Raisin Bread Pudding

Is it breakfast or dessert? Why not both? This scrumptious raisin bread pudding is perfect for those mornings when you are yearning for something sweet, old world and comforting. Then IF you have any leftover, you can have it later for dessert. This dish reminds us of our caramel apple French toast, and it’s just…

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The post Raisin Bread Pudding appeared first on Heavenly Home Cooking.

Originally posted at Heavenly Home Cooking

A Beautiful and Fresh Backyard Citrus Table with Sur la Table

Spring has sprung and this table has us as ready as ever!! I was so excited when I found this gorgeous citrus-inspired collection at Sur La Table just in time for the new season. The citrus with that pretty pink background is so gorgeous, you guys will flip when you see it!

I added gorgeous florals, a few fun details, and a delicious spread of food to complete the perfect intimate table for four in my backyard. Keep scrolling to see all the pretty and see where to shop it all and create it on your own!

Photos by the talented Jessica Lynn Photo

I couldn’t resist having a few pretty details for this little dinner party, and these were worth it! How pretty is this invite by Proper Letter? Styled to perfection by Jessica on my new Stile and Co mat. I am in LOVE with this!!! There’s something about these colors that just make me smile!

The bougainvillea is blooming in my backyard so I thought this photo was necessary! How pretty does our table look? And our garden is so green! All the essentials of Spring from Mother Nature to help make our set up even prettier…

Who knew that orange and pink could be the best color combo EVER?! I loved layering the print on our table with the Sur La Table table runner, dinner plate, salad plate, napkin, and even that adorable bread plate! It’s just the prettiest table situation!!

For the glassware, I kept it simple and classic with a wine glass, champagne, and water glass which I may or may not have used for a cocktail, haha!! I’m also loving that new gold flatware, isn’t it pretty?

When I saw these florals by Not Just in Novels I nearly fainted! These poppies blew my mind, they were SO big and SO beautiful! And those colors are just gorgeous. These were just incredible!

Not Just in Novels also created this beautiful installation over my table. It is so fun to play with florals and do something different and unexpected. Especially something as unique as this!

Place cards are always a great detail for any party, and it’s always fun to try a different and unique take on it. Sur La Table has these adorable mini citruses that I used as place cards. Proper Letter sent me vinyl names that I put on them and they couldn’t have been more perfect!

Love this gorgeous table!!

They even have bowls that are the perfect addition for a starter at a Spring lunch or dinner. I picture a pretty pea soup in that bowl and I may have to make that dream a reality!

As a hostess, I always know that full glasses equals happy guests! I poured a bit of rosé but also had a delicious cocktail option as well! Variety is always fun 😉

My friends at Greenleaf Chopshop have the best Easter menu that I used for this gathering. One of the best things to come out of Covid, in my humble opinion, is to go cocktails. An already mixed delicious cocktail ready to go? Yes, please!! I just poured it in that pretty pitcher and added a little bit of citrus and voila! An extra fresh drink!

Not only does Greenleaf offer the drinks, but also the most delicious food!! Their Easter menu includes colorful grilled veggies, delicious sides of potatoes, a fresh spring salad, scrumptious salmon, and a zesty lemon chicken. My family and I were in heaven with this gorgeous and yummy spread!

Don’t forget dessert! Your guests will never forget you! My friend Diana at Sugar Crush Sweets brought a little bit of everything, and it was equally pretty and yummy! Citrus tarts, cake pops, and hand painted macarons. What more could you ask for?!

I’ll take one of each!!!

When you throw a dinner party as pretty as this you deserve a drink!! From one hostess to another, make sure you enjoy every bit of the event you worked so hard for!!

Cheers to lots of pretty Spring nights just like this!!! I linked all of the amazing pieces I used for this beautiful night below!



Citrus 12-Piece Dinnerware set
Appetizer Plate Set of 4
Napkins Set of 4
Table Runner
Napkin Rings Set of 4
Flatware Set of 20
Wine Glass
Champagne Glass
Scattered Citrus
Salad Bowl
Salad Servers
Serving Platter
Cake Stand
Juice Pitcher
Serving Platter

Originally posted at Beijos Events

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the prettiest way!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!! As you know, we like to celebrate every holiday here at Beijos. Even the random Instagram holidays, but I think we’ve celebrated most of them over here! St. Patrick’s Day is no exception! My mom always liked doing something special for it as she’s Irish, so I want to make it special as well.

Each year we try and do something different on the blog, but I think this year is the best yet. There’s just something so pretty and classic about the shoot we are sharing today. I love how ethereal it is and I’m excited to share it with you today! Keep scrolling for a whole lot of pretty captured perfectly by Lorin Kelly Photo.

Our pretty invite is by none other than Proper Letter. She always has the prettiest handwriting and I love her simple yet classic approach to her creations. Lorin styled this one so beautifully too with a little moss and stunning linens from Party Crush Studio.

Our table is pretty darn gorgeous if I do say so myself! I was able to work with Lori from Golden Sol Floral Co. for the first time and she seriously amazed me with her talent. I love the greenery garland she created for the table and all of the pretty greens in the background.

This time I decided to use linen on the table, I don’t often do this but was drawn to that flow look for our shoot. Plus, I love that grey color that Signature Party Rentals has, isn’t it perfect? And of course, the bistro chairs from Sweet Salvage Rentals just completes it!!

For the place settings, I went simple and classic! Signature Party Rentals has such a pretty collection of tabletop items. I did clear and modern glassware with their stoneware white plates and sleek rose gold and white flatware. I think this combo is absolutely stunning!

Just top it off with a Party Crush Studio white napkin and Proper Letter’s place cards and menus then you are set!

Did you notice that our menus by Proper Letter have an Irish proverb on them? I thought it was fitting!

So darn pretty!!! I love this one so much!

Golden Sol Floral Co. also did these gorgeous arrangements that we placed on top of Sweet Salvage Rentals vintage pedestals. Such a great idea for a ceremony space at a wedding, don’t you think?

Now for some yummy food! Colette’s Catering brought these cute and delicious mini breadboards. We had them at each place setting, nothing like some bread and herb butter before dinner, don’t you think?

Individual boards are definitely a fun food trend for 2021!

I’m all about bread and butter, and so far I’m liking this version of St. Patty’s Day food!

Now for the main course! We did a really pretty food and bar set up for this one. If there’s one thing you need for sure on St. Patrick’s Day it’s good food and good drinks!

Colette’s Catering created a delicious spread, it’s not the average corned beef and cabbage for this one! Think of a delicious short rib over a parsnip puree, honey glazed carrots, chestnut soup, and a yummy spring salad! That’s what I’m talking about!!

As usual their display and presentation was as pretty as the food was yummy!

Onto the bar! Our girls over at Bottles & Blooms brought the fun with these tasty cocktails! They did the Irish Kiss and Feeling Lucky as our two cocktails. One was a beer with a fun twist to it and the other was a matcha tea cocktail. So yummy and festive!!

Loving the cute stir sticks by Proper Letter, and if you look closely you’ll notice the gold flecks on top of that cocktail. Bottles & Blooms thinks of everything!!

Moving on to our pretty lounge! First of all, I’m obsessed with that green sofa and chair from Sweet Salvage Rentals. That color is so rich and vibrant, perfect for a St. Patty’s Day celebration!!

You always need to have bites and drinks nearby!! Even in the lounge! Love this shot by Lorin Kelly Photo.

I love a lounge with levels, and Sweet Salvage Rentals is so good at that! Those copper-colored cushions on the floor are so perfect and they look so cozy to sit on!

Well friends, that’s how you do St. Patrick’s Day!! I hope you all have a fun one!! Tomorrow, on to Easter!!!



Originally posted at Beijos Events

Game Day Food!

Game Day – the perfect excuse to eat all of your favorite foods and not feel guilty about it! In preparation for the big game, here are some of our favorite appetizers and comfort foods to enjoy while watching football! 

Jalapeno Poppers are great, and we took these up a level with bacon… Try these Cheesy BLT Stuffed Jalapenos

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more! BLT Stuffed Jalapenos
Chips and dip are probably my #1 guilty pleasure. You can’t go wrong with this 5-minute dip that tasted like a loaded baked potato. Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Loaded Baked Potato Dip  Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

I must have something for loaded baked potatoes! These hot Loaded Baked Potato Bites really are the perfect bite. Make your mashed potato a day ahead of time to make assembling these cute little bites a breeze! 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!
Pinwheels are perfect little bite-sized appetizers and can be hot, using Crescent rolls, or cold, using flour tortillas. Try these Baked Pinwheels or these cold Tortilla Pinwheels

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

I think deviled eggs always belong when having an appetizer party. Try these Western Style Deviled Eggs with ham, onion, green peppers, topped with pickled mustard seeds. 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

You might want to eat the entire tray after trying one of these Sweet Ham and Swiss Sliders (say that 10 times fast!). Gooey melted cheese and baked ham on a toasted roll, all topped with a sweet and spicy Dijon and brown sugar butter glaze – perfection. 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

You’ll want to make these just for the creamy and cheesy roasted jalapeno sauce! Smothered Chicken Burritos – the chicken cooks in your crockpot all day, and then assemble and bake when you are ready to eat! 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

Crisp, buttery grilled bread stuffed with creamy melted cheese and a hot and bubbly spinach artichoke spread. It’s like everybody’s favorite party dip in a sandwich. Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese – 

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

Finally, making pizza at home can be a lot of fun. This pizza combines a Philly Cheesesteak with a make-at-home pizza – Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!


Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!

Favorite appetizers and comfort food perfect for game day! Hot and cold appetizers, burritos, sliders, pizza and more!


Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Mussels Roasted in Almond Garlic Butter

Think back to your favorite meal or dish that you ever had. The one you dream about. The one you can taste if you just close your eyes and remember. The one that reminds me of the best tagline I have ever seen – “You only live once, but if you dine well once is all you need.”

I’ve asked my husband his favorite meal and he consistently says “the mussels from Fore Street.”
Fore Street is a cozy and rustic restaurant in Portland, Maine that has been on many lists, including landing a spot in the top 100 in the world! And after finally getting there myself several years ago, the restaurant is now in my top 5.

My husband has been lucky enough to get back there a few times when traveling and of course he orders the mussels.

So what’s a girl who loves to cook to do when she wants to really take care of her man? Recreate his favorite dish, of course! My husband has been traveling non-stop over the past 10 months, only coming home for quick 40 hour weekends. He deserved some spoiling.

I knew if I was making mussels it would have to be the Fore Street recipe. Luckily I found it without any trouble.

Having tasted them before I knew they were roasted in a garlicky butter sauce, but was surprised to read that almonds were the main ingredient in the sauce. I guess that explains the richness in the sauce.

Now, I have never prepared mussels at home and wasn’t sure what was meant by debearding the mussels (and honestly I was a bit scared to find out!!). Turns out it is simply removing the tag, or the beard, from the side of the mussel. Click here for a great demo.

This is a very easy dish to pull together – all you need is a food processor, an oven-safe skillet (or cast iron pan), 25 minutes of prep-time and 12 minutes of cook time. 

Making the sauce is simply combining the almonds, butter, garlic and other ingredients in your food processor until creamy. Dollop that over the mussels, roast the mussels (while you cut the bread and pour the wine), and that’s it. Sometimes the most amazing and sophisticated things you eat really are the most simple. Back to basics, true, good food. 

Mussels Roasted in Almond Garlic ButterAdapted from: Food and Wine (via Fore Street Restaurant)Notes: the original recipe called for 4 pounds of mussels for this amount of sauce. I used 2 pounds of mussels and the same amount of sauce – we definitely wanted extra for sopping it up with bread. Also, I used a lot more garlic at my husband’s request. Glad I did! 

  • 2 pounds of mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/2 c salted roasted almonds
  • 1 stick unsalted butter quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp minced jalapeno 
  • 1 tsp finely ground pepper
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1/2 c dry white wine 
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees farenheit
  • In a food processor, grind the almonds until they are mostly fine with some larger pieces. Add in the butter, minced garlic, parsley, shallot, lemon juice and lemon zest. Process until blended. Season with salt. 
  • Place the mussels in a large, oven-proof skillet. 
  • Pour in the wine and then dollop the butter all over the mussels, making sure each area of the pan has some of the butter. 
  • Roast the mussels for 12 minutes, stirring once and shaking the pan a few times. Discard any mussels that did not open after 12 minutes.
  • Serve with crusty bread.

 photo marysig_zps976fc4b2.png

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Grilled Bread Salad with Spinach, Tomatoes and Blue Cheese

This salad may be my favorite thing about grilling, and it’s all because of the bread.

Charred bread – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and tossed with oil and balsamic. It’s seriously the perfect bite. If you haven’t grilled bread for salad before, you need to do it ASAP.

I first made this salad several years ago. It has changed a bit over the years so I am sharing this updated post.

When making this bread, you don’t want soft, fresh bread. Buy day old bread, or buy your bread the day before. The best bread for this salad is day-old ciabatta bread. Slice it open down the middle, brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and char it as little or as much as you want.

Once charred, you chop it into bite sized pieces and let it soak in an oil bath with cilantro and red onions for 15 minutes before finishing the salad.

At this point I guarantee you will be stealing pieces of the bread to eat!

The salad is finished with baby spinach, chopped tomatoes, blue cheese, balsamic vinegar, and a touch of sea salt and black pepper.

Grilled Bread Salad with Spinach, Tomatoes and Blue Cheese


  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 c good olive oil plus more for brushing the bread
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced open (see pics above)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 c baby spinach
  • 2 juicy red tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp blue cheese
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pre-heat your grill
  • Put the onions and cilantro in a large bowl with the oil; let sit in the fridge while you prep the bread
  • Brush both sides of the bread with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place on the grill for 4-7 minutes per side, depending on how charred you want it. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite sized pieces. Add the bread to the bowl with the oil/onions/cilantro and toss. Let sit 15 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, tomatoes, blue cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Toss. Adjust oil/vinegar/salt/pepper.
  • Serve immediately.

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Grilled Flank Steak Crostini

An elegant appetizer for entertaining – crusty, toasted bread topped with creamy melted cheese and thinly sliced grilled flank steak. 

Our friends were in town on business recently so we were lucky to spend a fun night with them over good food and of course, lots of good wine. We definitely don’t get to see them enough so this midweek visit was a special treat. 
As soon as the visit was planned I started to discuss the menu with my friend Jeff who shares my love of food and cooking. My husband tried to contribute (I’m lucky he loves to cook, too!), but whenever Jeff visits the food is always our thing. 
I knew our menu would include several courses. We ended up with three appetizer courses an an entree. Honestly, but the time we were done with apps I didn’t even need an entree, but after an hour break we got back to cooking. 
Our favorite appetizer was this grilled flank steak crostini. I love crostini with different toppings, so for this one we decided on melted cheese and thinly sliced grilled flank steak. From there I just winged it and made several kinds of crostini with different toppings. 

Look how beautiful!!! 
Half of the crostini had melted provolone and steak, while the other half were topped with blue cheese and the steak. Toppings I used were chopped grilled red onions and sliced roasted red peppers. Once the crostini came out of the oven I topped some of them with cold tomato bruschetta topping and fresh arugula. 
I can’t even pick which combination of ingredients were my favorite – they were all good!! They were so good that the next night my husband and I made more for dinner with the few leftovers that we had, and I plan on making them for a girls’ night I am hosting next week (as long as the blizzard doesn’t mess up my grilling plans!!). Yes, THAT good!

Grilled Flank Steak CrostiniOriginal Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations

  • 1 baguette sliced into 3/4 inch pieces on the bias (a slight diagonal slice)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 flank steak
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Cheese (I used sliced provolone on half and crumbled blue cheese on the other half)
  • Other toppings, such as:
    • 1 roasted red pepper, sliced
    • 2 rings red onion, grilled and chopped
    • Fresh arugula
  • Heat grill to high. Season flank steak liberally with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Cook __ min per side, flipping only once, to medium rare (or medium, depending on your liking). Let rest 10 minutes before slicing into very thin slices.
  • In the meantime, heat your oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Place the baguette slices on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Put in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and rub each baguette with the raw garlic. Top each baguette with cheese, steak, and other toppings, except the arugula (optional: put some more cheese on top). Return to the oven and turn your broiler on high for 2 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 
    • NOTE: if you don’t want your steak to cook any more under the broiler, only top the baguettes with cheese and other toppings and broil. Top with the steak after removing from the oven.
  • Optional: top with some fresh arugula and drizzle with olive oil before serving. 

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations