Sunday, July 31, 2011

BLUEBERRY OVERLOAD

  • Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month? Three years ago we discovered this fact and that the United States Department of Agriculture proclaimed in 1999 that July was National Blueberry Month. We also learned that blueberries are grown in 35 states in the US, and the United States produces over 90% of all of the blueberries in the world.  Significant production of blueberries occurs in Maryland, Western Oregon, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington. So with some research we decided to take a trip to New Jersey, during July to pick blueberries - a superfruit packed with exceptional nutrients and antioxidants and don't forget they are pretty tasty :-)
For the last three years we have been going to Mood's Farm Market to "pick-your-own". 









And from our NJ trips, we have had blueberries overload. But have collected a few ideas on how to be creative in the kitchen with blueberries....we have taste-tested the following recipes and wanted to share them with you!

Grilled Salmon with Quick Blueberry Pan Sauce
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional for brushing
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt plus additional for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme plus additional for seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice plus additional for seasoning
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 7-ounce salmon steaks or fillets with skin (each about 3/4 inch thick)
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint, divided


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, and 1/8 teaspoon allspice. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add blueberries, 1/4 cup water, and vinegar. Stir to blend. Mash berries with potato masher or back of fork and cook until sauce thickens, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm before using. Brush grill rack with oil. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush salmon on both sides with oil; sprinkle with coarse salt, thyme, allspice, and black pepper. Grill salmon until just opaque in center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Stir 2 tablespoons sliced mint into warm blueberry sauce. Spoon sauce over salmon and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon mint. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit










Shrimp and Blueberry Salad










Ingredients:

6 shrimp (cooked)
1 cup salad greens
1/4 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons peas
1 tablespoon pecans (toasted, chopped)
1 tablespoon handful feta (crumbled)
1 tablespoon blueberry vinaigrette
Directions:
1. Assemble salad.


Blueberry Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon blueberry maple syrup
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tarragon (chopped, optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Mix Everything.








Blueberry Maple Syrup

Ingredients:
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:
1. Simmer everything in a sauce pan for 10 minutes.
2. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh. (optional)

Recipe courtesy of www.closetcooking.com


Blueberry Bread Pudding
Ingredients:
(16-ounce) French bread loaf, cubed
  • (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into pieces
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries, divided
  • large eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • (10-ounce) jar blueberry preserves

Preparation:

  • Arrange half of bread cubes in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan. Sprinkle evenly with cream cheese and 1 cup blueberries; top with remaining bread cubes.
  • Whisk together eggs, 4 cups milk, sugar, butter, and maple syrup; pour over bread mixture, pressing bread cubes to absorb egg mixture. Cover and chill 8 hours.
  • Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 more minutes or until lightly browned and set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  • Stir together remaining 2 cups blueberries and blueberry preserves in a saucepan over low heat until warm. Serve blueberry mixture over bread pudding. Garnish, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of Southern Living

  • Blueberry Lemonade 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

PLANNING A PRINCESS PARTY

Savvy Selebrations has been chosen to work on little Jazmine's 1st b-day. When we met with Jazmine's Mom, she was very clear on what she wanted for her daughter's first birthday party:
- Princess theme
- Purple and pink color scheme
- No cartoony characters
- Damask/Brocade pattern
- Traditional style 
Got, it! OK, so now that we know what box we have to stay within, it was back to our office to think, think, think. First, we have to visually define "Princess Party" so we created this inspiration board....

Pink & Purple Reign
Baby Tee: www.spreadshirt.com
Baby Tutu: www.stitchawishdesigns.com

Princess Invite: www.planyourbabyshower.com
Princess Cupcakes: cutiepatootie-cutiepatooti​ecupcakes.blogspot.com


Now, that we have a better definition on the Princess Party idea within the style that Jazmine’s Mom wants for her special little girl—time to put the Savvy Selebrations stamp on the design that will set the look/tone/feel of the entire event.

So how many ways can we interpret: Princess+Damask/Brocade+Traditional+Pink+Purple+Non-cartoony?

We came up with four options and here they are!







Jazmine's Mom said she loved all of them, but option 3 was her favorite. Now that we hit the mark with one of the designs, we developed the custom invite and envelope stamp.














We still have lots of things to do for Princess Jazmine's 1st birthday and we are looking forward to executing every detail.
Chat soon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BAKERY VISITS

As a Twitter follower, Facebook fan or reader of our blog, you may have noticed Savvy Selebrations loves sweets! As a lover of sweets, we tend to go to a lot of bakeries to see new ideas, to eat, to enjoy the baked eye candy, to eat, to scout for new vendors, to try new flavor combinations (that is eating also), and to see the newest trends.


So we wanted to share our recent visits to two bakeries.


First up - Eleni's New York in Chelsea Market






After we visited Eleni's we understand why they are among the elite and considered a creative bakery. The Chelsea Market location is bustling with people just like us who want to get a glimpse at these sweet treats. Not only that, but we wanted to taste it too and see the catalog of options.


The overwhelming smell of sugary confections filled the air as soon as we opened the door - SUGAR HIGH. It was a very bright store that pops with colors from the baked goods. The extra cheery staff was amazingly helpful too. Here are some pics of our from our visit.











Everything is simple and clean here.The downside of Eleni's is that they are pricey and it seems their cupcakes look better than they taste. The thing that wow'ed us was not the cupcakes but the decorated cookies and after 5pm they offer half priced cupcakes...best time to buy! The New York themed decorated cookie set are adorable.


And so were these!


Overall our visit to Eleni's was great. Now that we have had the product, maybe next time we just come back for visual inspiration...window shopping it is!


Next up - SAS cupcakes (SAS = Sweet And Sassy) in Newark, DE


A trip to University of Delaware is not complete without a trip to Main Street. While at lunch on Main Street, we spotted a cupcake shop on our way to the restaurant and made a note to stop there for dessert afterwards. Apparently Sweet and Sassy is a Newark original- who knew! The cupcakes were very tasty and the shop is filled with all sorts of party merchandise. Cupcakes and party planning supplies = heaven for us. Here are some highlights from our visit...
















Overall a great visit to SAS cupcakes and the margarita cupcake with lime buttercream frosting was well worth the extra calories and subsequent desire to go run a mile to burn off the lbs...OK maybe ten miles.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

DESSERT IN A GLASS




We recently completed an event where dessert inspired cocktails were served. We came across this cocktail recipe today and wish we would have found it before. Oh well--maybe next event! As a lover of anything with lime, this cool summer dessert cocktail has us drooling...

 Key Lime Pie Martinis


 
Ingredients
• Graham cracker crumbs, for rimming the glasses
• 2 lime wedges
• 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) vanilla flavored vodka
• 1/4 cup (2 ounces) key lime liqueur (recommended: KeKe Beach Key Lime Liqueur)
• 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
• 2 tablespoons heavy cream
• Ice cubes

Directions:

1. Pour the graham cracker crumbs in a shallow dish. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of a martini glass and roll the edge in the graham cracker crumbs. Chill the glass for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

2. Combine the vanilla vodka, key lime liqueur, pineapple juice, and cream in a shaker. Fill the shaker half full with ice and shake until well blended.

3. Pour into prepared martini glasses, garnish with a lime wedge and serve immediately.


Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse