Tag Archives: pinotgrigio

A Southern Holiday Party

Holiday party with Ecco Domani Merlot and Pinot Grigio

It feels like only a moment ago we were hosting last year’s holiday party for friends. My how fast a year comes and goes with so many new memories to stowaway in the vault. For this year’s get together in our new Upper West Side home I wanted to bring to life a piece of my past to make the meal even more personal and intimate by taking our friends on a culinary trip down south, to taste my southern roots and warm comfort food.

When I think about southern food I always think about BBQ and biscuits. A saucy slow cooked meat rolled in spices and balanced by the buttery softness of a warm biscuit. It’s sinful and wonderful and went beautifully with Ecco Domani’s full bodied Merlot. For the non-meat eating guests we offered southern catfish baked and served in my cast iron skillet my grandmother passed down to me which is seasoned with love, as I like to say, and a great compliment to Ecco Domani’s Pinot Grigio.

Of course, any time I host friends or family I like to start with a cheese plate for people to graze on while we finish preparing the meal. Following my simple rule I outlined in this post, I chose a wonderful soft goat cheese, aged gouda, manchego cheese to be accompanied by roasted almonds, apples and artisanal crackers. Wanting to start with a crisp and light wine, we opened Ecco Domani’s Pinot Grigio for the cheese course though it goes perfectly well with the Merlot too if you prefer.

In the end, no matter what you serve or what you wear, it’s about making memories with friends and loved ones, sharing stories, being at peace and above all, loving one another this holiday season. Cheers….

See below for entertaining tips and southern recipes created for this night by my friend Jared who is, as we call him, the cookie monster. Everything was served on handmade pottery (a wedding gift from my parents!) by Clayworks in the East Village and another very personal, homey touch to this intimate gathering.

Holiday party with Ecco Domani Merlot and Pinot Grigio

For last year’s holiday party we set individual photographs I had taken of each guest at their place setting to not only arrange the seating in a beautiful visual way but for each of the guests to take home a gift from the evening. This year I decided to create individual bouquets for each place setting that the guests could take home and enjoy for the days to come. Living in New York City this is a wonderfully easy way to play with your creativity. On 28th and 7th is the most fabulous flower market where you can find anything your heart desires. I love more than anything exploring in and out of these shops and creating my own story though flowers.

Above, setting the table in Maud Heline’s Arlanik white button up shirt dress made in Brooklyn  (ps- it’ has pockets!!) 

Holiday party with Ecco Domani Merlot and Pinot Grigio Holiday party with Ecco Domani Merlot and Pinot Grigio (more…)

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Romantic Beach Picnic

The perfect date night, a romantic summer picnic on the beach.

For our 2nd anniversary this past Monday I wanted to do something low key, but utterly romantic so I planned a surprise sunset beach picnic for Kevin. I tried to get as creative as possible and make every aspect of the picnic a walk down memory lane.

For starters, instead of a blanket, I used a rug we bought together from the flea market in Paris which gave the scene a more formal feeling. I then surrounded the rug with clusters of sandalwood incense we bought on our recent trip to Bali. Everywhere we went on the island, this beautiful and sexy smell drifted by our noses; now it reminds us of those unforgettable sunrises from only a moment ago. I made it personal with our monogrammed glass hurricanes lanterns flanking the view of the setting sky. I brought our go-to Pinot Grigio by one of our favorite studio clientsEcco Domani, which brings back such fun studio memories – one of our first shoots at our new place. Just as I was talking about yesterday with “upgrading the everyday”, we toasted another year of marriage with monogrammed stemless wine glasses, formal, lovely, and personal (plus much less likely to spill on a sandy beach setup!)

Kevin *loves* crab, so I asked my friend Molly when she was over for dinner for a crab salad recipe that would go well with the Pinot Grigio for our picnic (recipe below!). I also had lots of beautiful fresh finger foods from the farmer’s market such as morning radishes with a little pile of Maldon salt, a couple of flaky, yummy farm stand cheeses, the most beautiful petite blackberries, an avocado, salami for depth and to finish it off – grapes. So classic. And just so there were no pesky bugs around, I threw down some citronella candles in terra-cotta pots. To finish it off, I had our assistant Carly stop by and snap a few photos of us together, just like we did 2 years ago when we said “I do“.

We sat on the beach and sipped wine, took black and white photos of each other in an intimate dance we’ve been doing now for years, shared food, and watched the colors of the sky paint their way into darkness. Happy Anniversary to my husband, thank you for my beautiful anniversary gift (scroll down to see!) I’ll cherish forever which will remind me of this magical era of our life and cheers to forever, wherever that may take us.

Thank you again, Ecco Domani, for the memories…

  The perfect date night, a romantic summer picnic on the beach. The perfect date night, a romantic summer picnic on the beach. The perfect date night, a romantic summer picnic on the beach. The perfect date night, a romantic summer picnic on the beach. (more…)

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SUMMER DINNER PARTY

EccoSummerDinner_002
It’s the simple things in life that are the best. That statement has never been more true to me than now after traveling for a month solid. Though I saw unbelievable sights and experiences one could only dream of, I was so happy to just be home last weekend with my friends at a house we share out in Amagansett. I just wanted to get together, share a meal, catch up, and be in one place with faces I know and care about.

Summer entertaining is the best. Light that dances through the afternoon and illuminates the moments through a late, lazy evening that always ends with laying in the grass finishing the last sips of wine as another day closes and the possibilities of tomorrow have yet to begin. Beyond the golden glow, there is no market like a summer market. Fresh and ripe, bright and juicy dishes write themselves because the ingredients are so good, they don’t need much more than a little salt and pepper.

We’ve been working with Ecco Domani the past year, shooting their packaging, displays and marketing materials. They knew how much we had been traveling and sent us a case of red and white wine to welcome us back home. One of my favorite sayings of Ecco is “upgrading the everyday” so I based our little backyard summer dinner party around that idea. What could I do with this table that doesn’t require buying anything, just being creative with what we have already? I asked Diana, my friend and prop stylist for one of my favorite magazines, Kinfolk, if she had some easy entertaining ideas. She suggested taking sprigs from our gathered, seasonal flower arrangements as focal points, and simply placing them on a napkin that is draped long ways off the table cascading like a waterfall, dressing the place settings in a softer, organic way.

Once the table was set my friend Molly & I got to cooking. To pair with Ecco Domani’s Pinot Grigio, roasted cherry tomato and shrimp fettucine; for the Ecco Domani Merlot, grilled lamb chops with a light and gorgeous spring salad – all super simple, elegant, seasonal dishes because, like I said before… it’s the simplest things in life that are the best.

Here is to summer, friends, staying in and making memories with the ones you love.

EccoSummerDinner_003

Kevin’s Homemade Pasta

2 Eggs
1 cup of unbleached flour (to start)
salt

Mix the flour with the eggs in a bowl or wooden surface until the consistency is like a dough, adding flour as necessary. Add a big pinch of salt. Knead for a few minutes, adding a bit of flour if it gets too moist and sticky. From there, follow the instructions on your pasta machine.

When the pasta is finished I’ve learned to dust it with flour and toss, so the individual pieces don’t stick together while you make the rest!

EccoSummerDinner_004 EccoSummerDinner_005 (more…)



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