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Category: easy entertaining

Springtime Lemon Petits Fours

petit four with poundcake

Despite the snow that fell here in Ohio yesterday, it is indeed springtime and you can tell by the brighter, plumper produce at the stores that everything is warming up a bit.  There are so many flavors and scents that make me think of spring, so as soon as the temps start to heat up, I’m usually quick to try a new flavorful recipe.  That is why today me and a few other bloggers are showcasing some fresh, spring recipes for you to try out (links below!)

I am not a huge sweets person, but if I do indulge, I like light flavors like lemon or coconut.  I made these beautiful little petits fours to share at Easter dinner this weekend and they’re so easy I thought you should know about it too. The trick is that I use frozen poundcake to make construction a bit easier. The poundcake is firm and not too fluffy which makes it easy to work with for people who don’t love to bake. Be forewarned, I went a little photo crazy on this one!

mini lemon cakes

Although the pound cake isn’t lemon flavored, a tart filling and a creamy glaze – both laced with lemon – are all it takes to get some big flavor out of these little bites! Ready for the recipe?  Continue Reading…


Circus Circus

I’m shuttling off again today for sunny Las Vegas and can’t wait to spend a fun weekend with some friends. While in Michaels this weekend, though, I found some really fun party things in the dollar bin which reminded me of where I’m headed.  I picked up about $10 worth of these awesome circus themed goodies and thought about what a fun party it would make.

It doesn’t take much to turn a normal dinner with friends into something memorable.  String up some streamers for a quick photo ‘booth’ backdrop, fill some blank mini bags with something cheap and Presto!  Instant party!

I hope you have an entertaining weekend – I know I will!

Have a FUN FILLED Thursday!



Parmesan Crusted Amazing on Arugula

I was going to name this post ‘Get an “Egg” up on your everyday salad’ but thought everyone would be confused and think that I had lost it.  I still chuckle when I think about what an awesome title that would have been, so I had to share it with you.  Sometimes puns don’t come across so well in type, so I have to restrain myself!

Back to the recipe.  I had a crusted and fried soft-boiled egg at a friend’s wedding last year and have really been thinking about it ever since.  The creamy yolk combines with salt and pepper, lemon juice and cheese that are sprinkled on the arugula to form a dressing similar to caeser (minus the anchovies) and it is really so good.  I had it in my mind to recreate this gem, and I thought with all the eggs that might be sitting around in our fridges right now, it would be a good time to try.

The recipe turned out wonderfully and was as good as I remembered.  If you’re someone who likes eggs at all, you have to give it a try.

Parmesan Crusted Egg

Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4


4 eggs

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup flour

1 additional beaten egg

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Method: Set a medium pot of water to high heat and bring to a boil.  Gently lower in 4 eggs and boil for 6 minutes.  Immediately remove from water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice water.  Meanwhile, mix together bread crumbs, ground almonds, and grated cheese in a small bowl.  In two separate small bowls have the flour in one and the beaten egg in another.

After the eggs are cool enough for handling, very carefully peel them each.  Since they are soft-boiled, this needs to be very gentle so they don’t burst. After each is peeled, coat it fully in the flour, then the beaten egg, then the bread crumb mixture.  Repeat with all four eggs.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  one by one, gently fry the bread coating on the eggs, turning with a wooden spoon, until golden brown.

Serve over arugula with shaved parmesan, a sprinkling of fresh lemon juice, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to taste.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, its definitely going to become a staple in my house for summer dinners!

Have a FABULOUS Tuesday!


A Different Way to Display

As an alternative to the traditional cut flowers in a vase, a bundle of blooms tied together with cooking twine makes a big impact when nestled deep inside a large hurricane vase. The bouquet sits in a small bowl of water hidden with moss and craft store grape vine.

Fill the water bowl before lowering it into the vase,  then arrange the vine and moss around the bowl.  I filled it with water after the moss and everything was in tact, creating a huge mess.  I had to start over from the beginning, but you live you learn, right?

Give this method a try for your next gathering, something that looks this impressive is sure to get you some compliments from your guests and you can choose whether or not to tell them how easy it was.

Have a BEAUTIFUL Monday!

P.S. The glass lamp tutorial is now live!  See it HERE!


For the Love of Cheese

I came across this little cheese survival kit by the Brooklyn Slate Company and just loved the simplicity and humor of it.  I am a huge cheese fiend so it would definitely be on my survival list in the case of some sort of emergency. You should keep on on hand too – maybe you’ll have an emergency guests stopping by soon!

Above photos and Cheese Survival Kit by Brooklyn Slate Company.  Snoop around at other fun things like the Ploughman’s Lunch and their Pantry Collectives.


Grown-up Easter Basket Brunch

Although I’ve already confessed my love for Easter candy (specifically the malted milk ball eggs), I think my life could go without the standard Easter basket this year, and instead a grown up version for me and the husband will be just perfect.

Neither of us need or eat a ton of candy, so spending a quiet and sweet spring morning together with this brunch in a basket would be a fabulous departure from a basket full of puffed sugar (I’m talking to you, Peeps).

I love the idea of putting together a basket full of fresh fruits, cheeses, baked goodness, and a little bubbly with some OJ for your spouse this year.  If you have adult children, they would probably love this indulgent treat as well!

Follow this quick list and you’ll be ready to go!

  1. Two Cheeses – one firm like cheddar and one soft like brie
  2. Two Fruits – one crisp like apple or pear, one soft and bite-sized like berries
  3. A type of Bread – scones, crackers, baguette would all be delicious
  4. Bubbly and Juice – I used Prosecco and blood orange italian soda
  5. Napkins, glassware, and a some fresh flowers – voila!

Such a sweet way to spend your afternoon – and without the typical sugar crash.

Have a SPLENDID Monday!


Spring's Sweet Scents

Before we left for Mexico, we had some friends over for a Friday night dinner which was simple and totally focused on the food.

I still wanted a centerpiece for the dining table so I did a little project (if you can call it a project) that I had pinned a while back.  The idea was originally from this beautiful french inspired wedding on bash, please and I found that it was just perfect for my purposes.  Simple, sweet, and just the right touch of spring.

Maybe next time I’ll mix some rosemary and mint… ummmm.

Have you done anything you pinned lately?

Have a SWEET Tuesday!


Easy Entertaining: A Winter Night in Spain (part 2)

I can’t even describe how well the ‘Winter Night in Spain’ party went this weekend. The decor was fun, but simple and the food turned out exactly as I had hoped. Possibly better.

We started with an assortment of tapas: spanish cheeses, olives, marcona almonds, sherry marinated mushrooms, chorizo and chevre stuffed peppers, patatas fritas, and some cured spanish meats.  I just served them super casual off the coffee table with little cocktail napkins and some wooden picks.  We sat on the floor, drank Cava and snacked for about an hour an a half while the Paella steamed in the oven.

The tapas relocated to the table once the Paella was ready to keep the casual snacking going, we traded in our flutes of cava for some bold Spanish red wine.

I formed my own recipe for the paella and you can download it here. It had perfectly yellow saffron laced rice, with heaps of chicken, chorizo, and shellfish.

Everything was served in a mixture of olive wood bowls and terra-cotta saucers which I ended up getting at the garden store for just a dollar each! I strung up my red tinged floral garland and put together a few small, low arrangements of monochromatic red flowers.

The food was casual and communal, the company was lively and fun. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect night in Spain, -er Ohio.

Do you think you’d try a Spanish themed party? Have you tried serving any new, global foods to your friends? If so, how did it go?


Easy Entertaining: A Winter Night in Spain

This is my second year hosting a dinner party for Valentine’s Day with about 12 of our close friends. Last year it sprung about because I felt that a fun intimate dinner would be much better than everyone splitting off, spending money on separate dinner, then just getting together afterwards anyway.

A couple of weeks ago, Matt and I went to a cooking class at Sur la Table which focused on spanish cuisine.  It was absolutely delicious and we thought it was a wonderfully, warm, intimate theme to bring to our V-day dinner party.

As with each party I show you guys, I first put together a mood board of photos that help to keep my focus and color palette while planning the event. I’ll focus on lots of warm, earthy colors like, red in some flower garland, terra cotta in my tapas bowls, brown with some olive wood, and gold in the fiery patatas fritas and lemon.  A little blue of some painted pottery will be thrown in there for balance  to keep all the warm hues from meshing together.

On the menu:


Spanish cheese, olives, cured meats, sautéed mushrooms, and stuffed piquillo peppers styled with terra cotta tapas bowls, olive wood serving accessories, and my go-to parchment paper.


Two kinds – a seafood version and chicken and chorizo version.  Staples are a good pan and a ton of short grain rice.

Dessert will not be flan

I’m not a fan of flan, but instead will be a hazelnut brandy custard which is warm and creamy (nobody will miss the flan)!

On the drink menu:

Cava (Spanish sparkling wine)

Spanish Red Wine – above from spanish winery Mas Candi

After Dinner Spanish Lattes (with a spicy, boozy kick!)


In my opinion, no matter what the theme, or how elaborate you choose to take it – any party where family style serving and help-yourself tapas are involved is instantly casual.  This is kind of a new theme for me, so I’m sticking with that more rustic, casual approach so that I’m not completely out of my comfort zone!

I’ll be back next week to show pictures from the evening as well as the recipes I used! 

Have a TERRIFIC Thursday!


photos in mood collage: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5



One, Two Step

If you’re hosting an event this holiday, or just enjoying some of the beauty of the season, these flowers will transform your tabletop.

There are only two ‘ingredients’, which make it an easy arrangement for anyone, and the contrast of deep green against the bright white is striking enough to turn heads. Lilies are classic for Christmas and, combined with evergreen, they offer the perfect delicate feminine twist.  This entire arrangement cost under $10 and it looks so chic!

The secret to an arrangement like this is to cut the stems short (about 2 times the height of the vase) and to add 1/2 the greenery first, and 1/2 last.

If you start by making a grid with four sprigs of greenery, you can then wedge your flower stems within the green and fill in any blank spots with the remaining greenery after you get your blooms where you want them.  Done!

I hope your Thursday is wonderfully relaxed and festive!


P.S. The title of this post may or may not be paying homage to my first Dave Matthews Band CD that I accidentally broke this week.  I got it as a Christmas gift from my older brother when I was in middle school and although I haven’t listened to it in years (maybe a decade!) it made me a little sad.  Goodbye Under the Table and Dreaming. he he!


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