Debi Lilly, A Perfect Event, Winter 2016

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a perfect event


Celebrate in style Superbowl Bites Easter so Easy

a new year, a new start have new dreams have more ideas more success more love neve regret the way to get started is to quit talking and start the doing We're starting 2016 with a beautiful issue full of new inspiration. No winter doldrums here, no way. First up: SuperBowl savvy for a fun family night in, to a red hot Valentine's romance made grocery to gorgeous, we've got you covered. Next, cheers to wedding and pretty party season - kicking off post holiday, bien sur. All the 2106 trends from Pantone's twinsie colors of the year, to recipes, to food trends are listed inside these pretty pages. So line up those winter holidays: the next three month's entertaining, gifting and celebrating is here - now - so jump right in!


Light Up the Night 12 Superbowl Style 46 Make Love, Not War 60 Be My Valentine 62 A Fine Romance 74 A New Year, A New You 86 Cherry Blossoms 90


Bridal Party! 100

Easter Brunch with Ally 128 Easter Elegance 140 Easter Parade 146 Love is Brewing 154 2016 Design Trends 162 Casual Friday 176 Bubbly Wedding Brunch 190 Go West 212

DONNA HALL interior designer Named Best in Design/Best in Customer Service by Houzz, her style's defined by a long love affair with European architecture.


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



Her blog, Tongue in Cheek, is woven from her experiences of living in the south of France. Her tales are of linens, letters, vintage scraps & moments of these objects whispering in her ear.

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.



Light up the Nigh

Romance, Salvage, Ce

ht: Caitlin to Jeff

elebration in Chicago

photos: T and S Hughes Photography

Succulent, Rosemary and Berry Boutonniere celebrate the season with masculine, modern style.

Getting ready gone glam inside The W LakeShore, with sweeping skyline views.

Diamonds, as Paul Simon says, in the soles of her shoes!

Different silhouettes and colors to reflect each bridesmaid’s personality

Oh what a view! Caitlin and Jeff's rooftop view made the perfect first look location.

Lincoln Park Zoo, across from the bride and groom’s home, makes the perfect backdrop!

Antique votives set off a warm amber glow for the reception

Architectural Artifacts salvage garden, such a magical venue for all ages.


SUPERBOWL STYLE Touchdown Recipes by Chef Billy Parisi

Cuban Carnitas Nachos Recipe


For the Carnitas: 3 pound whole pork shoulder 28 ounce can of whole plum tomatoes undrained 2 chopped chipotles in adobo sauce 1 1/2 tablespoons of cumin 1 tablespoons of oregano 1 roughly chopped yellow onion 3 cloves of roughly chopped garlic Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste For the Toppings: 1 cup of sour cream 1/3 cup of spicy brown mustard 2 10-ounce bags of tortilla chips 2 cups of shredded Swiss cheese 1 cup of chopped or thinly sliced prosciutto ham 1 cup of roughly chopped bread and butter or Kosher dill pickles or a combination of both

Instructions Carnitas: Add all of the ingredients, except the pork to a slow cooker and stir to combine the seasonings and spices. Place in the pork shoulder and turn once to coat. Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Once it’s done cooking shred the pork using two forks. Sour Cream Mustard: In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream and mustard until combined. Season with salt and pepper and keep cool.

To Assemble: Preheat the broiler to low. Place the chips on a cookie sheet pan lined with parchment paper and sprinkle the Swiss cheese all over it. Cook under the broiler for 4 to 6 minutes or until the cheese is melted and begins to turn slightly brown. Finish the nachos by evenly spreading on the carnitas slow cooked pork, prosciutto ham and pickles, and top off with the sour cream mustard.

Rockin’ Guacamole Bar by Chef Billy Parisi

Guac Toppings: For the Beans: 1/2 cup of thinly sliced pork belly 1 can of strained and rinsed pinto beans For the Radish Coleslaw: 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon of sugar 1 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro 1 cup of julienned radishes Corn Elotes: 1/3 cup of mayonnaise 1/4 cup of shredded Manchago cheese 1 teaspoon of cumin 1 teaspoon of chili powder 2 shucked, grilled and cut from the cob ears of corn Other Toppings: 5 tomatillos 1 cup of pomegranate seeds 1 thinly sliced cucumber 2 tablespoons of olive oil Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Instructions Make your favorite guacamole recipe x 2 and keep cool. For the Beans: In a small pot on high heat cook the pork belly until crispy and brown, about 6 to 7 minutes. Next, add in the beans and cook over low heat until hot. Cool once cooked. For the Coleslaw: Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and keep cool. For the Elotes: Combine all ingredients into a medium sized bowl and keep cool. For the Tomatillos: Coat the tomatillos in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and roast on a hot grill for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly charred. Remove from the heat, roughly chop and cool. To serve: Serve the guacamole alongside some tortilla chips, pinto beans, radish coleslaw, elotes, pomegranate seeds, sliced cucumbers and roasted tomatillos.

Teriyaki Glazed Chicken Wings by Chef Billy Parisi

Ingredients For the Chicken: 24 chicken drums or wings 3 eggs 1 1/2 cups of whole milk 2 cups of organic all-purpose flour 1/4 cup of Kosher salt 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper Sesame seeds for garnish Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish For the Teriyaki Glaze: 1 cup of soy sauce 2 cups of water 3/4 cup of packed light brown sugar 4 tablespoons of honey 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water

Instructions For the Teriyaki: Combine the soy, water, brown sugar and honey to a medium size pot and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling whisk in the cornstarch-water mixture and cook until thick set aside, and keep warm. Preheat the fryer to 350 In a bowl whisk together the eggs and milk and keep cool. In a separate medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, salt and cayenne pepper until combined. Next, add the chicken wings to the egg wash mixture and coat. Next add them 1 at a time to the flour mixture to coat before setting aside on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place the chicken wings into the fryer, 8-12 at a time and cook for 7 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through out. Once all the chicken wings are cooked add them to a bowl with the teriyaki glaze and toss until coated. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.

Bacon Wrapped Beer Bratwurst with Creamy Coleslaw Sriracha Ketchup by Chef Billy Parisi

Ingredients 10 bratwursts 3 cans of beer 10 strips of bacon 1 peeled and thickly sliced large yellow onion 2 cups of of coleslaw mix 1/4 cup of mayonnaise 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon of sugar 1/3 cup of Ketchup 2 tablespoons of Sriracha hot dog buns Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Instructions Bratwursts: Place the brats, beer, salt and pepper in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Next, wrap each bratwurst in bacon and place the bratwurst on a grill. Cook the brats on low indirect heat for 20 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. Toppings: While the brats are cooking place the onion rings onto the hot part of the grill and cook until soft and grill marks are formed, about 15 to 20 minutes. In a separate large bowl whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar and add in the coleslaw mix and toss until combined. Keep cool. In another separate bowl whisk together the ketchup and Sriracha until combined. To Plate: Place the cooked brat into a bun and top off with a few tablespoons of creamy sweet coleslaw, add on some grilled onions and top off with some Sriracha ketchup.

P hilly Cheese Steak Sandwich Stuffed Italian Bread by Chef Billy Parisi

Ingredients For the Marinara: 1 teaspoon of olive oil ½ small diced yellow onion 2 cloves of minced garlic 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes 1 tablespoon of dried basil 1 tablespoon of dried oregano Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste For the Stuffed Bread: 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided 1 thinly sliced yellow onion 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper, seeded 1 thinly sliced green bell pepper, seeded 1 cup of thinly sliced mushrooms 1 pound of thinly sliced New York Strip steak 2 ounces of melted unsalted butter 2 loaves of Italian bread, cut on top into diagonal cross cut squares 2 cups of shredded provolone cheese

Instructions Marinara Sauce: In a medium size pot on high heat with olive oil, add in the onions and garlic and cook until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Next, add in the crushed tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper and stew on low heat for 30 minutes. Keep hot. Stuffed Bread: Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large sauté pan on high heat with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add in the onions, peppers and mushrooms and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove the vegetables from the pan and add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the sliced beef until golden brown on the edges and cooked through out, and set aside. To Stuff: Drizzle the melted butter all over the bread and gently stuff the cracks of the diagonal cross cut squares with shredded cheese, cooked onions, peppers, mushrooms and beef. Wrap each loaf in aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and serve alongside the marinara sauce.

Texas Style Chili with Slow Cooked Brisket by Chef Billy Parisi

Ingredients For the Brisket: 4 pound brisket 2 bottles of stout beer 28 ounce can of chopped tomatoes 1 tablespoon of olive oil Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

2 small diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 1 seeded and small diced red bell pepper 1 seeded and small diced green bell pepper 2 cans of strained and rinsed chickpeas 2 cans of strained and rinsed black beans For the Chili: 2 cans of strained and rinsed 1 tablespoon of olive oil kidney beans 2 small diced yellow onion two 28 ounce cans of whole plum 1 small iced red onion tomatoes and juice 6 finely minced cloves of garlic 2 seeded and small diced jalapeĂąos two 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes two 28 ounce cans of chopped 1 seeded and small diced tomatoes and juice poblano pepper 1/2 cup of chili powder or to taste

1/3 cup of cumin or to taste 1/4 cup of dry oregano or to taste 1 tablespoon of cinnamon or to taste 4 ounces of dark chocolate Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste Tomato paste as needed

Instructions Season the brisket generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Next add the olive oil to a very large sautĂŠ pan on high heat and brown the brisket on all sides. Once the brisket is caramelized, add it to a slow cooker along with stout beer, can of chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper, and cook on high heat for 8 hours. After the brisket has cooked for 4 hours, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a very large pot on medium-high heat. Next, add in the onions and garlic and caramelize. Once the onions and garlic are brown, add in the peppers and cook for 10 minutes on high heat. Add in the beans, tomatoes, and seasonings (except the chocolate) and stew on low heat for until the brisket is finished cooking. Once the brisket is done, pull it apart using two forks so that it is completely shredded. Add the entire pot of brisket including the beer and tomatoes to the pot of chili. Thicken with tomato paste if need be. Finish by stirring in chocolate and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Loaded Tater Tots Recipe by Chef Billy Parisi

Ingredients 15 ounce bag of heated tater tots 1/2 bag of heated chicken bites, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon of butter 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour 1 cup of milk 8 ounces of shredded American cheese 2 tablespoons of sour cream 1/2 cup of sliced black olives 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes 1/4 cup of sliced jalape単os 1/4 cup of sliced green onions 2 tablespoons of chopped crispy cooked bacon, optional

Instructions For the Cheese Sauce: In a medium sized pot on medium heat add in the butter and melt. Next whisk in the flour and combine. Pour in the milk while continuing to whisk and turn the heat to high until it the sauce becomes thick. Finish the sauce by whisking in the shredded cheddar cheese. Keep warm. To Plate: Place the tater tots in a bowl and pour on the cheese sauce. Next layer on the chopped chicken, drizzle of sour cream, olives, tomatoes, jalape単os, green onions and optional crispy bacon.



NOT by stylist






1. Expedition Scout Watch, $52, 2. ‘Rowboat Red’ Water Bottle, $35, 3. Red & Black Race Gloves, $175, 4. ‘SpeedForm® Gemini’ Running Shoe, $129.99, 5. ‘Skull Station’ Necklace in Ruby, $1600,

e Love



Eric Himel


5 4



1. ‘Luna’ Camisole and Brief, $420, 2. Rosetta Getty Cashmere and Wool Long Slit Sweater, $1250, 3. iPhone 6s Signature Alligator Case, $6225, 4. Vespa ‘Primavera’ in Rosso Dragon, $3699, Vespa Authorized Dealers 5. Red Leather Micro ‘Olga’ Bag, $1565,

Be MyValentine

DIY Decor by Debi Lilly Design Inside Safewa


ay, Albertsons Stores


Valentine 1, 2, 3 = Table runner + Fresh Florals + Votives + Sweet Treats

Custom Candy Bars = Candybar + Paper Wrap + Ribbon + Tags

Valentine Floral Trends = clustered Roses + Spray Roses + tipped Tulips

Be Sweet Favors = Cupcake wrappers + Candy + String + Tags

Candy Cones = rolled paper + colorful candies

Place a different colorful candy inside each paper cone

A Fine Romance Valentine in Bloom by Lotta Rodriguez, Mint Design

Florals & Styling: MINT DESIGN Photography: Mariel Hannah Photography Model: Maddie Warren

Indulge your senses in the simple things in life.

Florals, a simple dress and a bit of dainty jewelry is all your need this Valentine’s Day.

Create beauty this Valentine’s Day for a dinner at home or sweet gift for a friend.

Bring rich texture to floral designs with Olive branches, Garden Roses, Bougainvillea, Christmas Bush, Plumosa.

Use unexpected vessels such as a basket or a bowl

A New Year, A New You By: Heidy Best, BECLOTHESMINDED This is the perfect dress to wear to a wedding in January or February. Pair a beige, gray, or patterned coat to finish the look. Dion Lee cut out dress; $885; from Intermix

Time to update your “little black dress�. I love the versatility of this micro-pleated knit dress. With its 3/4 sleeves, it can be worn to the office with heels and on the weekend with a cropped fur vest and booties. Knit dress, $335; from Ted Baker

Try this one-shoulder top on for size. It can be worn with a pencil skirt, pants, or skinny jeans; making this a must have for your wardrobe this year. Top; $118, by HD in Paris from Anthropologie

Get two looks in one with this gorgeous reversible coat. Whether you wear it to work or on the weekend you will get twice the compliments wherever you go. Reversible double-breasted trench coat; $2495 by Gabriela Hearst from Barney’s New York

Stay warm and fashionable with this textured sweater. Shown layered over a collared shirt this sweater can be worn with ripped jeans to grab a coffee or paired with a pencil skirt to the office. Textured pullover; $98, from Banana Republic

Upgrade your current go-to pencil skirt for this high-waisted leather option. It can easily go from day to tonight by changing your top and accessories. Leather pencil skirt; $465, from Reiss

Navy pants are a great alternative to black and can be worn with every color in your closet. Sailor pants; $79.50; from Loft

Stay comfortable with these super soft skinny jeans. Add your favorite slouchy sweater, an infinity scarf, and rider boots for a casual chic outfit. Mid-rise super skinny jeans; $218, from J Brand

Add a pop of color to a white blouse with this jade green necklace. Crystal chandelier necklace; $138, from J.Crew

When errands are on the agenda it’s all about convenience and being hands-free. Cross-body bag; $1395, Chloe from Neiman Marcus

A new way to wear nude shoes. These embellished pumps will go with everything in your wardrobe and can be worn all year-round. Spike mesh pump; $895, by Christian Louboutin from Nordstrom

Cherry Blossoms

by: Laurie Fox Pessemier, Studio Pessemier

I first saw the Italian cherry blossoms on my trip to Modena, Italy in April. Of course, I’d seen cherry blossoms in the Luxembourg Gardens, in Paris, and in Washington, DC, but neither of those resembled the huge sea of blossoms around Vignola. Blair and I painted the blossoms at once. Ciliegi Cherries. Since I moved to the Italian countryside from Paris, France, I actually see food growing. And I long for the spring, when the cherry trees burst into bloom, followed, in only a few short weeks, by cherries. Cherries abound in Emilia Romagna, centering around Vignola, a town ten miles from my house. Within the triangle bordered by Vignola, Modena and Bologna, the twenty best cherry varieties are grown. Hectares of cherry trees bloom in early April, and they tender their fruit in late May through June. The blossoms take on a pale pink to nearly white hue. The trees appear to be covered with snow. We have several varieties of cherries, from Durone to Mora, to Amerene. You can see them sold at stands, their variety hand-lettered on the sign, direct from the producer. We see them on our plates in salads, desserts and in risotto the rice from just North of here. The rice fields make an equally strong impression, when they are flooded in the month of April. But I digress.

Cherries were brought to Italy from Asia in the first century, but not seriously cultivated until much later. The monks kept cherries alive during the Middle Ages somehow I detect a cherry liqueur in this. Not until the sixteenth century was the growing of cherry trees really perfected and then, cherry trees were most prized for their wood, which appeared in cabinets and musical instruments. Later, cherries took on the role they have today in a variety of foods. My biggest surprise was at a local restaurant where the special “prima piatta� was cherry risotto. Delicious. The cherry fruit was only popularized in the late 1800s, after the silk industry and mulberry trees began to wane. Cherry trees replaced the mulberry trees. Originally, cherries, the fruit, were only cultivated in small quantities and consumed by the more affluent population. Now, everyone eats and loves ciliegi.

In the last few years, the agricultural program at the University of Bologna has developed seven new cherry varieties. These are a combination of European and American stock, and patented and licensed to be grown in selected areas. At the end of June, cherries are no longer in the stands. Make way for apricots and plums, the seasonal fruits of summer.

DL Loft Feature Bridal Pics

Bridal Party! Slumber Party, Bridal Prep, DL Loft

bride: Jessica Lisnich photography: Jill Tiongco Photography venue: DL Loft

Gilded Antique Adornments

The blushing bride prep from the balcony

Getting ready: Bridal Brunch Glam Style!

Our rooftop garden never looked so glam!

Mother daughter bridal beauties!

Swoon-Worthy First Look

So much adorable, they’re off to be married!

Easter Brunch with Ally Brussels Sprouts & Eggs by Ally Phillips, Ally’s Kitchen

Ingredients: 3 cups fresh brussel sprouts, ends cut off & sliced in halves lengthwise
 2 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
 2 Tbl. Italian (or Greek) seasoning blend
 1/2 tsp. sea salt
 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
 12 cherry tomatoes, cut lengthwise in halves
 2-4 eggs (your choice of how many per person)
 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Instructions: Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put the Brussels sprouts on the cookie sheet, drizzle on the olive oil, sprinkle on seasoning blend, salt and chili flakes. Toss and blend the Brussels sprouts with your hands. Roast in a pre-heated 425 oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove and scrape into an 8-10 in cast iron skillet. Place the skillet on the blaze over medium low heat. Add the tomatoes. Crack the eggs on top. Cover with a lid. Cook slowly steaming the eggs until the whites are done and the yolks are yellow (sunnyside up). if you prefer your eggs more well done, then cook a little longer. Remove and serve immediately.

Blood Orange Marmalade Ginger Shrimp Salad by Ally Phillips, Ally’s Kitchen

Ingredients: Sauce:
 4 Tbl. orange marmalade (I used Blood Orange Marmalade from World Market.)
 3 tsp. rice vinegar
 3 tsp. fish sauce
 3 tsp. ginger, minced
 ½ tsp. coarse ground pepper
 1 ½ cups peas, previously frozen 
 1 cup English cucumbers, diced, skin on
 1 cup celery, sliced
 ¼ cup green onions & tops, sliced
 1 tsp. serrano pepper, diced (some of seeds removed and 2 tsp. if your adventurous)
 ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
 3 Tbl. toasted sesame oil
 1 Tbl. fresh garlic, minced
 1 lb. large shrimp, tail on, peeled, deveined Instructions: In a small bowl, combine the marmalade, vinegar, fish sauce, ginger and pepper and blend together. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl put the peas, cucumbers, celery, green onions, serrano pepper, cilantro and toss together. Set aside. In a heavy skillet over medium low heat, put the oil. Add the garlic and sauté about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook about 4-5 minutes. Drizzle on the sauce and toss and blend. Remove skillet from the blaze. Cover with a lid and let it steam for about 5 minutes. Toss into the veggies and mix together. Refrigerate about an hour (or longer) before serving.

Grape Walnut Compote by Ally Phillips, Ally’s Kitchen

Ingredients: 1 cup red grapes

(old, maybe shriveling; you might look at them and think, no good, throw them out!)

1 Tbl. butter
 Pinch of sea salt 2 Tbl. Sugar 1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
 1/4 cup red wine 1 Tbl. lemon thyme, fresh
 1 Tbl. fresh mint, chopped
 Thyme Sprigs (garnish)

Instructions: Over medium heat using a skillet, melt the butter. Add the grapes and sugar and toss, blend and cook about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to medium high, add the walnuts, blend and toss well cooking another about 3-5 minutes. Deglaze the skillet with the wine, scraping and cleaning the skillet, and tossing the grapes/nuts. Turn off the heat, add the mint and thyme when ready to serve. Toss and blend.

Lemon Yogurt Cake by Ally Phillips, Ally’s Kitchen

Ingredients 6 Tbl. Butter, salted, melted 1 ½ cups graham crackers, crushed ½ cup walnuts, crushed 1 cup cottage cheese, small curd 4% ½ cup sour cream 3 (6 oz.) containers lemon yogurt, divided 2 Tbl. all-purpose flour, sifted ½ cup sugar 1/8 tsp. sea salt 3 eggs, beaten 2 tsp. lemon extract 2 lemons, zest & juice 2 cups berries, your choice Fresh mint for garnish

Instructions Preheat oven to 325 In a medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, graham crackers and walnuts then put into the bottom of the baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cottage cheese, sour cream, two containers of the yogurts, flour and blend together with a hand mixer for about 3 minutes. Add the sugar slat, eggs, lemon extract and lemon juice and zest and whip another couple of minutes. Pour into a rectangular baking dish. Place on a cookie sheet. Put on the oven rack (preheated 325 oven). Add 2 to 3 cups of water to the cookie sheet making a baking ‘bath’ for the cake. Bake for about 1 ½ hours or until a toothpick come basically clean from the center. Remove to a cooling rack for an hour or so and then refrigerate a couple of hours before serving. Serve with a dollop of the lemon yogurt, berries and fresh mint.

Ingredients 1 refrigerated pie crust rolled out and cut into 4 quadrants Coconut cooking spray 3 cups of skillet spiced apples and coconut (recipe + instructions below) 12 apple slices, thin with skin on 3 Tbl. Honey

Ingredients for Skillet Spiced Apples: 7-8 apples, 5 peeled/2 leaving skins on and cut into thin slices (types that work well: gala, fiji, honeycrisp, jonagold, pink lady, etc.)
 2 Tbl. coconut oil
 ¼ tsp. sea salt
 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
 ½ tsp. ground caradamom
 ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
 ½ cup coconut, preferably shaved
 2 Tbl. butter, salted and melted
 1 Tbl. fresh thyme leaves + sprigs for garnish

Big Boy Apple Pie Cupcakes by Ally Phillips, Ally’s Kitchen

Instructions for the Skillet Spiced Apples: In a heavy skillet (about 10”) over medium high heat, put the oil. Add the apples, cover with a lid and cook for about 5-7 minutes tossing a couple of times with tongs. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the salt, orange juice, cinnamon, cardamom, brown sugar and blend into a liquid mixture. Drizzle the liquid mixture on the apples and toss and blend. Reduce heat to medium low and cook another 15-20 minutes or until the apples are tender. (I don’t like them mushy and falling apart—a tad bit al dente for me!) Turn off heat. Toss in coconut and drizzle the butter on top. When ready to serve, toss in the thyme!

Instructions for the Big Boy Apple Pie Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 Coat the large muffin pan openings with cooking spray. Mold into each one piece of pie crust. Fill each with equal amounts of the spiced apples and coconut. Top each with three apple slices. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 28-34 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put the honey in a small microwavable bowl and microwave on high for 22 seconds. Using a pastry brush, coat the tops and crust rims with the honey glaze.

Fresh Orange Cranberry Scones by Ally Phillips, Ally’s Kitchen

Ingredients: 2/3 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed (I used sweet mandarin oranges.)
 1 tsp. orange blossom extract
 ¼ cup oil, canola
 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
 1 Tbl. Baking powder
 1/3 cup + 2 tsp. sugar (divided)
 Pinch sea salt
 ½ cup dried cranberries

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 Combine in a small bowl the juice, extract and oil and blend together. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add in one-third cup of sugar and the salt. Mix together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend well. Add cranberries and blend together. Dollop on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet spacing about 2-3 inches apart. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake in a preheated 350 oven about 12-15 minutes. Remove and cool a few minutes. Serve with your favorite fruit jam.

Easter Elegance!


2016’s hot trends: Serenity Blue & Rose Quartz Pantones of the Year

Mix and match our Geo Vases with spring blooms for instant Easter chic.

Our pretty pastel Easter egg candles make perfect placecards with guest names.

Our boxed mini Easter candles = grab and go hostess gifts.

Our pastel stripe pap gorgeous addition t

per runner is an easy, that will wow guests.

Hygrangeas looks great in our Geo Vases. We added in a few colored stems for a pop of color.

Easter Parade Corey Amaro, Tongue in Cheek

Have you ever been to a vintage Easter parade? Do you remember being a little girl wearing your Easter bonnet with the satin ribbons tied under your chin?

My nieces dressed up at my cousin’s Denise’s shop/studio. Denise has a vast collection of vintage prom and bridemaids dresses, matching shoes and flower bonnet hats. Denise gave them free rein to play dress up.

With their handmade Easter baskets in hand they dressed up. Each selected the color and style that they wanted from the many pretty dresses. All I requested was that they wore flowers in their hair. Easter bonnets, lace, ruffles, pink cheeks, baby lips and tender sweetness. Vintage Easter bonnets, baby pink. Green tulle, leaves and crystals as water drops. Young blossoms ready to bloom. Kate who was six, exclaimed over and over again, “Beautiful! Everything is so beautiful!�

Little girls happy day of dressing up. Childhood unplugged.

Love is Brewing Trend Alert: Sip Local

photos: Megan Saul, You Me Photography

Trend 1: Tasting Flights. Pour up mini pilsners with a tasting notes sheet featuring local beers by type. Click here for our free tasting notes

Trend 2: His and Hers. His local favorites turned floral vases, ontop Her favorite romance novels makes for fun, personalized engagement or rehearsal dinner decor.

Trend 3: I Do Brew. Click here for our I Do tags for beer bottles, pilsner tags and more!

2016 Design Trend

by: Donna Hall, Donna Mondi Desig



photo: Nick Novelli

Trend 1 Decadence is everywhere! Furnishings are gilded, embellished, detailed and full of surprises. The finishes are a mix of textures, high-gloss lacquers, and dramatic colors. Curves are back in legs, arms, and hardware. This peacock feather chest by Koket with its graceful gold elements is a perfect example of decadence and drama

Trend 2 Black is the new white! Yes, going from the traditional white trend to black may seem like night and day. But, bringing black into the kitchen and/or dining room is a great way to add depth and drama. Looking for high contrast? Pair black cabinets with white countertops and bright stainless steel. For glamour, use high gloss black cabinetry and add black quartz countertops with brushed brass backsplash. For our vintage lovers, there’s nothing hotter right now than honed black marble with white veining. This lacquered wall by Luis Venegas Plastering and ceiling covering by Maya Romanoff show how high contrast works to create a cohesive room

Trend 3 Bare it all! Finally, the third trend for 2016 would be natural or medium stained wood tones. Natural tones in interesting wood species are popping up everywhere from furniture to flooring and cabinetry. This two-toned desk from Holly Hunt certainly makes a case for the argument that blondes have more fun

Casual Friday Fashion Shoot behind the scenes, inside DL Loft


location: DLLoft photos: Heather Talbert


Nothing says casual friday like vests and pumps

yum yum yum!


shop now!

Bubbly Wedding Brunch Fete the Bride and Groom in DIY Style

location: DLLoft Styled by Debi Lilly, A Perfect Event Sweets: Toni Patisserie photos: Maypole Studios

Style the table in Something Blue sparkle with glass cloche filled domes displaying wedding novelas, family heirlooms, and everyone’s favorite: mercury glass and peonies.

Set the table, set the bar, setup the fun!

Everything looks prettier inside a glass cloche - ornaments, books, feathers, you name it.

Don’t forget your Something Borrowed!

DIY Brunch Bar: juices in beautiful glass bottles with prosecco, white wine, syrup infusions

One beautiful showstopper cake makes for a sweet centerpiece

French Rose Petal Nougat: almost too pretty to eat!

Toni Patisserie recreated our Parisian hand painted pastel petite eclairs to perfection!

Mise en Place: have everything in place before guests arrive, for a help yourself buffet brunch.

A brunch buffet is an easy set with pastery, fruit, jams & butters

Go West ! by Amy Boyle, Amy Boyle Photography

Dawn breaks gently over the plains, washing wild sunflowers in a subtle glow

There’s no debate that the great American West is an alluring subject to attempt to capture in still photography. With landscapes stretching wider than the widest angle lens could capture, to intimate details best seen up close in macro view, it’s a daunting challenge to paint digital images of such a place. But let me assure you it’s worth trying. From recreating and celebrating in nature’s splendor, to appreciating the native cultures and wildlife that populated the land, there’s something for everyone here. Sit back and enjoy a photographic sampler plate of imagery from some of the most iconic locations our country has to offer. Giddy up!

Photog selfie taken from the passenger seat of her trusty steed

Up close and personal with a pine bough after a sprinkle of rain

Epic vistas are everywhere, including this classic view of Mt. Moran over Jackson Lake at twilight in the Grand Tetons

Sagebrush perfumes the air with its heady scent everywhere you look

Even with only a day-hiker’s stamina, the rewards of stepping out of your car onto a foot trail are views like this

Who knew there was another Grand Canyon, this one carved by the Yellowstone River

One of the great joys of exploring the West is encountering wildlife, from a safe distance of course!

Trees enveloped by the travertine terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs soon became case in stone

More sure footed than any human, these wild sheep are happy to browse undisturbed by us visitors

A magnificent elk in his natural habitat

Sometimes the road less travelled is the way to go, especially when it has views like this

Lone hay-bale on the great open plains of big sky country

The eroded cliffs of the Badlands host a remarkable diversity of wildlife

Moonrise over a tortured landscape

The day ends, but not without one more incredible gift of wild beauty

Sweet E

spring issue launches April 1st


Mother’s Day In the Garden Parties & more! photo: Marcin Cymmer, Toni Patisserie

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