Thursday, December 31, 2009

Have a very Happy New Year!!!

Wishing all of my family and friends a very happy and safe New Year!!! We would like to thank all of our supporters for helping MEBA have a very successful 2009. As we usher in the new year, we ask that you reflect upon the many lessons and blessings that the past year has presented and use it to bring about progress for the next. Please be safe and as always be blessed!

Indian Spiced Black-Eyed Peas with Tomato and Curry Leaves

Everyone knows that the consumption of Black-Eyed peas are supposed to bring a person good luck for the New Year,but if you are like me it's not one of my favorite foods. As a child, I have always found ways to eat the foods that I disliked by adding ingredients that I do like. Well, I came across a very tasty recipe for black-eyed peas and wanted to share with you guys for the New Year!!! Take a look and hopefully will you like it as much as I did.

(Makes about 6 side dish servings, recipe adapted from Curried Black-Eyed Peas from Lisa's Kitchen.)

1 cup dried black-eyed peas
2 T olive oil or ghee (use olive oil for South Beach diet)
1 tsp. brown or black mustard seeds
2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
(recipe called for 1/2 tsp. asafetida which I didn't have)
1 cup slow roasted tomatoes (or use 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes or 1 cup chopped fresh tomato)
2 T tomato paste
1 tsp. green Tabasco sauce, or more (or use use fresh chopped green chile pepper)
handful of fresh curry leaves (I used about 1/2 cup curry leaves, slightly chopped, but I would use even more if I had plenty of them)
2-3 T thinly sliced green onion or chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Cook the black-eyed peas, using one of these methods (I used the pressure cooker):
~To cook black-eyed peas in pressure cooker, no need to pre-soak. Put the peas in pressure cooker and fill about half full with water. Lock lid, and cook 10-11 minutes at high pressure, then use quick-release method to release pressure. Drain and continue with recipe.
~To cook black-eyed peas in regular pan, first soak overnight in cold water to cover. The next day, drain water and put black-eyed peas in saucepan with water to cover by a few inches. Simmer over low heat until tender, about 40-45 minutes. Drain and continue with recipe.

Combine sea salt, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, and asafetida (if using) in small dish. Heat olive oil or ghee in large non-stick frying pan. When oil is shimmering hot, add the mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop, which will happen very quickly. When seeds start to pop, add ground spice/salt mixture and cook about 1 minute.

Add slow roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, green Tabasco sauce, and curry leaves, then lower heat, stir and cook 2-3 minutes, until tomatoes are slightly thickened and mixture is fragrant. (You will need to cook longer if you use canned or fresh tomatoes.) Stir in black-eyed peas and simmer about 10 minutes, until peas are hot and mixture is slightly thickened. Serve hot, sprinkled with sliced green onions or chopped cilantro if desired.

Peach Bellini's

One of my twitter friends asked for a good Peach Bellini recipe. Well, here it is, I hope that you enjoy!!!


6 ounces spumanti, Astt, to taste
1 ounce peach schnapps, to taste
frozen peaches, sliced


Add a few frozen peach slices and liquor to blender and puree. The mixture should be taking on a slushy type texture.

Taste and add more liquor or peaches as needed. Add ice and continue to blend until a nice frozen texture is acquired. Pour into glasses and garnish with peaches.

Patron Cupcakes Recipe

It's New Years Eve and many people are getting ready to entertain family and friends. I thought that I would share this recipe with you guys to try out for the New Year or any occasion that you want to make memorable. Let me know what you think of them!

*Makes about 10 cupcakes

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 stick butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup + 2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp Patron tequila
1 tbsp orange liqueur (I used Patron, other options include Triple
Sec, Grand Marnier, Contreau..)
zest of one lime + juice of half of it

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare a pan or silicone molds to your liking.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, lime zest, and salt in a bowl.
3. Cream together butter and sugar in another bowl until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add half the dry ingredients and wet ingredients (milk, lime juice, tequila, and orange liqueur) into this bowl and combine after each addition. Add zest and the other half of the dry ingredients and mix again.
4. Pour into cupcake pan.
5. Bake in oven for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in a center cake comes out clean.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Romantic Spa Rendezvous

Valentine's Day is the international day for lovers and we here at MEBA are the ambassadors of romantic events. Please join us for our Romantic Spa Rendezvous being held on Sunday, February 15, 2010 @ 6:00 PM at Natural Elements Day Spain Chesapeake, VA.

This event will offer you and your lover the opportunity to delve into the delights of intimacy within a soothing and relaxing atmosphere.

The Romantic Spa Rendezvous includes:

60 minute Swedish Couples Massage
Hors d' oeuvres
Wine and Sparkling Ciders
Valentine's Day Gift Bag

For more information, please click here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Consignment Bridal

Most wedding planners know that this time of the year is the onset of heavy bridal planning season. With June fastly approaching, some brides are still looking for that perfect gown. With economy being in its current state, most people are watching every penny. But don't fret, there is no reason why a bride can not save money on her special day and still have the wedding gown of her dreams. A rising trend is bridal consignment shops. These are shops that specialize in selling and/or renting bridal attire and accessories. In the Hampton Roads area, we have Blush. If you do not have a bridal consignment shop in your area, there are online alternatives such as Bride to Bride Boutique. I am the self-proclaimed thrifty planner, so I am always looking for a bargain. I think that bridal consignments shops are an option for the bride who wants to save the expense without sacrificing the elegance.

Luxury Romantic Weekend Event

Surprise birthday parties are really becoming our speciality here at MEBA and we love it! We were recently contacted by a client who wanted to do something very special for her husband's birthday but didn't want the hoopla of a major party. I suggested to her our one of our "Mesmerizing Weekend" packages. She opted for the Luxury package which includes dinner reservations at an upscale restaurant , a chauffeured driver, and an overnight stay at a 4/5 Star hotel in the executive suite. It takes a lot of stress from the client when all they have to do is show up! Design elements were easy as there were no holds barred on our creative input. The client only asked that we incorporate blue and gold in the theme. We created a jacuzzi basket with all of the essential items to make the couple's evening intimate and memorable. They were also greeted by a dessert table which contained a birthday cheesecake tray, take-out boxes of nuts and candy, as well as the clients' favorite chips. The client advised that her husband could not sleep the entire night as he did not know what to do next! We were pleased with his response but what made our day is when her husband called me personally to advise that he felt that our efforts were "a true blessing" to him. That makes all of the effort and strife that us planners have to sometimes go through all worth the while!!!

Happy Birthday Barbara & Bobby!!!

We recently had the honor of planning a surprise 50th Birthday party for twins, Barbara and Bobby. Barbara's son wanted to do something special for his mother and uncle since they had never had a birthday party as children. The catch- we only had a week to plan. My team pulled it off without a hitch, although my poor feet suffered the most, lol! The full gallery is located on the website. Check it out!

I'm Back!!!

Hello my dear hearts, I have really missed blogging (believe it or not). I have been blessed with many events that have been keeping me busy- hence my lack of presence on my blog. I have committed myself to be more proactive in my blogging for the upcoming year. But until then, I will try to catch you all up on some of the things that have been keeping me away. The following posts should give you all a sense of what of I have been doing.

Peace & Blessings