October 25, 2013

Trick or Treating Savories

It's not all about the candy!  Before the trick or treating, it's equally festive to have savory snacks to fuel the big night.  I teamed up with Jenni Kayne and Amy Blessing to make a pumpkin themed party with a menu perfect for a holiday gathering.  While my family tradition is chili on Halloween, it was fun to do a twist with pumpkin soup.  The kids carved out their pumpkins to use as bowls and then picked from an array of toppings: avocado, corn chips, pepitas & dried cranberries.  To compliment their soup, I made ghost toasts (with the kids placing currants for eyes) and pumpkin and almond butter tea sandwiches.  Nothing quite says fall like apples which were served in the forms of spiced cider and caramel covered.  It turns out, eating pumpkin soup is really just a transaction a child will make when promised the reward of the sweet caramel covered apples (my recipe, featuring maple syrup can be found here).  Amy and Jenni, both masters of making all things chic and beautiful, created pretty decorations to make the day special.  Check out all of my recipes and more photos of Amy and Jenni's festive table on Rip Plus Tan.  Happy Halloween!!

The Menu


spiced cider


apple slices

ghost toasts

almond butter & pumpkin butter tea sandwiches

pumpkin soup with 
cranberry, pepitas, corn chips & avocado


caramel apples

caramel corn 

October 11, 2013

Une belle fete pour une belle fille

This party makes me happy.  Throwing a birthday brunch for my dear friend Ahna truly reminded me what entertaining at home is all about.  First, it's about an occasion.  This was a chance to bring a great group of girls together to celebrate our amazing friend.  I focused on a few thoughtful touches to celebrate the guest of honor.  Because Ahna has turned us all on to incredible astrologers and healers, this was our chance to give back.  A few ladies pitched in to hire a tarot card reader to do readings for all of the guests throughout the party--super fun (not to mention a great conversation piece!).  And what a perfect opportunity to serve a few of her favorites: crepes complete, French pastries, and chocolate (all made in advance!!).  Because I kept the menu simple, I had time to play with flowers, which was enjoyable (rather than stressful!), as I wasn't trying to get a million things done.  The control freak in me let go and accepted help from good friends who brought the almond croissants (thanks Court!), helped set the table (thanks Jen!), and even assembled the hors d'oeuvres (Julianna you're the best!!).  Because I was relaxed, I felt present and really enjoyed myself amongst friends. As did the rest of the girls.  It's not about fuss or getting it all right, it's about bringing people together.  Thanks Ahna for being a wonderful and inspiring reason to throw a fete.

The Menu


pink champagne


brillat-savarin, grapes, persimmon, fig jam & baguette

gravlax, creme fraiche & dill on toast points

To Share

ham & cheese crepes with bechamel & chives

stirred eggs with chanterelles & herbs

grapefruit, fennel & avocado

bibb lettuce with shallots & champagne vinaigrette

almond croissants, chocolate hazelnut spread & raspberry currant jam


flourless chocolate birthday cake with whipped cream

cafe au lait