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Family Valentine Game Night + Heartthrob Pasta Recipe
Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner

There is not only one good way to spend Valentine’s Day but I think this is the best way - with your family at home. This is the best way for loads of reasons: 1. Going out for Valentine’s Day is expensive. 2. Most restaurants have a prix fix menu, servers that are grumpy, and are overly busy. 3. Your kids will feel super special if you spend this day with them instead of out on a date. 4. You can go out on a date tomorrow night when everything is back to normal and you can get a seat at a restaurant.

For our family game night I made a fun dinner everyone will eat - but also made it a little bit cheeky and really leaned into the ‘valentine’ theme. Kids love it. And, let’s be honest, I love it too.

Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner

Our family’s new favorite game is this hilarious combination of pictionary and being blindfolded - it’s called Googly Eyes. It is hilarious! You roll to land on what color glasses you’ll wear while you attempt to draw something as simple as popcorn. The glasses make it surprisingly challenging. Unless you are Pearl and I - we are a dream team.

Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner
Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner


serves 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Slice the beets in half and add them to the water as it begins to boil.  When the water has come to a boil, add the pasta.



When the pasta is nearly cooked, turn the heat off and let rest for 30 minutes.  


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.



Unroll the package of crescent dough and press together all of the seams.  Slice the dough into strips.  Twist the dough and form it into a heart.  


Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.



Heat a skillet with the olive oil.  Cook the peppers, onion, and garlic over medium heat until softened. Remove the beets from the pasta, remove the skin with a paper towel (by rubbing it off), chop them and add them to the skillet.



Drain the pasta – reserving at least one cup of pasta water – and toss the pasta with the peppers.  Add the pasta water and toss until a sauce has formed.  Remove from heat and sprinkle parmesan on top.  


1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 sweet onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbs olive oil

2 beets

½ lb pasta

½ cup parmesan cheese

1 package crescent dough

Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner
Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner


1 ounce pomegranate juice

1 ounce vodka

DRY Sparkling Lavender

In a glass filled with ice, layer vodka and pomegranate juice. Top with DRY Sparkling and serve! For those without booze, just skip the vodka and don’t forget to garnish with a cherry.


weeknight cocktail | football punch
Ali Hedin | Football Punch

I think a punch is the coolest.  I love pouring big buckets of booze into a cute punch bowl and serving it up.  I also love that it's a one and done kind of thing.  Make a big batch and you won't have to deal with it again for a while.  What better time to not be tethered to the bar than Super Bowl?  

I made this one 'not too strong' so you can continue  to have cocktails for the four hours of football without being totally on your lips by the award ceremony.  If you want to pop it up a notch, add a little vodka!

Ali Hedin | Football Punch



Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl and stir



Serve in chilled glasses

2 quarts light beer

1 can frozen lemonade concentrate

46 ounces pineapple juice

1/2 cup cointreau


Ali Hedin | Football Punch
Ali Hedin | Football Punch

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indulgent double bacon brownies
Ali Hedin | Bacon Brownie

I was with a friend of mine talking about the Super Bowl party last month and she said "You have to have bacon at the party."  As soon as she said it, I said "What about bacon brownies?" You would not believe the look of disgust on her face.  

But I could imagine it.  Salty, sweet, creamy, rich, perfect.  A caramel topping with extra bacon on top seemed like the perfect way to finish it off.  Can you imagine a better dessert?  Especially for a big group?  

Ali Hedin | Bacon Brownie

Bacon Brownies

makes 12


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare the brownies according to package instructions.  Crumbled three strips of bacon into the batter.



In a saucepan, melt butter.  When butter is melted add brown sugar and 2 tbs heavy cream.  Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.  



Let the brown sugar mixture bubble for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.  Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Let rest 30 minutes.



Remove the brownies from then oven when they are done and let cool.



Add the whisk attachment to the stand mixer and blend in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until the frosting is spreadable.  You may not need all of the sugar.  If it's too thick, add a tablespoon of heavy cream.



Spread frosting over cooled brownies and crumble remaining bacon on top.

1 box brownie mix

6 strips cooked bacon

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

4 tablespoons heavy cream

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Ali Hedin | Bacon Brownie

weeknight cocktail | tropical skinny margarita
Tropical Skinny Margarita | Ali Hedin

Usually I would say "This time of year I'm trying to eat healthier" but the reality is, I should probably cut out extra calories on the regular.  Alcohol is a pretty good place to start.  Do you know how many calories are in a margarita?!? It's like a zillion.  I wondered if I could combine tequila + a little juice + coconut water to make a cocktail that's not too heavy in the calories but is actually delicious.  

Nailed it.  

It turns out this is fantastic.  Because it isn't filled with the margarita syrup stuff, it actually needs less salt on the rim than usual.  But it's so much more fun with  a salted rim.

Tropical Skinny Margarita | Ali Hedin

Tropical Skinny Margarita

makes 2 drinks


In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all of the ingredients.  Shake vigorously.  


Run the edge of a lime wedge around the rim of a glass and tip into margarita salt.  Fill the glass with ice


Strain the cocktail into the prepared glasses and garnish with a lime.  Cheers.


80mL coconut water

80mL tequila

40mL pineapple juice

Tropical Skinny Margarita | Ali Hedin
Party House Kitchen Inspiration

The kitchen is the most important part of my house.  Always.  Our current kitchen is the worst of the worst.  I think there are apartments in New York City that are bigger than this kitchen.  Given that I have a growing collection of vintage bar-ware, kitchen ware, plates, etc. this really needed to change.

Despite how tiny the actual kitchen is, there is all this extra room on the other side of the counter that is not being used very well.  We've stuck a table and bench in the corner, but it could be so much better with a counter stretching into it and the other side open into the dining room.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that need to change.  The priorities are:

1. Open up the kitchen onto the rest of the house.

2. Increase storage but also keep it looking really clean and simple.

3. Make it functional for all of us to work in the kitchen at the same time.

Here's the plan:

1. Remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room and push the kitchen a few feet so it's the same length as the dining room (there's currently a three foot gap).

2. Create a pantry space for storage so there doesn't need to be overhead cabinets in the kitchen + a spot for a second oven, second sink & dishwasher.  

3. Create an island between the kitchen and dining room so there is ample work space all the way around the counters.

I'm dreaming of opening up the kitchen and having an island between the kitchen and the dining room.  And that brass hood?  Are you kidding me?  I'm having a brass hood for sure.  In talking to Mr. Hedin, it's actually way more affordable than it looks.  We can purchase basic hood mechanics and hang them up.  Then we can have a metal worker bend a frame and hang that from the ceiling around the basic mechanics.  (This is why you marry a contractor ladies.)

I want the space to feel really open and light while maintaining some element of mid-century.  The ribbon windows will help to bring light in without staring at the neighbors house.  Having the room open to the rest of the house should help with the rest.

This is a room that I plan on spending loads of time.  So I'll be putting loads of thought into this space!  I can't wait to show you the next steps.

xoxo, ali


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Party House Inspiration

The first thing Mr. Hedin and I thought of when we started dreaming of our new house was the Parker Palm Springs.  We love the Parker.  We love going into Mr. Parker for a Manhattan.  We love wandering the grounds.  We love the vintage vibe of the whole place.

I have pinned one million images from the Parker, Emily Henderson, and my latest idol, Sarah Sherman Samuel.

Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan home images

We've stolen ideas from all of these fabulous designers to make our dream house.  The most important - the showstopper - the centerpiece - will be a freestanding fireplace of some sort.  I'm hoping against hope that it looks like the fireplace in Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan's house.  Our energy codes in Washington State are a little fussier than they are in New York which means it can't be totally open like this.  

Despite our architect visibly sighing when I said this is what I wanted, he's come up with some ideas that will work within the rules.  It's going to be awesome.  

Parker Palm Springs image via Parker website

image via Sarah Sherman Samuel

We will have about 800 windows on the backside of the house and everything inside will be painted white.  I can only hope it reflects the light the way this A-Frame reflects the light!  The pictures of us will be so pretty. Let's be honest, you don't design a house that you can't take a good photo of yourself in.  White walls for the win.

image via Emily Henderson

I'm really drawn to these spaces that echo the 1970's aesthetic.  I'll be bringing in loads of color but only in accents and wall hangings.  The walls, floors and basics will be neutral colors so I can change my mind a lot because you know I will.


xoxo, ali