Apr 11

Why Deny those Lovely Shoes?

Buy the shoes

{Image source:  Stephen Karlisch Photography via The Knot}

Sometimes its best to give in.   You see them.  They see you.  It’s meant to be; don’t fight it.  They need to be yours – end of story.  Justify it how you will, just buy those lovely shoes, and while you are at it, have a great weekend!

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Apr 8

Double Chocolate Chili Cookies

Double Chocolate Chili Cookies

If the reference to cookies in the title didn’t grab your attention, I’m thinking the double chocolate chili part may have reeled you in, hook line and sinker.   With Cinco de Mayo less than a month away, its time to start thinking about your menu.  The most important part – the dessert of course!   Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these salted double chocolate chili cookies are a quick and absolutely delicious way end to your Cinco de Mayo meal.  Be sure to have some milk or Vanilla Ice Cream on hand because these little guys pack a punch!

Chocolate Chili Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup pastry flour (I used 1 cup all purpose and 1/2 cup cake flour)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne powder (depends how much kick you want)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag (approx 10 oz) dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

1.  Heat oven to 375°

2.  Wisk the flour, cocoa powder, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder and cayenne powder in a large bowl.  Set aside.

3.  In mixer, cream butter until pale.  Beat in the brown and granulated sugars until creamy.  Mix in the vanilla and one egg at a time on a low mixing speed until well incorporated.  Scrape down sides as needed.

4.  Add half of the flour mixture at a time and mix until just incorporated.  Do not over mix.

5.  Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.  FYI – The dough will be pretty thick.  This will take some serious stirring power.

6.  Roll dough into golf ball sized balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets.

7.  Bake 10-12 minutes

8.  Let cool briefly, then move to a wire cooling rack.  Once cool, enjoy!

Yields approx 36 cookies (that is of course if you are able to refrain yourself from eating the outrageously tasty dough)

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Recipe adapted from Local Milk

Photography: Bette Toffelmier | A Lovely Thyme

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Apr 7

Tinge Floral | The Rose Establishment

If I walked into a coffee shop and it looked like this, pinch me because I would most certainly be in heaven.  The dynamic trio behind making this coffee shop, The Rose Establishment in Salt Lake, look so darn delicious – Tinge Floral, Pippa Cakery & Ciara Richardson.  The best thing about this inspiration shoot: it combines lovely florals, tasty baked goods, and captures the styling prep so beautifully.  Are you all taking copious notes, because this one knocks it out of the coffee bean park.

Tinge Floral and Ciara Richardson Photography1Tinge Floral and Ciara Richardson Photography2Tinge Floral and Ciara Richardson Photography3Tinge Floral and Ciara Richardson Photography4Tinge Floral and Ciara Richardson Photography5Tinge Floral and Ciara Richardson Photography6 Tinge Floral and Ciara Richardson Photography7 Tinge Floral and Ciara Richardson Photography8Tinge Floral and Ciara Richardson Photography9Tinge Floral and Ciara Richardson Photography10

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Flowers & Styling:  Tinge Floral
Photography:  Ciara Richardson
Cakes & Baked Goods:  Pippa Cakery
Venue:  The Rose Establishment

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Apr 4

Dance First | Think Later

Mr. Beckett has a point.  So often we find ourselves with our heads too full, with the complete inability to turn off and enjoy.  Yup, I’m guilty of this.  Shouldn’t be though.  For those that know me, I am a “bit” type-A.  I thrive on tasks, even seek them out instead of finding time to sit down and relax.  Although, Mr. Beckett has me thinking.  On days like today, when things are moving at warp speed, I should take a moment away, a moment for myself.  We get one chance at this life, so why not dance first.  It’s alright to put the lists and problems aside and think later.  So in the next 5 seconds, I am logging off and shaking it like there is no tomorrow.  There’s no reason not to…

Dance First

{Image source: Johnathan Canlas}

Enjoy the weekend!

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Apr 3

Tips from The Toff | Effortless Hostess

Whether you are throwing a 50 person party or having an intimate dinner with friends, it is possible to be the “Effortless Hostess”.  Sure it takes some serious prep.  But once the details are worked out, it is the way you handle yourself at the party that shows everyone what type of hostess you are.  I am often called an Effortless Hostess.  How is this title justified?  When I entertain, there are few rules of thumb I follow.  I want to enjoy myself as much as my guests.  Allowing these simple tips to guide me, gives me the ability to not only host, but to actually enjoy the party.

Effortless Hostess

{Image source: Joy Thigpen Pinterest}

1.  A good hostess always thinks ahead.  What do you think your guests will want/need?  Typically people will not ask for something directly, so you must predict beforehand what will be required for all guests to be comfortable and have what they need throughout the party.

2.  Less is always more.  Keep it simple.  Focus on a few well-planned out and cohesive dishes.  There is no need to fill the table with food when a few beautifully prepared and displayed dishes will speak for themselves.

hostess1

{Image source: Kate Harrison Photography}

3.  Make it ahead.  To preserve your precious day-of time, prepare as much as possible the day before.  This will allow you the ability to casually tackle the tasks without extra stress on the day of.

4.  Cook what you know.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  Cooking a dish for the first time for a group of people can either be a delightful surprise or completely disastrous.  To prevent an imminent disaster, I cook what has been tried and true.  Or course, it can still be a relatively new dish to you, but at least you have had a chance to taste and critique before others critique it for you.

5.  Be elegant and understated.  Enough said.

6.  Always choose a beautiful wine list for your guests.  Think about what they like.  Pair it with the food you are serving.  Often times, this means a pre-tasting.  Not always a bad thing right?!

7.  Take your time.  Enjoy the moment.  A good party will often last longer than planned.  This is a good thing.  Understand that and savor every moment of it.

8.  A good gathering will take on a life of its own.  Even with the best laid plans, things will change.  Despite these changes, it will always work out, even when it doesn’t.

A good party

{Image source: Rylee Hitchner via Once Wed}

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