Saturday, August 27, 2011

Taste of Orange Blossom {Ultimate Chicken Fried Steak!}

Last night was a tasty one at OBJ! Check out this special salad! It's a Romaine Salad with Candied Walnuts, Champagne Dressing and topped with Bleu Cheese Ice Cream! Yep, you heard me right! If you like bleu cheese, you'll love it. It's just one of those things you've got to step out and try! This salad was so fresh and crisp on a hot day. I love their champagne vinaigrette dressing! Big surprise, a OBJ salad dressing I love! Ha ha. I can't help it, they're delicious!

You aren't going to believe this Chicken Fried Steak! This is a New York Steak, and it's been tenderized to the max! The breading is crunchy and the meat is super tender and delicious. I don't think you'll ever have a better chicken fried steak. Honestly. Not to mention this thing is enormous, and topped with Linguicia Gravy and two fried eggs. It sits on top of a bed of mashed potatoes, and framed in with toasty bread. Seriously, does it get any better than this?

Dessert was a Warm Coffee Tart with Cheesecake Ice Cream. If you haven't had this yet, you're missing out! It has a thin, crispy crust and I can't even guess at what's in the middle, but it's delicious and tastes like coffee! ;) Do I even need to tell you how good the cheesecake ice cream is?? Well, I'm going to anyway... I don't think it gets any creamier than this. The creamy deliciousness of cheesecake in ice cream form to take the edge off of the summer heat. Perfect! :)

Here's an artistic view of last night's special:

And because our second meal was SOOO good and I've never ordered it before, I have to show you....
Shrimp Skewers with Tequila Lime Butter! Heck yes! We already know I LOVE the sauce, it comes on the Almond Prawns and I could lick my plate clean with that stuff! But these were sooo good! SIX jumbo prawns, grilled to perfection and topped with the tequila lime butter! We chose rice pilaf and green beans as our sides. They're green beans are so yummy...they have mushrooms in them and THIS girl loves mushrooms! If you wanna know a secret, the sauce is reallllly good mixed in with the rice too! ;)

As always, check 'em out here! Tell them the blogger sent you! :)

Ice Cream Sundae Party!

Hello! This will be the last party that I blog about until after the wedding I'm doing in September. I am relieved to have everything cleared off my calendar so that I can fully focus on wedding decorating. I set up this party today and it turned out super cute! The mom requested an ice cream sundae party! I ordered these invitations on Etsy, from LillyMaeDesigns.She took less than 24 hours to email me back my finished file! Aren't they SO cute?? (This is the picture on the etsy listing so that I'm not showing my client's phone and address.) ;)

I should have asked what length her table was going to be, but I didn' the ends of the table are showing and driving THIS perfectionist crazy! The client said it was fine, but I guess I'm just a perfectionist. Thankfully, she is gracious and easy-going. ;)

These cookies were made by none other than Nandie {of course!}.

I found these ceramic ice cream cone dishes on clearance at JoAnns a couple months ago. They are super cute!

All the things you need: sprinkles, nuts, reese cups, hot fudge, cherries, pirouette cookies, whipped cream.

How cute is the ice cream truck set? It is filled with pretty ice cream cups and it's from Shop Sweet Lulu. I wanted to make sure there were enough cups for grown ups too, so the cups on top of it are from JoAnns.

The cute paper plates and napkins are from Party City.

How cute are these honeycomb tissue puff ice cream cone toppers? They are from JoAnns, and all I had to do was open them up.

Want a delicious Chocolate Buttercream Recipe?? Here's mine...

2 sticks of room temperature butter

1 tsp. vanilla

2 T. milk

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder (plus a little extra for good measure)

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until it's beat well. In my experience, if you let the butter get TOO soft, it doesn't do as well. I like to do it while its softened, but still cool. Add milk and vanilla and mix well. add powdered sugar and cocoa a little at a time while the mixer is running. Wait until it's combined to add more.

If you want vanilla buttercream, omit the cocoa powder and increase the powdered sugar to 4 cups.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Taste of Orange Blossom

Today I'm going to bring you TWO specials from OBJ! With a 3-course special you get to choose salad OR soup, your entree, AND dessert! Check out this special salad, Smoked Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing! The smoked chicken adds SO much flavor to this salad! I always love their dressings (because they don't come from a can!) and I am especially partial to the different berry vinaigrettes that pop up from time to time on the specials! LOVE!The soup was Cream of Asparagus. It was DELICIOUS! It's topped with cheese and homemade croutons! It had the greatest flavor, and I loved that it had mushrooms in it! Actually as I'm sitting in bed tonight writing this blog post, I would kill for another bowl of it before bed! ;)

Brandon ordered the Smoked Pork Chop with Spicy Apple Butter. It is one of our FAVORITES of OBJ! Believe me, you've never tasted a pork chop like this one! Underneath it is the apple "mixture" (because I don't know what to call it) and the flavor of the apple butter, with the ever-so-slight kick of heat is AWESOME! It was served with a twice baked potato, sauteed kale, and candied carrots, as well as a big piece of garlic bread.

The special I chose was the Bacon Wrapped Filet with Tomato Bearnaise Sauce. This was served with the same sides, and was SO tender and delicious! You KNOW how tender this cut of meat is, and it doesn't disappoint! The sauce is absolutely perfect and adds another layer of flavor without taking away from the steak at all. Do I need to even mention the thick cut bacon?? Yum!

After ALL of that, we had a Warm Coffee Tart with Cheesecake Ice Cream! Oh gosh, I don't even know how to begin to describe it. What could be better than creamy cheesecake ice cream on top of a warm coffee tart? It's topped with caramel, hot fudge, and white chocolate! No, I'm not kidding you!

Orange Blossom will have a new menu coming soon. I've heard "rumors" that the Smoked Pork Chop AND Bacon Wrapped Filet might be permanent fixtures. I've heard some other really tasty details too.... but you'll just have to wait and see! I'll be sure to update you on the new menu when it debuts this week or next! I THINK you should sign up for their weekly e-mail so that YOU'LL know when things are cookin' at the Junction! ;)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Smart Cookies!

As you know, we are a home school family, BUT we DO have a teacher! A few of them, actually! We belong to Charter Home School Academy, and while today was our first day of school, tomorrow will be the first day I have to go to the school. Grades 2 and up will be taking online assessment tests tomorrow and I'm sure it will be a long day for all of the teachers! I always like to do little teacher treats! I saw this on a blog called eighteen25, and knew I had to do it! Click the link to download the free printable yourself! They used cups from Einstein's Bagels, but I wanted plain cups. I looked online, but you know how that goes with supply stores {minimum orders, high shipping costs}. SO....I checked out Smart & Final and they had the clear plain cups and domes. For about $10 I got a sleeve of 50-16 oz cups, and a sleeve of 100 dome lids. The only dome lids they carry have the hole in the top so I used a scalloped punch and double-sided tape to cover that up.

I printed out the tags and added a hand print paper behind them. I just used papers and ribbon that I had on hand. "With you as my teacher, I'll be one smart cookie"

I made chocolate chip cookies and rolled them into about half the size of normal so that they would fit in the cups.

There are three full time teachers that I know will be there, and of course the secretary needs one too! ;)

Hopefully it will be a good little treat for them! By the way, the caddy is from Wal-Mart, in the canning jar aisle. It fits four quart jars. I plan on using it with jars filled with flowers as a cute centerpiece, or silverware for a bbq! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Baby Shower

I'd like to share with you a really cute baby shower...a children's book-themed baby shower! The party date was the same as my ladybug party so I was unable to do it. All I did was a consultation with the hosts of the shower and they did every last bit of the work! I just thought it was so cute that I'd like to share it, there are some really great ideas! The mother-to-be is a teacher, so she chose the book theme. The shower was held at a hotel in town.How cute is this "Desserts" sign made to look like books?How cute are these cupcakes with book picks? Some of these ideas we came up with from Pinterest, and this is one of them! I didn't know how to do it, but the hostess did! She used the tiny thumbnail pics from Amazon.


How cute are the little chalkboards and easels?! I LOVE the detail it adds!

Now I'll show the table details. Each table had a theme of one of the mom-to-be's favorite books. I set the hostess up with my friend Nandie, cookie QUEEN! I thought it would be super cute if the favor was a fancy cookie to match their table's book. Take a look at the these cookie masterpieces!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?

The bookmark idea also came from Pinterest. It says "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents".

Curious George.

Miss Nelson is Missing.

Where the Wild Things Are.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Goodnight Moon.

The Polar Express.

If you give a mouse a cookie.

Love You Forever.

The Poky Little Puppy.

She also did the same "book banner" for the gift table. Pretty great ideas, huh? Each cookie turned out perfect and I'm sure that the ladies all raved over they always do. Something else that was in the consultation was a blank "library card" {the old fashioned kind} that would be passed out for guests to give the mom-to-be advice. This is the blog I got the template from. Everything turned out great, the hostess worked super hard to make this a great day for her sister! Thanks for letting me share! :)