I love an inviting tablescape. My goal, always, is to make guests feel comfortable sitting down at my table and staying a while. Moreover, I like them to feel comfortable moving things around the table and grabbing whatever it is they need...Read More
Entertaining is intimidating for a reason. It’s really difficult to feel like you need to be in two rooms at once, providing your guests with entertainment of some kind, all the while knowing that you have to serve them food that tastes good in a timely manner that didn’t completely stress you out to make. Entertaining is the scariest, though, when you try to tackle things that are far beyond the scope of what you’re (honestly) capable of. That’s why I think that the best trick is to serve something that you’ve already perfected and are proud of...Read More
...for my dear friend's 25th!Read More
In my tiny corner of the world, there’s not much better than a great Bloody Mary. And don’t get me wrong, I love the taste of one, but even more so, I love the Bloody Mary environment and culture, if you will (does that statement make me sound uncultured?).
The hours-long brunch with nothing else to do and nowhere else to be. The long pause and “hmmmmm” and “sure, why not” to the waitress when she sees that your glass is getting low. There’s just nothing else like it—a boozy brunch with friends or lovers or, hell, strangers even.Read More
...or a couples party.
Combining wine, cheese, and game night for the win on February 14th.Read More
In what feels like a constant “attempt” to eat healthier (using attempt lightly here because my efforts are limited, at best, most days), the one kind of lighter meal that never makes me feel like I’m skimping is soup. I love soup, and I love nearly every variety. But a spicy Mexican chicken soup with a la carte toppings? I’m in, every time.Read More
I couldn’t possibly talk about raspberry linzer torte without using the circumstances to exploit my mom in regards to what was one of the funniest experiences of our lives to date.
Linzer torte has been a specialty of my mom’s for a long, long time. It’s always been her go-to dish for any sort of festivity. I’ve seen her make it countless times, have eaten the leftover raw batter until I felt sick, and have heard people rave about it.
But all that aside, the best thing that linzer torte has given me is this one story.Read More
Punch is such a communal way to drink a cocktail. I love it! It's the ultimate party drink, and it has been since childhood days.
Looking back at chorus concerts and band concerts in 4th grade, the best part (probably for all involved) was the mini reception afterward that undoubtedly served either lemonade or punch the old school way—with sherbet in it. This remained true for birthday parties throughout childhood, as well as in college for my sorority's events: punch was always a no brainer.
And now in adulthood, the idea of punch has had a bit of a rebirth, especially due to the recent cocktail Renaissance that I've been closely exposed to through Jon. His bar/restaurant, Ox & Stone, serves "Punch with friends" which is quite literally a big punch bowl with customized spirits for the group of friends who orders it. It's my favorite way to imbibe at Ox!Read More
I feel like brunch is one of those meals that is supposed to be relaxed. It’s a Sunday morning, or even Christmas morning, and it’s cold and quiet and snowy outside, and I'm with my favorite people. In my mind’s eye, I see myself floating around effortlessly, sipping on a cup of coffee, chatting with my friends or family, and serving up a casual but delicious meal. But in my actual eye, I see myself juggling the timing of each dish, handling hot pans dripping with grease and making a mess everywhere I go, and trying to tackle the salty-sweet dilemma that everyone faces at breakfast time.
This dish is the answer to this real struggle—it’s the perfect meal to serve comfortably, unrushed, and still with that hint of decadence that brunch always begs for—i.e. it can rise to the Bloody Mary and mimosa occasion.
Oh and it also makes the best leftovers for lunch and dinner!Read More
The one thing about holidays that can be slightly more stressful than enjoyable: the splitting of family time. It’s a wonderful thing to have enough family members for this to even be an issue, but it can feel like an issue nonetheless. Christmas, although seemingly a more important holiday to many, is actually the less difficult one, I think, compared to Thanksgiving—given that it’s really a two-full-day celebration at minimum. Therefore, most people I know don’t have too much trouble splitting it someway between Christmas Eve day and night, as well as Christmas morning and night. However, Thanksgiving can feel like the trickier one due to its meal-centric nature. It’s hard to have an early meal at one location and then move to the next place to endure your food coma and not partake in that meal. It’s ok, of course, because company is still enjoyed, but there’s something about not being able to partake in the meal that just doesn’t feel right.
A good friend of mine (Hi Julia!) has a tradition in her family that I think is an absolutely brilliant alternative to splitting time...Read More
One of my favorite absurd games to play is the “no calorie” game. Here’s the game: if you could pick three foods that would magically become zero-calorie foods, what would you choose? The rules are flexible and pretty much anything goes—but you can’t say things like “sweets.” However, you can say “pizza” even though it consists of many different food items. Everyone I introduce to this game takes it very seriously—which makes sense because it’s really realistic/important/relevant/topical. Just kidding but for some reason everyone loves it. After 20 minutes of consideration and back and forth about contenders, it’s oddly depressing when you remember it’s not actually going to happen. But *~*dReAm BiG*~*Read More
Thanksgiving is about family, gratitude, and abundance, and the vehicle for that message is the meal. That is what inspired me to make this fresh, rustic, and simple tablescape. I wanted it to be subtle and beautiful, without an enormous flower centerpiece or other distractions. I think a Thanksgiving table should feel earthy, comforting, and really be about the people sitting at the table.Read More
I've talked with several of my friends about how we believe our twenties are a very tumultuous time, and not purely because of the stresses or the responsibilities or the pressures that are so commonly associated with other life stages. It's more that our twenties are proving to be a strange dichotomy of sorts. We constantly jockey between trying to figure out what we want to do and telling ourselves we have plenty of time to figure it out. We can be convinced we're still so young, and the next moment be convinced we are in full blown real-human-being adulthood. We feel pressure to find love and get engaged and have a picture-perfect wedding, but find temporary comfort in reading that statistically, people are getting married and having children older in life than ever before, in many cases due to career aspirations. We've experienced the freedom and independence that college provided, but we're learning that college was another kind of bubble all on its own. We're seeking stability just as often as we're running the other way from it. And we run the gamut of married with kids to going back to grad school and relocating after working for three years to suddenly single after a six year relationship to living for the weekends and struggling to find purpose at work.Read More
There are a few man-made sights in this world that are hard to beat. One of those is a crafted charcuterie board. It doesn’t matter whether it’s neat and simple, rustic and hodgepodge, or messy and thrown together, it’s a beautiful sight. It’s probably because a charcuterie board signifies my favorite way to eat food—slowly, in a group, sharing bites (and usually with wine). I know I’m not the first to profess what is important in a charcuterie plate, but these are a few simple things I like to consider when I’m making one.Read More
I had some best friends over for one of my very favorite things: a boozy brunch on a Saturday afternoon. I wanted to dress up the table to be a little bit special, but nothing too fancy or serious. This look seemed to come together on its own and had a French rustic farm-table feel.Read More