WAITING ON MARTHA
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Cool Down with These 7 Iced Coffee Recipes This Summer

Refreshing Takes on a Summertime Staple
June 26, 2016

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Nashville it is HOT.  Every time I set out to take care of errands or run around town, I find myself melting.  My fool-proof solution these days, when I can’t of course hop in a pool, is a good iced coffee to-go.  (And while I would love to have them made for me every day, I knew I had to start trying some iced coffee recipes at home). 

For weeks, I wasn’t even considering adding anything exciting to my mix…I just wanted a good dark roast coffee over ice.  But once I remembered MKR’s uber popular caramel iced coffee recipe, I fell down a rabbit hole trying to find new, refreshing ways to enjoy my chilled cup of jo.  Scroll through the slideshow of seven great iced coffee recipes to try by clicking on the image above.  Cheers, Kat

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Caramel Iced Coffee

Caramel Iced Coffee

With this caramel iced coffee, MKR taught all of us really how life-changing homemade caramel syrup and coffee ice cubes could be.

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VIA WAITING ON MARTHA
Lavender Iced Coffee

Lavender Iced Coffee

This lavender iced coffee recipe uses a simple lavender syrup made from dried lavender buds, sugar and water. Mix in half & half, and this iced coffee sounds not only refreshing, but absolutely divine, on a hot summer's day.

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VIA HONESTLY YUM
Creamy Coconut Rum Iced Coffee

Creamy Coconut Rum Iced Coffee

This creamy coconut rum iced coffee can be a pick-me-up (without the rum) or a lovely summertime treat out on the back patio after work. She uses dark roast coffee, a little coconut sugar, coconut milk to mix, and tops it with coconut cream and coconut flakes (#yum).

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VIA HEATHER CHRISTO
Fresh Mint Iced Coffee

Fresh Mint Iced Coffee

Even though I'm a HUGE fresh mint fan, I never thought about mint and coffee, but now it all makes sense with this easy fresh mint iced coffee recipe.
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VIA HOW SWEET IT IS
Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee

Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee

Half Baked Harvest proves with this vanilla bean iced coffee recipe that killer iced coffee calls for three things: chocolate coffee ice cubes, cold brew coffee and honey sweetened vanilla coconut milk (!).

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VIA HALF BAKED HARVEST
Hibiscus Vanilla Thai-Styled Iced Tea

Hibiscus Vanilla Thai-Styled Iced Tea

I know this isn't necessarily iced coffee, but I felt it deserved a spot on our refreshing + addicting list this summer. This hibiscus vanilla thai-styled iced tea sounds like a little slice of heaven to be honest.

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VIA WHAT'S COOKING GOOD LOOKING
Coconut Iced Coffee (with Doughnuts!)

Coconut Iced Coffee (with Doughnuts!)

So this is most certainly an after-meal treat in my book. But regardless, this coconut iced coffee is a must-try asap. Maybe I'll skip on the donuts if I make it in the AM!

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VIA HALF BAKED HARVEST

Featured image, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival: Asian Inflection

A Magical Rooftop Dinner, with crafted details and simple settings
June 25, 2016

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While Atlanta Food & Wine Festival‘s pop-up urban vineyard was show-stopping, the next night was just as magical.  With the help of the Lee brothers and Blooms of Dunwoody, we set an absolutely stunning Asian inspired dinner for the festival’s Connoisseur Dinner Series on the Loews Hotel rooftop.  The theme for the evening celebrated and explored the Asian influence on Southern food, and offered a multi-course meal with award-winning wine and cocktail pairings with each dish.  And just to walk you through the vision of our Asian inspired dinner: we were literally surrounded by a concrete, mirrored, glass jungle, and we then created a zen-like oasis with paper lanterns and live orchid garland hanging from a chuppah canopy made of live birch trees. #Swoon.

The setup, however, didn’t go off without a hitch (like most outdoor events, am I right?!). The rooftop proved to be incredibly windy (I mean WINDY) and we watched with panic in our eyes as the chuppah swayed from side to side with each new gust.  We quickly brought in sand bags and stabilized the canopy, but the wind was so strong that we all had to make an executive decision to bring the long dining tables inside for guests.   

To my relief, the result was just as magical; guests enjoyed cocktail hour outside to then join along long dining tables in clean white linens stretched down the inside hall, adorned with simple votive candles and low, airy white florals snaking down the expanse of the table.  

When recreating this event (on a smaller scale, I expect!), consider simple linens and monochromatic florals for an understated, yet elevated effect. And while big centerpieces are always beautiful, the short, square glass vases were the perfect vessels for the florals because they didn’t risk obstructing the view around the table. This is a great thing to keep in mind if you’re hoping for conversation to be flowing (just as much as the wine) at your dinner party. And of course, placing votive candles (the long-lasting ones!!!) is one of my favorite, easy and affordable ways to bring the magic by soft candlelight to any tabletop.  Truly, MKR

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Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival: In the Vineyard

Setting the Scene for Magical Memories in Midtown
June 24, 2016

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When I first heard the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival crew was scheming to create a real-life pop-up vineyard in the heart of midtown, I immediately started imagining the dreamiest-of-dreamy setups for each and every event.  Think long farm tables between the vines with romantic, sweeping greenery and rustic, simple place settings.  And of course plenty of twinkle lights once the sun went down!  Think of all of this with some of Atlanta’s tallest skyscrapers in view.  I died at just the thought of being part of such a magical installation (the first in the US), so too see my dreams come to life was just beyond. 

We set the scene at the Grapes A to Z Sommelier Wine Lunch with Jason Tesauro from The Modern Gent, with said farm tables and the most amazing live garland by Blooms of Dunwoody. Candlesticks of varying heights added a little interest to the tablescape, but otherwise we kept things super simple with the natural vibe created by the farm tables, garland, and grape vines really allowing the 26 wines poured to shine.  And like our Powerful & Delicious dinner, we added informational #knowthesouth cards—placed into each fork—with a few basic definitions and terms related to wine to our little daytime vineyard party. 

The vineyard, I must tell you, was hot.  “…hotter than a billy goat with a blow torch” to be exact.  We knew our guests would be a little toasty throughout the day and well into the evening, so we supplied palmetto fans with entertaining phrases about the heat attached.  My personal favorite might have been “It’s Hotter than Hell’s Pepper Patch” but it was really too hard to decide.  These fun details played perfectly into Atlanta Food & Wine Festival‘s #KnowTheSouth theme this year, and I know guests were grateful for the chance to cool off with them. 

The rest of the evening events (6 in total) were just as magical as you can imagine with a backdrop of twinkle lights and sky scrapers.  Guests mingled between the vines, stopped at chef stations to savor some of the best bites in the South, sipped award-winning wines, and even played a little bocce ball. It’s safe to say that it was a huge treat for me to see this space make the transformation from city lot to dreamy urban vineyard and grounds for two gorgeous events during one of my favorite weekends of the entire year.  Truly, MKR

P.S. The pop-up vineyard will remain open through June 30 for community use and private events. Be sure to check it out for yourself across from the Four Seasons on 14th street and follow along on social with #VineyardInTheCity. xo

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Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha | Florals, Blooms of Dunwoody

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