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THE PERFECT MAKE-AHEAD FALL SANGRIA tailgating, house parties, or just to have on hand!

‘Tis the season for fabulously fall cocktails. Warm toddies, things with whipped cream on them, and autumnal as hell sangria. Sangria gets the rep as a purely summer cocktail and I just don’t think that is true. I know wassail is (basically) the cold-weather version, but why can’t we carry Sangria into fall and give it a little cinnamon kick?

Well, we totally did and it’s absolutely delicious. This little recipe is perfect for tailgating, watch day parties, porch hangs, or just to have on hand. Make it on a Friday (hey, that’s today…what a coincidence) and serve it all weekend long. Look at that, it’s just as easy as ever! While not truly a 30-second cocktail as it needs to sit, it is still just as easy!

Happy cocktail-ing, my friends!
the perfect fall sangria recipe via lauren kelp

Okay, before we get into it, let’s talk about these amazing high ball glasses. I am a total sucker for a good cocktail glass & these Thug Life highball glasses from Easy Tiger totally fit the bill. A little mid-century, a little funky, a whole lotta fun. Plus, GOLD!

the perfect fall sangria recipe via lauren kelp

FALL SANGRIA WITH CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 pitcher
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1½ cups apple cider
  • ½ cup apple brandy
  • ¼ cup Cinnamon Simple Syrup
  • 2 soaked cinnamon sticks (from Cinnamon Simple Syrup)
  • 1 Fuji apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 small green pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ small pomegranate, seeded
  • ½ orange, thinly sliced and each sliced halved
Instructions
Cinnamon Simple Syrup:
  1. Combine the 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan, bringing it to a boil over high heat.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved (3 minutes)
  3. Transfer the syrup to a container with a lid, add the cinnamon sticks and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavor. Remove the cinnamon sticks and save to add to the sangria mixture
Sangria:
  1. In a large (fridge safe) container, combine the wine, apple cider, apple brand, cinnamon simple syrup, and thinly sliced fruit.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours
  3. Once ready, transfer to sangria glass (add in a handful of ice if you want) and add in the cinnamon sticks as a garnish

the perfect fall sangria recipe via lauren kelp


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RHUBARB ROSE MEZCAL MARGARITA the prettiest drink you ever did see

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Are y’all ready for the most stunning twist on the classic margarita? Swap out your tequila for mezcal & switch things up with rhubarb and rose & prepare to be sipping pretty poolside all season. This drink is out of this world & we can’t wait to make it our new staple! xoxo, LK

Hello, Camille here! Last spring I spent time in London and Paris with my best friend for a work and leisure trip. Eating at local classics and hotspots is also a favorite part of my travels as I come home with a lot of inspiration for new recipes to try at home. This trip was no exception! My food highlight of the trip was all the dishes and drinks featuring rhubarb, including a rhubarb mezcal margarita at Wahaca, a fun and colorful Mexican restaurant in London.
Rhubarb is in season from late spring through summer, making a rhubarb margarita a delicious spring cocktail to enjoy all season! I’m also loving adding floral flavors and edible flowers to just about anything I can right now. They are an easy and delicious addition to lots of recipes. Plus they look absolutely stunning! I added a touch of rosewater to the margarita to give an extra feminine and spring touch. This recipe is delicious without the rosewater for anyone that isn’t a fan of floral flavors.LB-9886

RHUBARB ROSE MEZCAL MARGARITA
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Rhubarb Simple Syrup
  • ¼ - ½ tsp Rosewater (optional)
  • 4 Large Limes
  • 4 Shots of Mezcal (1 to 1.5 oz per shot)
  • Dried rose petals (optional)
  • Coarse salt
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. Make rhubarb simple syrup in advance, allowing time for it to cool. I used
  2. this simple recipe
  3. and added some lemon zest (optional). The extra simple syrup is great on ice cream, yogurt, tea cake, or in sparkling water/seltzer.
  4. Rim glasses with coarse salt. Run a lime wedge along the rim of the glass first to help the salt stick!
  5. Juice the limes and add the fresh juice, mezcal, 4 ounces of rhubarb simple syrup, rosewater if you're using (if you're unsure if you like the flavor of rose, start with less and add more to taste), and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine and chill.
  6. Pour into 4 glasses. To dress up your drinks, add a lime wedge or my favorite, a sprinkle of dried rose petals (available at Whole Foods or usually any local grocery or specialty food shop that has dried lavender). Enjoy!

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recipe creation by Camille Wynn | photography by Lindsay Brown| styling by Alana Stipech

DOUBLE DUTCH BRAIDS from gym to the office

IMG_2742The argument for waking up a bit earlier to style and “do” my hair in the morning just has never been that compelling. Maybe because I prefer a bit for of a tousled look, or maybe just because I’ve never really known how to style my hair well, either way, I am always on the lookout for quick & easy hairstyles that will get me out the door on time and one that I don’t have to keep fixing all day.

We just started playing around with the Double Dutch Braids and I am obsessed. Remember that braided crown we did a while ago? Well, it’s the same braiding technique, but this time we are braiding straight down the back of your head instead of around. Basically, it’s half the work & you can do this on the train to work in the morning – yes, it really is that simple!

Perfect for the gym & adorable for work, we have a feeling this is going to be your favorite no muss, no fuss hairstyle this season. Still unsure about how to master the Double Dutch braids? We’ve called in one of our favorite stylists from StylistedChristina Gauthier – to show us how!

IMG_2639THE STEP BY STEP

1. Start with a clean part that extends all the way down your head. Cleanly separate the two sections and pigtail the left section on the side of your head.

2. On the right section, separate the top of your hair into three sections. Dutch braids are basically the inverse of a French braid, so instead of pulling the pieces of hair under one another, push them on top. Or, if it’s easier to think of it this way, start French braiding and then do the opposite. The right piece goes under the middle and then the left under the middle, while adding more hair from the root.

3. Work that pattern until you’ve reached the end of your hair & secure with an elastic tie. Un-pigtail the left section and repeat.

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Stylist: Christina Gauthier from Stylistedlauren and sylvia

PALOMA my favorite summer cocktail

IMG_2918Well, happy Friday, friends! I don’t know about you but I am ready for summer to make her grand entrance because these little beauties have been calling my name. Festive, delicious, and wildly easy to make, the Paloma has become a warm-weather staple in our house. I discovered this little babes when living in Austin and have happily brought them with me wherever we’ve moved.

For all my grapefruit lovers, this is for you. Love margs but hate the sugar? This is for you! Searching for the perfect “go-to” cocktail this summer – oh, yeah, this is absolutely for you! Give her a try & tell us what you think!

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INGREDIENTS:

– 1/2 cup Tequila
– 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods has some great ones!)
– 1/2 cup Topo Chico (if you can’t find that, use Club Soda)
– 1 tablespoon lime juice
– OPTIONAL: Salt or sugar for rim
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INGREDIENTS:

1. If you like a salted rim, go ahead and fill a shallow plate with salt, run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, & rim it with salt. I like my Paloma’s without salt, but it’s totally up to you!

2. Fill two glasses with a few ice cubes & add in your ingredients. Stir gently & serve, sip, repeat!

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lauren and sylvia

WATERMELON GRANITA the perfect warm weather dessert

IMG_5387Hello, hello! Things are finally starting to feel like summer is right around the corner over here in the Midwest, so we thought we would turn to an expert (and one of our favorite foodies), our latest food contributor Joanna Meyer (follow her insta, you’ll be inspired for days!) on the perfect warm weather dessert. A resident of Arizona, Joanna knows a thing or two about beating the heat & she also likes her recipes to be healthy & as plant based as possible. Hello, a dessert that won’t break the bikini diet, what could be better?! Check out Joanna’s first post & let us know what you think! xox, LK

IMG_5477Hello! Joanna here & I’m not sure how you spend spring, but in Arizona, it typically includes a lot of chilled foods. The hot weather has me craving light and refreshing treats, like this watermelon granita, right now. Infused with basil and lime, then slightly sweetened with blue agave, watermelon granita fools me into thinking I’m eating snow cones. Fortunately, it tastes as good as a snow cone from the local fair! IMG_5444

WATERMELON GRANITA
Recipe type: summer dessert
Serves: 12-14
 
Perfect for summer nights or to swap out for a healthy dessert, this Watermelon Granita is basically a must-have for ever summer occasion.
Ingredients
  • 4 large sprigs basil
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ large seedless watermelon, rind removed and cut into large cubes
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp blue agave syrup
Instructions
  1. Place the basil and water in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat for 2 minutes in the microwave. Allow the basil to continue steeping for 15 minutes in the water. Discard the basil thereafter.
  2. Add the basil-infused water to a blender, along with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer the watermelon mixture to a metal baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. Use a fork to scrape the mixture. Freeze for another hour and scrape again.
  4. Continue this process until all the liquid is frozen and the granita is made. Keep the granita frozen until ready to serve.

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HOST A SEAFOOD BOIL our go-to summer party

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Think you can’t pull off a backyard seafood boil? Think again! With warmer temps just around the corner, we are making the case for why a seafood boil should be your summer go-to party. They are big fun, low stress, and with a little extra prep work on the front end, your party will go off without a hitch!  What could be better than cooking outside, drinking great wine, and eating seafood right off the grill. Start saving those newspapers now, because we’ve got a party to throw! Are you ready for your 5 step prep? Let’s get started!

KJ0043STEP ONE: PRE-PARTY PREP

If you’ve ever been to a seafood boil, you know that paper napkins or plastic bibs just won’t cut it. Make a quick run to IKEA and grab a few bundles of dishtowels to serve instead. Your guests will thank you & they are just a few bucks per bundle and totally worth the trip.

Gather up the spices, trash bins, newspaper stack (to line the table, of course), and clear a prep spot in the backyard that is separate from your entertaining space. All the fun will take place on the big table, but it’s nice to have a little side table for extra bibs, spices, crackers, etc.

KJ0032STEP TWO: PREP THE FOOD

This is the fun part! Get your water up to a rolling boil and get ready for something delicious. For the most amazing seafood boil recipe hop on over here to see our friend Brendan’s insanely delicious concoction. Easy to make & even better to eat, I promise this is one to print out and tape to the fridge.

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STEP THREE: PREP THE TABLE

Line the tables with newspaper sheets (I like to do three or four layers because things can get a little messy), bring out big bowls for shells & cobs, and don’t forget the straws! Your guests’ hands will get messy when they are eating your delicious food, so get some tall glasses for water & give everyone a straw for easy sipping. Or, just save the water for the fishes & sip on some perfectly paired Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay. Just saying, I have yet to meet a better pairing then seafood & crisp white wine.

Encourage your guests to discard their shells into the big bowls down the center of the table. This is dual purpose – more room for eating & clean-up duty just became a lot easier! Melt some butter in smaller bowls & pepper those throughout the table, along with some extra spices, and hot sauce for dipping.

KJ0013STEP FOUR: SERVE IT UP!

One of the best parts of a seafood boil is getting to eat with your hands, so embrace the mess! Make sure every spot at the table has a bib (and make sure to get a few extra for the drop-by guest or extra clean-up) & put the crackers and tools within reach.

Serve your boil right on top of the newspaper & dig in! I like to leave a little dish of toothpicks out on the table to help pick up those bits of potato or sausage that are too hot to handle. Keep it casual & fun! Don’t have matching bowls for the shells or small containers for butter – who cares?! The best part of these parties is being outside with your best friends, drinking wine, & hanging out.

KJ0019STEP FIVE: CLEAN UP

It’s all basically done for  you, so don’t worry about it! Sit back, relax, drink an extra glass of wine, stuff yourself with delicious seafood, and have the best afternoon you could have hoped for. Have we convinced you to make seafood boils your summer go-to party? We sure hope so!

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Food by Brendan McCaskey

This post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.

 

SIMPLE BRAIDED UPSTYLE perfect for spring

image6.JPGHi friends! Breann here. Are you as excited about Spring finally being here as much as I am? There’s just something about the welcoming of warmer weather that has me itching for cold drinks, throwing the windows open, and enjoying meals on the porch. It also has me embracing loose, romantic hairstyles to accompany said outdoor meals that hopefully include candles and some slow John Mayer tunes. (Hint, hint husband!) This simple French braid upstyle is perfect for those second day curls that have fallen a bit loose and messy.
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STEP ONE:

Start with curled hair that’s been prepped with a texturizing spray, and tease just slightly at the back of the crown. Make sure to smooth the top.
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STEP TWO:

Begin a French braid just an inch or so south of where you teased the hair. Leave a few loose pieces surrounding your face for some soft framing.
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STEP THREE:

Tie off with a clear elastic, then gently pull the braided strands for the braid to appear more full.
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STEP FOUR:

Lastly, take the end of the braid and tuck it under to the nape of your neck. Secure with a few bobby pins as necessary, then finish off with a firm hold hairspray.

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CHOCOLATE WHISKEY CAKE

CHOCOLATE WHISKEY CAKEAre y’all ready for the most delicious thing your Monday has ever seen? It’s boozy, chocolatey, & perfect for literally every occasion. It’s our new favorite dessert, the Chocolate Whiskey Cake! One bite of this & your life will be changed forever! xoxo, LK


Hello there! Constance here. Confession: I definitely ate more than half of that cake pictured above. I’m not sure how it happened, but just beware, it’s sort of dangerous! Perfect for a birthday, celebration, “hooray we made it through Monday” party, or just because – no matter the occasion, this cake is perfect for a crowd and will please even the most dessert averse friends. Trust me when I say this, you are about to become everyone’s favorite baker. Bring this to your next dinner party & you could start a fan club. Not such a terrible thing to be known for fantastic whiskey cake, you know?

CHOCOLATE WHISKEY CAKEINGREDIENTS FOR CAKE:

-1.5 cups of dark chocolate chips
-1 cup water
-1/2 cup instant espresso
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-2 tsp baking powder
-2 cups of unsalted butter (4 sticks)
-6 large eggs
-3 cups sugar
-1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
-2 cups whiskey (we used Knob Creek)

INGREDIENTS FOR ICING:

-1/2 cup egg whites
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 1/2 cups butter (cubed, room temperature)
-1 tsp vanilla
-3 oz dark chocolate (melted and cooled)
-Ground cinnamon for dusting
-1/2 cup of dark sweet cherries

CHOCOLATE WHISKEY CAKECHOCOLATE WHISKEY CAKE

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CAKE:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 4 8-inch cake pans with coconut oil spray & in a medium sized saucepan, slowly melt the dark chocolate and set aside to cool.
2. Bring the water to a boil, add the espresso and cocoa powder and set aside to cool. Add the chocolate to the espresso/cocoa mixture, and whisk until evenly combined.
3. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and beat until combined.
4. Add the whiskey to the coffee/cocoa mix and then combine that mix with the batter. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter. Beat until evenly combined. Divide batter evenly amongst pans and bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
5. Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ICING:

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar until until the mixture becomes a meringue (approx. 10 minutes.) Slowly add the cubed butter and mix until smooth. Add the vanilla, melted chocolate and whip until smooth.
2. Frost cake and top with a light dusting of cinnamon and the sweet dark cherries.

CHOCOLATE WHISKEY CAKE


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THE MOST LOVELY SPRING LUNCH

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/kgeastertableWell, hi friends! Remember that home tour that you were in love with? Well, it’s back & it’s hosting the most beautiful spring lunch we ever did see. Say “hello” to one of our favorite lifestyle bloggers, Katelyn from Katalina Girl, as she shows us how to throw a lovely spring brunch using the items you already have! Prepare to get inspired. – xoxo, LK
katalina_2Hello! Katelyn here from Katalina Girl. There’s nothing like a little spring soirée after a cold winter of hibernating.  The flowers are officially blooming, the birds are chirping and the sun is shining. What better way to welcome this cheerful season than a springtime party? So grab some stationary or shoot your besties an email. It’s time to celebrate the sunshine!View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/kgeastertableThere’s nothing I love more than a sweet spring tablescape—the bright color palette, vintage décor, a rustic farm table (I made this one with Milk Paint), fresh greenery, beautiful blossoms and of course the crisp light from your kitchen windows. A new season doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to shop for new entertaining pieces.

I threw together a ton of items I already had to create the perfect blend of a mix-to-match table setting. I spent hardly any money on décor, just flowers, food and a few fresh serving ware pieces.

Most items are borrowed from Grandma’s kitchen while others are new from Anthropolgie. It’s the perfect mix of old and new. kataline_1If you don’t have access to your Grandmother’s kitchen I suggest searching for a few must-have entertaining items at Goodwill, flea markets and vintage stores.

 milk vases, jadeite plates or a cake stand, mason jars, patterned bowls, printed plates and tea cups, ornate drinking glasses and silverware.

You’d be surprised how much you’ll end up using those pieces year round. View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/kgeastertableNow whip up your favorite snacks, pop open the wine and give yourself an excuse for a girl’s night of fun.

Cheers to spring!View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/kgeastertable


Copy by Katelyn Cheek | Photography by Lauren Konrad

THE WHISKEY ROSE could anything be prettier?

IMG_3022It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Remember that song? Sorry for getting it stuck in your head but to make up for it how about a little inspiration to get through your last work day of the week?! Meet the cocktail that will make you love whiskey (if you don’t already). It’s the Whiskey Rose and we are in love. There is nothing rose flavored about the cocktail, it gets that name because of it’s color (it’s much more pink in person because of the grapefruit juice) and it’s just such a darling cocktail, we can’t help but feel ‘rose’ describes it’s adorable personality.

Made with our favorite whiskey, Michter’s, this lovely lady is smooth, refreshing, and perfect to celebrate the weekend! So make a quick stop to the store, round up some friends, and host a little post-work/pre-weekend happy hour – you won’t be disappointed! IMG_3048

INGREDIENTS:

– Michter’s Rye Whiskey
– 1 Grapefruit
– Spoonful of Honey
– San Pelligrino (or favorite sparkling water)

IMG_3050INSTURCTIONS:

1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle half of your grapefruit & add a spoonful of honey.

2. Pour in two jiggers of Michter’s Rye Whiskey, a handful of ice & slowly shake back & forth a few times.

3. Pour into two glasses, top off with ice, & garnish with rose petal.

4. Sip, serve, repeat!

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lauren and sylviaThis post was sponsored by Chatham Imports. We are obsessed with their products & they are a must-have for our bar carts. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make new content possible!