Last week, during the Design Bloggers Conference, forty designers descended upon Mark (the artist) and Cinda (the designer)’s stunning home in Buckhead for an evening of art, food and wine. Chef Tyler Williams and team, took the reigns and worked closely with Adam Japko to create wine pairings and a menu that reminded me more of Andy Warhol’s great works of art than actual food. But lucky for us it tasted like food. Divine, mouth-watering food.
The evening was truly one for the ages, and while I had no plans to share it with on the Blog I received a Dropbox full of these lovely images and felt they were too good not to share. I mean the bold colors are nothing short of inspiring, and we all need a little bright, loud, inspiration every once in a while. Truly, MKR
On a recent trip to Mexico, the Mr. and I fell in love with a little cocktail called The Paloma. The Paloma combines tequila with the tart and fresh flavors of grapefruit and lime to create the most refreshing of libations. A typical Paloma recipe is topped with a lime or grapefruit wedge, but I really love adding a slice or two of jalepenos for some heat. Or try a fresh sprig of thyme or mint to cool it down. Either way you shake it, or top it, I guarantee this Paloma recipe will quickly become a new five o’clock favorite. Truly, MKR
On a cold, grey day in November we rounded up some of the best individuals in the wedding world on location at Ambient+ Studiofor a creative and inhibited shoot with just one focus: what are the “big day” details to expect in 2015. Each vendor was given complete liberty with what they created, no rules whatsoever, and the results were simply stunning. I of course had to share a picture or two but, make sure to check out everything else we’re forecasting on The Celebration Society and let us know if you’re forecasting any trends of your own. Truly, MKR
When entertaining there is nothing more of a go-to for me than a cheese and charcuterie board. So when Le Creuset reached out to ask if I could put their new cheese platter and wine carafe to good use I jumped at the chance. I mean honestly when have you known me to say no to wine and cheese, plus it just happens to be National Drink Wine Day this week so really the timing was perfect.
I love preparing a charcuterie and cheese platter because there are no rules. Literally you can pretty much combine anything your heart desires and as long as the spread is ample enough there’s sure to be something to please every guest’s palette. But while there aren’t any rules per se, I know picking out just the right cheeses, fruits, veggies, meats, spreads, and breads can sometimes be intimidating so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites below. Do you have any tried and true cheese or spreads you consistently use? Cheers! Truly, MKR
Cheeses: always purchase a variety of textures and flavors; soft, hard, firm, blue and a spread such as pimento (especially if you’re in the south). Some of my personal favorites are any cheeses from Midnight Moon, Cowgirl Creamery, Lazy Lady, Jacob’s Creamery and Fraga Farmstead. But when in doubt simply ask any friendly cheese monger to help you out and always choose at least one “safe” cheese that will be familiar to everyone.
Fruits & Veggies: carrots, grilled asparagus, green onions, pearl onions, roasted tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, grapes, pears, apples, blueberries, and figs dried or fresh.
Meats: prosciutto and other cured meats such as salami, ham, and sausages.
Spreads, Breads & Nuts: honey, olive oil, and any fig, plum, or cherry chutneys. A crispy flatbread, Rain Crisps, and grilled french bread. To grill the bread simply buy a baguette from your local grocer, slice, brush with olive oil and grill until gold brown and accompanied by a few nice char marks. For the crunch candied walnuts or pecans, pistachios, almonds, and marcona almonds.
Pears have always been one of my absolute favorite fruits. And with over 3,000 known varieties grown around the world and just as many distinct flavors, pears were just begging for me to transform them into a cocktail or two.
My Pear Blossom Fizz combines rich pear, elderflower blossom liqueur, bubbles (of course), and is topped off with an unexpected dash of cinnamon to highlight the natural warmth of pear, while my Spiced Pear Margarita is all about the juxtaposition of the jalepeno’s heat, the tartness of the lime, and the natural sweetness of agave.
So regardless if you like your libation a little on the sweet side or a with a bit more of a kick, pear should be your next go-to cocktailing ingredient. Cheers! Truly, MKR
There’s nothing more symbolic of fresh starts than fresh flowers. Rich hues of plum in the form of ranunculus and calla lilies mix perfectly with winter white drooping parrot tulips, anemones, and silver brunias. The different layers create a more organic and free flowing feel, and the arrangement receives my favorite, yet unexpected twist by opting out of a traditional vase and using a pewter pitcher instead. After all, a vase is really anything that holds water, right? In the end, this easy arrangement feels very now and very needed. Truly, MKR
Step One. Fill vessel with room temperature water and begin by placing a large head of flowering kale in the middle of the vase.
Step Two. Once you’ve placed the kale, work your way out, mixing deep plum ranunculus, calla lilies, white and black anemones, and a row of drooping parrot tulips to line the outer edge of the vessel. You can use floral foam if you'd like but as other flowers are added they will help keep the kale centered.
Step Three. Use sprigs of silver brunia to fill in the inevitable holes, which give it a true feeling of winter.
Step Four. Add a few stems of white veronica for added height.
If we’re telling truths here, I’ve never been a fan of eggnog. Not that I had ever tried it or anything, I couldn’t get past the whole idea of raw eggs. But the older I got, and the more I watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, the more I felt I needed to conquer this fear. So I spent yesterday in the kitchen trying out a few different recipes until I found just the right one; a Spiked & Spiced Eggnog.
By combining your standard eggnog ingredients but adding a bit more spice and getting a little help from my friends called Amaretto and Absolut I can now not get enough of this delicious eggy-nog-nog. And how gorgeous is the new Absolut Andy Warhol bottle? I’m gifting one to my mother this holiday season to sit atop her new bar cart. So for all you last minute gifters might I suggest a little Andy Warhol and some nog?! Truly, MKR
Over the past two weeks we’ve had the pleasure of sharing the recipes from our Woodland Wonderland Dinner with Rue Magazine, (a fruit filled ice ring, roasted sweet potatoes, wintery kale salad, braised short ribs, and sweet potato creme brûlée). But like all good things, our dinner must come to an end. And what better way to end than with a side dish to put all other side dishes to shame. Homespun Atlanta’s roasted cauliflower with apples, cranberries, and sage. A spot on seasonal dish that as delicious as it is easy to make.
So enjoy and here’s to hoping at least one of these dishes (if not all) will make it on to your table this holiday season. Truly, MKR
I like to live life by the motto, eat dessert first. So when Homespun Atlanta showed up to our Woodland Wonderland Dinnerwith creme brulee in tow that’s exactly what I did. These little ramkins filled with caramelized butternut squash and topped with fresh whip, red wine soaked cranberries and candied walnuts were little bites of heaven and trust me are worth the effort in making. Enjoy Loves! Truly, MKR
2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, organic, or raw
Soaked Red Wine Cranberries
Heat oven to 300°. Place 8 to 10 1/2-cup ramekins, custard cups, or oven safe demitasse cups in a large metal baking pan.
In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, half-and-half, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture just begins to boil.
Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar until thick and lemon-colored.
Slowly add about 1/3 of the hot mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture back to the saucepan, whisking constantly until thoroughly blended. Whisk in the butternut squash puree and the vanilla.
Pour the hot mixture into the ramekins or cups, distributing evenly, about 1/2 to 2/3 cup per ramekin.
Pour very hot or boiling water into the baking pan, so it is at a depth of about 1 inch, or about halfway up the side of the ramekins or cups you're using. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the custard is set in the center, but not overly stiff. It will jiggle slightly. Remove the ramekins from the baking dish and place in the refrigerate. Refrigerate for about 4 hours, or overnight.
Just before serving time, sprinkle about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sugar over each custard and, using a kitchen torch, melt and caramelize the sugar. Or, place the ramekins in a baking dish and put under to broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, just until browned and caramelized.
One of my favorite dishes from our Woodland Wonderland shoot was the glazed sweet potatoes courtesy of Homespun Atlanta, (I was actually eating them cold I couldn’t stay away)! Surprisingly easy to make these are sure to be a perfect side for your holiday table. Truly, MKR