While I’ve got a bit of a summer Sauv Blanc obsession, there’s almost nothing I enjoy more than a great red. Enter Radoux-Ferriere, an utterly perfect blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Cab, Merlot and Cab Franc are typical components of Bordeaux style wines, however Syrah is not and that is exactly what sets this elegant and complex blend ahead of the norm while putting a California spin on tradition. Barrel aged and meticulously blended for 24 months, the resulting rich chocolate and raspberry flavors make Radoux-Ferriere the perfect pair to red meat and other rich foods. We enjoyed this on a recent weekend night-in with a plate of assorted cheeses and I can still remember every bit of the unforgettable savory flavor. Enjoy Radoux-Ferriere, available exclusively at ONEHOPE Wine beginning next month. Cheers!
While living in LA has its perks, life here frequently leaves me craving lush greenery, open space and fresh air. So when my boyfriend asked me to accompany him on a business trip to Lake Tahoe over the weekend, I jumped at the opportunity to get away from the city (and the overly dramatized ‘Carmageddon‘). Being that this was my first trip to Tahoe, I was thrilled that it was just as beautiful as I’d imagined. Our weekend was filled with the great outdoors, tasty eats, some eventful golf tournament work and just enough relaxation time to leave me feeling completely refreshed. Here are some of my favorite things from the weekend that I’m already missing.
Picturesque views and mountainous terrain.
Sparkling, clear, turquoise water.
Green pines juxtaposed against a clear blue sky… something that made me
a little homesick for Michigan.
The smell of fresh cut grass and stunning views on Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Some of the greatest sweet coconut prawns I’ve ever had… served with Thai chili aioli and horseradish dipping sauce from The Beacon Bar and Grill at historic Camp Richardson.
Hands down the best
dirty burger we’ve ever ordered… properly named “The Kitchen Sink” and served open face with chili, swiss, pepper jack, cheddar, sautéed onions, jalapeno, bacon, fried egg and avocado… with a side of garlic fries. YUM.
(Also from The Beacon Bar and Grill).
Scrumptious sweets from the Camp Richardson Coffee Shop.
I contemplated whether to title this post “60 Second Smoothie” or “Best Smoothie Ever” as both would be entirely true. I picked the latter when I remembered how my friend (who originally shared this concoction with me) sold it: “This is the best smoothie you’ll ever have.” Done. I’ve tweaked it a bit over time to make it my own, but the basic components still remain: A banana, frozen fruit, milk. As someone who consumed way too much yogurt as a kid, I simply can’t stand it in my smoothies and I’m not a fan of blended ice. Jump-start your day with this super fast and absolutely delicious variation and I promise you’ll make it a part of your daily morning routine.
1 medium banana
1 handful of frozen strawberries
1 handful of mixed frozen berries (I use blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
1 handful baby spinach (I promise you CAN NOT taste this in your smoothie and it adds a natural Vitamin B boost)
3/4 cup milk (or milk substitute)
Peel the banana and break it up into small pieces. Combine ingredients in blender (I use the Magic Bullet and swear by it). Blend until no solids are left and the mixture is a smooth, frothy consistency. Apply sip rim and drink from blender cup (if you’re using a Magic Bullet) or pour into a 16oz. glass and garnish with fruit. Serves one.
This is an impressionable alternative to juice if you have house guests and it is simple enough to make for multiple people. I like the taste of the berries, but frozen peaches, mango and pomegranate make very tasty alternatives!
Those of you who know me personally, know how close to my heart ONEHOPE Wine is. Therefore, I find it only fitting that my first Wine Wednesday post highlight this incredible company. Born with the idea of integrating “giving back” into business (above and beyond the corporate style of cutting a check to a foundation at the end of the year), ONEHOPE Wine has succeeded in making serving-a-greater-purpose the fabric of their brand. 50% of all profits are donated to partner charities and each different varietal goes toward a different cause. While I LOVE all of their wines (created by Rob Mondavi Jr.), the Sauvignon Blanc, which benefits the American Forest Foundation (AFF) is by far my favorite summer wine with its citrus undertones and crisp finish. Perfect pairings are salmon (my personal favorite), light pasta dishes, fresh fruits and a variety of cheeses. I can’t wait to open a bottle tonight!
It’s officially bikini season and in my effort to cut back, our fridge is stocked with tons of healthy salad ingredients. To be honest, I get really tired of plain, leafy greens so I try to mix it up to keep things interesting and stay on track. For me, sometimes that means cutting the lettuce all together and substituting cucumbers. I know, I know, spinach and spring mix are better for you, but I promise the crisp freshness of this delicious Greek Cucumber Salad will not disappoint.
2 large cucumbers (peeled and chopped)
2 cups sweet cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/2 large red onion (thinly sliced)
1 ripe avocado
2/3 cup Kalamata olives (pitted and quartered)
*I use Mezzetta brand Pitted Kalamata Olives Marinated with Herbs and Napa Valley Cabernet
2 tbsp. Greek dressing
*I use Girard’s Greek Feta
Sprinkle of feta cheese
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
After a hard drive crash and the loss of all of my software and data last week, I’m happy to say that I’m finally up-and-running and ready to share my most recent and largest floral job – the La Jolla wedding of our friends Tiffany and Troy. As I mentioned here, Tiffany had collected hundreds of containers (and candlesticks turned vases) for their big day. Each was different from the next (varying in size and height) to create an absolutely stunning array of ivory centerpieces running the lengths of large, rectangular tables seating 14+ people. With some careful calculation, a few unexpected obstacles and an impulse decision to stock up on roughly 300 hundred extra stems, my mom and I were able to pull off the feat together. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone that helped us along the way, including my mom (who has taught me everything I know about flowers and flew here from Michigan to help), my boyfriend (for his fabulous hydrangea clipping and heavy lifting skills) as well as his incredible aunt an uncle that lent us their space, kept us fed and hydrated, assisted in a successful delivery and were there for moral support.I’m hoping to have access to some professional shots soon, but couldn’t wait to share these in the interim. For floral inquiries, please email me at email@example.com.
Summertime has arrived! Today was arguably the most beautiful day we’ve had so far this year in LA’s South Bay. Famous for its endless sunshine, Manhattan and Hermosa Beach were unfortunately doomed with an unusually chilly all-summer-June-Gloom last year. Needless to say, I’m thrilled that 2011 is turning out to be quite the opposite. The clear blue skies and views from Malibu to Palos Verdes were just too tempting for me to spend my afternoon in the office. Instead, I took a stroll on the sand, broke out my summer coral collection and gave our place a much needed beach-chic update.
There is always something nerve-wracking about the few days prior to a large floral delivery – particularly with weddings. A friend of mine is getting married this weekend and as our gift to her, my boyfriend and I are taking care of the flowers (with me arranging them of course). That being said, I’m not settling with anything less than perfection… so the pressure is on! As one of the founding partners of ONEHOPE Wine, Tiffany has the most incredible style and has been collecting hundreds of mercury glass containers and votive holders for her vintage-chic (with a little hint of rustic Napa) nuptials. Almost none of the vases are the same, which makes it tough logistically, but well worth it in the end for the aesthetic variation and interest. In preparation for her big day, we got together to take one last container count and I just had to share some of my favorites.
While I have an appreciation for all flowers, in my opinion there is none more perfect than the peony. Starting as a tiny little ball (smaller than a golf ball) peonies mature into stunning blooms often in excess of 5 or 6 inches in diameter. Their array of gorgeous hues combined with an undeniably sweet scent make this romantic flower a top pick amongst brides and women in general (hint, hint, gents!). Always a crowd pleaser, they are a great addition to any interior space and promise to make a statement in even the simplest vase. In LA, we don’t typically have peonies past the second week of July, so in honor of a great season (or in my sadness of them going out of season), I picked up a bunch in my favorite color.
When our friends decided to get married just outside of Seattle, I was thrilled to have an excuse to finally visit the famously rainy city. I had never been, but the allure of the first Starbucks, Sur la Table and Pike Place Market were enough to have me packing my rain coat weeks before the big day. As a designer, I was ecstatic that the city was even better than I had imagined and I couldn’t get enough of the endless historic brick buildings, cobblestone alleyways, fresh seafood and flowers, and countless design shops scattered around town. I came back to LA completely refreshed, inspired and with an overwhelming desire to return to Seattle someday soon.