Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kinfolk Magazine

My productivity has steadily been decreasing since the first online magazine appeared. I now kill more time than I would like to admit soaking up all the creative wonderfulness that is online magazines. Today I discovered yet another one to add to the list. Kinfolk Magazine is unlike anything that is already on the great wide interwebs. The magazine that is dedicated to hosting small gatherings reads much more like a beautiful coffee table book than a typical magazine. The pages are full of wonderful photographs and absent of any ads. Yep, no ads...just prettiness. See for yourself...

all images via Kinfolk Magazine

See...I told you so:) Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Best Dressed

Make sure you have the best dressed salad at your next party with this guide to the LBV (little basic vinaigrette). Click on the link below to download.
Download Here

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cool Off with Coffee!

Hello. My name is Kate and I am addicted to coffee. Truly, I crave the stuff constantly. Even when it's a thousand degrees outside I just have to have it. Good thing for me there are plenty of hot weather alternatives to my hot cup of coffee. Thank you recipe inventors for enabling my addiction:) My summer staple is iced coffee which I have finally figured out how to make at home. Not only do I save money but I also get to stay out of the heat all-together! Here's how it's done..

photos by kates

  1. Brew two shots of espresso or really strong coffee
  2. While the coffee brews, add as much half & half to a glass as you would like
  3. Stir in some sugar or your favorite sweetener
  4. I like my coffee plain but you can always add some flavored syrup to change it up
  5. Fill the glass with ice
  6. Slowly pour the hot coffee over the ice (some of the ice melts but that's what you want! It will take the edge off of the espresso)
  7. Add more ice if you want to cool it off even more
This simple little concoction works just perfectly for me but of course Martha Stewart knows the proper way to make iced coffee. I picked up the special magazine publication called Everyday Food the other day and there it was...
Cold-Brewed Coffee
Steep a pound of coarsely ground coffee in 9 cups cool water at room temperature for 12 hours. Pour through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve. Refrigerate the concentrated brew for up to 2 weeks on a covered glass container. To serve, mix with equal parts water and add ice and milk if desired.
While this does require some planning ahead it is the perfect solution for a dinner party! Serve it as part of a dessert bar where you can make your own iced coffee. Place milk and cream along with a variety of sweeteners and flavored syrups on a table and let people serve themselves.
Here are a few other ways to chill out with coffee
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Affogato al Caffe
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Eco-Chic Entertaining: Branch Home I know that using re-usable shopping bags and walking everywhere instead of driving does not mean I have gone green but hey! I'm trying! Let's face it, going green is hard. It almost always involves a little extra effort or a little more green ( this case) but I do believe that it's a worthy cause. What's a girl to do? Enter Branch! Branch is a wonderful little online store that focuses on sustainability in design. What exactly does "sustainable" mean you ask?

"In a nutshell, we consider three major categories when assessing a product:
1. The materials used must be environmentally responsible.
2. The manufacturing process must be ecologically sound.
3. The labor employed must be treated fairly and provided safe, healthy conditions in which to work."

They go into a lot more detail on their website about how they choose their products but the bottom line is they are doing all the hard work! All we have to do is buy their stuff and we look like champions of planet earth. And everything they sell is super cool and functional. Here are just a few of my entertaining faves...

I could go on and on. Seriously, you have to check it out! Here's to going green stylishly!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Parmesan Pencils! Just plain cool!

What an amazing idea! I can't even get over how clever these parmesan pencils are. Can you imagine busting these out at a party? Everyone would go crazy. Too bad they sold out in two weeks. Please make more!

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2011 Kitchen of the Year

The 2011 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year has finally made its much anticipated debut and all I can say is WHOA! The space designed by Chef Tyler Florence is truly a dream. The kitchen and dining area is 1,000 square feet of pure entertaining perfection that continues onto a 1,500 square foot patio. Yes please! I don't typically care for dark cabinets in a kitchen but the high ceilings and window filled walls create such a light airy feeling that you don't even notice the black. Bravo Tyler Florence! Job well done. Take a look...
*look at the size of this island! it even houses the cook top so you can entertain while you cook*

*i usually don't like pot racks but this one actually looks pretty. maybe its the high ceilings and the nice copper pots*

*see, white dishes look good even when they aren't on the table! love how they pop against the black cabinet*

*a butcher block counter top is definitely on my wish list but i never considered one with wheels. so versatile*

* these mismatched chairs create such a casual, welcoming feel*

*cozy sitting area in the kitchen? i had never considered this but hey, if you've got the room..i'm all in*

*i absolutely adore the black and white striped awning! talk about a graphic statement*

*this really gives you an idea of just how much space this kitchen has. wow*

Photos by Shanna Ravindra for House Beautiful

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

No-Cook Mediterranean Dinner Party with Free Printables!

Summer is in full swing and the sun is providing plenty of heat! We don't need any help from the oven or the stove or even the grill. So, turn off the heat and turn up flavor with this no-cook menu for a delicious and easy Mediterranean style dinner party.
Start the meal with simple marinated chickpeas followed by a refreshing watermelon salad. The main course is a pita wrap featuring a store bought rotisserie chicken. Keep the cool coming with a coffee flavored fluff for dessert and wash it all down with a sangria spritzer that is sure to take the edge off this heat wave. Download the free shopping list and recipe cards below. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dress My Dishes: Chris Barrett Inspired

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After my small kitchen post last week, I spent some time on Chris Barrett's website admiring his amazing designs. There's no doubt that everything he does is simply gorgeous but I absolutely fell in love with this patio space. I mean who wouldn't want to lounge by this pool on a warm sunny day? The tropical blues and bright geometric patterns instantly transport you to a place far far away. Since I won't be going to any far far away place for a while, I decided to try to bring a little bit of this space to my table with this week's edition of dress my dishes. Enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Party Ready Pantry: Chickpeas

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 Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans, whatever you choose to call them, are delicious and nutritious! I didn't discover these little gems until I was a bit older but boy am I glad that I did. They are a very common ingredient in both Indian and Mediterranean cuisine and they are extremely versatile. From snacks, to soups, to salads, this buttery bean packs a flavorful punch. Apparently you can buy dry or fresh chickpeas in some areas but I have only ever seen the canned variety at my local supermarket. These already cooked chickpeas can easily be converted to very tasty dishes that would be great at any party. If you aren't sure you will like chickpeas, try hummus first. It is a great dish to get to know these beans. Here are some other wonderful recipes that feature this week's Party Ready Pantry item.

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( I love this recipe because it gives you several different ideas to mix it up)

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(great little starter app)
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Go ahead and indulge in this week's item! It is full of healthy antioxidants, protein,  and fiber. Snack away!