Sunday, April 11, 2010

A little bit about weddings...

It's almost wedding season, which means it is wedding invitation season.  It's been a popular topic among my friends lately because we are at that age where our friends are getting married, having babies, or, if you are us, going out a lot...

So that brings me to what apparently isn't commonly known.  Ladies, if you are getting married, first of all, congratulations!  Now, if you have single friends over the age of 25, invite them with a guest!

There is not much more depressing for your single friends than going to a wedding and sitting with a bunch of couples, all by themselves... or, having everyone around them getting up to dance, and not having anyone to dance with!

Some exceptions do exist, if your group of friends is very large, a lot of them are single, and you are inviting all of them, you don't have to give them an and guest.  If you haven't spoken to your friend in over a year, and you don't know that she isn't dating someone, then you also don't know if she is.  I understand that it costs a lot to throw a wedding, and to feed people, and trust me, so does she.

Let's back this up ladies - I want to review what my grandmother has always said is proper gift etiquette. Figure out how much your friend is spending on your meal (estimate, don't ask), add $50, and that's the total value of your gift.  If you are invited with a guest, you double the meal price!  So, let's imagine you and a date are attending a wedding.  Total value of your gift is probably around $250 - if you live in CT - so divide that between your parties.  Maybe $50 on the shower gift, $50 on the lingerie shower, and then $150 on the wedding gift, which you should mail to their house!

I am sure right now you are thinking "What does she know?" but trust me, I have been to 18 friends' weddings, been a bridesmaid 8 times, and have heard countless friends complain about certain things from both ends.  I am sure you will hear more about it, but now I am off my soap box so I can make creamy mushroom chicken for date night with Gimpy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


So last night I noticed I have two new followers, and this morning another two.  Yay!  I am very excited.  I am guessing you all found me because of V, so thanks, and I am very glad you are here.  I hope I don't let you down, and if you need any help with parties or recipes , let me know!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Dinner for 12

This year I had 11 people over for Easter dinner.  Gimpy is from Virginia, my friends Angie, Marcus, and Richard all have their parents in London, we had a few girls whose parents are in the mid-west, and then a few who just decided that my cooking was more appealing than any other option!

Saturday I went hiking with Gimpy, Mike, and Bridget, and when we get back, Bridget and I went nuts in the kitchen prepping for our respective Easters.  I made my strawberry rhubarb pie and cream of asparagus soup.  I thought it would be a good idea to make my cream of asparagus soup without any actual cream so that it would be nice and healthy!

Cream of Asparagus Soup
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 onion, chopped, (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups chicken stock

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add asparagus and saute another 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until asparagus is very tender.  Next, remove from heat and blend with your immersion blender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! 

I set the table, complete with my little bunny tapers, also known as the cutest candle holders ever, my new light blue table cloth, and some spring tulips.  After a date night at Fat Cat Pie Company with Gimpy, we came back and ended up watching a few hours of Food Network while I prepped and baked my bunny cake, and peeled and sliced potatoes for scalloped potatoes.   

Sunday morning I went to church early with Gimpy and Bobby, then I rushed back to put the ham in the oven.  I made a tangerine/orange glaze to put on the ham, and everyone said it was awesome.  I don't actually eat ham, but I took their word for it!

Citrus Glaze for Ham
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in chunks
2 tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed
2 cups orange juice
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

Cook all together in a saucepan over medium heat until well blended.  Pour over your ham, and use to baste as you cook.

I also made shrimp cocktail, baked brie with raspberry jam, garlic green beans with slivered almonds, a big salad, the scalloped potatoes, and crescent rolls.

We had a ton of fun, about 19 bottles of wine (really, it was a lot), sat outside in the sunshine drinking for a while, and had dessert.  The bunny cake was a huge hit until someone went to cut a slice and he tumbled off the table!  Luckily drunk me whipped up a new carrot cake and slapped some cream cheese frosting on it when it came out of the oven so there was plenty of dessert.