Freshly Minted: Merry Floral & Letra

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's beginning to look like... well, the holidays are still a couple of months away, but I've been rockin' the Christmas playlist since May -- Oh Bing Crosby, you never get old -- while designing this year's collection. After month's of hard work, I'm excited to start sharing my holiday designs with you! 

Minted launched their holiday collection last week, and I am thrilled to have two new designs among the collection: Merry Floral and Letra.  Minted also introduced a some yummy new features this year to customize your holiday cards: triple thick paper, postcards, and my personal favorite - die cuts

Merry Floral by Paper & Parcel for Minted

Letra by Paper & Parcel for Minted

Minted is offering a early bird 20% discount on the Holiday Collection through 10/8. Use code: PREVIEW2012.

In the Shop: Trick or Treat Bags

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Give your Halloween guests the creeps with these fun and modern Trick or Treat favor bags. Available now in my Etsy store.

Zombie Boogers

Monday, September 17, 2012

The air is getting crisp, the leaves are turning beautiful shades of red and yellow, and Halloween is right around the corner.  I know, I know. It's still a bit early...but I had so much fun creating these Zombie Boogers treat bags, that I couldn't resist sharing them with you.  Plus this gives you plenty of time to plan and bake for your Halloween party.

The recipe for the Zombie Boogers popcorn is super, duper easy and is sure to make your guests shriek with delight.  The treat bags are available for purchase in my Etsy shop. Enjoy!

"Zombie Boogers" Green Candy Coated Popcorn

Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 8-10
Time: 1 1/2 hours

16-20 cups of popped popcorn

1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon green food coloring
1 teaspoon baking soda
(Depending on how coated you would like the popcorn, I recommend making a double batch of the mixture to achieve the same look of the popcorn as in the photo.)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C).

Place your popcorn in two large shallow baking dishes.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt buter. Stir in sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to boil while stirring consistently.  Boil without stirring for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and green food coloring until the mixture is evenly colored and combined. Stir in baking soda. Mixture will double. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir to combine and evenly coat.

Place the popcorn in the oven. Stir the popcorn every 15 minutes for 1 hour. Remove from the oven. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then break into pieces. Be careful popcorn will still be hot.

(Editor's Update: I've had several comments and emails from readers saying that they had to adjust or tweak the recipe. I've updated the recipe slightly due to these suggestions. Also, please note that I cook at altitude (above 5,200 feet). Depending on your location, you may need to adjust the recipe slightly to achieve the same serving size.)

Introducing Amelia

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fun-loving Amelia is a modern invitation designed for the stylish couple looking to showcase their whimsical personality. Bold blocks of color and sophisticated type eagerly invite guests to a wedding that is sure to last into the wee hours of the morning.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

I wanted to create a invitation design that was edgy and unique but classic at the same time. I thought of nontraditional spaces like warehouses, art galleries, and museums with lots and lots of natural light. I thought about the couple who would want to hold their wedding in those spaces. Edgy. Modern. Whimsical. Unique. That's Amelia.

Classic Creme Brulee

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I love cooking. There is just something about sharing good food with friends and family that sparks great conversation and incredible memories... 

For my husband's birthday, he asked me to make creme brulee instead of a traditional birthday cake.  I'd never made creme brulee before. We received a kitchen torch as a wedding present that was collecting dust in our cabinets, and this was a perfect opportunity to finally use it.  I found the secret to a good creme brulee is great ingredients and patience to achieve that irresistible vanilla custard favor and texture and caramelized sugar crust. 


Recipe Difficulty: Easy to Medium
Serves: 4-5 with 6-7oz. ramekins
Time: 8 hours (Custard can be made up to four days in advance)

4 cups heavy cream chilled 
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean and seeds
12 large egg yolks 
6-8 teaspoons granulated sugar for crust
Raspberry and mint leaves (optional for decoration)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position.

Combine 2 cups of cream, sugar, and pinch of salt in medium saucepan. Add the vanilla bean and submerge the pod into the cream. Bring to boil over medium heat stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and steep for 20 minutes. 

While the custard is steeping, separate yolks from egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until yolks are broken up and combined. Set aside. 

Begin preparing your bain-marie (water bath) for the creme brulee. Line a large baking dish with a kitchen towel or my preference a Silpat.  Bring a kettle or large saucepan of water to boil. 

After the vanilla bean has steeped, stir in the remaining 2 cups of cream. Then in the large mixing bowl with your egg yolks, whisk 1 cup of cream mixture at a time until the mixture is evenly colored and combined. 

Strain the mixture though a fine-meshed strainer to remove any large particulates from the vanilla bean. Discard solids. 

Ladle mixture evenly into ramekins, and place all the filled ramekins into baking dish. Pour boiling water into the dish about 2/3 of the way to the top of the ramekins and being careful not to splash any water onto the custard. 

Bake in oven for about 35-45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170-175 degrees in the center. The centers should be set and no longer sloshy. Don't be afraid to add additional time if necessary, but keep checking so you don't overcook. 

Transfer ramekins to wire rack and cool at room temperature for 2 hours. 

After they have cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold for at least 4-6 hours. You can leave the creme brulee in the refrigerator for up to four days. 

Uncover. If any condensation has collected, gently soak with paper towel. Sprinkle 1-1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar evenly over the top. Ignite kitchen torch and caramelize sugar using a circular motion to evenly distribute heat and prevent burning.  Be careful: sides of ramekins will be hot. 

Refrigerate ramekins uncovered for 30-45 minutes to rechill. Garnish with raspberry and mint leaves. Serve. 

What Wedding Stationery Do I Need?

Monday, September 10, 2012

As a stationer, I am often asked various questions about wedding invitation etiquette. No offense to Emily Post, but there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wedding invitations. Every wedding is unique, and what works for one might not work for the other. That being said, there are some generally accepted guidelines when it comes to invitation etiquette. These guidelines can be a helpful jumping off point while planning your wedding. To hopefully help answer some frequently asked questions and ease your planning process, I will be writing a series on my blog devoted to wedding invitation etiquette.

First up, "What wedding stationery do I need? 

Every wedding is different. Your stationery needs will depend on the type of wedding you have (formal, casual, destination), but a good rule of thumb is to think about what information your guests need. Wedding stationery is also a great way to showcase your personality and set the tone for your day!

Below is a list of typical wedding stationery pieces and why you might need them: 

Introducing Astaire

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

With the launch of the new website and blog, I wanted to share with you my inspiration boards as well as the backstory of each design within the wedding collection.  I'll be introducing the designs as well as the inspiration boards and stories over the coming weeks, but catch a sneak peak  of the boards along with many more images on Pinterest. First up: Astaire...

Image Sources (left to right): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

The initial idea for Astaire was to create a classic and sophisticated invitation that felt very modern. Digging for inspiration, I came upon an image of Fred Astaire. As a child, I remember watching Top Hat  starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers one evening on a classic movie channel. I was mesmerized by the effortlessness and grace of their dance numbers. And just like Fred and Ginger, I wanted the typography of the design to sweep across the invitation. Then I added a striped backer and punch of green for kicks. For couples who choose Astaire for their wedding invitation, I envision a wedding in the city or a formal church wedding with the guests dancing into the wee hours of the evening.