Wine Down Wednesday :: Black Swan

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Halloween is just around the corner and if you are like me and are planning some sort of Halloween party, you need a good drink to go along with the festivities. My party has a black and white theme, and I have found just the drink that will go perfectly.

Black Swan

1.5 oz Russian Standard Vodka (I’ve used rum too)

5 Blackberries

3 oz lemonade

Muddle four blackberries in the bottom of a tumbler. Add ice, vodka, and lemonade. Garnish with remaining blackberry.

 

Chic Lady :: How To Make A Good First Impression

October 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade, possibly the wrong era. I wish that more women held manners and etiquette in a higher regard. But, then again, a ladylike woman is bound to make a strong impression on any person she meets, because you don’t see that too often. Being un-ladylike exudes laziness which, honestly, can be the easier route at times. Holding up social graces will not only make you a better person, but will make the world that much more pleasant. It will also ensure you will be a desired presence whether it’s at work, a party, or finding that perfect man. Yes, I know some of the rules of etiquette have changed. Etiquette is always evolving. So what does it mean to be a chic, fabulous, lady in a modern world?

What You Say Does Matter

It is as simple as manners. Do you remember when you were taught to always say “please” “thank you” “thank you for having me.” When did we stop using those phrases? It is as easy as just saying “thank you” when a waiter refills you drink or a nice smile and nod when someone opens the door for you. The things you say and the way you say them is a direct reflection of your inner beauty. And, yes, it may take some practice.

Smiles

A smile is usually always infectious. Don’t you want the reputation of always having a smile or a nice demeanor? If someone asks “How are you?” Sometimes, it’s best to say, “Fine, or Great, thank you,” Even if you are not. Depending on if you are talking to an acquaintance or a best friend. Others will be drawn to you  and actually be happy to be around you.

Some Ways to Make Someone’s Day Even Better

*You look amazing!

*I thought about you the other day.

*I’m so happy to see you!

*I love your outfit!

Introductions

Sometimes it’s best to make the first move and introduce yourself first. When the other person gives you their name, go ahead and use it right away. By saying the name out loud, it will help you to remember it.

When introducing yourself to an elderly person, the formal way to use their name is with their title and surname, like “Mrs. Smith,” unless they say otherwise.

So, we’ve all been in a situation where we have forgotten a name. It’s best if you can discretely ask another person to remind you. If you can figure it out, then it is perfectly fine to apologize and then ask for their name again. Chances are, they’ve forgotten a name before too. If someone gets your name wrong, correct them and then make light of the situation.

If you have brought a guest with you, it is your responsibility to introduce them to others and bring out their similarities or likenesses.

It is always best to make the person you are talking to feel very comfortable and relaxed around you.

Tips On Overall Good Etiquette

*Always smile when greeting someone.

*Stand up when others enter the room.

*Don’t use cell phones during meals or text in company.

*Try not to leave the table during a meal.

*Drink a glass of water to match every glass of wine.

*Always write a thank you note when appropriate.

*Dress appropriately. Don’t show too much skin at formal events.

Fabulous Fall Fête

October 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

I can not wait to share with you all the fun details of the recent girls’ lunch that me and my mom hosted at The Plantation House! We wanted to just have a fun yummy lunch for our amazing and wonderfully creative friends. A little intimidating…yes.

We wanted to keep the base color scheme very simple with caramel and cream colors. That way the food and other little touches of color really popped out.

Each place setting had a Cymbidium orchid and an artichoke for the name cards beautifully done by Millie Skidmore

We used Bosc pears and honey crisp apples throughout our decor and meal

Apple-Pear Salad with Maple-Pecan bacon & Cranberry Vinaigrette

Oven-roasted cherry tomatoes for our pizza bar

Olive oil brushed flat bread

Sparkling autumn punch

Pizza bar complete with flat bread, basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, Canadian bacon, baby arugula, basil, and roasted cherry tomatoes. Food cards are held by the Bosc pears.

Everyone got to create their own pizza. So fun and yummy!

Of course, we had dessert. Angel food cake with caramel whipped cream.

A little apple pie on a stick. You know, for when everyone gets hungry again.

Beautiful, simple flowers done by Luanna Cole, The Plantation House

Thanks to all our fabulous friends for joining us for lunch and giving us a reason to throw a fun fall-inspired fête!

Apple-Pear Salad with Maple Bacon

Makes: 10 servings

8 thick bacon slices

1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

2 (5 oz.) packages gourmet salad greens

1 large Bartlett pear

1 large Honey Crisp apple

1 cup halved seedless red grapes

4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan. Dip bacon slices in syrup, allowing excess to drip off; press pecans onto both sides of bacon. Arrange bacon slices in a single layer on rack, and bake 20 minutes; turn bacon slices, and bake 5 to 10 more minutes or until browned and crisp. Remove from oven, and let stand 5 minutes. Cut bacon crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

2. Place salad greens on a serving platter. Cut pear and apple into thin slices; toss with salad greens. Top with grapes, cheese, and bacon.

3. Serve salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette.

Cranberry Vinaigrette

Makes: 2 cups

Whisk together 1 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce, 1 tsp. orange zest, 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup each balsamic vinegar and olive oil, 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar, 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a medium bowl until blended and smooth.

Click here for Sparkling Autumn Punch

Click here for Caramel Whipped Cream

Click here for Apple Pie on a Stick

Inspiration Boards :: Golden Age

October 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

What can I say about gold? It is just a classy color that is worthy of showcasing. I love gold because it can run through all seasons and it really accentuates the beauty and uniqueness in every time of year.

Snippet & Ink

Snippet & Ink

The Plantation House via Style Me Pretty

The Plantation House via Style Me Pretty

Wine Down Wednesday :: Sparkling Autumn Punch

October 19, 2011 § 3 Comments

I have to share with you this delicious and beautiful drink made two different ways. I found this lovely recipe in the old trusty Southern Living. Here’s what you need…

1 Bartlett pear

3 Small apples

3 Fresh plums, cut into wedges

1/2 cup cane syrup

2 (4-inch) rosemary sprigs

1 vanilla bean, split

1 (750-milliliter) bottle Chianti

1 (750-milliliter) bottle sparkling white wine, chilled

1. Cut pear lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices, cutting from stem end through the bottom.

2. Stir together the pear, apples, plums, and next 3 ingredients in a 3-qt glass container until fruit is coated. Gradually stir in Chianti. Cover and chill 8-24 hours.

3. Stir in sparkling white wine just before serving. Serve over ice. Garnish with rosemary, if desired.

Autumn Punch, Round Two:

I recently served this at a lunch, so I decided to make it non-alcoholic. It was a hit! Here’s my little variation…

1 Bartlett pear

3 small honey crisp apples

1/2 cup vanilla syrup (found in the coffee aisle)

1 bottle of cran-apple juice

1/2 bottle peach-pear Italian soda

1 bottle sparkling white grape juice

Rosemary sprigs (for garnish)

Fun, little trick: I made little cran-apple ice cubes so the punch wouldn’t get watered down!

1. Prepare as directed in the first recipe. Serves 12-16

Look at us, with our cute little autumn punch!

The tones of gray, pale turquoise, and pink will prevail. – Christian Dior

October 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I couldn’t agree more with the quote in my title. I always seem to gravitate to at least one or all three of those colors in any given season. Unless you live in a cave, you can see that color blocking is making a comeback in a big and bold way. It definitely has that cool vibe of the sixties and is very visually captivating.

I was flipping through my InStyle Magazine the other day and was stopped by this picture of Emma Stone.

I’m a red-head girl with a fair skin tone, so I wasn’t sure if I was captivated by seeing someone like me or if it was the dress. The more I thought, the more I fell in love with the dress. I found out it was from the Dior Resort 2012 Collection. I.Love.Dior.

So, of course, I head over to check out the collection and it is eye candy. The colors are so vibrant and the look is so simple, but refreshingly so. Every piece looks comfortable, flattering, and fresh.

Here were some others that caught my eye…

For more on this luscious Dior line, check out Vogue

Apple Pie On A Stick

October 17, 2011 § 2 Comments

Okay, this by NO means is a food blog, but I just had to share this yummy, wonderful, fall treat. And, in the spirit of parties, this treat makes a great dessert/take-home favor. I present to you, Apple Pie On A Stick.

Here’s what you need:

I used 8 Honey Crisp apples

A bag of caramels

4 Snickerdoodle cookies

1/4 cup chopped pecans

8 little tree branches

 

Since we always keep cookie dough on hand  at The Plantation House, I was able to make some snickerdoodle cookies pretty easily. I baked 4 cookies slightly longer than I normally do to get a good crumble.

Take your bag of caramels and microwave them as directed on the bag for caramel apples.

Take your small branches and place into the core of the apple on top.

Place a sheet of wax paper down and spray with cooking spray.

Crumble your cookies and pecans and place them in 2 separate bowls.

Dip apple in melted caramel, roll in cookie crumbles, roll in pecans, then sit on wax paper to dry.

Drying time takes about 10 minutes.

Package them up cute to give as gifts or party favors!

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