Thursday, May 29, 2014

Becoming Friends...

Fitz was content enough to sun himself on the deck alone...
....but I knew he was craving a little companionship...
...and then it happened.  Fitz got Lulu's stamp of approval.
And he was over-joyed!

Birthday Dinner and Study Time...

With three final exams looming, Emma had a very limited amount of time to celebrate her birthday. 
I whipped up a bowl full of her favorite ragu bolognese, baguette with brie and butter to celebrate.Emma opened presents and blew out the candles on her cake while watching the season premier of So You Think You Can Dance.  And they she studied until 4am!  


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seventeen...

 I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.
Life's a bitch. 
You've got to go out and kick ass
~ Maya Angelou ~




 Happy 17th Birthday to the Amazing Emma Grace!
Oh, how we have loved watching you grab life by the lapels.
xo

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Post Piggery


 Here's what I love...throwing a party for a friend and having her invite us over the very next day for a spontaneous Memorial Day cook-out!  My life is awesome.  The Frigs threw down some burgers, MORE pork of course and some veggies to satify our holiday cravings.  Chris even filled up the kiddie pool to let us rest our weary feet with a fairly large gin and tonic in hand; it was pure perfection!  A storm blew in and forced us all to move, but I honestly could have sat there for hours!  What a perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon.





Monday, May 26, 2014

Penny's Pork and Prosecco Surprise...

My friends Amy, Chris and I have been cooking up a big surprise for quite some time and yesterday we were finally able to celebrate Penny's 40th birthday (a month early to make the surprise even better)!  While I was in charge of the food, Amy not only opened her lovely home for the occasion, but put her creative spin on the party.  She is truly talented and brought Penny's party to life with  a million little memorable touches...graceful white paper lanterns hung in the yard while home-made wine bottle luminarias glowed in the the garden. Amy strung no less than two thousand pennies to create decorative mobiles and hung them from doorways and back yard umbrellas.  She had chalkboard signs, pristine white flowers and corks galore to accent the small change hanging everywhere.  I thought it was pretty funny when Ang looked around and said, "Thank goodness Penny's name isn't half-dollar!"  I am pretty sure Chris would have gone broke throwing that party.  




I put together a menu that I only hoped would match Amy's heroic efforts and pay homage to Penny's love of Prosecco and pork! Thankfully we had a team of helpers waiting in the wings; we could not have pulled this off without the help of Graham, Leif, El, Dejan and Angela!  In the end the party was  practically perfect in every way.


We used a memorial day cook-out as a rouse to lure Penny to her surprise party and she volunteered to bring her family's famous coconut cake as her contribution to the party; I thought it was too funny that Penny walked into her party carrying her own birthday cake only to be greeted by 40 of her closest friends!

Playful Piggery
a menu for penny
Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus with Boursin and Honey Mustard
Deviled Eggs with Sriracha, Bacon, Sesame and Scallion
Parmesan and Rosemary Shortbread with Feta Olive and Tomato
Tasting of Benton Country Ham with Salt Butter
Smoked Fish Display with Cucumber-Coriander Yogurt, Lemon-Horseradish, Honey Mustard Dill Sauces 
Pimento Cheese Spread, Potted Rilettes, Herbed Shrimp Spread 
Assorted Artisan Breads 
Marinated Mushrooms, Rosemary Roasted Almonds, Assorted Olives and Pickles
Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onions
Lentil Salad with Capers, Greens and Crispy Shallots
Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower with and Herb Drizzle
Beets with House Whipped Feta, Pickled Pears and Arugula




It was such a beautiful affair in every way and I am so glad we could pool our talents to honor such a remarkable friend.  Happy early birthday Penny!

A Handsome House Guest...

...meets our handsome pup.
Cole and Fitz make one good-looking duo!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fitz and the Flowers...

 Fitz stopped to smell the flowers and insists he did nothing more than take a good sniff.
All evidence to the contrary, smarty pants!
Who knew trouble could be so darn cute, but I am going to have to be sure the little dumpling doesn't turn my back yard into a buffet!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Just a Cook-Out...

 This looks like an average week-night cook-out, but it was a whole lot more than that.  All of these ingredients were purchased by Emma as part of her first solo drive!  As it turns out navigating the roads on her own proved to be easier than making sense of the grocery store aisles; the only confused texts I received were about chicken thighs.  It turns out out dinner is even more delicious when you drive to get it!

Lilly of the Valley...


...cut from my yard.  Happy spring!

A Spring Study of Emma Grace













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