Tag: phi mu

I haven’t posted here much this summer because it’s been so busy. But everyone’s busy, everyone always says how busy they are. What does that even mean to me?

We’ve had several different kinds of busy around here. Prepping for new job busy, summer adventures with a toddler busy, organizing the house busy, sewing and writing busy, making jam busy, feeding and speech therapy busy. Sometimes all of these busies feel so consuming that I forget I do occasionally spend time with other adults and don’t just sit in front of my computer or run a two-year-old all over the county.

It’s been fun around here for adults lately. Sometimes with H in tow, and sometimes even without her! Read more on Grownups of Summer…

The wonderful ladies from the Princeton alumni chapter of my sorority, Phi Mu, threw me a baby shower at Nicholas on Saturday. Audrey, the matriarch of the group, organized the whole thing, and it was really sweet. I had a great afternoon. Audrey took my obsession with cupcakes and turned it into the theme for the day, which I loved.

Read more on Phi Mu Baby Shower…

I went out to Lambertville, NJ today for my sorority alumni’s Founders Day luncheon. I love this area, Adam and I spent our 1st wedding anniversary in New Hope and Lambertville (across a walkable bridge from each other).

The best thing about lunch at Lambertville Station was this chocolate truffle dessert.

Read more on Books and Chocolate…

This past weekend I went to dinner with some fabulous Phi Mu ladies. We went to Ninety Acres in Peapack, NJ, a farm-to-table restaurant in the heart of Natirar park (formerly Natirar estate). It is seriously gorgeous, and the restaurant is in the carriage house of the old estate.

Read more on Ninety Acres…

We spent a lot of time this weekend celebrating birthdays, and I spent a LOT of time baking.

Yesterday was Adam’s birthday, and I made him devil’s food cake with chocolate buttercream. It was a big hit, I also made his favorite dinner (roast chicken and mashed potatoes).

Read more on Birthdays…

Book Club SpreadMy sorority alumna group has a book club, and I’d volunteered ages ago to host in October. Today was the day. We read Jennifer Weiner’s Best Friends Forever, but actually only 2 of the 8 women at book club read the book. This was another example of me realizing that September is a bad month to expect to do things like read books for book club. I had a single-minded focus on school, so everything else just took a backseat.

Book Club CakeBut I have to say, I’m really happy with the spread I put out. Cake, apples and caramel, chips and sour cream salsa, cheese and pepperoni with crackers. And I absolutely stole Maggie’s Christmas in July idea of a decorate your own cookie station. I cheated on the cookies and used one of those Pillsbury ready-to-bake packages when I ran out of time, and they were a hit. I made the vanilla frosting but not the chocolate. I went with a blue/tan/brown color scheme, and I hung the card catalog fabric I had made from Spoonflower last fall.

book club cake pre-letteringMy handwriting on cakes is as bad as it is in real life, but I still like my book club cake. I made a chocolate cake in a loaf pan, trimmed it all around, then covered it with a layer of vanilla frosting. I put it in the fridge overnight, then I covered the “spine” and “front cover” with chocolate frosting (ready made) so it would look like a book. I piped more chocolate frosting all around the bottom edge to look like the back cover of the book. I put “BFF” on the spine since that’s the abbreviation for our book’s title. The lettering is sloppy, but the cake still went over really well.

I didn’t go with the Devil’s Food Cake today, since it takes kind of a while to make. Here are the cake recipes, with my changes:

Read more on Phi Mu Book Club…

Today was my sorority alumnae group’s Lobster Bake, and we had such a lovely time. A handful of the women I knew from the Manhattan chapter of our alumnae organization, but mostly today was full of brand new faces. And they were great, I jumped right in and felt like I’d known them forever. And, of course, anytime our friend Audrey is involved in an event the food is amazing and plentiful. She is from Maine, so we had some serious lobster. And I finally got to show off my cake. I wasn’t thrilled with the lettering, but I’m still learning and the lobster was the fun part. Here are some photos.

Read more on Lobster Bake Day…

pork medallions with mustard-chive sauceFour or five years ago my sorority alumnae group in NYC decided to put together our own cookbook. One of the recipes in this book, Pork Medallions with Mustard-Chive Sauce, has become a fairly regular occurrence at the dinner table over the years. I have no idea where Jen–the woman who submitted the recipe–came up with this, but it’s really good. I made it last week and served it with herbed orzo and grilled asparagus. As with pretty much everything I cook, I made some adjustments. I use boneless pork chops, cubed, rather than pork tenderloin. I honestly think that’s just because I had pork chops on hand when I wanted to make this, and it stuck.

Pork Medallions with Mustard-Chive Sauce

This recipe serves about 4 people, or you can halve it like I do.

2 1-pound pork tenderloins, each cut crosswise into 6 slices (or 4 pork chops, cubed)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 medium)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream (I use sour cream)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (which I often leave out if I don’t have it on hand)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard (Jen’s recipe calls for Dijon, but I will put whole grain mustard on anything. Seriously. And then I lick the spoon.)

Read more on Pork Medallions with Mustard-Chive Sauce…