Sunday, November 29, 2009

Buttercream Frosted

I have been really inspired after my trip to the newly opened Bethesda location of Georgetown Cupcake. Although I make cupcakes often, I rarely make my own frosting from scratch. So this morning, I was feeling motivated and made a cream cheese buttercream frosting to go with my spice cake cupcakes. I still have to practice more to get them looking as professional as the GT Cupcakes, but it is a delicious project to work on.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe

1 package Cream Cheese, softened
1 stick of Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter, softened
1 lb of Confectioner’s Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla

Mix cream cheese and butter in mixer using the paddle attachment. Mix in sugar scraping the sides occasionally. Add in vanilla and mix some more!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pumpkin Roll

A couple years ago, while living in Arkansas, I hosted an October Bunco party. I planned my menu for weeks. I chose foods that would fit with a Halloween theme, witches fingers (vienna sausages wrapped in puff pastry), coffin dip (pumpernickel bread cut like coffins with dill dip) and a blood ball (shrimp ball drizzled in cocktail sauce). I made sugar cookies in the shape of pumpkins and witches hat cookies. Everything fit my theme and my only stress was the “day of” execution. I always get stressed on the “day of” and once in a while, Evan and I will get in a tiff because of it. Evan had made a Pumpkin Roll and wanted me to serve it at my party. I was irritated because it didn’t go with my theme and I wanted the menu to be things that I had prepared. I had worked so hard to plan it out and prepare everything. And to be perfectly honest, I wanted the credit when the guests oohed and aahed. By the time the first car pulled in the driveway, I had kicked Evan out and let the Pumpkin Roll stay. Big mistake.

Guests arrived and grazed through the spread of food with the regular, “how cute” type of polite comments. That is, until they came to the Pumpkin Roll. These ladies went crazy over this Pumpkin Roll! There were extraordinarily loud “MMmmmms” and they were all dieing over the filling. Three people asked for the recipe and one woman suggested that I email it out to the whole Bunco listserv. Then the conversation went on and on about how difficult it is to make “rolls”. It was everything I could do not to lose it when I had to announce that I didn’t make it. I think some of the crowd was genuinely disappointed or worried that I didn’t have the recipe to give. So the party went on and I didn’t mention much about it. The week following the party, I received two phone calls asking for the recipe since I did not send it out.

Fast forward a couple weeks to Thanksgiving and I was planning a potluck with two couples in Arkansas. Both women were in the Bunco group and asked me to ask Evan to make the Pumpkin Roll. That stupid Pumpkin Roll would haunt me forever. I swallowed my pride and told him to prepare it, but I could no longer keep my feelings to myself. I had a couple glasses of wine and spilled my guts about my Pumpkin Roll animosity. That only set the stage for everyone to moan loudly and go way over the top when he served it as the finale of our Thanksgiving feast. And now looking back, I can’t even remember what I brought to that potluck.

The teasing is ongoing, but these days I have come to terms with the Pumpkin Roll. I know I can’t compete with it and have just accepted the fact that it is the best dessert at every party we take it to. This year was no exception. One of the guests at our Thanksgiving dinner had, not one, but two pieces of Pumpkin Roll, leaving no room for a piece of apple pie that his wife made special for him. Another women defeated by the Pumpkin Roll. I know her pain so well.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Siriano Head to Toe

Every year the owner of the company I work for throws a huge holiday party the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Every salon employee, from stylist to shampoo assistant, is invited from every Bubbles, Salon Cielo and Colorworks salon. People come from Florida, Philadelphia, Virginia, Maryland and DC to celebrate and it is always an event. This year’s theme was Brazilian Carnivale, so the dress code was “flashy.” I thought about going in full body paint, but then decided that this was the perfect opportunity for me to wear the dress that didn’t make it to the engagement party. Everyone’s outfits are always over the top, so I knew that it would be perfect. I wore head to toe, Chrisitan Siriano. I had the VS make-up, the Payless runway shoes and the dress from his most recent line. It was pretty show stopping. I even got a mention in the CIBU “Holi-do of the Day” video from the famous Jenn Mapp-Bressan.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Martin + Osa

This may not be a new brand, but it is new to me. I am a fan of this store. I bought this dress a couple months ago and thought it was the perfect summer to fall transition dress. I wore it with sandals when the weather was warm and dressed it up with cowboy boots and a cardigan when it started to get chilly. I planned to wear this into winter with tights and a sweater, but to my dismay, I got in a little accident. I tripped (over my cat) and split the dress right up the back. I was embarrassed and obviously bummed since I love this dress. My cat was ok, don’t worry. I put the dress back in the closet because I couldn’t bare to throw it away. Weeks later, I needed a dress for my engagement party and I immediately remembered that my favorite dress also came in a print. I bought the print dress and while I was in the store, I asked if there was any chance I could exchange my torn dress. I explained how it got torn, that I tripped over my cat, and they said, “No problem!” I was so happy that I asked. Last week, I took my dress in and they didn’t have my size. I was worried, but for no reason. They called another store and sent it to me at no charge. Isn’t it nice when a store goes out of there way to make you happy?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Flash Mob Part 2

I am participating in another flash mob project with Dragonfly Dance. This one is recreating a Flash Mob from Oprah’s 24th Anniversay Concert. We will be teaching the dance to 200 non-dancers at a corporate event in downtown DC. I had rehearsal with 15 other dancers on Tuesday night to learn the choreography to the Black Eyed Peas song. Wednesday and Thursdayare the performances that will be taped. I don’t know if I will be able to get a recording of our actual performance, but here is the Oprah/Black Eyed Peas performance. Pretty stunning.

If you want to learn the dance yourself, there is a video on Oprah’s website that shows you how to do it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Back From Michigan

What a whirlwind trip! Do you know the feeling when you need a vacation from your vacation? We had such a great time wedding planning, visiting family and exploring Detroit city. We ended up making adjustments to our original itinerary and by adjustments I mean we were late to almost every appointment, rescheduled a floral meeting and cancelled the photography meeting because there was no way we could make it. Even with all that I feel like we had a very successful trip and now I know I need to plan more conservatively.

I am so happy with the decision to have our wedding in Detroit. We only spent one night in the city and I wished we had planned for more. Evan, his mom, his sister, his sister’s friend (and native Detroiter) Michael, me and my mom all took the hotel shuttle downtown to Greektown so that we could check out the scene. My Mom wanted see the casinos so we did a quick walk through and spent a few minutes at the quarter slots. After the casino tour, we went and sat at the bar at Pegasus. They served flaming cheeses, hummus and other delicious appetizers, so we ate and drank and enjoyed the show. After appetizers and drinks, Michael said that we had to go across the street to a famous Greek pastry shop. We all picked out our own delicious dessert and jumped back on the shuttle to our hotel. We stayed at the Omni Hotel, right on the Detroit river. Our room faced the water so we woke up looking at the Windsor Canada skyline. Michael recommended some other places that I really wished we had time to see, the Renaissance Center, the Greektown hotels and the people mover. I guess we will have to schedule those in our next trip.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Off to Michigan

Be back next week with lots of wedding planning news to share...

Monday, November 2, 2009

"We don't wancha goin' out for hockey!"

If you don't know this quote, it is from one of my favorite movies, Fargo. Hockey is such an interesting thing to me. I know there are hockey fans all over and even California has a hockey team, but nobody loves this sport like a Northerner. Texas and the southern states have their football, California their surfing, Maryland their sailing (yes, my high school had a sailing team) and Michigan/Wisconsin/Minnesota/etc. has hockey and that sport with the brooms kind of like shuffle board.

As you probably know, Evan, my fiance, is from Michigan, which is pretty North by most standards. I figured it was only a matter of time before I was dragged to a Capitals game. Not that Evan is a big sports fan, but his cousin who lives in Salisbury, Maryland is a season ticket holder and had two tickets that he wasn't using. So we found ourselves headed to DC to support the Washington Capitals.

We had a really nice dinner at Asian Spices, since the Verizon Center where the Caps play is right in the middle of China Town. Then we headed up, up, up to almost the top row, where the real fans sit. Evan got a beer and I got peanuts to keep me occupied. There were drunken rowdy college kids behind us, hockey Moms to one side and the women next to me was literally knitting a sweater. Unfortunately, the Caps lost to the Islanders, but we had a nice time. GO CAPS!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Cookies

It has been quite a busy and rainy Halloween weekend, and it's not over yet. We didn't buy candy this year. Last year we didn't have any trick-or-treaters. So in place of our left over snickers and butterfingers, we will be enjoying Halloween cookies today. Happy Halloween!