Monday, August 11, 2014

Pink Lemonade First Birthday Party

Rae had a beautiful first birthday on Saturday.  I couldn't have imagined a more perfect day, it was warm and sunny with family and friends.  I designed and hand made these invitations on my Cameo Silhouette using inspiration from a few different invitations that I found on Etsy.  I love the little poem and simplicity of the invitations!  

I then set to work on the props for the day including this lemonade stand.  I almost didn't make it but then found all the pieces that I needed at Michael's and couldn't resist how easy it all was.

I glued the pieces together with wood glue and painted it yellow using the leftover wall paint from her nursery.  I then cut out the lettering and decorations using my Cameo, that machine was so easy to use and crucial for all of my decorations.

I put the lemonade stand at the curb with a few balloons to let people know where the party was.  Rae was so adorable in her little lemon shirt from Janie and Jack!

I hung a few pieces of twine and placed all of my favorite photos from the past year.  Rae loved looking at all of her pictures.  

One of Estevan's coworkers used to be a professional pastry chef and this was her gift to Rae.  It was absolutely perfect and was the centerpiece for the day.

Rae didn't get too messy but she did enjoy her taste of cake!

The cake was vanilla with a raspberry filling, so decadent.

She liked the rind more than the actual watermelon; good thing she had her bathing suit on!

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Pernil al Caldero

This is for all those Arroz Con Gandules recipe lovers out there.  It's a classic Puerto Rican recipe for pot roast with vegetables, known at Pernil al Caldero.  The recipe I used, and slightly modified, is from Puerto Rican Cookery by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli.

Pernil al Caldero

4-pound butt end of leg of pork

Crush and mix the following in a mortar:
4 peppercorns
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon whole dried oregano
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar

2 cups water
4 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 onions, peeled and quartered
1 pound carrots, peels and cut into 1 inch rounds
1 pound Ukon gold potatoes, quartered

Remove skin and excess fat from meat, this is very important!  Rinse and dry, score top of meat in diamonds.  Rub the crushed seasonings into the meat and set in refrigerator overnight.

In a large caldero or heavy stockpot, brown meat lightly over high heat.  Add liquids, bay leaves, and onions and bring to a rapid boil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and boil for 2 hours (1 hour for bone-in).

Add carrots and potatoes and bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat to medium low and boil for about 1 hour or until meat is well done.

Uncover, remove meat and vegetables, taste and adjust seasonings.  Boil, uncovered, until sauce thickens to taste.

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