WHIMSICAL HOLIDAY DESSERT TABLE

Since Thanksgiving is over, I'm officially ready for Christmas! Here's a cute little dessert table we put together for our annual Christmas Eve get-together.

Obsessed by these Meri Meri bird cupcake toppers, I went for a theme inspired by The Nutcracker and Mendl's from "The Grand Budapest Hotel," without taking either too literally. 

Our Christmas Eve is all about the kids, so I took the non-traditional, sherbert-colored birds and ran with it. The bird garland then set the backdrop, with some added pinwheels.  I hung sparkly ornaments from the dining room chandelier, birds to fly over the table, and the table was set with foraged fir branches, amaryllis, tangerines, a wink to the nutcracker and sprinkle-covered ice cream cones.  Jenna Elliott, of One Eleven Photography, captured it below.

How cute are the reindeer cups?!  I replaced the candy cane striped cups with gold stars to complement the theme. 

My little sugar plum fairy in her teepee.

Photos: Jenna Elliott, One Eleven Photography

MUNCHKIN PRESENTS PARENTS' NIGHT OUT

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Donut wall AND Sprinkles Ice Cream? Yes, please! Kid-brand Munchkin threw a Parents' Night Out in LA last month. It looks like such a fun evening, filled with pampering, dancing, games, great food, bourbon-sipping and overall Munchkin merriment.

It's all about love. 

Our beautiful friend, Jenni Weinman, and her husband, Erik Voake, with Munchkin's Elaine Cameron.

Event design: Details DetailsBloom Box Designs

Photography: Jessica Claire

Catering: Goodness Gracious

Photo booth: Mir Mir

Hair & Makeup: Glam Squad

Sweets: Sugarfina

Bourbon: Buffalo Trace

LOVERS' SUNDAE

Since ice cream is my favorite food (Sis and I are lobbying to make it an official Food Group), I figured I should come up with a special Valentine's dessert, using it in all its glory. The dark chocolate ice cream and raspberry sauce combination was inspired by an Italian dessert, called a Tartufo, that our dad loved when we were growing up. There's a little bit of wait time between steps but there are only a few ingredients. You can (and should) make all of the components ahead of time and throw it together when you and your Valentine are ready for a sweet treat!

Ingredients:

1 Pint Good Quality Chocolate Ice Cream

1 & 1/2 Bars Dark Chocolate, Medium-Finely Chopped

One 10 oz. Bag Frozen Raspberries (plus extra fresh raspberries, optional) 

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup Water

1 Teaspoon Arrowroot Powder, Tapioca Starch or Corn Starch

Pinch of Salt

Let ice cream sit out so that it softens JUST A LITTLE BIT. Scoop ice cream into approximately 2 & 1/2 inch-sized balls. You should have four evenly sized scoops from one pint. Place each scoop on a plate covered in parchment paper. Return to the freezer immediately and let them re-freeze until hard (this could be 2 hours or more; overnight is fine too).

Now make the raspberry sauce. Place frozen raspberries, lemon juice, water, starch or your choosing and salt in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it starts to simmer, lower heat. Cook and smash with a wooden spoon until fruit is completely broken down. Remove from heat and push through a mesh sieve or strainer. Once the sauce has cooled, store in an airtight jar or container and refrigerate until serving. Can be made up to three days ahead.

Hand chop chocolate into small pieces.

Remove Ice cream balls from the freezer. If you refroze them overnight, let them soften ever so slightly, for 1-2 minutes. Roll each ball in the chocolate pieces, pressing the pieces into the ice cream as you roll, until the entire ball is covered in chocolate. Once all of the balls are covered, place them back on the parchment paper plate and return to the freezer until it's time to serve.

When you are ready to serve, place the ice cream in a dish (you and your valentine can share a sweetheart bowl... or if you are like me, you might not want to share at all!) and pour the raspberry sauce on top. I like to add fresh raspberries to finish it off! 

TRY THESE 7 GRAPEFRUIT RECIPES

It's citrus season and February is National Grapefruit Month, so before we indulge in Valentine decadence (chocolate, donuts, ice cream, cookies, what?) we turn to the antioxidant-filled grapefruit to boost the immune system with fiber and vitamin C.  Inspired by this hybrid's Latin name, which translates to citrus of paradise, we've rounded up a day full of grapefruit-filled recipes that we consider heavenly.

Martha gets us every time.  Look at this stunning citrus platter.

Ready to dive right into this Grapefruit, Salmon and Avocado Salad.

Perfect mid-afternoon snack of Grapefruit Guacamole from No Recipes, olé!

And end the night with a delicious Homemade Pink Grapefruit Sorbet from Say Yes.

SUPER BOWL DIY IDEAS

I never thought I'd put Super Bowl and DIY together, but it's happening.  I don't even watch football.  Shh, don't tell Tom Brady.  But let's deal with this -- there are some super cute Super Bowl DIYs out there!

First up, my favorite subject, ice cream.  Look at these quick and easy ice cream football sandwiches.  Hello!

Football mason jars.

Then your husband needs a job before the big game, so he can make the DIY football bleachers for the cupcakes.

Football field table cover.

And, of course, the party wouldn't be complete without a photo booth!