Tuesday, May 10, 2011

THE ART OF CALLIGRAPHY

Have you ever received an invitation or special note addressed with calligraphy? Or invited to an event where the hostess added the special touch of calligraphy on the menu or place cards? Calligraphy is the art of fine writing or script that radiants quality and personalization. It is derived from the Greek word kalla meaning "beautiful", and graphia meaning "writing." Calligraphy can be both a delight to the eye and an inspiration to the spirit. In our technology driven age of emails, status updates and texting…the appreciation for carefully crafted calligraphy continues to be an art we love.

So when we connected with Jennifer from Bella Grafia Calligraphy and Design we were delighted to know that she shared the same passion for how small details like calligraphy on an invitation give guests insight on the style and special attention-to-detail for an event.  We loved reading how Jennifer gives homage to her maternal grandmother’s handwriting by keeping a sample of her grandmother’s handwriting, framed it and hung in her studio.


Jennifer’s calligraphy style is so varied for example, check out her five writing samples for “Mr and Mrs Charles Hill”:






Very cool, right!? After some discussion with Jennifer we knew wanted to work with her on thank you cards for our clients initially. Thank you notes are an important part of our business that leaves a lasting impression, if executed well they also function as a keepsake. 


For the thank you cards we had a simple idea of “Thank You” on the front and “calligraphy by Bella Grafia” on the back. Jennifer definitely took that idea and kicked it up a notch by playfully adding our brand icon and brand logo. FAB! We love it!

Front

Back

We look forward to working with Jennifer from Bella Grafia Calligraphy and Design on future events —she is a true perfectionist with great passion. Check her out here, here and here if you are looking to add defined elegance and style to your next event.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PANTRY PARTY - ENTREE SALAD

A good filling entree salad is a great Pantry Party idea for a quick fix meal. For those of you who don't know what a Pantry Party is - quick recap from our last post on the subject here. 

Today, we made a steak salad that not only tasted amazing, it was a complete meal and budget friendly as well.

Everything with this meal we had on hand already and it took some planning ahead. Here is a recap:

Ingredients
- Shoulder Blade Steak
- Organic Mixed Greens
- Arugula
- Trader Joe's Bean So Green Frozen Vegetables
- Gorgonzola Cheese
- To season steak: olive oil, salt & pepper
The planning ahead part of this Pantry Party meal was that we had steak in the freezer that we had to remember to defrost the day ahead. Once the steak was completely defrosted today we seasoned it with salt and pepper as well as brushed it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The steak was placed on the outdoor grill to cook while we prepared the salad.

Now the secret and best tasting part of this salad is the Trader Joe's Bean So Green frozen vegetable mix. It has a wonderful mixture of veggies: green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, romanesco and...wait for it...garlic butter. What the heck is romanesco, you ask? Our best friend Google tells us that romanesco is a type of broccoli that is a mixture between cauliflower and broccoli that is very popular in Italy.

This vegetable mixture is absolutely delicious and quick to make. You just need to put it into a pan, and add a few tablespoons of water and heat on medium, until all the veggies are warm and the butter sauce is completely melted. And best of all the veggies are still really crisp and the garlic butter adds a great flavor.  Once the vegetables were finished cooking, we tossed them with the arugula and mixed greens then top the salad with the cooked steak. Last but not least we added the gorgonzola cheese--ahhh love cheese.  In less that 30 minutes we had dinner on the table and the best part is that we didn't have to go to the grocery store.
You can certainly use chicken instead of steak, another kind of cheese or a different salad mix. But the thing we would recommend not changing is the use of the Trader Joe's So Green frozen vegetables--they were the key to this entree salad!
ENJOY.