Red Velvet Petits Fours

Shame on you guys, no one griped at me for getting these recipes to you so late. Oh well, you're getting them anyway right?

Red Velvet Petits Fours

Petite Fours Frosting

1 cup white sugar
1 dash cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 drop red food coloring
1 drop green food coloring
1 drop yellow food coloring
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and water in a small saucepan. Cook to the soft ball stage, 234 - 240 degrees F (112 - 115 degrees C). Cool to lukewarm.
Gradually beat in enough confectioners' sugar to make mixture thick enough to almost hold its shape. Stir in flavoring. Divide into 4 parts. Leave one part white and tint other portions pink, yellow, and green.
To ice petits fours, place them on a cooling rack and spoon the icing/frosting over the top until covered.

Classic Red Velvet Cake

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring
3 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

FROSTING: ( you might not need this...........)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in food coloring, vinegar, butter flavoring and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, combine frosting ingredients; beat until smooth and creamy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Check Out This Rock

This is the world's FIRST 150k diamond ring. There is no gold, titanium, silver, platinum, no precious metal of any kind. Just a diamond.
It took an entire year for this ring to be carved using lasers!
It is expected to sell for $70 million.

Just thought this would be interesting for you all to check out.

Homestyle Cookin'

Even though you will be getting married soon, doesn't mean you are past the "dating" phase. Actually, to be honest, you should never get past the dating phase. Marriage should be the two of you dating for the rest of your life, otherwise, don't expect to have any romance.

I don't know what in me spiked this sudden urge to cook him dinner while he's napping, all he asked for was spaghetti. But here it goes. Nice and affordable dinner for two.

Preheat your oven to 375.
Prep your chicken. Make sure they are both thawed. Having one delicious and well cooked chicken for one just wouldn't be fair. Also, make sure you know how to clean it and all. Giving him food poisoning probably isn't the best way to say "I love you".

Get out your ingredients. You'll need two pots-- one for noodles and one for sauce.
Have a glass pan ready for your chicken to go in the oven.

Eggs and milk (for the batter to keep the breading on the chicken)
Bread Crumbs (either Progresso Italian Style bread crumbs or make your own if you're that fancy)
Garlic Salt
Spaghetti Sauce

That should do it.

Mix 2 eggs and about 1/4 cup of milk into a bowl, dip the chicken in it then bread away!

This is it for the chicken for now. Put it in the oven for 20-25 minutes (or until chicken is tender enough for a fork to go through) and we'll worry about it later. Do NOT forget to set your timer. You lose track of time when dealing with other areas of the kitchen. And actually turn on your oven. Yes, I've done that before and wondered why my brownies weren't cooked after 30 minutes. Now, cooking instructions may be a little different depending on the chicken so make sure to check.

Now for the pasta. Everyone knows how to cook pasta right? Boil water, throw it in there, when it tastes good, take it off the burner. Simple right? Now, I have actually met one person who has BURNT noodles before. It was like eating pudding with the slightest taste of burnt popcorn. Please don't be this person.

The sauce- either you can pour out a can of Prego or Ragu (whatever your choice may be). Honestly, I prefer Prego. If you want your sauce to taste sweet, go with Ragu; if you want it to actually taste like a tomato, Prego. You can leave it like that but hey, where is the fun in that? I like to play around with spices-- toss in some oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Makes a whole lot of difference, you'll see.

When the noodles are done, drain them. Keep the sauce on low heat so it doesn't get cold. And guys, remember to stir it. Splatters of spaghetti sauce all over your kitchen is not fun.

When the chicken is done, let it sit for a couple of minutes so it can soak up all those yummy juices. Check it to make sure it is cooked-- cut into it in the center and make sure there is no pink. If it's good, continue. If not, back in the oven it goes!

Now, put your pasta on the plate, then the chicken and spread that delicious "homemade" spaghetti sauce all over the chicken and pasta.
Ta dahhhh!

Now take it to your love bug and share the joy.

It's fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. That's what human life is all about -- enjoying things. --Julia Child

All In A Days Work

Just stopping in to let you guys know I'm still here. It has been a busy day but I plan on sharing some wedding cake recipes later on today before John and I leave for The Hunger Games premier.
If it isn't posted by tomorrow at noon, you can all yell at me. Yea, that's good. Making myself a deadline and everyone else enforcing it.

Here are some recipes to look forward to! (I will be getting these from Wilton Wedding Cakes).
Ever since the Bridal Show, I am on the hunt for Red Velvet Petits Fours that are even half as good as those.
Also, I am really eyeballing that cheesecake. So after this experiment with my friend Jessica, we will either have a fat and happy version of me or a frustrated mess sitting on the kitchen floor covered in gum paste. We'll see.
Hope you are all doing wonderfully today and Happy Hunger Games!

“Only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. One is to let her think she is having her own way; the other, to let her have it.” --Lyndon B Johnson

Traditional Irish Creme

Red Velvet Petits Fours
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

What You Didn't Know About Engagement Rings

Hey Brides/Grooms/Friends/Family!
Hope you are all doing swell today.

Being the nosy and curious person that I am, I had the sudden urge to research engagement rings. Since this symbol is a promise to wed in multiple different cultures, I was wondering where it all started and how it differs in different countries. Haven't you ever looked down at your ring and wondered how all of this even started?

Engagement rings began in ancient Egyptian times to symbolize a never-ending cycle. This was called the "betrothal ring".
This is different than the meaning in Western countries. In the Western Culture, the ring is worn (after accepting the proposal) on the left ring finger because in the classical era, it was believed that there was a vein in that finger that led straight to the heart. The tradition of wearing the engagement ring on that finger hasn't changed.

"The tradition of engagement rings as we currently know it arose in the medieval era, when, in 1215, Pope Innocent III instituted a mandatory waiting period from engagement to marriage. For the first few hundred years in the tradition of engagement rings, only the wealthiest nobles could afford precious stones for their rings, and most engagement rings were simple metal bands. Plain bands are still worn as engagement rings by both men and women in many countries, including Denmark, Germany, and Sweden."

For example, the Victorian tradition of engagement rings included precious stones whose initials spelled out a message: Lapis lazuli, Opal, Vermarine, and Emerald for LOVE. Other popular rings had gems spelled out Regards or Dearest. Some engagement rings during this era also contained compartments for a lock of the betrothed's hair. Before the end of the 19th century, some "betrothal" gifts did not consist of a ring, but rather a sewing thimble. Not so romantic, is it?

Once there was a larger population of those who could afford engagement rings, this became more popular.
Diamond engagement rings didn't become popular until about 1870 when diamond mines were discovered in South Africa. Then, De Beers created a very successful marketing campaign "A Diamond Is Forever", which we still hear today. They even educated jewelers to instruct would-be husbands that two to three months’ salary was the appropriate amount to spend on an engagement ring. Wonder how they are educating jewelers now. Explains why diamonds are so expensive.

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.  -- Erica Jong


Bridal Tweet

Hey guys!
So if you haven't yet seen my countdown/wedding timeline, you should really go look at it. It is helpful, I promise.
Anyway, not the point. I have been using, mostly to get traffic to my blog and partially because I was curious what all the hype was about. Well, I have received several e-mails from other subscribers saying my timeline was helpful. Here's the awesome part. BridalTweet took a vote and my timeline ended up getting featured on their homepage! Quite exciting, I must say. Hope I helped some brides out.

Well, can you tell it is no longer my spring break? Work has been crazy and I am trying to prepare for starting school back up tomorrow. I really hate it when professors choose to give you ridiculously difficult paper assignments over the break, who actually does their homework over a BREAK? Look, I am already getting distracted.

Writing makes me feel better. You see the irony? I come over to write a blog to avoid writing a paper.

To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others.
~Francois Mauriac

Phase Bridesmaid- COMPLETE!

I had an exciting evening yesterday. I picked my final bridesmaid!
This of course, means that I will be starting my "bridesblog" section soon, for all you bridesmaids out there that are going through this for the first time. I will continue to provide my wedding details and plans, but hey, I have to help out your party too, right?

And get this, I will be her bridesmaid as well! Her wedding is almost exactly a month after mine, so that gives us plenty of opportunities to share this experience together. I am very excited to see bigger friendships unfold. Not only with me, but between my bridesmaids.

Stacey-- Maid Of Honor

Stacey and I went to high school together. She was my line officer on my dance team and is now my roommate. She is majoring in elementary education at Sam Houston State. She has always been an extremely close and incredible friend of mine. I am so proud of her for everything she has done to let Christ live through her. I appreciate that she has always been one who could be honest and upfront with me.

Audrey-- Bridesmaid
Audrey was my first "Texas" friend. I moved to Texas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida when I was nine. I knew absolutely NO ONE and the rest of the kids on my street wanted nothing to do with me because I was the "new kid". Audrey welcomed me with open arms and we've been friends ever since, also a fellow dancer. She will be graduating high school this semester and will go on to Southwestern University, where she got an $80,000 scholarship. I am so proud of you!!

I have only known Clarissa for a year but we have really hit it off as friends. I met her when I first started my job here and now we are managers together. She is engaged to her best friend, Chad. They have been together since their freshman year of high school. I am so glad that I have had the chance to become friends with her and I can't wait for all of our exciting plans! I will also be a bridesmaid in her wedding next April.

I just thought of this. All 4 of us our dancers. I will have to do something with this during my reception, what do you think?

"You don't go to college to find your groom, you go to find your bridesmaids"  -Anonymous

The Story Of The Early Bird Who Got The Worm

I must say, I have excellent timing.
As you know (for those who keep up with my rantings), I had an appointment with The Villas on Thursday morning to finalize the date and get it booked!
I spent a little over an hour talking to the owner's wife about all my wedding plans so far, how I am envisioning my use of the facility, and sharing my excitement about the whole thing. We paid our deposit and got the event booked for March 14th.
As I was leaving, another bride was walking up to The Villas from her car for an appointment.

A couple of hours later, I received an e-mail from the owner telling me everything was confirmed with a little side note on the bottom.
Apparently, that bride wanted my wedding day and argued with the planner to see if we could either have it on the same day or if she could persuade me to move it because she "already booked the church". HA. Can you believe she tried to have a Bride War?
Technically, I know that in my timeline, it says to reserve your venue later on down the road, but what can I say? I don't want to wait around for something and have it not be there in the end.
Sorry girl, I don't play around with my plans.

To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the wedding cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.
- Ogden Nash

Engaged To Details

John and I made it home today. Georgetown is looking rather lovely with all the rain lately.
We came home for several reasons; to see family, talk to our caterer/friend, and to meet with the Villa to sign our contract!
We aren't signing the contract until tomorrow morning, but at least John got to see what he is signing up for. He loved it! I was nervous at first because he didn't seem too thrilled to check the place out, but I think he was pleasantly surprised. This also worked well for me, I was able to see more of the Villa now that there weren't any events taking place this time. It is even more gorgeous than I remembered and just made me all the more ready to take this step. I will tell you more about that tomorrow.
Here is where the cocktail hour will be held! Can't wait to show you pictures of the bridal suite...I about passed out when I saw it.

I really wanted to discuss our meeting with our caterer. Head count will be a little more expensive than I thought, BUT they include things that we did not include when we entered the amount into our budget. He will be providing appetizers, an entree (a pasta and a protein) with 2 sides, rolls, salad, all the tableware, and the non-alcoholic beverages for a total of $12.95 a head at most. Being that he is a good friend of John's, he wants to play around with the price, but well worth it either way. He is a FANTASTIC cook, especially when it comes to Italian food. Also, he got us a really sweet deal on a bartender for the evening. We were thinking more towards $30-50 per hour. One website even said $30 per bartender/per hour/minimum of 4 hours/minimum of 3 bartenders. Ralph's (our caterer) offer is less than that with a minimum of 3 hours. Once he is no longer serving drinks, he isn't on our clock anymore but rather the company. That way, we don't have to pay him for set up and clean up, the catering company does that.
John and I were second guessing alcohol at the wedding, but looking back into it makes us a little more sure of the fact that we want it. Plus, buying our own beer/wine/alcohol is way cheaper than the companies who include alcohol. Go to the store, buy good but cheap wine, serve it! No one is going to care if you spent $8 on a bottle of wine.

"Every love story is beautiful but our's is my favorite" -Anonymous