Recipes

Go Blackhawks!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]While we don't normally get too involved with sports on a daily basis, we would never miss a Chicago team in the playoffs!  You can bet that we will definitely be watching tonight's Blackhawk's game- although we will probably be viewing while sipping a fabulous Bliss-inspired cocktail rather than a beer!   A few months back, one of our favorite weddings blogs put together a fabulously simple, but fun inspiration shoot for a Super Bowl party- check out all the images here.   Wouldn't it be fun to host a fancy little Blackhawks viewing party inspired by the ideas in SMP's super bowl shoot?!? We especially love the mini margarita mix favors! Also, we just about died laughing at this spirited Blackhawk loving wedding party?!?

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Bliss Holiday Cheer

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It's no secret that we love our cocktails around here!! So we thought it would be fun to spread some holiday cheer this year with some fabulous custom cocktail coasters along with a sparkly holiday card.  As soon as we saw this glittery design from Minted, we knew it had to have been made with Bliss Weddings & Events in mind (plus it just works so perfectly with our new ad photo!) After thinking about our favorite seasonal cocktails, we decided to get coasters made by For Your Party with recipes for a classic Manhattan, Hot Toddy, Kir Royale and our personal favorite- The Bliss Fizz!   We are just so in love with these fun holiday treats that we just had to share them with you here:  

 

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Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Latte

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With the changing leaves, chilly mornings and our infinity for boots at an all time high, it must mean that fall is well underway in Chicago! But nothing kicks off this season like Starbucks unveiling their coveted Pumpkin Spice Latte. Nothing compliments a lovely fall day like having one of these warming up your hand. But like any Starbucks drink addiction, these can put a little dent into the budget. Have no fear, we are sharing a little at home recipe that is easy to brew and still gives you that same heaven in a cup taste!  

(Source)

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Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 to 2 shots of brewed espresso (1/2 cup of coffee if you do not have an espresso machine)

 

Directions:

Brew your espresso, or coffee. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, combine milk, pumpkin, vanilla, sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Cook on medium heat until steaming. Whisk until desired "frothiness", careful not to bring to a boil. Pour the espresso or coffee into your favorite mug, pour the pumpkin spiced milk over it

 

Enjoy!

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A Very Happy Birthday

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="6526" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]  We are wishing a very Happy Birthday to our very own Renny Pedersen today!! While she rings in her Birthday in style today from the Big Apple, we have rounded up some of our favorite MUST-HAVES for any birthday soiree!

  • Fancy shmancy garland like these featured on Blissful Fetes.
  • A showstopping tablescape like this chic and stylish 30th Birthday party thrown by coco & kelly.
  • Drink up with the adorable DIY drink umbrellas on Oh Happy Day.
  • Wow your guests with these DIY Fringe Balloons from the glitterguide.
  • Slurp in style with these striped paper straws from Birthday Express.
  • The option for these tiny tassles from Oh Happy Day are endless.
  • An irresistible cake like this yellow cake from Bakerella.
  • Who knew bubbly from a can could be so classy?

 

How do you celebrate?

Cheers!!

(Source)

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Pop, Fizz, Clink!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The weekend is finally here and although it is a bit soggy here in Chicago we are dying to get our hands on a lovely libation. We are thinking that this special sparkler from our CS Brides feature will do the trick!  

 

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  • Ice
  • 1/2 Cup Pink Grapefruit Juice
  • 3/4 Cup Fresh Blood Orange Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
  • Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup (2 Cups Water, 1 Cup Sugar, 2 Sprigs of Rosemary)
  • Gin
  • Tonic Water

Enjoy!

 

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Cupcake Crawl: Sprinkles!

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I continue the hard task of completing a Chicago Cupcake Crawl with a stop at Sprinkles in the Gold Coast, 50 E. Walton. You can't miss  their 40 foot store front and iconic brown dots. The seven year old cupcake company opened  their Chicago location in the Spring of 2010, and thank goodness! Their  2 x 3 inch cupcake is complete heaven. I treated myself with the Vanilla Milk Chocolate with of course... Sprinkles! I won't taunt you with every detail, but highly recommend you stop by their chic cupcake shop soon! Or wait for their Cupcake ATM to open up in Chicago soon. Yes, you read that correctly!! Check out the founder of Sprinkles, Candace Nelson, interview on The Everygirl blog!

 

 

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Let's Meet for Coffee

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]How many times do you make coffee plans throughout the week? Catching up with friends, conducting the casual business meeting, setting up your work space for a few hours, or just needing a moment to yourself before you begin the day...coffee shops continuously come to our rescue! Finding one that balances your needs of being a chatty Cathy, space for your pop-up office and a decent cup of coffee can be tough though...look no further! We've brewed the perfect list of some of our Chicago go-to coffee shops for you. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="7605" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]1. Floriole, 220 W Webster Ave // Bourgeois Pig Cafe, 738 W Fullerton Ave // Bongo Room, 1470 North Milwaukee // Intelligentsia Coffee,  53 West Jackson Blvd // Topics, 2122 North Halsted // The Twisted Baker, 1543 N Wells St

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Our Easter Table

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What a weekend!! Our Easter table was overflowing with baskets, chocolates, flowers (tulips and hydrangeas), touches of Peter Rabbit here and there (a childhood favorite),  sugared eggs, crepe paper wrapped gifts for the kids and most importantly our friends and family. On Friday, we  threw a neighborhood party for the kids to dye eggs.  They sat in adorable Anthropologie Farmer's Market Baskets throughout the Dining table. Saturday morning was the Egg hunt for the kids in the local park.  We stuffed and hid over 300 eggs with candy and games.  The kids loved every minute. Sunday afternoon we clinked our mimosas together and began our meal consisting of amazing southern cheese grits (see recipe below), the must-have traditional honey baked ham, grilled asparagus, cranberry poppy seed muffins, and a jello salad with strawberries, bananas, blueberries and pecans. We topped it all off with everyone's favorite, homemade New York cheesecake! We hope you all a wonderful Easter weekend as well! On to the next holiday!

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Davis Family Cheese Grits:

  • 1 1/2 Cup Grits
  • 6 Cups of Water
  • 1 Stick of Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Eggs (beaten)
  • 1 lb of American or Cheddar Cheese (Grated) (plus a handful for top)
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Savory Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Hot Sauce
Preheat oven to 350
Butter a 9x13 casserole dish (I use a Le Creuset Casserole)
Boil water in a large stock pot.  Slowly whisk in grits. Stir Continuously until thick.
Add in Butter.  Temper Grits with Eggs.  Add eggs slowly (don't scramble!).
Add in Cheese, Salt, Savory Salt and Hot Sauce.
Stir to combine.
Pour into casserole dish.  Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered for 1 hour. 
 
ENJOY!!!
 
Note:  You can make this dish one day ahead and store in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap. 
Also, feel free to experiment with different cheeses.

 

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Cupcake Crawl: Swirlz!

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The cupcake crawl continues! Today we are spotlighting another Lincoln Park gem, Swirlz. Their motto is simple, “Cupcakes Make People Happy”.  And isn’t that the truth? Located at 705 W. Belden, this small cupcake shop is bursting with fabulous little delicacies. Their display case is always fully stocked with the most ridiculous flavors you can imagine and changes daily.  Their menu is a creative one featuring gluten free and vegan options, regular size and minis. Carrot Bourbon Cream Cheese, Chocolate Raspberry Hazelnut Crunch, Banana Nutella, Twixie and Snixie…I recommend just closing your eyes and pointing, you can’t go wrong. I walked out with a Vanilla Espresso this time around! If you can’t make it into their sophisticated bakery, you can find them on the shelves of Whole Foods throughout the Midwest (Impressive!). Their twitter is always boasting with what they have made for the day and an occasional chance to win a few of their masterpieces! I recommend stopping in often at this little cupcake shop or calling an order or two in for your next event or get together! Bon Appétit!

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For the Unexpected Guests

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While us Bliss Belles just swoon in the details of our client events, we also absolutely adore keeping things chic, stylish and entertaining in our homes.  From dashing decor to exciting tabletop, we love a well dressed home. As the weather teases us with spritzes of summer, my mind goes straight to al fresco entertaining. I adore when guests drop by, en route to the park or after a dinner at Rose Angelis across the street. Making sure that my fridge and pantry are stocked with quick-and-easy items for both meals and guests is an essential part of my grocery trips.

Here are my bar and snack essentials that are always on hand:

  • One bottle of Champagne chilled in the fridge
  • Two bottles of white wine (I like to stock a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay)
  • One bottle of full-bodied red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon in the winter, Pinot Noir in the summer)
  • Assorted beer (I like to keep a Light Beer, an IPA/Craft Beer and an Import in stock!)
  • Soda Water
  • Grapefruit Juice and Cranberry Juice
  • Vodka, Gin and Scotc

{Soon, too, I'll share my favorites for the full-stocked bar that is sure to satisfy your wildest parties.}

I also love to keep the simple ingredients handy for fresh lemonade... it's super easy and all you need to stock is a drawer-full of lemons!

My favorite lemonade, from Paula Deen:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 gallon cold water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Mint sprigs, for garnis

Directions

In a 1 gallon container, place sugar and hot water, and stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and cold water to render 1 gallon. Stir until well mixed. Pour lemonade over glasses of ice, squeeze slice of lemon on top of each.

I keep blueberries in the freezer for a quick garnish for fresh lemonade. Ohh..and when you can, purchase sprigs of lavender to have on hand to finish this refreshing drink off!

And if you drop-by guests are looking for a snack, simply keep popcorn, an assortment of salts and toppings, good crackers, 2 cheeses (I always have an Aged Gouda..Beemster is my favorite! and Brie in hand), a good Fig Jam and Honey, and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.

Up soon... our favorites for a well-stocked bar, china cabinet and entertaining "pantry"...

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Ladies that Lunch

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We kicked off spring yesterday with a ladies lunch and couldn’t resist sharing our table with you! The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing and the perky, yellow daffodils and tulips lit up our table. We served a classic goat cheese and strawberry spinach salad on top of our bright, floral Anthropologie plates. Our mason jar mugs were filled to the brim with thyme lemonade, that sat next to our dijon striped napkins.  Ella was a wonderful help as our “Official Lemonade Taste Tester” and typical Lucy was not in the mood to deal with any of it! It was quite picturesque and great way to spend the first spring afternoon that kicks off what will be our busiest wedding season yet! What do your Ladies Lunches consist of? [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="11358" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="11359" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="11360" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="11361" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="11362" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="11363" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="11364" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Cupcake Crawl: Molly's Cupcakes

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We've take on the societal duty of finding the best cupcakes of Chicago. We know it won’t be an easy task, but someone’s got to do it!  

Our Cupcake Crawl begins at 2536 North Clark in Lincoln Park at Molly’s Cupcakes. The shop has a playful vibe as you walk in with swings to sit on at their bar, and a variety of games that customers play at their tables. They have plenty of unique cupcake creations like ‘The Ron Bennington’, ‘Boston Cream’, Blueberry Cheesecake’ and ‘Cake Batter’ to name a few! And for those that like to stick to what they know, Molly’s offers Classic Flavors of 'Chocolate', 'Vanilla', 'Carrot', 'Banana' and 'Red Velvet'. Once you make the hard decision of which flavor you move on to icing, 'Classic Vanilla' and 'Chocolate', 'Cream Cheese', 'Brown Butter' or 'French Buttercream'. Oy vey! Make your cupcake personal by adding whatever toppings speak to you! And as an added bonus a portion of their profits are donated to schools in the community, in honor of Molly who was a third grade teacher! After much debate, we ordered two of their Classic Flavors, a banana cupcake with classic vanilla frosting and sprinkles and a vanilla cupcake with classic chocolate and the odd choice of gummy bears (the sky’s the limit)! And what more could we ask for? Good news Chicago Brides, they vow to customize your cupcakes with whatever toppings and decorations your little heart desires!

 

Our first stop on the crawl was a huge success. We recommend you satisfy that inner cupcake craving that lives withing all of us and stop in at Molly’s Cupcake! Bon appétit![/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="7029" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="7030" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Sweet & Savory

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Keep your guest dancing all night by offering some late night snacks! The trend of midnight snacks at weddings is quickly growing, and always a crowd pleaser. Between the drinks and the dance party going on at your wedding, your guests are sure to be in need of some munchies…Will you chose sweet or savory?

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1. Doughnut Hole & Coffee // 2. Homemade Pop-Tart on a Stick // 3. Mini Pancakes // 4. Cotton Candy // 5. Cookies & Milk // 6. Ice Cream Cones 1. Pigs in a Blanket // 2. Mini BLT Bites // 3. Mini Potato Skins // 4. Mini Sliders on a Waffle Fry // 5. Mini Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup // 6. Bucket o' French Fries // 7. Popcorn

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Blissful Sunday!

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Happy Sunday!

I had extra time on my hands and decided to cook all day. My family sure was happy!

The kids got Mickey pancakes, hand squeezed OJ and strawberries for breakfast.  I had a skim latte from my brand new espresso machine (LOVE IT!).

 

 

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Everyone got homemade lasagna for dinner.  Yum!  The lasagna was Ina's. This is hands down the best lasagna recipe I have ever tried.

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Hope you had as great of a weekend as we did.

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