the ultimate little miss blog

May 15th

Ready, Set, Weekend with The Garden of Eatin’

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As you all know by now, there is a story behind everything I do.
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Last year, I made some really cool yogurt ice pops. They were a big hit on Instagram and were actually featured on Martha Stewart’s feed. I DIED. Almost a year has passed and one of the things I really wanted to do with those pops was to use an obnoxious amount of lilacs in the shoot. By the time I went out to the local park to STEAL these lilacs, they were all dead and gone. Instead, I substituted some white blossoms which were nice but they were NOT lilacs.
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For the past two weeks, I have been stationed outside the park “tree watching”. You know I’m nuts right? Well, let me tell you that there was no way on earth I was going to miss LILAC SEASON this year. NO WAY!!!

Yesterday, I donned my “flower stealing” disguise – dark sunglasses, hoodie, plastic grocery bag along with a pair of garden shears which I found buried in the garage. It was a dreary, dismal day – not great for a photoshoot – but I was determined to get this done. I left the house at 3:30 p.m. – perfect timing with the dismissal of about 500 students walking through the local park – NOT!

I walked inconspicuously along the chain link fence that private properties back onto through the park. Whipped out the shears and started going wild – “Edward Scissorhands” style. I helped myself and came home with a loaded bag of beautiful flowers and some greenery while onlookers gawked and pointed. Come on……..don’t they know who I am by now? I mean really.

I tried another recipe this year for these delicious cold treats and you know what? I have to be honest. EVERYTHING tastes better with a bit of FAT added to it. Yes, there is heavy cream in these pops, but they were so smooth and dreamy it was WORTH every one of the 50 calories each. (#notsobad).Lilac 1
Now look at these babies? They are OH SO PRETTY right? Keep calm and remain seated. You absolutely do not need to fuss with the drizzle here. These popsies are perfectly fine PLAIN but I just had to play Matchy Matchy with the lilacs and greenery so I made the chocolate drizzle. The other option is to simply dip them in good quality chocolate – IF YOU MUST. They are just as good naked so let’s get going.Lilac 4
COCONUT LEMON ICE POPS – with very optional Blackberry & Matcha drizzle
6 oz coconut milk
6 oz heavy cream
2 tbls honey, agave or maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in the shredded coconut. Ladle or pour the mixture into molds and freeze for a few hours, or until set. With frozen pops still in the freezer, prepare the chocolate drizzle. Remove pops from molds and place on a cookie sheet or cutting board lined with wax paper. Get ready to drizzle fizzshnizzle.Lilac 2Lilac 9
Optional Chocolate Drizzle:
1 cup good quality white chocolate, melted & divided into two bowls Add-ins blackberry syrup & matcha tea

Blackberry Syrup: 1/2 cup fresh blackberries puréed in food processor. Strain juice through sieve. Place juice in medium saucepan with 2 tbls sugar. Over medium heat cook until thickened. Let cool completely before adding to melted chocolate.

Into first bowl with chocolate, add 2 tsps of blackberry syrup. Into second bowl with chocolate, add in 1 tsp cooking grade green matcha. Stir well and place into small plastic zip bag. Cut one end with a tiny hole and drizzle over ice pops. The chocolate will harden almost instantly. Place back into freezer for 10 minutes to harden completely.Lilac 6Lilac 5
I made 10 …5 are left and I was the only one home. Uh oh.Lilac 7Lilac 8
See ya next week!
Debi @thegardenofeatin
xoxo

categories: Dessert, Little Miss Foodie, Summer Menu, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

May 14th

A little King turns one

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When we first spoke to the parents of little Aidan they told us that they call their son their “little king”. I had never heard anything so cute in my life. I was thrilled to be designing a party around a “little king” theme for this sweet boy’s first birthday!
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Here’s how this party went down…
The client’s had a party room in their Jersey City apartment building. It was clean, white, bright and huge. Seriously – a party planner’s dream.
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The lunch menu included a lechon pig and sides to compliment. Brisket burger sliders, mini lobster rolls, crispy shrimp lollipops, roasted fries and an Asian salad. We had the staff from Cobblestone Catering on site to carve the pig for the guests as they grazed the buffet table.
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To entertain the guests we brought in some of our favorites…
We set up a photo booth and had the team behind MVS Studios snapping shots of the guests. We set up a backdrop and crowns for the guests to have some fun with. There was a puppet show by Penny and the Puppettes and our clients informed us of the amazing Wacko Wil who we brought in to make balloon art for the kids…he was a huge hit!
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We had set up some toys that our client brought down to keep the kids occupied. How amazing is this traveling ball pit?!
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We decorated the space with a white, black and gold palette. Jumbo balloons, flowers and a large “A” balloon for Aidan transformed the space into a festive first birthday celebration.
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At the bar we served lemon ice tea topped with a King’s crown, mini bottles of champagne, water bottles with custom labels that we designed for King Aidan alongside an assortment of wine + beer.
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For dessert we served mini cupcakes with edible crowns, a cake fit for a king, fruit and powdered donuts.
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Our client told us about Munny’s, something we had never seen or heard of before but found out they are all the rage right now. We sprayed these little guys gold and stuck ‘em with crowns and they became instant royalty.
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We wrapped up mini versions of these Munny’s and the guests were sent home with these adorable creatures as a favor.
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So lucky to have met this wonderful family. Makes us realize how fortunate we are to be partying for a living.
Happy birthday Aidan, you adorable lil king you!
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Huge shout outs to our vendors for this party…
Raquel Bianca Creative: Photography by Raquel Langworthy
Making that Cake: Cake, cupcakes with edible crowns
Legal Beans and BBQ: The Lechon Pig
Cobblestone Catering:  Catering
Minted: Photo backdrop, custom “thank you” stickers for favors
MVS Studio Inc.: The photo booth
Penny and the Puppettes: The puppet show
Party Magic: Wacko Will the balloon artist
Kid Robot: Munny dolls
Drop it Modern: Balloons
For your Party: Custom napkins

categories: BBQ, Birthday, Cake, Dessert, desserts, Little Miss Foodie, little miss party, Photography, Sweets

May 13th

Casual & Chic BBQ

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What better way to gather friends and family then with a relaxed and easy backyard BBQ. That’s exactly what we did for Mother’s Day this year, with some of my favorite Mothers…
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My Mom, my Aunt Debi who is like a sister/mom, My sister Mandy who is due with her first babe this August and my Boobie, the Queen B.
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Aunt Debi better known now as the Garden of Eatin’ invited the whole gang over to celebrate.
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There were 20 people coming over. Here’s how Debi made this BBQ easy and relaxed for herself and her guests…
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1. Make it an easy menu:
Burgers, hot dogs, grilled corn, salads, a chip bar and dessert.
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2. Delegate:
Aunt Debi asked all of the “daughter’s” to bring salads.
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3. Serve a signature drink:
We made a rose sangria with fresh fruit and mint. It was so good, Boobie was throwing back a glass of it…
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4. Use pretty paper plates:
Don’t kill yourself with washing the dishes for this size of a party. Unless you have enlisted some help, make it disposable. There are so many pretty plates out there today…you can find these in our Little Miss Party in a Box! Add some fresh flowers to the table and ask your husband to turn the napkins into roses (that’s right, who knew Uncle Steve was so crafty?!) and you’ve got yourself one heck of a tablescape.
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5. Eat cake.
We had a birthday to celebrate so Aunt Debi went ahead and made her famous marble cake. Well not just her marble cake…but four layers of it! She slathered it with chocolate buttercream frosting and then we were eating cake for days to follow. I’m not complaining.
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She also asked my mom to bring some cupcakes and cookies. And my sister brought the fruit. The perfect dessert assortment.
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The photos above were all taken by the Garden of Eatin’. She is sharing her recipes for the burgers and cake on her blog Simply Beautiful Eating.

categories: Cocktails, Dessert, Dinner Party, Holidays, Little Miss Foodie, Meat, Summer Menu, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

May 8th

Red, Set, Weekend with The Garden of Eatin’

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I’m not sure if you understand what a Rugelach is…..the only way I can describe this cookie is they are an AHHHHHH MOMENT waiting to happen. This is my favorite Rugelach recipe ever. It’s adapted from Ina Garten and it’s easy to make albeit time consuming. That’s not the way I usually roll with recipes because I have a teensie problem….I DONT LIKE TO WAIT.

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Because you are making a cream cheese base dough…..there is going to be “chill time”. They say “good things come to those that wait” and this is one of those good things that’s worth waiting for. You need to try these and tell me that you haven’t gone straight to cookie heaven. They really are Love at First Bite.

CHOCOLATE APRICOT RUGELACH – inspired by @inagarten

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 9 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 8 oz. jar cup apricot jam (about 1 cup)
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash

Cream the cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, the salt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour and mix until just combined. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll it into a ball. Cut the ball in quarters, wrap each piece in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To make the filling, combine 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar, the brown sugar & 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, set aside.

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On a well-floured board, roll each ball of dough into a 9-inch circle. Spread the dough with 2 tablespoons apricot jam and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the filling and 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips. Press the filling lightly into the dough. Cut the circle into 12 equal wedges—cutting the whole circle in quarters, then each quarter into thirds. Note- I made mine really tiny so I cut my circle into 16 pieces. Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge. Place the cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Brush each cookie with the egg wash. Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies. Optional – I sprinkled mine with golden crystallized sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack and let cool…..

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p.s. nothing in my kitchen ever makes it to the cooling stage because of who I live with.

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See ya next week!
Debi @thegardenofeatin
xoxo

categories: Baking, Dessert, Food, Guest Post, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

April 24th

Ready, Set, Weekend with The Garden of Eatin’

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Anyone have some leftover chocolate bunnies laying around the house after Easter? I received this one from a work colleague who knew that I would put it to good use…..and that I did.Mousse 1
Ever heard of pulling a Rabbit out of a hat? How about pulling a mousse out of a Rabbit? Leave that magic trick to me and read on.

Although this post started out quite innocently, after photographing the steps, it seems that a sinister side of me has come forth…..or more like Dexter paid a visit to thegardenofeatin set. I apologize in advance to those who may find these pictures too graphic. Hide your children. Poor Mr. Wabbit.Mousse 4Mousse 5Mousse 6Mousse 7
Ready?

Here goes……

White Chocolate Lemon Mousse

12 ounces White Chocolate, chopped – You can use any good quality white chocolate OR a bunny!
1½ cups heavy cream, divided
1 tsp lemon zest – optional
Garnish – Berries and shaved chocolate

In a small saucepan, heat ¾ cup of the cream on medium heat. Heat just until bubbly but do not bring to a boil.

Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the cream and chocolate are glossy and combined. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.Mousse 8
With an electric mixer using the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat the other ¾ cup cream on high until soft peaks form. Once the chocolate mixture is cool, fold it into the whipped cream using the paddle attachment or a wooden spoon. Place in ceramic ramekins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or if you just can’t wait (like me) place in freezer for 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh berries and additional grated chocolate. Serve up your old bunny who is now a mousse and enjoy!
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See you next week!
debi @thegardenofeatin
XO

categories: Baking, Food, Little Miss Foodie, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

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