Gift Idea

I recently found a wine store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan called Acker, Merrall & Condit. They have a really fantastic service called the Wine of the Month Club. Every month they pick a notable wine and deliver it to all members of the Club. People can buy 6 or 12 month memberships. Now, I'm sure you are thinking this is great for people who live in New York, but what about anyone else? Well, delivery is free in Manhattan, but available anywhere else in the country for a fee. So as far as I am concerned, this is the perfect gift that keeps on giving. - LG

*** Sorry for the brief/non-existent posts, by the way. Things are just crazy with the summer months. Farrell will be out for the first half of this week, and I'll be out the first half of next week. However, we will try to be back to a normal schedule soon!

Wedding Wednesday: The Daytime Wedding

Does anyone else read Park Avenue Peerage? I am embarrassed to admit that sometimes I do, despite my better judgement. A few months ago the site reported the daytime wedding of one of the "socialites." The boards went crazy over the fact that it was so sweet and old-fashioned of her to be married in the morning. This made me start thinking about the elusive daytime wedding and reception. Do these really happen anymore? When I googled the concept, I got a lot of hits regarding the proper attire for a daytime wedding, and all the advice along the lines of, "If you want to save money, consider a brunch or luncheon reception." However, even Martha Stewart was not helpful in terms of particulars. (The picture to the left is, however, from marthastewart.com. Click on it to go to the site and learn how to make bucket centerpieces). Are the weddings on Saturdays or Sundays? How long to they last? I imagine a brunch reception could be quite charming, especially in the spring. I picture lots of flowers, a champagne bar (of course) and some Bloody Mary's. But really, the food would have to be a buffet, so I wonder how much money would really be saved.

And so the question I pose to our readers is: Have you ever actually been to a daytime wedding? Was it fun? How, exactly, did the schedule work? - LG

The Alligator Pear

Avocados are my current food obsession. Farrell and I have both blogged about guacamole, but I thought I would give everyone some info about why you should be eating it.

People are turned off by avocados because of their high fat content. However, they are a great source of: Vitamin K, Fiber, Folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and monosaturated fat (that's the good kind of fat- it helps lower cholesteral.) In addition, avocados can help you absorb all of the good nutrition found in other fruits in vegetables. I won't bore you with the science of it, but suffice to say that adding avocado to salsa or a salad will make the those meals or snacks even more beneficial.

When you are finished eating your next avocado, click here to learn how to grow a snazzy plant from the leftover pit. Just be careful- avocado pits can be fatal to pets. - LG

LulaKate

I spent this past weekend on a bachelorette trip to Charleston, SC with seven lovely ladies. I didn’t have a clue what to expect in this cute Southern town, but I was NOT disappointed. Although it was hot as you-know-what (as Lauren warned me), Charleston was a great combination of Southern charm, history, fabulous restaurants, and shopping. One of our favorite discoveries was a charming little boutique on King Street, LulaKate. All seven members of our party, including myself, made various purchases at this delightful establishment, whose shabby-chic d├ęcor made the shopping experience even more inviting. We all found the Tulip and Zinnia style dresses to be very flattering on an array of figures, and look forward to seeing the Fall collection, which the salesgirl told us would be hitting the racks in about two weeks.
I am always on a search for some original designs in a sea of predictable clothing stores, so this find made the trip more than worth it!
flj

I Scream, You Scream....

We are not big ice cream eaters in our house – gasp – except for in the summer. However, I could be converted to year-round consumption because of this FABULOUS ice cream scoop that we received from our registry at Crate and Barrel.


The scoop is a great size, and the hidden bonus is that it is filled with a self-defrosting fluid that makes dishing up the ice cream a breeze. It will glide right through even the hardest quart of ice cream, producing perfect servings.
I will never go back to a regular ice cream scoop again!
fls

Wedding Wednesday: Sneak Peek

Our fabulous wedding photographers put together a little slideshow of their favorite shots from the wedding weekend. Seeing these makes me even more excited to get to see the whole batch later this week!
If you are interested, check it out with your sound on!
fls

Gooey Goodness

Our friend Lindsey, who doesn't normally like sweets, went somewhere recently and had these Rice Krispy treats. She says they are amazing, and thought they would be good for tailgating. - LG

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy)
1 small package chocolate chips
3 cups miniature marshmallows
4 cups Rice Krispies


Directions:
Melt butter/margarine, peanut butter and chocolate chips together, stirring constantly until smooth. (It is ok if the chocolate chips don't melt completely.) Let stand for a few minutes. Add marshmallows (DO NOT MELT) and Rice Krispies. Press lightly into 8' square pan and let set. Cut into Squares

*** Update: I made these tonight using a 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chips. The chocolate did melt all the way, and I think they would have been a little bit better if not melted all the way. If your chocolate is room temperature, I would take the peanut butter/butter mixture off the burner before adding the chocolate. Follow with the marchmallows and Rice Krispies.

Apologies all around...

I am not feeling very inspired tonight, so I think I'll just work on our blog colors. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

Additionally, I am in the process of packing up my apartment, so if anyone has suggestions about that, I would definitely welcome them.

There will be fun things later this week. Have a great night, everyone! - LG

Summer Sale

It's that time of year when stores are slashing prices on summer stock. Williams-Sonoma is no exception- they currently have some items discounted up to 50%. Below are my picks: the tried and true striped towels, and a cute toile apron. Click on the pictures to go straight to where they are being sold on the website. - LG


A Bite of the Big Apple

This weekend I went to Rosa Mexicano at Lincoln Center in New York. Apparently this used to be considered one of the better Mexican restaurants in Manhattan. Now it has opened locations in other cities and, subsequently, lost a bit of its appeal to the local restaurant snobs.

Regardless, I thought I would share two of the items I enjoyed with the idea that they might be replicated at home. The first was a Pom Margarita. I'm not sure what the deal is with the pomegranate. Is it currently trendy? Is it over? Was there just a big buzz and it never quite fulfilled its promise as the next big thing? Who knows. However, the Pom Margarita was excellent. I ordered mine without salt, and it was equal in tanginess to a traditional margarita. A recipe can be found here on the POM Wonderful website.

One selling point of Rosa Mexicano is that they make your guacamole on a cart next to your table, specifically for you. I generally enjoy a basic lime juice and garlic infused guacamole, but their version was a great alternative. The ingredients (all very finely chopped) were onions, hot peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, and another herb that I never identified. The addition of hot peppers was interesting and different, but I really liked it.

Happy snacking! - LG

Wedding Wednesday: Adults Only?

Normally, I am in strict opposition to small children attending or being involved in weddings, especially more formal, evening affairs. I have just witnessed too many disasters when they are in attendance, even the most well-behaved. I love kids, but they always end up either causing a scene during the ceremony, hanging from the bride’s “princess” gown all night, or putting on a show on the dance floor.
However, I was recently a guest at a Long Island wedding where they had, hands-down, the cutest tuxedo-clad ringbearer ever.

Please, enjoy.
fls
More and more lately we see party food presented in “interesting” vessels – taking standard hors d’ouevres and jazzing them up. Really, it is not about what you are serving, rather it is all about the presentation!
At a few of my recent work cocktail events, we have served hand-cut Belgian french fries in darling little paper cones, making it easy to handle the savory treat and a glass of wine while networking. While I probably wouldn’t serve fries at an in-home cocktail party (not because I don’t like them, but more because they just wouldn’t be as good), Martha Stewart recently featured these cute do-it-yourself paper cups as a new way to serve snacks to a group. They feature them with a summer fruit salad, but they could be used to single-serve almost any snack! Martha includes assembly instructions on her website, which could be easily customizable for any event color-palate.
Try them out!
fls

Wedding Wednesday: Richmond Edition

Happy Fourth of July to everyone! Here are some pictures from a wedding I recently attended in Richmond. The colors were purple and green, with gold and white accents. It was a great combination, especially in terms of the flowers. - LG

The Cake: The Favors (small boxes with chocolates inside):
Table Flowers (notice the sliced limes in the vases): Bridesmaids Flowers:

Cheers!



With the approaching holiday and the summer party season upon us, a good cocktail is always in order. I tried this below (from the Summer 2007 Martha Stewart Weddings issue) recently, and it was a great way to incorporate summer fruit into a refreshing drink. I am more of a vodka fan than gin lover, but this was great and summery!

Blackberry Gin Fizz
12 oz blackberries, plus extra for garnish
2 tbs superfine sugar
3 tbs fresh lime juice
6 oz gin
15 mint leaves, washed and torn, plus sprigs for garnish if desired
1 ½ cups seltzer

Puree berries and sugar in a food processor. Strain and discard seeds
Fill cocktail shaker with ice, 1/3 cup puree, 1 tbs lime juice, 2 oz gin, and 1/3 of mint leaves. Shake vigorously until cold. Pour into two 8 oz glasses** and add ¼ cup seltzer.
Repeat twice.
Garnish with berries and mint.
** I served mine in tall mojito-style glasses over ice.
Cheers!
fls


Sail Through Your Day

A friend recently directed me to the Nauti Gear by Ella Vickers website. All the products are made from sails that have actually been used on boats. The items are a bit pricey, but the information on the website indicates that everything is very durable. My favorite item is the tote below, but they also carry everything from dog beds to shower curtains. This struck me as a great option for the next time I try to shop for a man (always a daunting task) or any friend who loves being by the water. -LG