Friday, May 13, 2011

Ring and Make Up

My cousin-to-be's bridal shower was this past weekend and her mom brought her the most darling gift, a Make Up Bell. After a little initial confusion from the guests (we had 'make up' cosmetics in mind), Mrs. B explained this Irish tradition. Every couple should receive a bell as a wedding gift which will be placed in their home. When a disagreement takes place, one of the couple rings the bell to end the discord and declare a truce without an admission of fault. The ringing bell is supposed to make them mindful of their wedding vows and should be followed with a kiss to make up. How cute! And if that doesn't work we figured you could always 'ring' your spouse over the head with it to drive home your point : )

The other highlight of the shower, Ina Garten's cheese straws! 

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator 
1 extra large egg
1 tablespoon water 
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup finely grated gruyere cheese 
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
Freshly ground pepper 

Preheat over to 375 degrees

Roll out pastry on a lightly floured board until it is 10x12in. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the surface of the pasty. Sprinkle each sheet evenly with 1/4 cup parmesan, 1/2 cup gruyere, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. With a rolling pin, lightly press the flavorings into the pastry. Cut each sheet crosswise with a floured knife into 11 or 12 strips. Twist each strip and lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Turn each straw and bake for another 2 minutes. Cool and serve at room temperature. Hide until guests arrive so you don't eat them all. 

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