Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Mondays with five things/ideas/events for the week:
I. Thanks to Ina Garten, I remember quite clearly the very first time I felt the pangs of my undomesticity. I was in the midst of bar exam hell, when a friend stopped by with Blue Barn salads and Susie Cakes for a much-welcomed study break. Too exhausted to partake in our usual gossip session, I turned on the TV. My friend switched to the Food Network, because her favorite chef, Barefoot Contessa, was on. I’d never watched the Food Network in my life, and was mildly annoyed at the idea, but since my friend was nice enough to stop by with lunch, I sat quietly and watched. Within moments, my annoyance gave way to intrigue as Ina masterfully prepared a lemon-stuffed chicken roasted over onions in dry white wine. As if that was not impressive enough, Ina served the chicken over homemade croutons. Then she invited a friend over to partake in her delicious spread and casually mentioned that she used to work in the White House in nuclear policy. Seriously?! Who is this perfect? I was hooked. I went out, bought all of the ingredients and a roasting pan, headed home to my kitchen, and never looked back. Now that I’ve made the dish literally hundreds of times, here is my variation on Roast Lemon Chicken with Croutons.
II. Brigitte Bardot is the pinnacle of Parisian chic. I’m fairly certain that she invented tousled boudoir hair, Breton tees, cigarette pants, and liquid wingtip-liner. And I’m completely certain that she invented ballet flats. Tired of platform-soled heels, the former ballerina commissioned a street-friendly version of the slippers from famed dance shoe boutique Repetto. The brand obliged, and the footwear trend was born. Just as au courant now as they were then, Repetto ballet flats are a favorite of everyone from Karlie Kloss to Kate Moss. My favorite is the eponymous Brigitte line, a pointed-toe version of the classic slipper.
III. While we’re feeling francais, lately I’ve been letting my daydreams of spending summer in Paris run rampant. While perusing travel blogs, I came across an entry called What to Eat in Paris by a woman who spent a month eating her way through the City of Light (and croissants, chocolates, baguettes, and macarons evidently). Organized by food-type, the piece documents everything from where to go for the best pates des fruits to places to avoid. Realizing that I haven’t been to Europe since I embarked on my foodie journey, I’m dying to go back and try all of the blogger’s mouthwatering suggestions.
IV. Last weekend, I had the privilege of designing a wedding for my law school mentor, who has become one of my closest friends. The couple is one of those annoyingly perfect pairs, whose love is so powerful you can’t help but feel inspired by it. Other than an orange, pink, and charcoal palette, I was given free-reign for decor (which is much more terrifying than you might think). The concept for florals, the reception, and cocktail hour were relatively easy - but I had trouble figuring out how to best highlight the ceremony lawn at Carmel Valley Ranch. I didn’t want to take away from the natural beauty of the rolling hills and lush greens, but the bride and groom needed a focal point. Deciding that a minimalist arbor was the best solution, I scoured Pinterest and bridal magazines for inspiration. Most arbors were drenched in flowers, which seemed too fussy for the event. With this picture in mind, I commissioned a custom trellis then ordered white linen curtains and a lightweight chandelier. The finishing touch was a gorgeous silver dollar eucalyptus garland that I ordered from Pacific Coast Evergreen at the SF Flower Mart (also available online). The garland was breathtaking, and lasted an entire week after the wedding. Too beautiful to throw away, I used it as a table runner in my dining room for a brunch I threw over the weekend. A refreshing break from standard florals, I highly recommend ordering one for your next dinner party.
V. I hope that you’ll join me on May 7th for a private after-hours reception at the de Young Museum featuring a guided tour of the Botticelli to Braque exhibition and scotch tasting. This is an exclusive opportunity to view some of the most iconic masterpieces from the Renaissance to the twentieth century, including works by El Greco, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, Monet, Gauguin, and Picasso. from the National Galleries of Scotland. Highland dress or cocktail attire requested.
Have a wonderful week! xx tt