bombardment of bridesmaids

pink taffeta dress. bridezilla-slave. never a bride.

since when did the word ‘bridesmaid’ develop such negative connotations? well, let me tell you, i (and Pippa Middleton) refuse to fall into the pitfalls of forgotten gowns and hideous hairdos. lucky for me, i have a great friend who also refuses to let her bridesmaids become a walking travesty.

i still cannot believe my high school friend, rebekah, is getting married this july! to say i’m excited is like saying ke$ha needs pants or that i had problem hair in middle school (bit of an understatement). so what’s a bridesmaid to carry in her arsenal for back-to-back bridal showers? two words: butter and booze.


rebekah’s first shower was a brunch and recipe swap. for this, i brought two versions of these dreamy cream scones: cheddar chive and cranberry lemon. i’ve made these scones before as the base for a strawberry shortcake, and they were this time as they were then, perfection. how perfect? you know when someone brings you a nice bottle of wine as a gift and then proceeds to drink half the bottle over dinner? that was me scarfing my face with these scones during brunch. ladylike? no. delicious? mMmm-hMm.

Dreamy Cream Scones
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably a low-protein brand such as Gold Medal or Pillsbury
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon 
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream + extra for brushing 

(1)  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F.
(2)  In food processor: Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in the work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Pulse six times. Remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add cranberries and zest then pulse a couple more times. Transfer dough to large bowl.
     By hand: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Distribute the butter and cut into the flour with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal.  Add the cranberries and zest then mix together. 
(4)  Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
(5)  Dump the dough and all dry, floury bits onto a countertop and knead dough by hand just until it comes together into a rough, sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds.
(6)  Form scones by rolling the dough onto a lightly floured work surface into a ¾-inch thick circle, cutting pieces with a biscuit cutter, and pressing remaining scraps back into another piece and cutting until dough has been used up.
(7)  Place rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
(8)  Bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 

For Cheese Chive version: Omit sugar, zest and cranberries. Increase salt to 1 teaspoon and add ¼ pound of diced sharp Cheddar Cheese, 2 T of chopped chives and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. When ready to bake, brush the tops with heavy cream but do not sprinkle with sugar.

Makes about 2 dozen scones

  

rebekah’s second bridal shower was a lingerie & painting party. at a small studio called faithful strokes, each guest painted her own variation of the same picture as a gift to the bride. afterwards, we got our giggles out as rebekah was surrounded by mounds of tissue paper and lacy lingerie. and what goes better with giggles than sangria? 


white wine peach sangria to be exact. and boy, i do love me some sangria. each fruity bite brings you closer and closer to tipsy bridal shower bliss. this recipe is perfect for summer. refreshing, cool, yet slightly tart. just like the perfect bridesmaid. 

White Wine Peach Sangria

  • 2 peaches, cubed
  • 1 orange, halved and sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 bottle (750 mL) white wine (Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
  • ½ cup peach nectar (I used apricot nectar, which was fine)
  • ½ cup peach Schnapps, optional
  • 1 ½ cups seltzer water, chilled
  • Ice cubes

(1)  In a pitcher, add the peaches, orange, and lime. Sprinkle the sugar over the fruit and let sit for 15 minutes.
(2)  Next pour in the wine, peach nectar, and Schapps (if using) and stir gently. Chill mixture for at least 1 hour, 4 or more is better.
(3)  Add seltzer water and ice cubes just before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings

 
outfit: H&M dress and belt, Target wedges, vintage cameo necklace from Grandma Choo
 
Faithful Strokes
122 N. Spring Street
Murfreesboro, TN 
(615) 275.6636
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my alma mater, y’all


my friends and i would often joke about how at times our university seemed more like a finishing school than college.  but the truth is, i’m so incredibly proud to call myself a graduate of vanderbilt university. and although i technically graduated last december, it didn’t seem to truly set in until this past friday, may 13, 2011 when i walked across the stage to receive my diploma. 

i have to admit the entire day was not all strawberries and champagne (which were to come after the ceremony). at 5.30 that morning, i received a text alert stating that commencement had been moved from the beautiful alumni lawn on campus to the basketball gymnasium due to severe weather (which never came). i then arrived late to the gymnasium and haggardly ran onto the floor of the gym after the ceremony had started.  yet even on this unluckiest of superstitious days, some wonderful moments seemed to have slipped by.

sitting in the sea of thousands of black caps and gowns, i couldn’t help but think back to my own high school graduation 5 years earlier. the 18 year-old me saw graduating high school as completely passé. it was merely the last hurdle to the ultimate goal: college. i felt ready to leave, ready to move on to bigger and better things. and now the 23 year-old me was sitting in a similar gym, wearing an almost identical cap and gown completely humbled by the fact that somehow i had managed to graduate college. i felt grateful for every moment because i knew that i had worked for it so much more than i had ever worked for anything in high school. i don’t know if anyone’s ever told you this but, college is tough. if you don’t have moments of sheer panic or existential meltdowns about what classes you’re going to take next semester, you probably don’t care about your future. honestly, there were times when i didn’t know how i would ever finish a paper, much less graduate.

so i didn’t care that they handed me an empty diploma (because my real one had already been mailed to me months earlier) or that i was sweating bullets due to the lack of AC in the gym or that i didn’t graduate summa cum laude of my class. because for once, finishing the race actually felt better than winning it.

Margaret Choo, Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University

i cannot tell you how elated i felt when the last name was finally called. because now, i could finally celebrate! my friend and fellow graduate alyssa and i did just that. our families and friends dined at one of our favorites restaurants sambuca and then headed downtown that night to boogie as only newly-minted vandy alums can.

congrats to all the graduates of 2011!  as for me, i’ll be off to nyc in 3 weeks 🙂

my outfit: Tibi dress, Target wedges, David Yurman jewelry

outfit-of-the-day

i absolutely adore this outfit, worn by ashley greene. 

patterned scarf, color block clutch and bold red lips. i think it’s the perfect way to showcase accessories that POP! she also pulls off the leather leggings (which can often look very Grease!). but in this outifit, they add that needed bit of edge and youth. 

her outfit:
  • Louis Vuitton leather leggings
  • LV cardigan
  • LV clutch
  • silk scarf
  • black peeptoe pumps