March 17, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend With Simply Beautiful Eating

Green isn’t limited to shamrocks and leprechauns. At this epic spread, it’s the inspiration for a healthy, yet hearty lunch that offers a spread of crudités with green goddess dip, mini fruit-topped pavlovas, and iced green tea.

Here’s what comes to mind when I think about St. Patrick’s Day: loads of green food, rainbows, pots of gold, shamrocks and of course, leprechauns. Even if you’re not Irish, you can create, style, cook, bake and host a gorgeous and elegant St. Patrick’s Day party!

This table offers a lush meets luxe dining experience. Think green and leafy intertwined with white and gold accents for your table settings. In keeping with the traditions of this theme, I used all of Martha’s recipes to blend together a wonderful, healthy lunch for family and friends.

One of the most eye-catching details at this table? The four-leaf clover napkins! Since this holiday is always fun and festive, I wanted to try my hand at napkin-folding. The only problem I have with this type of challenge is following instructions. This was a perfect job for my husband to tackle. (I bet you didn’t know that he is an expert napkin folder. Now you do!) He has so much more patience when it comes to tasks like this, it’s wonderful. Here’s how!

One thing I loved doing for an anniversary party I hosted recently, was a DIY garland for the table runner. It was super easy, reasonably priced, and packed a punch as a focal point for a simply beautiful centerpiece. For this garland, I included frisée (pronounced “free-ZAY”), which is used to refer to a variety of endive with curly, pale green or yellow-ish leaves. I created the garland with an edible factor, which is also appealing to the eye.

Let’s get back to the food. I chose these recipes carefully, based on three ingredient colors: green, white, and a pop of gold. For a quick appetizer, I created a wonderful crudité platter with green goddess dip.

My main course dishes were super healthy, green, and packed with protein. A warm quinoa and chicken salad, baby bok choy with ginger and garlic plus a refreshing salad with buttermilk dressing.

Don’t forget a signature mocktail. I served a cool and refreshing iced green tea with cucumber, which paired perfectly with the meal.

Lastly, dessert was easy: mini pavlovas garnished with fruit and a fresh herb that kept the St. Patrick’s day theme going — green grapes, kiwi, and mint.

Wishing you a pot of gold and all the joy your heart can hold.

Here are some quick tips for hosting this party:

Get festive with your food, think green and clean.

Showcase your creativity by cutting foods into pretty themed shapes. For example, a green pepper sliced width-wise looks exactly like a shamrock or four-leaf clover.

Give your tablescape a focal point, like the DIY garland.

Incorporate traditional with a modern twist: a four-leaf clover napkin, gold drinking straws, confetti and a menu filled with color themed food.

Include a signature “green” drink.

Have fun!

Credits
Author/Photographer/Stylist: Debi Traub | @simplybeautifuleating created exclusively for

Martha Stewart Living

Party props: Little Miss Party

Tableware, Props: Pier 1 Imports

Florals: Irene’s Floral

Tableware, Props: HomeSense (U.S. readers can shop similar product at HomeGoods)

View all recipes by clicking on the pictures above

xx, Debi
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March 8, 2017

How to host a brunch with a Savory Crêpes Bar

We were so spoiled when our friend Jennifer of Crêpes à la Maison asked if we’d like for her and her chef JC to come over and set up a Crêpes bar in our office….

We were like YES!  We’ll invite our friends, bring it!

Well did Jen ever bring it.  She lugged over a huge Crêpes machine, her adorable French chef and a variety of fresh ingredients to top with.

Chef got to work very quickly and whipped up a custom crepe for each of our guests. Some with ham, some with eggs, some with ratatouille that Jen made the night before!

My favorite part was being able to top each Crêpes with the toppings of my choice. I love the taste of fresh herbs all over my food and I just love love the spicy bite you get from scallions.

Everyone was ooohing and aaaaahing, just as you do when you indulge in French food.

What a fabulous tradition and delicious meal for a friendly lunch or a festive celebration.

We love you Jen! You are welcome over with Chef JC ANYTIME!

Photos by Abby Copleston

xx, Seri
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February 28, 2017

Mardi Gras Bourbon Milk Punch

Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, is one of those Holidays that I didn’t really learn to appreciate and celebrate until I was older… aka once I was 21.

I went to New Orleans for the first time a few months ago with my Dad and we had an absolute blast! I had always heard about how fun of a city it was, but seeing it myself was an entirely new experience.

That’s why, when Seri suggested that we celebrate Mardi Gras at LMP, I was so excited to mix up something delicious.  Unfortunately, I was sick yesterday and had to stay home, so Seri took the reins and made and took photos of this Milk Punch for me to show you guys.

Here’s what you need:
-1 oz. bourbon
-1 oz. dark rum
-1 tsp. sugar
-2 dashes vanilla extract
-5 oz. whole milk
-nutmeg
-ice

Here’s what you do:
1) Add ice to fill each cocktail glass.
2) Over ice, combine bourbon, dark rum, sugar, vanilla extract and milk in each cocktail glass.  Stir gently to combine ingredients.


3) Sprinkle nutmeg on top of each glass for garnish.

You can serve this cocktail with traditional King Cakes for a Mardi Gras brunch.  Deck yourselves out with some purple, gold and green, and enjoy!

Until next week!

Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.

xx, Abby
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February 22, 2017

Chef Luke Makes crêpes with Crêpes à la Maison

My favorite part of social media is when people discover Little Miss Party and get in touch to share their excitement towards our business and all that we are doing here. We recently received an email from Jennifer at Crêpes à la Maison who caught wind of Chef Luke’s little cooking show here and asked if she could come in to give him a lesson in making crêpes. Obviously we screamed YES! Please! How fun?!

Jennifer, the cutest, sweetest French gal came over with all the gear required to teach a little one how to make her delicious crêpes. She set up balloons, a menu, toppings to decorate the crêpes and more. She even brought berets for her and Luke to wear while they cook! Could you die from these two?!

Although Luke and her had some language challenges between her heavy French accent and Luke’s extremely fast speaking lip, they got along incredibly well and Luke listened to everything Jennifer said and asked of him.

Jennifer made making crêpes SO easy! And boy were they ever delicious. Jennifer offers crêpes making classes and events. What a great idea for a kids party or even an adults brunch right?!

She even came with a special crêpes making diploma for Luke AND a book about France. TOO CUTE!!

Your mouth is probably watering now and I’m sure you’re dying to try these yourself. So here is Jennifer’s recipe for these delicious crêpes.

And even better…here’s a video of Chef Luke and Jennifer whipping up crêpes together.

Can’t get enough? Watch Chef Luke decorate his crêpes here!

Enjoy!

Video shot by Abby Copleston
Video edited by Maggie Antalek
Get in touch with Jennifer at Crêpes à la Maison

xx, Seri
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February 3, 2017

Galentine’s Day Parfait & Paint Party

I’m super excited about this post for so many reasons. Let me begin by telling you that I have always been totally obsessed with Martha Stewart. Recipes, magazines, TV shows, crafts…..if it was Martha, I followed along.

Three years ago, I started an Instagram feed where I could showcase my food photography. I will never forget the day that one of my photos was featured on Martha Stewart. I felt that this was the ultimate compliment and to be honest, it may sound a little silly to you, but I cried. Yep. I was so overwhelmed that my work was recognized, I sat in the car an sobbed.

A couple of months ago, I received a call from New York. A lovely young lady from Martha Stewart asked me if I wanted to be a regular contributor to Martha’s website.

I mean, really??? What would you say?

A BIG FAT HUGE YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!

And so it began…….now I had to come up with a creative idea for MARTHA!

Here was my sweet idea: Invite a group of your closest gal pals, prop up your prettiest-in-pink decor, and scoop up all the treats you’ll find at a yogurt parfait bar. There’s only one rule: #noboysallowed.

My husband is a true romantic and loves to celebrate Valentine’s Day with me, but what about the lovely women in my life who are my family and best friends forever? Not everyone has a significant other and should definitely have a day to recognize loving relationships, especially when they involve food and fun. Here’s how to host a fabulous Galentines Day party for ladies celebrating ladies featuring a super chic yogurt parfait bar.

Step 1: Prepare a few mix-and-match yogurt flavors.
A yogurt parfait bar for your gal friends equipped with all the toppings and ingredients is perfect for a brunch party. Sticking with the romantic theme of pink and white, I opted for two flavors of yogurt — strawberry and vanilla — dressed with fresh raspberries and pomegranate arils.

Step 2: Add some crunch.
I used Martha Stewart’s homemade granola recipe then placed it into beautiful serving jars. For a cute twist, I made “topping shooters” from hemp, chia, dried cranberries, pepitas, yogurt covered peanuts, white chocolate chips, and coconut.
Get Martha’s Homemade Granola Recipe

Step 3: Add some sweetness.
I couldn’t resist adding in some fun sugar treats, pink chocolate-coated candies, colorful jelly beans, and gummy x’s and o’s.

Eat to Your Heart’s Content:
Here’s where love knocks the dessert table out of the park: Get your heart-shaped cookie cutter out and create foods such as heart-shaped brownies and fruit for your table. Think shades of pink, white, and loads of chocolate. For more toppings, offer an assortment of heart-shaped fruit, melons, and pink grapefruit. Everyone will enjoy making their signature parfaits using their own unique twists!

I also like to include a warm comfort dish option such as a Spinach and Cheddar Strata or Baked Blueberry French Toast, and add a tossed salad with pink and red garnishes to complete your meal. Get inspired with your recipes and include some healthy options for this celebration of L.O.V.E.
Get All of Martha’s Brunch Recipes

Serve up the Drinks:

A Galentine’s Day brunch calls for an easy, refreshing cocktail and warm cozy drinks. Why not try Martha’s recipe for Pink Mimosas using equal parts of sparkling wine or champagne with pink grapefruit juice? For a more indulgent option, pair beautifully-flavored herbal teas and creamy hot chocolate with your love inspired sweets.
Get the Recipe for Martha’s Pink Mimosas

Paint While You Party:
Keepsakes from your event are always so much fun. Set up a painting party with Martha Stewart Craft Paints and small blank canvas boards. Let the gals choose from variety of romantic colors (or make it BYOP: “bring your own paints” to encourage swapping and sharing among friends), and let their inner artist come forward to create a memento from the day.

Bring on the Flower Power:
What’s a Galentine’s Day tablescape without pretty florals? Get creative with your choice of vases and select colors of flowers that will blend with your theme. I used a combination of fresh tulips, roses, and snapdragons.

And for a romantic focal point, I constructed an easy DIY clothespin flower frame that was displayed over my parfait bar.
Make the Clothespin Frame with Roses

No matter how you celebrate, with the gals, your pals or significant other, let it be a day of love and light. Happy Valentine’s/ Galentine’s Day!

Many thanks and big hugs to the following vendors……there was no way I could have done this without you!

Party props: Little Miss Party

Tableware, Props: Pier 1 Imports

Tableware, Props: HomeSense (U.S. readers can shop similar product at HomeGoods)

See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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