Archive for the ‘Summer Entertaining’ Category

Beach Picnic: Done Right!

July 22, 2010

Summer is almost over, so time to pull out the wicker baskets one more time and head to the beach.  But before you start laying out the blanket and firing up the grill here are a few tips to update your everyday beach picnic.

Picnics always seem like a great idea, until you start eating.  Where do I put my plate or drink?  Put the enjoyment back into your picnic experience by using a modern breakfast tray.  The tray offers a great surface space to eat while down at the beach. Check it out on CB2.

While you probably already bring a cooler of ice for your perishable items, an umbrella can also be helpful by keeping these items out of direct sunlight.  Try one with a netted curtain, which will transition into the night, protecting those picnicking from bugs. Here’s a great option @Ikea.

Lastly, if you are planning on having your picnic later at night or just not sure how long you will be at the beach, be sure to bring some lighting.  A great alternative to the typical tiki torch is a solar powered light.  Not only do they add a modern touch, but also conveniently charge all day and turn on right as the sun comes down.

We hope these tips add some functional flare to your next beach picnic and end your summer just right!


The Conquistador

March 29, 2010
With Spring upon us, we asked Yusef Austin of Elitelixers Cocktail Architects for a fun and delicious cocktail idea to share with our fans and this is what they came up with! Try it at home, see the recipe below–
The Conquistador
1 oz Apple Brandy
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz simple syrup
3/4 greep apple puree
dash of champagne
Add first five ingredients and shake well. Strain into a flute and top off with champagne. Garnish with an edible flower.

Simply Green, Healthy Frozen Treats

March 25, 2010

Just in time for the warmer weather, we wanted to find a quick and easy pick-me-up treat. We found plenty in Danny Seo’s book, “Simply Green Parties ” which has a fabulous compilation of  great  creative, do-it-yourself  ideas for any gathering, and it’s all Green! Check out this healthy recipe that we liked for the kids in your life , try it in light colors for the Spring! 

 “Instead of giving your kids a frozen treat full of sugar and artificial colors and flavors, make your own healthy snacks.

 Start with an ice-pop mold set (available at any cooking-supply store) and wooden sticks. Fill the molds with vitamin-fortified flavored waters or electrolyte-filled sports drinks [like any flavor of Vitamin Water drinks]. If you want to add natural energy to the pops, add a drop of vitamin B12 too. Insert sticks and freeze overnight! Easy and healthy!” – Page 82

Want to see/try more?! Check out this slideshow of other pages in the book, or buy it on!

Outdoor Dining Guide

July 23, 2009

There’s nothing like a warm slightly breezy day to take your lunch or dinner entertainment outdoors. Just like an indoor gathering though, your ambiance must be just as sophisticated and fun. Here are a few suggestions to bring out the best at your next outdoor gathering.

Bright colored plates are a must to liven up the mood as well as food presentation.  This collection, including an appetizer plate, a salad plate and dinner plate can be found at Crate & Barrel.


Although our days are much longer in the summer, any great gathering should last long after sunset. What to do about lighting? Lanterns of course! Modern designed lanterns can create a classy feel to any backyard or patio. These awesome lanterns, Soji Modern Solar Lanterns, collect light all day and automatically turn on at dusk. They are unique, portable, efficient, and come in several styles to accommodate the stylist in you.

Soja Mocern Lanterns

With summer in full swing, days spent outside can make you and your guests feel dehydrated and tired—but you can’t have that because your party will be a success. Get to the liquor or wine cellar near you and grab a couple bottles of wine, after all wine’s main purpose is to divert the mind from accumulated strain.

 Try Montes’ Classic Series Sauvignon Blanc 2008, rated by NYTimes Dining/Wine writer Eric Asimov and his wine panel as their number 1 wine for the summer. Out of a sampling of 20 bottles, they found Montes to be “dry and crisp, with distinctive herbal, mineral and citrus flavors as well. It was exceedingly pleasant yet not overly memorable.” Shiraz Events has supplied recent events with Montes and clients love the choice.


Check out the different wines that were sampled in the NY Times Wine of the Times!