Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Summer Cocktails | Aperol Spitzer

I thought it would be fun to do a little summer series on cocktails!  Truthfully, I'm much more of a wine drinker at home but when we go out I almost always order a cocktail, especially in the summertime. I also decided recently to create a little bar tray area on the gate leg table in our dining room.  Jimmy thinks it's all very Mad Men-esque but I always find them so pretty when I see them in other homes.  I decided if we are going to have one, then I better learn to whip up a few cocktails in the process to justify all the pretty bar tray accessories I would like to acquire.  It all feels very grown up and I think having them out will make it more likely we will whip up something fruity and bubbly after a day at the pool or on a whim.

I'm starting with a very simple one, Aperol Spritzers!  An Ina favorite!  Of course!

3 parts Aperol
2 parts chilled Prosecco
1 part San Pellegrino
Orange Slices

Fill the glass about 3/4 full with ice before pouring in the ingredients, garnish with orange slice.  Enjoy!  Such a summery drink!  I pretended I was sipping it in Italy since it was such a glorious evening out yesterday.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Inspiration | Charming Buckhead Home

 I always know we are off to a good start when a new client includes Jackye Lanham's work among their inspiration images.  I too am consistently inspired by her charming and timeless interiors.

We are using images from the living room (left and below) as inspiration for a new living room project that I just started working on.  I had to go back and see this whole home again, featured a year ago in Atalanta Home Magazine (May 2016 issue).

I love all the soothing shades of chalky white, pale green and dusty blue used throughout the home.  The dark iron light fixtures  and hardware, along with the dark wood antiques, look so pretty against that backdrop.  I also love all the wicker to make the space feel more casual and easy to live with.

The article mentions that Jackye was brought in the "charm up the interior."  I couldn't describe it any better.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Brunch 2017 | New Recipes

We had a nice Easter Sunday, spent just as a family of four.  Typically we host my parents for brunch, but they had theater tickets this year so we didn't see them till later in the day.  We were up early, 6:30 AM, thanks to Charlie and his excitement over his basket and egg hunt!    I kept brunch and the decor so simple this year.  I didn't even buy flowers, just trimmed some of the blooming branches from our garden. With Easter so late, everything is in full bloom.  I hadn't planned to take photos and blog about it either, but I tried a couple new recipes that were really easy and delicious, so I wanted to remember for future brunch celebrations! (and share them with you for yours!)

After brunch we went downtown and rented bikes and rode through Smale Park, over the Purple People's Bridge, through Newport, the Riverwalk and the historic district in Covington.   We even ran into the Easter Bunny! We came back over to Cincinnati via the Roebling Bridge  It was a glorious sunny day, with everything fresh and green and in bloom, the perfect time to give thanks for the Easter blessings in our lives.

^^little German and English ornaments from when I was little hang on the branches^^
^^always the first one ready and waiting for food!^^

Our Simple Brunch Menu

Asparagus Gruyere Tart (recipe below) - Jimmy LOVED this and it's so simple!!
Classic Deviled Eggs (recipe below)
Hashbrown Potatoes (from frozen)
Mixed Berries
Bacon + Sausages
Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze (Ina Garden, from Parties cookbook)
Vanilla Glazed Sugar Cookies (my recipe)

Asparagus Gruyere Tart
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (6 oz)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.  On a floured surface, roll puff pastry to 10x16 inches.  Place pastry on baking sheet.  With a sharp knife, lightly score a 1 inch border around the inside of pastry edge, making a rectangle.  Using fork, pierce dough every 1/2 inch.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove and sprinkle with cheese, then lay asparagus in a single layer on top. Brush all over with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Return to oven and bake until asparagus is tender, about 20 minutes.

The "Greatest" Deviled Eggs
Kosher salt
8 large eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons very finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons finely chopped drained pickle relish
2 tablespoons very finely chopped scallion
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons very finely chopped parsley, plus more for serving
2 dashes hot sauce (such as Tabasco), plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add eggs. Bring water to a simmer and cook eggs 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water; let sit until cool enough to handle. Peel.
Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, celery, relish, scallion, mustard, 2 tsp. parsley, and 2 dashes hot sauce in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Halve eggs lengthwise. Scoop yolks into mayonnaise mixture and place whites on a plate. Gently mash yolks into dressing; season with salt and pepper. Using 2 forks, fill egg halves with yolk mixture.
Top eggs with pepper and more parsley and serve with hot sauce.
Do Ahead: Eggs can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill egg whites and filling separately; fill just before serving.