Apr 26

My kind of recycling

So, last year when I was registering, I decided I wasn’t going to register for crystal – I thought I’d never use it and I probably needed a whole bunch of other stuff first.  My mom, a good old fashioned southern lady,

(Well, she's southern anyhow)

…convinced me that while I would likely not use my crystal all that often “right now,” it’s so nice to have a set to add “sparkle” to my dinner table and I would probably never, ever get it any other time than now.  Listen, the lady has never steered me wrong so I ended up with a set of these bad boys on my registry:

and now, happily, in my home.

I really love them…but of course, have not used them (yet?) HOWEVER: you know what I’m using daily?  The boxes they came in. Check them out as decoration in our bookshelves:

Repurposed....BOOM!

In related news, stay tuned for a dinner party post.  I feel like I’m really letting down my dinnerware with nuked veggie burgers and frozen Brussels sprouts every night. 

Martha Stewart, this is an official cry for heeeeellllpppppp.  It’s a good thing?

xx, L

 

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Categories: Decor,Entertaining

Feb 03

SuperBowl 47: Brother v. Brother/Sister v. Sister

So, its Super Bowl Sunday.  It’s the biggest game of the year (apparently.) and I’m actually pretty jazzed up about it.  Not because I like anything that’s consistently classified as “Super” (I do.) or because I care about sports (I don’t!) or even because of the outrageously amazing ads (ok, I’m still excited about that)… I’m just REALLY into the Harbaugh Brother Rivalry! 

John: "ARE YOU WEARING MY SHIRT?" Jim: "I LOOK BETTER IN IT!"

I mean, WHAT are their parents going to do? 

Whelp, I guess that answers that! 

I was on the phone with my sister last night discussing this matter and, more importantly, which dishes we will be bringing to our respective Super Bowl parties when it occurred to me…we just may have a little Super Bowl Sibling Rivalry of our own!

May I present to you… the FIRST EVER

(former) Kraselsky vs. (former) Kraselsky SUPERBOWL PARTY SNACK-OFF!

GameFaces: It. Is. ON.

We will each bring one savory and one sweet item. Feel free to let us know which items you prefer… or just enjoy the recipes below for Buffalo Chicken Dip, Oreo Truffles, Baked Brie, and S’mores Brownies!

I came to play with the crowd-pleasing Buffalo Chicken Dip!

It's not the prettiest dip. But it is delish. And you make it with this bad boy

It’s SUPER easy.  (Pun intended.) and people go CRAZY for it.  This is how you do it:

Ingredients: I run to the grocery and get the following: 1 rotisserie chicken (Costco also has a cheap/good one.), 2 8oz packages of cream cheese (I usually do a full fat and a low fat…like that’s gonna help.), 1 small bottle of ranch dressing, 1 bottle of Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, and a 16oz package of grated Sharp cheddar cheese. I like to serve this dip with Chicken in a Biskit crackers and celery sticks.

Old school. Delicious.

Directions: First, I get Greg to dismantle the rotisserie chicken while I’m in another room.  Ick.  Then I throw the chicken pieces into my blender with 3/4 of the bottle of Franks and blend.  Then I transfer the mixture to a pot on the stove and heat it with the 2 packages of cream cheese, 1 cup of ranch dressing, and 3/4 cup of the grated cheese until creamy.  Then I pour it into a Pyrex and cover the top with more grated cheese.  When I’m ready to serve, I heat it for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees until it’s bubbly on top.

Prepare to have zero conversation while this dip gets wolfed down the moment you set it on the table.

For my sweet dish…I’ll be making my super easy Oreo TrufflesSomehow the post I wrote several years ago is nowhere to be found, but here’s another good how-to (although I use Wilton’s candy coating instead of semi sweet chips.)  In any event, they’re really easy. 

For an extra special gameday version (or the “extra point” if you will…) I ran to Michael’s and picked up some disposable candy decorating bags, rolled the filling into ovals instead of balls, and made them look like little footballs! 

teeny, tiny, delicious footballs.

So, I feel pretty solid about my “roster…” but my sister is a well-known amazing cook and fierce competitor!

Katie will be competing with her standard party favorite: Baked Brie.  (obviously her party sounds pretty high brow.)  

She always uses this recipe and said that she uses crescent rolls and switches up the jams.  She says the honey and sugar are optional.

For dessert, she’ll be serving her always delicious S’mores Brownies.

Here’s how you do it:

Ingredients:  You need 10 whole graham crackers (20 crossway halves), 1 package Betty Crocker brownie mix (and its ingredients), 2.5 cups mini marshmallows, and 1c semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Instructions:  Preheat oven to 350.  Line baking pan with foil extending beyond sides of pan and grease foil.  Make brownie mix as directed on back of box.  Try not to eat it all. Place 15 of graham cracker halves in bottom of pan (overlap slightly), set aside other 5 halves (break into large pieces). Spread brownie mix over graham crackers

Bake 28-32 min (toothpick comes out fudgey crumbs. DON’T OVERBAKE… and don’t turn your oven off just yet.)

Sprinkle marshmallows and chocolate chunks on top, then throw that sucker in for another 3-5 min or until marshmallows begin to puff.  Then press graham pieces into marshmallows and allow it to cool in pan.  Lift out of pan onto cutting board using foil and cut brownies…voila!

So, there you have it! 4 extremely easy gameday recipes you totally have time to make before kickoff!  Now, go forth, enjoy your commercials and…

May the best Harbaugh win!

xx, L

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Categories: Entertaining,Parties,What we're Cooking,What we're Doing

Nov 14

A TASTE of the Good Life

So, if I were going to make a list of things that I would A) love to have but B) cannot (yet?) afford, having a professional chef and decorator would rank JUST below having a professional hairstylist move in and blowdry my hair on the daily. (I’m looking at you, HL.)  

Enter Taste by Sam, a new catering, design and event company by my friend Samantha Deitch that is bound and determined to show you that you don’t need to spend the big bucks to enjoy a taste of the good life. 

Sam does it all.  Catering.  Personal Chef-ing.  Organization.  Home Décor.  You name it?  Sam is on the job.  She’s just amazing. 

The next Martha Stewart?

Here’s the Q+DD on Sam:  After studying at the New York School of Interior Design in Manhattan, Samantha then went on to work for top designers in NYC and in Atlanta.  She has an immaculate sense of style and a great eye for putting together paint colors, furniture, and choosing artwork. The best part?  She’s geared specifically to a young professional crowd who like nice things but um, haven’t quite won the lottery…yet.  (I don’t know about you, but the phrase “champagne taste on a beer budget” sounds all too familiar to me.)  She’s also a self-taught chef with an outstanding talent for delivering fresh, smart, delicious menus.  Both Lindsay and I had her cater our bridal suites on our wedding day and not only did she deliver…but she DELIVERED.

Check out the menu she put together for me:

  • Assorted vegetable crudités with lemon-basil hummus and buttermilk-herb dressing
  • Shredded chicken salad with walnuts and golden raisins, whole grain toast points and lettuce cups for serving
  • Turkey, brie, romaine, tomato and honey mustard on Cibatta (this was a huge hit)
  • Penne pasta, sundried tomatoes, baby mozzarella, arugula
  • Grilled zucchini ribbons and baby greens with toasted hazelnuts, crumbled feta, and red wine lemon vinegarette
  • Roasted eggplant slices with balsamic reduction, goat cheese and pine nuts
  • Seasonal fresh fruit skewers
  • S’mores cookies 

Everything was outstanding.   There was literally something for everyone (she really took into account the whole “girl” part of the equation.  Nothing that made us feel gross or bloated and no garlic or onions in sight!)

And sometimes I still think about those s’mores cookies. 

(I miss you, s’mores cookies. Call me?)

So here’s when you need to call Sam:

For the home:

  • Professional décor advice for a room, a condo, or a whole house
  • Organizational needs
  • Home staging

For the kitchen:

  • Small to medium sized catering needs
  • Sending meals to friends (babies, shivahs, surgeries, etc)
  • Pretending like you cooked a homemade meal for your sweetie or family (don’t forget to destroy the evidence.)

Or, if you have a need that’s not quite covered here, give Sam a shout – I bet she’ll try and work something out for you.   

What I’m saying is this:  if she could get my roots straight and my ends bouncy with a round brush and a blowdryer, Sam would pretty much be the trifecta of luxury by my standards. 

But 2 of the 3 ain’t bad…

xx, L

Taste by Sam
www.tastebysam.com
Email: tastebysam@gmail.com
Facebook: Click HERE.  (go ahead, “like” her.  I dare you)

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Categories: Deals + Steals,Entertaining,Organizing,Where we're Eating

Oct 25

From Mrs. Cohen with Love

You guys…I am BACK!   A little over a week ago, I had the wedding weekend of my DREAMS.  I got to stand in a room filled with people I love and commit to the most amazing man I have ever met.  This was all made possible by my wonderful parents, my amazing sister and brother in law Brian, my incredible in-laws, my new brother in law Scott, all of our friends and family, and most importantly, Greg for asking me to marry him in the first place! 

But I have a few more thank yous and I apologize in advance for a long gushy post but I simply cannot write ANYTHING without saying all of this first:

First, thank you to Christina Zubowicz and Magnolia Events and Planning.   (A special shout out to Tina Adams, as well.  You are exquisite.)  Christina became such a fixture in my life that I considered putting her in a bridesmaids’ gown and sending her down the aisle with my girls.  But instead, there she stood at my wedding, in her chic black suit, holding my train and keeping everyone and everything in line.   This past year, she has been there for me in ways I cannot even describe, from etiquette questions to style advice, she has everything covered perfectly.  She answered my questions before I even knew I had them.  Best of all – Christina helped me to assemble my own personal Dream Team of vendors and on the day of my wedding?  There was a “Magnolia” girl at every turn.  Christina, I cannot thank you enough for your flawless execution.

Next, I want to thank Bold American Events who were responsible for both décor and catering for both our rehearsal dinner and wedding.   I’m on the Bold Bandwagon.  Specifically, I want to thank Steve Bales.  Steve is a genius and I will never EVER get over the work he did during my wedding weekend.  He’s a visionary, an artist, and an amazing person and not only did he create a stunningly beautiful event, but one that truly reflected Greg and myself.  I am GRATEFUL that he was the one who brought our wedding weekend to life.   It seriously was better than my wildest dreams.   My chuppah is now my “happy place.”

Also from Bold, I want to thank Nicki Collins who was able to achieve not only a lovely wedding menu, but also one that was so personal to the two of us.  It’s hard to tell a story through food, but Nicki was able to do so.  It’s also hard to feed 300 people with delicious food – but you guys: Nicki, Chef Todd Annis and the Bold team nailed it. 

The Reichmans.  I think finding a photographer that suits your style is the hardest part, but when we met Jamie and Todd Reichman…I knew we had found “the one(s).”  They’re truly amazing artists and though I can’t show you a lot of their work now, please trust me when I tell you…AMAZING  (UPDATE: Please check out their blog post for a sneak peek!  Click HERE! Also phenomenal is their work with cinematographer Jason Link.  Please check out our engagement video they made: https://vimeo.com/49953023  I cannot WAIT to see our wedding video.  The best part about Jamie and Todd, apart from their breathtaking work, is how much we adore them as people.  Not to get too sappy on you, but it was really special to share these moments of our lives with them because they have truly become our friends.

Also, they were able to capture this moment of pure Atlanta random awesomeness:

Jenny’s Paper, Ink.  Jenny Adair not only has the absolute BEST resources for everything paper-related (from a calligrapher that was able to match my custom invitation calligraphy perfectly to great sources for beautiful paperstock), but also the design expertise to create some seriously stunning custom work.  Jenny also has absolutely IMMACULATE taste and is a complete perfectionist. Her guidance on my paper suite was invaluable.

Custom die-cut menus, hand-calligraphered place cards

Rupert’s Orchestra.   They KILLED it.  They rocked out all night.  They learned the upbeat version of “All You Need is Love” for our first dance.  Per my dad’s request, made a medley of “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Be Young, Be Foolish, but Be Happy” for our daddy/daughter dance.  They didn’t even laugh at me when I requested they learn “Call me Maybe!” (they totally did it)  And at the end of our wedding, when our ENTIRE bridal party was belting their lungs out to “Don’t Stop Believing” in a circle around us will go down as one of the best moments of my entire life. 

Speaking of music, Sarah Paul and Amati Chamber Music set the mood for our ceremony beautifully.  We sat down together and crafted the music and she guided me to a perfect selection of classical and contemporary…all perfection.

 The CAKE.  The cake was amazing and a joint work of art by Nancy Short (formerly of the Flour Shoppe) and Eileen Carter of Eileen Carter Creations.   It was a magnificent 7-tier masterpiece with 3 flavors.  Basically, I came to them with a zillion ideas for this cake… and they didn’t make me choose anything.  Everything I could have ever wanted went into and onto that cake and I can’t think about it without breaking into a huge, face-splitting grin.

Thank you to the Good Food Truck who delighted all of our guests as they lined up for our sparkler exit with their famous “Poodle:” Hot dog with a French toast bun.  Topped with apple slaw and mustard.  Outrageous.

 Thank you to all the wonderful people at the Foundry at Puritan Mill – especially darling Wendy Collins and to everyone at the Buckhead Theatre, especially superawesome Kate Zimmer.   Novare Properties, I love you.  Obviously. 

My Glam Squad: HL Painter and Suzanna (hair and makeup – you can find them at Ambrosia Salon or at DryBar), Mandy Gispert and team (hair!) and Maquilla Farrar and team for makeup.

“Oh, my Lord and Taylor.”  Last but not least, thank you, thank you, thank you to my darling Daniel Jones of Muse Salon.  He’s a saint and a trip and not only did he do a 180 on my poor, overprocessed hair this last year, but he trucked it all the way to my bridal suite just to style me and make me feel like a princess on my big day.  Daniel, j’adore.

Daniel’s handiwork:

All-in-all, I can honestly tell you that I loved every single solitary moment of the planning and preparations and that I learned so much about myself, my new husband, my family and almost every person in my life.  It was an extremely eye-opening experience and I feel so incredibly grateful for all the months of work and attention that were poured into that one spectacular weekend. 

Now I’m married and the honeymoon is over (more on that later… and just in the literal sense – I am still super excited to be a “Sadie Lady” as my grandmother says!) I’m resuming everyday life… which I PROMISE means this blog, too!  Thanks for bearing with me. 

(I missed you guys!)

xx, L(C!)

P. S. For more pix: http://reichmanphotography.com/2012/10/25/puritan_mill_atlanta_wedding/

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Categories: Entertaining,Event Space,Events,Hair,Parties,PSAs,Stationery,Weddings,Westside

Dec 29

Spend NYE with Yacht Rock Revue!

Each year, Kev and I spend New Years Eve with these fine-lookin’ folks:

Two years ago, we celebrated in Orlando at Disney for my very first visit.

Last year, we trekked out to Kansas City to watch the ball drop.  An excellent time was had.

THIS year, Kev + I are the hosts and we’re ringing in the New Year in Atlanta (Expectations are high.)  Sooooo, we’ve decided to celebrate with Yacht Rock at Park Tavern!

If you’ve ever seen Yacht Rock perform, you KNOW that we’re in for a great time!

And, Park Tavern is an awesome place to celebrate any holiday.  PT always throws a solid party…

NYE with Yacht Rock is an all-inclusive event.  Drinks and food are covered all night and into the wee hours of the morning.  There will be live music with Yacht Rock Revue & Atlanta’s best DJ spinning in the Piedmont Room overlooking the Midtown skyline.

Highlights include:
- Open bar: premium liquor, beer, wine and champagne
- Live music + NYE countdown with Yacht Rock Revue
- Gourmet food including hors d’ouvres, carving station, NYE specialties along with plenty of sides + salads to keep your energy up and dancing into the New Year.
- Sushi display
- Toast & get toasty with smores for dessert
- Midnight breakfast buffet including all your favorites + fresh Krispy Kreme donuts
- Photo booth
- NYE favors
- Champagne toast at midnight
- Coat check

This party is where it’s at on Saturday, so get your tickets NOW: NYE w/ Yacht Rock Revue!

***BONUS***  LOOK FOR ME AT PARK TAVERN totally rockin’ out to Yacht Rock…

…and I will give a fist pump + one of these super rad Q+DD koozies to the first three people who wish me a “HAPPY QUICK + DIRTY DIRTY NEW YEAR!”

Your drinks have never looked so fashionable…  I can’t think of a better way to toast 2012!

Q+DD koozies: so hot right now.

See y’all at Park Tavern!  Wishing a fun NYE to all!  :)

xx, L

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Categories: Entertaining,Events,Holidays,Midtown,Parties,Random Musings,Vacation,We can BLOG!,What we're Doing