Monday, February 28, 2011

A Big One

This Saturday I worked on the grandest birthday party I've done so far -- only a few hundred guests, but a grand space with a lot of build-out, beautiful food, special wines, dozens of waitstaff and a slew of custom flatware, linens, trays, etc....so I started with powering up on Korean buffet at Woorijip -- always reliable for a quick, cheap, yummy stop.
Then on to the setup!  The first crew had started the night before, but by the time I came there were 7 hours to go.  
The staff all had their hair, makeup, nails and wardrobe done -- including me!  
Rachael organized all of the suits, overcoats, ties, dresses, stockings, sparkly flats and pretty, pink jeweled headbands.
When we posed with this huge bottle of wine the sommeliers reminded us not to knock over the pricey bottles behind it.
There were towers of plateau de fruits de mer, a.k.a. lobster tails, shrimp and oysters on the half shell.
And plenty of lovely Champagne.
Including a few jeroboams (that's 5 liters!)
It was great to see the client's happy face as rang in his 70th year dancing the night away with his friends and family.  Sunday was recovery day with a breakfast of Lauren Chattman's Sticky Toffee Banana Pudding from the new issue of Bon App├ętit, yum...seriously, make this now, it was incredibly easy and so delicious.
And the recharge continued with a California burger with bacon, sprouts, avocado and swiss.  This is the 2nd time I've been to this restaurant and the person who sat down next to me ordered the same thing.  It definitely required a nice, long walk afterwards but it was a pretty nice, sort of warm day for a change.
Phew...busy weekend, but I have a day off today, so time to relax.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Create Dreams Be You

Saw this at Forever 21 and thought for a little shirt, it spoke volumes...Create: your life is waiting, Dreams: make them come true, Be: who you are, You: can make a difference. 

That paired with my horoscope today and I think I'm finally getting it: If you're struggling with the question of where to go from here, you may feel you're at a turning point, and that some big decision is necessary.  You've tried different ideas for getting ahead, but you may still be perplexed about what direction to take.  You won't have to make that choice, Leo, because the meaning of your life is becoming clearer.  No matter how much you wrestle with your choices, you'll find that a choice is being made for you.  Soon, you'll clearly see where to go next.  Good fortune is unfolding, and you'll be directed toward it if you don't get too caught up in finding an alternate route.

And lastly, a recent fortune cookie: There are times when silence speaks the loudest.

All very contradictory perhaps, but to me it makes sense.  And today I'm working at definitely one of the grandest birthday parties ever and will get to meet the incredible cake genius Sylvia Weinstock!  So, I'm ready: bring it.

Now finalllly to the winner of the 100th post giveaway: Ashley from Domestic Fashionista!  I love her posts about all the beautiful things she makes, cookes and bakes for her home and husband and she gives fabulous parties too!  She even hosted an online Valentine's Day Link Up Party so check out all the participants' awesome creations.  Thanks for entering, Ashley, you inspire me!

Now on to the birthday party...!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Been sooo m.i.a....still need to blog about the giveaway winner but Fashion Week struck and I've been without a work computer, learning to use my new phone and set up wifi at home to get back into the world.  I know, excuses, excuses, no one wants to hear them, but here's a bit of what I've been up to lately.
And I have to share this video that someone amazing sent me today because the blog cracks me up and now there's a book -- very crafty indeed -- what a lot of work it takes!  But it just makes me smile.


So back to the world now, shortly...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Last Weekend I Gave You My Heart

Last Valentine's Day was pretty different in lots of ways.  Not making pretty pink soap this year, but been busy spreading the love.  A wise blogger advised me to not make my posts too long, but, well, consider this warning now!  It all started last weekend.
[copyright Amy Mitten]
After I made Rachael early morning brownies for her birthday we went out to support Emergency Service for the release of their very 1st music video: Feel Your Love.
Then it was time to get cooking for my Aunt Liz's birthday.  I posted a prep shot here cause I was overwhelmed by all the ingredients, but I was getting help from Bon Appetit, Ina, Giada and Peggy Fallon.
First I ironed a heart onto my apron with double-sided fusible.
Then tackled Broccoli Rabe with Pignoli: Giada's recipe called for raisins, but I found a dried cranberry cherry mix instead.
And browned onions for Peggy Fallon's Caramelized Onion Dip.
Trying to slice carrots into a "medium dice" for The Barefoot Contessa's Chicken Stew with Parsley Biscuits wasn't as hard as finding frozen baby onions (had to go to 3 stores).
And I used to have a rolling pin or 2, but couldn't find either one, so used a bottle to roll out the biscuits, probably like my Italian grandmother used to do.
I tried to stay organized.
And Mila tried helping, but...
I had to frost the cake myself too.
Everything seemed to take forever, but at last it was all done, including Giada's Lemon Spaghetti, and my Mom brought Ina's Roasted Winter Vegetables.
And still there was more to do: valentines for Etsy's Share Your Love.
and for family and friends
all sealed with love.
Then today on to a Valentine's Eve Menu from Martha Stewart and James Villas.
Had to use the 5 major V-day Food Groups: bacon, butter, cheese, chocolate and cream!
And made Swiss Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Gruyere Cheese from The Bacon Cookbook.  Seriously, is there a title that can make you happier than that?
And Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes.
Good thing I got some movies to watch too.
I'm overdue for drawing the winner for my 100th Post Giveaway, thanks to everyone for entering and Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Swooning for Spring

I have to say I'm in love...with flowers...last spring as everything was blooming I felt like I was waking up and opening my eyes after a very long snooze, looking around in amazement at all the beautiful things around me.
And the flower market is bursting with flowers for Valentine's Day this week.
So many amazing colors and textures, I'm dying!
Wouldn't you love to receive these from your sweetie for Valentine's (or just any) day?
Ranunculus are gorgeous, but very delicate, just about paper thin.
Such soft, blushing colors, sigh....
And some that are more bold.
 Piles and piles everywhere at G. Page!
A friend asked me today about purple flowers, and I got to show him the pic I just took of some purple roses.
Sweet peas are oh so fragrant.
And so many kinds of tulips, look at these frilly edges.
Lilac is out already in white and purple, but not yet with the full, amazing scent they'll have later in the season.
I think this is flowering kale?
And I learned today that this is helleborus.
So here's today's haul: peach Juliet roses from David Austin, green and pink parrot tulips, white hydrangea, calla lilies and ranunculus.
I'm hoping for spring to come soon, but in the meantime, check out G. Page's Facebook page to see a new flower every day!
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