Tag Archives: food

Holiday Coffee Cocktails with Nespresso

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Tis the season, as they say. With all the up coming parties and family get togethers, I thought it would be fun to do a classic twist on the simple pleasure and ease of  Nespresso coffee as either a sweet delectable treat or seasonal cocktail to keep the party going. Whether it’s through holiday entertaining in good taste among family and friends or savoring a moment alone on the couch, these are great ways to be a stylish host without too much effort but maintaining the best quality. 

The new VertuoLine Evoluo Machine creates both a splendid cup of coffee or shot of espresso with Nespresso’s signature layer of naturally-formed crema. My friend Molly who is a food writer and stylist developed two holiday coffee cocktails based on these functions of our machine. Of course, it would be a great idea to gift an Evoluo for the holidays and break in the machine with a fun treat like these! 

Hot Mocha

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1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 teaspoons sugar

1 shot Nespresso espresso

handful marshmallows, to serve

dusting of white sparkling sugar & edible silver stars

to spike (optional)- add a shot of whiskey or bourbon

Heat the milk, cocoa and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat until steaming. Whisk to combine. Make a shot of Nespresso espresso in a large mug. Pour hot chocolate mixture over the espresso and top with marshmallows. Serve immediately. *Makes 1  Holiday_Coffee_Cocktail_Nespresso_03 (more…)

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ROE Caviar

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I recently entertained for the first time with caviar. Of course I’ve had caviar on many occasions at parties, but in very small amounts and without a story of what it is or where it came from. It’s funny, every time I think about caviar served at a party I remember the scene from “You’ve Got Mail” where Tom Hank’s character takes all the caviar garnish at a party during the middle of a quarrel with Meg Ryan.

I’ll be honest, I never really knew what all the fuss was about with caviar. Maybe I just never had good caviar? Or maybe it is the fact that I was raised in Texas, far from the glittering crowd that would appreciate such a delicacy, instead, as children, making fake “chocolate pies” in the mud with my brother.

When my friend introduced me to ROE Caviar, a sustainably farmed California caviar only available in November & December,  I decided it was time to focus and decide where I stand on this glossy little black wonder.

Well… now I know.

It’s heavenly. Salty, delicate, fresh, delightful… it’s like the joy of champagne in solid form. It was thrilling to try and even more delightful to serve. How shall I decide on a beautiful way to present it and what to serve it with! Our guests loved it. To my surprise, they loved it more than I even expected, and I think more than they expected as well.

One of our dinner guests is Swiss-German, something I like to call him when he begins to fix anything broken in your apartment or builds the perfect autumn fire, taught us to put a dab of caviar on your skin between your thumb and pointer finger and taste it off the flesh. Sounds weird at first but hey, I didn’t get to where I’m at in life by not trying new things. So I did and tasting the nuances of the caviar was pure luxury and experiencing the cold, wet texture of the caviar against the contrast of your skin and wetness of your mouth was frankly… sexy. I am thankful I do not have a drug habit but I am fearful I might have a caviar one which could possibly be worse!

So here’s to trying new things and sharing it among friends. Below is the recipe from our friend Jared (who also makes Salt Box Cookies) for homemade blinis we served alongside sour cream and chives for the perfect holiday hostess platter of my new love, caviar.

Caviar Blinis

1/4 cup potato starch

1/2 cup flour

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

1 tbsp melted butter, plus more for skillet

In mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In separate bowl, lightly whisk buttermilk, egg and melted butter.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and whisk batter.

Place a skillet over medium/low heat and brush with butter.  When skillet is hot, spoon scant tablespoons of batter on to the skillet about 2 inches apart.  Once pancakes rise and bottoms are golden brown, flip and brown the other side.

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Salt Box Cookies

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Living in New York you make friends with the most talented people in a variety of fields. Our friend Jared has a talent for making cookies. Those perfect, warm, soft, crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, addictive chocolate chip cookies that take you back to your childhood of sweet innocence. I will never say no to a fresh baked treat, but one of the reasons Jared’s is so good is that pinch of textured salt that balances the sugar. The last time he sent me a batch not only did I over-eat them for dessert, I had one for breakfast every day for five days. So that happened.

The cookies were in such demand that Jared decided to make it a business, Salt Box Cookies. The business of freshly baked cookies, handmade in Brooklyn using the highest quality, all-natural ingredients and delivered right away through Uber Rush in NYC or shipped overnight out of state. So now, it’s like being able to call up mom or dad and say, “Hey! Make me some cookies!” and just like that, a fresh batch arrives and the sugar rush commences.

Considering the holidays coming up, this is a really easy way to send a homemade gift to friends, family, work colleagues, or bring fresh baked cookies to a party that I promise will be a hit. Honestly, after you have Salt Box Cookies you can never by packaged store-bought again. 

… and hey, you might recognize the photography and cinemagraphs on SaltBoxCookies.com, we did it in exchange for a lifetime supply of cookies. I think we came out on top in this deal.

Now, who wants a treat?

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Le Bristol Hotel

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A child of the 90s I grew up with this fantasy of Paris I found in movies. The hotel suite that perfectly frames the Eiffel Tower in its windows, bouquets of flowers and white walled gardens where fluffy white cats come to lay in the sun before evenings in little chic black dresses and dinners where each course comes with a wine pairing. I found that glamorous Paris I so long ago dreamed about at Le Bristol Hotel.

I have been lucky enough to find myself in Paris quite often, and from time to time I can be caught in a daydream of what it would be like to live in this city that captures my soul. When I come to Paris I mostly just take my camera and walk. Walk for days. It never gets old to me, I never run out of things to photograph or be inspired by. Never, not even when I stayed in the most lovely apartment, have I desired to “stay in”… that is until I stayed at the Le Bristol. Already as I write this at Charles De Gaulle airport the memory of our suite feels more like lying half awake in a garden day dreaming all afternoon.

There is not a single detail of this hotel, which opened in 1925 in the heart of Paris’s fashion district, that isn’t wonderfully glamorous and idyllically French. From the dazzling array of chandeliers to the 18th century Toile de Jouy decor, it is unapologetically luxurious. It’s no wonder it attracts the stylish clientele to match from movie stars to entertainers and (to my pleasure) fashion photographers. It even had a place in Woody Allen’s movie Midnight in Paris.

During World War II the Hotel Le Bristol became the American Embassy and even harbored a Jewish architect who would later design the stunning glass and wrought-iron elevator I described as what it must feel like to travel inside a diamond

Of course they have a beautiful spa, wonderfully opulent bars and restaurants tucked here and there around the hotel corridors, but it was what we discovered on the 6th floor that really took our breath away. A pool designed in the likeness of a large sailboat as imagined by Professor Pinnau, who most notably designed the yachts for the Onassis family, wrapped in walls of windows with sweeping views of Paris and most beautifully, Sacre Coeur. While the pool was a popular spot in the afternoons, it was early in the morning alone with the sunrise I found it to be one of the most peaceful places in Paris.

But perhaps the most surprising feature of this incredible hotel are the two fluffy white cats that live amongst the marble and roses. There is nothing more charming than having afternoon tea in the hotel’s garden with company of a furry little friend at your feet.

90 years after her opening here she stands, a lovely as ever….

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