The “Easter Dozen” from Georgetown Cupcake

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Last summer while visiting the Washington DC area for a cousin’s wedding, my mom, sister, and I visited Georgetown Cupcake (aka DC Cupcakes from TLC).  It was SO much fun and I should actually dedicate a separate post just to that visit! We LOVED the cupcakes there so much that for Easter this year, I decided to send my mom a dozen cupcakes from there!

Georgetown Cupcake Easter Dozen

Since we don’t live near a Georgetown Cupcake location, I went online and found out that I could have them shipped! I will say, the shipping itself was a little pricy…$20 shipping fee PLUS a $10 Saturday delivery fee. I wanted it to be delivered as close to Easter as possible so I paid the extra $10 for the Saturday. While shipping was expensive, the package did arrive in great condition. The cupcakes were overnighted so they were fresh, they were packed well, and there was a freezer pack inside to keep them cool. And honestly, who cares about the overall price when you are giving a great gift!?

I also had the chance to include a gift message.  It said “Happy Easter! We thought you would like Georgetown Cupcakes better than flowers this year!” They came in flavors like Carrot, Cherry Blossom, Peanut Butter Fudge, and more. Oh and the best thing about sending my mom cupcakes? I got to eat some when I went to her house on Easter!!!

If you want to order the Easter Dozen assortment of cupcakes, you can still get them through April 30th! OR check out their entire collection of fun Seasonal Assortments on their menu.

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

Engagement Gift Idea: Nora Roberts’ Bride Quartet Books!

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After my sister got engaged, I wanted to get her a fun present to congratulate her and get her excited for wedding planning! I decided to get her a set of four books from Nora Roberts: The Bride Quartet. They are a set of books that actually came out in 2010, around the time I was planning my wedding. I read all of the books and they were great!

Nora Roberts Savor the Moment Book @FoodMarriage

Me reading “Savor the Moment” by Nora Roberts while vacationing in Fort Lauderdale back in 2010.

I love Nora Roberts, and this is by far one of my favorite series written by her! The four books in this set are: Vision in WhiteBed of RosesSavor the Moment, and Happy Ever After. The series is about a group of four friends that start a wedding business together: one is a photographer, one is a florist, one is a baker, and one is the wedding planner. They have the perfect venue…an estate left by one of the girl’s parents. Each book is written from each of the different character’s perspectives. It is fresh and fun and of course, there are love stories in store for each of the girls. Once you read them, you also won’t be able to stop thinking about getting into the wedding business yourself!!

Nora Roberts Bride Quartet Books

You can buy the entire set of books electronically, OR you can buy the “old-fashioned” way and get the real books, which I opted to do for my sister. I got her the entire sent and just tied them up with a bit of kitchen twine for a nice presentation. They were the perfect gift to get her in the mood (and give her ideas!) for wedding planning!

What do you think of this as an engagement gift idea??

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

Easy Baked Ziti Recipe

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I used to be a leftovers snob. If something wasn’t freshly made that day, I didn’t want it. I thought it was great to be able to make something fresh and new every day, because in my mind, food looked better and tasted better if you ate it right away.

Let’s just say since I became a mom, my thoughts on leftovers have changed drastically. Not only am I okay with leftovers…I love being able to make large quantities of something and freezing it to get a second meal out of it another day. I had the wonderful opportunity to stay at home with my daughter for 12 weeks after her birth. Now that it is time to go back to work I thought it would be a good idea to stock pile some meals in the freezer.

Easy Baked Ziti Recipe

I decided to do this with one of my FAVORITE recipes…Baked Ziti. This is a recipe that I have adapted a bit from my favorite chef in the world…my own mother! She gave me some of the basics of what she puts in a Baked Ziti recipe and I decided the quantities and kinds of cheeses I wanted. I like to make a party-sized portion and then split it into two pans so we can have one for now and then one for later. I also use disposable pans for less mess!

Baked Ziti

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: This recipe will feed up to 8 people. You can also split it in half and make one ziti dish for now and freeze the other for later.

Baked Ziti

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 (16oz) box Ziti Noodles
  • 1 large jar (45oz) of Pasta Sauce
  • 15 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Instructions

  • Remove sausage from its casing (slide a sharp knife down the center of each sausage and then using your hands just push the meat out from the casing. Discard the casing)
  • Combine the sausage and ground beef in a pan. Cook over medium heat until browned, continually breaking up the meat and mixing it together.
  • Cook your pasta according to the directions on the box to make it al dente. (It is very important not to overcook as you will continue baking it in the oven later).
  • Pour your sauce into a large bowl or pot. Add the ricotta cheese and mix it in completely with the sauce.
  • Next, add 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese to the sauce. (Save the other 1 cup for later)
  • Add your meat and pasta into the sauce and cheese. Mix well.
  • Pour your pasta into a casserole dish. (Use a large pan if cooking the entire amount. OR split into two different smaller (1 and 1/2 quart) pans to cook one meal now and freeze the other one for later)
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese on the top of the ziti. (if using two casserole dishes, sprinkle 1/2 on one dish and 1/2 on the other)
  • Cover your dish with foil.
  • Bake in 350° oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the entire dish is hot and the cheese has completely melted on top.
http://foodmarriage.com/2015/04/easy-baked-ziti-recipe.html

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

My Sister Got Engaged in Paris!

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This is SUPER old news for those of you that know our family personally (especially considering that my sister is already married now!), but it is new news to the other Food Marriage Blog readers out there. Since I took a little blogging hiatus for a bit while pregnant and after the birth of my baby girl…I figured now was as good a time as any to share!

Eiffel Tower Picture

Photo Courtesy of Zach Snyder

My younger sister got engaged in PARIS! I mean seriously, how romantic is that!?!? And it was at night, on a beautiful path, next to a park bench, under the lights of the Eiffel Tower. And somehow there were no crowds…it was just them. (Sounds like something straight out of a Meg Ryan movie from the 90’s!)

The reason I wanted to share is because as soon as she got engaged, I had a million ideas right away for her bridal shower! Clearly…it would have to have a Paris-theme to it. But wait until you see the twist I added to it! Stay tuned in the coming weeks on Wedding Wednesdays for lots of fun new bridal shower ideas and the most creative-theme I have ever come up with for a party!

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

Christina Bruce Photography for Newborn & Family Photos in Bucks & Montgomery County, PA

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A good photographer usually gets the majority of their business through referrals, which is exactly how we found out about Christina Bruce Photography. I LOVE being referred to work with someone because you usually get good feedback firsthand from others who have worked with them!

My husband Pat and I did not do a maternity photo shoot, but as soon as our daughter was born, we knew we wanted to get newborn photos taken of her! We didn’t plan ahead, and decided to find a photographer that first week we were home from the hospital. Christina had done beautiful photos before for my sister-in-law AND she actually went to high school with Pat! We contacted Christina and she responded right away with her avaiability.

Christina Bruce Photography - Newborn and Family Photos

Some of the photos Christina took of our family!

Not only did Christina come to our home, which made us so much more comfortable than in a studio, but she was incredible with our baby girl. She literally was a baby whisperer!! If the baby fussed even just a little bit, she held her hands gently to put her back in her pose and made a shushhh-ing noise which put her right back to sleep!  And while Christina did bring some of her own props, she made use of a lot of what we already had in our home. See the baskets in the pictures? They were ones we were already had here!

We had a great experience working with Christina and will treasure the photos she took of our family for many years to come!

Christina Bruce mainly focuses on newborn and family photography in the Bucks and Montgomery County areas of Pennsylvania. If you are interested in contacting Christina or seeing more of her work, you can get in touch via her Facebook page at Christina Bruce Photography.

 

xoxo, Food Marriage