Monday, May 31, 2010

Red, White & Navy Blue Salute

image via Martha Stewart

image via Tory Burch
Though school is still in session in the Northeast, our friends in the South are out for summer vacation! And, today, you are probably wrapping up the long weekend wearing red, white and blue....I know I will be!

Whatever your summer plans are....and wherever you find yourself....I hope you find yourself in the vibe of the Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY. Check it out here! Trust's worth clicking just for the music!

And from my front yard to yours....let the fun begin! Happy Memorial Day!!!

xo, Elizabeth

Friday, May 28, 2010

Eddie Ross Makes a House Call ~ Part 2

Let's pick up where we left off!! OK....Eddie's in the kitchen, Jaithan is packaging up Etsy treasures for our friends....and we are all oohhhhing and ahhhhhing and eatttttttting!

Fig jam (Eddie says leave it in the jar) and a smattering of cheeses --- notice how he uses the wooden serving board --- the older the better.
With each round of demonstrations, the group would draw in closer and closer --- it was amazing to see this transpire. Eddie doesn't just entertain, he truly educates his audience.

Here, he just took mozzarella balls and mixed in with peppers and olives - into the scooped out bread bowl.
Eddie uses EVERYTHING - see how he used the cut off top of the cantaloupe to serve as a base --- it's just held together with a couple of toothpicks.

Eddie made his own herbed goat cheese by rolling it in finely chopped herbs - use whatever flavor speaks to you.
So, this is how Eddie does a cheese platter --- it's all about abundance. Layer it on!!! Another tip was to stick a fork in the cheese, as well as a knife. How many times have you been jiggling and jiggling to get a piece of cheese without lifting up the cheese?! And, the next time you're at a flea market, go ahead and grab those mismatched knives ---- and then use them on your cheese board.

Eddie preps the next dish by using white porcelain spoons for individual portions. Notice how the spoons pop against the dark wood tray and are accented once again with a small floral design.
For all of you Asian food lovers, this is a keeper. Ready for the recipe? Think you can handle it? All you need to do is call ahead to your favorite Asian restaurant and have them make up a tray of dumplings. How simple is that? Eddie suggests slicing them in half, for a more manageable bite.
Here he spoons warmed soy sauce directly on the dumplings.
Check out this next arrangement. You can do this out of your garden (or your neighbors, if you're friendly!). Hosta leaves....that's right....just hosta leaves and a single rose. And, yet, so glamorous!!
Once again, single serving dishes really make this little bite feel special. Eddie peeled and sliced the cucumber, used a flower shaped cookie cutter, then scooped out the center. Instead of boiling live lobsters (that could have made for an interesting party), Eddie used the lobster salad from Stew Leonard's. A little bit goes a long way, so even if you splurge on can stretch it out.

How gorgeous is that?!

With tips and tricks like these...we're all sure to look like a pro at our next party. Thank you, Eddie & Jaithan, for pulling back the curtain to your genuis & your generosity for just one afternoon. It was pure bliss!

Now, who agrees that Eddie needs to write a book?!
xo, Elizabeth

ps: If you can't make it out to Millerton for Eddie & Jaithan's Tag Sale.....just tag something on Etsy. No driving required! Wishing you and yours a very safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Baubles, Bubbles....and Books!

My Miu Mius and I joined stylish author, Colleen Mullaney, and the team from Serendipity at Peridot Fine Jewelry for an evening of book signing, bubbles and baubles. Colleen graciously signed a book for our Give Away winner, Jess! That will be coming your way soon!!

The drinks of the evening were the Love Hangover (my fav - because it's made with champagne) and Ruby Slippers, straight from the pages of Colleen's latest book, The Stylish Girl's Guide to Fabulous Cocktails.
Love Hangover

Colleen spoke about the importance of keeping things simple --- the flowers at the event were even cut from her garden. Gathering with friends isn't about the perfect's about welcoming them through the door. Clear things away, put out simple snacks, make a pitcher of drinks so you're not constantly re-filling and then put on the music. Colleen says that music is a "must have" accessory. 

Jamie Joseph rings

And, to take it completely over the top....Peridot Fine Jewelry owner, Dawn Hendricks, gave 15% off her beautiful baubles to all who were there!!!
I'll be sporting my new Elizabeth Showers (yes, daughter of Jan!) ring this summer!

Bets Miller, Colleen Mullaney & me

Whether you prefer your Louboutins or your Choos....there's a drink to match your style!

What cocktail will you be serving before SATC2 (tonight!!!) or over Memorial Day Weekend?
xo, Elizabeth

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jan Showers ~ Showering Us with Glamorous Inspiration and a Giveaway!

A fellow Dallasite, I have been a long time admirer of Jan Showers. I have tear sheets dating back years from Elle Decor, Southern Accents and any number of other shelter magazines. So, it was with great delight that I learned she was compiling some of her best work into a book, Glamorous Rooms.

In fact, I was so excited, that I asked my husband if we could spend part of our anniversary attending her book signing at Bergdorf Goodman's last fall. The man is a saint.....he said YES! So, that's how I got my signed copy of Jan's beautiful book!

me with Jan at Bergdorf Goodman, November 2009

Not feeling completely satisfied (even after reading a great interview about her in 1st Dibs), I asked Jan if she would share a couple of her favorite rooms (click the photos to enlarge) with us and some words of wisdom. Lucky for us....she said YES!

Pretty Pink Tulips: 
What is on your inspiration board right now?

Jan Showers:
My inspiration board has a wonderful page from the May issue of Vogue ---Grace Coddington and I were both dreaming about blues and greens!  I was doing a table for our show house at the new Ritz Tower in Dallas with lots of green, blue and turquoise glass.  I was thumbing through my new Vogue and saw that Grace had done something very similar.  Color drives everything I do, so I am incredibly inspired by a particular acid green that looks great with turquoise and blues.

Pretty Pink Tulips:
What was the first piece you ever designed? What prompted you to create it?

Jan Showers:
The first piece I ever designed was the Manhattan Table. It was designed because I am an avid reader of books and magazines and they would stack up beside my bed or on the floor around sofas and chairs. I wanted something handsome that would store them. The first one was without a drawer, but we had so many requests for a drawer (particularly if by a bed) that we added one to the Collection.
Manhattan Table

Pretty Pink Tulips:
What is your favorite piece in the new Collection and why?

Jan Showers:
My favorite piece in the new 2010 Collection is the Carlyle Console.  I was inspired by a wonderful piece I saw many years ago at Liz O'Brien's in New York. It stayed in my head all of these years ---I love it because it is inspired by very traditional English Regency pieces and yet is so new and fresh using the elements of Lucite, mirror with a luscious parchment finish (one of our two new finishes).  It would work beautifully in a dining room, living room or entry hall (as a matter of fact, I want one for my entry in Dallas).
Carlyle Console

Pretty Pink Tulips:
You have said that you take some of your design cues from movies ~ which movie would best describe your homes?

Jan Showers:
That would be almost impossible to say because both of my houses would be a combination of 50 different movies!! I can tell you some of my favorite movies from an interiors viewpoint...any movie from the 1940s, all Alfred Hitchcock movies, The Talented Mr. Ripley (love the outdoor areas where they always eat or have drinks al fresco --- that movie inspired us to buy our townhouse in Dallas because of it's amazing courtyard). I am really looking forward to the new Tilda Swinton movie, I Am Love because it features a fabulous house in Milan.

Pretty Pink Tulips:
What are the most important elements that every home should have?

Jan Showers:
The most important elements a home should have are:
  1. Comfort
  2. Wonderful colors
  3. Glamour
  4. Something completely unexpected
Pretty Pink Tulips:
Where do you recommend clients splurge versus save?

Jan Showers:
I recommend that clients splurge on buying the best furniture pieces and lamps that they can afford and tell clients to save on drapery fabric because there are so many wonderful ones that are not expensive.  I think people very often think they have to spend too much on both drapery and upholstery fabric --- not so.  I would rather have a fabulous French forties bergere and upholster it in something less expensive than to have a bad reproduction that will end up being thrown out or given away within a short period of time.  Buy the best and buy less --- remember the old Chinese saying --- "Buy the best and only cry once"!

Showering One of You with Jan's Inspiration!
And, if you want more of Jan's glamorous inspiration, become a follower and leave me a comment (by Friday at midnight) for a chance to win your own, personalized copy of Jan's book, Glamorous Rooms! I'll announce the winner next Tuesday!

Jan, you are as beautiful as your interiors! Thank you for showering us with your talents and so much more!

What's on your inspiration board right now?
xo, Elizabeth

P.S. Special, heartfelt thanks go out to Karen Wayman & Jennifer McLochlin 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eddie Ross Makes a House Call ~ Part 1

WHAT IF......Eddie Ross said he'd come do an "Easy Entertaining How To" with you and your friends? You'd say, ABSOLUTELY! Right? Well, that's exactly what happened last week. My friend, Linie and I invited some girl friends over to watch Eddie work his magic at a "Springtime Social & Tabletop Show".

Eddie & Jaithan brought their Etsy items to life by turning Linie's home into a mini Bergdorf Goodman. And lucky us.....we got to shop on the spot!!!

Come along and I'll show you what a fun day we had! And you'll learn the insider secrets that the caterers never tell you! Here's my friend, Linie and I before the party begins!

Linie's house was the perfect setting for a Springtime Soiree!

Here's Eddie doing some prep work in the kitchen....

...and here's the finished result! 

Step by step, Eddie showed us how to upgrade our crudite displays.

After blanching the asparagus, he keeps it overnight in the refrigerator wrapped in paper towels.  To make those darling squash and zucchini bundles, he uses a mandoline to get the super thin slices, then uses these decorative pics from Pearl River. Use glasses of varying heights to add interest.

Eddie's dip recipe:
  • 1/2 carton regular sour cream
  • 1/2 carton low fat sour cream
  • 1/3 bottle curry (any good Indian curry)
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a pinch.....he loves good 'ole Lipton Onion Soup Mix! Who knew???!!!

Next up ~ delicious goat cheese filled phyllo cups, topped with minced grilled vegetables. Eddie used the store bought phyllo cups, piped in a herbed goat cheese, topped with grilled vegetables from the grocery. ( He just finely chops them and trust me....they give it the perfect zest!) Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  Is your mouth watering yet?

It gets better....check out how he plates it up!
One lucite tray, 1 small marble container and 1 tiny flower frog.
Add, tiny greens....
...and a single bloom...

Add the savory tarts.....and it's complete!

How beautiful is that??!! As Eddie says...."we eat with our eyes."

Stop back this week to see what else Eddie "cooked up"!

What are you serving at your Spring or Summer parties?
xo, Elizabeth

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