December 31, 2010

{Easy Entertaining} Black and White New Year's Eve Party

Happy New Year everyone! We wanted to wish you all a safe and wonderful new year to you and your loved ones.  We'll be staying in with family. I wanted to share with you the party decor I designed for our small party tonight - made even more affordable with all of those post-Christmas decoration sales.  Hope you enjoy the pictures and as always, would love to hear your thoughts about my dessert table.

December 28, 2010

Best of 2010: Our Most Popular Recipes, Events, Restaurant Reviews, Parties, and Drinks

We can't believe how quickly this year has flown by!  Looking back over the posts, we've realized how lucky we've been to meet some of our idols (including Bobby Flay, Jamie Oliver, and Martha Stewart), eat fabulous meals, and travel to various parts of the country (Philly, DC, Maryland, Midwest, and San Fran) and beyond (Toronto).  But some of our most memorable moments aren't pictured - they're compiled in the lovely comments you make on the site or email to us.

To choose the "Best of 2010", we left the decision to our best judges:  our readers!  So we've compiled our most popular posts (based on page views) below.  Enjoy our look back at 2010! 

December 25, 2010

{Easy Entertaining} Red and White Holiday Table

Merry Christmas everyone! We wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of you and your loved ones a very happy holiday full of warm company, good eats, and safe travels.  Most of all, thank you for reading our blog! Your kind comments and encouragement have blown us away.  Peace and Joy is the theme for our dessert table this year and we wish you both. We hope you enjoy our photos. I'll update this post (after we fly home!) with information on how I made the various desserts and decorations on the table.  Happy Holidays! 

December 23, 2010

{Sweet Treats} Holiday Cheer

Since we've landed in Toronto for the holidays, all we have done is eat and eat and eat (while catching up with friends and family of course!)  One of the holiday parties we've attended was hosted by our friends Daniela and Christina.  These ladies know how to cater and decorate for a party (Christina was the same friend who hosted a Twilight Birthday party for Daniela).  We absolutely loved their Gingerbread Houses (which we thought we just as beautiful as the ones we saw in Le Parker Meridien).  Enjoy these sweet treat photos and stay tuned for my own holiday table (in case you missed it, here's the sneak peak!)

December 22, 2010

{Wine Wednesday} Wines and Beers for the Holidays

With the Christmas holiday only a few days away and New Year's 8 days away (and my wife baking for the holiday table), I thought that I would share some wine and beer picks for your holiday celebrations.  My suggestions range from the affordable to "worth the splurge".

December 20, 2010

{Easy Entertaining} Decorating Holiday Cupcakes

After styling the food tables for my friend's baby shower and my husband's birthday, I've been eager to design a holiday dessert table for my parents.  This year, I decided to go with a red and white theme (maybe because my parents live in Canada). And every dessert table needs an abundance of cupcakes, so I chose three fun ways to decorate them.

December 18, 2010

{Our Favorite Things} Whisky Stones

Everyone has their personal preference for drinking whisky -- neat, on the rocks, splash of water, in a cocktail, etc. -- but no one likes their drink 'watered down'.  So when my wife bought me this neat gift from Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store pop-up store on the UWS, I was excited to give these Whisky Stones ($20/set of 9 stones) a try.  I do not like to add water or ice to my drink, as I would rather taste a good Scotch or Irish Whiskey cool and then let it open up as it warms.  The Whisky Stones are supposed to keep your drink cool without diluting it like melting ice would.  The stones are made from soapstone milled in Vermont (apparently the oldest soapstone workshop in the U.S.) and were based on an idea in Scandinavia where whisky was kept cool with granite.  Andrew Hellman, the Whisky Stones creator, decided to use soapstone because it is softer and won't scratch your glass.  

December 15, 2010

{Sweet Treats} Gingerbread Houses at Le Parker Meridien Hotel

Isn't this a great edible replica of Stuart Little? Right now, in the lobby of Le Parker Meridien hotel, the 2nd annual Gingerbread Extravaganza is being held to raise money for City Harvest.  Local bakeries have created gingerbread masterpieces that reflect this year's theme:  "Movies Made in New York!"  For $1, you can vote on your favorite creation and also be entered to win a 5 night stay at the Parker Palm Springs.  Here's a look at some of our favorites: 

December 14, 2010

{Easy Recipes} Chocolate Chunk with Nuts cookies and Oatmeal Yogurt Raisin cookies

For my very first cookie swap party, I was so indecisive on what to bring.  Not only was this party my first cookie swap, but I would be sharing my baked goods with professional bakers, cookbook writers, culinary school graduates, and other baking enthusiasts.  Suffice it to say, I was pretty nervous.

I ended up making 3 different cookies: decorated sugar cookies, classic chocolate chunk cookies (with toasted pecans and walnuts), and healthier oatmeal raisin cookies that are made with yogurt and without eggs or nuts (just in case some attendees had nut or egg allergies).  All of the cookies were well-received (phew!) and as a bonus, my husband, his co-workers, and a few friends were treated to the extra cookies I made.

December 13, 2010

{Sweet Treats} NYC Cookiefest

One of the holiday traditions I enjoy is baking cookies for friends and family.  Ever since I was a little girl, I would cut and decorate sugar cookies with my parents (while my little brother enjoyed the sweet results!)  Even though I bake every year, I have never attended a Cookie Swap - a party where guests bring a lot of cookies and you go home with an assortment of home-baked goodness.  So when I heard about #cookiefest10, I knew it would be the perfect event to introduce myself to a cookie swap.

The event was started by Chris along with Maggy, Gail, and Abby for food bloggers (and the people who love them).  They did an incredible job finding the venue, making name tags and labels, and getting a great group of bakers in one spot.  Enjoy the photos and make sure to check the links of the talented cookie makers below!

December 9, 2010

{Food Events} Holiday Entertaining with Celebrity Event Planner Bronson van Wyck

(photos provided by Bronson van Wyck)
He has planned parties for the Clintons, Diddy, and Chanel.  So when I was invited to celebrity party planner Bronson van Wyck's NYC apartment for a holiday event, I was eager to dine like a star!  In addition to the food and holiday party tips, I was even more excited to see a NYC kitchen that's been featured in Elle Decor magazine!

December 7, 2010

{Travel Tuesday} Marlowe in San Francisco, CA

One of the reasons we like to dine out is to discover new dishes we could make at home.  Last month, we discovered the airiest Brussels Sprouts chips while we were in San Francisco.  We had trekked all the way over to the SoMa district from our hotel (30 mins walk) to grab a late lunch at this relatively new bistro, Marlowe.  Though located near the AT&T Ballpark, this bistro serves anything but your average ballpark fare.

December 6, 2010

{Easy Recipes} Chocolate Bark and Chocolate-covered Cereal

One of our friends had asked us for advice on how to keep the holidays a little more stress-free.  She had a couple parties to attend and, in addition to a bottle of wine, wanted to bring something homemade.  But she insisted she wasn't a baker.  So I suggested two very easy sweet treats anyone can make for the holidays:  Chocolate Bark  and Chocolate-Covered Cereal

December 2, 2010

{Our Favorite Things} HLFD Holiday Gift Guide

With everyone getting ready for the holidays, a few of our readers have asked us for gifting suggestions.  So we decided to put together our first Holiday Gift Guide.  Most of the products in the gift guide are items we used and loved, with a couple of gifts on my own wish list sprinkled in.  Just click on the guide above, flip through the pages, and press esc when you are done to return back to our website.  (We've also included a list of links below for your convenience).  Enjoy!

List of Gifts with Links:
Foodie Gifts 

Gifts for Gals
Macarons - in store at La Maison du Chocolat

Gifts for Guys
Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs Baseball - in store at Restoration Hardware

Hostess Gifts

December 1, 2010

{Wine Wednesday} Lynmar Estate and Merry Edwards

It's dark, rainy, and cold here in NYC today.  So we thought we would share photos from sunnier days when we were in Sonoma County last month.  We hope you enjoy our winery visits to beautiful Lynmar Estates and free tastings at Merry Edwards.  We're going to try to keep dry and count down to happy hour!  Happy Wednesday!