August 29, 2016

Custom Party in a Box: PJ’s and Pancakes

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The fact that summer is almost over is truly mind-boggling to me. As most of you know, this summer at LMP we have been SO busy, with some truly exciting events coming up soon, so stay tuned!

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Because of our busy schedule, we have had some party requests that we have had to turn down because we already had that date committed. But, whenever that happens, we like to offer our clients the option of purchasing one of our fabulous parties in a box to add some LMP flair to their event.

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We also offer to build custom parties in a box, which means that we will build you your own, one-of-a-kind box containing decor and tableware specific to your theme!

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We recently built a box for a client throwing a PJ’s and Pancakes themed party for her daughter’s first birthday. This is a wonderful theme for a casual kids party at home, and we were so excited to build the box for her!

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We drew inspiration from the client’s party invitation, and went with a color palette of pint, white, mint and gold. We used some of out favorite tableware and decor items from of our existing Shower in a Box and Perfectly Pretty Shower, including pink square dinner plates, silver foil star dessert plates, pink and white polka dot cups, gold dinner napkins, and gold heart stamped bamboo cutlery.

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For some mint touches, we included these gorgeous mint and white striped straws, mint and white striped napkins, and white and mint place cards that we found on Minted, which we used as food cards.

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Since this party in a box was for a first birthday party, we included milk bottles for the kids with gold star stickers for chocolate milk.  We also included white hot cups with gold star stickers for coffee for the adults.

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You can’t have a birthday party without dessert, so we ordered a chocolate cake with buttercream frosting from Empire Cake in New York, and topped it with this gorgeous mint glitter ‘ONE’ cake topper from All That Glitters Party. The mini cupcakes we grabbed at Whole Foods and topped with these gold moon and star cupcake toppers.

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Lastly, Maggie designed some custom water bottle labels using our color palette to tie everything together.

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We couldn’t be happier with how this box turned out! Interested in you own custom party in a box? Contact us here to order yours today!

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Special thanks to the following vendors:
Cake by Empire Cake.
Cake Topper and Cupcake Toppers by All That Glitters Party Shoppe.
Table Tent Food Cards by Minted
Custom Water Bottle Label Design by Maggie Antalek.
Photos by Abby Copleston.

xx, Abby
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August 26, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Before I begin telling you about this recipe, I have to talk about the fact that I’m not the greatest at carving, painting or cutting a straight line. That’s most likely why I never went into medicine to become a plastic surgeon, cuz if I did, there would be a lot of folks walking around out there with a nose placed at the side of their heads. Yep. Not good with measuring. Not good with straight lines. And terrible in math. Now you know.

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What you also must of aware of is that lately roses are all the rage in the culinary world. Avocado ones. Fruit ones. Vegetable ones. I believe that fruit carving was invented to drive me insane. Not that I don’t like a challenge but really? Who the heck has time to carve your garnishes into a rose? I’m not gonna lie. I’m tempted to sculpt ice but I know I would hurt myself in the process.

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I had this specific vision in my mind to add vegetable roses into a recipe I have used before using puff pastry. I happened to have had puff pastry hanging around in the freezer and my plan was to make ONE savory tart and ONE sweet tart. The beauty of this brainiac idea was to use leftover ingredients instead of leaving piddly amounts of this and that in the fridge. I hate that. Like really hate it. And Steve hates it even more when he does “Fridge Inventory”. 

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He pulls out things that have been lurking around for weeks and then asks “what’s this? what’s that?”

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I look at this and that and say, “I have no idea”. Then he smells it. Yes, he smells it. Sometimes he tastes it if it’s not furry. And sometimes he just tosses it out without question. The Fridge Surveyor has done his job and I’m just happy to have more room in the fridge for “this and that”.

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Okay, back to this tart.

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As you can see there are semi shapes of vegetables on here which were supposed to be roses. Like all recipes of mine which are sometimes epic fails I’m going to give you the cold hard facts behind these stupid roses. I’m also going to give you a list of excuses as to why I think that they look half assed:

The mandoline. Yes, I have used this gadget before and yes I have given you some lame excuse as to why I can’t figure this thing out. I believe it is because I have a fear of using it and chopping off my fingers. Good enough reason right?

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Each time I unbox that thing I can’t put it together. I end up with one part of it hanging off the side of the mandoline and then I toss it aside taking my life and fingers in my hands.

Listen, it’s simple enough to use but should come with a warning to keep out of reach of children AND ME.

I started by carving the vegetables too thin, which in retrospect was perfect.

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Then I turned up the mandoline dial to the next thickness level and went to town. All my veggie slices looked great but hang on.

When I steamed them they were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy too thick to roll into the proverbial ROSE.

UGH.

So I steamed them again. AND AGAIN……..AND AGAIN AND AGAIN………until I could steam them no more.

When they finally were pliable enough to roll I ended up with a rose tart that looked like this↓

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Not bad, not great….not even remotely close to roses.

Not bad, not great….not even remotely close to what I thought it should look like.

How about we just call this a tart with pretty colored shapes of something that look like um….roses?

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Here’s the moral of the story….

A rose by any other name……..would end up looking like this tart and taste just as delicious.

And a mandoline needs to be used by anyone else but me.

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TRIPLE CHEESE TART WITH GARDEN VEGGIE ROSES

1 roll puff pastry, completely thawed

Filling:
1 1/4 cups (350g) ricotta cheese, I used light/smooth
2 extra large eggs
1/3 cup (80g) freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
1/2 cup bocconcini cheese or fresh mozzarella, diced into small pieces
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tbls oil, I used virgin avocado
1 tbls fresh basil, minced

Garnish:
4 carrots
1 yellow zucchini
1 green zucchini
2-3 purple cabbage leaves
additional basil leaves for garnish
salt & pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Unroll puff pastry and place in a round or square 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Cover with parchment paper and weight it down with rice, peas or store bought ceramic pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove for oven and cool completely.
2) Prepare filling ingredients in a medium size bowl, mix well and set aside.
3) Kick up the oven temperature to 375F.
4) For the Roses: slice the zucchini and the carrots for their length using a mandolin or better yet a vegetable peeler. Make sure that they are thin enough to be pliable for handling. Place the slices in a bowl, cover and cook in the microwave for 1 minute intervals or until soft enough to roll.
5) Take one of a vegetable and roll it very tightly. That’s the core of your rose. Take another slice and roll it around the core of the rose. I only used one or two slices per rose.
6) Now stick the rose into the centre of the tart: the filling will not allow the vegetable rose to fall over. Trust me on this one and call me if you have falling roses.
7) Continuing rolling the roses and placing them in the tart in a nice pattern.
Place tart on a cookie sheet and brush all the roses and edges with oil (I love using avocado oil).
8) Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until puff pastry is cooked and golden brown. Serve warm.

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See ya next week!

xo, debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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August 24, 2016

We are officially inspired to write a book….

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A few months back we met some really lovely ladies who started a company called Tweed Wolf. They came in to our office to explain what they do and our eyes immediately lit up. These gals craft beautiful photo books. The best part is…you don’t have to choose the photos. They will do it for you!

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Remember back in the day when you had FILM? We had to snail mail it in to get photos printed. Then buy photo albums with sleeves and stick the photos in there. Yeah, well, I have about 40000 photo albums from when I was a kid…up until about my first born was one. Now…I have NOTHING!  It’s all online, totally unorganized and all over the place.

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So when Tweed Wolf came over and said “We’ll take all of the beautiful photos you have from the years of work you have done and we’ll cull them down into a photo album for you…” we were like, yes please!

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Before sending the photos we did however come up with a concept for this book. A way to showcase the photos so they make sense to other people who may flip through our photo book.

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After receiving this album from our friends at Tweed Wolf we have decided to keep this concept hush for the moment….because this book is so fabulous it has quite literally inspired us to get writing! And hopefully one day have a Little Miss Party book that we can share with the world.

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And you know what else? This may just have to be my new go to gift for milestone birthdays. This weekend my niece is turning one. I hired a photographer for the event….guess what I’ll be doing with the photos?!

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Huge huge huge thanks to Tweed Wolf for the work and effort they put into creating such a beautiful album for us. We will cherish this forever.

Tweed Wolf albums can now be purchased through the Little Miss Party in a Box website.

xx, Seri
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August 23, 2016

Fig & Bourbon Summer Smash

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Fun fact about me: I LOVE figs! It’s kind of a weird thing to love to eat, but any chance I get to have them I do.  Fresh, dried, you name it! I also think that they are beautiful, so I’ve been looking for the right way to use them in a cocktail.

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I perused Pinterest and found a recipe for a Fig & Bourbon Summer Smash, which uses figs, honey, bourbon and limes.  Sounds like a winning combo to me!

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Here’s what you need:

-your favorite Bourbon (I used Blanton’s based on Adams recommendation)
-honey
-water
-lime juice
-fresh limes
-fresh figs
-fresh mint
-ice

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Here’s what to do:
1) Place 4 of your figs in a mason jar or other vessel. Use overripe figs if possible! Add 1 cup of bourbon to the mason jar over the figs, and muddle the figs.

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2) Add 1/4 cup of honey to fig & bourbon mixture and use a cocktail stirrer to stir mixture. Cover vessel with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 2 hours.
3) After the 2 hours have passed, uncover your mixture and pour 1/4 cup of mixture into each of your cocktail glasses.

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4) Add 1/4 cup of water and 1 tbsp. of lime juice to each glass.
5) Add ice and a few mint leaves and fresh figs to garnish each glass.

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How stunning is this?? It was pretty damn delicious too.

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Make this one and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Until next week….

xx, Abby
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August 19, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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DK Publishing filed a missing persons report on me this past month. Yep. I haven’t had a chance to review their books since my mom’s fall but guess what? I’M SO HAPPY TO BE BACK!!

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They sent me a darling little book called CUPCAKES & MINI CAKES. It’s so adorbs it kinda reminds me of a book Barbie would buy to bake stuff for Ken. Right?

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And just look at the cover! It’s pink (my fave) and striped. Best of all, it’s loaded with over 100 recipes for little cakes, bars and cake pops.

I flipped through it and even though I was dying to make one of their cupcakes recipes, I opted for a muffin one instead. Most likely because over the past  month I have been baking cupcakes by the double dozen for the staff on the D3 Wing in the hospital. If I walked in empty handed (without sweets) they actually gave me a “stink eye”. Oh how I loved the day when I helped my mom escape from that place!

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Since I have been a bit tight for time lately, I chose one of the simplest recipes I could find in the book so that I could finally do this review.

Apple Muffins.

But wait.

Do these look like apple muffins to you?

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No.

Why?

It’s like this.

I had all the ingredients EXCEPT the apples.   Hang on a sec…..I think you know me by now. I love to improvise SO I threw in strawberries instead. Oh, and I also added some shredded coconut to the mix because why not? My mom always taught me that a “little of this” and a “little of that” makes the perfect recipe.

Then I thought to myself. SELF? Why not throw in some bran into the mix too. Bran is healthy and besides, if I’m going to fool around with the recipe why not add in a little extra fibre?

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So here you have it. The base of this recipe is on page 62 of the book. The rest came from my head. And lately my head has been full of so many things it’s a miracle these actually came out great.

Did you also notice I had to add in a cool butter recipe for these muffins? Well, ya. I made that up in my head too. Blueberry infused butter is a much needed accompaniment to take the yumminess of these muffins to a level 10. Oh ya.

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I know you are going to love this little cute pink book. There are so many recipes I still need to try. I’m specifically eyeing the granola bars.  This book is super easy to follow, beautifully written, tried and true.

CUPCAKES & MINI CAKES will not disappoint.

STRAWBERRY COCONUT BRAN MUFFINS WITH BLUEBERRY INFUSED BUTTER
-1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and chopped into chunks
-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
-¼ cup turbinado sugar
-1¼ cups all purpose flour
-¾ cup whole wheat flour
-¼ cup bran
-4 tsp baking powder
-1 tbsp ground mixed spice
-½ tsp salt
-½ cup pecans, chopped
-¼ cup shredded coconut
-1 cup milk
-¼ cup oil, I used avocado
-1 egg, beaten
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups and set aside.
2) Place strawberries in a bowl, add the lemon juice and toss. Add ¼ cup of the sugar and set aside.
3) Sift the flours, baking powder, spice, and salt into the large bowl. Add in bran. Stir in remaining sugar, coconut and pecans, then make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
4) Beat together the milk, oil, egg and vanilla then add in the strawberries. Add the wet ingredients into the centre of the dry ingredients, and mix together lightly to make a lumpy batter. Try not to overmix, you want LUMPS.

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5) Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin cups about ¾ full. Optional to top each muffin with a slice of strawberry and an additional sprinkle of sugar and coconut. That’s what I did and they did turn out pretty darn stunning dontcha think?
6) Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are nice and brown. Test with toothpick for doneness. Cool on wire rack, serve warm or cooled.

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BLUEBERRY INFUSED BUTTER
-1 stick softened butter
-¼ cup blueberry jam or preserves

1) Blend the softened butter well with the blueberry jam. Roll in plastic wrap and chill until firm.
2) Serve with muffins while they are still warm.
3) This is the only way to live. Not joking.

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See you next week!

debi, @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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