Cozy Fall Menu

Oh how I adore the fall! Cozy cashmere sweaters, cool weather, brightly colored crimson and tangerine colored leaves, and of course a fabulous new culinary chapter. Fall cooking opens the door to warm hearty dishes and spices that enchant the palate – cinnamon, rosemary, nutmeg, cloves – yes to all! Not to mention I love hosting dinner parties in the fall when you can invite family and friends to enjoy a sensational home cooked meal by the twinkle light of candles and warmth of the fire. To kick off your fall cooking, I’ve created a menu that highlights some of Autumn’s most spectacular flavors and foods. Enjoy!
Cozy Fall Menu
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa
Barefoot Contessa

Tipping Etiquette

Whether indulging in rose petal infused mani/pedi or if you’ve just valeted your car, there are a bevy of instances when one needs to do a bit of tipping! I’m sure many of you can relate to this scenario which I recently experienced: you’ve just finished a fabulous dinner with the girls, the bill comes, and you all whisper to the person next to you, “How much are you tipping?” Sound familiar? Well, I, Mrs. Buns, adore finding real-life inspiration, and so of course had to blog about it! It’s so important to properly compensate a gracious person who has served you a lovely meal or helped deliver bags to your hotel room, and often times, we’re not sure how much compensation is appropriate. To take the guesswork out of tipping, I’ve created a tipping etiquette cheat sheet that makes it easy as apple pie! Enjoy!

Bridal Shower at Neimans

Hello dear readers! Over the cool fall weekend, I had the delight of co-hosting a bridal shower for a dear friend. Radiating with love and cheer, bridal showers bring together family and loved ones to celebrate the blushing bride-to-be, and bestow her with all of the special gifts she’ll need in her new life as a Mrs. And so, I’m tickled to share the details with you in hopes of providing some sparkling inspiration for any showers you might be planning! Enjoy! 

While I adore hosting showers at my abode, since we had a larger group of ladies and wanted to ensure seating for all, we decided to hold it in a private room at the restaurant at Neiman Marcus which was pure perfection. Neimans created three tables of eight enabling us to have a lovely seated lunch, and also set up a table for the gifts and desserts, as well as greeted guests with white wine, iced tea, and sparking water – such an elegant affair! 


To add a special touch, one of the other fabulous hosts (who is an incredible artist, might I add!) hand-painted a stunning water color of the bride’s formal china which we used for the invitations. A printer incorporated the necessary details (who, what, when, where, etc.), and voilà, gorgeous custom invites! She also framed the original water color and gave it to the bride as a precious keepsake from the shower. 
Since we had a seated lunch, Neimans allowed us to design a menu of our choice. Guests savored Neimans signature chicken broth and popovers with sweet strawberry butter, along with the bride’s favorite dish: the famous Mandarin Orange Soufflé. For dessert, we served vanilla petit fours from a local bakery Tart, complete with hot pink, orange, and yellow flower embellishments and glittered glaze of frosting. 
Bringing the invitation and bride’s china to life, I created whimsical, free-flowing florals. Since there were three tables, I created an arrangement for each: one arrangement in a clear glass cylinder featured soft pink hydrangeas studded with pink roses and crisp white stock; the other two arrangements in clear glass square vases featured pale green hydrangeas decorated with indigo colored delphiniums and white stock. Tip: when having a shower at an outside venue, bring plastic containers to transfer the flowers in case the bride would like to take them home. 
To make the shower extra special, we had custom light pink napkins with gold monogram made, as well as hand-written place cards. For a seated meal, place cards are a must, as they take the guess work out of seating for the guests. 
At the end of the shower, guests were given brightly colored and oh so soft pashminas wrapped in gold and white ribbon. We purchased them from Wisteria