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December 21, 2009

Home | Easy Fresh Wreath

To make this wreath, you'll need a grapevine wreath, green florist wire and brown satin ribbon for hanging - all can be found at Michaels craft store.

I clipped some branches from a tree in our back yard. You could also buy them from a tree farm.

I attached the sprigs by wrapping wire around the wreaths until it is full.

Entertaining | Simple Holiday Flowers

I made a couple of these small arrangements for a brunch for the Delta Gamma Alumni. I used rustic tin buckets as the vase, then filled it with coral roses and pomegranates. To get the pomegranates to stay in place, I used forks!

Entertaining | Holiday | Beef Tenderloin

At almost every Holiday Party that I cater, the centerpiece of the food display has been a beautiful Beef Tenderloin. It is the perfect thing to serve for the holidays - it is a special treat and it is very easy to do for a crowd.

When buying for large crowds, I always turn to Costco. Their beef tenderloins sell at $9-10 per pound (un-trimmed) and $15 per pound (trimmed) and typically weigh 5-8 pounds each. For portions, I figure .6 pounds per person. So, a 6 pound tenderloin is plenty for 10 guests... amounting to $6 per person for a fabulous dinner.

To prepare, I coat each beef (2 pictured) with olive oil, and generously salt & pepper. Roast on a baking sheet at 500 degrees (make sure your oven is clean!) for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then slice.

Entertaining | Snack Boxes

A couple of weeks ago, I helped my Aunt Lisa by providing some "snack boxes" for the bus trip she had organized of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Holiday Homes Tour.

I made 35 boxes contain the following :

- Petite Pork Tenderloin Sandich with Caramelized Onion Cream Cheese
- Cashew, Dried Cranberry & Golden Rasin Mix
- Artisan Cheeses & Berries

Each brown kraft box was lined with parchment paper, then accented with festive cupcake papers (turned inside out) and red polk-a-dot napkins.

December 07, 2009

Recipes : Sugar Cookies

I've been making this same recipes with my mom and sister for 27 years. We always made dozens of cookies to give away to friends and family... And a couple very elaborate ones we saved for Santa.

I copied this recipe from my Mom's Better Homes & Gardens cookbook into my journal of recipes I started 5 years ago... Other things in the journal include creme brûlée, Outrageous Brownies, and Beef Tenderloin.

2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of cream of tarter
1 tsp of baking soda
1 egg

Whip together butter and sugar, then stir in remaining ingredients. Roll out dough and cut shapes. Bake for 6-8 minutes at 350 degrees.

December 04, 2009

Sugar Cookies | Holiday Recipies

This morning, I'm decorating sugar cookies for events this weekend... Candy canes and stockings.

I start by doing the white icing, then I fill in with the red. I use royal icing- it is very shiny and glossy.

4 egg whites
4 cups of powdered sugar

Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add in the powdered sugar until smooth.

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November 30, 2009

Workshops | Recipe Cards | Festive French Holiday Entertaining | Kansas City

Tomorrow night, I have my "Festive French Holiday Entertaining : Steak Frits" workshop/cooking class at A Thyme for Everything. There are a couple of spots left - still time to sign up! Visit for more info.

The recipes are below... it is going to be a great class - Truffle Fries, Brie & Apple Crostini, French Onion Soup, Seared Filets, & Vanilla Creme with Raspberries.

Entertaining : Holidays : Thanksgiving

This is the pie my sister and I made... she did the crust and I did the filling. We followed Martha Stewart's recipe - was very good - it sat up nicely and did not run. (This photo is pre-oven) The pie took 75 minutes to bake - wow.

My sister, Jill, is rather crafty and made this wreath out of nuts. She had two of the wreaths hanging in front of mirrors in her dining room.

This is our turkey pre-roasting. I stuffed it with lemon, garlic, onion, thyme and sage. I'll have to track down a photo (Mom?) of the turkey post-roast... I was too busy drooling to take a photo.

Does anyone have any Thanksgiving photos to share?!

November 26, 2009

Recipes | Entertaining | Happy Thanksgiving

This is the turkey recipe I'll be following today... Martha Stewart's Turkey 101. This is the first year for me to be in charge of the turkey - I'll post later with photos of my own!

November 09, 2009

Workshops | A Festive French Holiday

For my upcoming Holiday Entertaining Workshop at A Thyme for Everything, I'm preparing a feast for "A Festive French Holiday".

Menu :
Brie & Apple Crostini
French Onion Soup
Pan Seared Steaks
Truffle Fries
Vanilla Bean Creme & Raspberries

To register for the class, visit A Thyme for Everything!

November 02, 2009

Entertaining | Recipes | Roasted Garlic & Goat Cheese Appetizer

On Halloween, we had some friends over for dinner, Monopoly, and help handing out candy.  We started our night with some roasted garlic, goat cheese with toasted french bread.  I also added a store bought roasted red pepper pesto to the platter for some festive orange color.   

1 large head of garlic

1/4 cup of olive oil

12 ounces of soft goat cheese

1 baguette, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut top 1/4 inch off heads of garlic to expose cloves. Place garlic in small baking dish. Add oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Turn garlic cut side up. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until garlic skins are golden brown and cloves are tender, about 55 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic cloves from skins.  In an oven proof dish,   place goat cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Searve with sliced baguettes.

November 01, 2009


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October 27, 2009

DIY | Fall Bouquet | Wedding | Claire Ryser Photos

This bouquet of Roses & Wheat is so simple to create!

I started with cream garden roses, pale pink roses, and wheat.

Gather the roses, then wrap with floral tape.  Start adding the wheat around the outside, creating a collar of wheat.  Then continue to tape until you have a sturdy handle.

 Cut the ends of the bouquet (I like about 8 inches of stems below the blooms), then wrap in burlap cover all of the floral tape.  Secure the burlap with pearl pins.

Thanks to Claire Ryser of Visionaire Studios for taking the beautiful photos!

DIY | Pumpkin Place Cards | Photos by Claire Ryser of Visionaire Studios

Claire Ryser of Visionaire Studios stopped by a couple weeks ago to document some DIY projects.  We created a Fall inspired tablesetting that featured these mini pumpkin placecards. 

 I started with white mini pumpkins and wrapped the stems with blue painters tape.

Next, I sprayed the pumpkins with a soft gold spray paint.  Be sure to spray about 12 inches from the pumpkin in light layers.

After drying for 10 minutes, I removed the tape.

I made a vertical cut in the the stems with a pair of floral shears. 

I inserted a name card in the cut of the stem.


The finished table.  To see more photos of the table, click here!

Visit Claire's Blog at  

Entertaining | Fall Inspired Wedding Shower Table | Natasha's Mulberry & Mott | Claire Ryser Photos

A couple of weeks ago, Claire Ryser of Visionaire Studios came over and we had a fabulous day - she took photos while I put together this flirty Fall table setting.  Natasha's Mulberry & Mott created the cake - their "Bee Hive" cake - isn't it so whimsical?!  I accented the table with Blue Hubbard squash.

This table is all about mixing rustic with refined - For a luxurious yet rustic feel, I layered natural oatmeal linens, a wide burlap runner and a classic ticking stripe runner.  I used my mission style farm dining room chairs with ticking stripe pillows for extra comfort.

This bouquet is another example of rustic and refined - I made it with ivory garden roses, soft pink tea roses and wheat.  

I wrapped the stems in burlap, then fastened it with pearl pins.  For DIY instructions to make this bouquet, click here!

Natasha Goellner of Natasha's Mulberry & Mott made this "Bee Hive" Cake - the mountain of meringue is so incredible.

I love Natasha's style - very soft and romantic details.

I made these pumpkin place cards from mini white pumpkins - so simple - for the DIY instructions, click here!

I placed single rose blooms around the table for big impact, but little cost... why spend hundreds on a floral centerpiece when this small bud brings just as much charm!

Claire - Thanks so much for kindly taking these photos - you are TOO talented!

See more of Claire's work here!
Visit Natasha's Mulberry & Mott at Mission Farms in Leawood, KS or here!

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