entire box of tomatoes in a saucepan with chopped basil. Bring to a boil, then take it down to a simmer. Add your Italian seasoning friends - minced garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and a smidge of sugar to cut the tomatoes acidity. If you're feeling fancy, add in grated Parmesan. Keep tasting until you get it right, there's no right or wrong here! Simmer for 10 minutes, 30  minutes, an hour, whatever you have time for. The more time you have the more time the flavors have to meld together, but it will be good no matter how much time you have! 


Toss with fresh pasta and grated Parmesan for a light, simple meal that will knock your socks off. Seriously, this sauce goes with ANY type of pasta you have in the pantry. Mr. Fo and I have eaten this for the past 2 Sunday evenings, and it's a yummy way to close out the weekend. You'll never need to buy jarred pasta sauce again. (In full disclosure, I have plenty of jars of pasta sauce in my pantry. Its not bad. Its just not the best.)

                          

This weekend was relaxing and pretty low key. Mr. Fo and I went to the US National Whitewater Center to take a hike on one of the trails only to find that they'd dyed the rapids radioactive green for St. Patty's Day. Surprise! 



I also played with my new tripod which is seriously life changing in terms of getting a steady shot. I should have bought this years ago! 


I hope everyone has a productive, positive and enjoyable week! I'll be back later this week!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Elegant Engagement Party

I had the pleasure of coordinating an engagement party for a realllllly cute couple this past weekend. They've been together since they were 14, and they're now full on grown ups in their 20s. how cute is that!!

The engagement party was a classy affair held at the beautiful Providence Country Club. You may remember Providence Country Club from Alley and Mark's beautiful October wedding last year. 

I can't say enough good things about Providence and their staff. Good food, wonderful staff and a beautiful space. They hit it out of the park every time. 

I apologize for the non-professional quality photos; they are all from my trusty I-Phone and Instagram.

Providence set up a beautiful room in pretty neutrals. Gold chivari chairs, ivory tablecloths and sandalwood napkins were complimented by white hydrangeas by the the fab Pink Petunia Designs and were accented by votive candles. Side note, I want this chandelier for my house...too bad it's probably the size of my living room.




The white hydrangeas were complemented with various types of greenery. It was beautiful!



Smaller arrangements were put on the cocktail tables.



We had a nice outdoor setup on the veranda looking over the golf course, but unfortunately it was freezing and literally hailing. Weirdest weather ever here lately.



The beautiful cake was created by Jen Panaro. It was raspberry filled in one tier and chocolate ganache in the other. A truly sweet combination! You could tell the cake was a hit because I saw so many guests come up to it and ask if the flowers were real! (They were not.)



     

We displayed a timeline of photos from the couple's long relationship on the grand piano. They make a cute couple, even at 14! 

      

I also want to thank Brian at Z Brothers DJ for providing killer tunes so the guests could dance the night away. The evening was a perfect celebration for a sweet couple. Congrats to Brendan and Carrie!