Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays: Black and Gold Oreo Truffles

Today, I couldn't be prouder to be a Saints fan.  Did you hear that our very own Drew Brees was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year?  You can see him receiving his amazing honor on this morning's Today Show.

Here in New Orleans we know just how lucky we are to have been sent Drew five years ago to save our franchise.  He has given us a sense of hope.  He has given us a voice.  He has given us a Lombardi Trophy.  What more could you ask for?

So in the spirit of the Who Dat Nation, I thought I'd share a recipe for the most delicious treat  - 

Black and Gold Oreo Truffles.
Recipe courtesy of Bakerella!

1 package oreo cookies (divided… use cookie including the cream center)
1 8oz. package cream cheese (softened)

dark chocolate bark
1. Crush cookies and stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together.
2. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.

3. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry. 
4. For the gold accent, either place the truffles in gold paper cups or fleck with gold leaf.
5. Once dry, refrigerate and enjoy!
Makes about 36 truffles.
Notes: It helps to freeze the uncoated balls for a few minutes to keep the mixture from starting to fall apart in the melted chocolate. If this becomes a problem, dip them in the chocolate, let dry and then dip again. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Celebrity Hair Style Inspiration

Today was a huge day for me!!  I had my first haircut and color in New Orleans.  Anyone who has moved knows that there is a certain anxiety related to finding your new stylist.  Rather than randomly select a salon near our house or my office, I asked around, and based on a recommendation from a friend, I booked an appointment with Christopher at Coloriage.  He was amazing!  I had a consultation with him last month and we talked about how I style my hair and what products I use.  He spent a half hour with me discussing what my goal hairstyle would be.  

This was my inspiration...

I love Julia's cut and color here!!!!  It's such a pretty combination of colors.  Her hair is warm and has a caramel tone that I think brightens up her face!!  And the texture around her face is fabulous.

I think Christopher did an amazing job of bringing this hairdo to life today.  He spent so much time making sure that each highlight was well placed.  I left feeling fabulous and very excited and relieved!  It's hard to see the true tone in this picture, and I didn't have time to have it curled, but in person you can see how well blended the highlights are.  

I think next time, I might be brave enough to have Christopher lighten up the front even more!

Friday, November 26, 2010

So Much to be Thankful For

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!!!  It was a long and festive day at our house.

Growing up, we'd always spend Thanksgiving morning watching the Macy's parade.  So for the first time in six years, my family gathered together and munched on the  Pioneer Woman's monkey bread and watched the balloons pass through Herald Square.  
I am thankful for family traditions...

Mark had been on call on Wednesday and in the matter of fifteen hours had managed to deliver ten babies!! Can you believe that - TEN!  
I am thankful for the joy of little feet, and that my husband gets to do what he loves each and every day.
While Mark took a post-parade nap, my parents and I watched football and played a question and answer game.  I got a set of "conversation starters" last year from Santa, and it is so much fun to ask people the same question and see how varied the answers are...
I am thankful for quality time with my family...

The tension in the house started rising as the clock approached 3:15 CST.  The Saints were playing on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in franchise history.  We all wanted our boys to come up with a big win!  The game started out fast and furious and we saw quite a show by the offense and the defense.  I credit Dallas with making some impressive halftime adjustments and limiting our offense in the second half.  Their improved play certainly made for a more exciting game than we would have preferred.  With just a few minutes left, Malcolm Jenkins stripped the ball from Roy Williams after a very successful Dallas catch and run.  It was the play of the game!  And with just a few minutes left, Drew Brees led our offense down the field for the game winning drive.  Whhoooo Daaatttt!
I am thankful for Coach Payton, Mickey Loomis, Drew Brees, Tracy Porter, Will Smith, Marques Colston, Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Ivory, Lance Moore, and yes, Reggie Bush...
New Orleans Saints cornerback Malcolm Jenkins (27) strips the football from Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy E. Williams (11) forcing to fumble during second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune-Herald, Jose Yau)
Having won the game, everyone was especially festive and very ready to celebrate and give thanks for our many blessings.  And for the first time in our new home, we enjoyed a holiday meal together.  
I am thankful for the company of family and friends and for the farmers who work tirelessly so that we may share their harvest.

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful day of giving thanks!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays: Gorgonzola Broccoli Casserole

It's almost here!!!  Can you believe we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in just two days?!?!  Do you have your recipes ready?  I made our big Turkey Day grocery trip on Saturday, so I am ready to get cooking.  This is my absolute favorite meal to cook.  Last year, over the course of several Tuesdays, I posted all of the recipes I make for Thanksgiving.  Here's a recap...  You can click on each dish to find the link to the recipe...

This year I thought it would be nice to add a new dish to the menu, and my friend Amy highly recommended this broccoli casserole.  The name alone sounds completely heavenly!!
Gorgonzola Broccoli Casserole
Yield: Makes 12 to 14 servings
  • 3  pounds  broccoli
  • 1/4  cup  (1/8 lb.) butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted
  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  cups  milk
  • 2  packages (3 oz. each) cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2  cup  crumbled gorgonzola or other blue cheese
  • 2  cups  1/2-inch cubes French or other firm white bread (3 oz.)


1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil. Rinse broccoli and trim off and discard tough stem ends; if skin on stalks is tough, peel stalks. Cut broccoli into 1-inch pieces. Add to boiling water and cook just until barely tender when pierced, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.
2. Rinse and dry pan. Add 1/4 cup butter to pan and melt over medium heat. Stir in flour and salt until smoothly blended; cook until bubbly, about 1 minute. Add milk and stir over medium-high heat until mixture is boiling and thickened, about 3 minutes. Add cream cheese and gorgonzola; whisk until smoothly blended. Stir in broccoli. Pour into a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole.
3. In a blender or food processor, whirl bread cubes into coarse crumbs; you should have about 1 1/3 cups. In a small bowl, mix crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over broccoli mixture.
4. Bake until casserole is hot in the center and crumbs are golden, 20 to 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Heart NY

We are very lucky to have Mark's brothers all living in NYC.  It has given us many opportunities to go to the Big Apple to celebrate graduations and weddings and my personal favorite, Thanksgiving!  We have spent Thanksgiving in New York several times, and each time I find it more magical than I did the year before.  

We will be here in New Orleans this year, and I cannot wait to host Thanksgiving dinner in our very own home.  But I will admit, I would love to be heading east to Manhattan...

To take in the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular

To see a Miracle on 34th Street

And to spot Santa making his way down Central Park West.

We'd walk under the lighted tunnel in front of Cartier on Fifth and admire it's magical beauty...

And as we'd cross the avenue, we'd be able to take in the storefront's beautiful red bow

We'd walk to Central Park and take a romantic carriage tour, just Mark and me.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Furniture Selection Update!!

For weeks, Mark and I (admittedly mostly me) have been trying to decide how to best decorate our new home.  Before ordering anything, I wanted to settle in so that we didn't rush into our purchase.  Last weekend, we took our time and measured out our space and came to a few conclusions.  The pieces are arriving in, well, pieces!  So far, we have received our bar stools, the West Elm circle rug, and our coffee and side tables.  Our sofa and chair will be arriving anywhere from November 22nd to December 4th, and the Kite rug and console table won't be here until January.  I thought all of this waiting would drive me crazy, but I have to say, it's kind of fun to come home to new and exciting deliveries!

West Elm Scoop Back Bar Stool
I loved the simplicity of these stools!  The curved back works well with the rounded edges of our entertainment center...
West Elm Kite Kilim Rug
Our sofa is cream and the walls in our den are light khaki, so the sofa kind of gets lost in the space.  We thought that this rug had a great pattern and would work to break up the space a bit better.

Room and Board Andre Sofa
I LOVE this sofa.  The color is rich and the shape is wonderful.  
Room and Board Norton Chair
Mark really wanted a chair he could be comfortable in, and I love how the chocolate brown leather plays against the brown tweed of the couch.

West Elm Circles Rug
I have admired this rug for a long time!  I think the circles add a fun and whimsical sense to the space.
West Elm Cross Frame Coffee and Side Table
I loved how the cross frame of these tables mimicked legs of the sofa.  
West Elm Chunky Console Table
But I also loved how the chunkiness of this table would be different from the coffee and side tables.  I think it'll add a little interest to the room!

Well, that's all for now!!!  I hope you had a good week.   We have continued having internet problems,  but it seems to be working now.  So, I'm looking forward to popping by my favorite stops to see what everyone's been up to!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays: Pomegranate-Jalepeno Glazed Ham

After Katrina, my parents and my sister had to move to Houston for a few months, and for the first time our family was separated for Thanksgiving.  Mark and I flew there the weekend before to celebrate the holiday with them, and thus began "Faux Thanksgiving."  Since that year, we have hosted a big Thanksgiving dinner where we celebrate with our friends or family that we don't get to see on turkey day.  This year, we thought we'd continue our little tradition!

We'll be hosting Thanksgiving dinner next week, so I wanted our "Faux Thanksgiving" dinner to be a little different.  Here's the lineup...

Mini-Tomato Pies (they aren't very Fall-ish, but they are super tasty!)

Pomegranate-Jalepeno Glazed Ham
Wild Rice, Toasted Walnut, and Cranberry Dressing
Green Bean Salad with Fried Shallots


  1. One 7-pound, bone-in, spiral-cut smoked ham
  2. 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  3. 20 whole cloves
  4. One 10-ounce jar jalapeño jelly (1 cup)
  5. 1 cup pomegranate juice
  6. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  7. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Place the ham in a large roasting pan and add the chicken stock. Stud the ham all over with the cloves.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the jalapeño jelly, pomegranate juice and lemon juice to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, 10 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, cinnamon and ginger and simmer until reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes.
  3. Drizzle half of the glaze over the ham and cover with foil. Roast for 1 1/2 hours, basting frequently, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the ham registers 125°. Remove the foil and brush the ham with any remaining glaze. Roast for 30 minutes longer, until the top is lightly caramelized. Transfer to a platter. Discard the cloves. Pour the pan juices into a bowl and serve with the ham.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm a Little DG

Tonight I got to go back to college.  Well, not really, but I did get to go to Loyola and meet the active members of my sorority, Delta Gamma.  I participated as a member of our chapter's (Epsilon Phi) alumni career panel.  I have to say that to walk into the very room where I spent every Monday night for four years  with my DG sisters brought back such amazing memories.  I learned how to be my very best self through Delta Gamma.  

 Standing in the room with these amazing young ladies made me so very proud to call them my sisters.  They were enthusiastic and energetic  and engaged.  They had bright smiles and eager spirits.  I saw in them the same excitement I once had for everything that the future promises.  And that's the thing... the best years of their life are still ahead.  And it is more than likely that the women standing by their side as they experience all that is ahead will be the women standing by their side this evening.  

Delta Gamma is an amazing thing.  To her you give more of yourself than you even knew was possible, but what you get in return is priceless.  

For me, it is a place I found I can always call home.  A place I can always drop anchor.  A place where I found myself.  All these years later, it remains the place I wanna be.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Hello friends!

I keep thinking that things will slow down and I will get back to posting daily, and each day something seems to keep me from doing so.  Most recently, our internet has been disconnecting every five minutes or so.  I have started the same post about our experience at the Chef's Table at Commanders three times, and each time the internet times out and I lose my post.  Grrrrrr...  It has left me literally disconnected from all of you.  And it has left me feeling a little disconnected from my blog and all of yours.

Our telephone company is sending out someone to fix the phone line by this Wednesday, so hopefully by midweek, I'll be back up and running.  This time away has given me time to catch up on life.  We have finally settled into the new house.  We ordered our formal living room furniture today, and I'm looking forward to sharing our purchases with you.  We went with a mix of pieces from West Elm and Room and Board.  Lots of chocolate browns!!!  Sneak peak...
Room and Board Andre Sofa
It's also given me some time to find new fall recipes!  I love Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, and I have been going back through old issues to discover some new menu items.  Tasty Tuesdays should be filled with new recipes this week and each one after that.  I'm working on an early Thanksgiving dinner menu for a dinner we're hosting for friends on Saturday, and I'm thinking we'll do a glazed ham, wild rice stuffing, and green bean salad.  

I haven't found just the right dessert recipe for our dinner this weekend, and I'd love to hear from you with suggestions.  
Have you seen any good fall/Thanksgiving dessert recipes lately?

Monday, November 8, 2010

30th Birthday Weekend in Pictures (and a few words)

So, my big 30th birthday weekend has come and gone, and it was even more special than I could have imagined it being.  I knew my friends Christie and Lauren were coming in on Thursday night.  What I didn't know was that my sister-in-law Alissa would be joining them!!!  I got home from a long day (filled with coughing and sniffles from the terrible cold I caught) of continuing education, and Mark insisted that I follow him into the den to see all the work he had done on the house during his day off.  I obliged and what do you know, Alissa was waiting in there to greet me with champagne and Crumbs cupcakes direct from NYC!  It was the sweetest and most lovely surprise!!!

Here's a look into our weekend in the Big Easy...

Beignets and Cafe au Lait at Cafe du Monde

The St. Louis Cathedral

The start to our French Quarter carriage tour 

Masquerading ladies on the way to my birthday dinner at Luke

My favorite birthday tradition - jazz brunch at Commander's Palace

This weekend was something I have been waiting for for what seems like forever.  I woke up this morning sad that my girls had gone home.  But I also woke up so grateful that they came from so far away to celebrate this special birthday.  They reminded me how lucky I am to have such truly amazing people in my life.  From my parents and my sister who made this whole week so special to my New Orleans friends who took the time to celebrate with us, to my Beaufort friends who are my family, and my sister-in-law who is my friend as much as she is my family.  And to Mark who makes me feel special everyday, but who makes me feel like a queen on my birthday.  He made this weekend possible.  Thank You All.  For Everything.  But mostly for your love and friendship.


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