Monthly Archives: March 2012

I heart Japan cocktails + art auction.

Hi all, So sorry for the late notice! I have had my whole family visiting so have been busy hostessing… but if you happen to be free tonight, you should definitely come by Ellermann in Sheung Wan tonight for an art auction and coloring book signing to benefit the Japanese children orphaned by the tsunami.

I look forward to saying ‘hi’ to you there — I will have our friends from the States who arrive this afternoon in tow! So fun to have visitors!

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Beautiful people.

Seen on Full House.

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Irish carbomb cupcakes.

Sometimes a cupcake just deserves it’s own post.

I’ve blogged about this recipe before, but seriously it is the best in my arsenal: Smitten Kitchen’s Irish Carbomb Cupcakes.

Several people even told me it was the BEST cupcake they’d ever had! To create the nice swirl, I just used a large round tip in an outward-to-inward circle.

It really is a complete carbomb: There is Guinness beer in the chocolate cupcake. There is Irish whiskey in the ganache fille. And there is Bailey’s in the frosting.

I decided to make little cookie toppers on sticks for decoration… instead of using vanilla in the meringue powder frosting I used fresh lime juice. Best idea ever!!

I thought they really completed the look and they were honestly so fun to do. All you do is bake a regular cut-out cookie–but before putting it in the oven pop in a 4″ Wilton stick. If need be, put a little dough to cover up a stick poking through.

I really have fallen completely head over heels in love with decorating. I credit Glorious Treats for that.

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St. Paddy’s Day Party!

Our St. Paddy’s party on Saturday was so much fun!

St. Patrick even smiled on us with our first non-cloudy night in months and the view was spectacular! And it was warm enough for people to hang on the deck.

Do you see that rainbow-esque fruit and veggie display at the end of the table? The marshmallows are a “cloud” and the banana sices in the bowl are a “pot of gold.”

I served two appetizers, both of which I passed myself… when you have the time and are together enough to pass your appetizers, it really is the best. You get to A. say hello to all the guests B. your appetizers are served at their peak temperature (hot or cold) and C. it makes sure that people actually eat them instead of just gabbing away!!

Above, Emerald Eggs from the Food Network… I highly recommend this recipe… the green color is achieved naturally from watercress, tarragon and scallions.

Hard-boil 6 eggs, then peel and slice in half. Scoop the yolks into a food processor and puree with 1 cup watercress leaves, 1/4 cupmayonnaise, 2 tablespoons each chopped scallions andtarragon, and salt and pepper. Fill with the yolk mixture.

The second appetizer I entitled ‘Dr. Seuss’s Sammies.’ They were simply English muffins, Candaian bacon and eggs dyed green all cut with a biscuit cutter into little circles.

The Mr. also made his infamous Guac (love all the lime juice he puts in it). I gussied it up a bit by serving the chips in Tiffany’s and the guac in Bernardaud. I do love how green it is. And of course it was devoured by the end of the night.

The pretty flowers were from Diane from Ellermann Design–didn’t she do an amazing job? She used a block of florist foam and poked leaves into it to create a pretty base for the vase.

We also had some live Irish entertainment… I met Charliah at the ‘Enter the Dragon‘ dinner a few weeks back and it turns out she is a violinist so I asked her and a friend to come play for us! She’s at the Best Music Academy in case your little one needs tutoring or you’d like some lovely music at your next party.

And then there was the main buffet. Here was the menu:

  • Corned Beef! For the second year in a row we completely ran out of this delicious roast even after I doubled down, from 4 lbs to 8 lbs. I really reccomend trying this at home. It is not hard at all (just takes time) and the results are awesome. I slow cooked it for 8 hours in Guinness, water, some sliced carrots and onion. I served it with a jar of mustard. And by the way, if you’re in HK and craving corned beef, Tenderloin Fine Foods, a great meat and fish delivery service I like, sells it prepared–so all you need to do is cook it.
  • Kelly’s Irish Soda Bread. Again, a huge hit. This time I did include Caraway seeds which makes it a little more savory… but to be honest I think I prefer it just with currants. Recipe here.
  • Boston Baked Maple Beans. 35 people is a LOT of people to feed dinner so I decided to augment the beef with a lot of beans. I loved this recipe–again it’s very easy, just takes time… it cooks pretty much all day. It was also great for the Veggies to have something to eat besides bread. And sweet-ish beans really are yummy.
  • Chive and Parsley Mashed Potatoes. Basically you just make regular mashed potatoes, but to make them green you puree chives and parsley with olive oil in a food processor and then mix it all together for a festive and tasty result!

And then there was dessert!

Pots of Gold Caramel Corn, Sugar Cookies, and Lucky Charms to go.

I made the little ‘We Are Lucky You Came’ label from cutting up a cereal box and then finding the other letters in magazines. I then just shrunk it down a bit on my home scanner and printed them off.

The idea was to give people a little Lucky Charms for breakfast the next day! I just love favors… people really appreciate taking a little souvenir home from the party and I think it really makes them feel special!

People also took home little pots of gold. After all, as a hostess I think your main goal is to make sure people feel like you’re really glad they’ve come and that you’ve tried to take good care of them while they are in your residence. A favor is your little way to thank them for making the effort to come.

And in this particular case to thank so many people for going to the effort to wear green!

Tomorrow: Irish Carbomb Cupcakes!

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Getting ready for….

… My favorite day of the year!! Seriously, I think I may love St. Paddy’s day even more than any other. It’s such a great holiday I think in part because it’s a little unexpected. I’ve been having a lot of fun over the last few days explaining what exactly it even is; a lot of the Chinese and Filipinos here have never even heard of it.

Don’t know what you’re making tomorrow?? How about corned beef, champs, Irish soda bread? And then finish with caramel corn and Irish Carbomb Cupcakes.

Okay… back to the kitchen for our party tomorrow!! Wishing you all the Luck of the Irish.

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