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Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Floral Order

Well, my friend Jessica's wedding is in less than two months, so I decided it was time to order the flowers and supplies for her bouquets, boutonni√®res, and corsages.  I am too excited to take this adventure into floral arrangements!  Here is a sneak peek at some of what I have planned!

At first glance, they don't seem to match ... but I've done my research and I'm trusting my vision.  Plus, they don't have to "match."  They have to "go."  Jessica agrees with this philosophy, thankfully.  In addition, while these individual plants are all put into a single picture collage here, they won't all be included in any one bouquet, bout, or table arrangement come October.  Jessica wants her bouquet to look very different from the bridesmaids' in both color and style.  Yet despite the differences, I can't wait to see how they all come together in the pictures in just under two months.

I must confess, there is some hesitation in my artistic medium of choice being a dying thing in this particular instance.  But, I'm doing my homework, checking with my vendors, and preparing my surroundings to support life.  Yes, they will live for at least four days.  After four days ... whatever.

Regarding her flowers, Jessica has a few things she really wants:  red poppies in her bouquet and lots of white and greenery for the bridesmaids.  The colors of her wedding are white, red, and gray with pops of green.  Otherwise, I get to let my artistic vision fly, which is a dream!

First, picking out the flowers.  Well, I hit a road block immediately.  It is, apparently, not poppy season.  Maybe I freaked out for a moment.  I mean, that's pretty much the one thing she asked for!  So I searched and searched and searched for something comparable.  And I found anemones!  They actually look somewhat similar to poppies.  In fact, some people get them confused.  Maybe JTay will ... just kidding, I told her they weren't really poppies.  But they are just as beautiful!

Next, what to use in the bouquet with the poppies:  I decided that peach, greenery, and some grayish foliage would really set off her favorite (almost) flower, so I ordered blushing bride, seeded eucalyptus, berzillia baubles, lamb's ear, and dusty miller.

For the bridesmaids bouquets I chose white anemones, baby's breath, italian ruscus, olive branches, and green berries of different sorts.  I may put some of the leftover greenery from Jessica's bouquet in with them as well.

Boutonni√®res, corsages, and table arrangements will be a mix of everything!  Except the red anemones ... those are for Jess, alone.

The binding will be peach and eggplant colored ribbons.  All of the supplies came in the mail last week, and it was such a fun package to get!

Oh, how I wish I could make the bouquets today!  I'm so excited!  However, I can't, and so this weekend I occupied my restless nature by throwing Jessica her final bridal shower.

Ignore the four frames with the stock photos in them ... I'm working on it.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

Have you ever been to a restaurant and ordered something that you will never forget - in a good way?  While I have had lots of good meals out, I have only had things I can't stop thinking about a handful of times ... one of them was the white chocolate banana cream pie from Soby's in Greenville, South Carolina.

We don't get to go to  Greenville often, but EVERY SINGLE TIME we do ... we go to Soby's and get a slice of this pie, no matter our other plans.

And, I don't even like bananas.

So, I had to try to recreate it ... this is my attempt:

First, make the tart crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp salt
6 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup ice-cold water
1.5 T sugar

Combine the sifted flour, salt, and sugar.  Add the butter and cut it into the flour until you get "little beedees" as my father calls them:  pea-sized pellets.  Pour the cold water over the mixture and toss it together with a fork.  It will be sticky!  Then knead the dough two or three times with your hands and shape it into a ball.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Now, pull it out of the fridge and pretty heavily dust your working surface and rolling pin with flour - heavily.  Don't be afraid of using a good bit of flour if you are like me and struggle to have one holeless crust when you are finished.  Yes, it may make your crust a little dryer, but at least you will have a crust.  Some may scoff at me for saying that, but ... I mean, I need a working tart shell, and I'll do whatever it takes.

Roll it out to be about an inch longer in circumference than your tart pan.  Gently roll the dough up around your pin and then unroll it onto the pan.  Trim the edges.

Cover the tart shell with a layer of aluminum foil and fill with rice, pie weights, or dried beans.  Put it in the oven for 15 minutes.  After the 15 is up, remove the weights and foil and leave in there for another 9 to 15 minutes.  Start checking on it around 9 and just watch it until it gets to be the perfect golden brown color you want!

Once your tart shell is finished and while it's cooling, it's time to make the banana cream filling.  I wanted to keep it simple, so it mostly contains entire containers of things:  a whole pint of whipping cream, a whole block of cream cheese, a whole can of sweetened condensed milk, etc.  So, here are the specifics:

1 pint whipping cream
2 T sugar
1 block cream cheese (8 oz)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 3.4 oz box banana cream pudding
1 cp whole milk
4 bananas

First, whip the cream with the sugar until it is relatively stiff.  You don't want a runny pie, so make sure the consistency isn't sloshy.

In a separate bowl, mix the pudding mix and the milk together.

Now in another separate bowl, mix the cream cheese on medium speed until it is smooth and has no chunks.  Now, add the pudding.  Mix.  Add the sweetened condensed milk.  Mix.  Add the whipped cream.  Mix

Now slice up the 4 bananas thinly and fold them into the mixture using your hands.  I wear gloves!

Once everything is combined, fill your pudding shell making a dome - higher in the middle and meeting the edges of the tart shell a little bit lower all around the edge.

Lastly, grab a block of white chocolate and a vegetable peeler and peel away.  You want a lot!  I use two bars of Ghirardelli white chocolate.

Cover the pie with the white chocolate.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until you are ready.  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Black Rose Cocktail

My husband loves a beverage.  And for that matter, so do I.  And ... well, so does my little sister, who is the inspiration for this cocktail my husband invented:  The Black Rose.

So the story goes:  once upon a time my lil' sis went to a bar before coming over to our apartment.  When she arrived, she was RAVING over a cocktail she had:  "it smelled like rosemary, but was sweet with blackberries, and had some citrus."  Now my husband can't resist a cocktail challenge ... and so he got to mixing; and, thus:  The Black Rose.

Here's what you do:

First of all:  rosemary vodka.  You'll be hard pressed to find this, so make it!  It's simple.  Take some vodka and put some rosemary in it.  Let it sit for 3 days, and voila:  rosemary vodka!  How much?  However much!  We made a small batch - the vodka bottle (it was big) had about a quarter of a bottle left, and we put in three sprigs of the herb.  If you have less springs, you can always let it steep longer.  You'll know when it's done because it will smell amazing and be tinged with a greenish hue!

Next:  rosemary liqueur.  You'll probably not find this either.  That's okay.  Make it as well.  This one takes a bit more work, though still not much.  Here's what you do:  to make a full recipe take 3 cups of sugar and dissolve it in a cup of water over medium heat until you have a murky looking syrup.  You do not need to let it boil.  We aren't making caramel here!  When it is done, take it off the heat and mix in 3 cups of vodka.  Put it into a container with 3 cups of ripe blackberries and let it sit for 10 days.  We think the wait is worth it ... though admittedly unfortunate.  You can always make a fraction of the recipe.  We made a third this time.

And when it's finished ... it's time to mix!

Here's the recipe:
1.5 oz rosemary vodka
1.5 oz blackberry liqueur
.75 oz lime juice
.75 oz grapefruit juice (not grapefruit drink)

Mix over ice, strain, and put in a pretty glass - garnish with a sprig of rosemary if it pleases you!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Newbie

Hi everyone!  I should better introduce myself.  I am Adeline, a new blogger - I'm at least going to give blogging a shot anyways!  I figured, I enjoy them so much, why not give it a try myself?

Overall, this is a lifestyle blog; it will include recipes for food and beverage, workout routines (I'm a certified personal trainer), posts on art and design, my exploration in helping design and decorate weddings, and a little style thrown in for good measure.

There are four upcoming blog posts to look out for:  a cocktail recipe (things are infusing as we speak), a recipe for white chocolate banana cream pie, a workout routine that can be done at home, and my journey as I do the flowers for my friends wedding in October!

I was told to start with a few posts before you seek out followers so that they actually have something to read and follow, so read around, but also know that more is coming!

I will try to post at least once a week!  Please feel free to follow and comment as you feel led!  I can't wait to make new friends and to share how I fulfill my restless nature with everyone!

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Mantle

I finally have a mantle!!!  But man oh man, mantles are tough.   They are the center - the focal piece of a room.  When people walk in, all eyes go to the mantle.  And so, there is pressure.

To add to the pressure, I'm decorating for two!  This isn't my house; it's our house!  And while Jared doesn't want to take any part in the decorating, he does want to like it!  And so ... bottles.  Jared loves bottles.