Monthly Archives: October 2010

Engagement party.

I had the great pleasure of throwing one of my dearest friends an engagement party while I was back in the States for Minted meetings.We did a little dinner for her and her fiance at Market Table, which is a really cozy spot in the West Village.

They have a nice private room in the basement, which may sound less than desirable, but is perfect for a crisp autumn night. It couldn’t have been a more cozy, intimate evening.

I decided to go with a Kelly green theme because the bride-to-be’s name is Kelly! She had mentioned she was considering Kelly green as one of her wedding colors and it’s always nice to give your colors a visual, trial run.

I also ordered a bunch of photos of Kelly & Kevin and backed them with green paper. I also made placecards out of the same paper. It really is amazing what you can do with construction paper, scissors and a gluestick! Oh and a white pen! Love white pens.

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Food processor grating.

Until just recently, I never ever used the metal plates that come with your food processor, which is such a shame because they can be wonderfully helpful! Now I know it is a pain to get out the whole device, but so is grating, say a pound of cheddar cheese, so even with the clean up it can be a big time saver. Speaking of grating cheese for a great recipe, Cheddar Crisps with Roasted Grape Relish. So it doesn’t suggest using a food processor to grate the cheese, but it is perfect because you end up using the food processor to make the dough… After you’re done grating the cheese, you add flour, cayenne, and butter and it combines into a very easy to work with dough. You roll it out into a long skinny tube and then cut rounds to line a muffin tin. The resulting crisps are super sturdy unlike so many appetizers. And the cayenne gives them a surprising kick. The result of filling the muffin tins half way is that you have a nice little edge that holds the relish on. Yay for appetizers that really don’t require a plate or napkin! And while you have your food processor out, you might as well make some of the fluffiest berry shortbread you’ll ever taste. You basically make a dough, shape it into two balls, refrigerate it for a few hours and then grate the first ball. Then take your favorite jar of jam, put it in a plastic baggie… cut off one of the corners and squeeze the jam out onto the crumbles. Once I made this with my Mother-In-Law’s homemade and home grown strawberry rhubarb jam and it was honestly absolutely mind blowing… but we are now rationing her jam (and praying that we get more in our stockings this year) so this is store bought. Then you grate the next ball and RESIST the urge to pat down the crumblies… do not worry it will bake together and be light as a feather!

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Copper pots in a castle.

So before we get to more dessert recipes as promised, I wanted to show you some more cooking inspiration from our trip to Munich for Oktoberfest and our dear friend Nate’s 30th birthday. It’s something that I just adore… I can’t get enough of them even though I don’t actually own a single one… copper pots!

The castle literally had around 150 copper beauties. It was insane!

So copper is supposed to be the best material for pots because it is a great heat conductor, but that is true because it is also one of the softest metals, which means it is also a lot of work to maintain! A perfect shine requires that you polish it after every use. Just touching the pan (the oils in your hand) will leave dark stains. A lot of pros appreciate a nice patina on their copper and I do think the dark color can be quite beautiful. You can find a guide to how to polish copper here.

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Irish carbomb cupcakes.

So I’m a good Irish Catholic girl who went to Notre Dame… so of course I just had to try these Irish Carbomb Cupcakes from Smitten Kitchen.

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Herb garden.

So if you don’t have one already, I see absolutely no reason at all why you shouldn’t have an herb garden. It has already brought me limitless joy and we’ve only had it for two weeks.

We got all of the supplies at the Flower Market in Kowloon for about $20 and it was some of the best money ever spent, especially here in Hong Kong where a lot of grocery stores don’t even carry herbs or if they do, they are literally from California and totally gross and wilted.

This is me carrying our little box back on the MTR subway.

The Mr. nicely repotted everything for me so the roots could spread out a bit.


I chose a lot of the appetizers for our housewarming simply because they featured mint or rosemary prominently and we now have a wonderful, fresh supply. Although I have already noticed that our mint is insanely aggressive and is moving in on the parsley… we are going to be drinking lots of mint tea (so wonderful — just pour hot water over the leaves) and making some mint juleps so it doesn’t take over. So if you have a few hours free this weekend, skip over to a garden store and make up an herb garden. You don’t need a yard, you don’t even need a porch, you just need a window… and hopefully you have one of those. Although I didn’t in my very first basement apartment, I still think my landlady would have let me put a garden on the front stoop–so no excuses! Hop to.

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