Life & A Portland Wedding

Since you last heard from me, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving (complete with an epic family Black Friday shopping extravaganza), said a hard goodbye to the amazing man that was my husband’s grandfather, catered two parties in New York, celebrated Christmas with my in-laws at our timeshare in Birch Bay, spent a week in Mexico with my love celebrating our five years of marriage, made our fourth cross-country move back to the west coast to Portland, Oregon, and stood next to one of my best friends as she married the man of her dreams!

Wedding Girls

All of us met at the same camp I met my husband at so it was a great little reunion!

We’ve been here about four months now and I am finally starting to get my bearings. It’s been absolutely amazing being closer to family - we are still several hours away, but we can reach each other by car or train and that is closer than we’ve been in years!

One of the best things so far has been my involvement in another very special girl’s wedding. She is the daughter of my mom’s best friend and my sister and I used to babysit her and her little sister back in the day. She and her husband met at university here and decided this is where they would get married too. Their family is like an extension of ours and we wanted to help in any way we could! My mom took on the role of catering the rehearsal dinner and handling all of the desserts for the reception so we put our heads together to come up with a plan for the event, working with the bride’s vision. It was a whirlwind week (and day of - my sister did hair and I did makeup for all seven girls in the bridal party!!) but in the end we were able to accomplish everything, set a beautiful dessert table, and enjoy the wedding and reception.

Congrats to Emily and Oliver!

Full Dessert Table

Inspiration of vintage lace, greens, old silver, and antique wood. Photos by my talented brother James Taylor.

Almond Bars
Cream Wafers
Peanut Butter Balls
Dessert Table

She wanted a small cake for the ceremonial cutting (beautifully crafted by my mama!) but she also had her heart set on lots of little desserts and let us have free reign - other than the request of cheesecakes!

Trunk

When all was said and done, we had 15 different types of desserts, and over 1000 pieces!! Plus the 200 heart-shaped favor cookies that we baked and I iced & wrapped. They are the family’s favorite cookie and we've been baking them my whole life, usually just for Valentine's day, but this was absolutely a reason to make an exception.

Heart Cookies

It was a crazy and wonderful week and I loved every minute!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

A Purple Picnic in the Park

Purple Picnic Treats

I had the pleasure of creating some delicious treats for the cutest little two-year old girl I know! Purple is her favorite color so that became the theme of this party in the park. A lot of love always goes into my treats, however, these were extra special because I nanny for her and her baby sister part time and their mom is a good friend, so they're very near and dear to my heart.

Birthday Cake
Mini Rose Cupcakes
Purple Sprinkle Cookies

My friend wanted mini cupcakes with minimal frosting for the kids, sparkly purple cookies and a small chocolate cake since that was the flavor she wanted for herself - my kind of woman! Normally this recipe would have a chocolate ganache cascading down the sides, but purple ombre was more on theme so I went with that, and topped it with a banner I made for the birthday girl. I rarely get to experiment with so much color and whimsy so this was definitely one of my favorite orders.

If you were to have a color-themed party for your next birthday, what color would it be?!

Balloons

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

Refreshing Citrus Watermelon-Mint Popsicles

Watermelon Mint Popsicles

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but my husband doesn’t like ice cream. Yes, I willingingly entered into a lifelong commitment with a man who doesn’t eat ice cream. Although I have a million ways to justify purchasing an ice cream maker, I have yet to add it to my collection of appliances in our small Brooklyn kitchen, so I bought popsicle molds instead - just in time for the heat of summer! I went on a bit of a watermelon kick, as I do most summers, and made watermelon mojitos, which in turn, inspired these tasty {non-alcoholic} pops!

Citrus Watermelon-Mint Popsicles // Makes 10 - 3 oz Pops

5 c diced, seedless watermelon

Juice of 2 ½ - 3 lemons/limes (about ⅓ cup)

¼ c sugar

Pinch of fine sea salt

Small handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust with more citrus or mint as needed. My watermelon was particularly sweet so I added even a bit more juice. Pour into popsicle molds {pour any remaining over ice and sip, with or without rum or gin...or vodka}. Freeze for about 45 minutes before inserting the sticks. Freeze until solid.

These turned out beautifully and were a huge hit in our house. The taste was amazingly refreshing; the balance of citrus and sweet is key, and mint adds the perfect edge. I used a mixture of lemon and lime juice because I always seem to have a few halves lying around my fridge from cocktails  or tacos, etc. so I used them all up to create the amount I needed, but you could definitely just use whatever you have or prefer. Also, I wanted the mint to turn into pretty green flecks because I wanted the flavor, but not to feel like I also got grass in my mouth while enjoying the treat; I thought whole leaves would be beautiful, but too impractical for me!

Bitten Popsicle

Now go grab a watermelon and make these before the weekend is over!

With a full heart and an empty plate,


Katie

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