Hostess Gift Mystery Revealed
Posted on January 26th
When Mrs. O and her husband first arrived at the White House on January 20, she was carrying a present in one hand. It was a large rectangular box wrapped with red ribbon.
Until now, attention has been turned on the ceremonies and the celebrations. But now that the hoopla has calmed down a bit, we can all return to an unanswered question: What was in the box?
It was a hostess gift from Mrs. O to Mrs. B, who has said that she now plans to use her time out of the White House writing her memoirs. But unlike many hostess gifts-candy, wine, flowers-this one was a highly personalized selection. It was a leather-bound journal inscribed with a quote from Louis L’Amour, the American writer known for his iconic Western novels: “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.” Accompanying the journal was a pen engraved with the date January 20, 2009. What better way to start your memoirs?
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Posted by Pink Peony at 11:00 PM
We know change has already started at the White House just by checking out Mrs. O’s recent activities. Her schedule has been busy and her approach has been refreshingly open. On January 22, just two days after the inauguration, Mrs. O threw her premiere First Lady party: the entire White House staff - 90 people including plumbers, florists, and cleaning staff - was invited to the East Room for a get-together.
The guests were encouraged to mingle and get to know one another as well as the new First Lady, who wore a casual black short-sleeved sweater with a gray tweed skirt and oversized pearl earrings. Her hair was sleek and pulled back in a low bun. (This New York Times article details how President Obama, evidently following suit, is unbuttoning the formal dress code in the West Wing.)
And there was a surprise for Mrs. O at this party: another birthday cake, this time presented to her by the staff. (On the train ride to Washington, D.C., on January 17, there had been two large sheet cakes-one vanilla with chocolate icing, one chocolate with vanilla icing-on board for everyone to celebrate Mrs. O’s big day.)
Of course, there is much to celebrate recently but we know, in general, that the O family doesn’t indulge in a let-us-eat-cake snacking habit. Mrs. O has long stated that she is very interested in promoting healthy eating for her family. This lifestyle was just reinforced yesterday when it was announced that Sam Kass, a 28-year-old private chef from Chicago, has now joined the White House staff. Filling a vacancy, he will be a White House employee, paid by the government; he will be working as assistant chef along side executive chef Cristeta Comerford, who assumed that job in 2005.
Posted by Pink Peony at 10:41 PM
With the economy not being that easy on alot of people. Brides are now looking for ways to cut their budgets. Once Wed features used designer wedding gowns for less then when they were new. For the wives that has that wedding dress taking up space in your closet you can post for free your worn dress.
Posted by Pink Peony at 4:42 PM
Friday, January 30, 2009
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:35 PM
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:19 AM
Sunday, January 25, 2009
“Creating a cultural icon out of someone who goes, 'I'm stupid, isn't it cute?' makes me want to throw daggers. I want to say to them, 'My grandma did not fight for what she fought for just so you can start telling women it's fun to be stupid. Saying that to young women, little girls, my daughter? It's not OK'.”
Posted by Pink Peony at 5:44 PM
You Won't Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta
Tags: dinner lunch pasta vegetables 30 Minute Meals sauté boil simmer
This recipe will make enough for 2 couples. If you plan a romantic evening where more than two's a crowd, reserve half the sauce to freeze for another supper before the addition of basil, and only cook 1/2 to 2/3 pound of penne.
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 shallots, minced
* 1 cup vodka
* 1 cup chicken stock
* 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
* Coarse salt and pepper
* 16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
Crusty bread, for passing
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.
Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.
Posted by Pink Peony at 1:52 PM
1 lb pasta
1 lg jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb bacon
1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Cut raw bacon into small (1/4 to 1/2") pieces. Cook in large fry or saute pan until cooked, being sure not to overcook the bacon. Add spaghetti sauce and red pepper flakes to the pan with the bacon.
Stir, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain.
Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream to the sauce and stir. Add more cream to taste. Sauce should be thick and pink.
Top pasta with sauce and serve! As in Lady & the Tramp this would be a great romantic dinner. With a twist :)
Posted by Pink Peony at 1:41 PM
Chocolate Crème Brûlée Recipe:
(makes enough for 4 ramekins)
Start a pot of water (4 cups) boiling for water bath, and preheat oven to 350.
1 cup half & half or cream
2 Tbsp sugar
very small pinch of salt
2 Tbsp Ghiradelli ground chocolate (or 1oz chocolate bar, chopped)
4 Strawberries sliced
Combine in saucepan, whisking over medium-high until sugar is incorporated and mixture begins to bubble gently, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and prepare egg mixture.
3 large or 2 jumbo egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk the eggs and vanilla together thoroughly. Keep whisking, slowly pour hot cream mixture into egg mixture in a thin stream. Strain mixture through a fine sieve to remove any lumps. Put the mixture into a large measuring cup so that you can pour it easily.
Mist ramekins with nonstick spray and place in a flat baking dish with a rim. Pour mixture in, leaving 1/8 inch of space at the top. Pour hot water halfway up the outside of the ramekins. Transfer carefully to oven, bake at 350 for 20-25min. To check if it's done, give the pan a gentle shake. They are done when the center jiggles only slightly.
Remove ramekins from hot water and chill for 2-3 hours. They will keep for at least a week, but be sure to keep covered in plastic wrap or they will dry out and crack. Add the sugar layer last, because it will become soggy in the fridge.
Sugar layer (brûlée): Evenly sprinkle 1-2 tsp sugar on cooled custard. Tip and gently shake ramekin to even out. Heat evenly in circular motions with a culinary torch held 2 inches from surface. Stop heating when the sugar turns golden brown- it will go from brown to burned very quickly. Put Strawberries on top.
Posted by Pink Peony at 1:08 PM
These wafer-thin rose-scented soap petals dissolve in your bath as they soften, soothe and cleanse the skin. They can in a lovely clear glass apothecary jar with lid that will look great with bath salts or cotton balls when the soap is gone.
Posted by Pink Peony at 1:04 PM
Breakfast in bed for Valentine's Day? Why not start out the day with these love glasses. Each set of four includes each of the glasses shown above, and make for a fun Valentine's gift that will be enjoyed throughout the year.
Posted by Pink Peony at 8:14 AM
Friday, January 23, 2009
Posted by Pink Peony at 8:31 PM
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 stick butter, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 large egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup dry red wine, such as burgundy
* 10 ounces dark chocolate, broken into chunks
* 1 cup dried tart cherries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl. In a bowl of an electric mixer, or with a handheld mixer, combine butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and wine and combine. Slowly in batches add the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chocolate and cherries. On a nonstick cookie sheet, place a heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie about 2 inches apart from each other. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until tops are still soft looking but edges look firm.
Posted by Pink Peony at 5:10 PM
Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini
1.5oz- Van Gogh Black Cherry Vodka
1oz- Dark Creme d Cacao
1oz- Baily's Irish Cream
Add all ingredients to a shaker tin half filled with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain in to a chilled glass.
Posted by Pink Peony at 4:56 PM
When it's that "time of the month", chocolate is a guilty pleasure that most women crave. But maybe they should - chocolate is the ultimate comfort food and now a new product gives those undergoing PMS even more reason to indulge.
They're called "PMS Support Chocolate bars" and the manufacturer, vitamin giant Jamieson Labs, insists they really do relieve the symptoms that can accompany premenstrual syndrome. How can that be? In addition to the endorphins a comfort food like chocolate can release in the brain, this bar contains a blend of white willow bark, sodium caseinate, artichoke leaf and chasteberry. Despite that, it actually tastes good.
Perfect Monthly Satisfaction! Available in both Milk and Dark Chocolate. 2.5 ounces of pure bliss! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Posted by Pink Peony at 4:36 PM
SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL 'INDIVIDUAL BREAST CANCER CHARITY AWARENESS' WINE GLASS CHARM
HIGH QUALITY SOLID PEWTER BREAST CANCER AWARENESS CHARM ON SILVER PLATED RING
BEAUTIFULLY DECORATED WITH GENUINE SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS IN PINK
EACH CHARM IS PROVIDED IN A BEAUTIFUL ORGANZA PRESENTATION POUCH.
FOR EACH CHARM SOLD WE WILL BE MAKING A 50p DONATION TO THE OFFICIAL BREAST CANCER CHARITY (http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk).
Posted by Pink Peony at 4:16 PM
If you're constantly on the go, this darling canvas tote bag is the solution for you. Fashioned in natural canvas color and trimmed in candy pink, this tote features a single pocket on the outside of bag. Embroidery design features a pink breast cancer ribbon. Measures 17" wide X 12" tall. Handles measure 11" tall from top of bag.
Posted by Pink Peony at 4:10 PM
Feeling like putting pen to paper? But, how do you start when writing proses of devotion to your beloved? American Greeting has help online. So get ready to count the ways....
Posted by Pink Peony at 11:48 AM
Jones Soda is now offering a limited edition Valentine's Day Gift Pack.
The package contains two bottles of "Love Potion #6", described as "sweet and tart" sure to leave a tingle on your tongue.
It also comes with similarly flavored lip balm to give your lover a tingle on his/her lips.
There's even a coupon book redeemable for such romantic gifts as "1 Hour of Extended Spooning" and "1 Magical Argument Ender." And the pack comes complete with a music CD of Sony BMG artists Aqualung, the Fray, and Goapele.
$9.99 from Jones Soda online.
Posted by Pink Peony at 11:36 AM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Ok I will not be the first to say this nor will I be the last...I love the Obama's. Finally again we have a first lady that doesn't stand in the shadows of her strong husband. She takes his hand & stands by his side. Not afraid to show her own strength. Plus this lady has style. I can't wait to see what the next few years holds.
Posted by Pink Peony at 7:49 AM
Monday, January 19, 2009
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:48 PM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
How sweet are these little bars of chocolate? The Mast Brothers Chocolate is New York City's only bean chocolate makers & one of only a handful of chocolate artisans in the USA.
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:48 AM
I love the graphic look to this chocolate. What a great gift for a black and white wedding or for that special someone for Valentines Day.Plus it's much cooler looking than that old heart shaped box of candy from the drug store.
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:38 AM
These sweet little note cards has a circle punched through the front, exposing the attached 1 1/4" pin-back button which has a vintage image of Depression Era urchin on it.Use these cards when you want to treat your friends to a little gift.
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:16 AM
Posted by Pink Peony at 8:07 AM
Friday, January 16, 2009
"The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he is a baby. "
Posted by Pink Peony at 7:58 PM
America's Most Romantic Cities:
Do you believe that Cities are Great Places to Honeymoon? Couples who appreciate traveling to a destination with terrific hotels, a wide choice of restaurants, fun places to shop, innumerable places to kiss, and attractions galore, agree. But which cities are best for lovers? According to the 2004 Travel + Leisure Magazine / AOL Travel online survey, these are the top 25 USA cities for romance:
2. San Juan
3. San Francisco
4. New Orleans
6. Las Vegas
7. New York
8. San Diego
9. San Antonio
10. Santa Fe
11. Tampa/St. Petersburg
14. Portland, OR
21. Los Angeles
23. Twin Cities
25. Washington, D.C.
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:40 AM
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Glamour & Glitz, Shimmer & Shine
Today the Oscars are as much about fashion as they are about film with designers vying to dress the year's hottest stars. We remember the evening as much for the awards as we do for the stand-out designs that grace the red carpet and earn a spot in the night's top ten. It's Hollywood at its best, a dazzling evening of glitz and glam, a shimmering, mesmerizing display of beautiful people dressed to the nine. Inspired by some of the Oscar's most memorable fashions, these cookies are a tribute to true Hollywood glamour.
Posted by Pink Peony at 7:19 PM
"I'm fulfilled in what I do. I never thought that a lot of money or fine clothes - the finer things of life - would make you happy. My concept of happiness is to be filled in a spiritual sense. "
~Coretta Scott King
Posted by Pink Peony at 8:42 AM
Posted by Pink Peony at 8:36 AM
Monday, January 12, 2009
This Welsh pastry chief has alittle bit of everything to offer in her blog. Great ideas are always found. Plus you need to log on to find out what a Cwch is :)
Posted by Pink Peony at 7:09 PM
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Posted by Pink Peony at 8:50 PM
Funny quote from my fellow ,Taurus , 30 something, & Tina.
"According to a new study, women in satisfying marriages are less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases than unmarried women. So don't worry lonely women, you'll be dead soon." :P
Posted by Pink Peony at 7:59 PM
Net WT. 4oz (120ml)
|Save My Feet is designed for the woman who owns a variety of shoes and wants to have comfort from blisters and irritations. This product works on flats, pumps, sneakers, and even between toes for flip flops. Greaseless, stainless, non-mediated. Nice fresh scent.|
A little goes a long way so you can use it every day.
As Seen in
Posted by Pink Peony at 2:14 PM
You gotta love a movie book that lists films under subheads that really matter. ''The Handy Hunk Chart'' (featuring Ralph Fiennes' and Matt Dillon's ''Top Drool Pics''), ''and ''Hoopskirt Dreams: Dresses-to-Die-for Movies'' (The Age of Innocence) are just a few of the helpful categorizations that make this snarky little review compilation such a hoot. Peske and West's hilarious observations range from the trenchant (''Sandra Bullock...can take off a knit cap and not have hat head much less flyaway'') to the feverish (''Vincent Perez is so beautiful, he'll make your joints ache''). Cinematherapy: The Girl's Guide to Movies for Every Mood is a must for your next girls' night in.
Posted by Pink Peony at 1:20 PM
From the TCM Archives
Format: Hardcover, 31 flash cards with b/w illustrations
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
Brad Allen: Look, I don't know what's bothering you, but don't take your bedroom problems out on me.
Jan: I have no bedroom problems. There's nothing in my bedroom that bothers me.
Brad Allen: Oh-h-h-h. That's too bad.
Posted by Pink Peony at 12:49 PM
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Posted by Pink Peony at 8:20 PM
The yummy chocolate cake scent is perfect for chocolate lovers and chocoholics. The simple recipe uses easy-to-find ingredients that you may already have at home.
1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup sea salt or kosher salt
3 tsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. oil (almond, olive, sunflower or other good quality oil)
In a clean, dry bowl, add together the dry ingredients and mix very thoroughly. Add the vanilla extract and oil. Mix very well again to ensure that the oil is completely blended in. Transfer to small clean jars or cello bags and close tightly.
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:31 AM
Make and apply a chocolate facial mask.Try this ultra-easy recipe for Chocolate Berry Facial:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup washed strawberries or raspberries
3 tsp. cocoa power (adjust as needed to correct consistency)
Mash up the berries. Blend in yogurt and cocoa and then mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until use. Apply to clean skin. Leave on face about 15 minutes and then rinse off. Safe for most skin types.
Posted by Pink Peony at 9:20 AM