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Archive for the ‘Entertaining’ Category

 Usually, when times get stressful, I like to invite friends and family over and enjoy food and conversation. However, in light of recent events, this is now sadly, not possible. It’s difficult to know how to navigate through these uncertain times. How do we comfort our family, as well as ourselves? How do we try and make our lives as “normal” and enjoyable as possible? Besides work and daily chores, I’m finding comfort in gardening and spending a nice amount of time cooking. Yesterday, I decided to try out a recipe I’ve had forever but never attempted. In the end it turned out to be super easy and delicious — the perfect afternoon distraction.

The apples cooking in butter

Adding the batter to the apples

BIG APPLE PANCAKE

Active time: 15 min    Start to finish: 30 min

1/2 stick unsalted butter

*1 large sweet apple such as Gala or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-wide wedges

1/2 cup of whole milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

Confectioners sugar for dusting

Special equipment: a well-seasoned 10 to 11-inch heavy cast-iron skillet or other ovenproof skillet

Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450F

Melt butter in skillet over moderate heat, then transfer 2 tablespoons to a blender. Add apple wedges to skillet and cook, turning over once, until beginning to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

While apple is cooking, add milk, flour, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt to butter in blender and blend until smooth.

Pour batter over apple and transfer skillet to oven. Bake until pancake is puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve immediately.

*Note: I used fuji apples because that’s what I had and it was perfect. So use whatever apple you can get your hands on, and if they aren’t super sweet then you can add a little more sugar if you’d like.

Recipe via Gourmet Magazine

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HOMEMADE PESTO

Happy Sunday! Today, I’m making homemade pesto because as the holidays get busier, it’s something I can grab from the fridge and easily put together. Add to your favorite pasta and you have a wonderful homemade meal in minutes. The recipe, so super simple, is below.

I also love using pesto with Caprese salad. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top for more moisture. Also, excellent on sandwiches.

THE RECIPE 

3 cups (packed) basil leaves

4 gloves garlic

1/4c pine nuts

1/4c walnuts

1c parmesan cheese

1/2c olive oil + a little more

salt

I just throw it all in a food processor and pulse until it reaches the consistency I like. This recipe serves four.

Enjoy!

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I absolutely love the holidays, and today I’m sharing how to put together a very easy and elegant holiday table. First, I throw out all the rules. If you don’t want to get bogged down with the formalities keep reading. This is the perfect foundation table for any occasion. You can make it more or less formal. It’s totally up to you. Below are my basics.

START WITH THE PLACE SETTING

Very basic for some, table setting 101 includes placemat, plate, napkin, done.

placemat // plate // napkin

 For a more formal look, you can add a beautiful tablecloth, formal charger and napkin ring.

THE CENTERPIECE

Candles are the best way to bring elegance to the table. For this table setting, I kept it extremely simple. I purchased a wreath at World Market, and added three pillars in various sizes in the center. The addition of a charger underneath helps protect the table from dripping wax.

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A COUPLE MORE IDEAS…

From this table setting you can add more or less. More candles, more vases with flowers or greenery. For Christmas, I like to add a fresh sprig of holly or juniper to each napkin. If I don’t have time to go out and purchase, I just take clippings from my Christmas tree.

If you are more of a “rules follower,” here’s a diagram from Wayfair just for you.

Most important, have fun & enjoy! Happy Holidays!

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Last week my good friend and fellow designer, Lisa Woolley, and I hosted a garden party in the courtyard of her San Antonio home. We had just completed the exterior of her home and thought there’s no better way to celebrate than to host an intimate get-together in her newly designed garden.

With the holidays around the corner, the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing super easy tips for decorating and entertaining during the season.

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Happy Thursday! With the weather warmer and evenings longer, it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy dining outdoors. Below, are my 5 favorite dinning situations.

Placing your table under a pergola, or under a tree, creates a dining-like setting and gives it a more intimate feel.

via Gardenites

And, if you don’t have a tree or pergola, place your table next to a wall. This can still create a room-like atmosphere.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS…

…AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM MY FAMILY TO YOURS!

XOXO,

~Shannon

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Sunday Inspiration for your outdoor entertaining area from Club 55.

GET THE LOOK

 

 

Happy Sunday!

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When my girlfriends and I were in Laguna Beach a couple of weeks ago, we thought the idea of spending an entire day cooking a big meal, sipping wine and listening to good music sounded like an excellent way to spend a Saturday. So this past weekend we decided to try it out by inviting family & friends to help prepare an Italian feast.

The Menu:

Cheese & meat platter

Ravioli with sausage filling

Sausage Carbonara 

Caprese salad

Mix green salad

Grilled zucchini

Tuscan steak

Limoncello Cake

Even though my house wasn’t perfect, and I should have spent half the day doing laundry, I’m glad I decided not pay attention to any of that and just enjoy an afternoon with family, friends and really good food. Cheers to taking more time out of our daily duties to enjoy long meals with family & friends!

Happy Thursday!

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Enjoying a beautiful meal on the patio is something many of us love to do and with the weather finally cooling down, especially here in Southern California, I’m looking forward to spending more of my evenings outside. A photo that has been a big inspiration to me, for this very purpose, is the one below from House Beautiful.

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 11.17.30 AM

Get the Look!

  1. Wooden Bowl
  2. Verona Ivory Flatware
  3. Pillow
  4. Outdoor Table
  5. Chandelier
  6. Tablecloth 
  7. Glassware 
  8. Candle Holders
  9. Mirror

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Serena&Lily

With summer upon us many of us are looking for ways to freshen up our patios and make them even more enjoyable! I love all the blues in the photo above — perfect for a summer evening of entertaining.

How to get the look!

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 1.10.20 PM

Outdoor Hampstead Painted Sofa from Pottery Barn around $1,400.00

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 1.17.00 PM

Hampstead Painted Rectangular Coffee Table from Pottery Barn $305.00

Alderon+Arm+Chair+with+Cushion+%28Set+of+2%29

Alderman Arm Chair from Wayfair $300.00

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 1.25.11 PM

Lido Stripe Rug (9’ x 12’) from Serena & Lily, $995.00

+ all the wonderful accessories…

 The beautiful accessories listed above are from Serena & Lily.

In order to replicate the look of our inspiration photo, everything added up to around $5,000.00.

For those looking to save a little, I’ve included a couple of different options below.

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 10.28.56 AM

One more tip for freshening up your patio is to add a couple of fresh potted plants. They’re inexpensive and can be easily replaced if they go south. Happy Decorating!

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