Debi Lilly A Perfect Event Holiday 2015

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a perfect event EAT DRINK GIFT DECOR & MORE



It's the most wonderful time, of the year! It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...and who doesn't love a lil' holiday cheer? Over here, we all fall into the bucket of pretty much living for this glittery, sparkling, happy ho ho ho season. The fireplace is crackling, friends and family gather round. Champagne is chilling, cookies baking, christmas carols humming on the sonos speakers. As party planners, any occasion to celebrate makes us jump up for joy. The holidays, as a rule, are the mac daddy of our annual social calendar. We jump from designing darling family holiday cards (the babies! the toddlers! the summer holidays!) the month of November, to styling up homes galore with well dressed Christmas trees in every room, to wrapping gifts til our little fingers are numb. And then - when we can finally take a breath - phew - a bit wiped out but still smiling away - we can finally shift to our own personal families back home. We slow down to quietly celebrate those that we love, and gather together in our own timeworn traditions. From our home, to yours, we say Happiest Holidays to you.



The French Muse Experience 8 We're Thankful for Holiday Fashion 30 Mini Donuts & Cider 34 Thanksgiving with Ally's Kitchen 46 Holiday Trends with Debi Lilly Design 56 Toddy Time 66 Cheers to Chicken 68


Chop Chicago's Apple Pie 70

Elegance with Ease 72 All We Want for Christmas is Paris Postcards 90 His N Hers Holiday Fashion 102 Sip N See this Holiday 104 Joyeuse Holidays 124 Holidays in Italy 140 Game Day Bites 176 3



Whisk Together Inventive Home Entertainer. Dynamic World Recipe Champion. Energetic Mom. Food Writer. Stylist. The founder of Yummie Nation and you have recipe for all things pretty & yummie!

KENNY KIM photographer

We dare you to keep up with Kenny. His connection between art and photography, plus love of travel and culture, means he spans the globe snapping hundreds of weddings and destination events.


Photos by Artisan Events


open seven days a week-come visit us! design studio - research bar - planning florals - invitations - favors 3050 north lincoln avenue chicago, illinois 60657 t. 773.244.9333


The French Muse By Corey Amaro, Tongue in Cheek




After twenty eight years of living in France I am still in utter awe at its beauty, the food, the landscape, the colorful texture of the regions, the people and the weekend flea markets(brocantes). Oh especially those flea markets where history is unrolled through linen, pottery, paint, nail, wood with abundant creative style. The joy of being able to create a home with such deeply woven stories, and now offer a very personal adventures through "The French Muse Experience" and French Antique Buying Trips.

“Parlez vous Brocante?� You shall seek treasures at the French Flea Market.






We like to think that antiquing in France is an art in itself. We can open up our little black book of brocanting, help you find the diamonds in the rough, translate, negotiate and most importantly teach you to speak ‘Brocante’!




Bienvenue! I’m Ruth, an Irish artist who followed my heart to France. Together with my collaborator (and Brocante goddess), Corey Amaro, we have created ‘The French Muse’ based on our desire to share what we know and love about Provence; its wonderful seasonal cooking, creative gatherings, the brocante… and those tender musings that stir our imaginations and hearts.




The French Muse Experience is for anyone who would like to visit Provence by following their heart, by indulging their senses, and through experiencing first hand what we have lived for years. The old things found at flea markets, second hand shops and friend’s attics. 22





The ever changing landscape dipped in color – that scents our table and dances throughout our lifestyles. We take pleasure in the day to day beauty which has helped us create our homes. Because of this passion I am a creator of objects using antique textiles and found treasures while my collaborator Corey is a curator of past memories, stories and faded time.

It is a pleasure to share a world that I call home. If you are interested please contact and or




We're thankfu

Holida Dressin

By Heidy Best, BECLOTH

Whether you're planning on cooking this Thanksgiving or attending as a guest, this dress has the perfect Autumn color story and gives enough room for that extra slice of pie you've had your eye on. $350, Exclusive for Intermix.


Get that instant holiday look while you're running errands. Shown paired with skinny jeans it is the perfect look to run errands or grab a coffee. $425; Ted Baker.

ul for...

ay ng!

I'm not a huge fan of opaque tights being worn to special occasions so once it gets too cold I opt for jumpsuits instead of dresses. This strapless option will work well underneath a leather jacket or velvet blazer. $698; Alice & Olivia.


Going from the office to holiday cocktails without changing your look. $395; Rag & Bone at Intermix.


Getting into the holiday spirit can be as easy as wearing an over the knee boot in your favorite shade of red, green, or blue. These rider style options are so comfortable you can wear them while picking last minute gifts to put under the tree.

Cramming in a little sweat session between work and that weekday holiday party? No need to go home in between when you can fit everything into this great croc-stamped bag.

$798; Stuart Weitzman.

$595; Vince.


Adding a little bling to any outfit gives that instant holiday glam look for less. $28; t+j Designs.

When I think of the holidays I think of snow falling, ice skating, and drinking hot chocolate. This wrap coat is perfect for looking fashionable and also staying warm. $628; Diane von Furstenberg at Nordstrom.



s t u n o D i n i M r e d i & C By Cori McFadden, Glitter and Bubbles

Is there anything more autumnal than Apple Cider & Cinnamon Sugar Donuts? We think not.

Ingredients Donuts: ! mini donut pan 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon salt 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons unsalted melted butter ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons buttermilk.

Apple Cider: 6 medium apples 6 cups water ½ cup sugar 3 cinnamon sticks.

Instructions Begin by cutting the apples into slices and adding them into a large pot with 6 cups of water over medium-high heat. Add in the cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to boil for approximately 30 minutes and then turn to low heat; cover and allow it to simmer for 2 hours.

Spoon this mixture into the pan, filling each hole ¾ of the way, you don’t want to overfill! Place the pan in the oven and allow the donuts to bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.

Mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon and brush each donut with the While the cider is simmering prepare the donuts. Begin remaining melted butter. Dip the donuts into the sugar by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini mixture to coat and set aside. donut pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking Once the apple mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Next, using a mashpowder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt. Next, whisk together the egg, vanilla, 1 tablespoon melted butter, er, turn the mixture into apple sauce. Pour the apple sauce through a strainer to remove the apple pulp, and buttermilk until combined. catching the juice underneath in a bowl. Pour the apple cider and serve with warm donuts!




on Natale By Laurie Pessemier, Studio Pessemier





You haven’t experienced Christmas until you spend a holiday in Italy. You can chuck all the gifts, hop on a plane and be accepted in the crèche of Italy.

Last year we spent Christmas in Cervo, Italy, midway along the Italian Riviera between Genoa and the French frontier. Leading up to the holiday (we spent the month of December), were regular practice sessions of Come all ye Faithful from the bell tower, as we ate our lunch on our patio, in the sun.

At the little church museum, there was an exhibit of Holy Cards, and actual Nativity Scenes made by the hands of local residents. There were ones of wood, of decorated porcelain, of paper, of car parts and of course, PASTA!

For shoppers, Cervo wasn’t totally devoid of gift items: a few shops and booths, tucked into the stone walkways of this hill town offered carved olive wood, home-made toys and olive oil and spices. There are many artists in the town, and art and crafts were for sale along the path up to the top.



But the real thing started on Christmas Eve, when a corral was set up for the sheep and donkeys. A corner of the piazza in front of the church was converted to a shelter, full of hay, peopled by a family who had a child in the past few months. The mama, dressed in Mary blue, came into the plaza by donkey, led by St. Joseph. The baby, who was maybe 6 or 8 months old, was placed in the manger. All this to the tune of local singers, dressed in traditional garb.

There were various entertainments, intended or not. Young boys ran about in capes, and girls flounced their long skirts. A woman from the local restaurant stirred a large pot, over a wood fire tended by men from the town. Tables were set and the entire village sat down to a meal with wine.

Like at the one-time nativity, we were the nomads, the passers-by, who looked in awe at all which was taking place. It was up to us to play along or not, but it was impossible not to be moved by the sincerity and humbleness of a true Christmas in Italy.





Thanksgiving with

Ally's Kitchen

By Ally Phillips, Ally's Kitchen

Layering. Basically, it’s a technique used in so many ways. When I’m doing things like yoga, hiking, snowshoeing, cycling, camping I ‘layer’ my clothing. The reason being is that conditions change during the activity, everything from body heat to Mother Nature’s whims.Layering is kind of like love. It grows and takes on subtle nuances and differences with each new layering step. I love to layer jewelry. Why do just one necklace when you can layer three, four or five together and get a whole new look. Same with bracelets~let me just layer and stack several on my arm. Then there’s other fashion layers~tank tops, tee shirts, scarves, vests, jackets, sweaters, leggings.



Cooking is all about layering. Layers of ingredients like in lasagna, a salsa/bean/cheese dip, salads. Layers of flavor as in stages and techniques in preparation. And, then layers as in cake layers with icing, fruits, cream cheese and other yummy surprises between these layers. Even Mother Nature layers. Think about fung shui or the coming together and harmonizing of the environment. Whether it’s during the Fall when leaves shed onto the ground. When the new fallen snow covers the ground and what’s there in layers. And simply with the passage of time, aging, shedding and cycles of growth. Layering is definitely an art form. And, there’s no better place to layer than in your home and with your dining table wherever and whatever that might be. So what should yo keep in mind when layering if you’re not sure of what to do? Seeing how I’m the goddess of layering, here’s some simple easy ideas!



Mix it Up I’m talking things that you wouldn’t usually put together, put them together. When I layer my necklaces, I might put a few strands of faux pearls with some punk rocker looking chains. Yep, an oxymoron in style, but, dang, they rock together. The same with your table design. Mix up patterns, colors, shapes, sizes of things, textures and more. Ditch the ‘centerpiece’ and have each person with his/her own special ‘centerpiece’. It can be jelly jars (and other small condiment or spice jars) with sprigs of rosemary, a small tree branch with leaves, a few flowers, small stems of fresh chard or kale~hey, mix it up and let everyone’s be different. Use pillows in chairs. Use mixed up chairs!

Lean towards the Unlikely By this I mean, don’t think something is just used for what you think it’s used for. For instance, I love to take my nicer dish towels and layer them on the corners of my table, use them layered, yes, overlapped several of them, in the center of the table then put the serving pieces on them. Same with scarves. Sure scarves are for your head, around your neck, tied, maybe threaded through your jeans belt loops and made into a ‘belt’. But they also can be used as layers on your table. Sheer and light scarves can give some exotic atmosphere thrown over a lamp shade (careful with the light’s heat and the intensity of the bulb– when in doubt, don’t). Cooking twine can be tied around napkins. Brown paper bags can be torn into pieces and used as name place tags. 51


Let it Happen I usually don’t put a lot of thought into how something is going to come together. I might start with something basic like a floor length table cover, yes, sometimes a white sheet. Then I’ll pull out other fabric pieces, colors, patterns, tassels, that I love and just start shaking out and throwing on. Yes, I might adjust a little, but it’s basically allowing the flow and ease of the fabric to rest where it rests. Think of it as an organic fung shui thing–this is where Mother Nature takes over in your styling. Not overworking it is important. It’s like looking at some people and their clothing ‘style’ and it doesn’t look like they’ve worked at all to make it come together~it just happened. I call it the ‘ralphie’ as in the Ralph Lauren feel/look.

Three-Dimensional Leanings Don’t just create ‘flat’ layers. Look at your table as a canvas that can have three-dimensional layers. These are the things that you might stack to elevate~use river rocks! It might be a metal that contrasts a fabric. It might be a plaid with dots or stripes. Don’t forget things like velvet, sculptured velvet, tapestries, upholstery fabrics, tassels, things from nature like branches, rocks, twigs. I love using my costume jewelry on the table. Rhinestone stretch bracelets, sometimes you can get them at thrift stores, dollar stores, consignment places, make great napkin rings. Shake out your napkins, pinch in the very center and create more fluff and 3-D effect versus just folding flat. Usually these 3-D leanings are subtle additions but they add huge power and punch to your table. 53

ally’s final thoughts for you~ Table settings can become works of art if you just let your inner child come out and play. There’re no hard and fast rules with layering. Don’t put that harness around your neck, luv! What I’m doing is just giving you some ideas. You have permission to make your table whatever you want it to be. For me, it’s a lot of fun because when my guests sit down there’s a wave of happiness that I see come over their faces, a twinkle in their eye as they gaze at what awaits them. This is going to be a bohemian bold dining experience! 54


Roasted Acorn Squa


ash & Smoked Bacon Serves: 2 Preheat Oven to 400 What you need: 2 squash, small to medium sized for an individual serving (I used acorn, but you can use your choice.) 4 Tbl. butter 2 Tbl. honey 1/2 tsp. allspice (leave in jar and shake) 4 slices thick cut hardwood smoked bacon, fried and chopped into pieces What you do: Wash and scrub clean the squash well. Put on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and roast in a preheated 400 degree oven about 25 minutes or until the skin is tender and can be more easily sliced in half. Remove and let the squash cool, then using a serrated knife, slice it in half. Remove the seeds in the center by using a fork and releasing fromt he squash. Take a spoon and gently and carefully start scooping the squash from the skin; try not to cut/pierce the skin (it’s the ‘bowl’). It’s similar to a baked potato and scooping the meat from the cooked skin. Add to each squash half one tablespoon of butter, about a 1/2 teaspoon drizzle of honey, a couple of shakes of allspice and then top with equal amounts of crumbled bacon. Ready to eat! 57


Squash Honey Cashew Souffle Preheat oven to 350 3-3 ½ cup acorn squash, cooked 2 Dole Package Foods Mixed Fruit Black Cherry Gel 5 Tbl. Honey, divided 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon 2 eggs, beaten ¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted ¼ tsp. sea salt, divided 1 (5 oz.) package Dole Packaged Foods Mrs. May’s Cashew Crunch, crushed 2/3 cups old-fashioned oats 3 Tbl. Salted butter, melted What you do: In a mixing bowl, combine the squash and mash it up well. Add the cherry gel and blend together well. The gel will dissolve somewhat and the fruit chunks will stay basically whole. Add 4 tablespoons of honey, cinnamon, eggs, ¼ teaspoon salt, sifted flour and half the crushed cashew crunch. Blend together well. Pour into a greased 7-8” cast iron skillet. Bake for 28-30 minutes. Meanwhile make the crunch topping. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining cashew crunch, oats, and butter. Blend together well. Put the topping on the soufflé after 28-30 minutes of cooking. Return to oven and bake another 25-30 minutes. Remove, cool, drizzle the top with the remaining honey and scoop out with a large spoon for servings! 59

Vintage Pumpkin Pound Cake

Makes: One large tube baking pan cake


Preheat oven to 325 What you need: 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 cup dark brown sugar 2 cups sugar 2 sticks butter (room temperature) 1/2 cup Crisco (room temperature) 5 eggs (room temperature) 1 tbl Rodelle vanilla 1/2 cup sour cream 1/4 cup milk 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree What you do: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar, sugar, butter and Crisco. Beat with a hand mixer on low speed until whipped and fluffy. About 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat on low speed to incorporate. Add the vanilla and sour cream and blend together then add the milk and pumpkin. Blend all together well. Start adding in the dry ingredients one cup at a time and blending together well into a thick batter. Pour into your tube pan and bake in a preheated 325 oven about 6575 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Note: If you want to make different size baking dishes, have at it. I did some of the batter in small 5″ tartlet pans, and they were fabulous. I roasted some sliced almonds in Vanilla Sweet Butter, drizzled on some Chocolate Ganache...always have some in my refrig‌and sprinkled on some sea salt! You could also do in bread loaf pans~~just use your imagination!


We're obsessed with our velvet pumpkin favors!


Grocery to Gorgeous

Fast and Easy with Debi Lilly Design for Albertsons Safeway



Step 1 - Pop the pattern this season, with our gold runner down the table. Step 2 - Fill metallic trophy vases with our hydrangea rose bouquets. Just pick your favorite bouquet colors in store, chop the stems, and drop into the vase filled with water. Step 3 - Layer copper candlesticks topped with pumpkin spice candles between the vases, for added height and warmth. Step 4 - Set placesettings with gold bead chargers to dress the table. Step 5 - Place velvet pumpkins at each setting, tied with a satin ribbon loop.





Quick change to Christmas! Switch out warm fall hues for bold reds.


Instant elegance, in just a few steps



Berries + y= Rosemar ktail c o c t n a Inst garnish!



Toddy Time

With AMK Chicago

A white hot holiday trend this season, The Toddy Bar.

Legend has it, in the 1800s an Irish doctor, Robert Bentley Todd was known for his prescription of a hot drink of brandy, canella (cinnamon), sugar syrup and water. This was called a "Hot toddy". A DIY Toddy Menu is easy to set before guests arrive, and everyone loves to see and taste something new. Brew up flavored teas for guests to choose from. We love Benjamin Teas in Roasted Almond, Blueberry Black, Dark Orange, Limelight Green and Tuscany Lavender. Complimentary spirits to splash into the tea can be Whiskey, Rye, or Brandy. Guests can sweeten away with a choice of sugars and syrups. We love B.G. Reynold’s syrups (cinnamon, vanilla, passion fruit, or falernum). Mixologist tip: Serve in a coupe glass so guests hands don't cool the cocktail. Shown: Benjamin Tea Roasted Almond Tea, Templeton Rye, B.G. Reynold's Vanilla Syrup, from AMK Chicago.


Cheers to


by Chef Matt Ayala, Cochon Volant, Chicago

INGREDIENTS: · Herbes de Provence · Salt · Pepper · Dry oregano · Bone-in Chicken Breasts or Thighs DIRECTIONS: 1. Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together. 2. Season the chicken by rubbing the spice mixture on the meat. Refrigerate for 24 hours. 3. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and roast at 420 degrees for 15 minutes. 4. Turn down the oven to 375 degrees and let the chicken cook for 10 more minutes. 5. Take it out and let it rest for 20 minutes. 6. Cut and finish with lemon.




Apple P ie Ingredients

2 parts ANGEL’S ENVY Bourbon Finished in Port Wine Barrels 1 part fall demerara syrup* 4 part apple cider 1 dash fresh orange juice 3 drops Newtonian Chocolate Bitters 3 mint leaves sliced apple for garnish crushed graham cracker & ginger snaps to garnish cookie rim


Shake. Strain. Garnish with apple wheel and mint sprig. *Fall demerara syrup: 4 cups demerara syrup, 3 cups water. Simmer with 2 whole orange peels, 4 cinnamon sticks, 2 tsp whole cloves, 2 tsp whole allspice, 1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract , 1 tsp ground nutmeg, rosemary sprigs. Simmer until herbs & peels brown. Strain and add 1 oz grain neutral spirit to store (up to 3 weeks) 77




e with Ease

al tips to set the perfect table

Location: DL Loft Styling: A Perfect Event Photo Credit: Tara Wickey, Roots of Life



of s p o t e h ild t G ! t int r a e l p A c i d l n y r e Tr ld ac o g h t i w pumpkins hic. tc for instan


Create a pumpkin "runner" down the table with fresh Jack o Little pumpkins, squash and gour


our Debi Lilly Design velvet pumpkins mixed with rds. Layer in votive candles for soft romance.


Holiday glam 1, 2, 3. Step 1: Roll our gold Debi Lilly Design runner down the tab Step 2: Place our snowflake ornaments down the runner. Step 3: Top snowflakes with Debi Lilly Design glass candles



s, pillar candles and votive candles.


Fresh cranberries + wooden skewers make an instant holiday garnish!


Pumpkin Pom Parfaits: slice pumpkin loaf into champagne coupes, top with whip cream, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds.


Drop alphabet cookies ontop of hot chocolate. Or if you can't drink hot chocolate without the whip cream, start with your whip cream then top it off with a sweet letter. 88



For an extra treat, use your favorite colored bakers twine to tie a festive gingerbread cookie around a milk bottle. Pour in your favorite milk flavor and enjoy!


Roll your napkin, then lay rosemary sprigs and a cinnamon stick ontop. Wrap bakers twine around the napkin to package everything together.



Favorite Holiday Bite: Chicken n Waffles Tuck fresh baked chicken fingers into waffle cones, drizzle with maple syrup, fresh herbs. Party Planner Secret: Stand waffle cones up in narrow juice glasses!


Fill our Debi Lilly Design large cakestand with holiday ornaments, add ribbon to glass dome. 95

All we want for Christmas are...

s d r a c st o P s i r Pa


By Richard Nahem, Eye Prefer Paris97


Paris by post? All the romance of the city of light, shot as iconic collectible Paris images, and delivered right to your mailbox, monthly, no jet lag? Oui, s’il vous plait. The brand new Eye Prefer Paris, monthly photography postcard collection, is all we want for Christmas. There’s a new twist to the iconic Paris photo. Ideal for home décor, collectibles, gifts, and DIY projects, Eye Prefer Paris Postcards allow consumers to easily create personal collections of Parisbased photographer Richard Nahem’s professional Paris images. Each month, subscribers to the Eye Prefer Paris Postcard service will receive three unique postcards selected based on a specific Paris theme ranging from architectural street scenes to romantic outdoor cafes to beautiful gardens. Mailings will include two postcards in color and one in black & white or sepia, all carefully packaged in a special French Blue postcard holder.






Each postcard is printed on thick matte coated card stock, similar to traditional vintage postcard stock that enhances the vibrancy of every image. Eye Prefer Paris Postcards are initially available in traditional postcard size 6� X 4.25� perfect for correspondence. "Although postcards can be seen as old fashioned, they are a fantastic medium for capturing and sharing memories," says Richard Nahem, founder of the Eye Prefer Paris blog. "We wanted to create a product that made iconic Paris photos accessible, sharable, and collectible."







Richard Nahem, a savvy ex-New Yorker has been living in Paris since 2005. He writes the popular Paris insider blog www. and leads personalized private tours of Paris, www.eyepreferparistours. com, showing clients the Paris most people never see on their own. He also writes and photographs for travel magazines and online publications about Paris and European travel including Passport Magazine, Travel Agent Central, and 110

Eye Prefer Paris Postcard subscriptions are now available for ordering at the Etsy shop www.etsy. com/shop/EyePreferParis. Six month or annual subscriptions are available at $60 or $110 respectively (shipping not included).


His N Hers

Fashion By Eric Himel

His 1. Valentino Reversible Padded Geometric Jacket, $1490, FortyFiveTen. 2. ‘Hampton’ Clip Sunglasses, $390, Garrett Leight 3. Balenciaga Slim-Fit Bonded Wool Jersey-Trousers, $795, Mr. Porter. 4. 'Meddybemps’ Boot, $750, Quoddy. 5. ‘Lode' Wool and Cashmere-Blend Sweater, $520, John Smedley. 112

n Festivities

Hers 1. Gabardina Trench Evase, $1155, CH Carolina Herrera Stores. 2. Sunglasses, $330, Moncler. 3. Long Sleeve Leather Glove, $99, COS. 4. Shearling and Leather Boot, $1195. Burberry. 5. Todd Reed Round Yellow Diamond in Palladium, $5720, Ylang23. 113

Sip n See this

Event Design, Planning, Florals - MINT DESIGN Photography - Carissa Cady Photography Sweets - De Coeur Bakeshop Rentals - Walker Lewis Rents Tassels - GlamFete Books - Fairy Birds Sequin Backdrop - Drop It Modern Catering - Moo Creamery



by Lotta Rodriguez, Mint Design

This season, welcome baby with a Sip n' See. New to the world of sippin', and seein'? The Sip N’ See is the white hot trend for Southern and West Coast Moms looking for an alternative to a more formal traditional baby shower. Perfect for moms having their second or third child, or for moms that want a chance to show off the newest member of their family. The Sip N’ See invites you to grab a glass of bubbly and welcome the little bundle of joy into the world.


Warm wheat hued linens, mismatched china plates, collected bright patterned linen napkins, mod gold flatware, and a tower of amber and emerald glass goblets dressed the table. 116



To celebrate baby Faye, which is a more mystical word for Fairy, we dreamed up a mossy decor rich with textural mosses and garden elements. Loose flowly organic florals, an abundance of sweets, tissue paper garlands, and giant terraniums filled tabletops and buffets.




Sheet moss blanketed the table and served as a forest bed for the lush florals. Wooden slabs served as mini platters for food and floral accents. A chandelier was created out of a wooden wreath wrapped in foraged greenery with strips of ivory fabric to dance in the breeze in the trees. A chic gold sequin backdrop created a pop of sparkle and served as a selfie station - where Faye and family were the shining stars!













Joyeuse Holidays

with Paris Cocktails author, Doni Belau Girl's Guide to Paris





This fête should begin after dinner around 8:30 p.m. because dessert is the concept. Set your iTunes or radio to a playlist of traditional Christmas carols interspersed with some French ones such as those found on “Chants de Noel” (French Christmas Songs) by Helone Baillargeon. Offer a selection of French Holiday cocktails such as the Cranberry Sparkler. Bring a white elephant gift (something lying around your house that is new and nice but you don’t use or care for anymore). You know the drill. Do a French holiday dessert exchange, similar to a cookie exchange. Ask each guest or couple to bring their favorite French homemade dessert (extra busy souls can buy something spectacular and French at a nearby bakery). The best type of things to bring to an exchange are items that are small and number at least twenty-five to fifty depending on the number of guests invited. Items such as Cognac truffles, Madeleines, mini-chocolate fondants, macarons, squares of Nougat blanc, Callissons, Pain des Epices (spicy French Hazelnut Christmas bread), and chocolate-covered orange rind slices. Supply some nice vintage cookie tins or decorate boxes with tissue. Lay out all of the wares on a table. Nibbling is allowed. As people are leaving, have them take several from each offering so that everyone goes home with a nice selection of all of the various desserts.





This is the spirit of Christmas: share and share alike.


Etiquette in France The French love rules more than most cultures and as in everything else in French life, there are strict drinking guidelines to be followed.

DO clink glasses with everyone in the group, wishing each other “Santé” (to health). Do NOT cross arms with others in your group—this brings bad luck. DO make eye contact with the person whose glass you’re clinking, or risk seven years of bad sex. Horrors! DO bring a good bottle of champagne to your hostess. DO NOT open the champagne before your guest of honor enters.



Always remember: moderation is a girl’s best friend. And the worst one, for me‌ Wait until a man at the table, preferably the host, pours you more wine. P.S. I’ve always said rules were made to be broken.



The Cranberry Sparkler This makes the perfect holiday cocktail.

• 1/2 oz. Cranberry Liqueur by Edmond Briottet • 2 teaspoon of Cocchi Americano Rosa (sweet vermouth) • 2 oz. champagne method: Combine the Cranberry Liqueur and Cocchi Rosa in a cocktail shaker with ice. Stir, strain into a chilled champagne glass, and top off with champagne or cremant. serving suggestion: Float a cranberry or two on top as a garnish. Cocchi Rosa is an aperitif-style Italian wine that can be purchased online or at better liquor stores. It’s worth seeking out as it has a much better taste in this cocktail than using another sweet vermouth.




French 75 Squared This old cocktail was created in 1915 at the New York bar in Paris, now Harry’s NY bar and the oldest in Paris. Harry MacElhone himself invented this one, the bar’s first bartender who later bought the bar. This little drink has become re-popularized in NYC and elsewhere. The name comes from a piece of French military equipment, a 75 millimeter howitzer was chosen due to the strength of this champagne cocktail. We’ve added some St. Germain to French-ify the French 75 a bit more. Recipe below should serve two, because one should never drink this alone!

2 oz. Citadelle gin made in France 1 oz. lemon juice 1 oz. St. Germain (or your elderflower liquer of choice) 1 tsp. sugar Champagne 2 cherries for a garnish & a lemon horseback (a very long curling twist) method: In a shaker combine the gin, lemon juice, sugar and St. Germain with cracked ice. Strain and serve in an ice-cold coupe glass about 2/3 full, then fill with brut Champagne. Garnish with 2 Luxardo maraschino cherries and a horsetail lemon peel.



cheers to

Paris Cocktails Taste Paris cocktails through history in modern day Chicago as Doni Belau signs her new book

Craft Cocktails + Gastronomy Bites Mixology Demonstrations Parisian Culture Author Discussion French Flea Market

$40 includes copy of Paris Cocktails rsvp here:

December 9th from 6-8pm DL Loft / A Perfect Event 3050 N Lincoln, Chicago




Looking at Life As a family,

ough an Italian lens. by Amy and Colin Boyle



Traveling to Europe is generally pretty simple. Decide who/when/where/ how, pack your bags and go. But unless you’re on a fully packaged tour, the reality is a little more complicated. For our family, that’s where the fun actually begins. Like a chef seeking culinary inspiration, as a photographer I’m sourcing the material for great images when I travel. My agenda will certainly include the can’t-miss tourist hot spots, but more often I’m hunting for something different when I’m away from familiar turf.


It could be a reflection in a wine glass, or the weather-beaten façade of an ordinary building that catches my eye. A delicately crafted lightpost or an intricate wrought iron fence might be worthy of a study in shadow. Street scenes are my favorite, freezing a colorful moment of everyday life in my camera’s lens.









Your typical travel planning guides won’t spell this out for you. The worst ones send the traveler on a grueling march to snap selfies and check sights off the bucket list. The best point the visitor in a general direction, encouraging you to slow down and absorb the experience. We look for landmarks, ask a local when we’re disoriented and try to enjoy the journey. It’s definitely half the fun of being there.





The agenda wasn’t simply mine as the photographer-in-chief. Negotiatin ironed out early on. Our challenge was how to engage our kids so th as things didn’t quite go their way. Fortunately our two teenage boys a extensive use of devices made by a c


ng with my husband over costs and transportation, we had the logistics hey weren’t simply passengers along for the ride, complaining as soon are capable and confident mini-adults, thanks at least partially to their company named after a healthy fruit.









Solution to engaging the teens? Assign each of the young men a day to plan. This is where their true personalities shone through. One guy was found poring over the Fodors Italy guide weeks in advance, soliciting input on the top attractions, mapping out distances and a detailed hour-by-hour itinerary, revised several times before we even left home. The other works better under pressure, as he proved by whipping up his agenda from the backseat of the rental car only minutes from the city limits on his day to plan. The results of both were exactly as we’d hoped – neither plan went exactly as envisioned. And no grumbling.






Of course some of the best travel stories begin with t didn’t plan to be packed like sardines into a city bus fo issues, but we met some interesting people in the crowd. medieval alleys thinking we could depend on a smartph a way out. The results were that we discovered so


the initial inconvenience of something unexpected. We orced to overcome our typically American personal space . We weren’t intending to wander for hours in a labyrinth of hone for directions, but it pulled our group together to find omething amazing that wasn’t on our original itinerary.





Despite all the preparation, this Italian adventure was overflowing with rich and spontaneous photographic subject matter. Oh, and great food and wine too. Go see for yourself. 187

Bowl Game Bites By Beth Peterson, Yummie Nation


Meatloaf Cupcakes: Ingredients: 1 lb White button or Cremini mushrooms, diced small 1/2 C White onion, chopped 1 C Butter 4 C Soft bread crumbs 1/2 tsp Thyme 2 1/2 Ground beef 3 Eggs, slightly beaten 1 1/2 tsp Salt 1/8 tsp Pepper 1/3 C Ketchup 1/4 Parsley, minced Mashed Potatoes Cooked Peas & carrots Cooked bacon Sprinkles Steps: Preheat oven to 375 F. SautÊ mushrooms and onion in butter until onion is transparent. Combine with breadcrumbs, thyme and parsley. Lightly mix together the ground beef, eggs, salt and pepper, ketchup. Pack the meat mixture ž way up the lined muffin tin sections. Bake in 375F oven for one hour and 15 minutes. Then let stand for 10 min. Frost the cupcakes with cooked mashed potatoes, and top with either peas and carrots, or bacon sprinkles.



Chipotle Bacon Dip Ingredients 1 lb cooked bacon, chop into small pieces 1 C Sour cream 3 oz Shredded Cheddar cheese 3 oz Monterey Jack shredded cheese 1 Package of room-temp cream cheese 2 T Fresh parsley 2 tsp Garlic powder 1 tsp Pepper 2 T Smoked paprika 3 T Diced chipotle peppers w/ adobo sauce 1 6 oz can of white corn kernels 2 T Butter (melted) 2 T Chives Salt to taste

Steps In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the corn. Mix in bacon pieces. Shave the kernels off the cob with a large sharp knife into a bowl. Mix the corn kernels with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Add the buttered corn kernels to the bowl with other mixed ingredients. Place mixture into a serving bowl and serve with fresh tortilla chips or corn chips.



Bleu Cheese Kettle Chips Ingredients 3 tablespoons of butter 2 tablespoons of flour 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 4 ounces of bleu cheese- small chunks at room temperature 8 ounces of cream cheese ½ packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Original Dressing Mix 10 ounces bag of kettle chips 1 bunch of green onion or 1 bunch of chives- chopped 3 crispy bacon strips large crumbles 2 ounces of blue cheese sprinkles Directions Preheat oven to 450 degrees How to prepare the cheese sauce: In a medium pan, melt butter. Whisk the flour into the butter, cook on medium heat for 1 minute. Add heavy cream, cayenne, and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Once at a thick consistency, turn heat to low, add blue cheese, melt until it is fully incorporated. Take off heat. Stir in cream cheese until incorporated into mixture. To finish: Spread a layer of your favorite kettle chips in an oven-safe platter that has depth (sides). Ladle the thick sauce over the chips, place another layer of chips over the already sauced layer, ladle the sauce on the new layer of chips. Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles, and sprinkle the bacon over sauced chips. Turn oven to broil for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is golden. For garnish and a fresh flavor, sprinkle chopped green onions or chives over the dish.


Up Next Annual Weddings Issue January 1st, 2016

Wedding Trends Romance Rewind 2016 Food Forecast Cocktails You Need and more!


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