ACT I – Dîner en Blanc x A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Welcome to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This past Sunday, we had the honour of having faeries kings and queens as guests at our own garden party. Amidst all the rush and rage towards grabbing tickets to the Diner En Blanc Vancouver event, we thought, well… why not have our own version? So we did. With food, drinks, and games!

Photos and tips on how to host a large party under the cut. (:

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What makes a friend?

Hello dearest friends,

It’s been awhile since we have updated since I went on an excursion to Asia! But now we’re back and ready to go! In the West Coast, Mr. Sun has arrived and it looks like he is here to stay. We’re totally psyched about this because summer always promises endless fun and memories. Today, we are taking inspiration from Soul Pancake’s experiment but instead of a guy and a girl, as intended, this self-reflective game works equally as well for any pair of friends.

Most of us are constantly thinking about whether our friends fit our standards and emotional needs, but what about your friend? What do they need? Can you answer that right off the bat? This is a chance for you to openly discuss your friendship with your same-sex or opposite sex friends. Find out what your friend loves about you and what you love about your friend!

You may want to watch this video from The Science of Love series from Soul Pancake to set up the context (:

 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  1. A friend or significant other or family member
  2. Scissors
  3. A printer
  4. An open heart, get ready to chat and discuss! (the best part of the activity)

THE GAME:

  1. Start off with 60 traits that may be valuable in a friend.
  2. Pick 15 traits you think a good friend should have.
  3. Pick 15 traits you think your partner needs in a friend.
  4. Compare and look for commonalities or correct guesses!

THE RESULT?

A better understanding of those in your life.

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Relax today, spa day

We’ve all been there. The weeks with never ending to-do lists, events, and projects. Along with everyday routines, school and work can be quite stressful, but we should never forget to put aside time to pamper and treat ourselves! Stress sucks. It often causes our body discomfort from muscle pains to acne (which definitely sucks) so we found some natural remedies to combat these bad boys.

First you’re going to want to get your hair out of the way, remove any make up that you have on and wash your face.

(Eunice kept tying and retying but failed to make a perfect bun, HA HA HA  😀 – Ivy)
(Hey! … I just have a lot of hair to deal with. /sobs/ I really took forever. Maybe more than 15 tries… it still didn’t work. – Eunice)

hair tying ui atelier eunice lam

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First we are going to make a Strawberry & Honey face mask, it smells and tastes amazing, so try to resist eating it while you apply it all over your face. Strawberry is high in salicylic acid which is good for opening up clogged pores, exfoliation and neutralizing bacteria. Honey is a natural antiseptic which will help calm your skin and reduce redness.

You’re going to need to grab some towels because this could get pretty messy! When you’re all set to go, remember to put on a nice chill playlist. Our choice for tonight is Toe! www.grooveshark.com/#!/profile/Toe/22195964

comfy diy face mask relax home ui atelier ivy eunice

ui atelier face mask eunice lam ivy chan

STRAWBERRY & HONEY FACEMASK

  • 2-3 strawberries per person
  • 2 teaspoons of raw honey

Crush all strawberries with a fork or blend it briefly in a food processor
(Make sure its not too mushy or else it will become too watery to apply)
Drizzle in the honey and combine

strawberry face mask ui atelier acne treatment ivy chan eunice lam      strawberry face mask ui atelier acne treatment ivy chan eunice lam

Warning: side effects of this mask include being hungry because the mask smells so sweet and appetizing!

ivy chan strawberry face mask ui atelier eunice lam

 

 

When the two ingredients are thoroughly combined, you can then apply it on your face. We recommend doing this with a friend because it is actually quite difficult. (Our strawberries got a bit too drippy and got on our shirts and hair. It’s necessary to tie your hair up for this mask!) Remember to put a towel or paper towels on top of your cushions or pillows to avoid stains and spillage. Cover your face with the mixture and let it sit for 20 minutes. When the time is up, rinse off the mask and pat on your favourite toner and moisturize your skin. Your skin will feel very refreshed after this!

 

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(Make another bowl for a refreshing dessert, muahahaha – Ivy ^__^)

Now our skin is ready for another round of cleaning! We’re going to go the extra mile to get rid of that stress-induced acne. Next up is a Cinnamon and Honey face mask. Antibacterial properties in honey can help get rid of acne causing bacteria. This will prevent clogged pores, keep your skin clear and reduce swelling. As for cinnamon, this delicious spice is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and acts as a light microdermabrasion for your skin.

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CINNAMON & HONEY FACEMASK

  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of raw honey

Combine the two ingredients until it becomes a smooth consistency. Use the back of a spoon to cover your face with this face mask. Leave it on for 20 minutes. (I absolutely love this face mask! Your face feels so nice and soft afterwards, plus this mask smells amazing as well. It would probably make a very good spread for toast. – Ivy)

**This can also be used as spot treatment for problem areas. Make a smaller amount and leave it on your skin overnight.

cinnamon honey face mask diy ui atelier eunice lam ivy chan

This was a great way to catch up with a friend, wind down, re-energize and thank our bodies for working so hard during the busy week.

Try it this weekend and let us know how it goes. Share your home remedies with us too!
Always listen to your body. Make time for a walk outdoors or a stretch session. (:
Take good care of yourselves!

Until next time, happy pampering!

Love,
Eunice + Ivy

Tropical Cocktail Party!

cocktail party drinks rum tropical

This past weekend was Ivy’s 23rd birthday, woohooo!
You know what that means? Ceeeelebrate good times, come on! We’re going to show you how to throw a successful party! 

For this gathering, we served a delectable range of colourful cocktails along with some delicious appies! To avoid massive hang overs, we limited the liquor selection down to rum, yumOf course, we also bought beer for our “manly manly man” friends (who were intrigued by the sounds coming from Guinness beer cans. Turns out the sound came from a ping pong ball-like object inside, which later we learn is a “widget” to help foam the beer! You do learn lots from your friends.)

We had a party of 15, each cocktail recipe resulted in approximately 6 servings. Let’s start off with the piña colada, the fruity drink with the undetectable alcohol! A pretty dangerous drink if you don’t keep count…

This always brings back memories of cruising around Hawaii, oh, the taste of summer!

PINA COLADA

  • 2 cups of white rum (we used Malibu for this)
  • 3 cups of pineapple juice
  • 1 cup of freshly chopped pineapples
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 15 slices of pineapple for garnish

Toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
Garnish with a slice of pineapple

*If it’s too much for your blender, make sure to blend half at a time to avoid spillage!

Next up, we have Ivy’s all time favourite, the minty mojito!

MOJITO

  • 1 cup white rum (we used Bacardi ♥)
  • 3 cups of mint leaves (because we love the mint)
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 limes
  • 4 cups of club soda
  • 1 cup of ice

Wash mint leaves and put into a jug
Juice the limes
Combine with sugar
Muddle like there’s no tomorrow
Fill with club soda and ice

* Make sure to pick a jug that allows the mint leaves to flow through!
Many of the ladies enjoyed the Cuban Rose for its sweet and refreshing touch.

CUBAN ROSE

  • 2 cups of white rum
  • 1/4 cup of grenadine
  • 4 cups of orange juice

Pour grenadine into a glass jug (for a rich cheery colourful concoction!)
Add in the rum
Finish with orange juice

At some point, when we re-made the previous cocktails for the guests, we decided to create a new cocktail which Ivy calls the Drunken Strawberry.

DRUNKEN STRAWBERRY

  • 1 cup white rum
  • 1/4 cup of strawberry syrup
  • 2 cups fresh strawberry puree
  • 1 cup lichi-li (lichi liqueur)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice

Remove stems from strawberries
Puree the berries in a blender
Add the rest of the ingredients and serve

We played a series of drinking games, but not before having some wholesome food. Since it’s a cocktail party, most of the food that we made this time are appetizers, finger foods and snacks to complement our drinks!

The food selection of a cocktail party is equally as important as the cocktails, so let’s get to it!
To start off, a healthy veggie platter to cleanse our palettes. This nutritious platter is colorful and easy to prepare as it can be made ahead of time. The dip is interesting as it uses bread crumbs!

RED PEPPER DIP + VEGGIE PLATTER

veggie platter red pepper dip

  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 box of cheery tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 °F
Quarter
 the red peppers
Remove seeds and white bits
Place on a baking dish
Drizzle with olive oil
Rub the peppers with the seasoning
Bake for 20 minutes
Puree the baked peppers with the bread crumbs
Cut cucumbers and carrots into sticks
Serve in pretty little bowls or cups

ITALIAN MEATBALLS

  • 1 package Italian sausages
  • 1 package minced turkey breasts
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 °F
Place
 bread and milk into a food processor
Remove casings from the Italian sausage
Place the meat into the food processor along with the minced turkey breasts
Add egg and parmesan cheese
Pulse until all ingredients are combined
Form 2 inch meat balls onto a lined cookie sheet
Bake for 25 minutes
Serve on a plate with greek yogurt or ketchup

POTATO SALAD ROLLS

potato salad roll spinach yum

  • 5 small potatoes
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup red onions
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pack sliced turkey breast (other deli meat works too)
  • 3 cups spinach

Boil the potatoes in salted water
Remove
 the skins off the potato once they become soft
Chop onion, celery and dill pickles
Combine sour cream, mayonnaise and dijon mustard in a large mixing bowl
Mix in the potatoes and veggies
Cut deli meat in half length-wise
Place 1 spinach in the centre of the deli meat
Scoop 1-2 teaspoons of potato salad on top of the spinach
Wrap tightly and place on top of a bed of spinach
Repeat until you run out of meat!

*For a vegetarian alternative, use very thinly sliced cucumber to wrap your potatoes!

MANGO & PRAWN ENDIVE BOATS

mango shrimp endive boat cooking yum recipe

  • 2 endives
  • 2 mangoes, diced
  • 10 prawns
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil

Melt butter in a pan
Remove
 shells from prawns
Dice and stir into the melted butter
Add lemon juice
Remove from heat
Cut off the bottom of the endive to separate its leaves
Wash and dry in a salad spinner
Chop up the fresh basil leaves
Combine prawns, mangoes and basil in a bowl
Top off the endives with the mixture and serve

BRIE & FRUIT TOASTIES

brie fruit toasts french bread yum bake delicious recipe

  • 1 block of brie cheese
  • 1 cup sliced nectarines
  • 1 cup sliced plums
  • 1 loaf of French bread
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove chopped garlic

Preheat oven to 375 °F
Melt 
butter in microwave with chopped garlic
Slice
bread into 15 pieces
Place onto a lined cookie sheet
Brush garlic butter mixture onto bread
Place slices of brie on top of each piece of bread
Cover the brie with slices of fruit
Bake until the cheese is nice and melty

*This also works with brie and jam if you don’t have any fresh fruits handy!

RATATOUILLE TOWERS

ratatoille

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 package of pepperoni
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 long eggplant
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat
Stir 
in onion and garlic, cook until onions are translucent
Add
 the can of tomatoes, bring to a boil
Add seasoning and bread crumbs
Stir until thickened to form a sauce
Slice zucchinis and eggplant to 1/4 inch thickness
Place eggplants in a bowl of water for 5 minutes to remove bitterness
Dry eggplants and place into a mixing bowl
Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over eggplants
Add italian seasoning + a dash of salt and pepper
Mix thoroughly, making sure each eggplant is covered with oil and seasoning
Place zucchini slices into a separate bowl and combine with oil and seasoning as well
Place 15 slices of eggplant 2 inches apart onto a lined cookie sheet
Spoon small dollops of tomato sauce onto each eggplant
Place a slice of zucchini onto each eggplant
Spoon small dollops of the tomato sauce onto each zucchini
Place a slice of pepperoni on top of the zucchini
Repeat until you run out of ingredients!

Asides from these delicious treats we also made nachos and ordered a pizza.
Oh, this feast turned us into beasts, we actually finished everything! We’ll save the nacho recipe for a different day though.
You don’t have to wait until your birthday to celebrate, because everyday is worth celebrating.
Gather up your friends and whip up your own cocktail party. Let us know how it goes!
It’s always a great time gathering all your favourite people in one place, to share fun stories, munch on snacks and just be silly together.
Hopefully you will enjoy these recipes as much as we did, happy celebrating!

birthday polaroid ivy eunice ivy chan ivyc uiatelier

Love,
Eunice + Ivy

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Meal

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Today is the day to wear as much reds and pinks to content your heart’s desire! (Feels just like yesterday that we were wearing reds for Christmas, then Chinese New Years!) Valentines season provides us with a chance to do something special, to shower someone close to you with affection, and to showcase the beauty of this little thing we call love.

We are cooking up a feast for you. Because you, my friend, are our valentine.

A jar of Sangria, two refreshing appetizers, adorable pink bowtie pasta, and an icy strawberry dessert.
We hope you can join us because you don’t want to miss out, trust me.

Sangria uiatelier fruits valentines recipes drinks fun

SANGRIA

  • Moscato (Shop for a local white wine! We used Naked Grape Moscat from Niagara Falls!)
  • Perrier – unsweetened lemon (you can pick a sweetened carbonated soda!)
  • Pineapples
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries

Mix all of the above for a colourful and light drink to go with this meal!

bruschetta uiatelier diy recipe eat food delicious bread tomatoes

BRUSCHETTA

  • 1 loaf of Ciabatta bread or whole grain buns
  • 1 cup (250 g) red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup (or enough to cover tomatoes and bread!) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) fresh Italian basil, julienned
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) flat leaf parsley, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toss tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Add salt and pepper and basils. Set aside.
Combine parsley, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a separate bowl
Slice bread into ½” slices.
Brush both sides of bread with the olive oil.
Heat a grill pan, toaster oven or BBQ to medium high heat.
Grill or toast bread on the side until nicely toasted.
Top with tomato mixture and enjoy!

A light, fresh way to start off the Valentine’s lunch. Fresh, sweet tomatoes with a nice tangy punch from guests like basil and parsley.

heart soup recipe peppers yum healthy diy uiatelier

ROASTED RED PEPPER SOUP

Inspired by A Spicy Perspective

  • 3 red bell peppers, halved and cleaned
  • 3 cloves garlic, in peel (no need to cut or peel!)
  • 2 cups of chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh thyme (1 tbsp leaves)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper

Quarter the peppers and remove all seeds and membranes.
Place the peppers and garlic cloves on a foiled baking sheet.
Broil the red peppers and garlic for 15 minutes on the upper rack.
Remove from oven once the peppers and garlic have dehydrated and wrinkled.
Preheat a large pot to medium heat.
Toss in the oil, onions, bay leaves, and thyme.
Cook for 10 minutes until onions are soft.
Add broth, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
Add the garlic and peppers.
Cover and cook another 20 minutes.
Throw into a blender, secure lid, and blend until desired consistency. We used a Blendtec.

pasta pink yum cheese lemon recipe diy uiatelier

PINK BOWTIE PASTA

Inspired by the lovely Sara of The McGrath’s Kitchen

  • 1 ½ cup of bow tie pasta (also called Farfalle)
  • ½ cup of fresh cream
  • ¼ cup of beetroot juice (from the can or from boiling the beets for 30 minutes)
  • 100g of feta cheese (half a pack of the tub)
  • ½ tbsp of butter
  • shrimp (optional topping)
  • A dash of garlic salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice

Cook pasta as instructed on package! Throw in the pasta only when the water is bubbling and boiling.
While pasta is boiling, cook the sauce on low-medium heat.
Boil beets if using fresh beets
Peel and juice the beets (You can throw them into a blender and put them through a sieve to retrieve its fresh juices!)
Combine the fresh cream and beetroot juice in a different pan, stir occasionally
Add the cheese. Let it cook until the pasta is aldante.
Sauté shrimp with lemon juice and butter in a larger skillet
Add cream sauce and pasta.
Cookuntil the pasta has soaked in most of the sauce, yay!

The gorgeous pastel pink reminds me of strawberry milk. Add more beet juice if you like a sweeter sauce!

strawberry sugar granita italian yum desser

GRANITA

  • 1 ⅔ cups of sliced hulled strawberries
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups cold water
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream
Puree strawberries, sugar, and salt in processor until smooth.
Blend with water and lemon juice.
Strain a freezer safe container and cover.
Stir with a fork every half hour
The sides will freeze the soonest, stir these into the middle.
Repeat until mixture becomes a coarse icy texture.
Approximately 5 hours, to speed up freezing time, split up the mixture into wide shallow containers.
Beat 1 cup chilled whipping cream until firm peaks form.
Or substitute with fat free yogurt with honey for a healthy alternative!
Fill serving glasses with whipped cream and top with Strawberry Granita!
This beautiful italian dessert can be made ahead of time, just remember to keep it frozen.
Granitas also work with other fruits as well, so be creative.
Some Ideas: Mango + Coconut + Pineapple Puree = Pina Colada Granita! Yummmmm.
Happy Valentines Day! 

Love,
Eunice + Ivy

happy valentines ivy eunice love friends