Tuesday, July 24, 2012

bridal shower inspiration

I have two bridal showers in the next two weeks, one here in Savannah, and one at my parent's house in NY. I'm totally looking forward to both, and even though I'm not throwing them myself, I can't help looking at pretty photos of decorations, food, & drinks. I think for bridal showers {at least my showers} the more girly, glittery, and pink, the better.

Monday, July 23, 2012

weekend recap {husk}

We were about five minutes out of downtown Charleston when Jacob turned to me and said "I'm disappointed," and I had to agree with him. Let me preface this by saying our meal was good, everything was cooked correctly, the restaurant was beautiful, the cocktails and wine lists were exceptional, and the cured Virginia ham, sliced right off the leg while sitting at the Husk bar was the most exciting part of my meal. I'm going to attempt to explain the hour long rant the two of us went on while driving back from dinner. Before I go off on a couple of tangents, I do want to say that I think Sean Brock is an amazing chef, and I haven't tried McCrady's, but I still really want to, and I suspect it's a little more experimental than Husk. It may give me a different view on Brock and the meal I had on Saturday, but I can only speak to what I've experienced, so here we go.

A couple of weeks ago I was reading the July issue of Food & Wine, and I came across an article by Katherine Wheelock about how seasonal cooking may be overrated. I remember thinking, "how can this be?" This is the idea that we have all be striving towards, using fresh, seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, and cooking them correctly. This idea is great when at home, it's great when going to lunch or dinner on a Tuesday night. However, if you're going to create this kind of menu, and expect people to pay $200+ a meal, I expect something spectacular, I expect a revelation.

I've had this before while eating at "farm to table" restaurants. California restaurants, particularly Thomas Keller, executes this theme arguably better than anyone else. When we first ate at Ad Hoc, the creamed corn dish was one of the best things I had EVER eaten, and he did that by adding lime and cayenne pepper, that's it. He took a beyond amazing ingredient and not only cooked it amazingly, but put a twist on it, and that's the point. I can go to the farmer's market and purchase green tomatoes, green beans, and peaches. I can cook them exactly the same way I had them at Husk {and my fried green tomatoes are better... just saying}, I can spend $30 and make that same meal. As a customer, I expect more, especially when I have an issue of Bon Appetit telling me that this is the best restaurant in the South, if not the country right now.

And that brings me to my next point, southern food. It's an amazing style of food, one I look at with a love of it's tradition and with excitement for its future. I'm loving people like Hugh Acheson and David Chang even, who seem to be taking what we all love about southern food {and no i'm not talking about butter and salt, but on that note, thanks Paula Deen for essentially ruining the way southern food is looked at around the world, and thanks to the infinitely better chefs who are bringing good food back to the south, without gimmicks and without the need to make southerners seem like country bumpkins, but I digress} and elevating it to something different. Taking sweetbreads and leeks and mixing it with an asian inspired sauce creating a "kung pow chicken" like dish, which is something I have gotten at Two Boroughs Larder in Charleston, it was different and delicious, while maintaining southern flavors.

That's all I'm asking , I love that you're using farm fresh foods, I really do, but you're chefs. You should be striving to show me your skill, to push the boundaries of ingredients, of cooking styles, not putting a fresh ingredient on a plate, without doing anything to it, and charging me $30 for that plate. Do something, show me something new, please, I'm begging you. Make me excited to go out and spend an entire day's pay on your food, I want to come away from it praising you, and thinking that I just had the meal of my life, and that, as the diner, I was able to understand your thought process, and creativity.

I want to conclude this rant by saying again, our meal was good, not great. Would I try the restaurant again? Yes, probably, I think I would give it another try, however, every other year for Jacob's birthday we have gone to F.I.G., with all the hype around Husk, I expected it to be blown out of the water, but I can honestly say that every single dish I have ever had at Fig was better than any dish I had at Husk. The crispy pork trotters and coddled egg we had last year at dinner, were revelations, they were dishes I will always talk about and remember, and I think that's what dining out is about. Something different, something exciting, and something memorable. That's not too much to ask, right?

Friday, July 20, 2012

have a loved filled weekend.

I'm incredibly sad and angry about today's events in Colorado, as I'm sure all of you are. The thought of how scared those people must have been and the chaos inside that theater is something I simply can't get out of my head. The other thing I can't get out of my head, is the fact that this could happen anywhere. So that said, I encourage everyone to give extra hugs to all your loved ones this weekend, and keep all of the victims and their families in your hearts.

On a much lighter note, this weekend is Jacob's birthday, so we're headed to Charleston for our traditional birthday festivities. Dinner, however, will be something new. We're going to Husk, and I couldn't be more excited. We've wanted to go for a while now, so I'm hoping it lives up to the hype. I'll be sure to let you know how it all goes.

Meanwhile around the web:
1. My excitement for the Olympics is matched only by my excitement for Shark Week, so I was pretty excited to see these.
2. Beautiful Missouri wedding, with a lot of similar elements to ours.
3. 30 questions for your spouse.. you may learn something new.
4. Clearly Game of Thrones was used as inspiration for these.
5. This beautiful blog.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

wedding wednesdays {party dresses}

Obviously when you think of a wedding, you think of getting your gown, your bridesmaids dresses, your shoes, your veil, ect. You don't necessarily think about all the dresses you'll need for different events leading up to the big one. Next week is kind of the beginning of all the festivities. My bridal shower in Savannah kicks it off, the next week there's one in NY, complete with a little bachelorette party. So dresses are a must for all, and then of course there's the bridal luncheon, and rehearsal dinner that will require fancy clothes as well. Not that I'm complaining, I mean who would complain about getting fun new party clothes?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

in need of...

{the marketplace day bag, madewell}

{the leather transport bag, madewell}

{the original flea, fleabgs}

{waxon purse, j.crew}

I am in dire need of a new handbag... actually a couple new ones. I'm loving all the crossbody styles at the moment, as well as rustic brown leather satchels, and small purses with big pops of color. My black leather tano bag has seen better days. I have a tendency to wear things out before purchasing something new, and it's definitely time.

Friday, July 13, 2012

have a fantastic weekend.

Things have been very busy lately. We're getting into the last couple of months before the wedding, work, and freelance have been picking up... but I'm trying to make a little bit of time for myself. Beach visits have been more frequent and bottles of rose have been disappearing. This weekend I'm planning on getting a lot done for my bridal shower and doing a little bit of baking. I hope yours is great! 

Meanwhile, around the web: 
1. Healthy smoothies, that mint one looks amazing. 
2. Homemint, a great idea! 
3. Matching cocktails and florals
4. Wes Anderson themed engagement photos... one of those "why didn't i think of that!" ideas. 
5. I NEED THIS. I"m borderline obsessed with all things Olympics, and to have a personalized polo would literally make my year. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

wedding wednesdays {dessert tables}

I'm not going to lie, when Jacob and I first got engaged, one of the first things I got excited about was the dessert table. I'm sure it's no surprise that the sweets table was one of my biggest concerns, I mean, I'm a dessert girl. Also, the table can be really fun and personal to the couple getting married. We're doing a lot of different desserts, and we've been collecting fun decorations for it to make the table personal to us. I can't wait to see it... and eat everything on it! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

cupcakes and cashmere book

{cupcakes and cashmere}

I'm so excited this book is finally available! I've been a huge fan of Emily Schuman's Cupcakes and Cashmere blog for a while, and I can't wait to pick up her new book. It's filled with style, design, and cooking tips. I think I'm going to need to sit down with a glass of Rose and read this cover to cover.

Monday, July 9, 2012

sunday sweets {grilled peach ice cream}

Last week my parents were in town visiting. We were able to get a ton of stuff done for the wedding, but on Sunday we decide to relax, smoke some pork, and drink delicious cocktails. We found some amazing looking Georgia peaches at the farmer's market, and with the heat, I was seriously craving ice cream. I was just going to cut them up and throw them in, but since we had the grill going, we threw them on and grilled peach ice cream was born. 

This was amazing. Seriously. I've been absolutely craving all things peach lately, sangria, candles, peachy pinks, and peach mint juleps, I can't get enough. So this hit the spot. My only complaint is I wish we had made two batches. 

3 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
8 egg yolks 
1 1/4 cup sugar 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/2 cup peach preserves
4 ripe, peeled, grilled peaches {cut the peaches in half and dip one side in sugar}


Place the half-and-half and the heavy cream into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about a third of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Add the peach preserves. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour mixture into a freezer bag, and place in an ice water bath until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.
Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions. When the ice cream begins to thicken, add about half of the peaches to the mixture. Continue mixing for 25 to 35 minutes.  Once finished, add the rest of the peaches and stir. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.


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