Sunday, February 27, 2011

Valentine’s Day Double Date Dinner (and recipes)

This year, to celebrate Valentine's Day, we spent the Saturday before the 14th sharing a lovely homemade dinner with our couple-friends, Candice and Babak. I'm afraid that we were having such a good time eating, drinking, cooking, and laughing that I completely forgot to take any pictures of our great night!

That being said, I did snap a few photos of the recipes I prepared, and everything turned out so incredibly delicious I definitely wanted to share. Candice and Babak were responsible for the main course and dessert, while Timothy and I were to bring appetizers and wine. Candice and Babak decided on a great Giada De Laurentiis recipe, Chicken Tetrazzini. It was amazing! It was rich, creamy and, while definitely not Weight-Watchers friendly, we all agreed it was a true treat and perfect for our date night. One side note about Giada's recipe, it requires about 35 different ingredients and 35 additional steps. It is not a week night – quick fix.

Candice made a red velvet cake for dessert with a homemade – cream cheese icing. And, even though I wasn't assigned dessert, I made Oreo truffles as well.

Wine was easy. I snagged two bottles of Relax, one red and one white. If you haven't tried Relax you must! I've always loved the white (a very light Riesling), but this was the first time I've tried the red. I'm not a huge red fan, but the Relax "cool red" was very tasty. Needless to say, the white and red were enjoyed thoroughly by us all, to the very last drops.

In terms of appetizers, I decided on a sun-dried tomato cheese spread and brie-fruit pastry cups.

The sun-dried tomato cheese spread was a recipe I discovered in Taste of Home. It actually called for the cheese to be made into a ball, but (based on my last attempt at a cheese ball which resulted in chopped nuts and cheese scattered throughout my kitchen) I decided to edit the recipe into a spread.

I forgot to take prep pictures, so this is the prep aftermath: shredded cheese, cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, onion (1 tablespoon to be exact), and Worcestershire.

Mix with a hand blender until smooth.

Pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours for everything to set up.


The brie-fruit pastry tarts were fairly easy as well. Start with a roll of crescent rolls, but do not break apart into the pre-cut triangles. Roll out the dough and cut into squares. Place squares into a mini muffin pan.

Add spoonfuls of brie.

Top with jam of choice.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. I did get a little over zealous as I spooned the cheese and jam, so some of my filling did boil over a bit.

Cool on a drying rack. Serve warm and enjoy!

We had a great time with Candice and Babak. Good food, great wine, and amazing conversations/laughs. It was a perfect Valentine's celebration for us all. 

Kelly Anne

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Registering Fun

Over the last few weekends, Timothy and I have been registering for wedding gifts. We registered at Belk, Bed Bath & Beyond, and at Target. We had a great experience at Belk and at Bed Bath & Beyond. The associates at both stores were super informative and made us feel like special guests at their stores. All that being said they still let us have our space and were not pushy at all. Target, on the other hand, was incredibly underwhelming. They literally have you type in your information on the computer and then hand you the scanner gun. I think that the associate at Target said maybe 10 words to us total. I was definitely glad we went to Belk and BB&B first; I would have been really disappointed with the whole registering experience if Target has been our first exposure. 

We had a great time scanning literally everything! Most of my married friends advised us to over-register and we did! We decided against fine-china, but we did find a great Lenox pattern that is going to be great for both everyday use and entertaining. It is definitely something we can dress up or down. We also got very excited about the flatware we picked it out; it's so grown up! We were having so much fun that I forgot photo-document our experience. I did snag 2 pictures at Belk, but that was it.

Kelly Anne

A Southern Lady Cooks, Creamy Baked Chicken

Wow, I have seriously slacked on my blogging! I have a number of recipes to share so I'm going to try and catch up this week. Sometime back in January, I attempted a 2nd recipe from my southern lady cookbook. I had Timothy cruise through the book and pick out something he thought would be yummy, and he decided on Creamy Baked Chicken.

This recipe was pretty straight forward and didn't require my weight-watchers tweaking too much (although I did sub margarine in place of the butter). I've included some pictures below, but unfortunately I totally forgot to take a picture of the final product; you guys will just have to try it out and see the final product for yourself.

 Dry White Wine & Cream of Chicken Soup

  Mix It
  Chicken Breast
  Topped with Swiss Cheese
  Topped with the White Wine and Cream of Chicken Mix
 Topped with 1 Cup Stuffing Mix
 Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Timothy and I both loved this recipe.  I served it with a side of green beans.  It really is an easy recipe and perfect for any week night.
Kelly Anne

Friday, February 4, 2011

Toddler (flower girl) Dress Help

I need some advice/help from anyone who may read my blog.  I would like my flower girl to have a dress she can wear again; I'm not really looking for the traditional white or ivory flower girl dress.  My wedding colors are navy and apple/lime green.  The wedding is in July outside in Virginia and it will be hot!  I think I would love something with polka-dots, ribbons and/or bows.  I have found a few dresses that I like, but not in my color scheme (examples below).  

I'm hoping that someone out there in blogger-space may have a suggestion for where to find reasonably-priced toddler dresses.  Help please! Thanks in advance for your advice!
Kelly Anne

The Proposal Book

This Christmas Timothy and I decided not to exchange gifts.  We decided to save the money we would normally spend on one another for our wedding.  We did exchange stockings and our yearly ornament, but no substantial gifts...or so I thought.

After returning home from our whirl-wind holiday vacation, Tim did have one gift for me.   It had been delivered while we were traveling.  I opened the UPS packaging to discover a hard-back picture book, custom-made by the one and only Timothy Mudd.

If you have read our proposal story, you know that Tim used a series of photos to tell “our story.”  He proposed when I had come to the end of our photo timeline.  I wanted to preserve these photos and the quotes that went along with each, but I had yet to come up with an expectable/reasonable solution.  Well, unbeknownst to me Timothy had scanned all the photos and created a photo book of “our story” so that I could remember our engagement.  The photo book was assembled in the same order that I found the photos the night we got engaged, and each photo was accompanied by the same quote from that night as well.

It was the perfect gift (and is now a perfect coffee table book too).

Kelly Anne