Autumn Update

Greetings Followers (Family and Friends)!

I pray that you had an eventful summer complete with many opportunities to entertain your family and friends in your home. I hosted a Mother’s and Father’s Day brunch, a 4th of July party, my mother’s 62nd birthday party, a soror’s birthday picnic, and Sunday dinner for friends. Sadly, I did not have as many opportunities to entertain or prepare my “elaborately simple” meals as I would have liked.

Portuguese inspired birthday cake for my mother's 62nd birthday. Almond cake with pastry creme filling, topped with fresh whipped cream and fruits (blueberries, oranges, raspberries, strawberries; not shown peaches and kiwi).

Portuguese inspired birthday cake for my mother’s 62nd birthday. Almond cake with pastry creme filling, topped with fresh whipped cream and fruits (blueberries, oranges, raspberries, strawberries; not shown peaches and kiwi).

As many of you know, I’ve spent that last 5.5 years in a PhD program. Taking a full load of graduate courses, teaching at a local university, completing my research, and writing a dissertation of more than 300 pages resulted in little time to develop new recipes, let alone try to take “perfect” photos of my work. I did meet with an amazing photographer in New York! I hope to work with him this fall!

As my program comes to an end and I prepare for graduation I have lots of projects on the horizon. Of course, I’m looking for gainful employment so if you know of anything policy related let me know (you can check out my CV and research interests HERE). I also have plans to finally finish my etiquette manual to help you in navigating the social shoals of modern day life; a project I began with my best sister-girl back in 2004 with our company White Gloves and Silver Spoons. In addition to the etiquette manual, I will finally begin writing the manual you’ve been waiting for. I’ll tell you more about that a little later. Last, I’m compiling a recipe book filled with my grandmothers’ recipes, which will accompany the aforementioned “secret” manual above. This recipe book will be a little different from what’s on the market currently. I’m super excited about this!

Now that I have my like “back”, I’m excited to share some new recipes and hospitality, decorating, and entertaining ideas. I’d love to create videos too! Remember the character Joan (portrayed by the fabulous Tracee Ellis Ross) from the show Girlfriends? Well, that’s me when it comes to holidays and birthdays! Check out the video below. Around minute 6:54 you’ll see exactly what I mean.

I recently returned from visiting my beautiful great grandmother (grandmere) in Gatineau, Quebec. Although she now lives in an assisted living community and no longer has a kitchen in her home, at 88, she shared with me some recipes that I’ve always wanted. She was an amazing cook!! So I will begin sharing with you many of her amazing recipes! Many of her recipes are perfect for your Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! I’m trying to keep the integrity of her dishes/recipes, but I realize that many of her methods are “classic” (read: old school), so I will try to update some of them to the best of my ability.

Grandmere Carmen and I (October 2014) in Gatineau, Quebec.

Grandmere Carmen and I (October 2014) in Gatineau, Quebec.

Although I haven’t spent much time blogging or cooking for that matter (side note: I’ve lost a total of 33 pounds since I stopped cooking every day lol hmmm… maybe I’m on to something lol), that hasn’t stopped me from buying new decor. My style is what I like to call bold-classic with explorer flare. Think Kate Spade meets Moroccan excursion. I recently bought a new tablescape for my informal dinning table. Although I won’t use it until the spring, I’m excited to look for vintage hot pink/fuchsia glassware to compliment it.

New Kate Spade tablescape. Photo includes napkins, straws, and table runner. Table cloth not shown, but it's ivory with navy polka dots.

New Kate Spade tablescape. Photo includes napkins, straws, and table runner. Table cloth not shown, but it’s ivory with navy polka dots.

 

I’ve tried out several new recipe ideas! Some good and some great! I created a caramel chocolate bourbon bread pudding… it was good, but needs some work. Next time I’ll make my caramel sauce from scratch and mix it into the bread with the chopped caramel squares. I posted the photos below. I’ve also created some delicious savory ice cream flavors. The holidays are a great time to serve savory ice creams.

Caramel-Chocolate Bread Pudding with Chocolate Bourbon sauce. Shown with vanilla ice cream.

Caramel-Chocolate Bread Pudding with Chocolate Bourbon sauce. Shown with vanilla ice cream.

chocolatebread chocolatebreadpudding

 

My next event is planning my 30th birthday party and graduation! Of course, family members recommended that I “take the night off” and allow someone else to cater both events, but I’m not completely sure about that decision. Actually, I have no idea what the menu would be for either event. Any ideas?!

I hope all is well in your world and that you’re continuously blessed as you’re a blessing to others through your hospitality.

With a servant’s hands and heart,

The Ebullient Epicurean

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