Friday, July 15, 2011

French Birthday Dinner

Last Wednesday was my mother's 42nd birthday! I gave her the option of being treated to a dinner out at a waterfront restaurant or having a homemade meal: she chose the homemade option. At that point, I began to brainstorm a well rounded menu for the night. These are the items I decided to prepare:
Starter: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad w/ Cider Vinaigrette 
Main Course: Scallops Provencal, Wild Mushroom Risotto
Side Dish: French Green Beans with Shallots
Dessert: Orange and Raspberry Cake

The dinner went off without a hitch. The food tasted fantastic and was prepared at restaurant quality. To establish a rather French mood, I also put much thought into the table decor for the night. 
My color scheme was French-countryside green and lavender purple. The photographs below illustrate how I incorporated these colors. Originally, I wanted to display light purple hydrangea flowers. However, I could not fine the right shade, so I switched to this light blue. I found it to be a great choice because the color of the flower brought in the color of the sky and made it a bright table display. 

Candles add an intimate touch and made the mood of the evening feel warm and inviting. It is important to place the candles a certain distance away from the flowers petals so that the heat of the flame does not crisp one side of the bundle. 

I enjoyed the process of creating this wonderful evening for a mom who works so hard everyday to make my life as comfortable as possible. Enjoy!

Table Decor:

A few sprigs of lavender placed in the ribbon:

Scallops, risotto, and green beans:

Later on in the evening:

The ribbon matched a friend's blouse, coincidentally:

Persian Chai Tea to digest the main course:

Orange and Raspberry Cake on a pink-polka dot cake stand: 

Floral coasters for the white candles, a nice colorful touch:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cinnamon Honey Butter

Breakfast is our favorite meal of the day. Whether it's yogurt and berries with a drizzle of honey, a breakfast cereal, or a lovely, fresh pastry, the choices are endless. We love the idea of being able to stop by a local bakery to pick up some rustic breads and croissants. We usually enjoy breads and croissants with a spread of butter and honey or jam. Thus, the idea of a cinnamon honey butter was born: combining the different but complementary flavors of cinnamon and honey into one simple spread. We made a rather large amount, which we plan on storing in our fridge for the moments that we crave a "bread and butter" sort of breakfast. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Healdsburg Afternoon

An afternoon well-spent. Instead of the usual afternoon spent inside a gym or watching TV at home, we decided to venture to Healdsburg, CA, a nearby town. This town is filled with character. The town square is surrounded by boutiques, small bookstores, furniture shops, markets, bakeries, and top-notch restaurants. Healdsburg is known for the great supply of wines. We would like to emphasize the great many world-class wine tasting rooms located all over this town, and especially in the square. Tourists from all over California, and all of the country, flee to this homey town which exudes a traditional European vibe. Here are some photographs: