Wedding Wednesday {Light-Hearted Delights}

It is the sweet details hidden within the hysteria of weddings that make me love them.

Things like:

al4 belathee
wedding junebug
yes, that is a hand-written wedding invitation!
They’re not necessarily moments you can plan for, but if you keep your planning focused on your heart rather than the opinions of others – they will happen.
I just highly recommend splurging on a stellar wedding photographer who can capture them appropriately!

Tasty Tuesday {Pears Are Peachy Keen}

Pumpkin is king this time of year. And I do adore a pumpkin pie as much as the next person, but over Thanksgiving I rediscovered pears. They might be possibly be the perfect fall food.

I’m particularly partial to Comice pears – a lesser known variety that come from the valleys of Oregon. Tough on the outside and super tender on the inside, when eaten on their own they’re as sweet as candy. They are also the perfect snack when coupled with sharp white cheddar cheese.
But for the holiday I got brave and decided to try my hand at tart making for the very first time – crust and all. The pressure of Thanksgiving definitely had my palms sweating but the results were well worth the stress!

My first attempt was Martha Stewart’s pear crostata (top pic). This might be the most simple dish I’ve ever made. It involved just three main ingredients (if you count the crust as one) along with the pears and a dash of sugar. The crust is made of a mixture of cornmeal and pastry flour giving a bit of a savory undertone – which is why I ate it with a side of greek yogurt for breakfast for three days straight.
By the way, for all you homemade crust-phobes I’m here to reassure, even the most inexperienced bakers can pull this off! Admittedly a food processor certainly helped my cause, but I had quite the sense of accomplishment rolling out my first-ever homemade dough.
However, my pièce de résistance of the weekend was the pear tart with fresh almond paste and apricot jam that I made for Thanksgiving. It was the clear favorite on our table. Again the recipe and construction was easy as pie {pardon the pun} and the final result was sheer culinary genius. The combination of pear and almond was a perfect balance of nutty + sweet and the layers looked equally delicious on the plate.
The pumpkin pie never stood a chance.
So as we head into the heart of the holiday season, I know various pumpkin dishes will be dotting many a table, but might I suggest you give a pear a chance?!
Happy holiday cooking luvies,

pear tart recipe here images via tartlette and by me

Holiday Hot Shops {Fina Du+ A Giveaway}

Though December isn’t technically here yet, it’s never too early to get into the giving spirit. That’s why every week, from now until Christmas, I’m going to be hosting an extra special giveaway on Apartment 34! So get those wishlists out luvies – you just might be able to check a few things off.

Our first giveaway comes from one of Apartment 34’s Holiday Hot Shops: Fina Du. The New York based shop pays homage to owner Susanne Harl’s Scandinavian roots by carrying great designers like Malene Birger and Carin Rodebjer. Her selection of sweaters, cozy tops and scarves are the perfect casually cool foundation of my favorite kind of winter workwear looks.

A palette of black and tan with hard-edged accessories are the perfect way to kick up the sophistication factor. And Finu Du is going to help one lucky Apartment 34 reader achieve this city chic look by giving away a Malene Birger pony hair cuff! I must admit, I’m rather excited.
bracelet giveaway
Here’s how to enter:
~ Head over to Facebook and show Fina Du some love
~ Leave a comment on this post and tell us what you’d pair your cuff with
~ That’s it!
A winner will be chosen on Friday, December 2nd! Here’s to highly fashionable holiday luvies.