We recently treated our mom to a belated Mother’s Day lunch at the Hotel Vandivort’s restaurant, The Order. I’ve been bragging about their DIY bloody mary bar, and hot tamale, it was fun.
Our server brought us a large glass of ice and Tito’s, the rim salted to perfection. We took our glasses to the Bloody Mary station, and filled them with mix, horseradish sauce, various salts, hot sauces, and garnishes (including bacon, carrots, and peppers).
There’s no need for us to worry about invoking Mary at our house. We want Bloody Marys EVERY week now! Here are some fun ways to create your own Bloody Mary Bar for your next boozy brunch…
There are so many talented and inspiring ladies that we want to meet in our city, so Stephanie has started hosting tea parties at her house, as an excuse to invite them over and get to know them better.
They are a fun way to mix & mingle in a unique setting. Stephanie has a large dining table and an even larger collection of mismatched tea cups, which just invites conversation and connection.
Each party is usually on a weekday morning, and caters toward women of every walk of life. It’s not just for ladies who brunch! Mamas, Entrepreneurs, Teachers, Artists, Do-ers, Bloggers, Retirees, 9-to-5ers, you name it.
Of course there’s tea in cute cups, French press coffee, scones, and Prosecco. She doesn’t expect any of her guests to bring something, but every once in a while a quiche or a bottle of Irish Whiskey shows up. They are never turned down.
The last tea was a small affair, twin style. Stephanie invited me (her twin sister), and a set of creative twins who we ABSOLUTELY LOVE and wanted to spend more time with. It was a quiet lovely morning, and I got to hold a brand new baby. Win win!
Want to set up your own tea party? Keep reading for more ideas!
One summer evening, I joined a friend for an outdoor Shakespeare on the Park. It was a beautiful night, they were performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the lawn was packed. My friend had already set up chairs and blankets and as I arrived, she handed me an insulated tumbler.
Ah, thanks, I’m so thirsty! After a big gulp and a little cough, I realized the giant tumbler she gave me was filled with cold white wine. She’s a good friend.
Just when you think you’ve figured out your signature cocktail (gimlets for Stephanie, French 76 for Nicole), along comes a potent kick in the pants in the form of refreshment on a hot summer day…or mild Missouri spring…
OF COURSE we’re talking about a Paloma! This simple cocktail of blanco tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda packs a punch, is refreshing, AND pretty to look at.
Despite us growing up in the south, we are not sweet tea fans, or really even iced tea fans. Classic iced tea, at least. Thai Iced Tea…well, that’s a different category of wonderful deliciousness altogether.
The best Thai Iced Teas are sweeter than sweet and a creamy orange tone. Our local thai restaurant makes a mighty fine cup, but some nights, homemade will do…
What to ‘shake’ up your cocktail game? Try the Lychee Martini, recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.
Lychees are Asian tree fruits, with red dinosaur-like skin and a subtle grape-like taste and texture. And they make AMAZING cocktail ingredients! We drank these all winter long, despite them being a summer fruit. With access to international markets in town, though, we can enjoy them ALL YEAR LONG!
It tastes high end, when using good vermouth and cold cold vodka. The lychee syrup adds just a touch of sweetness.
If there’s one thing we love, it’s a strong cocktail. And late-night sushi. And a bouquet of peonies. Throw in a few new home decor books. Soft lighting. A pretty candle. Okay, we love a lot. But, we REALLY love a strong cocktail.
The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time – Hands down, one of the best books ever published. It is so inspiring, and makes me want to have beautiful, sit-down dinners with my family on a nightly basis. With contributors like Tom Hanks and beautiful recipes for the whole family, this is one of those books that’s actually very rarely in my house because I loan it to everyone.
Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips – Stephanie is one of Ina’s biggest fans. When we found out she was doing a book signing and Q&A in Kansas City, we left our babes at home and eagerly drove up to see her. It was my first real introduction to her, and oh what a charmer. I went home with this book and have tried almost every recipe in it. Every single one of her books is ten thumbs up.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses – this book is more about if you want to *start* a family (wink wink, nudge nudge). It’s a cookbook that’ll make you blush. I first read it while working at a cafe where we hosted an annual “Aphrodite’s Feast” romantic dinner. The courses all had aphrodisiac properties, and this book was our ultimate resource.
What are some of your well-loved and well-worn cookbooks, whether you create the recipes or just love the imagery? We’d love to hear!