the ultimate little miss blog

June 29th

Mandy’s Meals & More

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So every time I go to the grocery store, I get more feta. Even when there is plenty in the fridge…I don’t know why, but I hoard boat loads of feta.
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The good news is, feta is delicious and goes with almost every salad I can think of. This salad was inspired by a recipe on the scaling back blog. Once I saw pickled blueberries I was sold! I didn’t have any farro so I used wheat berries instead.
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Such a fresh salad, perfect for picnics, BBQs, weeknight dinners or even work lunches!
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Pickled blueberry, feta and wheat berry salad
Adapted from Scaling Back Blog.
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INGREDIENTS
For the pickled blueberries
1 cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 juniper berries
1 bay leaf
1 pint blueberries

For the farro salad
1 cup farro (I used wheat berry)
1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced
½ cup pickled blueberries
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped (I omitted parsley)
¼ cup mint, finely chopped
¼ cup pistachios, shelled and chopped
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon reserved pickling liquid
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INSTRUCTIONS
For the pickled blueberries:
1. In a small saucepan place the vinegar, sugar, salt, cinnamon, juniper and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Let cool to room temperature and then add the blueberries to the brine. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Blueberries will keep in the fridge for about a week.
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For the farro salad:
1. Place farro in a medium saucepan with 4 cups of water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil: reduce heat and simmer until tender, 35-40 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl to cool.
2. Add the farro to a large bowl along with the fennel, blueberries, parsley, mint, pistachios and feta cheese. Toss with the lime juice, olive oil and reserved pickling liquid and season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more of the brine as needed. Serve with additional pistachios and herbs on top if desired.
Enjoy!
M
xx

categories: Appetizers, Dinner Party, Guest Post, Healthy, Little Miss Foodie, Salad, Summer Menu

June 25th

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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As a citizen of the “true north”, it was only fitting to do a Canada Day post using lots and lots of RED & WHITE. Once again, my friend Minilicious by Rachelle provided perfect mini donuts to use in this shoot.CD9
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They are seriously adorable and even better – baked not fried. She also supplied an added bonus – huge sugar cookies which were decorated in the colors of the Canadian Flag – take a look at those maple leaf sprinkles…….weeeeeee!!
The donuts are simple to make at home, but why bother if you live in the Greater Toronto Area. Look her up – she does all the work for you and they are great for just about any occasion.CD1
Here are some things I love about being Canadian:
1. Our Flag – Is there any other flag as recognizable with that Maple Leaf? I don’t think so.
2. Fellow Canadians – We’re basically really nice people eh?
3. Freedoms – Free-est country in the world…..that doesn’t mean things are free here…we still have to pay for our stuff.
4. Health Care – Free healthcare means we don’t have to mortgage our homes when we break a hip. It’s not perfect, because you if you do fall and break something it takes up to 9 hours for a doctor to have a look at it in the ER, but who’s complaining?
5. Maple Syrup – I mean, pancakes and waffles need this…….I need this…….we all need this.
6. Poutine – Fries, Cheese, Gravy… um hello? That’s why we have free healthcare!
7. Smarties – The Canadian version of M & M’s but in my opinion better – “when you eat your smarties do you eat the red ones last?” I DO!
8. Ketchup Chips – I can’t believe my niece (Little Miss Party) has to smuggle these back with her to the USA. Why?
9. Our Money – it certainly goes up and down like a rollercoaster against the greenback, but look at all the pretty colors!
10. Toronto – The city that I was born and raised in. A multicultural delight with loads of things to do, eat and see.
11. and lastly – BEING A PROUD CANADIAN. I love and respect our Country and the world seems to like us as well.

Show us your red and white – HAPPY CANADA DAY!
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Canada Day Sugar Cookies
3⁄4 cup butter (1 1/4 sticks, softened to room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄4 tsp real vanilla extract
2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Cream butter with sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.
Sift together dry ingredients and add to butter/sugar mixture.
Chill at least 1-1/2 hours.
Roll on floured board to 1/2 inch thickness
Cut with desired cookie cutters.
Bake at 350F 8-10 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. (you don’t want these too brown so keep an eye on them)
Cool and frost with your favorite frosting!
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See ya next week!
XO
Debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

categories: Baking, Dessert, Holidays, Little Miss Foodie, Simply Beautiful Eating, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

June 24th

An Americana-Themed Play Date

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July 4th is just around the corner and we’re getting ready with an all Americana themed playdate. We wrangled up Gavin, Mazzy, Harlow and Luke for a little summer time fun on the roof of our building decked in red, white and blue duds from Gymboree.
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Naturally I dreamt this play date would run smoothly and relaxed. HA! What a joke. These kids couldn’t sit still for one second. They were running wild while my adorable set up was quite literally blowing off the roof.
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I tried to pack picnic items that the kids could eat while they were running wild. Watermelon on a stick was a no brainer. The kids thought they were some type of Popsicle…
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The set up was pretty cute for the whole 5 minutes that it lasted…I served little American themed candy cups of cut tomatoes, strawberries and blueberries. The kids loved them before they all got knocked over and stepped on.
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I’ve got to hand it to our buddy Dave Robbins because he was able to very quickly capture shots of the set up before it all got destroyed. Lucky for us!
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Another really unfortunate situation that I didn’t anticipate was when the glass bottle I brought the lemonade up in got tipped over and broke. YIKES. Are you going up to a roof top pool anytime soon? I suggest you BRING PLASTIC!
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We tried to get some pictures of the kids lazing around on the picnic blanket…but as I’m sure you can imagine that was no easy feat.
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I put together picnic boxes for each of the kids filled with star shaped sunglasses, turkey sammies and corn on the cob.
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You got to hand it to these two…they sure know how to work that camera!
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My favorite part of this crazy playdate was the activities that we planned. I made a ring toss game by using empty soda bottles. I sprayed 2 red, 2 white and the rest I left as glass. The red were 3 points, white were 2 points and glass were 1.  We found wood rings at our local craft store and wrapped with twine for tossing.
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We also brought up some potato sacks which the kids loved hopping around in!
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Since I seem to always have a very hard time eating ice cream when it’s hot out I turned to our girl Clarelicious to make us some ice cream cone cupcakes to enjoy which minimized our mess. Was a brilliant idea. These were a HIT!
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When the kids took a breather and relaxed for a second it was nice to enjoy a moment of down time and the mad view of NYC from the roof top.
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We ended the playdate with a super huge star spangled balloon in front of the water fountain outside our apartment building. The kids said their good byes and we yet again ended another crazy but in the end, fun playdate.

For more on this playdate click on over to Mommy Shorts.
All photos above were taken by Dave Robbins Photography.
All clothes above were sponsored by Gymboree.

categories: Cake, Dave Robbins Photography, desserts, Food, Holidays, Outdoor Entertaining, Picnic, Summer Menu, Sweets

June 23rd

The Perfect Festival Crossbody

As you may know by now, we at Little Miss Party LOVE music festivals.  An event that combines sun, cocktails and live outdoor music is an absolute no-brainer.

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As you may also know from my guest posts on the blog to this point, I also work in the world of music festivals.  I have been freelancing for a variety of festivals over the past 5 years, which has helped me see some truly legendary musicians and work with the most incredible people.

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has always been my favorite. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this event, its is a four day festival that happens every year in early June on a farm about an hour from Nashville in Manchester, TN.  Over 300 musical acts, comedians, art installations, you name it.  To me, it is heaven on earth.

This year’s Bonnaroo was my fifth, and also the first one that I attended as a guest with two of my close friends, as opposed to working.  Which is an entirely different experience.  It meant that I had to approach the festival in an entirely new way.  In addition to scrounging up camping supplies from relatives and friends, I also had to pack differently.  Instead of dressing for function, I could actually bring cute stuff! Which meant that I could ditch my festival fanny pack.  I decided to switch it out for my Marciana Flap Crossbody  by Patricia Nash Designs.

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This bag was the perfect size to fit all the essentials — my phone, charger, festival guidebook and sunglasses.  The adjustable cross body strap was easy to sling across my body unobstrusive.  And the genuine leather strap was so thin and lightweight so it didn’t make me sweat unnecessarily or stick to my skin.

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My friend Alli got jealous of my cool, functional bag, and decided to steal it from me for the better part of the day on Saturday of the festival.  She ingeniously clipped her reusable water bottle to the side strap, which kept her hydrated and kept her leg cool.  Form an function right there.

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In addition to being a GORGEOUS bag on its own, it withstood the Tennessee heat and dust like a champ.  Seriously, by Sunday of the festival, me and everything I own looked like I had but it in the dryer with a few scoops of dirt, but the bag still looked perfect.

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Thanks to Patricia Nash Designs for my new favorite bag, for festivals and beyond!

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categories: Beauty, Festivals, little miss party, Music, Party, Uncategorized

June 22nd

Mandy’s Meals & More

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Lately all I’ve been craving is a fresh sweet drink to get me through this glorious heat.
Summer is here and I am loving it.
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Grab an assortment of seasonal herbs from your garden and let’s make some soda! Or pop as we call it in Canada.
I used this super easy Martha Stewart recipe to refresh the whole family.
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INGREDIENTS
1/2 cups sugar
3/4 ounce fresh herbs, such as basil, lemon verbena, mint, tarragon, or thyme
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Ice, for serving
Sparkling water or club soda, for serving
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DIRECTIONS
1. Put sugar and 1 cup water into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; add herbs. Cover; let cool completely.
2. Pour syrup through a fine sieve into a small bowl; discard herbs. Stir in lemon juice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
3. Fill glasses with ice. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons syrup; top with sparkling water or club soda, and stir.
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ENJOY!
-M

categories: Cocktails, Dinner Party, Guest Post, Little Miss Foodie, Summer Menu

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