Tuesday, February 28, 2012

smilebooth



I have been going wedding crazy ever since we booked a venue and set a date! I have been taking care of everything from little details, like selecting a garter and shoes, to reviewing a contract with a videographer and (yayy!!) booking the Smilebooth. Photo booths are awesome in general, but Smilebooth in particular is great. You not only get awesome customized backdrops for your photos, but the format is way cooler than other booths I've seen. Guests pick up a mini clicker, and can snap away to their hearts content (no limits); photos instantly show up on an LCD screen mounted inside the booth to show the lovely lads and lasses how they looked. Amazing. I already cannot wait to make props galore!




Monday, February 27, 2012

blackened shrimp satay with thai peanut sauce


I love Thai peanut sauce, and that's not just me throwing the L word around casually; this love is pure and true. I would eat it on pretty much anything, including a spoon... straight from my fridge. This shrimp satay used a very simple marinade to achieve a wonderfully sweet, blackened exterior while maintaining a perfectly cooked interior. Dunk those little babies into some thick, rich peanut sauce and you've got yourself one tasty treat.





My changes:  the peanut sauce recipe calls for 3/4 cup of sugar, but that is an insane amount of sugar, even for me. I added 1/2 cup the first time I made this recipe, and it was great. The next few times I made it, I've added a little over 1/4 cup, and it's also been great. I recommend starting with 1/4 and going up from there if you want.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

queen city cayenne mini milkshakes


I'm wonderfully obsessed with Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and her new cookbook, written especially for home ice cream makers. Her flavors are unique, rich, and always interesting. I've made several recipes from her book, and can't believe how creamy and smooth the results are each time; however, I've found that I occasionally need to tone down certain "oddity" flavors, like the cinnamon in Queen City Cayenne. So, that's just what I did, then turned it into some fun shot glass-sized milkshakes. They were so tasty and rich enough to satisfy, even in miniature form.




Directions:

Either pick up Jeni's book, and whip up her Queen City Cayenne flavor (I decreased the cinnamon and cayenne to taste), or make any chocolate ice cream and add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Blend with milk, fill some shot glasses, and top with whipped cream.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

white bean dip & appetizer board


While looking for a very quick and easy appetizer to serve while entertaining our neighbors before a dinner and doggy play date combo, I found a Donna Hay recipe for white bean dip. While the idea of white bean dip itself isn't overly exciting to me, the photo showed the dip being used as a spread over toast, topped with roasted red peppers and some kind of cured ham. I decided to follow this route, toasting some bread and opting for the oh-so-delicious sopressata. The spread is infinitely adaptable (I upped the garlic and cilantro, and added parsley), and could be altered to fit a variety of toppings.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

lightening up


On a beautifully sunny February day that tipped well over 50 degrees, Adam was posted up in front of the TV for a "FIFA session" with his brother. That is serious stuff for the Slagters, so I knew better than to peel him from the couch for too long to take some photos. I suggested trying out the sunlight pouring into our guest room window as a quick backdrop, and he was happy to oblige briefly between games. I can't believe how beautiful the lighting turned out, especially in the perfectly captured photo above. I think it's one of my new Gingersnaps favorites, and the loving fiance didn't even have to leave the apartment. Perfection.

Hat: F21, Scarf and Watch: ASOS (similar scarf), Shirt: Anthropologie

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

we're getting married, for real!


Drum roll, please... Adam and I have found a wedding venue and set a date! (Insert one million exclamation points here). We will be tying the knot at the Evergreen Museum & Library in downtown Baltimore. We are absolutely thrilled to have found a location that fits so many of the visions we have had for our day. Adam's one hope was that we would be married somewhere in the city we have loved, not in a random suburb. This conflicted harshly with my dream of being married outside in a garden setting, that is until we found the Evergreen.The ceremony and reception areas already fit the aesthetic I hoped to achieve, but are also essentially blank slates onto which I can cast my creativity.

Setting a date and location makes everything feel so real, and I've immediately started excitedly planning and dreaming of the big day (something I had grossly neglected until now). Adam's mum, Jan, will be visiting Baltimore this weekend, and I'm already so excited to take her for a tour of the venue. Of course, there will be more pictures of the unoccupied space to come.




Monday, February 20, 2012

punchy peplum


 As an avid fan of vintage-style, ladylike fashion, I was pretty excited to discover that peplum tops, skirts, and dresses are making a comeback. When I saw this skirt from ASOS, I knew I had to have it; from the color to the fit and the design, it screamed my name. I paired it with neutrals to tone down the punchy turquoise a bit for daytime, but I can't wait to make some interesting color combos in the future.




Skirt: ASOS, Shirt: Modcloth, Shoes: Steve Madden, Sunglasses: Also




Sunday, February 19, 2012

my week in photos

A handmade valentine from the sweetest of nieces.

Valentine's Day and a busy schedule left Gingersnaps a little bare the past week. I don't often drop the ball so many days in a row, but alas, it happens. Though busy, this week was really full of sweet moments, fun times, and even some R&R. This week, I already have plenty of posts lined up in order to not drop the ball again... I hope.

My favorite moment of Valentine's Day:  Oliver running to greet me at the door carrying a valentine "from Oliver to his momma".
Oliver writes pretty well for his lack of opposable thumbs.
Adam's amazing V-day dinner:  marinated steaks with blue cheese crust, a red wine-mushroom sauce, and roasted potatoes and vegetables.
A cute honeybee pin that dressed up some several day-old hair.
The first waffles from my new (totally necessary) waffle iron, made as a Sunday breakfast-in-bed for Adam.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

roasted red pepper pesto penne


I needed to throw together a quick dinner for a get-together with some girlfriends after a long school day, so I pulled this recipe out of my archives to try it out. It couldn't have been easier to make, especially since the sauce can be made ahead of time, and I was really pleased with the results. As far as pastas go, it was light and even a little healthy, without sacrificing flavor. I added sauteed mushrooms and increased the sauce-to-pasta ratio because I do love me some sauce, and it was actually (in my opinion) a necessary adjustment.




Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentine's day


I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine's Day, whether it's spent with someone special, friends, family or with a box of candy on the couch. I'll be spending mine eating a dinner cooked by Adam, a rare and interesting treat, and probably just lounging on the couch. It is a Tuesday, after all, and we do love a good couch cuddle. So whether your plans are extravagant or simple, I hope they're memorable and great!











Monday, February 13, 2012

70s style

Hat: F21 (similar); Dress: Modcloth; Boots: Piperlime; Cardigan: LC for Kohl's

I'm really not into hats in general. In my (literally) big-headed opinion, they're best reserved for casual days cheering on Penn State or Pittsburgh in a corresponding baseball cap. But, I guess other teams could be OK too. Sort of. I am, however, pretty partial to a wide floppy-brimmed topper, whether it's a fun sun hat for beach days or an on-trend 70s wool version. I never wear red anything, but I thought splurging the hefty $15 for a burgundy F21 hat was justifiable.





Sunday, February 12, 2012

just a kiss

Angora heart sweater, ASOS; Love earrings, Anthropologie; Elbow patch sweater, ASOS; Love potion tee, Wildfox; Love necklace, ASOS; Heart stud earrings, Anthropologie; Heart sweatshirt, Wildfox

I've made it pretty clear that I really shy away from wearing pink or red, which seriously limits my options for V-day garb. And while I'm a fan of most themed things, I also don't like to be over the top. I scoured the web for some subtle pieces with just a kiss (hehe) of Valentine's flair, and found some great pieces that feel festive but can be easily worn any day of the year. 


Saturday, February 11, 2012

thai coconut curry chicken soup


Ordering a bowl of curry-and-coconut milk flavored chicken soup at Thai restaurants is a luxury that I rarely spring for, mostly because Adam and I are already ordering satay, at least one other appetizer, plus an entree each. When splitting meals with someone Adam's size, even an avid eater like me tends to burst at the seams trying to keep up. Making this soup for a simple, but tasty weeknight dinner was the perfect solution. I was able to satisfy cravings for a Thai favorite, while Adam dealt with it because, hey, I was the one cooking dinner after all. This recipe produced a really nice soup with few ingredients and very little prep work that satisfied my Thai-obsessed self.



My changes:  Instead of Thai chili paste, I used some heaping spoonfuls of Panang curry paste because I had it on hand. I'm not sure exactly how much, but you can just add it to taste.




Friday, February 10, 2012

red velvet cake balls


I'm not afraid of following a little baked good trend, and then possibly beating it into the ground by repeating it in 1000 ways. Take my love of baking cupcakes for example; it's clear that cupcakes were a huge trend over the last year or two, so even though I don't even particularly love eating them, that has never stopped me from doing this, this or this. Cake balls and cake pops are apparently the new thing, so why not jump on the bandwagon? I have to admit, these Red Velvet Cake Balls were freaking delicious. As in, I couldn't stop eating them like really big M&M's. Although they take a little time to make, you can make roughly eight million at a time, and the chocolate seal means they keep for many days in the fridge. They also make a perfect Valentine's gift for friends, family, or someone special.

Start with boxed cake mix, and bake according to directions.

Let cool completely.

Mix with a container of cream cheese icing, roll into balls, and pop in the freezer.

Dip in dark chocolate and immediately sprinkle away.

Oh, you want to see them in white too? I looove dark chocolate, and don't often particularly care for white... but I have to admit, they were actually BETTER in white.

Mmmm check out that gooey center under the chocolate shell.

So pretty!