Gatherings | Memorial Day Tabletop and Floral DIY

Friday, May 22, 2015

 I just started contributing to The Nest, and my first post is live this week! My favorite holiday is just around the corner, so I put together a Memorial Day tabletop and a simple floral DIY.

Anyone who knows me knows that for holiday tablescapes, I usually err on the side of simple & subtle. I am so very appreciative of the sacrifice of our veterans, and as Americans, we owe them so much. Memorial Day is one of my favorite holidays, because not only are we banding together and paying homage to this enormous sacrifice, it also marks the beginning of the season of outdoor entertaining. Parades filled with marching veterans and blaring sirens, the smell of barbecues throughout town, and flags rippling in the wind on porches. A time of remembrance and celebration!

I was researching the history of canning and preserving in the US, and while folks in the US did preserve summer’s bounty well before World War II, canning largely increased in popularity with the onset of the local food movement and promotion of Victory Gardens at the time of WWII. The National War Garden Commission sent out free booklets on gardening, canning, and drying, “Can All You Can” was plastered over colorful posters, and “food thrift” was considered “your patriotic gift.”

I collect vintage canning supplies and thought it would be interesting to incorporate these on my Memorial Day tabletop. I didn’t want to go all-out red, white, and blue, so I decided to mostly use blues and whites, letting the gorgeously weathered antique flag speak for itself.

Head on over to The Nest blog to get the floral DIY and read more about my inspiration for this table! 

A HUGE thank you to Alicia of Love Knot Photo for hanging out with me, putting up with 2 kids, shattered glass, and capturing these gorgeous photos! 

Have a blessed holiday weekend, friends!

Photos by Alicia at Love Knot Photo

Recipe | Welcome Summer with Perfectly Sweet Honeysuckle Soda

Thursday, May 21, 2015

 I took the girls on a walk Sunday evening and was pleasantly surprised to see some honeysuckle blooming down the street from our home. We don't have any growing on our property, and I've been tempted to stop on the side of the highway to snip some branches, but haven't given in to that urge yet. Honeysuckle only blooms for a short time, so I wanted to use the blossoms for something! I have fond memories - I was probably 5 or 6 - of asking my mom if we were allowed to cross the street to pick honeysuckle to taste its little drop of nectar. We'd bring back armfuls of branches, sit on the back steps, and spend hours picking off the flowers and licking our lips.

So when Joy and I were brainstorming what to make for this week's Monday Breakfast Series, I remembered these flowers spotted on my walk, and decided on honeysuckle cordial, from which we made honeysuckle soda!

Rowan, Joy's sweet intern, and I walked over and asked my neighbor if we could cut some branches and they willingly obliged. We brought back armfuls and then plucked out the blossoms. Then we made a simple honeysuckle syrup, and then added it to sparkling water. This makes the most delicately sweet summery drink, perfect for Memorial Day and all your summer celebrations!

1 1/2 cup honeysuckle flowers, lightly washed
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
sparkingling water
lime, optional

Heat water and sugar in a small pan until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then add honeysuckle flowers. The syrup will thicken as it cools. Allow flowers to "steep" for up to 24 hours (place in refrigerator if steeping for more than a few hours). Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. For every 10 oz. sparkling water, add 2-3 tbsp honeysuckle cordial (you can adjust this amount depending on how sweet you like your drinks). Add a spritz of fresh lime juice (optional) and serve with a honeysuckle flower garnish. Possibly add some vodka, and you have yourself a fancy, floral infused vodka tonic.

Photos by Joy Jaynes of Mornings Like These, Styling and Recipe by Rebecca Gallop for our Monday Breakfast Series

Mother's Day with Mornings Like These And A Recipe for Eggs en Cocotte

Friday, May 1, 2015

Last Monday I worked with Joy on a little feature, the Mornings Like These Guide to Mother's Day. We photographed it in my home (yay) like any other #mondaybreakfastseries, but included some of our favorite gift ideas for mom! I just love how it turned out.

I'm recently fascinated with French cooking, thanks to Mimi Thorisson's A Kitchen in France and Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. There's a rustic, simple complexity to French cooking, and I just want to move there and learn everything I can from an old French woman (like Babette). Until then, I have my cookbooks and the internet, and I'll teach myself what I can.

For our little Mother's Day breakfast, I made my favorite rosemary lemon cakes (which you'll get the recipe for next year, in an exciting new magazine) and also experimented with oeufs en cocotte (egg casserole). Throw in a few drinks, and you have a perfectly simple breakfast for the mama in your life.

I adapted a few recipes (thank you, Mimi Thorisson and The Kitchn) and came up with the following:

Eggs en Cocotte
make 2 servings

- 2 tbsp butter, plus some for coating ramekins
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch green onions, rinsed and chopped, using both green and white parts
- 1 pint shitaki mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup cream
- fresh thyme leaves for garnishing
- sliced & toasted baguette for dipping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare two ramekins by coating with butter and minced garlic.

Sauté mushrooms and onions in butter over medium heat. After a few minutes, add wine and chicken stock and cook down for about 5-8 minutes. Divide mushroom mixture into two oven-safe ramekins. Break an egg into each dish. Then pour 1/8 cup of cream into each.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes*. I prefer my egg a tad more well done, so would probably bake for at least 15 minutes, but keep an eye on the eggs and remove from oven when your desired firmness is achieved. Carefully remove from oven with an oven mitt. Sprinkle with thyme. Let cool for 5 minutes before digging in. Enjoy with a baguette and some coffee and a blood orange bellini.

*Some recipes call for a hot water bath - line a baking dish with a towel, place ramekins on towel, fill with boiling water to come partway up the side of the ramekin. I did not use this method, but I hear it helps with cooking (but not overcooking) the egg.

Creative Spaces Feature in DomiCile

Friday, April 24, 2015

A few weeks ago, we welcomed James into our home on a Saturday morning for some photo taking for a Creative Spaces feature in DomiCile. :) We so enjoyed our time with James, chatting, drinking coffee (of course), all while he casually snapped some photos and made us feel completely at home. Oh wait, we were at home. Thanks so much to Tiffani for including us in the Spring 2015 issue of DomiCile. And JAMES! I'm in love with the warmth and rawness of these photos, especially this last one of Zoe and me. <3 Thanks for so beautifully capturing our life at home!

Head over to the magazine to read all about my obsession with natural light, my kitchen and dining room tables, and all my props! And while you're at it, check out Joy's beautiful face and creative space!

Photos by James Jackson for DomiCile.

Recap | West Elm x Etsy Pop-Up Shop

Monday, April 20, 2015

Two weekends ago, I participated in the West Elm DC x Etsy pop-up shop at West Elm DC. It was such an honor to curate my favorite local Etsy sellers, and I had a blast meeting everyone! My sweet sister Mariah came along (and helped watch baby Naomi...she just curled up in a comfy chair and held the baby for a few hours) and my intern Rebekah took these wonderful photos (despite the less-than-optimal lighting). I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a part. I had some wonderful conversations with the Etsy sellers, and cannot wait to work with some of them again in the future! Here are some photo details:

1 // Me and Vivi from Like William Studio. Her abstract art is perfection.
2 // JOY[ce] visited and I was so happy to see her.
3 // My fave pie maker and most adorable blogger lady, Laicie.
4 // McIntosh & Burke makes the cutest animals.
5 // Friends looking adoringly at Naomi ;)
6 // Checking out the gorgeous Gray Dog Woodworks cutting boards...
7 // Ally and me...she's the lead stylist and community manager at WE, and I adore her :)
8 // Ayes Cold rocking it.
9 // Laicie and me.
10 // Kate Zaremba. Her patterns are brilliant!
11 // Obligatory cheesy photo by the sign. (Do you love my shoes as much as I do? They were a $7 thrift store find, and the next day I wore them in front of my friend Wendy and she asked if she gave them to me a few months earlier?! Turns out she had donated them to the thrift store and then I snagged 'em up real quick as soon as they put them on the shelf!)
12 // My sister Mariah and me! <3

Thanks for inviting me to be a part, West Elm!

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