Monday, March 29, 2010
Martha, as hostess, took care of decor and set-up/serving pieces, Stacey did the beautiful invites, cupcake toppers, and punch, and Mandi and I took care of the food.
So, lately I've had a fascination with baking bread. [perhaps b/c I'm not eating any right now...ya think?]
Anyway, I signed up to make mini sandwiches, as well as lemon cookies.
Being the baking weirdo I am, I thought, "Why not just make the little rolls for the mini sandwiches myself? That would be wayyy more fun than just buying rolls." [ummm, I don't have children.]
Besides, I'd seen several yummy-looking recipes for biscuits/rolls recently, on a perennial fave, Joy the Baker.
First up, the plan was Joy's Parker House Rolls with my friend Carrie's chicken salad.
Not sure what happened. I did something wrong.
Something with the yeast? Foaming/not foaming?
Still not sure what exactly. But they did not turn out.
Blech. Never got fluffy.
This is what they're supposed to look like:
Dagger in my heart.
Not one to be defeated, 11:30 or no 11:30, round two:
I went on to make the rolls from the famous Mrs-Michelle-Cinnamon-Rolls recipe, because I remember her saying they made delicious rolls in their own right (sans cinnamon, etc).
And they are. Or, they do.
I didn't cut them very pretty, but here's the finished product avec chicken salad:
[fear not, I will try the Parker House rolls again, and I WILL DEFEAT THEM!]
Next up, was pimento cheese sandwiches, in Joy's Cheddar/Black Pepper Biscuits.
I use this pimento cheese recipe, with sour cream instead of cream cheese [just because it's easier to stir, not because of taste. I've never tried it with cream cheese before but I bet it's great. it is cheese, after all.] If you're looking for a good p. cheese recipe, this may be it: just enough spice, just enough mayo, just enough flavor, just enough easy.
This biscuit recipe is a dream.
No yeast, no wait time...just some fun with the pastry cutter, everyone's favorite health buddy Shortening, and CHEESE!
Oh, and I used Monterey Jack cheese in the biscuit since I was using sharp cheddar in the pimento cheese.
Here are the biscuits in the oven...as my pride begins rebounding from the Parker House incident.
I doubled the recipe, and didn't roll them as thick as she calls for, since I was making sandwiches with them and didn't want the bread-y-ness to overwhelm the pimento cheese.
Is it a Southern thing to be in love with pimento cheese?
Or is it a low-carb thing?
Maybe because it's flippin' delicious.
[don't worry, I ate some of the pimento cheese AND chicken salad with a fork and/or celery. lame, but sticking to my SB guns.]
Survey said the two together were not overwhelmingly cheesy [pun intended?], but made a wonderful pairing.
I cannot wait to make these biscuits again.
They were fun, easy, and yielded a crowd-pleasing result. Don't let the pastry cutter scare you off...just get your two forks out and get to work!
Here are the frosted lemon cookies [Mrs Debbie Edwards' recipe she was so kind to give me], with Mandi's gorgeous cupcakes and Stacey's adorable cupcake toppers:
[Martha has this awesome wooden three-tiered thingy that is HUGE and holds a ton of stuff and makes a nice centerpiece.]
By far, my favorite part of the party was using Martha's and my china.
The idea came to me the week before the shower, when we were discussing who would bring cups/plates/napkins, etc... I said, Why don't we just use the salad plates and cups/saucers of our china?
It made everything feel like a tea party...
...but yet very "adult." But somehow, not too fancy.
and I just LOVED seeing our patterns mixed together; the silver rim and simplicity of mine with the gold rim and lovely design of hers.
Not one single item was broken or chipped...but we did give ourselves pep talks a la why-do-we-have-this-stuff-if-we're-not-going-to-use-it.
Thanks for letting the celebration of your baby be an excuse to try out new bread recipes and be a total freak.
Friday, March 26, 2010
[maybe we'll get to some cutesy-er stuff next week.]
Thursday, March 25, 2010
We met through a place called Streets Ministries, here in Memphis.
Streets is a completely fantastic program...their facility is right across the street from where most of the students they serve live.
They are there in the neighborhood, every day, loving students, sharing the Gospel, mentoring in academia and in life itself.
...I always tell W that I'm thankful she lets me "bug" her by spending time with me every week. [sometimes i tend to overdo things.]
Visit their website if you live in Memphis and you're looking for a ministry to invest in. They have a ton of programs that help people like me get involved with what they're doing in the inner city. They really know their stuff.
on a superficial note [...note...get it?]
....yall didn't give my giveaway much lovin'.
I'll announce the winner tomorrow. [some good odds this time for the faithful.]
Next time then?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Most of my new designs come when I'm making gifts...but this was a happy accident.
I made this design for myself, because I just love dot borders and monograms in the upper corner. Makes it less awkward to write, especially on an A2-sized flat card.
The other day, I had a light blue blank card left over from another set,
and the proverbial lightbulb went off...
Who doesn't love light blue + brown?
So, today...I'm giving away a set of 10 of these!
All you have to do is answer this question:
What's your fondest memory of Spring?
The giveaway ends on Thursday, March 25th, at midnight.
Bonne chance! and thanksh.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Things with hard-and-fast-rules and food groups work for me.
I just need two weeks for the kick-start. There is a wonderful blog called Kalyn's Kitchen, where she posts many yummy-looking recipes for every phase of SB. I've made her zucchini lasagna before, and Jonny and I both love it.
As a send-off last night (South Beach Eve, let's call it), we made Katie's Five-Minute Guacamole.
Holy moly, this stuff is good. Run, don't walk (it'll help you burn it off, anyway)! Recipe here. [Thanks Katie! It was the perfect send-off!]
Saturday was the perfect spring day. [notwithstanding the rainy and 50-degree-day we're having today.]
J and I took a looooooooong walk in semi-celebration. Here are some blooms we saw on our travels.
Goal this week (beyond SB): exercise 3 times. Feasible. Not extreme.
Bonne Chance, Leslie. I just want my dadgum clothes to fit right.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Our friend Cliff recently brought a new local artist, David Lynch, to our attention.
[Part of] the beauty of David's art is that you don't have be from or live in Memphis to enjoy these pieces. The bright colors, whimsical shapes, and clever interpretation of favorite city landmarks feels way more chic than dentist-office pencil drawings of the same scenes.
Feast your eyes. (HELP ME PICK!)
Around Downtown, here.
Earnestine & Hazel, here. [love the black/white]
Sunset at Harbortown, here.
Peabody Hotel, here [site of our wedding reception!]
Thanks, David, for these happy and fresh takes on our beloved city! I can't wait to bring one (or more!) of these home to admire in person (instead of just virtually).
p.s. David's second favorite subject [besides Memphis] is France. It's like the guy is in my head. j'adore!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
It's nice to have a day in the year when you're supposed to see it everywhere you turn.
Makes me look forward to this:
Happy St Patrick's Day.
my only notable St. Pat's memory:
We went to New Orleans to watch the Tigers play in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament (i think it was '07), and were consequently there on March 17. We went to Bourbon Street and saw a Shriner parade. And then I got hit in the head with a very large and fat strand of wooden beads. Which I hadn't been "reaching for" or any such nonsense. It hurt like the DICKENS.
Monday, March 15, 2010
A little less than a 3 hour drive, Heber Springs/"Heber" is the general name for all myriad little towns and vacation spots that surround Greers Ferry Lake. In fact, the Guinn kids grew up going to camp on this very lake (here).
Needless to say, it's been quite a blessing that J's parents have a cabin there....it makes the perfect relaxing-weekend-getaway spot.
(posted briefly about Heber before here and here)
Friday, we stopped in Searcy for dinner/groceries on the way there (the town where J went to college)...and I saw Chicken Feet for sale!
no, for real.
GROSS right? There can't be much meat on those suckers...
The next day, we took a hike up to the top of Sugarloaf Mtn, in actual Heber Springs.
I'd never done this one before (had hiked the one in the middle of the lake; the "other Sugarloaf.")
He loves posing for photos.
...after that one, I told him to look like a "tough mountain man" ...
resulting in this:
We found a tree limb/stick/branch thingy that connected between two trees like a swing. [definitely too scared to actually "swing" on it though.]
Climbing to the top was actually rather frightening...
But we made it. Then a fellow Memphis Tigers fan (what did I tell you?) took our photo at the top:
Coming down might have been scarier, though?
Eeeeesh. Not sure I'm up for that again. [Although, I did tell Jonny that climbing that was kind of like doing a half-marathon: in retrospect, it doesn't seem so hard, but when you're actually doing it, it's kinda dicey. ]
Rewarded these physical exertions with a hamburger from a local gem, Larry's Famous Hamburgers:
"applesticks" -- chopped up apples w/cinnamon and sugar, then fried (of course).
[believe me--I already know that this meal did not help my quest for bangs. It was very worth it at the time, though.]
Pardon the French in the below photo. I just thought it was too funny.
With full bellies, we rolled on to the Tumbling Shoals Antique "Mall":
How cute would a little succulent plant be in this milk glass container?
It took a lot of willpower to not bring home this $4 Eiffel Tower TV tray:
(and/or its two mates, for that matter.)
After the antique mall, we watched most of Arrested Development season two. There aren't words. Although, hilarious & ridiculous come to mind. I also finished my aforementioned "fru-fru" book that was actually a pretty good read, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, and started on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (never read before).
What better spot to endure Daylight Savings time?
On the way back, we partook in another favorite Memphian-visiting-Heber pasttime:
a stop at The Bulldog in Bald Knob, Arkansas...
...for their widely-renowned milkshakes (I actually didn't get one for myself. are you proud?)
some of our tunes on the way home: Leh-nerd Skin-nerd, Dark Side of the Moon, The Medders, Melting Pot, and Modern Guilt.
Happy Monday, m'friends! [no, really!]
Friday, March 12, 2010
Sorry this was a blah week of blog content. My mind seems to be a muddy cup of water. Whatever that means.
We're off to Heber Springs, where I plan to sit on this porch:
...and read my frufru book. A LOT.