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‘Wedding Simplicity’

                 

Calling all brides-to-be…you said “I DO”, and so the adventure begins!  This week we have put together some beautiful floral centerpieces along with a champagne tower to complete the look.  If you’re looking to have a pretty and elegant affair, look no further!

Low Centerpiece

low centerpiecelow top view2                              

We created a flower table runner using a thin low glass vase filled with crystals and light colored flowers.

Champagne Tower

 champagne tower

 

So…we came across this unique silver tower that we have put to great use!  For this look, we filled it with champagne coupes and topped it with a gorgeous arrangement of white flowers and greens.  Great for a Gatsby or 20’s themed event!

Bouquet Centerpiece 

bouquets 

For this look, we used multi height thin cylinder vases.  We created beautiful hand tied bouquets with various white flowers and placed them on the tops of the vases.  This technique makes it easy to view and have a conversation with other guests.

 

To say we're excited for this holiday weekend would be an understatement! Our team loves to put together the best treats for family events, and we think you'll love what we have come up with for the Fourth of July! Our red, white and blue berry trifle is so easy to make and will be sure to impress all of your guests for the festivities this weekend! 

trifle

RED, WHITE & BLUE BERRY TRIFLE
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups blueberries
¾ cup confectioners sugar divided
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 tsp orange extract
¼ cup sour cream
4 cups angel food cake cubed

Toss berries, ¼ cup of the sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla in a large bowl.  Set aside.  Beat cream, remaining ½ cup sugar, remaining teaspoon vanilla and orange extract in large bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Gently stir in sour cream.

Find your favorite trifle dish, or feel free to get creative with what you're going to make it in! To start - layer 2 cups angel food cake cubes followed by ½ of the berries top the layers with the whipped cream.  Repeat each layer and garnish the top with a fun whipped cream pattern and some more berries to finish it off. 

We hope you love this sweet holiday treat, and have a happy and safe celebration for the holiday!

Nikki Signature Pic.pub

OK…Now that Summer is in full swing, lets talk healthy eats!  We’ve come up with 3 yummy salads that are so delicious, you’d never know how nutritious they are!!  These superfood packed dishes are guaranteed crowd pleasers but also great for a nice light summer dinner!

 

 pom orange quinoa

 

Pomegranate Orange Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa uncooked, we love tri color
3 cups spinach, chopped
2 cups mandarines
1 cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup pistachios, chopped
¼ cup crumbled feta

Lemon Greek Yogurt Dressing:
Juice from one lemon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions, let cool for about 10 minutes.  In a large bowl combine quinoa, spinach, mandarine oranges, pomegranate seeds, and lightly toss.  To make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk together the lemon, apple cider vinegar, garlic, greek yogurt, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Drizzle some of this amazing dressing over the salad and toss.  Top with pistachis and feta!

 

chicken berry salad

 

Grilled Chicken and Berry Salad

½ head romaine lettuce washed and chopped
8 oz baby spinach
About 2 lbs grilled chicken
8 oz strawberries
8 oz blueberries
4 oz shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup sliced toasted almonds
Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl, add dressing to taste, and enjoy!

 

fig prosciutto

 

Prosciutto Melon Goat Cheese Fig Salad

About 5 ounces crumbled goat cheese
7 fresh figs
4 cups baby arugula
Slices or chunks of melon
8 sliced of aged prosciutto, rolled up

Honey vinaigrette:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp honey wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
Salt
Chopped up basil and mint

Quarter figs.  Dress arugula with the vinaigrette.  Toss in figs, goat cheese and melon.  Season with salt and pepper.
Dressing: combine olive oil and white balsamic.  Add some honey to taste and a few pinches of salt and the chopped basil and mint.  Allow to sit about 30 minutes to infuse.   Drizzle dressing over the salad and savor every bite!

 

 

Watermelon Margarita

 

‘Sneak Peek of Alive @ 5’

It’s almost Summer, and we’re trying something new!  Our All Star team is so excited to announce that we will have a pop up restaurant at the Stamford Summer concert series this year.  Here is a sneak peak at some tasty drinks we’ll be serving up.  Anyone looking for easy to make Summer cocktails, look no further!

Watermelon Margarita

 4 cups cubed watermelon
2 tbsp raw brown sugar
3 limes 2 juiced 1 cut into wedges for garnish
8 ounces tequila
5 oz Triple Sec divided

In a blender puree watermelon until smooth.  In a pitcher, combine watermelon juice, tequila, and 4 oz of Triple Sec and stir.  Pour sugar into a shallow dish.  In a second plate, add remaining ounce of Triple Sec.  Dip the rims of 4 margarita glasses in the Triple Sec, then coat them in the sugar.  So good!

Summer Shandy


Yellow sugar
Lemon slices
1 oz club soda
12 oz bottle cold beer
½ cup chilled lemonade

Sprinkle yellow sugar on a small plate.  Moisten the rims of 2 glasses with lemon wedge then dip rims into sugar.  Add ¾ cup beer, ½ oz club soda and ¼ cup lemonade to each glass.  Stir and enjoy!

Prosecco Pop

 Pour a glass of your favorite prosecco, we like Barefoot!  Then drop in a fruit flavored popsicle, we chose mango, strawberry and grapefruit.  Enjoy sipping this light refreshing drink and finish it off with a sweet treat!

Rose Sangria

Start out by choosing a nice bottle of Rose
raspberries
strawberries
light rum
lemon juice
                                                                                                                       
Combine rose, rum and lemon juice to taste into a pretty wine pitcher.  All ingredients should be chilled.  Next, stir in the berries and enjoy this glass of deliciousness!

Beets 4 Ways!

Along with being absolutely delicious, beets also have some amazing health benefits.  They are detoxifying, full of vitamins and can help boost your stamina, just to name a few.  Beets can be cooked and served in a variety of ways including raw, steamed, juiced or sautéed.

We are going to show you 4 different ways our team has put together some yummy beet recipes.  We are sure you’ll enjoy each of them as much as we do!

#1 | Beet Crostini

Beet Crostini

3 beets roasted and diced
Goat cheese
Clover honey
EVOO + Red wine vinegar
French baguette
Salt + Cracked pepper
Micro cress greens
¾ Cup diced caramelized onions

Place beets in a large saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender, about 40 minutes.  Drain and cool beets.  Rub skin off of beets and dice into small cubes.  Divide beets among baguette slices.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with caramelized onions and goat cheese.  We garnished ours with micro cress greens!

#2 | Roasted Beet Bon Bon

4 Beets
8 oz Goat cheese
Zest of one lemon
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
1 cups Crushed pistachios
EVOO
Salt + Pepper

Start out by tossing beets in some olive oil and roast in the oven until tender.  Allow to cool, peel and dice.  Mix together goat cheese, lemon zest, herbs, salt and pepper.  Form a ball around pieces of beet with the goat cheese mixture.  Roll the bites in the crushed pistachios.  Garnish with some arugula leaves and there you have it!

# 3 | Beets Agrodolce + Arugula Salad

5 Beets with the stems removed
3 Cups Arugula
½ Cup EVOO
¼ Cup Red wine vinegar
¼ Cup Honey or Agave nectar
Crumbled goat cheese
2 Tbsp Sunflower seeds
Salt + Pepper to taste

Drizzle beets with a little olive oil, toss and roast in the oven until tender.  Remove from oven and allow to cool, peel the beet skin and cut beets into small cubes.  Mix together honey or agave with red wine vinegar then the olive oil.  Next add the beets to the marinade and season to taste with salt + pepper.  Marinate for up to 6 hours.  When ready to serve, toss arugula leaves in with the beets, place on a serving platter, and top with sunflower seeds.  Finish off your presentation with whatever garnish you like - we used beet chips and drizzled a balsamic glaze on ours!

# 4 | Beet Hummus

1 small roasted beet
1 15 oz can cooked chick peas
Zest of one large lemon
Juice of one half large lemon
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp tahini
¼ cup EVOO
Salt + pepper to taste

Roast beets until tender.  Once cooled and peeled, quarter it and blend it in a food processor until only small bits remain.  Add all remaining ingredients except for the olive oil and blend again until smooth.  Drizzle in olive oil as hummus is mixing.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  You can add more salt, lemon juice or olive oil if you like.  So many options for dipping | you can dip with any raw veggie but today we decided to use a homemade whole wheat pita.