March 2, 2017

Birthday Glamping

When I was a kid, I loved nothing more than slumber parties with my girlfriends. How much fun was it to gather your girlfriends, throw down our sleeping bags in the basement and stay up all night gabbing away about boys!

When our latest event popped up with a “Glamping” (glam camping) theme we couldn’t have been more excited!

This party was for a 7 year old gal, Elizabeth. She had grey and white polka dot tents that we put up with pink fairy lights and hot pink pillows for her friends to lounge around inside of.

We also set up a trail mix bar including Elizabeth’s favorite cereals, popcorn, candy and marshmallows! The girls were able to load up on their favorite snacks and enjoy while they later watched a movie all cozy in Elizabeth’s dim-lit basement.

This party brought back so many wonderful memories of being a little girl! What a fun way to celebrate a birthday. Happy 7th Birthday, Elizabeth!

xx, Seri
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March 1, 2017

Erika’s Bookish Baby Shower

My best friend from college, Steph, and her mom were throwing a Baby Shower for Steph’s sister Erika.  Since this is Erika’s first child, they wanted the shower to be extra special, and they asked me to help with the decor to give it an LMP touch. The Sandberg’s are like family to me, so I jumped at the opportunity!

Steph and her mom had already thrown a smaller shower for Erika over the Holidays at their grandmothers house, and this shower was for the Dad’s side and also everyone from Erika’s hometown. At the first shower, they had done a book theme, and we were able to reuse some of the decor items from that, such as this adorable Golden Books banner and these BABY marquee letters.

Since Erika and her husband, John Paul, are not going to find out the sex of the baby before the birth, we kept the colors neutral – soft green, yellow, orange and white, with hints of metallic gold and silver.

I used the metallic confetti balloon with gold fringe from our Shower Party in a Box, and supplemented it with jumbo white and regular latex balloons on our chosen colors.

We kept the food simple with dishes that either Steph’s mom made, or the guests brought for a delicious lunch buffet.  We provided wine and beer, and a beautiful “Make Your Own Mimosa” Bar.  I set up champagne to chill in an ice bucket, with a carafe of OJ and cut up fruit in the pretty paper cups that come in our Shower in a Box.

For the gift station, I hung a “Welcome Baby Igoe” banner on the fireplace for people to put all of the gifts under, and we set up a gift opening station nearby for when Erika was ready to open everything.

Their mom had found a bunch of Erika’s blankets from when she was a baby, so we draped a nearby chair with a beautiful embroidered one for her to sit on when it was gift time!

For dessert, Erika and Steph are both gluten-free, so Steph had coordinated for the cake to be gluten-free, and for there to be a variety of gluten-free and regular cupcakes, which were color coded so the guests could choose their preference.  I topped the cake with a silver glitter “Oh Baby” cake topped from out favorite, All That Glitters Party Shoppe.

I topped the cupcakes with gold glitter animal cupcake toppers by Paper and Parties, and placed them in this super cool cupcake tree that Steph’s mom has!

Steph also made an incredible diaper cake for Erika out of a ton of clean diapers that she had rolled up, which acted as a perfect supplement to the dessert table.

Too add to the decor, I sprinkled silver confetti over the dessert table and bar, and placed fresh white flowers in bud vases around the room.

A few months before the shower, I had taken some maternity photos for Erika and John Paul in Central Park, which Erika had framed, so we placed those photos around the room, along with an ultra sound of the baby.

On the coffee table in the present opening area, Steph put out some baby shower games that she had printed, with markers for each guest to fill out as the shower went on.

In keeping with the book theme, Steph printed out pages from some of the most popular baby books, and we string them down white columns that are throughout the room.

Finally, we set up a favor station, which had soaps and “bookworms” – aka gummy worms, for guests to take home!

Thank you so much to the Sandberg & Igoe families for letting me be a part of this special day!

xx, Abby
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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 27, 2017

A Party with our favorite snack

If there’s one key item that is always in my bag…it’s a granola bar because G-d knows if me or my kids ever get hungry we get ANGRY until we eat. So when Kind Snacks asked us to build a Party Box for a group of their favorite people, we shouted YAY!

We had so much fun with this box. True to the fun, bold, Kind Snack brand colors we flanked a huge script balloon script that says YAY with colorful balloons.

We took a plain white cake and layered it around with KIND Snack bars. Every slice, gets a bar. Oh heck yum.  And we set the table for one to celebrate with family and friends, food and drinks!

This box was built exclusively for Kind Snacks but you can shop the box here for tons of great parties!

Photos by Maggie Antalek

xx, Seri
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February 24, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend With Simply Beautiful Eating

Do you ever bring sweet treats to your doctor’s office when you go for a routine appointment? I DO!

The issue is….all of the front desk office staff know what I do part time and that is….bake….a lot.

Every few months, I bring a little something for this crew and to be honest, they WAIT FOR IT. I also time my appointment strategically after lunch. This way, it’s a great excuse to HAVE DESSERT on an otherwise mundane patient swamped afternoon.

When I baked this cake last week, I posted it on Instagram prior to me leaving the house. Within minutes I received a comment from one of my favourite receptionists at this office….”HOPEFULLY THAT IS THAT COMING TO US?

So here’s the thing. My baking usually causes a bit of a delay to my doctor’s schedule. How you ask?

Well, I walk in with the goods and it is quickly taken away to the “back room”. The waiting area is usually full at this point.

Where’s the doctor?

Eating cake.

Where is he now?

Eating another piece of cake.

Who is waiting to see him?

ME and about 5 other people.

My apologies to those who have to wait and wait and wait and wait because of ME and my sweets.

When I decided to make this, it was a last minute effort to use what I had hanging around the house. I quickly opened my pantry and found a bunch of ingredients that would come together to create a super moist and decadent dark velvet cake with a heavenly white chocolate ganache drizzle.

Bundt cakes happen to be my favourite to make simply because of the pan. It’s a one shot deal. Make your batter, plunk it in and bake. Then drizzle with just about anything because really? This is an idiot proof way to decorate a cake. No crumb coating or fondant needed. Just pure unadulterated CAKE.

And if you’re like me, I’m not really crazy about wasting time decorating and futzing around with cakes. Let me just unleash my bundt and be done with it.

One thing is for sure.

Sometimes it pays to sweeten the lives of those who take such good care of you.

Dark Velvet Bundt Cake With White Chocolate Ganache

– 1 1⁄4 cups vegetable oil
– ¾ cup buttermilk
– ¼ cup espresso or coffee, cooled
– 2 eggs
– 1 tablespoon red food coloring, (I use organic from Whole Foods)
– 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
– 1 1⁄2 tablespoons cocoa powder
– 1 3.5 oz package Hersheys Instant Chocolate Pudding
– White Chocolate Ganache Recipe for Drizzle – See below

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Grease and flour bundt pan.
3) In stand mixer combine oil, buttermilk, espresso (or coffee), eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.
4) Mix at medium speed until well blended.
5) In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Gradually add to wet ingredients (slowly so they don’t explode in your face). Beat until smooth (about 2 minutes on medium high speed).
6) Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto cake plate to finish cooling.
7) Prepare ganache recipe below and drizzle on cooled cake.

White Chocolate Ganache

– 1 cup chopped white chocolate – bar or chips is fine
– ¼ cup heavy cream

1) Place a medium size saucepan filled with 1 inch of water on the stove and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.
2) Place chocolate in a heat safe bowl that fits over the saucepan ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the chocolate slowly over the water, stirring constantly.
3) In a separate small saucepan, heat heavy cream. DO NOT BOIL, otherwise it will scorch.
4) Add melted chocolate to heavy cream and stir to blend. It should look nice and glossy.
5) Let cool slightly and drizzle over cake.

See ya next week!
debi@simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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