December 2013 archive

Clara’s First Birthday!

My little nugget Clara turned 1 just before Christmas and we threw a brunch par-tay!

Originally, I was going for a small cake-eating party with just family and a few friends. Then I started pinning. Aaaaaaaand, next thing I knew we had over 20 adults and a dozen children coming over for brunch the Saturday before Christmas and also the day we were flying out to Jacksonville for the week. We were polishing silver on Friday night. I’m cray-cray.

Here’s the Pinterest board that inspired the leap from just cake to full-on-party-down. Follow me on Pinterest while you are perusing!

Follow Julia Perry’s board Clara 1st Birthday on Pinterest.

I didn’t get a ton of great food photos but here’s a snapshot of the menu with links to the recipes:

For the record, the Whole Foods cake was delicious, cute and the sheet cake pictured above plus a 4″ smash cake for Clara was under $40. Plus, they are open late so I could go put in my order after work and bedtime while daddy was on baby duty. Check, check, check.

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

Jalapeno Cheese Grits: Get’cha Some

Grits are a critical part of any good Southern breakfast. This particular recipe was made by my best friend’s mother for my baby shower and the recipe generated more interest than much else at the party. This is shocking since it’s made with instant grits which I have been known to compare to sawdust. But these instant grits are all dressed up with cream cheese and jalapenos and they are just delicious. You must give this recipe a whirl!

Jalapeno Cheese Grits
Serves 8
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  1. 4 1/2 cups water
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 1.5 cups quick grits
  4. 2 8 oz. blocks cream cheese
  5. 3 beaten eggs
  6. 1 stick no salt butter
  7. 2 4 oz. cans drained jalapeño peppers
  8. 2 Tbsp chopped pimento (optional)
  9. 3 gloves garlic, minced
  1. Combine water and salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Gradually stir in grits.
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add cheese and butter.
  5. Stir in jalapeños, pimento & garlic.
  6. Temper eggs with small amount of grits.
  7. Stir remaining grits into egg mixture.
  8. Pour in greased 12x7x2 dish and bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 30 minutes.
  1. Pimentos are a great addition with the jalapeños, especially for holiday color. But they don't add much flavor so feel free to leave them out.
Bless Her Hearth

Make that Eggs Benedict Souffle Ahead of Time

When I’m feeding a breakfast crowd, I always reach for this recipe that was shared with me by Will’s cousin Rick Prill. Rick runs a gorgeous ranch in CO where we had the pleasure of vacationing a couple of years ago. This place sleeps a small army and Rick knows how to feed an army too. The GENIUS of this recipe is that it is best if you make it up the night before and pop it in the oven while you are waiting on your coffee to brew. Easy peasy!

Eggs Benedict Souffle
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  1. Pam
  2. 6 english muffins, halved
  3. 16-20 eggs
  4. cup of milk
  5. Tbsp flour
  6. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  7. canadian bacon
  8. 4 cups sharp white cheddar cheese
  9. 3 cups sour cream
  10. 3 cups mayonnaise
  11. 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  12. 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  13. 3 tsp lemon juice
For the souffle
  1. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with Pam.
  2. Split english muffin halves and place with holes up on bottom of baking dish. Pack them tight & tear pieces to fill in holes.
  3. Beat eggs & mix with milk, flour & baking powder.
  4. Pour egg mixture to barely cover english muffins and reserve remaining mixture.
  5. Layer canadian bacon so it completely covers english muffins.
  6. Grate at least 4 cups of white cheddar cheese and sprinkle over the bacon.
  7. Add remaining egg mixture to almost cover the cheese. Souffle will rise so be sure to leave 3/4 inch to the top of the dish. If you are short on eggs, mix up a few more with a little milk (egg sizes can vary).
  8. Bake 1 hour @ 350 and test for runny-ness in the center.
For the sauce
  1. Place sour cream, mayo, yellow mustard, dijon mustard, & lemon juice in a saucepan. Wisk over heat until bubbly.
  2. Can be augmented with bourbon, brandy, dried basil or cracked black pepper.
  1. Souffle is best if left to soak overnight before baking.
Bless Her Hearth

Children’s Book Review: The Day The Crayons Quit

If you are looking for a witty and creative children’s book for the early elementary set, The Day The Crayons Quit is a slam dunk. If you are looking for illustrations that will transfix your 1-year old and narrative that charms the pants off adults, I speak from real experience when I write that The Day The Crayons Quit is also the book for you (this one was a Christmas day hit for the whole family)!

In this wildly imaginative book from author Drew Daywalt and illustrator Oliver Jeffers, crayons voice their coloring complaints to their owner, Duncan. Each page is a hilarious, hand-written letter that details the tribulations of life in the crayon box. Red has tired of holiday duty. Favorite Blue has been worn to a nub. Yellow and Orange aren’t speaking due to a disagreement over the true color of the sun.

While the humor will be lost on toddlers, it won’t be lost on you. Buy this book now to enjoy with your family for years to come.

Available locally at Parnassus Books. Also available on Amazon: The Day the Crayons Quit. Subject to availability … this little book is selling like hotcakes!

Hello & Welcome!

Welcome to Bless Her Hearth!

If you are reading this, chances are you know me personally. Until Katie Perry (no relation) gets around to tweeting the launch of Bless Her Hearth, I’ll be focusing my attention on a more intimate audience. Namely, the three of you who are reading me again. Hi, Mom.

But just in case there are some fresh eyes on these pixels, I’ll mind my manners and make introductions.

I’m Julia Perry, a 30-something wife, mother, friend and advertising executive. I love:

  • everything about my wee little daughter, Clara
  • a beautiful home (but I don’t have time to keep one)
  • great food, especially when prepared by by sexy, kitchen savant husband
  • the occasional crafty endeavor
  • entertaining family and friends
  • a sermon that makes me think
  • my hometown and current residence of Nashville, Tennessee
  • traveling yonder and wide
  • kicking ass at work

That’s what I’ll be talking about here, in no particular order. Hope you’ll stick around, maybe even tell your peeps. It’ll be fun!


P.S. – If you followed, thank you! But I’m retiring that. Follow me here now!