Tuesday's Recipe: Fried Olives

9:51 AM

I was watching The Today show last week and saw Giada De Laurentiis segment on Olives. Her fried olive recipe made my mouth water and took me back to one of my favorite weddings at The W hotel in Union Square. These babies were being passed at cocktail hour and I stood right at the entrance from the kitchen to get first dibs on these babies. Yes, I have no shame. Here is the recipe below or you can go to the web site. I will report back when I have my hubby make these; hot oil doesn't seem like something I should be trying. Let me know if you make these amazingly awesome concoctions at your next party. (By the way I made my easy chocolate cake this morning…proof positive that it IS that easy).

 Recipe: Italian fried olives

Giada De Laurentiis
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 20 pitted medium-large green olives, rinsed and thoroughly dried
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • A pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round plain tip
Olives stuffed with cheese and fried are a classic bar snack commonly found in Naples and Sicily. I like to mix the Gorgonzola with a bit of ricotta to tame its strong flavor. Unlike most fried foods, these can be made ahead of time and they will still be delicious a good while later. Pile them on a platter for a party and watch them disappear.
In a small bowl, combine the cheese, thyme, and lemon zest. Spoon into the pastry bag. Pipe the cheese mixture into each olive.
Put the flour into a small bowl. Lightly beat the egg in another small bowl and put the bread crumbs into a third small bowl. Working in batches, dredge the olives in the flour. Using a slotted spoon, remove the olives and place in the bowl with the beaten egg. Coat the olives with the egg and then transfer to the bowl of bread crumbs. Coat the olives with the bread crumbs.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350° F. (If you don't have a thermometer, toss in a cube of bread; it will brown in about 3 minutes and when it does, the oil is ready.) Fry the olives, in batches, for 30-45 seconds, until golden brown. Drain the fried olives on paper towel. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.
Serving Size
Makes 4 to 6 servings

anna paquin

Emmy Awards Event Decor

4:09 PM

Last night was the Emmy's and to be honest I caught all of ten minutes of it. But this morning I woke up like a little girl on Christmas morning...running to the computer to see all the fabulous fashions of the night. I know I did the same thing on Friday but I just couldn't help but relate one of the gowns to table decor. Anna Paquin was so daring and her dress was definitely not boring. I know you either loved it or hated it but I was biased and loved it because Sookie can do no wrong!
Double click on the pictures to view larger.
Table linen, runner and napkin cuff from Cloth Connection
China, Glass, and chair from Party Rental LTD.
Votive Holders from Accent Decor
Crystal Stand from Regal Candelabra

event decor

Flower Friday: Fall Fashion Inspiration

3:09 PM

I thought it would be fun to pick an outfit and design a table around it. I chose an outfit from the Fall Boden catalog. It's hip and classic at the same time and it brings in fun patterns and colors that aren't typically identified with fall decor.


The linens are from Party Rental LTD. I love the mix of leopard and striped prints and the bold green color underneath. Don't be afraid to mix prints in your decor.  

Summer Concert Lovin'

9:22 AM

Summer is ending soon and it makes me think of how great it is. I don't want to see it go! Doesn't this always happen when something is about to leave, you think of how great it is? (How deep hugh?)
One of the best parts of summer is outdoor concerts! Something about the music playing and the outdoor air that makes everyone feel free and relaxed. (yes, I know that feeling can be induced by the pre-partying)

So if you can't make it to a concert before the blustery weather comes storming in then bring the concert to you! We have access to a great new product - a drive in movie theater! A giant screen is brought to any location and the movie or concert DVD of your choice can be played to hundreds of people. We even bring popcorn! The price is a bit steep for a backyard get together but perfect for colleges or town centers. (Call for more information)

If you want to recreate this feeling in your yard think of renting a projector and screen. Hook it up to a DVD player or computer and play your favorite concert outdoors. Of course you have to wait until it gets dark but (sadly) that's happening earlier and earlier. So invite your concert buddies, buy some beer and bring out a blanket and watch your favorite concert on the lawn!

Here are some good ones to get:


Flower Friday: Succulent Succotash

7:30 AM

A very hearty, simple and surprising centepiece idea for Fall is succulents. These desert blooms retain water and last up to 2 weeks! They are also very easy to do yourself and since they last you can do ahead of time. A great DIY walk-through is on Apartment Therapy.


Spiked Coffee Bar!

2:12 PM

Recently I had a Girls Night In with some fabulous ladies and made coffee drinks with Bailey's and Kahlua! (maybe a little ice cream and brownies made it in there too) It was so yummy that I thought it would be a great and easy thing to do at your next event.

Here are a few recipes courtesy of Coffee Detective:
Bailey's Irish Cream Coffee

1 cup of hot coffee

1 1/2 shots Bailey's Irish Cream

1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped

Ground cinnamon

Pour hot coffee into a preheated glass. Add the Bailey's and mix well. Top with a mound of whipped cream and a few dashes of cinnamon if desired.

Serves 1

Mexican Coffee

1 cup of hot coffee

3/4 shot Kahlua

3/4 shot Tequila

Coffee Whipped Cream

Pour coffee over liqueurs & top with whipped cream. Garnish with a cherry.

Serves 1

Bavarian Coffee

1/2 oz peppermint schnapps

1/2 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur

5 oz hot black coffee

1 1/2 oz whipped cream

1 tsp sugar

Add coffee and liquors to an Irish coffee cup and sweeten to taste. Gently float the cream on top, and sprinkle with grated chocolate.

Serves 1

Spanish Coffee

1 cup of hot coffee

1/2 oz Tia Maria

1/2 oz Rum

Whipped Cream

Add liqueur and coffee. Top with whipped cream and garnish with a cherry.

Serves 1

Cafe Don Juan

3/4 oz dark rum

1 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur

5 oz hot black coffee

1 1/2 oz whipped cream

1 tsp sugar

Rim an Irish coffee cup with lemon juice and sugar. Pour coffee and liquors into the cup and sweeten to taste. Float the cream on top, sprinkle with grated chocolate, and serve.

Serves 1

Amaretto Coffee

1 cup of hot coffee

1 1/2 shots Amaretto liqueur

1/4 cup lightly whipped cream

1/2 tspn toasted, sliced almonds

Pour hot coffee into a preheated brandy snifter and stir in the liqueur. Top with whipped cream and almonds, if desired.

Serves 1

Café Brulot

16 fl oz hot, strong coffee

1 cinnamon stick, roughly broken

4 sugar cubes

4 whole cloves

2 fl oz Cognac

Peel of 1/2 orange

2 tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

Peel of 1/2 lemon

In saucepan, over low heat, combine cinnamon, cloves, orange and lemon peels and sugar. Stir in Cognac and liqueur. Using a long match, carefully ignite mixture. Immediately, but slowly, pour in coffee, stirring until flames subside. Pour into small punch cups and serve.

Serves 4

Chocolate-Hazelnut Coffee

10 oz brewed coffee

1 shot chocolate liqueur

1 shot hazelnut liqueur

Pour hot coffee in a preheated wine glass and stir in the two liqueurs. Top with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.

Serves 1

Nose Warmer

1 cup of hot coffee

1/4 oz Tia Maria

1/4 oz Bailey's

1/4 oz Grand Marnier

1/4 oz Frangelica

1/4 oz dark crème de cacao

Add the liqueurs to the coffee, top with whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon

Serves 1

Libbey 13-1/2-Ounce Flare Glass Coffee Mugs, Box of 12, Clear
These glass coffee mugs are nice and inexpensive.

Glass Apothecary Jars filled with coffee beans will give a nice touch for decor.

Below is a fun coffee bar I made up...feel free to set this up for yourself!


Event Recap - Parking Lot Party!

2:55 PM

It's no surprise to us when clients say they have to cut back on their events this year. One great way to do this is use your office space or, in this case, the parking lot. Have a section roped off and rent a tent, tables and chairs. You (meaning us ;) can bring in the food and entertainment. 
TIP: Instead of renting a second tent we ordered umbrella tables. It gives the guests a shady place to sit at a fraction of the cost!

Here management staffed the carnival booths. It not only reduced the cost but it brought different levels of management together.
Caricaturists were a great source of entertainment for the guests. 
And it gave them something to remember the day.
Water Balloon Toss is a great game to cool everyone off and bring much needed laughter to the group.

For more picnic ideas visit our site.

clam bake

Wicked Clam Bake!

9:17 AM

A vacation in Cape Cod screams for a clam bake. The seafood is super fresh and abundant in all of the sea faring towns. Although many restaurants offer this classic at a premium price, it is surprisingly easy to do this yourself at home. Also, I have learned that eating a lobster properly (as I learned from a true Maine native) is an event and should take a long time and be very messy; more reasons to do this at home. Here are some tips on how to have a clam bake at your home.

You'll need pots - big ones. This bake was for 7 adults and the big lobster pot fit 7 guys perfectly. The large standard pot fit potatoes on the bottom, 3 pounds of clams and 3 pounds of mussels on the top. Once you see the clams and mussels open (a few minutes) they are ready to eat. 
As for the lobsters boil some water on the bottom (throw a clove of garlic or two if you want to get fancy) and place them in…alive. If you can't muster the courage get some tough carnivore to do it for you. When they are red, they are done. 

I was going to put up the picture of our eaten lobster but it looked scary and I couldn't do that to you. Instead I am showing you a pretty cooked lobster pre onslaught. My Maine born friend explained to us how to eat the lobster properly…
Start with the claws - rip them off crack the middle and pry apart, inside will be lovely white meat. 
You can save the tail for last since that has the most meat but if you can't wait twist the tail off and crack open the middle. Try to pull the tail meat out in one piece.
Now it gets hard core: twist the little legs off and break open - suck out juice and pick any meat out you can get.
Twist off the head, suck the juice out, enjoy the feeling of a true savage.
Lastly, tear apart the rib cage and search for any meat left between the ribs. 

Your lobster should look like its been attacked by vultures, then you know you did it justice. 

wedding centerpieces

Flower Friday: Alstromeria the underdog flower

7:30 AM

There are many flowers out there that have a bad rap from years of cheesy arranging and dollar store bouquets. Some of these sad underdogs are baby's breath, carnations, and alstromeria. We've seen in previous posts how these otherwise perceived "cheap" flowers can look rich, modern and gorgeous in mass. After all, they have feelings too...OK, maybe not but these flowers are still beautiful in their own right.
Look at the gorgeous colors this champion comes in - so vibrant. Many of the colors available are hard to come by all year round like burgundy, magenta and orange.Here are few shots of alstromeria in all their glory.

butterfly decor

Butterfly Party Theme!

7:00 AM

My daughter is currently obsessed with butterflies, or as she calls them "Fo-Flies," so I wanted inspiration for a butterfly themed party. Thanks to Thoughtfully Simple I got exactly what I want. 

Aside from her links you can find fun decorations like:
Hanging Nylon Butterfly Decorations - nursery bedroom wedding party shower room decor - 5" Blue Sasha Butterfly

Hanging Butterfly Decor. Set Of 6 Accented with Whimsical Gems And Glitter For Weddings And Room Decor

Butterfly Wedding Cake Topper Rainbow Set
Check out this butterfly cake topper. This either looks really good in person or like "The Birds" with butterflies.

P.S. Sorry for the anemic posts…blogging from sunny Cape Cod!