Saturday, February 26, 2022

Dinner Party Prep


I hosted a dinner party this past week and I really think I enjoy the prep more than the actual dinner.  I love to come up with the menu, including cocktails, select the flowers for the table, set the table and get the food prepared in advance as much as possible, so I can enjoy the evening.

The cocktail prep started three days ahead with the infusion of the dried fruit kit I used for the Sangria I was making.  I was gifted the kit by my daughter from Hunt and Gather and it was some of the best Sangria I have ever made.  So easy too; you add rum or brandy to the dried oranges, lemons, cherries and flower shaped sugar cubes to infuse with flavor and when ready to serve, add red wine and orange juice.  

I set the table early in the day and since I have quite a stock of tablecloths and dishes, it’s fun to see where that leads me.  This time, I used some new blue plates from Crate and Barrel and layered a neutral tablecloth with a print table runner to pick up the blue..  I used some pretty cream and coral roses in a new multi vase holder from The Nested Fig and loved the simplicity.  And of course candles to set the mood.

The menu consisted of Blue Cheese Wedge Salad, Brown Sugar Chili Baked Salmon with Pineapple Chutney, Parsley Buttered New Potatoes, Garlic Roasted Broccolini and dinner rolls.  The appetizers (pool side) and dessert were brought by my guests.  

I love fun dishes and glasses, so I brought out my pretty silver banded cordial glasses for some after dinner drinks too.  

It was a lovely evening and I look forward to the next time.  Because of the day long prep, I was pouring myself a glass of Sangria, just before the doorbell rang and ready to enjoy night.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Yogurt Toast (Tik Tok Recipe #2)


Another Tik Tok recipe I had to try and I have to say; it was quite delicious.  The first viral recipe I made was also a hit, but this may end up being a breakfast staple.  I have never been a fan of avocado toast, preferring my avocados as guacamole, with a margarita on the side.  But, this upgraded toast is perfect for the sweet versus savory breakfast I always choose. And, it is actually quite healthy.  

The egg and yogurt turn into a custard like texture when toasted and the only added sweetness is from a drizzle of honey. It’s my perfect diabetic meal formula of protein from the greek yogurt and egg, mixed with the carb servings in the bread and fruit.  And it couldn’t be more simple and quick to make in the morning.

Here is the method:

Mix together 1 beaten egg, 1/3 cup greek yogurt (I used vanilla flavor) and a drizzle of honey.  Press down on the center of 2 slices of bread and spoon yogurt mixture into the indentation. Top with sliced strawberries. Toast in toaster oven for 7-8 minutes until topping is set and bread is toasted.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2022

A February Visit

Last week, my daughter Melissa escaped the Michigan cold for a long weekend in Florida.  The weather was sunny, but changeable; warm a couple of days and quite cold a couple of days.  We still managed to fit in some pool time (with the heat turned up) and enjoyed a beach day that was absolutely perfect.

I find that even with so many great restaurants, my daughters love for me to cook when they come here, so I did a lot of that, including an appetizer spread for the Super Bowl.  We did go out to two of our favorite waterfront restaurants and also found a coffee shop/breakfast restaurant in downtown Sarasota that is a new favorite.  

It’s funny when you have company and the weather is chilly.  Most Floridians treat cooler temps like the dead of winter in the north and bundle up.  Visitors from the north just want to be outside, no matter if it is uncomfortable.  Needless to say, we had the outside tables all to ourselves and asked for the standing heaters to be turned on.  But, as usual, it was about being together, catching up and enjoying precious time in each others company.  Adult daughters are the best.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Valentine’s Breakfast - Orange Ricotta Dutch Baby Pancake


This recipe  is one I found on Pinterest when searching for ways to use up some Ricotta cheese.  I was expecting to find Italian dishes or desserts, but this breakfast idea sounded even more delicious and something I have not tried before.  I love sweet versus savory when it comes to breakfast and you can always substitute Truvia (for baking) if you are watching your sugar intake (as a diabetic I always do this).

The orange flavor was subtle and the ricotta gave the pancake a slightly custard like texture which was absolutely delicious.  I did not use syrup - just fresh strawberries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  A quick strawberry compote (heat strawberries, sugar and water until thickened) would also be delicious.  Also, it took minutes to put together and get in the oven, so that is a win as well if your mornings are busy.

Wouldn’t this be a pretty breakfast to serve on Valentine’s weekend?  

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

A Chilly Day for a Bridal Shower


When I was told that the bridal shower I was helping to host in Michigan (for my nephew’s fiancĂ©) was rescheduled from October to the end of January, it was without a doubt going to be cold and snowy.  I would normally avoid leaving Florida for Michigan in January, but couldn’t miss this, so I packed my warmest cost, gloves and scarf and braved the below zero temperatures.  It was the coldest it had been there this winter, but while I was reminded why I moved to Florida, it was all lovely and fun and I was so happy to be there.

I ended up flying to Megan in Pittsburgh and helped her drive to Michigan both ways.  It’s not a long road trip at all and we had great conversations in the car.  We met Melissa for dinner on Friday at a great sushi restaurant and I couldn’t have been happier to be with them.

Saturday was busy and fun with bridal shower set up and the shower itself.  The location was the former lobby of a historic opera house with brick walls and wood floors, which fit the boho theme perfectly.  There were many beautiful details, the food was delicious and the bride to be (from Texas) was happy, so a great day.  My sister hosted an engagement mingle (delayed previously  by Covid of course) on Saturday night and it was really nice to catch up with friends and family.  The plan was to have a bonfire going outside, but it was too cold for that, even for hardy Michiganders.  

It’s important to me to attend these kind of family events even though it means a plane trip and I never regret it when I do.  

Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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