There’s nothing quite like a festive pom pom garland to perk up any celebration. I love using good quality crepe paper in lieu of tissue paper when making pom poms as it’s more durable and comes in a wider variety of vibrant and glorious colors. Garlands are absolutely one of my favorite things to incorporate when decorating a party and I’m sure you’ll agree that they are incredibly easy (and addictive) to make!
Last year I was lucky enough to travel to both France and Ireland to visit family. So when researching cocktails to make for St. Patrick’s Day, one recipe in particular caught my eye. Created by bartender David Slape of the famous NYC speakeasy, PDT, this cocktail gets its name from the Parisian hotel where famous Irish writer Oscar Wilde spent his final days. Well it just so happens that I paid a visit to the Hotel D’Alsace (now known as L’Hotel) as well as the Old Bushmills Distillery on the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland. Subtly sweet and aromatic, this drink combines Bushmills Irish Whiskey with two classic French liqueurs. Add a little rosemary and you have a simple, yet sophisticated St Patty’s Day cocktail that is sure to impress.
Don’t let the simplicity of a baked potato fool you. It’s texture can be sublimely smooth and fluffy or can turn out crumbly and firm. The secret to sublime potatoes is using salt. The salt traps in moisture and provides for even cooking that produces incredibly light and moist potatoes. They’re so amazing that it takes very little sour cream and butter to elevate it into a creamy and delicious treat.
4 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and dried
1 head of garlic, tip of the garlic head cut off to expose the cloves
I can confidently say that coffee is my favorite beverage, hands down. What started out many years ago as a simple pleasure has turned into an obsession. It’s not uncommon that I catch myself trying to brew a fresh cup just before bed, as if the previous five cups that day weren’t enough. So it’s no surprise that when I stumbled upon Milton & Small I was jittery with joy. Milton & Small is a cold brew coffee company from Oakland, CA. The cold brewing method is when coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for an extended period of time. The result is a noticeably less acidic coffee with a more nuanced flavor profile. Milton & Small suggest trying their cold brew coffee over ice, heated, and a variety of other ways . . . definitely my kind of guys. But no matter how you choose to drink it, the cold brewing method opens up a whole new world of coffee to explore!
Eating a plate of 6 oysters at a fancy restaurant is one thing, but eating them in bags of 50 freshly shucked sitting in front of the shimmering bay from which they came, is another. Hog Island Oyster Co. is one of the many reasons why I love the Bay Area. Just about an hour and a half drive from San Francisco through windy country hills and you find a gem: picnic tables, barbeques, more oysters than your heart can desire, and a view like no other. It’s the perfect weekend day trip. We reserved a table for a group of friends and bought a couple bags of local Hog Island oysters and Kumamotos, my favorite. The best part of this experience is that you get to shuck your own oysters. And if shucking 100-some oysters wasn’t enough, we barbequed some steaks and fresh Hog Island clams– all washed down with some bubbly and beer! The perfect Sunday Funday.
I’m lucky enough to have a fruitful Meyer lemon tree in my front yard, so I often experiment with this sweeter, less acidic citrus in cocktails. This particular recipe was inspired by a Scott Beattie (Cyrus, Spoonbar) creation, the Meyer Beautiful. The brightness of the fresh Meyer lemon readily combines with the citrus undertones of the St. Germain elderflower liqueur. Add a little texture with a shaken egg white, and the result is a truly delicate, dessert-like libation.
1 1/2 oz citrus vodka (I like the Meyer Lemon Vodka from Charbay)