Entertaining

Inspired: Golden Giving

Although it has never gone out of style, we’ve seen quite the increase in gold accents, decor, and themes over the past year.  We’re enchanted by the idea of this timeless favorite taking center stage for your Thanksgiving table. Pair it with whites, blacks and fresh shades of green for a sophisticated and modern setting.

1. Enchanted Ikat Table Runner | 2. Kraftware Ice Bucket | 3. Gold Wishbone
4. Shanna Murray Plates | 5. Gold Napkin Rings | 6. Gold Cutlery Set 
7. For floral we recommend sticking with creams, whites and greens. Pair some golden gourds with hypericum, lisianthus, roses or seeded eucalyptus and you’ll not only have a uniquely gorgeous Thanksgiving centerpiece, but a perfect conversation starter as well.

Giving Thanks

With good food, great company, and a festive table, Thanksgiving often tops the charts as one of the best holidays of the year. With only a week left until Turkey Day, how are you planning to make your dinner special and festive? Whether it’s colorful floral pieces and seasonal potpourri or simple pumpkins and lit candles, your beautifully roasted turkey and signature dressing deserve the last perfect touch.

Rely on your personal style to bring out your favorite Thanksgiving table design. From formal to modern to country chic, there are numerous ways to incorporate local farmer’s market flowers to make your table pop. Use bright sunflowers, wheat, and cattails to set the mood for a natural fall harvest. Got a set color scheme with your table cloths and napkins? Pair them with complementary roses and soft baby’s breath for a simple yet elegant floral centerpiece.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to dress up your table, lit candles will instantly warm up any room’s atmosphere. You can add luster on a budget, and you can maximize the impact by repeating or grouping elements. Instead of one huge centerpiece, complete the look by adding pieces in glass containers. Fill them with gorgeous cranberries, dark pinecones, fresh nuts or anything that will complement the other decorative elements you have in mind. Stagger them down your table and voila! In just a few minutes, your lonely candles will becomes pieces of art.

What kinds of decorative touches will you be adding this year?

 

Tea for Two

Mother’s Day is about honoring the matriarchs of our families and giving back a little something to the woman who never stops giving.  This Sunday, if your Mother prefers a more quiet atmosphere, give her a charming alternative to a busy brunch and set up a country-style tea for two.  The tranquil atmosphere of a breakfast over tea is a great way to show Mom your appreciation and create the perfect setting to share your memories from the past year while strengthening your special bond.

Images from top to bottom, left to right via This Ivy House, Reality & Whimsy, Flickr, Pleasure Blood, We Heart It, Particular Poetry.

A Flowery Finale: Homemade Floral Ice Cream

image via Kitchen Fervor

Picture this: you’re three courses in to a dinner party, one step from the finish line, and all eyes are on the host.  Apps have been devoured, salads have been swooned over, cocktails were a smash and your main course just prompted a standing ovation.  What better way to end the evening than with a cool treat straight from the garden: homemade floral ice cream.

While it’s possible to make ice cream entirely by hand (recipes can be found herehere, and here), you might want to consider investing in an inexpensive ice cream maker. Unlike the industrial machines you may have seen on the Food Network, these require slightly more effort than dropping an ingredient into a chute. Having said that, they are a fraction of the price, won’t occupy an entire corner of your kitchen, and are a thousand times more reliable and delicious than the hand-churned contraptions you may remember from your youth.  Modern options from Cuisinart and other brands can all be had for less than $100 online. Once you’ve secured a machine, and found a base ice cream recipe you like (most machines include these in the user manual, or a simple vanilla version can be found here), take a look at this guide to edible flowers and let your creativity be your muse.

Jasmine-Citrus sorbet?  2 scoops of Chicory-Rosemary ice cream with a sprinkle of candied Fennel on top?  Experiment until you have just the right combination–if it takes you a few tries to achieve perfection, there are worse things than a freezer full of ice cream.

More delicate and subtle than the usual bowl of melting Rocky Road, your creation is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.  The perfect finale to your warm-weather fête, and a suitable occasion for you to take a bow.

DIY Infused Vodka

Looking for new ways to incorporate the flavor of fruits, veggies, herbs, and even edible flowers into your favorite cocktails? Infused vodkas lend flavor to the spirit right out of the bottle, making straight vodka drinks more interesting and adding subtle undercurrents of taste to mixed beverages.

The Process:

Choose the type and amount of vodka you want to infuse. Select a brand that could be drinkable on its own but isn’t so expensive that you won’t feel comfortable experimenting–there’s no reason to pay extra for a premium brand when you’re about to change its basic flavor!  Any quantity of vodka will do, though you may want to start with a small amount on your first attempt, or when you’re trying a new or adventurous ingredient.

Choose your ingredient for infusion. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, berries: anything is possible. One Russian restaurant in New York City sells vodkas infused with tarragon, pepper, ginger, dill, oregano, and horseradish, in addition to more obvious infusions like cranberry, peach, and vanilla. Lavender, rosemary, thyme? Yes, please!

Seal your ingredient(s) with the vodka in an airtight container, refrigerate, and let sit. Sample periodically–when you’ve reached the right strength of flavor, remove the ingredients with a strainer, label the bottle, and you’re done!

Enjoy! Drink these vodkas straight, on the rocks or with soda water, or use them to form the basis of a superior cocktail (imagine a bloody mary made with horseradish vodka, or tea-infused vodka with sweet southern tea). The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Image via RealSimple.com

Floral Kitchen Accents

 

Living in a big city, the ideal kitchen is often hard to come by.  Luckily, there are beautiful accessories that can instantly infuse any space with color and charm. From hand-painted measuring cups to a pretty pitcher (that can hold anything from pink lemonade to fresh flowers), you’re sure to impress any guest with this selection of botanical-inspired wares.

Images clockwise from upper left: Painted Amaryllis Measuring CupsPainted Amaryllis Spoon RestOrange Floral American Chopper custom mixerIznik PitcherBlue Floral Cake StandFluted Flower Baking CupsOrange Flower Oven Mitt