Tag Archives: southern food

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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HUSK

Charleston's newest popular resturant HUSK.

Talk about COMFORT FOOD. Husk is Charleston’s perfect combination of modern day sophistication and down-home goodness. The second you walk onto the double-front porch and feel the coziness of being home, it’s like the whole experience has you wrapped in a cashmere blanket. The board on the foyer wall lists all the local farms, fishermen, growers who supply your food. It feels like one big Southern family here with roots that extend for generations. On the drink menu they serve things like cider made from the same recipe as its creation 100 years ago  or house-made soda concoctions and old classics like Cheerwine Soda from Salisbury, NC, the old soft drink company still run by the same family. With a menu that changes twice daily, it’s so hard to decide what to order! As far as the classics on the menu go, I’m always a sucker for southern catfish, which is outstanding here, but word has it they are the best burger in town. So add it to your must-eats list and feel free to take me with you when you go….

PS- the pig ear lettuce wraps are DELICIOUS, the selection of Madeira wine is fantastic, and their pimento cheese crostini haunt my dreams…

Charleston's newest popular resturant HUSK. Charleston's newest popular resturant HUSK. Charleston's newest popular resturant HUSK. (more…)

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Grandma’s Potato Soup & Cornbread

For me this is the definition of comfort food, my grandma’s potato soup and cornbread. It’s a staple at her house and one I always request when I’m home in Texas. Nobody else makes this in my family because nobody makes it as good as Grandma. I’ve had 2 separate tutorials and one phone walk through of the recipe so I can get quick fixes in New York to hold me over until I’m back under her care. This past New Year’s Day I made the southern tradition of black eyed peas and cabbage (luck & money) and this very meal for love of family.

Golden Cornbread:

*My Grandma doesn’t use measurements so everything is “about”

1 cup of yellow corn meal

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

water

Mix all the ingredients together and stir with water “not too thin, not too thick”

Drop by the spoonful into hot oil. Sample with a quarter size amount first, might need salt. Using a fork flip them over once the underside is golden brown.

While trying to keep up and shoot her making this (she works FAST) she said very proudly “I used to do this with a baby on my hip.” There’s nothin’ like southern women.

Potato Soup:

3 potatoes

water

1/2 cup milk

1 Tablespoon flour

Salt

Pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut up, add to enough water to cover the potatoes. Boil until mushy. In the mean time add 1/2 cup of milk with 1TBS of flour and mix well. Once potatoes are mushy slowly add the milk and flour mixture. Turn off heat and add salt to taste. Serve with pepper for everyone to add how much they like. We always crumble a piece of cornbread into our soup and it’s MmMMm-mmm good.

Thanks Grandma!



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