Friday, March 30, 2012

Sweet...

by Karolina, 31st March 2012

...and for the end of my book-party theme some sweets. Actually desserts galore :)
Yes, I told you it was quite a lot of sweetness there:
- black and white cheesecake
- quick chocolate mousse (more on it below)
- licorice cupcakes
- chocolate cake
- Earl Grey madeleines
- home-made Raffaelo
- chocolate clouds
- variation on Polish cake called "Karpatka"
- not visible on the picture but still there: kiwi pops and home-made Rocher
I hope your sugar levels are still in norm :)
OK, I do like sweets. If ,by now, you haven't noticed :P
I composed this dessert table to keep the book-theme of the party.
So, first of all it's all black & white - which is not that difficult to obtain in desserts while using loads of chocolate, coconut, whipped cream etc.
I added french madeleines - because they remind me of the book-theme (famous Proust's madeleines) but as well these contained Earl Grey tea which is my boyfriend's favourite.
Following his tastes I created licorice cupcakes (check Sweetalopita's ones) but because I didn't have anise flavour,I actually used star anise finely grounded in mortar. I got a few compliments on these- as they combined sweetness of vanilla cupcakes and whipped cream with strong flavour of licorice - give it a try (if you like licorice of course).
My favourite dessert thought was the simplest but the most attractive one (at least for me)....
Chocolate mousse shots.
I made it previously for my sister's bridal shower and it was a hit. Couldn't be simpler though...
Whipped cream + cocoa powder + sugar + alcohol (in this case whisky). Really!

Ok, I'll be more specific if you need:
1 cup of heavy cream (at least 30%)
2-3 spoons of cocoa (good dark chocolate one)
2-3 spoons of sugar
1-2 spoons of alcohol - I used whisky but you can try any liqueur or just omit is it's for children

Whisk the cream until well set - about 3-4minutes. Be careful not to make a butter out of it though.
Slowly add sugar and cocoa powder (make sure you don't make a mistake of adding all cocoa at ones and having it all on your face and apron, as I did ;)). Add alcohol (if using). Done :)

For party presentation:
- use piping bag to divide cream between little shot glasses
- for easy eating and nicer presentation I used ribbon to attach little spoon to each glass with mousse
How do you like this dessert table?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Party food...

by Karolina, 29th March 2012

...so what did people eat at the book party?
Obviously all the food wasn't just for decoration :)

I won't share all the details because:
1. it would be too much
2. you might dribble on your keyboard
3. it might be slightly too boring

So, general idea was to keep the food pallete black & white to keep up the book theme. But of course not all food was black or white. If that would be the case, we would have to eat book pages :)

I had to take into account as well that some of our friends are vegetarian or on diet. So, I tried to make a good variety of different little plates for everyone to find something to their taste.
Today, I'll show you some of the things from savoury table. And I'll leave desserts....for dessert :)

We had about 10 different dishes on the savoury table.
My favourites were:

- Black sesame quiche with mushrooms & feta:


my version
 

original from Our Kitchen
  - Puff pastry with caramelized carrot, ginger and feta


my version
 


original from Kwestia Smaku
  

- Goat cheese pannacota with cranberries

my creation
 

original via The Kitchn

- Purple potato latkes with mascarpone & smoked salmon (unfortunately I didn't have time to make a picture of my version)

sweet potato version via The Garden of Earthly Delights

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Party decorations cont...

by Karolina, 27th March 2012

I wanted to share with you my favourite DIY project I prepared for book-themed party.
I really like the result and it might actually become more permanent feature in our flat :)




It's painted wine bottle filled with branches decorated with paper leaves.


It's again my favourite type of DIY - rather quick and easy :)


What do you need:
- empty bottles (yes, it's a nice chore to empty them for the project - definitely a good excuse to have a bottle :))
- spray paint (I chose matt white - but you can play with colours)
- branches
- old book, magazine, newspaper
- craft glue or hot glue-gun
work in progress :)

Once you have all the things, there are a few, easy steps:
1. Paint the bottles (you'll probably need a few layers to get nice coverage) and leave it to try
2. Put the branches inside the dried bottle(s). It's possible to continue with the next step with branches outside the bottle, but I find it easier to add the leaves while the branches are in the bottles.
3. Stick the cut out leaves to the branches - try to mix the directions of the leaves for fuller and more natural effect
4. Finish the arrangement - you can add additional branches, flowering branches would you great as well etc.

There are so many possibilities. I think I will try something based on this one but little  different for Easter - I'll let you know how it's going.
In all, this arrangement gives a nice modern feeling, without being too minimalistic. And it has design impact without being as high-maintenance and expensive as flowers tend to be :)


How do you like it?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Party!...

by Karolina, 26th March 2012

....Decorations

I've been working on books themed party for a few weeks. And finally it came on Friday.
I'm happy to share with you a few pictures and decoration ideas.

I picked up books theme as my boyfriend is a passionate reader. It set up as well the atmosphere for an intimate gathering with a dozen of friends.

I was inspired by quite a few ideas I found for book-themed party:
Vintage Gothic Dessert Table via HWTM; Good Books, Good Wines, Good Friends party via HWTM; Book party via The Nester
 I created a few little projects to tie with the party's theme:

This 2-minutes project kept the book-theme outside, on the balcony. Jars with tealights were covered in book pages and tied with black sticky-tape.
I glued little food labels onto the book pages. Stacked books were used as the food holders. I cut the inside of the book, leaving the cover intact to create chocolates container.

Yes, I admit - a few books were hurt during this project. But none from our shelves (this is a note to my boyfriend, who would kill me if I'd have used any of his books :))

Tomorrow I'll share with you my favourite book inspired party project, so stay tuned!








Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mini birthday cake

By Karolina, 25th March 2012

As I mentioned in my previous post, it was my other half's birthday on Thursday.
The main party and celebrations were on Friday (all about it in the next couple of days), but I thought that it would be nice to make a mini cake for bday boy which he could enjoy on his Big Day :)

It wasn't easy to set my mind on one cake. At the end I went for something rather simple but still yummy: Krazy Cake from Kitchen Chronicles. It's really quick and simple chocolate cake (without eggs). But because it was supposed to be a mini-cake, I went with the idea from Oh Happy Day and baked the cake in the can. I think it's a brilliant idea and surely will do it again.

It worked pretty well. To decorate I used almonds and cute silver cake decorations.Between the layers to make it little less sweet I used black currant jam, but really any jam or marmalade would work.
I'm not the most patient person, so the end look is a little bit messy. But well, not everything has to be 100% perfect all the time, right? A little distort look is surely fashionable :)

The most important is that the most important person liked it :)




And how do You like it?
I'd love to hear from you...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Little preview...

by Karolina, 21st March 2012

Shhhhh....I'll tell you little secret...
I'm preparing the party for my "other half", who has his birthday tomorrow.
On Friday we'll have a dozen of friends coming to celebrate together. 

So all week I'm quite busy finishing my projects.
Birthday Boy knows about the party but he doesn't know that I prepared a theme and a lot of small details.
I hope he'll like it..

Just for you, a little clue what it will be about.
But keep it to yourselves :)



 All the details soon after the party (I hope I'll manage to take some photos actually :))

Monday, March 19, 2012

DIY cookie stand

by Karolina, 19 March 2012

I'm in the middle of preparations for the party I've been planning for the last few weeks (more on it soon).
But I found a little bit of time in the weekend to create a cookie stand (which I will most certainly use for the party anyway :)). And I thought that it might be fun to share this little project with you.
It doesn't require much time or a lot of resources...so it's (by my standards) a PERFECT DIY :)

Are you ready?

You'll need:
- plates
- cups
- glue gun or good craft glue

Here are mine - found on the flea market. I matched them by colour of ornament (gold) but you can mix and match however you wish.


All procedure is really simple:
- clean and dry all the dishes
- choose the order of your plates/cups (you can play with different dimensions as well)
- using glue gun or good glue attach the cup to  the first plate
- then attach the next plate to the cup and proceed (depending on the amount of layers you wish to have) until the top plate
- make sure your cups and plates are centered when gluing
- leave to dry (best will be overnight) before using

And that's the result:




How do you like it?

I'm quite happy with the result and I already have a few ideas to create some more :)

Here are some more ideas that might inspire you (they have certainly inspired me):


Candelabra cookie stand via WohnIdee; Tea service cookie stand by Anthropologie; Painted cake stand via Pixel Whisk; Cupcake stand via Landee See, Landee Do




Happy crafting!



Friday, March 16, 2012

“Erin Go Bragh”...

by Karolina, 16.03.2012

...“Ireland Forever”.
Whether you have Irish blood in your veins or not, you can still celebrate St Patrick's Day.
With green colours it's somehow preparing for Spring coming as well, don't you think?
In St Patrick's spirit I prepared for you today quick overview of chosen, yummy, Irish or Irish inspired food:

1.Guinness Irish Stew with Parsley Dumplings via Babble
2.Irish Whiskey Cake with a Butter-Whiskey Glaze via Lea&Jay
3.Baileys Chocolate Cake via FoodIsMyLife
4.Irish Beer & Cheese Chicken Pot Pies via Lea&Jay
5.Potato Leek Soup with gorgeous shamrock pesto croutons  via Apron Strings
But that's not all...
We need some drink as well, right?

Why don't you try my quick & easy cocktail...
I called it: "Irishman's Milk"
I'm not going to post normal recipe, because you don't really need one to make this.
All you need is:
- "Muller" pistachio and coconut milk
- Spoon or two (ok, maybe 3) of whisky (depends how boozy you like it :))

Mix it all, add some ice and it's ready :)
I decorated it with some cress as it reminds me of shamrock little bit.
How do you like it?

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Venezia...

by Karolina, 14th March 2012

Venice..city of canals, city of carnival, city of masks. I had a chance to be there again. It's definitely charming and one of a kind. Some people love it, some hate.
I am under a spell of its amazing architecture where every house is picture-worthy. Mesmerized by shadows on the canals and rays of sun sweeping gondolas, I love to be lost in the labyrinth of tiny alleys.

But when walking all day, even in such an amazing place, you get hungry :) What to eat in Venice? Preferably avoid touristy places where you'll pay loads for a soggy sandwich. Try to find small bar or restaurant where you'll be able to try local specialities- seafood or  cicheti - tapas style little dishes.

1.Fondi di Carciofi (Bacon-Wrapped Artichokes) via Saveur
2.Zaeti- Venetian Polenta Biscottini via ChocolateChilliMango
3.BaccalĂ  Mantecato (Grilled Polenta with Dried Cod Mousse) via Saveur
4.Zucchine Ripiene (Stuffed Zucchini)  via Saveur
5. Aperol Spritz via Cooking with Michelle
Have a little walk in Venice with me...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Black & white

by Karolina, 2nd March 2012

Today just a short note to show my current colour inspiration.
Classical combination of two pure, contrasting colours. Oldie by goodie...



1.Black & white party - check for more black&white details - Bird's Party
2.Macarons tower via Frenchweddingstyle
3.Black & white painted bottles via maryjanes&galoshes
4.Black and white pasta {bsinthekitchen}
  And for the end little photo for all these waiting for the Spring (me included :))
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