July 28, 2015

Romance on the Roof

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Getting engaged is pretty much it. One of the ultimate, most incredible moments in your life.
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When our best friend asked for my help in planning the engagement for his soon to be fiance, I was elated with joy and honored to be a part of such a huge milestone in their lives.
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The proposal was on the roof deck of our building (we live in the same apartment building) over looking the entire New York City. Candles, lanterns, champagne and flowers. It was perfection and she said yes.
Fast forward to this spring and these two are busy planning for their wedding this August, in Brooklyn.
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When they asked me for help with some of the vendors I was happy to share and super pumped when they chose Sasithon Pooviriyakul (Sas) as their photographer.
Michelle and I met Sas years back and have worked her several times in the past and next week Sas will be photographing Michelle’s brother’s wedding as well.
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My friends worked with Sas to plan an engagement shoot around Soho, ending up on the roof top of our building where they got engaged, to enjoy the sunset.
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They asked if I could help set up a little engagement picnic up there for the shoot and for a little something to eat and drink when their shoot comes to a wrap.
Naturally, I was all over this.
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To set the roof top picnic, I put down a blanket and brought up some books to hold it down from the wind.
To serve I went to Murray’s Cheese and sampled my favorite cheese and meats, added some dried apricots, grapes, crusty bread and a bucket of wine.
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Govino makes the most amazing shatterproof wine glasses which are perfect for outdoors. And I put out some pillows to make the scene comfortable and relaxed.
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I’m so excited for these friends to get married. It’s going to be one of those weekends…that’s just a boat load of fun.
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All photos above were taken by the talented and super sweet Sasithon Pooviriyakul.

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July 27, 2015

Mandy’s Meals & More

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Ok, so no complaints here…but it’s been hot!
What better way to cool off then with a delicious summer cocktail/mocktail if your preggers like me.
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To accompany my summer drink I made fruit ice cubes with everything I had in my fridge.
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No need for any specific instructions as its only water and fruit. But the variations are endless!
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Fruit/Herbs
Lemon slices
Lime wedges
Mango
Mint
Grapes
Liquids
Water
Orange juice
Lime/lemon juice
Coconut water
Lemonade
Pear nectar
Rose water
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Stay cool, and enjoy!
M xo
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July 24, 2015

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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It seems that there is always a national something or other day celebrated on Instagram. Last weekend it was ice cream and pretty soon it’s gonna be s’mores. Why not marry the two for a match made in heaven?

That’s basically what transpired in my kitchen today. I rummaged around to see if I had the key ingredients for s’mores and found what I was looking for.
THE BASICS:

marshmallows

graham crackers

chocolate

Oh. And when I opened my cupboard like old Mother Hubbard, I found that it wasn’t bare. In fact, a bottle of magic shell fell on my head when I reached for the package of marshmallows.

Magic shell needs ice cream and there was just enough left in a container in the freezer to turn this s’mores creation upside down and inside outside delish.

Check this out…..ya…..that’s what I’m talking about.

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This literally took a few minutes to make and it’s great for a last minute dessert for guests who want to be WOWED.

DO IT.

Skillet S’mores (with ice cream & magic shell…totally optional but absolutely necessary)
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk chocolate, or a combo)
15 jumbo marshmallows, halved or mini’s
Graham cracker squares
Vanilla Ice Cream
Magic Shell

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Preheat oven to 450°F and place an 8 inch skillet inside.
Once oven is preheated, use a pot holder to remove hot skillet from the oven.
Place the butter in the skillet and use an oven mitt to hold the handle and swirl the skillet so that the melted butter coats the bottom and sides.
Place chocolate chips in an even layer into the bottom of the skillet.
Arrange marshmallow halves over the surface of the chocolate chips, covering the chocolate completely.

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Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until marshmallows are toasted to your preference (watch closely!). Use an oven mitt to remove the skillet from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately with graham cracker squares or sticks
Use caution when handling the skillet as it will be super-HOT!

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Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream and drizzled with Magic Shell.YUUUUMMMMM

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See ya next week!

XO
debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

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July 22, 2015

Homemade Cold Brew Iced Coffee

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Cold Brew Iced Coffee is EXTREMELY trendy right now.  And I am totally into this trend.  So much so that, during the summer months, I shell out almost 4 bucks for a Venti Cold Brew at Starbucks several times a week, while barely blinking an eye.  Yup, you heard me right.  #worthit

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I’m out East for the summer with Seri, helping her take care of the boys, and since there is not a Starbucks within reasonable driving distance that I can justify trekking to every morning, I decided that I would look into making my own.  Turns out, it is SUPER easy.  And it came out pretty delicious, if I do say so myself. Here’s how you can make your own!

INGREDIENTS
1 1/3 cups ground coffee (I used our my favorite from MUD in NYC’s East Village)
4 cups water at room temperature
ice cubes
water to dilute the coffee concentrate

SUPPLIES
jar or pitcher (we used our favorite glass pitcher from CB2)
cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer
bowl
stirrer

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DIRECTIONS
1) Place coffee in pitcher and pour the 4 cups of room temperature water over top
2) Stir to combine.
3) Seal pitcher and let sit overnight (or for at least 8 hours) at room temperature.

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4) Remove seal after 8 hours and pour your mixture through the strainer or cheese cloth into a bowl.

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5) Strain a second time into a clean jar or pitcher.
6) Combine 1 part coffee concentrate in your preferred drinking glass with 2 parts water and add ice.  Add water or ice to dilute more if you would like.

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4 cups of the coffee concentrate will make about 8 cups of Iced Coffee, depending on how strong you like yours.  You can also add milk or sweetener.

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I had mine with the minimal amount of water and ice to dilute, and LOVED it.  I am a big fan of strong coffee, so I liked that I could add more of the concentrate if I wanted to.

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I served up the iced coffee in these awesome mason jar glasses to myself, Seri, and Ilana and Annie of team Mommy Shorts.  It was a hit! I used paper straws from Susty Party to add some pops of color.

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The best part? I have some left over for my coffee tomorrow as well.  The concentrate will last for up to a week when stored in the fridge and sealed properly.

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Drink up and enjoy :)

xo,
Abby

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July 21, 2015

Summer Salads

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My favorite thing about having my family visit during the summer (aside from their company of course) is they cook every single meal for me. Including tea and cookies before bed. It’s a dream!
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My Aunt Debi was here visiting last week and she is the ultimate super star because she doesn’t just cook me meals…she styles them and makes them look as good as they taste.
One of Aunt Deb’s specialties is her salads. One could say she is famous for them…
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She basically goes through the fridge and takes whatever she can find and throws it together in a bowl. One of my favorite lunches from her most recent visit was her chicken and plum salad. It was so fresh and delicious I ate about 8 plates of it. The salad had butter lettuce, sliced plums, candied pecans, grilled chicken and scallions. She used a poppy seed dressing and I was in heaven.
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Aunt Deb loves to raid my cupboards when she is here for funky plates and platters to serve on. For this salad she used my favorite line of disposable plates from Cheeky. Cheeky is one of the coolest new products on the market right now. They took plain paper plates and made them look COOL!  Seriously have you seen this line?  They are all over Target and they are the most stunning paper goods I’ve ever seen! And you won’t believe this…for every Cheeky product you buy, they will help donate a meal to someone who needs it right here in the U.S.. Can you imagine? Eating in style AND helping people? What could be cooler then that?!
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So what are you lunching on this summer? Tell us tell us! We are always dying to try new recipes…..!!

All photos above were taken by Aunt Debi. And if you’re looking for her recipes you can find them on her blog Simply Beautiful Eating.

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