Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011

All About Buttons :: Wedding Detail

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Buttons are one of my favorite things. Absolute favorite. So, of course they were on of the details I wanted to include in our wedding. I came across button bouquets on etsy, and fell in love – but not with the price. So then , I thought “I could make those” … as I do with many things that turn into 30 hour projects … which this did. It was worth it though. I mean, just look at these beauties. Love.

My original thought was to have three of the button bouquets for the head table. After finishing two, I was done … it takes a lot of wire twisting and time to make the bouquets look full enough. So instead, I decided to make a pomander for my junior bridesmaid to carry. She was adorable – and I was able to make it in half the time! For one, I didn’t have to make the wire as long and the buttons stayed exactly where I stuck them in (as opposed to the bouquets that I had to secure together with floral tape). Regardless, I’m in love with them both!

Here’s a tutorial that walks you through twisting the buttons on wire. I also hot glued some of the buttons on, but it can get a little messy at times. Mixing in broaches or other jewelry accents was a nice way to fill some holes as well.

I also came across some other cute ideas to use buttons you might have lying around. Especially digging the button garland! Deepest gratitude to everyone who donated their buttons to our wedding!

 

Happy Monday!

Credit for first 3 photos : Bella Pop Photography

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February 24, 2011

Vintage Weddings

There’s just something about vintage wedding pictures that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. The nostalgia. The history. It makes me stop and wonder what their lives were like.. If they stayed together (hopefully). How many children they had. If they had children. Where they lived … It also makes me stop and imagine what paths Levi and I will take in this crazy life.

These photos are an inspiration in more ways than one. The fashion is something that cannot be ignored. As my mom and her sisters always told me and my two cousins, “Styles run in circles. You never know when you’ll need this for a party!” … as they hand me a dusty skirt from my Grammy’s garage .. that they most definitely sewed when they were younger .. they’re hardcore like that. But it’s true. In weddings today there is definitely a large trend towards use of vintage items – buttons, china, doilies – creating your own little piece of history .. not to mention the dress and headpiece designs that draw from vintage weddings for inspiration. Just take a look at these pictures and then head over to BHLDN and take a look at their hair adornments. You’ll see what I mean.

Yeah, the bird’s pretty awesome .. and his hair. I’m kind of disappointed that we didn’t think to have a parrot or cockatoo at our reception. Ha! That would’ve been interesting. Twelve bridesmaids?! I can’t imagine. It was difficult enough to coordinate dress fittings for four girls!

February 23, 2011

Japanese Stir Fry with a Texan Twist

japanese stir fry

The smells that waft from our mini-kitchen at work are completely unpredictable. There’s always a lot of Italian and Barbeque scents that linger in the office … but last week, something new – something Japanese, or Thai. All I know is that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about cooking up some udon noodles ever since.

This recipe is adapted from one of Heidi’s recipes. When I was vegetarian, this was my daily read – I still love to read her about her new creations and adventures. Since I married a carnivore, tofu doesn’t seem to do the trick (he’s eating chips and salsa an hour later) … so this stir-fry has an unusual component not usually found in Japanese dishes … ground turkey! That’s the Texan twist. I know, I know – it’s not red meat, but it’s meat .. just go with it.

:: You will need ::

for the sauce :

6 oz miso paste

1/4 cup sake (or gin)

1/2 cup mirin

3 tbsp. sugar

red pepper flakes, a big pinch or two

for the stir fry :

½ lb. ground turkey breast, lean

3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp. garlic powder

12 oz. bag mixed frozen veggies (snap peas, broccoli, bell pepper, baby corns, etc.)

4 oz. udon noodles

2 green onions, chopped for garnish

:: Let’s get going ::

(1)  Start with the sauce first.  Combine miso, sake (or gin – in my case … we were lucky enough to have gin in stock from a wedding shower), mirin, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil, dial down the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, or until it thickens a bit.

gin and mirin

miso sauce

Toward the end, stir in the red pepper flakes, adding to taste. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2. Brown the ground turkey in a skillet.  After cooking on medium heat for a few minutes, add the rice wine vinegar to the skillet along with the garlic powder. Make sure the meat is broken up well.

rice wine vinegar

3. In the meantime, salt a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Cook the vegetables very briefly, just long enough to take the frozen edge off, no more than five minutes. Drain and add to the browned turkey in the skillet.

blanch veggies

drain veggies

4. After draining the vegetables, cook the udon noodles .. they don’t take very long. If you don’t have udon, you can substitute any noodles you like. You can use the same water or start with fresh – whatever suits your fancy.  Add the cooked noodles to the skillet and stir it up!

stir fry with noodles

5. Pour the stir fry in a large bowl and add the sauce.  Toss well and top with sliced green onions.  This is a great meal served family style.  Enjoy!

japanese stir fry

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February 21, 2011

Twigs & Honey

The 2011 collection is here … and it’s gorgeous! Myra of Twigs & Honey has designed a beautiful selection of headbands, veils, flowers, and more to add a special touch to any girl’s day. Here’s a peek at what she has to offer..

Pretty’s to start your week off right. Have a great one!

February 18, 2011

Smile – It’s Friday!

Balloons are so much fun. Every time I see them used in a wedding, bride & groom session (above) or engagement shoot (below) – I can’t help but smile. Such a great (and cheap!) way to get some color in your pictures.

Wishing you and your’s an amazing and restful weekend! Get outside.

February 16, 2011

Almond Butter

It’s hard to imagine my kitchen without a food processor.  Well, I can… but I don’t want to.  I’ve had mine for over 5 years now, and it’s still kicking like the day I got it.  It’s such an amazing gadget to have on hand for liquefying soups, making hot sauce, chopping nuts, grating carrots and zucchini, and puréeing just about anything. When I discovered almond and walnut butter in Austin (and how expensive it is), I realized I could make my own.. with my processor.

Not only is it much cheaper to make your own, but you can also control the amount of salt in the nut butter and add any extra spices your heart desires. For this batch, I chose cinnamon.  I love cinnamon.  Especially high oil cinnamon.  For those of you who live in DFW, a great place to find it, along with a bundle of other spices and seasonings, is Pendery’s.  It pretty much rocked my world.  They have all kinds of salts, meat rubs, chilis … you name it.  You have to try the jalepeño salt too.. Just a dab will do ya. But for today, almond butter.

:: You will need ::

3 cups whole almonds, raw and unsalted

1 tbsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. fine salt

2 tbsp. olive oil

:: Let’s get going ::

(1) Pour the almonds in the food processor.  Purée the almonds for about 1 minute, or until the mixture stops spinning in the processor.

(2) You will know it is puréed fine enough when the mixture begins to creep up the side of the bowl.


(3) Add the cinnamon and salt into the processor and put the lid back on.  Turn the processor on and add the olive oil through the removable top compartment.

If the mixture hasn’t come together enough after 2 tbsp., feel free to add a little more until it looks like this.

(4) Be sure to refrigerate after putting it into a sealed container.  The almond butter will keep up to 2 months.


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February 15, 2011

B H L D N

Behold.BHLDN … Anthropologie launched the website of their new wedding line on Valentine’s Day.  Yes, wedding dresses and accessories by Anthro.  All I can say is that I am glad I didn’t have this option when I was planning, because much more of the budget may have been set aside for one of these beauties.

The site also includes a collection of vintage wedding photographs from a print shop in Belgium.  The photos are so intriguing to look at … definitely a perfect place to draw some inspiration from. 

Love! Take a minute to check it out. You won’t be disappointed!

February 14, 2011

L.O.V.E

When I came across this card, I immediately loved it. Not only is it really accurate (for me … with the addition of cats next to puppies), but I also love the creative use of the graph – something so often limited to use in math (my favorite part – an excuse to draw).  If I were to have bought Levi a card this year, it would have been this one – but I didn’t.

A hug and kiss will have to do this year!

To him, I love you more than words can say.

Wishing you all love.  Take time to smile today and every day.

February 11, 2011

* Heart * Cake

This cake … oh, this cake.

It makes my heart flutter.

No, unfortunately I didn’t make it.  But, I will!  Unfortunately, my valentine is not a cake lover – his allegiance is to pies.  Indicated by his ‘groom’s cake‘ at our wedding.  In the future.. the near future ..I will find a reason to make this.  But for those of you who are looking for an ambitious Valentine’s Day dessert – I think this would do!

After finding this tutorial, I spent awhile browsing the oh-so-many other beautiful recipes on the site. I fell in love with i am baker.  So creative.  So many things to try!  Happy baking.

 

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February 9, 2011

Simple, Perfect Beef Enchiladas

After the week of snow and scrounging the pantry and freezer for something to cook, I was craving enchiladas. Homemade enchiladas. This recipe is not one of those throw-it-together meals, it’s a little more involved. But with a little practice, it’s sure to become second nature. Just like riding a bike. Hmmm. Well, maybe for some people.

classic enchiladas

This recipe is adapted from Ree’s enchiladas.  So here we go…

:: You will need ::

for the sauce :

1 tbsp. canola oil

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

28 oz. can of enchilada or red sauce

2 cups chicken broth

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

for the filling :

1 ½ lbs. ground beef, lean

1 whole sweet onion, chopped

½ tsp. salt

for the assembly :

12 to 18 corn tortillas (fresh, if possible)

3 cups mozzarella cheese, grated (or cheddar)

½ cup black olives, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

½ cup cilantro, chopped

:: Let’s get going ::

(1)  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute.

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(2) Add the red sauce, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low and simmer 30-45 minutes.

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(3) While the sauce is simmering, brown the meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off the fat, season with salt, and set aside.

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(4) Chop the olives and green onions while the meat is browning. Grate your cheese if you are hand grating – which is totally the way. to. go.

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(5) Stir in the cilantro when you are ready to assemble the enchiladas.

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(6) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line up your ingredients in assembly line fashion. Tortillas. Meat. Onion. Olives. Cheese.

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(7) Spread ½ cup red sauce in bottom of a baking pan. Dip each tortilla into the simmering red sauce, then remove it to a work surface. Cutting boards are perfect for this.. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of a tortilla.

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(8) Roll that beauty up and place it, seam-side down, in the baking pan. Repeat this with each tortilla until the pan is completely filled. You might need a small second pan for overflow.

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(9) Pour the extra red sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle cilantro over the enchiladas before serving.

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LOVE that cilantro color pop.

classic enchiladas

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