Saturday, December 26, 2009

What Do You The Day After Christmas?

It's the day after. Are you pooped? Happy? Out shopping? Relaxing?
I'm at work, and I am pooped.
We had a great time yesterday. We went to friends for Christmas dinner, a pot luck, each of us bringing something. The roses in the image above are from their garden - aren't they spectacular? It may be winter chilly here in New Orleans, but the flowers are still blooming.
An idea for my contribution for Christmas dinner started with this:

My new favorite blog, Trouvais, threw out a challenge to perhaps make this fabulous White Chocolate Tiramisu Trifle with Spiced Pears HERE. I am not a dessert maker at all, but something about this intrigued me, and so I went for it.

Luckily the present I gave to Alberto, a Kitchenaid miixer, came in handy. This mixer is one of those things he always looks at with longing when we're out shopping, and then we both say, what are we going to use it for, we're not dessert people, and we have no space to store it, blah, blah, blah. But this year I just thought what the hell, it's not about always about being practical, and Alberto loves to cook, and loves getting a kitchen gadget. (The Martha Stewart spice rack was a gift to him from friends, and he loves it!).

This is how mine turned out (above)! It's not as picture perfect. I never made white chocolate curls before, ot white chocolate marscapone mouuse, or scraped a vanilla bean. The whole recipe took hours to do , and I really enjoyed the process, but I really loved the eating of this confection!

Jessica was our hostess, and her table was so pretty. She protested that she's no designer, and that all my blog buddies would probably think it was not worthy. How wrong is she! Don't you love the menu card tucked under the napkin? Jessica's husband Jon made them, and he honored us with a holiday tango motif!

I love the trailing branch with kumquats from her garden, and the centerpiece of pomegranates.

Here's the entire table. I think she did a wonderful job, don't you?
Being true New Orleanians, dinner conversation is all about food - abut the meal we are enjoying, great meals of the past, and dinners planned for the near future.
Our next dinner plans are for New Years.

I prefer house parties for New Years. And I really love a dinner party. It's fun to decorate for New Years Eve. This garland is different. It's actually made out of fabric, a sewing project, but I would use paper and twine and staples and hot glue to make this.

Balloons can be pretty. Really!

Just use them in abundance, and try white, silver, and gold. Long Mylar and ribbon streamers make them look glam.

New Years Eve in Rockefeller Center - My company Valorie Hart Designs did this decor

Or perhaps you can choose to do a classic French inspired dinner party table.

Which means, your best china, beautiful bouquets, mirror and reflective objects, your nicest linens and silverware, and candlelight.

Serve a simple, yet elegant meal.
The formula for a French-inspired meal is straightforward: Always start with champagne as an aperitif, since champagne elevates any occasion to make it special. For the main course, create an elegant or rustic dish and pair it with seasonal vegetables. Here, you can show off your cooking skills or buy prepared foods at the gourmet store. Serve a green salad after the meal a la francaise, followed by a cheese course and a simple dessert of fruit and mille feuille pastry. Add fun and lively guests, a bottle of wine, and Voila! You'll have perfect La Grande (or Petite) Bouffe in the French style.

A "champagne" Alberto and I enjoyed for our traditional Christmas breakfast of bagels and lox, is Sofia. We found it at World Market a few months ago on sale for $9.99. I was attracted to the label. It's really tasty, and would be lovely for New Years celebrating.

Save your champagne corks, and the little wire cage that covers the cork.
Look what you can do with them! You can make mini chairs! These images come from a contest Design With in In Reach had last year.

The rules stated that you had to use the cork and the wire cage. I love the French inspired settee!

This lounge chair is pretty amazing.
I'm sure you will be sending me photos of your creations pronto!

On another subject, I am no longer a red head! I went back to being blonde a couple of months ago, in preperation for letting my silver hair sparkle for the coming new year!


  1. well, your celebration looked awesome. tell jessica she is worthy.
    love the cork chairs. i want all of them.
    the blonde hair is cute. i just wish i could see your face.


  2. oh, and as for us. we did nothing. i am making chili and listening to my overly spoiled child play with her toys.

  3. Love it all too...esp your hair. I am very happily doing nothing.....Enjoy your holidays Valorie, xv

  4. Valori! So amazing! You did such a great job!Wow! I'm inspired to run out and get a trifle dish so I can try my hand for New Year's. Did it taste as good as it looked? Loved the pendulous pomegranates at your table, great shot of the Sophia champagne, the cork VC canape. Love your zest for addictive. Thanks for fun post. XO Trish

  5. Oh this is THE most amazing post.
    What do I do day after Christmas ?
    Ha ! I whinge quite a bit because it's a really bad day to have a birthday :)
    Everything about your celebration looked great AND your hair looks good!

  6. Valori, I made tiramisu as well but nothing as extravagant as yours! The dish you made was so elegant looking and I am sure tasted wonderful. How could anything made with marsacapone be bad??? lol I also like your hair, do you? I decided about 14 years ago to let mine go white and white it is. Everyone loves it and so do I. I am hoping that your New Years is delightful! I am sending you some staging photos and would love feed back from your readers. Take Care and we will chat soon.


  7. We are being somewhat lazy today! But, I am about to cook up my spicy and sweet nuts for my friends and neighbors that I didn't get to make before Christmas. Everyone will get their Christmas treat a little late this year! By the way, I just posted my favorite blog posts for 2009 and you are on the list! Check it out and Happy New Year!


  8. Valorie....
    Your Christmas dinner hostess did a great job on her table, fun creative and fresh! Like the idea of the champagne thingies, may have to try some and will definitely try your champagne. The sparkling bubbly is my very fave!
    I love all of your Christmas baubles around your home!

    I spent two days in the car...a day each way to sit around inlaws table for two was good to see them never-the-less, but hard to SIT since I don't do that very well!


  9. * I'm SHOCKED, VAL... Utterly SHOCKED, girlfriend! I mean, how COULD/DID you?!?! (Grins!)~ I can't BELIEEEEVE you made that beauuutiful dessert YOURSELF!!!~~~ Am not sure I'd let ANYone do ANYthing but "ooooh n' ahhh" if I ever created anything like that~ then AGAIN, my friends would be IN shock... they wouldn't/couldn't even THINK about making it "dsappear"!... K*U*D*O*S, kiddo!

    Plz tell Jessica her table is STUNNING, & those DISHES are D*I*V*I*N*E~ wish you'd have enclosed a "CLOSER-UP"!!!! Me thinketh the menu cards (so fun & THOUGHTFUL!) would be a "BIG SELLER", if you tell me she's going into business doing that. As you KNOW I'd surely WANT to be her first customer!!! They're WONNNNDERFUL & WHIMSICAL at the same time!!! How DID she DOOOOOO those??? (This question comes from someone who barely knows how to do any "computer stuff", other than type & push send/rcv!)... BEAUTIFUL!!!

    TERRIFFIC POST!!! Sooo much to look at & enjoy, & loved the "fresh" decos from her home~~~ Thanks so much!!!

    BTW, "nothing" happened here~~~ complications arose from my back surgery (crappola!), so we're now waiting to see the Doc on Monday (argh!). BUUUT, my sweet niece sent us a gazillion pics of the whole family's Christmas at my Sis's house, w/ our two nieces & their husbands n' four youngin's. I sat here just a smiiiilin' n' smiiiilin' over all the fun they had at home in CA (& yes, just a tiny tear at missing being so far away them all!). The pics helped, tho... ALOT!)~

    HAPPY HUGS! (WIll answer your E tomorrow, ok?)~~~ Oh and ANOTHER "BTW"~ blondes DOOOO have more fun~ promise!!!)...

    Linda in AZ*

  10. decadent trifle whipped up with a new kitchen toy spells heaven to me! Looks like a wonderful dinner.

    The cork chairs are adorable!

    Your new "do" divine!

    us? See my last post. Still doing it.

  11. I am a complete bum the day after Christmas. Lots of leftovers and TV.

    You are so sweet nominating so many bloggers for thehomies! I really appreciated it - It made my day.

    Thank You!

  12. Ditto... I'm bumbed too... left with a feeling of, "ok, now what?"
    Jessica's table IS blog worthy: it's LOVELY! and your WC Trifle looks DEEE-licious!

    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who trys and buys bottles because they "look" pretty (Sofia). I'll have to get some for us to try!

    Merrie Christmas Val!!

    :D Lynda

  13. Loved the post.
    Can't wait to see your new look.
    My mom went to natural silver and looks fantastic. I know you will too!


  14. I am not a cook either, but I made a 10-layer cake on Boxing Day! It's called a Smith Island Cake, after some islands in the Chesapeake Bay, and it's Maryland's official dessert!

  15. Valerie,
    I am staying out of the above conversation :) And I would love to know the story behind it too!!

    Anyway, I mentioned your resolutions from Kristen's blog on my top 10 posts today! They were so awesome! You are a great writer!!

  16. via e-mail from our hostess Jessica:

    Dearest Valorie,

    You are so sweet to blog about the dinner! and so generous with your compliments!
    It really was a day to remember... and I am so pleased that you and Alberto were here to share it with us!

    Much love,

  17. That cake looks SO yummy!!