Photo Round Up: Lovesick Expo

We are finally unpacked and back to normal around here. Lovesick Expo in Philly this past weekend was AMAZING! We turned our little 6x6 foot booth into a cozy ski lodge. Man, I love themes.

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The backdrop wall was made with fallen wood from Baltimore county. We cut it into logs, and then hung it with nylon strapping. Once hung, I decorated it with chrysanthemums, gerbera daisies, sweet william and snapdragons, all in white. We hung an antique stuffed pheasant and had a little electric fireplace too!

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I love snapdragons. And flowers. And going totally overboard with details. 

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We couldn't resist setting up a little hot cocoa bar. I made faux suede sleeves for the cups, and we had all kinds of sweet garnishes that you could choose from. I also made little snowball pompom stirrers. 

 

 


Photo Round Up: Thanksgiving

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I was featured in the Baltimore Sun for food styling and Thanksgiving entertaining tips.  

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Everyone says this is a good picture of me. Anxiety says I should probably go live in a cave. #hermitcheflife  

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Here is my first pie crust of the week. It was a failure obviously, but can't you tell how flaky & perfect the dough turned out? I don't think I got a picture of my finished nice pie #2.

For the internet meanies, I like failure. Failures remind me to slow down and focus.

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Antipasto is very important. I try to make it fit on my coffee table, but don't let your table space hold you back. Just buy everything in the Italian section of the store and don't look at your receipt total. Transfer everything to stoneware ramekins & platters. No jars or original packaging. Make sure you eat a significant amount of antipasto while you are doing this, because you will be too busy to properly eat it later.  

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Beware: Place setting standards can never be undone. Once you go Pinterest level, you can't go back to paper plates. Next year, I think I have to hand throw my own ceramic plates and carve napkin rings out of locally foraged naturally fallen wood.

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I was so busy, I carved my turkey before I got a picture. Bad food blogger!! Bad chef!! Off to Internet jail.  

In all seriousness, my turkey turned out great. I brined it in apple cider (shut up Food Lab, I will never stop brining poultry!) and roasted it with a bourbon & brown sugar glaze. It was crispy and awesome.  

 

Today's breakfast: Leftover Monte Cristo

Today's breakfast: Leftover Monte Cristo

My favorite part of this holiday is the week after leftovers.  If you happen to know me personally, you know that I hate eating leftovers, like a bougie food princess. However, there is something about eating a turkey & mayo sandwich while turkey barley soup is bubbling on the stove, filling the house with the sweet smell of roasted bird flesh. Am I a writer now?

Happy Thanksgiving to my 6 readers. May your holidays be stress free, snowy when appropriate, and have the level of family interaction that you are most comfortable with. 

 

Halloween Dinner Party

Black cobwebs, deep purple, wishbones, candles & copper 😈 

 

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For flowers, I tucked variegated carnations and green berries in crystal schnapps cups.  

 

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Menu: 

spinach soup with coconut cream, ginger & fresh turmeric  

salad of arugula, black plums, red onion & cranberries

wild mushroom ragout

chevre polenta

spiced pork tenderloin

 

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No one took a single picture of the food. I think that's a sign of a good dinner party, albeit bad for my blog situation... 

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Private holiday dinner parties booking now.

xoxo

sarah  

Holiday Dessert Orders

Holla! 

I am now taking orders for custom holiday desserts--Thanksgiving pies & cakes, fruit pies, Halloween themed weirdo desserts, office party conversation starters, under-celebrated December birthday cakes, and all those winter religious holidays that have specific dessert needs. Oh also, buche de noel. But I'm only making ten buche de noel this year, so make sure you get on the list! Call me at 443-519-2209 or email to reserve. Prices are below, but remember, I can make whatever custom dessert you want, you diva.

I also have LIMITED availability for catering holiday parties through January--get your cocktail & charcuterie on! 

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Above: Banana cream pie cheesecake with nilla wafer crust & tiny bananas!

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Above: Snickerdoodle Crepe Cake

HOLIDAY 2015 PRICE LIST

8" round cakes (2 layers) : $48 each

10" cheesecakes : $50

Absurdly weird or complicated decorations: please add $25 to $500,000 per cake, inquire for custom pricing

Standard Fruit Pies: $25 (including pumpkin!)

Sub-Standard Fruit Pies: $20 (including canned pumpkin!) Just kidding, I am not making canned pies. Don't ask.

Individual desserts (hand pies, puddings, cookies): priced per person, varies

Buche de Noel: A rolled red velvet cake with hazelnut buttercream, dark chocolate ganache and praline. They will be decorated like a fallen log in the gothiest French forest. They serve 8-10 normal people, but, like, I don't know how hungry your family will be. Listen up--I am only making ten of these, so get on the list today. I'm serious, I am not making eleven, not for a billion dollars extra.  Buche de Noel are $85. 

 

ALL ORDERS MUST BE PLACED ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE (TWO FOR BUCHE DE NOEL). I am not a bakery, so please don't email me to say that your favorite bakery/costco is cheaper or better or nicer to you. If you are still reading this then you are probably my ideal client. Let's get some cake in your mouth. 

love,

Sarah

 

The Inner Harbor, sentimental views, weddings & fufilling work

I currently have three couples who have hired me for wedding planning. One already had their venue picked out. For the other two, I did tons of research and found a few potential choices based on what they told me they were looking for. The last of the three couples just chose their venue--a beautiful, secluded waterfront ceremony & hotel dance party in the Inner Harbor. They hold a sentimental connection to the Harbor, as they spent many of their first dates walking along the water & getting to know each other.

 

When the couple walked into the hotel, I could tell the bride was super stressed. By the time we finished our tour, she was beaming & I knew that we had found the right place. It makes me so happy to help people with such special decisions.  

The view from Pier 5. 

The view from Pier 5. 

I have definitely been lucky to have worked in fufilling jobs for most of my adult life. I chose a career that spoke to me instead of just falling into a job. Being a chef is hard, but it was always worth it because of the satisfaction of creating something delicious & beautiful that made people happy and nourished. It's a pretty badass job, if you think about it. My biggest challenge lately has been to fix my life balance, and leaving the restaurant environment was the first step. Always making sure my work is fufilling is a continuing practice that I will have to remember to keep in focus.  

Don't assume that hard work equals fulfillment, and don't start believing that less work is the answer either. Balance is key and your health comes first. I am getting used to this idea.  

 


Food Styling

I am very excited to say that I styled the food for an upcoming Baltimore Bride feature. Here's a sneak peek. We shot some pretty things in the prettiest place, Star Bright Farm

Brunch charcuterie is my new favorite idea. Does anyone want to host a brunch party? I'll bring the maple & sage sausage, thick cut bacon, aged cheddar and Camembert.  

Brunch charcuterie photoshoot sneak peek! 

Brunch charcuterie photoshoot sneak peek! 

I'll post when the magazine comes out so you can see all the amazingness. But until then, thanks to photographer Helen Norman, Amy from Crimson & Clover, Kate Beck for the event styling, and the crew from Baltimore Bride. What a fun and beautiful day!  

 

Cheers, 

Sarah