Posts

BLUE BIRD BRUNCH plus a Le Creuset giveaway

Is there anything better than a warm weather brunch? The sun is out, every one is in a good mood, the champagne is flowing – it’s just magic all around. As you know, I love any (and all) excuses to throw a get together and hosting a brunch around a fabulous new serving dish is right up my alley. This weekend it was all about this gorgeous new Fleur Cocotte from Le Creuset.

Normally, I am very minimal and utilitarian about my dishes, but there is something about the embossed flowers on the lid and base of the cocotte that I couldn’t resist. Plus, it has a lovely matte finish that makes me feel all sexy and European when I am cooking.

IN FACT, I love it so much we are going to GIVE ONE AWAY!! Hop on over to @Lauren_Kelp and enter to win.

That way we can be cooking twinzies and make all sorts of delicious fun things in our fancy new Fleur Cocotte

Speaking of delicious things, have you tried a carrot ginger soup? Sister, I am hooked! We made one a few months ago and they have been on steady repeat ever since. I love this recipe (don’t worry, it’s below) because it’s light, fresh, super good for you, and wildly easy to make. PLUS, it is a dream for entertaining. It’s pretty and tasty – what could be better?

Keep scrollin’ on down for the recipe…

CARROT & GINGER SOUP
Author: 
Recipe type: SOUP
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sliced fresh chives
Instructions
  1. Heat ½ cup broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in ginger, carrots, potato and remaining broth and heat to a boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. In batches, carefully puree in a blender.
  5. Add water or broth if needed to thin to desired consistency.
  6. Reheat soup if necessary. Stir in lemon juice and garnish with chives.

Are you convinced yet that you need the Fleur Cocotte in your life? Don’t forget to head over to @Lauren_Kelp for your chance to win one! Giveaway is open to US only (sorry!) and we will be picking the winner tomorrow!

SHOP THE BRUNCH
[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2675312″]

thank you Le Creuset for sponsoring this post. all thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own

BIG GIRL SITE someone got a fancy new makeover

EMMA041 copy
There comes a time in every website’s life when the bubble-gummed & bootstrapped, “I did it myself!” look no  longer cuts it. We had one of those moments at the end of 2015 & decided that if we were going to be taken seriously as website full of thoughtful living pieces, entertaining tips, and killer cocktails, it’s time we started looking the part!

So, like every good creative, we decided to re-create ourself. We ditched the blog-like layout, changed our color palette, revamped the home page, & swapped out our flats for a shiny new pair of gold metallic wedges.

HERE ARE SOME FUN NEW THINGS TO EXPLORE:

– Recipes to impress your Mother-in-Law

– EXPLORE categories

– Meet the team in our ABOUT section

– Easter entertaining essentials

Shout out to the web design wizards, Kelly & Andra of With Grace and Gold. They are fabulous design unicorns that dreamt up the new website look and executed it like a dream. While not only a joy to work with, these girls are freakishly talented and very well priced. If you are in the market for branding, website design, or brand strategy, I couldn’t recommend anyone else more highly!


lauren button

SUMMER ROOFTOP DINNER PARTY

ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS0041Howdy, folks! Lauren here and I don’t know about you, but I feel like our Summer days are numbered. Not that I am sad to see the sticky summer days go, but I will miss the lazy afternoons spent on rooftops, taking in the sights, nowhere else to be but with your friends drinking rosé.

Chicago is full of rooftop decks that are in prime form in the summer. A nice city breeze, great people watching, not to mention a killer view whilst grilling. It’s basically the best way to dine outside with friends while drinking and eating all you want with you friends. So, that’s exactly what we did!
1ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS0006

Schedules are nuts in the summer, so the promise of good food and a rooftop hang usually helps people clear their schedules pretty quick. We rounded up some good friends, asked them to bring their favorite adult beverage, and gave them the address for where to meet us.
ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS00092

We whipped up a few of our favorite low-key, slam-dunk meals and picked up some protein to throw on the grill from Whole Foods. Plus, we found these ADORABLE eco-friendly bamboo plates and silverware from Whole Foods and they are perfect for a picnic or a no-cleanup dinner party (which is totally something I can get behind). ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS0013ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS0015

Casual get-togethers are my absolute favorite. You round up whatever bowl, pan, or serving container can hold your dish and somehow it all comes together looking fabulous. Grab some dollar store candles, your favorite blooms, and set a table with love and full of friends and you can’t beat it!
3ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS0025ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS00304I look like I am about to devour him, but let’s just take a moment to check out my hubs. I mean, such a hunk!ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS00455ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS0039So, there you have it! Nothing beats a good rooftop dinner party hang with great friends. Grab a night (probably soon), text your friends, and make it happen. Summer is coming to a close and you should probably have a least a few of these rooftop dinners under your belt.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t even have to be fancy, it just has to be honest. When you throw a get together, tag us! We would love to see your dinner and celebrate the good times with you.

ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS0044ROOFTOPTABLEMAKERS0050


constancelauren

THE PERFECT SUMMER SLIDERS: THREE WAYS

sliders0003Hello, summer people! Hopefully your weekend was full of friends, good food, and lots of summer fun. We’ve been crushing these summer sliders are season long and thought it was high time we share out favorite combos with you. Get ready for the BAT (Bacon, Avocado, and Tomato), the Pulled Pork, and, of course, the Classic Slider! Mix, match, have a slider bar – go crazy!

sliders0002INGREDIENTS FOR PULLED PORK:

pulled pork (we’ve got the perfect recipe!)

– pickled radish

– spicy barbeque sauce

sliders0004

INGREDIENTS FOR B(acon)-A(vocado)-T(omato):

– peppered bacon

– avocado

– heirloom tomato

sliders0006

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CLASSIC SLIDER

-grilled ground beef patty

-cheddar cheese

-stone ground mustard

-iceberg lettuce

-red onion

-heirloom tomato

sliders0007sliders0009


constance

 

SUMMER GALETTES

STONE FRUIT & BERRY GALETTES - LAUREN KELPWell hello fellow Mondayers! I must confess, I’m feeling the weight of this day a bit more than usual. I’m not normally one to dread this particular weekly ritual, but it seems all that’s getting me through today’s rough start is remembering that we’re all in this Monday struggle together. Right? Well, that and the hope of a glittery, chocolate filled dessert in my near future…

STONE FRUIT & BERRY GALETTES - LAUREN KELPYou may or may not have noticed that I’m on a bit of dessert kick as of late. My sweet tooth has become quite the champion, and as a gal who frequently considers chips and salsa or popcorn an acceptable dinner and would literally eat tacos all day everyday, this recent phenomenon has caught me a bit off guard. And I’m out.of.control.

The one benefit I can see is that I’m getting to try out so many recipes that have long been on my list of musts. And believe me–there’s a reason summer galettes are trending. They’re just mildly addicting and so easy to make. And you can completely customize them to fit your menu! We’d love to hear what your favorite fillings are!

STONE FRUIT & BERRY GALETTES - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH:

-2 cups all purpose flour

-a pinch of salt

-1 tablespoon granulated sugar

-1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

-fruit of choice for filling

STONE FRUIT & BERRY GALETTES - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Using two knives, cut cold butter into cube and combine with flour mixture.

-Sprinkle ice cold water across the top of the dough and use hands to mix dough until uniform.

-Divide dough in half, and roll each half into a small ball. Cover tightly in plastic wrap, and place dough in refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes.

-While dough is chilling, prep fruit filling. For berries, toss them with a couple spoonfuls of sugar and a couple spoonfuls of flour to thicken mixture. For stone fruit, slice peaches, plums, and apricots into thin wedges, and toss with a couple spoonfuls of sugar and a few sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg.

-Remove dough from fridge, and use a rolling pin to create two 6-inch circles. The don’t have to be exact–they should look a bit rustic.

-Be careful not to over handle dough.

-Arrange fruit filling starting in the center of the dough and moving outwards. Be sure to leave about 1-1 1/2 inches around the edge clear.

-Starting with the edge nearest to you, careful fold the edges inward while slowly rotating the galette. Be sure to avoid any cracks in the dough where juices may escape during baking.

-Brush dough with a quick egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

-Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until dough is a light golden brown.

-Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

-Enjoy!

 

STONE FRUIT & BERRY GALETTES - LAUREN KELP

STONE FRUIT & BERRY GALETTES - LAUREN KELP


Recipe adapted from Food52

constance

THE PERFECT SUMMER STRAWBERRY SALAD

memorialday0014

 Hello, hello, & Happy Monday! Hoping you all had a wonderful weekend full of fabulous summer things. If you are like us and constantly wanting to be outside in the summer, it helps to have a few recipes in your back pocket for quick beach snacks, summer potlucks, or outdoor dinner parties. No one wants to spend time in the kitchen, especially in the summer, so we’ve whipped up this easy, breezy summer salad & it will make your heart sing it’s so good!
It’s the perfect summer strawberry salad as it’s main ingredients are your favorite summer fruits! Add a bit of mint, a hint of this, and a dash of that & voila! You look like a total health nut and a pro because it only took you 15 minutes to whip up this delicious dish. Enjoy & tag us if you try it!

memorialday0003

INGREDIENTS:

– Juice from 3 lemons
– 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
– 1 large handful (~15-20 leaves) fresh basil, chopped
– 1 medium sized watermelon
– 2 lbs strawberries

memorialday0005

INSTRUCTIONS:

– In a large mixing bowl, mix lemon juice and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
– Add basil and muddle.
– Cut watermelon into small cubes and halve strawberries
– Add watermelon and strawberries to mixing bowl and gently stir fruit until evenly covered with lemon basil mixture
– Serve and enjoy

memorialday0004


constance

DINNER WITH FRIENDS | THE WHISKING KITCHEN

23Meet Elizabeth! The voice  behind The Whisking Kitchen or you might recognize her as the College Housewife! Either way, if you don’t know her yet, let me introduce you to your new favorite food blogger. Her style is approachable, her recipes are divine, and she is all about feeding the people she loves — sounds like a girl out for our own heart. Ooh, the kicker? She is in college. I can (maybe not so proudly) say that when I was 22, I was feeding myself on ramen and boxed wine, not these beautiful pies or omelettes she whips up!

We get to go behind the scenes with Elizabeth today and see how she entertains, what ‘good food’ means to her, and hear a little about more about the gal behind the blog. So cozy up because this is a Dinner With Friends you surely don’t want to miss!
7

What does entertaining mean to you?

When I think of entertaining my goal is that people leave with that warm fuzzy feeling inside because of one: delicious food and two: delicious company. When you gather friends and family together for a night in your home you have such an opportunity for a wonderful evening. There is something so intimate about having new and old friends over and hearing people share stories, laughs and great conversation.

4

How do you like to make people feel welcome when they come over?

I try and have appetizers and a pitcher of cocktails ready for when people walk through the door. People usually come to a dinner party pretty hungry. Music also keeps a great vibe when entertaining. Parties can keep both my hands full but I do my best to take a few moments and speak to everyone. Just a quick “how’s life” goes a long way and makes them feel welcome.

8What is your favorite “go-to”? 

 Margaritas! Doesn’t everyone love margaritas?!

22What makes you nervous about having people over?

Time! The hour before I have people over can become a little frantic at times. I’ve got my curling iron in one hand and the oven timer going off in the other. Its nuts! I prep everything I can the night before, I mean EVERYTHING. Anything that can be chopped, marinated, or prepared is done the night before.

24

6

Tell us about tonight? How did you plan? How did you come up with the recipes, etc?

It’s summer time so I knew I wanted fresh flavors! Lemon orzo salad, fresh fruit salad and shish kabobs! Talk with your guests! Maybe they have been really craving something that you can make for them. One of my friends suggested an orzo salad and it ended up being the favorite of the night. Get outside! I try to plan most of my dinners outside just because people spend waaaay too much time indoors these days.

Untitled-3

Give us your favorite entertaining tip!

Set the table! I know it’s so simple to set up everything buffet style but a well-dressed table is an amazing centerpiece. People walk in and they instantly feel important and makes your space look so charming.

Untitled-2

1

Any other pro tips?

 My first few dinner parties I was a little all over the place trying to perfect everything. My boyfriend was always fixing my plate of food and making me sit down and eat because I was trying to clean or get something else together. I’ve realized that its so much more important to leave the dishes in the sink and have a glass of wine with everyone and enjoy the evening, as well as planning it.

23



 

 LEMON ORZO SALAD!

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 Oz of orzo
  • ½ Cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ Cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh minced basil
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh minced flat parsley
  • 2 Teaspoons of black pepper
  • 2 Cups of quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1 Bunch of Asparagus, sliced
  • ¾ Cup of sliced almonds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to rolling boil with ¼ cup of salt added. Add orzo and cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. The salt from the water is enough for the orzo you won’t need to add extra to the salad! Drain and do not rinse.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add sliced asparagus, cook 4-5 minutes. Transfer asparagus to an ice bath (equal parts water and ice). This stops the cooking and keeps your asparagus bright and green.
  3. In a large mixing bowl mix together all ingredients. Garnish with basil or parsley and fresh lemon slices. You can serve this salad warm, room temp or cold. I personally like it cold!

29

RED CHILE GINGER STEAK KABOBS

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ Cup of Red Chile sauce
  • ½ Cup of Soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh minced ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh minced garlic
  • 2 Pounds of steak cubed

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Mix all marinade ingredients together and then mix thoroughly with cubed steak. Marinate overnight or at least 6 hours before grilling.

*If using wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water for an hour so they wont burn on the grill!

20


 

DINNER WITH FRIENDS | THE WHISKING KITCHEN

23Meet Elizabeth! The voice  behind The Whisking Kitchen or you might recognize her as the College Housewife! Either way, if you don’t know her yet, let me introduce you to your new favorite food blogger. Her style is approachable, her recipes are divine, and she is all about feeding the people she loves — sounds like a girl out for our own heart. Ooh, the kicker? She is in college. I can (maybe not so proudly) say that when I was 22, I was feeding myself on ramen and boxed wine, not these beautiful pies or omelettes she whips up!

We get to go behind the scenes with Elizabeth today and see how she entertains, what ‘good food’ means to her, and hear a little about more about the gal behind the blog. So cozy up because this is a Dinner With Friends you surely don’t want to miss!
7

What does entertaining mean to you?

When I think of entertaining my goal is that people leave with that warm fuzzy feeling inside because of one: delicious food and two: delicious company. When you gather friends and family together for a night in your home you have such an opportunity for a wonderful evening. There is something so intimate about having new and old friends over and hearing people share stories, laughs and great conversation.

4

How do you like to make people feel welcome when they come over?

I try and have appetizers and a pitcher of cocktails ready for when people walk through the door. People usually come to a dinner party pretty hungry. Music also keeps a great vibe when entertaining. Parties can keep both my hands full but I do my best to take a few moments and speak to everyone. Just a quick “how’s life” goes a long way and makes them feel welcome.

8What is your favorite “go-to”? 

 Margaritas! Doesn’t everyone love margaritas?!

22What makes you nervous about having people over?

Time! The hour before I have people over can become a little frantic at times. I’ve got my curling iron in one hand and the oven timer going off in the other. Its nuts! I prep everything I can the night before, I mean EVERYTHING. Anything that can be chopped, marinated, or prepared is done the night before.

24

6

Tell us about tonight? How did you plan? How did you come up with the recipes, etc?

It’s summer time so I knew I wanted fresh flavors! Lemon orzo salad, fresh fruit salad and shish kabobs! Talk with your guests! Maybe they have been really craving something that you can make for them. One of my friends suggested an orzo salad and it ended up being the favorite of the night. Get outside! I try to plan most of my dinners outside just because people spend waaaay too much time indoors these days.

Untitled-3

Give us your favorite entertaining tip!

Set the table! I know it’s so simple to set up everything buffet style but a well-dressed table is an amazing centerpiece. People walk in and they instantly feel important and makes your space look so charming.

Untitled-2

1

Any other pro tips?

 My first few dinner parties I was a little all over the place trying to perfect everything. My boyfriend was always fixing my plate of food and making me sit down and eat because I was trying to clean or get something else together. I’ve realized that its so much more important to leave the dishes in the sink and have a glass of wine with everyone and enjoy the evening, as well as planning it.

23



 

 LEMON ORZO SALAD!

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 Oz of orzo
  • ½ Cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ Cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh minced basil
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh minced flat parsley
  • 2 Teaspoons of black pepper
  • 2 Cups of quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1 Bunch of Asparagus, sliced
  • ¾ Cup of sliced almonds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to rolling boil with ¼ cup of salt added. Add orzo and cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. The salt from the water is enough for the orzo you won’t need to add extra to the salad! Drain and do not rinse.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add sliced asparagus, cook 4-5 minutes. Transfer asparagus to an ice bath (equal parts water and ice). This stops the cooking and keeps your asparagus bright and green.
  3. In a large mixing bowl mix together all ingredients. Garnish with basil or parsley and fresh lemon slices. You can serve this salad warm, room temp or cold. I personally like it cold!

29

RED CHILE GINGER STEAK KABOBS

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ Cup of Red Chile sauce
  • ½ Cup of Soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh minced ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh minced garlic
  • 2 Pounds of steak cubed

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Mix all marinade ingredients together and then mix thoroughly with cubed steak. Marinate overnight or at least 6 hours before grilling.

*If using wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water for an hour so they wont burn on the grill!

20


 

4th OF JULY SANGRIA

sangria0001Hello, Lovelies! Lindsey here and boy, do I have a pretty red, white and blue recipe to share! If you’ve been a guest at our house you know I am a huge fan of sangria. Like, HUGE. First warm day of spring? Let’s celebrate with sangria. Summer Fridays? Sangria by the pool. My husband’s birthday (who doesn’t even really drink sangria)? You guessed it. I love to whip up a batch of boozy, fruity deliciousness any chance I get.

Lucky for you, America’s birthday is just the sort of summertime holiday that provides the perfect excuse for simple and festive sangria recipe. Just a few ingredients, a little prep time and pair of patriotic straws. Cheers!sangria0003

 

INGREDIENTS

– 2 bottles champagne or sparkling white wine (I used Barefoot Crisp White Spritzer)

– 1 ½ cup cran-raspberry juice

– 1 cup Triple Sec

– 1 carton fresh strawberries

– 1 carton fresh blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Rinse and slice strawberries.

2. Mix in all fruit, Triple Sec, juice and wine. Let sit in an air tight container or pitcher for at least one hour. The longer it sits, the better the flavor! If only I was a patient as I preach…

3. Pour into your favorite summer glasses and top of with an adorable paper straw.

sangria0002


lindseybrunk

SUMMER SALAD | GRAPEFRUIT & FENNEL

SUMMER GRAPEFRUIT & FENNEL SALAD

Ooh, the summer salad. To me, summer is when a salad is in prime form. Ripe strawberries, fresh mint, oranges and grapefruit straight from the farmer’s market – yes, please! It’s not that I don’t like salads every other time of the year (except winter, I don’t really like them then), I just mean that when the sun is out and with an abundance of delicious fruit to choose from, salads are in prime form.

Today we are whipping up this perfectly delicious grapefruit & fennel salad. I know that we say- “it’s so easy!”-with most of the recipes that we feature, but it’s true! No one has time to spend hours in the kitchen, especially when the weather is so nice outside! These days, I am all about simple meals that are packed full of healthy ingredients. Doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated, just honest & good.

So with that, let me introduce you to your favorite new summer salad: the grapefruit & fennel!

SUMMER GRAPEFRUIT & FENNEL SALAD

INGREDIENTS FOR THIS SUMMER SALAD:

-2 oranges, peeled and split into wedges

-2 grapefruits, peeled and split into wedges

-1 head of fennel, thinly sliced

-8 radishes, thinly sliced

-1 large yellow pepper, thinly sliced

-8 oz. crumbled goat cheese

SUMMER GRAPEFRUIT & FENNEL SALAD

INSTRUCTIONS:

– Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

– The juice from the citrus should dress the salad completely.

– Serve & enjoy!

SUMMER GRAPEFRUIT & FENNEL SALAD


Recipe adapted from The Paleo Fix

laurenconstance