Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentine Luncheon 2011: part II: guests arrive.

As guests arrived, DJ greets them with hors d'oeuvres of Stilton Tart with Cranberry Chutney (shown here) and Bleu Cheese Pesto Tartlets and offers them a choice of beverage: Kir Royale (champagne with Cassis liqueur) or almond tea

Friends Camille, Marty, Margaret, Kathy and Carol

Karey, Leslie and Barbara

Lynne, Susanna, Mary and Barenda

Me with my friends Debbie, Wendy, Karey and Heather

Ann, Page, Leslie and Lisa

Heather, me, Priscilla and Melissa

Meanwhile in the kitchen my helpers Matt and DJ plate the food for lunch

Assembly line of plates ready for the tables

Stay tuned: Lunch is served

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Valentine Luncheon 2011, part I: tables, flowers and favors.

The invitation

Dining room table.

Every year I think the flowers can't possibly be as beautiful as the year before, and every year the designers at my florist outdo themselves. I don't give them any direction other than "pink, red and feminine. This year I asked them to incorporate a little purple as a nod to my favorite TCU Horned Frog, Will (never mind the fact that he has ZERO interest in Valentine's Day or my luncheon!). I thought this arrangement was exquisite

Den table

Close-up of den flowers

Breakfast room table

Living room table

Close-up of living room flowers

Party favors on the chest in the entry hall

Close-up of party favor bags: I designed and ordered the boxes of matches on For Your Party and then put two tea lights in a cellophane bag with some purple scrunchy paper and tied it all up with pink and purple raffia ribbon

Coming up next: my guests arrive

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Super weekend!

Eek! I can't believe it's been two weeks since I've posted. Things have been very busy around here.

I was in Houston for several days for a bridge tournament (which went really well!). I also met my parents in Philadelphia for my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary celebration. Then we had the Super Bowl in Dallas and Robert and I went to a whirlwind of fun parties that culminated in the big game. Mixed in there we missed five days of school due to ice and snow, and I spent quite a bit of time getting ready for my annual Valentine luncheon.

My luncheon was last Friday. I'll be posting pictures from it soon. I also will be answering a fun "Five Things I Don't Leave My House Without" tag from my friend Hopsy at Monograms and Manicures. So stay tuned! I may get all of these posts completed before the end of 2011!

In the meantime, I'll start with some pictures from Super Bowl weekend.

First of all, we were corporate guests, which, let me tell you, is THE way to go at an event like this. Friday night the weekend kicked off with a fabulous steak dinner at Del Frisco's (a legendary steakhouse here in Dallas). Ed "Too Tall" Jones was at the party signing footballs and posing for pictures with all of the guests. Growing up as a huge Cowboys fan in the 70's, Robert was thrilled with this opportunity. We don't have our picture back yet, but I can attest that "Too Tall" lives up to his name. I think he is 6'9"!

Clint Black

Saturday night we attended a very fun cocktail party at a local art gallery that featured Clint Black as the entertainment. Clint was very personable and sang a lot of familiar favorites. Robert and I also enjoyed looking at the art on display, and we were even able to watch one of the artists create a new painting live.

Here the artist is beginning his painting

And here he is with the finished product

I liked this painting a lot. Robert didn't quite see the *need* for it

On Super Bowl Sunday we met at an area hotel and rode to the game in a Stretch Hummer limousine our hosts had arranged. It was WAY over the top and certainly not my style at all, but it definitely beat driving ourselves and paying an outrageous price for parking (we saw lots close to the stadium charging $700! We arrived very early so I never actually saw anyone pay that.).

Arriving at Cowboys Stadium

We attended an ESPN pregame party that was fun and then walked over to the stadium around 3:00 (kickoff was at 5:30).

Crowds near the stadium

Unfortunately the logistics for getting through security were awful, and we waited in line two hours and fifteen minutes before entering the stadium.

This mob was waiting to enter the security tent that you can see straight ahead. There was no queue line until about halfway up so it was bedlam with lots of pushing and grumbling until we got to the queue. Once we reached that, the line moved in a pretty orderly fashion. There were only two such security entrances into the stadium. Hard to imagine that no one considered how they were going to funnel 100,000+ people inside in a short amount of time!

Once we were inside I realized that the TCU band was playing on the field, so I popped into an aisle and took this picture for my favorite Horned Frog, Will

Our suite was very nice with a lot of good food! We had seats on a little balcony at the front of the suite. We were up high overlooking the side of the Packers' end zone, and we had a great view of the field and of the (very impressive) Jumbotron

The halftime show was absolutely amazing in person. I've heard mixed reviews from those who watched it on TV, but in real life it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Of course, I am someone who hears "Fergie" and thinks "Duchess of York," so my expectations of the music were nil. But the dancing and the lighted costumes the dancers wore were great

Lots of celebrating by the Packer faithful at the end of the game

As you might imagine, I was plumb exhausted at the end of the weekend.

Attending the Super Bowl was a fabulous experience and I am so appreciative Robert and I were able to go (especially in such style!). Having said that, there is a huge hassle factor involved, and I'm not sure that I ever need to go again. But I'm really glad I was able to attend once. And I am very happy for my blog friends who are Packers fans!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Vivian's new portrait is hung!

Vivian *consulted* with Robert as he took measurements and hung her portrait. Meticulous Robert got the portrait centered and even in one try. I take more of the multiple-nail-hole approach {sigh}

I picked up Vivian's 16-year-old birthday portrait from the frame shop last week, and Robert hung in it our entry hall next to Will's. I am just thrilled with how it looks!

Will and Vivian - both at age 16

Usually when Vivian sees a picture of herself, she says, "That's me. I was a cute little baby." But when Vivian walks by her new portrait, she comments, "Look! A princess!"


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Things we love: Oatmeal Crisp cookies.


We are iced in here at Casa Weasel. Day Two of no school, so Dots and I decided to bake cookies!

These oatmeal cookies were favorites of my sister and brother and me growing up, and they are also much beloved by my children. Dots also insisted that we make them last weekend when we were hosting our mother/daughter book club here because they are always a huge hit with her friends as well.

One thing I love about this recipe is I usually have all the ingredients on hand

My mother sent me the recipe when I was newly married

The dough is refrigerated in rolls wrapped in waxed paper

One recipe makes 2-3 rolls like this

After the dough is chilled, you simply slice and bake - very easy and much quicker than drop cookies. I use the convection setting on my oven and bake three cookie sheets at one time

Oatmeal Crisps

1 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups quick-cooking Quaker Oats (sometimes I use regular Quaker Oats if that is what I have on hand and I can't tell any difference)

Cream shortening and sugars then adds eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt and soda then add to mixing bowl. Stir in oats.

Form dough into rolls. Wrap in waxed paper and chill thoroughly. Slice and bake 10 minutes at 350° (325° for convection).

Makes approximately 8 dozen cookies.

***Someone asked if I thought she could substitute butter for the Crisco. Absolutely! The cookies will just be flatter.***