1955

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Sixty years and two days ago dear husband arrived in this world. Celebrated, of course, with family dinner at home.

No Rolex, or fancy cocktails for a hundred or so, simply flew two Boston MA girls home for his surprise.

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Osso Bucco was a whole day affair, that with work and all. Thankful for good clothes, never had a chance to think about what to wear. Printed silk blouse (black lace bra underneath, something needs to be fancy), sleeves rolled up, ubiquitous blue jeans and flat black boots, good to go.

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Went without the cliché of fresh flowers, this was a man’s party, and put three small pots of ivy down the table. (So much less than fresh flowers too, being January and broke and all). White tapers, this time no votives.

You’d think with a milestone like this for the man I love deeply I would have it together a bit more. Knew what I wanted and needed to do, took a deep breath, anxiety and all, and went forward. Had visual memories of three photos from recent travels, at 4 pm dropped them in a thumb drive, headed to Kinko’s FedEx and printed them out, and then to Target, I know I know, to grab a frame. Here it is ready for the red room, haha.

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This is how it looked at 5 pm, and dinner was at 8: carrot cake baked, cream cheese frosting on the counter, haricot verts blanched, veal shanks wrapped and on a tray, onions out for the risotto. One great thing about doing things time and again is that you don’t really have to measure things like chopped vegetables: simply feel the amount needed for onion, celery, carrots, tomato, garlic. Spinach and artichoke dip to go with the champagne, and caesar salad for some more green.

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Green continued with wine bottle-shaped sugar cookies, hand embellishment with his birth year as vintage. 🙂

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There were eight of us plus one, second son’s girlfriend, always make room for more love at the table.

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Happy 60th dear husband. 1955 was a very good year. xoxo

 

five cakes

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For third daughter’s sixteenth birthday celebration this past Saturday night, ordered five cakes from our local restaurant two days before the party. They don’t make one big cake, had to order enough for sixty or so guests so five cakes it was. Yeah, kind of last-minute, made it work. Didn’t want anything too overdone, or looking like a wedding, so naturally waited to the very sweet end. Thank you, Cynthia, you were spot on, they were a hit. A little anxiety about how to make five cakes feel special, it came in the middle of a long walk: five siblings, each will carry one and present, sparkle candle and all. Fun.

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Balloons were a two-day before addition as well. At the walk-through on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 pm, asked the club manager for her source, deliver she did. Chris, from Balloon Masters, did it up brilliantly. Called him on the car phone on the way home, barely 48 hours in advance, signed, sealed, and delivered. Wanted to call in a real photographer, husband nixed that idea rather quickly, like the blog here we’re a bit of a do it yourself cottage industry.

Dress was bought the day before, no stress there, that’s one of the things we do here at every day dress, dress busy women in beautiful clothing. Last minute for that kind of thing is fine. Shoes were a gift from Santa Baby, she was delighted. Birthday crown purchased at a local little French shop in Sonoma CA, two years ago, she wore it at her fourteenth as well. New nail color, Chanel.

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We were all there. A New Year’s Day birth is sometimes a little left behind. This year, not so much. Lizzie, happy sweet sixteen, we love you to the moon and back.

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Every day dress, five cakes. Believe, keep moving, make good things happen.

birthday cake | Ristorante Lombardo

balloons | Balloon Masters

shoes | Valentino | at Neiman Marcus

nail color | Chanel | Paradisio

invitations | Fine Stationery

baked like crazy

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For three nights straight, baked like crazy. Crazy stuff is going on all around in kitchens and beyond everywhere, busy time of year. Love the personal touch the hand can lend to gatherings large or small.

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Baked like crazy when blessed by being home with a houseful of young children. Now four of them are out, two of them in, and youngest daughter said she loves when the house smells like Christmas.

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For husband’s annual office Christmas party, this year in a space that was moderate and new, loaded the car with cookies and greens candles and decorations all from home. Dressed it up nicely.

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Just as the clock hit six, slipped on super simple black dress. No manicure, no pedicure, no jewelry, thinking we’re all a bit baked like crazy. Client and friend told me yesterday the week before Christmas is one of the busiest of the year. Agreed.

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Every day dress, baked like crazy.

Let’s all hang in and keep the faith. xo

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simple will do

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One good thing about doing things many times is that you begin to understand that simple will do. This time of year, white lights, white flowers, (from her date’s mom, how nice!),white candles, fresh greens, good to go. A few ornaments and some glittered nutcrackers dress the table.



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Youngest of six, high school date dance. Done this a time or two. 🙂

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Even served super simple food. Punch, chips, dip, and cookies. They didn’t really eat a thing, it simply looked and felt special. Way too much excitement in the air, simple will do.

After the drive down, made some simple dinner and sat among the cranberry ginger ale topped with a cherry glasses.

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One thing the chef talked about at Canyon Ranch cooking class was the single idea of keeping your oven at 400 degrees. Instead of adjusting the oven temperature, you simply adjust the cooking time. Much like perceived exertion when exercising, it’s really kind of a feel. Have been keeping that oven at 400 degrees this week, simple it is, simple will do. Cod, asparagus, tomatoes, all roasted, 400 degrees. (Not for baked goods, that gets more precise).

Every day dress, simple will do. Sister in CA messaged me at 4:28 am, ‘just caught the spirit – it always takes a little time but it’s good when it finally gets ya…

Love to all. 

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Style note: thinking all seven young women shortened their dresses with packing tape from the home office, how sweet.

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This is what was ordered in afterwards, thank you Dante and La Nova Pizzeria, huge hit.

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double up

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Thanksgiving Eve, gathering the goods is done, prep work in process.

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To keep things going have decided that when something is good, and works, double up. Mid-week cooked up some beef stew, added double vegetables, although not with the potatoes, kind of wondering why potatoes have such a bad rap with the husband, he refuses to eat them. Apple tart, times two, yet single crust, no need to double up that deliciousness, right?

Denim on denim, yup, that’s me. Double up, kitchen and wardrobe. If it works, do it twice.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

xoxo, every day dress.

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The two beautiful blondes? Gwyneth and Lisa (Lisa Gersh, you can google her, no wikipedia page yet), in last week’s New York Times Sunday Styles. As this is fashion and lifestyle, still so miss Alexis’s blog, www.alexisstewart.com, even though she hasn’t posted since 2012, (Martha’s daughter), have to say we read and love Goop, even if it’s a bit commercialized, best wishes, world domination, good luck with that.

sweet and red

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Everything’s been closed for about four days now, and neighbors in the south towns have joined together and getting through all this snow. Best wishes to everyone.

In the city of Buffalo we’ve been like a little hideaway: to brighten things up have gone to totally red lip and nail color and into roasting sweet potato fries. What you make at home can be better than what you get out. So want to tuck into a bag of chips and dip, doing the drive around without any cash to stay away from the quick mart, instead of that ditching the nude lip color and going bold and red, you’ve got to watch what you eat and drink. Sweet and red, every day dress.

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 lip and nail | Chanel 

Had some great photos from last night simply can’t find them, oh, well.

the fish came in

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Buffalo NY and close neighbors, like Hamburg, and Orchard Park, on national news with record snow fall, low temps, roads and schools closed, three days now.

Wouldn’t you know that while UPS was closed, needed to send a few dresses back for a very good client, sorry Josephine, the local grocer, Wegman’s, was open, and the fish came in today.

Roasted some halibut and some leftover counter-top tomatoes, quickly boiled up some sugar snap peas. Red, white, and green, are you feeling it too?

Note on the wine: really loving this Butternut Chardonnay, 90 point rating on some sites, and it’s less than $15. Check it out here at Bounty Hunter, one of our favorite stops in Napa CA. at Thinking we need to buy a case or three with two daughters coming home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Stay warm and safe everyone, every day dress. xoxo

make it quick

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With Upstate New York blanketed in a blizzard, let’s make it quick, and keep it safe. Record low temperatures reported almost everywhere, again, let’s make it quick.

Wishing everyone a safe trip to wherever they may be going, hopefully home. Sharing here a recipe for best banana bread ever, and, you can make it quick. Perfect antidote to a snow day. Have been baking and gifting these loaves for years, one of our very fit friends calls it crack, in good jest. Almost everyone has 2 or 3 overripe bananas on the countertop, photos shown we had 6, yielding 2 cups of mashed, and 2 full-sized loaves. Should you not have sour cream on hand, simply use vanilla or plain yogurt, thinking you probably have that in the fridge.

Banana Bread | The Martha Stewart Cookbook | Collected Recipes for Every Day (love how the title divides the every day, just like here)

makes 1 large loaf of 4 small loaves

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan or several smaller pans.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well.

Sift the dry ingredients together and combine with the butter mixture. Blend well. Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Stir well. Stir in the nuts and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

ps. These loaves freeze well. Sometimes I substitute and/or add unsweetened chocolate chips, 1/2 cup per loaf. Recipe doubles well in a KitchenAid stand mixer. Photos shown I baked two.

pss. School closed again tomorrow, let’s make it quick, :).

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psss. my copy here is dog-eared, even has scribbles, it’s so well-loved.

Stay safe and warm, every day dress, xoxo.

 

early gifting

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With big food days approaching, you know, Thanksgiving and Christmas, yikes, every day dress was gifted yesterday. 

Thinking we all might like to make it ahead, and couldn’t be more thrilled to have Ina’s latest in the repertoire, thank you.

Mom, client, I get to dress her in the day job, wrapped it up nicely: plain white tissue, real ribbon, small gift card, and a sprig of thyme.

Ina, we count on you. Just yesterday did your Mac & Cheese, no tomatoes in the house and used whole wheat bread for the crumb top, your recipes and way of cooking and presenting have become part of our every day life.

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Can’t wait to dig into your latest volume, now we just need to make a little more room on the shelf.

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Thanks, mom, client, early gifting is so much fun. xo

Ina Garten | make it ahead

ps. hyperlink to Ina Garten, Make It Ahead, so slow on the upload. You know where to find her, she’s that good.

now we’re plated

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Change is good. Keeps you on your toes, right? After years of serving family style starting a slow switch again to now we’re plated.

Had a chef come in three nights out of six while in Provence in September. Obviously, he plated everything. Now that we’re settled in back at home trying to recreate that French kind of feeling.

Here’s my stateside effort:

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Three courses, still working on that. Lifestyle is a work in progress, for sure. Always a good thing to keep things fresh, now we’re plated.

And, here’s one more: chicken, haha, husband’s favorite. 🙂 Homemade sweet potato fries make up for the sameness. 🙂

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