Wedding Wednesday: Signature Cocktails for Weddings

A fun new wedding trend that we have been noticing, is having signature cocktails for your reception.  At the most practical level,  it is a great way to keep your wedding budget manageable — instead of an open bar, you can simply offer wine, beer and a signature cocktail.

But a special cocktail can also add a personalized touch to a wedding. Is there a drink that you and your betrothed drank on your first date or while on a special vacation? Having that as a specialty cocktail at your wedding can celebrate those special memories and your history as a couple. If there is a particular fruit, wine, spirit or even beer associated with your hometown or region, those could be used to create a unique cocktail that ties in your heritage to your celebration. Or choose a drink that complements the menu at your reception, or even matches your color scheme — cocktails can come in every color! Some couples have two special drinks — one for the bride and the other for the groom. Are you planning a specialty cocktail for your wedding? Let us know. And try this refreshing strawberry- rosé-spritzer which is light and refreshing, and easy to make in big batches — perfect for weddings, showers or just an evening of entertaining at home.

1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 750-ml bottle rosé wine
2 cups seltzer
1/3 cup Campari
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine the strawberries and the wine in a large container or jug. Cover and chill for 3 hours let the fruit infuse the wine. After 3 hours, strain the mixture into a  pitcher, reserving some of the strawberries for garnish. Stir in the seltzer, Campari, and lemon juice. To serve, pour into ice-filled glasses, you can garnish with a lemon slice or twist and a few of the reserved strawberries.

 

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On The Road To Mississippi

file0001723502873This week I’m traveling to Mississippi for a few Meet The Artist events. I took my first trip to Mississippi  in 1998 or ’99  and fell fairly immediately in love with the people and way of life there. I love the traditions, the manners, the incredibly beautiful homes, and especially the meals! Of course the food, but also the way that a table is still set. All of those beautiful plates and serving pieces, both new and family heirlooms that are not kept locked away for special occasions, but are used for everyday. I love the way that people in the South live and decorate. They understand the real meaning of luxury so well…. that it’s not about showing off but that nice things allow you to better enrich and enjoy everyday life and they love to share it with family and friends daily. I’m looking forward to my visits this week!

On Wednesday October 22nd, I’ll be at Sassafras in Vicksburg, MS from 11am to 3pm, and on Thursday October 23rd, I’ll be at the Everyday Gourmet in Jackson, MS from 4pm-7pm. Hope to see you there!

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Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

IMG_2988Cauliflower is a vegetable that you see in stores year round, but it is a cool weather crop and is truly at it’s  tastiest in the Fall.  It’s a great vegetable to have at hand for quick dinners— the florets are filled with vitamins C and B6 — and it doesn’t wilt or or go bad in the crisper as quickly as other vegetables. It’s also very versatile. You can boil, steam, or mash it. It loves being buttered or coated in cheese. But one of our favorite — and healthiest — ways to prepare it is to simply roast it. When cauliflower is roasted it takes on a deep, creamy, caramelized flavor, without a lot of added fat. It also doesn’t take very long — just a half hour, unattended, in the oven and you have a delicious vegetable treat. This spicy roasted cauliflower is great as a side dish, as a base for a simple grilled fish or meat, or you can mix it into some whole wheat pasta for a healthful, and delicious dinner.

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  •  Freshly ground black pepper

Heat your oven to 425°F. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, spices, salt and pepper. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl, and pour the olive oil mixture over the top and mix to coat. Spread the florets on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Let cook for about 30 minutes — when it’s done the edges will be crispy and golden.

 

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Halloween Projects Blog Roundup

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Halloween is just two weeks away. Have you started planning your holiday decor and costumes yet? Halloween is one of the most popular decorating holidays in the U.S., second to only Christmas. If you are planning any DIY projects, this is the perfect weekend to get things started, so they are done in time for the big day.  Here’s a roundup of some decor, tabletop, costume ideas from some of our favorite bloggers.

OH JOY is making a funky pop-up table runner

PEPPER DESIGN BLOG has some beautiful marbled pumpkins —made with nail polish!

SAY YES is making some super cute marshmallow monsters

A BEAUTIFUL MESS is getting ready for trick-or-treating with homemade woodland creatures felt masks

SUGAR AND CLOTH has a unique Halloween floral centerpiece

THE MERRY THOUGHT is making an elegant menu pumpkin

THE KITCHN has a simple DIY skull garland

YOU ARE MY FAVE is making clever Halloween buckets

INSIDE & OUT has a Witches’ Brew Bar designed by SWEETS AND CELEBRATIONS

TIDY MOM designed some cool and elegant succulent pumpkin planters

HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS offers up some healthier Halloween treats

OH HAPPY DAY is making some  very cool cat & pumpkin masks made from paper plates

MER MAG has a cute duct tape bird costume

A SUBTLE REVELRY is making pumpkin party lanterns

 

 

 

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Great News From Seafood Watch

china-rockfishSeafood Watch is one of the best known and influential sustainable seafood advisory lists, and was a pioneer in involving consumers directly in the fight against ocean pollution and over-fishing by giving them the information they need to make smart choices when they purchase or order seafood.  The Seafood Watch list — and app —lets you know at a glance which seafood to buy or avoid, helping you to select items that are fished or farmed in ways that have less impact on the environment, and are not in danger.

It’s such a smart, effective program and we are happy to announce our  ongoing support of the Seafood Watch program from the sales of our collection of Seafood Watch pieces. Even better news is that the program is working! The latest recommendations released at the end of September mean that consumers now have lots more sustainable seafood options from the West Coast.

The new and updated recommendations for September 2014 include lots of species that are bouncing back from overfishing and/or are being fished or farmed more responsibly: cabezon, crab, dogfish, groundfish, grouper, grenadier, lingcod, lobster, Pacific cod, sablefish and skate.  Seafood stew anyone? All trawl and longline-caught rockfish have been upgraded from “Avoid” to either “Good Alternative” or “Best Choice.” Some major flatfish species—including Dover sole, English sole, Pacific sanddab and rex sole—have been upgraded from “Good Alternative” to “Best Choice.” And all groundfish caught in California, Oregon and Washington are now either a Seafood Watch “Good Alternative” or “Best Choice.” You can check out the what’s sustainable and what’s not here.

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