Pre-Dinner Party Prep!


Whooooa tonight has been a whirlwind!

I have been so busy prepping the food since we got home from Crate & Barrel, William Sonoma, and Pottery Barn.

We had gift cards for all three- wedding gifts that had not been used yet. To my dismay, we actually had a really hard time spending them! The stores just weren’t well stocked. C & B said they weren’t expecting new Spring stuff for another 2 weeks. :(

At Crate & Barrel we returned some placemats and napkins because we discovered they didn’t look good on our table. We couldn’t find anything that matched our color scheme, so I settled with this blue metallic plate on sale for $2.50. Not bad!


At Pottery Barn, we found these great bright yellow placemats on sale for just $4.99 each. We got a set of 6. I also got 4 Chocolate-cinnamon candles on sale half price, as well as some deep red cloth cocktail napkins half off (not shown).


And at William Sonoma, I got a citrus zester! Something I have been wanting for ages now.


We looked and looked for some cloth napkins to go with our placemats, but the ones we liked were all sold out.

So as you can see, we didn’t leave with much even though we had lots of money on the gift cards- that’s always the way, isn’t it!?


For dessert tomorrow night, I decided to make Smitten Kitchen’s Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. How could I not make this after such a drool-worthy post?

In pictures:






If this cake tastes anywhere’s close to as good as the batter did, we have a winner!!!!

The Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:


Do not be fooled, this is not a healthy cake!

Sure, I could have doctored with Deb’s recipe, but that would have been a injustice to the amazingness that is this cake! lol.

When I cook for guests, I typically don’t mess with recipes for fear that they won’t turn out. Maybe next time I will try to use the applesauce method and see how it turns out.


Next was prepping the Burgundy Pork Tenderloin from All Recipes:


I am marinating it overnight in garlic, sea salt, crushed pepper, and Yellow Tail Shiraz.


Shiraz is supposed to go wonderfully with Pork.


And now for the worst cliffhanger of all….you will have to wait until tomorrow to see the finished product(s)!!! I still have much more to cook tomorrow, but thankfully I could at least get this stuff done tonight.

What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come. ~Oprah

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen January 4, 2009

Oh, that cake looks heavenly! Tomorrow’s dinner sounds like it will be a blast – anything marinated in Yellow Tail shiraz (one of my faves) is guaranteed to be a hit. My husband and I found that our wedding gift cards were equally hard to spend – it’s like you want to make the best decision possible considering that it’s a gift/freebie. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of opportunities to spend your g/c’s in the near future…happy shopping! (and happy cooking!)


Sharon January 4, 2009

What, what a amazing time! Love the blue metallic plate! And that is such a deal!

Great cake! It looks oh-so scrumptious! I want a bite!


VeggieGirl January 4, 2009

Looooooove it!! :-D


Leah January 4, 2009

Looks great so far.. can’t wait to see the finished product!! I loooove Yellowtail – we are having it at the wedding. Yum!


Kaneil January 4, 2009

I woke up at 6 a.m. for no reason this morning and laid in bed thinking about my future (and possible career change). I made myself a cup of coffee and started to check my daily sites. After reading your entire lovely post, the quote at the bottom struck me. What an incredible sign! :) Thank you!!! I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!


marafaye January 4, 2009

Your table looks beautiful!!!


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