Join us as we discover Hanover Avenue.com's Dream Kitchen with The Café Sucre Farine.com recipes!
One thing I love about life is that you just never know what a day will bring.
I definitely find that true right now in my "blogging life". It keeps me busy as a bee, and it seems there's never a dull moment - always something new to learn, a fun idea to try, an intriguing possibility to explore and often, a fun new friend right around the corner.
A perfect example occurred one morning earlier this summer as I was checking emails. There were a few important ones and lots of delete-right-away types, but one of them caught my eye. The subject piqued my interest. It read: We used your cookies in the coolest way!
What in the world? I opened up the email to discover it was from an interior designer based out of Richmond, VA, Anne Tollett.
I had to write to show you this! One of our readers won a free virtual room makeover, and we used your cookies in the space! They just seemed so perfect to go with the teacups (and the whole room, really . . . . )
They are soooo yummy and we have gotten a great response over these little gems - how could we not? - they're are adorable! Almost as perfect as any accessory in the room. *wink*
Anyway, I just thought you might get a kick out of this? Here is the link to the whole room below. You are right there in the Buying Guide - whoop!
I could hardly wait to see which cookies she was talking about. When I clicked the link, it turned out that she had come across my Pansy Shortbread Cookies and had used them in her beautiful blue and white design scheme.
Anne and I emailed back and forth a few times that morning. I found out she has a design studio and website called Hanover Avenue. We ended up talking on the phone later that day, and things just "clicked". Our imaginations seemed to ignite each other, and it wasn't long before we came up with an idea to collaborate on...
Anne's work involves "virtual interior design". What does that mean? I had no idea, but was quickly introduced to a fascinating new concept. Harper's Bazaar did an article on virtual interior design and said:
If you've always dreamed of a glamorous home makeover experience, but haven't had the interior designer budget to go along with it, then you're in luck. The two of you (you and the designer) work together (virtually) to create the perfect curated space based on your budget.
What this means is you can send Anne a picture of a room in your home that you'd like to decorate (or redecorate) and she will come up with a virtual plan with every detail as perfectly laid out as in the photo above (down to the cookies!). This is all done for a flat fee and Anne provides a buying guide for you to go with the room. How cool is that?
The idea we decided to collaborate on was an affordable dream kitchen and a virtual birthday celebration for family and friends. Anne of course, worked on the kitchen design, but requested my input along the way. We had lots of fun working together.
My job was to come up with a party menu that would be served in this lovely kitchen. One would be suitable for kids and adults alike, and would be fairly simple to put together. We both got busy and it's been awesome to see the results. I'll share pics of the kitchen first and follow up with my menu.
Anne is sharing lots more details about this delightful kitchen today over at Hanover Avenue. We did a little video together so you'll actually get to meet Anne in person and see why I was so smitten with her vibrant, fun personality!
And here's my menu. If you click on any of the pictures below you will be linked to the recipes.
I've given four favorite Café appetizer options, but you could easily serve just one of these and everyone would be quite happy.
I kept the main course fairly simple and chose items that would be universally appealing. There are options to make the menu child-friendly without having to make a whole separate menu for younger palettes.
So there you have it! If you're planning a party or a get together, this is a wonderful menu since much of it can be made ahead. I really believe that's the secret to successful entertaining. Whether you work outside the home, are involved in the community or have young children to care for, it's essential to organize your time. Choose your recipes, then make a schedule for yourself. I like to try to make one recipe a day for the week or so preceding the get-together. This works well for things that can be made in advance and stashed in the freezer like the Lemon, Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia and also for recipes like the Best Ever Super Easy Salsa where the flavors mingle and keep get better.
Are you wondering about dessert? Of course, it's a party right? The dessert menu is to-die-for and also completely make-ahead. But you have to wait, we'll be sharing a whole other post next week featuring the desserts. There's a fun surprise too, but I can't tell you about that yet. Sworn to secrecy!!
We'll be back tomorrow to look at a few other aspects of this dreamy little kitchen. We'll even peek into the drawers where you'll see some of my favorite kitchen tools!
Oh, and on Wednesday.. well, you know I can't stay out of my "real" kitchen for long. There'll be a fabulous new recipe - Mexican Street Corn Salad. It's my current obsession, and I can't wait to share it. I know you'll love it too!