I wish I could say more, but we are both super busy this week with moving and community service obligations.  We should be back next week at the latest.  I'll have lots of wedding updates at that point, and maybe even some pictures of a new apartment in the NY 'burbs.  After 2.5 years, it's time to leave the city.

In the meantime, Farrell sent the website for Dash & Albert Rug Company to me the other day.   I'd like one of everything in blue, please.

Make this Bread

If you have over-ripe bananas in your freezer - make this bread . (for some reason I had 10 in my freezer!)
If you don't, go buy some bananas, let them ripen, and make this bread.
It is so easy, and with whole wheat flour and oatmeal in the batter, it has to fit in your New Year's resolution eating plan, right? I used some dark chocolate chunks that I had on hand and they worked fabulously.  So fabulously, that I forgot to take a photo of the finished bread before we started digging in!
I haven't jumped on the Pioneer Woman Bandwagon yet, but this bread might just push me in that direction!

Easy as Pie

Chocolate and lemon chess pies were always part of my mother's baking repertoire when I was growing up in Virginia. I jumped on chocolate chess pie bandwagon when I left home and realized that this is about the easiest dessert you can bake. There have been a few missteps (I don't recommend doubling the recipe unless you are planning to feed an army) but overall it is a foolproof choice. It wasn't until I moved to New York that I realized chess pies are mostly found in the south. There are various theories about the origin of the name "chess", which you can read about here. You can also google chocolate chess pie and find dozens of recipes that are just slightly different from the next. Below is the recipe that I receive from my mom and here is a picture of a slice that looks like the results we get. However, the recipe listed with the picture is (of course) different. Regardless of what recipe you use, the chocolate chess pie is very sweet and very chocolate-y, so have a lot of cold milk on hand to wash it down!

1/2 cup butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (Hershey's, Baker, or Nestle)
1 tbsp flour
1-7/8 cups sugar (add a little less if you like)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk (Carnation comes in a 5 ounce can, so you can add 1 ounce regular milk to this)
1 baked pastry shell, cooled

Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter and chocolate in saucepan over low heat. Beat eggs in small bowl. Mix sugar and flour together. Once the chocolate and butter have melted, add the sugar/flour mixture, eggs, vanilla and evaporated milk. Stir for about 5-6 minutes over medium low heat. The mixture should be smooth like a sauce and slightly thick. Pour into the pastry shell and bake for about 25 minutes. Cool on a rack for another 1-2 hours. Cover and refrigerate.

Real Weddings: Garden Enchantment

Check out the many pretty real weddings at Weddings Unveiled's website. Cheers to Tiz, one of the featured brides and our sorority sister from college. (Check out those shoes!)

The Skinny

I have spent the past few years fighting the "skinny jean" trend. When I finally decided to give in this winter, it was with much trepidation, and the move was definitely fueled by a desire to wear my equestrian boots with something other than leggings. At the recommendation of a friend, I was able to track down an extremely reasonably priced pair of skinny jeans that I have grown to love.

Last week, I added a second pair of "skinny" pants to my wardrobe, and I am in love. These AG Stevie cords from Anthropologie are amazing. The wales themselves are super skinny (no pun intended) and the slight stretch from the lycra blend makes them hug in all the right places without being obscenely tight, which is a personal fear.

If you are thinking about adding a little more skinny to your closet, I cannot recommend these enough! They are also on sale right now. Do you really need another reason to pick them up?

Eating My Words

Remember this post? Gosh, I was smug. Apparently wedding related tasks explode at, oh, EXACTLY three months out. I am a procrastinator by nature and I really can't imagine doing many of these things six months ago- it just seemed too far away- but I am still flabbergasted by the way it suddenly seems right around the corner. Some fun things I've learned over the last few weeks:

1) Our hotel/reception site allows dogs and people are bringing them! Apparently the hotel requests the dog's name when a guest makes a reservation, which I think is cute.
2) People start buying wedding gifts three months before a wedding? Hmm, I haven't done that before but maybe I should start?
3) It is bad luck for a bride and groom to use their new monogram on stationery prior to the wedding, but fine to use each of their names, ("Sarah and Jim"). Thanks Julie!
4) Do not try on your wedding dress the week between Christmas and New Year's. I think that's self-explanatory : )

New Year's Eve Dinner

We decided to celebrate New Year's Eve at home this year, with a simple dinner for two. I originally wanted to do something with oysters, but eventually settled on using shrimp in "Oysters Mosca" from The Junior League Centennial Cookbook (or, as my fiance calls it, Make Your Man Fat with Butter).

The prep work:

The previously mentioned butter:

The final result (we are looking forward to using our registry tabletop items after the wedding):

Oysters Mosca

1 large onion, chopped
1 stick butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
salt and ground pepper to taste
4 dozen oysters, drained, reserving liquid
or 1-2 pounds shrimp [my substitute]
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
10 almonds crushed [I didn't use these]
grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, saute the onion in the butter until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley, seasonings, and oysters [or shrimp]. Cook until oysters curl at the edges [shrimp are pink]; then add the reserved oyster liquid. Fold in the bread crumbs, bacon, and almonds. Spoon into a casserole or individual ramekins [now on the registry!!]. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 4.