It's the day after. Are you pooped? Happy? Out shopping? Relaxing?
I'm at work, and I am pooped.
We had a great time yesterday. We went to friends for Christmas dinner, a pot luck, each of us bringing something. The roses in the image above are from their garden - aren't they spectacular? It may be winter chilly here in New Orleans, but the flowers are still blooming.
An idea for my contribution for Christmas dinner started with this:
My new favorite blog, Trouvais, threw out a challenge to perhaps make this fabulous White Chocolate Tiramisu Trifle with Spiced Pears HERE. I am not a dessert maker at all, but something about this intrigued me, and so I went for it.
Luckily the present I gave to Alberto, a Kitchenaid miixer, came in handy. This mixer is one of those things he always looks at with longing when we're out shopping, and then we both say, what are we going to use it for, we're not dessert people, and we have no space to store it, blah, blah, blah. But this year I just thought what the hell, it's not about always about being practical, and Alberto loves to cook, and loves getting a kitchen gadget. (The Martha Stewart spice rack was a gift to him from friends, and he loves it!).
This is how mine turned out (above)! It's not as picture perfect. I never made white chocolate curls before, ot white chocolate marscapone mouuse, or scraped a vanilla bean. The whole recipe took hours to do , and I really enjoyed the process, but I really loved the eating of this confection!
Jessica was our hostess, and her table was so pretty. She protested that she's no designer, and that all my blog buddies would probably think it was not worthy. How wrong is she! Don't you love the menu card tucked under the napkin? Jessica's husband Jon made them, and he honored us with a holiday tango motif!
I love the trailing branch with kumquats from her garden, and the centerpiece of pomegranates.
Here's the entire table. I think she did a wonderful job, don't you?
Being true New Orleanians, dinner conversation is all about food - abut the meal we are enjoying, great meals of the past, and dinners planned for the near future.
Our next dinner plans are for New Years.
I prefer house parties for New Years. And I really love a dinner party. It's fun to decorate for New Years Eve. This garland is different. It's actually made out of fabric, a sewing project, but I would use paper and twine and staples and hot glue to make this.
Balloons can be pretty. Really!
Just use them in abundance, and try white, silver, and gold. Long Mylar and ribbon streamers make them look glam.
New Years Eve in Rockefeller Center - My company Valorie Hart Designs did this decor
Or perhaps you can choose to do a classic French inspired dinner party table.
Which means, your best china, beautiful bouquets, mirror and reflective objects, your nicest linens and silverware, and candlelight.
Serve a simple, yet elegant meal.
The formula for a French-inspired meal is straightforward: Always start with champagne as an aperitif, since champagne elevates any occasion to make it special. For the main course, create an elegant or rustic dish and pair it with seasonal vegetables. Here, you can show off your cooking skills or buy prepared foods at the gourmet store. Serve a green salad after the meal a la francaise, followed by a cheese course and a simple dessert of fruit and mille feuille pastry. Add fun and lively guests, a bottle of wine, and Voila! You'll have perfect La Grande (or Petite) Bouffe in the French style.
A "champagne" Alberto and I enjoyed for our traditional Christmas breakfast of bagels and lox, is Sofia. We found it at World Market a few months ago on sale for $9.99. I was attracted to the label. It's really tasty, and would be lovely for New Years celebrating.
Save your champagne corks, and the little wire cage that covers the cork.
Look what you can do with them! You can make mini chairs! These images come from a contest Design With in In Reach had last year.
The rules stated that you had to use the cork and the wire cage. I love the French inspired settee!
This lounge chair is pretty amazing.
I'm sure you will be sending me photos of your creations pronto!
On another subject, I am no longer a red head! I went back to being blonde a couple of months ago, in preperation for letting my silver hair sparkle for the coming new year!