Posts Tagged ‘tiramisu’

CHRISTMAS DECOR AND HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING IN AN APARTMENT

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Hanging Christmas Ornaments

For the very first time since we’ve moved in together (that’s 4 years now!), Allan and I decided to decorate our little apartment with Christmas decorations. And let’s face it, when I say “Allan and I”, I really mean me, since Allan would much rather be playing video games than doing holiday decorations ;) Plus, I’ll be honest — I’ve been suffering a little bit from wedding withdrawal, and I’ve been dying for an excuse to do floral arrangements, place settings and entertaining :)

Hanging Christmas Ornaments

Over the past two weeks, I’ve decorated our home space, the common room at work, and my parent’s house. I’ve been elfing it up this year for some reason! Normally we do Christmas completely over at my parent’s place as they have space to do the big tree… and while Christmas will most definitely still be over there, we are having my folks over for Christmas breakfast this year and wanted to prep the apartment in advance. I decided to do a silver and champagne Christmas theme with red accents.

Festive Flower Arrangement

Champagne and Silver Place Setting Starting to arrange flowers

 

We hosted a holiday dinner party this past weekend with Trev & Crista and Mat & Ali and managed to find some space for our pop-up table. Seating 6 around this table in our apartment is difficult, so swapped our normal computer desk for a “rolly” desk that we can roll into a different room when we have people over. Awesome! Then it was time for new place settings! I also did all the floral arrangements with fresh roses and Christmas greens.

Low Festive Flower Table Arrangement

Low flower arrangements with large red roses and berries.

Christmas Table Setting

I really like the way our place settings turned out and I think they are versatile enough to use all year round. Or do you think it would be too much for normal entertaining?

Silver Wreath

Here’s a silver wreath we used to bring some festivity to our kitchen.

Fresh Pines and Peppercorn Wreath

And my favourite… a fresh wreath with peppercorns, pinecones and tons of greens… smells so good!

Christmas Decor

Our side table was replaced with some silver Christmas trees and mercury glass candle holders…

Christmas Decor Christmas Decor and Wine

… a couple other accents here and there with reindeer and more candles.

Aftermath of Festive Dinner Party

The aftermath of our dinner party with some holiday decor on our coffee table and a festive throw blanket.

Clarifying Butter Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Making Chocolate Decorations Making Spinach and Beets for Pasta Colouring

I find cooking for 6 people really hard to do with plated dinners, so we did quite a bit of prep the previous night. I learned how to clarify butter for the first time (awesome for searing scallops at an extremely high temperature). I also toasted the pumpkin seeds, prepped the chocolate decorations and the veggies to give the pasta some colour.

Kobe-Style Beef Short Ribs Butternut Squash Cooking Brown Butter Sage Sauce Peas and mint for the puree

The next day, we put the kobe-style marbled beef short ribs in the oven for four hours and got the butternut squash soup going. Some photos of our prep with making the sage sauce, and the minted pea puree.

Making Striped Ravioli Spinach and Beet Striped Ravioli filled with Wild Mushrooms or Butternut Squash

Allan did a really nice job with the striped raviolis. We did beet-coloured ravioli for the butternut squash filled ones, and spinach-coloured ravioli for the wild mushroom filled ones.

Butternut Squash Soup with Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Oil with a Parmesan Crisp

First course: Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Seed Oil, finished with a Parmesan Crisp … we always seem to make this one when other people come over! (recipe)

Seared Scallops with Pea Puree and Double-Smoked Bacon

Second Course: Seared Scallops in a Minted Pea Puree with Applewood Double-Smoked Bacon

Braised Beef Short Rib with Cauliflower Puree and Wild Mushroom Ravioli and Butternut Squash Ravioli

Third Course: Braised Beef Short Rib in a Red Wine Reduction with Cauliflower Puree and duo of Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Ravioli in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce (recipe)

Tiramisu Cheesecake with Chocolate Decoration

Fourth Course: Tiramisu Cheesecake with Chocolate Decoration and Strawberries (recipe)

Our Festive Apartment

Overall I think our dinner party went well and our apartment is looking festive! I think we’re all set for the holidays…. can’t wait for Christmas! Can you believe it’s only 2 weeks away now?

What are your holiday plans this year? Are you going to decorate your place?


FOOD AND FISH

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Sounds like a weird combination? It sure is. Yes, in this blog post I will be writing about cooking and food… and aquarium fish. Weird.

This past weekend we hosted a dinner party for our friends Liv and Rob, who we always have a fantastic time with. We decided to make a three-course meal, but didn’t try anything new since we were under some time constraints for cooking.

Three Course Meal

It’s strange, I’ve gone from being a cocktail-only person, to being a maybe-sometimes-champagne person, to appreciating both wine and champagne now. I guess I have my friend Crista to blame for that! We had quite the array of drinks on Saturday, and I was surprised the next morning to see how much we had really consumed.

Three Course Meal Three Course Meal Three Course Meal Three Course Meal

I prepared the tiramisu the night before, but everything else we cooked fresh the day of. It wasn’t quite dinner theatre… we were scrambling around the kitchen in front of our guests. But I think overall it was a success!

Three Course Meal

For the appetizer we had a roasted creamy butternut squash soup with fresh cream, shaved parmigiano reggiano, chopped chives, and freshly grated nutmeg. Click here for my butternut squash soup recipe.

Three Course Meal

For the main we had beef shortrib braised in Barolo red wine, served over a bed of fresh pappardelle pasta noodles with pine nuts, spinach, chanterelle mushrooms, and parmigiano reggiano cream sauce. Click here for my braised beef short rib and pappardelle recipe.

Three Course Meal

For our sweet finish, we had my cheesecake tiramisu with strawberries and espresso wafers. The tiramisu had lady fingers soaked in Kahlua, coffee, coffee liqueur, and chocolate liqueur. Click here for my cheesecake tiramisu recipe.

The dinner party was probably a little too fun. :)

———-

On a completely other note, we bought some new discus for our aquarium! I am really as I have always wanted more discus in the tank and finally was able to convince Allan over the past year or so to be open to more discus.

New Discus Aquarium Fish

We bought four new discus fish, for a total of five now in our tank. We got a Golden Master, Red Melon, Red Turquoise, and Tiger Snake Skin to add to our Red Dragon (the larger one we’ve had for almost a year now). I absolutely love them! Now we have to name them…

New Discus Aquarium Fish

What did you get up to over the weekend?

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This the blog of a 28 year-old Vancouver girl who loves and writes about everything “Vancouver” and West Coast. This is the blog of a girl who works in Vancouver's video game industry, it's also a surfing blog, snowboarding blog, food blog, Canucks blog, gadget blog, and photography blog. VancityAllie.com is an award-winning blog that receives over 2.7M unique visitors every year and over 4,500 followers on Twitter. VancityAllie.com has been featured in books, newspapers, magazines, and television.

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