September 22, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

I just had one of those “OMG I FORGOT TO POST THIS” moments and although I’m knee deep in Rosh Hashanah prep I’m bringing you a recipe that’s furthest thing from traditional Jewish fare ever.

Now, posting this the day before the start of the Jewish New Year is going to definitely garner me a seat in business class on the next flight to H.E.L.L.

But, there’s a reason for this so hear me out.

These beauties were made a few weeks into the summer and as you can see I dressed them up with some pretty garden flowers. There was no way I could wait another minute to post this because, well, everything is coming up really “fallsie” right now so these just won’t fit into the recipe lineup for the season.

Besides the fact, it’s finally summer around here (even though it’s mid September) and the temperatures today are not conducive to wearing sweaters and jackets. HOLD UP a second. By no means am I complaining. Our summer season is so short and we had so many weekends filled with crappy weather so…..if it’s not too late for barbecuing, you need to try these shrimpapaloozas. Yes, that’s my new word for shrimp that are on steroids.

Wait. Do you actually know what the difference is between a shrimp and a prawn? Of course, I’m going to tell you so you can tell your friends.

Prawns have claws on three of their five pairs of legs, shrimp have claws on two of their five pairs of legs. Their gills and body shape are different too. As far as cooking them goes, they are virtually identical and interchangeable.

But really? Who gives a hoot about how many claws between these two shellfish. In my books, a prawn is just a GIMONGOUS shrimp and to be quite honest, the bigger the better for me.

How will I repent for my sins (and this post) next week? I figured it out.

Today I’m going to give you this recipe and link you to one of my all time faves for the NEW YEAR.

To those of you who celebrate, Shana Tova. May your lives always be filled with sweetness, love, health and happiness.

GRILLED JUMBO PRAWNS WITH LEMON GARLIC BUTTER

– 8 -10 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined and washed
– Salt & pepper
– juice of one lemon
– ½ stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
– ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
– ¼ cup finely chopped sage
– 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1) Preheat an indoor grill or outdoor barbecue. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Mix lemon juice, butter, parsley, sage and garlic in a small bowl.
2) Brush shrimp with butter mixture and place on grill. Continue brushing with butter until shrimp is cooked through – about 2 minutes on each side. If these are large shrimp they may take a bit longer. Serve hot and enjoy!

MY FAVOURITE ROSE APPLE TARTS

click here – Rose Apple Tarts

See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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September 21, 2017

Rosh Hashanah Dinner with Family + Friends

The Jewish holidays happen to be my favorite.  Specifically, Rosh Hashanah and Passover are the best excuse to invite family and friends over for a super fun dinner.

Since I love to entertain, I take these holidays pretty seriously when it comes to the menu and tablescape. This year, I had an extra set of hands with my cousin Daniella in town AND…with Crafty Maggie to work on all the fine details.

Daniella and I spent hours prepping the food on Tuesday night. I always serve a traditional Jewish menu for the high holidays which include recipes by my Canadian Family members. We made Aunti Debi’s Chicken meatballs, Aunti Sandy’s peach brisket and Boobie Frieda’s gefilte fish and Matzo ball soup.

I don’t have a bar cart in our apartment and I wanted a place to put the wine and glasses however I didn’t want to break the bank with this purchase. I found the most PERFECT cart by Oh Joy for Target for $129. The best part is? It came fully assembled! Daniella and I just pulled it out of the box and voila!  I’m totally obsessed with this beauty…

I wanted to play off the fall season for our tablescape so Daniella and I let the flower market dictate our color palette. The market was filled with dahlias in burgundy, soft pinks and purple. We brought home an assortment of these florals and tons of greenery and our incredible intern, Natalie made us a floral runner for the center of the table and a few arrangements for the tables and bar cart.

Crafty Maggie was busy all day adding to the most beautiful touches to the table. She designed menus off of the flowers that we picked up and added a gold leaf splatter of paint to each. My sister Mandy had the amazing idea of spray painting apples white with a stroke of gold paint for the seating cards and Maggie nailed it with the execution.

Maggie also designed a water bottle label with each kid’s name on it for their seating assignment at the kids table.

Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Jewish New Year. For the new year we start our meal by dipping apples in honey to signify a sweet and healthy year ahead.

My husband Adam’s family is not particular large, but I’m used to very large Jewish dinners from growing up. So his parents are always at our table and to fill in, I invite several friends. For the past several years, Ilana, Mike, Mazzy and Harlow have joined us and after so many years, it is like they are family. We were also joined by cousin Daniella and my friend Emily and her boys Charlie and Giles as well as Maggie who experienced her first ever Jewish Holiday dinner!

I wanted to set up some activities for the kids to enjoy when they walked in. We made stamps out of potatoes and gave them each a plate of paint + a blank piece of card stock to make cards with. Each kid also had a plastic tumbler that they could decorate with stickers and then take home. This craft lasted for about 30 seconds, they barely ate and then we popped on a movie with a huge bowl of popcorn. At least I tried.

It was the most lovely evening of incredible food, company and fun. From my table to yours, I want to wish all our Jewish friends L’Shana Tova!

xx, Seri
Party conversation
  1. Rebecca shapero

    Shana Tova! Your table looks beautiful xx

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September 20, 2017

DIY Chic Skull Vases

Every fall it seems like Halloween creeps up on us before we know it, so this year we really wanted to get ahead of the game with our decor. There’s nothing worse than reaching the end of October and realizing you didn’t even have a chance to put out your pumpkins!

For our most recent Halloween Party in a Box photoshoot, I wanted to add some details to the table. Seri had these old, ugly skulls laying around and I knew they just wouldn’t fit into our decor selection. So instead, I transformed them into chic Halloween-y vases!

Here’s what you will need:

  1. Hallow plastic skulls, made of a softer plastic
  2. Exacto Knife
  3. Black, white, and metallic spray paint
  4. Krazy glue
  5. Sparkles
  6. Masking tape

Step 1: Carefully use your Exacto knife to cut into the top of the skull. Make sure the skull is standing upright and the hole is directly on top, where the flowers will stand straight.

Step 2: Bring your skulls outside and give them a base coat of spray paint. We started with black, but you can really use any color scheme you’d like!

Step 3: After drying, decorate! We made one skull sparkly, using krazy glue and sparkles to create a “dripping” effect.

We created one ombre effect by lightly spraying white paint from directly above.

Finally, we used the masking tape to block off sections of black and cover the open spots with silver paint.

And, voila! A perfect addition to our Halloween table.

 

xx, Maggie
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September 19, 2017

Apple Cider Sangria

In case you missed it yesterday, Maggie and I talked all about our housewarming party that we threw for our new apartment on the blog yesterday.  One of the aspects of the party that we highlighted was the signature cocktail that I made to serve to our guests, Apple Cider Sangria.

I chose this cocktail because not only is sangria super easy to make and serve, but it uses seasonally appropriate ingredients as well!

Here’s what you need:
-fresh apple cider
-white wine (we used Pinot Grigio)
-ginger ale
-fresh apples
-fresh oranges
-cinnamon sticks

Here’s what to do:
1) Chop up the fresh oranges and apples and put into a pitcher. Add a few cinnamon sticks.


2) On top of fruit and cinnamon sticks, add a full bottle of white wine.


3) Top with apple cider, filling your pitcher a little more than 3/4 of the way.
4) Use a stirrer to combine the ingredients.  Top pitcher with ginger ale.


5) Cover your pitcher with plastic wrap and leave in fridge for at least an hour.
6) After letting sit, uncover and serve! Garnish each glass with a few slices of apples and a cinnamon stick.

This sangria was a huge hit amongst our guests.  There are not many people who don’t enjoy apple cider in the Fall!

Until next week… Cheers!

xx, Abby
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September 18, 2017

Abby & Maggie’s Housewarming Party

Some of you may not know that in addition to working together, Maggie and I are also roommates! As of July 1st, we share a beautiful apartment in Astoria, one that we have obsessively decorated and made as cozy as possible.

We had a crazy summer of work and traveling, so we decided to host a housewarming party at the beginning of September, which gave us plenty of time to settle in.

As event planners, we know just how expensive these parties can become. We’re in our mid twenties and living in NYC, so you can imagine it was our top priority to throw this party on a budget. For under $200, we had small bites, dessert, cocktails, and decor. We promise, if we can do it, so can you!

One of the most important elements of a good party is a killer cocktail.  To welcome people to our new home, Maggie and I decided to serve a seasonal Apple Cider Sangria.  This drink is as simple as it gets, and only requires a couple of ingredients, all of which are very affordable.

Full recipe for this Sangria will be on the blog tomorrow!

Even though our party was later in the evening after most people eat dinner, Maggie wanted to provide a charcuterie board and some desserts for everyone to snack on.

What’s her secret to making a killer meat and cheese plate on a budget? TRADER JOE’S! They have an amazing selection of meats, cheeses, and crackers. Plus, she always buys extra things like grapes, dried fruits, and mini tomatoes to fill in all the extra spaces.

We also brought our favorite cocktail plates from the Little Miss Party in a Box website and added some bamboo forks for people to pick at the charcuterie.

Maggie also filled up the table with chocolate covered pretzels, homemade Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, and Browned Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies. Baking desserts at home is a great way to save on cost- even if you just use a box mix! Prep everything the night before, and your guests will have some sweet bites to snack on.

For additional decor elements, we strung up our favorite copper firefly lights and Natalie helped up to make this adorable DIY banner.

Natalie also offered to provide us with her amazing floral arranging skills. Maggie picked out 2 bundles of fall dahlias at the Union Square Farmers market, and had Natalie mix them with some eucalyptus and a fall bouquet from Trader Joe’s. We had small arrangements all over the apartment in old vases and mason jars, and they were the perfect finishing touch to the decor.

As the finishing touch, we set up a tapestry in my room as a photo backdrop and provided an Instax polaroid camera for people to take photos.  We set up a cork board so people could either take their photos home, or leave them for us to keep to remember the party.

We could not be happier with the way that our housewarming turned out, and are so happy that we were able to make it happen in such an affordable way!

Special thanks to Natalie for all of your hard work in helping us bring it to life.

xoxo,
Abby & Maggie

xx, Abby
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Party conversation
  1. Mary

    What a gorgeous party, and on such an affordable budget! The decor, fairy lights, food, and flowers all compliment each other in color and texture – its all so perfect! Thanks for sharing, it definitely gives some inspiring ideas!

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