(photo by Charley Star)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Will you be my...

Well, I guess we should formally announce that one of the Dinner Club MD bloggers has recently become engaged (Me). You will soon see multiple posts regarding the upcoming plans of our wedding. We are not getting married until April, 2011, but I am a DIY girl, so I have decided to start planning early. One of the first big tasks (besides finding the man of my dreams) was to ask the women who will stand beside me on the actual day, and support our marriage throughout the years to come. I wanted to ask my bridesmaids in a creative way, so I did the following:

I ordered bridal stationary from the ever chic Preston Paper Sarah-Allen Preston is the designer behind this adorable stationary line. She can personalize any of her designs, and it's adorable! (She also threw in this adorable notepad. If you can't read it, it says: 'To do, before I do'...how cute!)

Fold over cards in the same design: ( I included a personal message to all of the bridesmaids to express my love for them and the reasons why I feel they should be by my side as I marry my best friend).
Finally, I gave them each The Bridesmaid Guide. It was a fun way to show my appreciation for the part they will play in our wedding.
I hope you enjoy the first of many wedding posts. TGIF!

Wednesday Night Delight

Last night turned into a beautiful summer evening and I was lucky enough to spend it cooking and dining on my back patio. The menu for the night was spaghetti with pinot grigio and seafood, a green salad, baquette (served with butter sprinkled with sea salt) and a delicious desert of frozen yogurt with berries.

The table was set with bright napkins from Williams Sonoma, whimsical bug napkin rings, wicker place mats and simple glassware and cutlery. The meal was very easy but very tasty and the recipe can be found here. After cooking this for the first time last night a few suggestions that I would like to include would be to add red pepper flakes, put the clams in first (they needed a little more time to cook) and grate lemon zest and parmesan over the pasta once it has been served. This recipe was very light but highlighted the seafood wonderfully and to pair with it we prepared a simple green salad tossed in a green vinaigrette from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris (the recipe is below). For desert we tossed a mix of berries with Splenda then left it in the fridge while we cooked and ate dinner. After the dishes were cleaned up we served the berries over TCBY's white chocolate mousse frozen yogurt. It was a delicious and light way to end a perfect summer meal. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did!

Green Salad Vinaigrette (serves salad for 6-8)
- 3 tblsp champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
- 1 extra large egg yolk at room temperature
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt (I would recommend using only 1/4 to 1/3 tsp.)
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 cup good olive oil (extra virgin)
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, salt and pepper. While whisking slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gearing up for Memorial Day Weekend... & Summer!

Getting ready to spend time relaxing in the sun over Memorial Day Weekend? Whether you will be packing a bag for the lake or just spending time pool-side, here are some summer essentials.

(Keep swim wear simple & classic, jazz it up w/ accessories and never be afraid to mix and match)

Folding Wayfarer® Sunglasses

(So clever and convenient!)

(The prettiest beach towel around - comfy terrycloth on one side & beautiful cotton on the other)

(Bring a hat - great way to give your face a break from the sun! And always load on the sun block!)

After spending the day having fun in the sun, this Alternative Apparel Eco-Fleece top will keep you warm, snug and chic (especially when paired w/ a great skirt - long or short).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ladies Lunch: Cafe Europa

I realize that our blog title implies that we are ladies who like dinner, however let it be known that we also like to lunch. This past weekend my sisters and I visited one of my most favorite lunch spots in Kansas City, Cafe Europa. Their french inspired menu is simple, clean and perfect for a three hour lunch complete with a mimosa and dessert. While I don't have any photos of the interiors, take my word for it that the quaint and unassuming atmosphere takes you out of the suburbs of middle America and into the countryside of southern France.

I had to post a picture of the chalk board, as it features their quiche. I truly believe they have the best quiche in Kansas City.

I had the split pea soup and chicken salad sandwich. Does it get anymore ladies lunchesque?

We ended the lunch with a piece of Cafe Europa's famous lemon cake. Enough said.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Night at the K

This weekend has been filled with lots of fun, lots of food and lots of friends. We started it off right with a friday night Date Dash at the Kansas City Royals game. The night began with drinks on the back porch, a party bus then took us to the game and after staying for most of the game the party bus dropped us off at Charlie Hoopers in Brookside. The night was a lesson in easy, casual entertaining and made for a great night with a fun group. After organizing and hosting the night these are my suggestions for a Date Dash.

- Plan ahead: I organized this evening over a month in advance which made the night go very smoothly. I was able to collect the money early and everything was completely paid for a week in advance.

- Provide the pre-drinks: By charging each couple a little extra I was able to buy all of the pre-drinks for the night which included two coolers of beer, white wine and vodka and sweet tea vodka with lemonade. Even though the drinks and popcorn served were very simple they were just what we needed to start the night off right.

- Add a touch of fun: Although I didn't have much time to put together anything fancy for the night because I moved the same day, I did have just enough time to throw together a quick, festive way to distribute the tickets. For each couple I put their tickets and a shot of flavored vodka into plastic cups and wrapped it up with ribbon. It was again very simple but was a way to have something cute on the table and it made it easy to hand out the tickets.

- Get a party bus and end the night at a good spot: Having a party bus made the night very relaxed because no one had to worry about driving and everyone was able to enjoy the night to the fullest. Also, ending the night on a high note at one of your favorite local spots makes the whole night a success.

- Invite a great group, relax and have fun: This last one seems pretty self explanatory but the key to hosting is to invite a great group of people and have fun yourself. So don't stress about little things, have a few drinks and enjoy yourself.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chapped Lips?

I recently started using Sara Happ lip scrub and lip slip and it is heaven! My lips have never been so soft.

First, apply the lip scrub (comes in a variety of yummy flavors, but I like cocoa the best.)

Then, wipe away w/ Kleenex.

Next, apply the shiny and beautiful lip slip.


Note: Available at Bijin Salon and Day Spa and it makes for a perfect gift.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

April Showers... Bring May Flowers

My grandma's garden is such a joyous place and I love spending time there. I have spent many up close and personal hours there while helping her plant, but my favorite view of the garden is from my grandparent's deck with a glass of vino in hand.

Enjoy :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Home Decor: It's Finished!

It's official! The closet is finished and filled! I'm thrilled with the end result!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


This is a delicious, easy salad to make. You can make it as an appetizer, salad or as a side dish. This evening, we made it as a side dish to accompany our dinner.

Dressing: (Best to make it early and let it sit for a couple hours)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
S & P

Mix all ingredients together. Blend. (You can alter the recipe to match your taste i.e. less vinegar, more garlic, etc).

2 vine-ripe tomatoes
8 oz. fresh mozzarella
5 basil leaves

Thinly slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and layer on a serving platter (or on a plate in this instance).

Chiffonade the basil (Roll the basil leaves and thinly slice). Sprinkle the basil over the tomato and mozzarella.
Lightly drizzle the dressing over the salad.
Finished product: we served our caprese salad with twice-baked potatoes and a grilled pork chop.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ready for Rainy Days?

*I love this jacket because of it's convenience, quality and cuteness, I get compliments all the time!*

After experiencing rainy days this past week, I have come to realize how much I love my rain gear. It keeps me warm and dry, it did not break my piggy bank and it is easy to pair with everyday outfits!

Not ready to make a huge splurge on rain boots? Here are a few rain boots that are super reasonable, stylish and cozy!