October 13, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

First of all, I was going to title this “Two Tablescapes and a Kugel” but then I thought nah, too confusing.

Although I’m going to talk about tablescaping in this post, by no means should the decor overtake what’s really the star of the show here, and that’s my late mother-in-law’s Apple Raisin Kugel.

As most of you know, we just did a major renovation on the main floor. Before everything began, packing ensued. And when I mean packing, I mean PACKING. As organized as I usually am, there was an issue with the items that were placed in large rubber containers. As we placed our entire kitchen and dining room into the containers, I asked Steve to be sure to label each one so it would be effortless finding things after the reno was complete. Would you like to know how he labelled almost 20 large containers?

Like this:

Kitchen

Dining Room

Uh…….ya.

“Where’s the wine glasses Steve”?

“In one of the 15 containers that says dining room”.

Okay, this didn’t work out for me AT ALL. I have scoured through most of the containers to find the necessities that were placed back into the kitchen, but I’m missing about 100 things.

One thing in particular was a collection of my mother-in-law’s recipes that were typed up and neatly placed in a binder. WHERE IS IT? I dunno. All I know is this, I have her old recipe box which had her hand written recipes inside. Lucky, lucky me!

So today I’m going show you how I set the table for two separate occasions over the past two weeks – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur AND of course, share this unbelievable kugel recipe with you.

When I decided to host both dinners for the high holidays, I wanted to include an edible component to the centrepiece. And by edible, I mean, your guests can actually graze on the runner. Yes!

As we sat down to our Rosh Hashanah meal, I was asked if the grapes on the runner were “real”.

Hang on a sec.

Never in a trillion years would I put plastic fruit on the table. NEVER EVER, NO HOW, NO WAY, NOT HAPPENING.

I told them to feel free to go wild with the centrepiece and guess what? They had a wonderful time eating those fresh blue grapes, in fact they even got to take home leftovers. There were a ton of grapes on the table along with fresh blue plums and apples.

The look and feel of an edible runner is both chic and organic at the same time, not to mention a perfect excuse to nibble at while the courses are changing over.

For both meals, I used apples and pears as placecards, to seamlessly combine the look and feel of a market fresh tablescape.

You may be wondering what I did with the leftovers? Well, you’re looking at it right here. I used the apples in the kugel and the rest of them in a strudel (not shown). This week, I’m going to use the pears in a recipe too. It’s safe to say that they served two purposes and were recycled into something delish.

There you have it. Fall inspired and super easy to do.

MYRNA’S APPLE RAISIN KUGEL (NOODLE PUDDING) 

– 1 package egg noodles, medium size
– ½ cup butter, melted (1 stick)
– 6 eggs, beaten
– 1 cup sugar
– ½ teaspoon cinnamon
– pinch of salt
– ½ cup raisins
– 2 – 3 large granny smith apples, shredded (I used 6 small apples) 

1) Preheat oven to 350F
2) Boil noodles according to package directions in salted water, drain and rinse with cool water.
3) In a large bowl, add noodles, eggs, melted butter, salt, sugar, cinnamon, raisins and grated apples.
4) Place in greased 9″ x 13″ casserole dish.
5) Bake uncovered for 50 – 60 minutes or until golden brown.
6) Note* – can be made ahead and reheated or frozen and reheated.

See ya next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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October 10, 2017

Bloody Berry Sangria

October is extra spooky this year, with Friday the 13th coming up in a few days. We decided to take advantage and make a cocktail with … a Bloody Berry Sangria.

This was extremely easy to make and only used a few ingredients, so it’s cheap, too!

Here is what you need:
-bottle of red wine
-vodka (we used my fave, Tito’s)
-ginger ale
-fresh blueberries
-fresh blackberries

Here’s what to do:
1) In a pitcher, add 1 cup blueberries and 1 cup blackberries.


2) Add 3 oz. of vodka on top of berries.  Pour whole bottle of wine into pitcher on top of vodka and berries.


3) Top off pitcher with  1/2 cup of ginger ale.  Cover pitcher and let sit for 30 minutes.
4) Once sangria has had a chance to sit, uncover and pour into our cocktail glasses, making sure that some blueberries and blackberries make it into each glass.  Garnish with blueberries, and serve!

Got any fake spiders laying around? For a fun garnish idea, I popped a blueberry onto the butt of a fake spider and stuck it on the rim of each glass. How cute is that?!

I hope this Sangria gets you in the mood for Friday the 13th, and all of the other wonderful things that go along with October and Halloween.

Until next week… Cheers!

xx, Abby
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September 25, 2017

A Chic & Easy Halloween Party

Last week the fall holidays kicked off with Rosh Hashanah and from here on out it’s just holiday after holiday. The best of the bunch, in my opinion, is Halloween because there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate.

Every year, we sell a limited edition Halloween Party in a Box and this year may very well be my favorite.

We tailored this Halloween’s Party Box to both the young + old. Whether you’re hosting a Halloween playdate for the kids or adults only cocktail soiree, we’ve got you covered with this party for 8 people.

In the box you’ll find a chic collection of tableware and decor. One of my favorite items is the plastic cauldron that can be used in so many ways. We found an assortment of fall flowers in the market and used the cauldron as a vase to make a beautiful arrangement for the table. We put the flowers into a cup before placing into the cauldron to avoid leaking.

You can of course use the cauldron so many other ways. If you plan to purchase this party in a box for a children’s party at home or in their classroom you can fill the cauldron with snacks!

The black and white balloons that we have included this year are my favorite. Simply take them to your local party store to inflate with helium or grab yourself a Balloon Time Helium Tank to inflate the balloons at home. Use the balloons as a backdrop for your table or to take photos in front of with the BOO balloons that are also included.

Since it’s Halloween, you can get away with serving a menu of sweets at your party. We went over to our local bakery, Empire Cake and picked up a red velvet cake with a buttercream frosting and asked if they could drizzle the top with red frosting. Now stick a knife into the cake and scream!

How about some witches broomsticks for mini donuts? Pretty perfect right? And we made these with decorative wheat that I had lying around in a jar at home. Find the DIY for these broomsticks here.

You’ll find a tub of mini pumpkins in this Party Box which can be used in so many different ways. We found some bamboo skewers in the kitchen and stuck one of these pumpkins on each to make drink stirs. You could use them as confetti for the table, to top on your cake and so much more.

Now how about a little fun since it’s Halloween…? We included a set of Halloween themed tattoos that are SO FAB for the kids and/or adults! They are so easy to put on and come off with soap, water and a little scrubbin’.

As for the tableware, it’s disposable (make sure to recycle!) but you could also hand wash the items (I would keep that glitter cutlery for-eva!) and reuse.

You can clearly see how chic this box is but now I’m going to prove to you just how easy it is to set up. Watch and learn friends…

Find the Little Miss Halloween Party in a Box for sale here and now on Etsy too!

Happy Halloween!

xx, Seri
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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 13, 2017

The Holidays Are Coming

It’s still quite gorgeous outside. Warm and sunny. However the summer, is long gone and over to me. My kids have been back to school for almost a week now and work is in full swing with events, shoots and major new developments ahead!

September may be the busiest month of the year for me. With all of my family and career commitments plus the Jewish Holidays that are thrown into the mix.

For ever and then some, my little guy has always loved to cook with me.  It’s my FAVE. I used to carry him on my back while cooking dinner and preparing the dinner table.

He is now known as Chef Luke and has his own cooking show that he enjoys sharing recipes on and today, he’s making a Rosh Hashanah essential: Challah.

I have the most fond memories of my home smelling of challah when my mom would bake it fresh for our Friday night dinner. I couldn’t love the smell of it more.

Without further ado…here’s Luke whipping up a challah. You will see there was an outfit change and truth be told the bread turned out to be a little dense. What can I tell ya? This chef is only 5.  He’s still working on his techniques!

But not to worry…just follow the classic (award winning) recipe that we have listed below for you and you won’t go wrong.

ENJOY!

xx, Seri
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