Autumn dinner party

In early August, some friends requested that I host a dinner party. It is one of my favorite requests to receive! I picked a weekend in September, which happened to be days before the Autumn Equinox. Right away, my heart was set on pastel pumpkins and buffalo plaid! Weather has been perfect here in NY, so there were no worries with mother nature.

One of the guests love pork, so the menu was planned around that; pork two ways. My husband made his awesome pork ribs, and I did Natasha's stuffed pork loin.  After apps, we started with a caesar salad using freshly shaved parmesan and classic croutons, had the pork next with a veggie mix and a baked corn casserole. Dessert was Salted caramel brownie parfaits and Moon's award winning apple pie with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.(see below on how I made the dessert jars)

Throughout the night, I often checked my list in the kitchen. Making sure certain things went into the oven at certain times, preparing the sternos  and chafing dishes. We also confirmed that the fire pit and patio heater were filled with full propane tanks before guests arrived. Organization is key to a successful dinner party!

Charcuterie boards are always a big hit. This one I ordered locally from Cheese & Spice Market. It included beemster gouda, manchego, merlot, red leicestershire cheddar from England, and more!

These adorable dessert jars were so easy to assemble and so loved by all! I baked a batch of brownies, then layered the jars as follows (bottom to top): jello pudding pack, chunks of brownies, caramel drizzle, pinch of coarse seal salt, cool whip - repeat. Lastly I topped with chopped kitkats and a final drizzle of caramel before serving. They can be made ahead and refrigerated, which is a wonderful time saver! I linked the jars below from amazon - $24 for TWENTY of them! They come with the string, tags and lids.. highly recommend!
 << link to amazon

My best friend, Michelle, is a crafting genius. We handmade the place cards using fake flowers, moss and apples from Michaels. We hung simple handwritten name tags that were bright and easy to read.

The wooden "grateful," "thankful," "gather," and "blessed" signs were from this Etsy shop.

Kevin and I were floored when our friends gifted us this bottle below as a hosting gift. Absolute class! I am so thankful for the friends that I have and nights like this one. I cannot wait to do it again.

Amazon links below of some table scape items used:

Mystical Garden Dinner

I hosted a mystical garden theme dinner a few weeks ago. It was my first ever sit down dinner, serving a four course meal to my close friends. We are all essential workers, and haven't missed a beat thru the pandemic, so this was to celebrate all of our hard work. In NY, we were allowed gatherings up to 25 people but to be extra cautious, I hosted the dinner outside, and used my extensions in the table to give us as much room as possible. 

Every detail of the party was planned in advance. From the table scape, to the physical menus, to the food. I had taken off from work for the first time in a long time, just to prep and cook all day! It felt like heaven, as this is my true passion. I chose menu items that were able to be made in advance, and heated up before serving. With the use of lists to check off as I go, the dinner went flawlessly. So flawless that as soon as we went inside the house, after my girlfriends helped bring in the table decor, it started POURING rain! Timing was definitely in our favor!

Enjoy the pics below:


Vertical Herb Garden

After searching vertical herb planters on Pinterest, I found three different ideas that I really loved. I decided to put all of these ideas together and have my husband build a custom herb garden for us. We had the perfect spot at the end of our porch, which we are in the middle of redoing. The cool part is that the planter stand serves as a privacy screen as well!


To start, we bought a few pieces of pressure treated wood from the home depot and my husband put together the stand. Using a red stain, we did two coats on the entire front and back of the stand. Adding one piece of white vinyl lattice on the back added really nice contrast.

For the herbs: The ring wall hooks are from Crate and barrel and can be found here. I got them on sale for Memorial Day - score! The self watering pots are linked below from Amazon. I was really skeptical about these pots, but they work amazing! They're sturdy and the water indicator works great.

I love succulents and thought they would make perfect low maintenance plants for the bottom.

Next, there are a lot of herb kits online but I headed over to my local farm and grabbed trays of herbs for $4 each! They are really filling in and growing beautifully. I have yet to find dill and chives so I may order seeds online.

Lastly, we all love Rae Dunn right? I found these Rae Dunn inspired decals on Etsy here. They were affordable, shipped quickly, and easy to put on! 

What is the first herb you would use? What is your favorite recipe with fresh herbs? Let me know below!
I personally love making homemade herb butter and cannot wait to make some over salmon!


Easter during quarantine

It was so strange to go from 60-70 people at my uncle's house, to only the four of us at home this Easter. Quarantining through Covid19 will never go forgotten. That being said, I did try to make Easter special for my family still. I had planned the menu for a couple of weeks since supplies and ingredients have been hard to find. All worked out luckily! Here is what we made:

Breakfast: Whole wheat pancakes in the shape of a bunny. Two cadbury mini eggs for eyes, a strawberry nose and bow tie, banana slices for cheeks and marshmallows for teeth.

Appetizers: This Pillsbury pull apart bread is a favorite of mine! It is filled with cheese, spinach and seasoning. Wrapped in crescent rolls and placed into a bundt pan. I do find that it needs longer time in the oven than the Pillsbury recipe calls for, so keep that in mind!

I also served my wasabi cream cheese appetizer found here.

Main Course: This stuffed pork from Natasha's kitchen was incredible... truly. We have never made stuffed pork before, but Natasha's recipe was easy to follow and came out perfectly cooked. We will definitely be adding it to our monthly rotation of dinners! Recipe here: Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Side dishes: I made two sides with the star pork. Corn casserole and deep fried brussels sprouts. The corn casserole recipe has been in my family for years. It is SWEET, almost like a dessert! Sometimes I even leave the sugar out the recipe, and it comes out just as good!

Corn Casserole:

1 can of creamed corn (16 oz)
1 can of corn niblets (16 oz) -- do not drain the water from the can
2 eggs, beaten
8 oz Sour cream
1 stick butter, melted
1 box Jiffy corn mix
1/2 cup sugar *optional*

Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish and bake for 70 minutes on 350 degrees
*I used the red cocottes just for serving, I baked in one round casserole dish

Deep fried brussels sprouts: Cut each brussel in half, and deep fry for 3 to 4 minutes at 350 degrees. Drain on to paper towel and sprinkle with salt immediately. Drizzle on Mikes hot honey and fresh lemon juice. They are the best this way!

Dessert: Brookie parfait - Follow directions to boxed brownie mix, but add in a few balls of store bought cookie dough from the tub/tube. Bake as directed and let cool.
Build the parfait - brownie/cookie mix, chocolate pudding, peanut butter eggs, repeat. Top with whipped cream! Yum!

Happy Easter from my two beauties, Kora and Everett.