Monday, November 24, 2014

We broke with tradition on Friday night, and rather than stuff ourselves with Indian food, we headed to Hayes Valley for a fabulous evening of opera. After all, when one of your dearest friends is performing in San Francisco Opera's production of Cenerentola, you go! We snagged a sidewalk seat at Absinthe before the show and both ordered the burger along with a glass of crémant. We strolled over to the opera house with one of our usual Friday night dates, then watched Efrain with pride. After the fabulous production, John and I headed out with another couple to Boxing Room. We were having such fun we could hardly believe we got home just after 1!

We were up early the next day despite our late evening the night before. After a simple oatmeal breakfast with molasses and cinnamon, I took John into work and bee-lined back home to get to it myself. I spent the day at my desk, revising, editing and reading. At the moment I thought I might go cross-eyed, John called to say he was done, so I hopped in the car to grab him and we made a few stops along the way for groceries and more library materials. We ordered a small Indian feast in the car (old habits), and when our curries arrived, we both squealed with glee. We curled up after dinner with an episode of The West Wing, but I was anxious to squeeze in a bit more reading. John conked out at 8:30 while I was just cracking open the book's spine, and I headed to bed not too long after.

So imagine our surprise then that we didn't rub the sleep out of our eyes until 8:30 the next morning! We've been working pretty hard lately, and I guess it finally caught up. We jumped out of bed to start cooking breakfast, and by 10am we were enjoying poached eggs served over sweet potato hash with rosemary and thyme, chicken-apple breakfast sausage, and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice–not a bad start to the day! I brewed John a second pot of coffee and we got started on our to-do lists: blogging, reading and editing for me, practice and arranging for John. He headed out that afternoon to grab new strings and pick up a few last ingredients for our Thanksgiving contributions (I make the pies, John's responsible for cocktails), while I stayed buried in my work. Eventually I tore myself away for the wonderful torture that is Ballet Beautiful while John made supper–a simple pasta pomodoro that was perfect with a glass of Beaujolais-Village. We curled up with one last episode of The West Wing before heading to bed early–turns out we needed the rest!

Tell me, what were you up to this weekend? Watching the last installment of The Hunger Games, prepping your famous pecan pie for Thursday, or cheering your team on to victory, perhaps?

Image by Nhiya Kaye Photography, fall bouquet by Sax Romney.

Blackberry Smash

Friday, November 21, 2014

Our local markets have been full of blackberries recently, and John just loves them so I picked up a pack or two. I, on the other hand, have never figured out quite how to eat and enjoy them, so I smashed them up with some bourbon–much more my speed!

Blackberry Smash

1/2 lemon, sliced
4 blackberries
sprig of mint
2 oz bourbon
1 oz simple syrup

Combine lemon slices, blackberries and mint in a cocktail shaker; gently muddle. Add bourbon, syrup and ice; shake for 10-15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, and garnish with a freshly slapped sprig of mint.

Notes: Bourbon pairs beautifully with berry flavors, and we like something with a bit of heat and spice to make sure the whiskey flavor shines through. Wild Turkey is a favorite in our house, but any equally assertive spirit would be just right–cheers!

Image and recipe from Creative Culinary


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Amanda & Sam

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This stunning celebration is proof that fall weddings by the sea are as lovely as those fêtes on an apple farm! Amanda and Sam's intimate celebration at the Belle Haven Club in Greenwich, Connecticut exuded classic style and a bit of whimsy, and florist Ariella Chezar brought autumn to life beneath a Sperry tent on the club's lawn. Captured by Karen Hill Photography, this wedding is an essay in elegance.

Tell me, what's your favorite image or detail from this fall fête?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

These luxe YSL sandals are certainly worthy of their fabulous name–cheers to all that glitters!


Monday, November 17, 2014

I skipped out of the office at a reasonable hour on Friday and headed straight home–after so many weeks of travel and commitments, it would be our first Indian food Friday in weeks! We met one of our compatriots at the restaurant (her beau was busy singing in New Orleans Opera's premiere of Rusalka) and caught up over curries and ciders. She had fabulous ideas about our upcoming celebration that I can't wait to incorporate, and when we said goodnight that evening, I felt like the madness of the last few weeks had finally dissipated. 

John had a Saturday brunch shift, so we got up early to make our favorite breakfast–poached eggs over avocado toast. I dropped him off at The Corner Store and bee-lined back to my desk for a day full of reading and writing. A cup of tea kept me company, and I was at the library grabbing more goodies when John called to say he was finished! We made a quick stop at Andronico's for jalapeños and hummus, and got to work on dinner before dusk. Spicy Moroccan sweet potato stew is just too good to wait for! We popped open a bottle of blanc de noirs to enjoy with dinner, and after our meal headed into the living room to collaborate on my latest musical project! We headed to bed early, feeling exhausted and excited for the next day.

On Sunday, John was up before sunrise for his long run, while I stayed curled up under the covers for a little while longer. We were dressed and sipping coffee a bit earlier than usual though, because we had an early appointment at The Wedding Party in Berkeley to pick wedding dress! I slipped it on in the shop and couldn't stop grinning; after a scary few weeks wondering if I'd love it now as I did then, I was reassured that I'd picked the perfect frock. After our appointment (the ladies there were nice enough to squeeze me in before the shop officially opened!), we headed to nearby Albany for breakfast at Sam's Log Cabin, which one of my dearest friends had been raving about for years. The wait was quickly forgotten when John's trout and poached eggs and a stack of cornmeal and blackberry-coconut pancakes arrived! Full, we headed home to curl up with an episode of The Mind of a Chef (John is hooked!) before I got to work and my guy took a much-needed nap. We had a quiet afternoon of practice and editing, and I made yet another trip in the library. I came home to John scrubbing every surface of our apartment with Messiaen blasting, and after we geeked out over some scores, strolled down to the beach for Thai food–making dinner was simply too much responsibility! Without cell phones there was nothing reminding us that we were lingering over dinner and sticky rice, and we headed back home to wrap up some work before calling it a night.

Tell me, what were you up to this weekend? Planning your Thanksgiving menu or making travel plans, perhaps, or indulging in a mug of hot apple cider?

Image from Wedding Style Guide.

Absinthe Frappé

Friday, November 14, 2014

After chilly Milwaukee, San Francisco's balmy weather feels downright divine. It's a perfect time to take advantage of an icy cocktail with the fall flavors of anise–but I bet this would also be great for the Thanksgiving chef, slaving over hot dishes in the kitchen!

Absinthe Frappé

1 oz absinthe
1/4-1/2 oz 1:1 syrup
1-2 oz chilled water

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker; add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds. Pour into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice, and top with additional ice.

Notes: We are big fans of St George's fabulous absinthe, and I strongly recommend tracking down a bottle–especially for a cocktail that highlights this spirit. Cheers!

Recipe via PUNCH, photo by Gabi Porter.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

This week I'm loving the elegant pairing of ivory and green, invitations to Thanksgiving dinners and holiday celebrations, and lots of very lovely links after some time away! Tell me, what are you loving this week?

Speaking of Thanksgiving, these leftovers printables from Oh Happy Day are practical and chic!

Image by Erin McGinn, stationery suite by Paper Moss.

Emily & John

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Emily and John chose a rich shade of emerald for their fall fête, proving that green isn't just for spring–it's positively lovely in autumn! Charleston's William Aiken House was the perfect setting for their classic celebration that married vintage details with a fresh color palette and Southern hospitality.

Emily wore a silk satin Anna Maier Ulla-Maija gown, a pair of gunmetal Jimmy Choo pumps, pearl drop earrings and a pearl and crystal bracelet. A pearl and crystal hairpin and a simple chapel length veil were tucked into her romantic updo, and the bride carried her pale pink lipstick in a pearl minaudière. Bridesmaids wore emerald green silk chiffon gowns from J.Crew, and carried petite versions of the bride's ivory bouquet by Ooh! Events with dusty miller and eucalyptus. The bridal party's youngest member looked sweet in an ivory tulle confection by Olivia Kate Couture and a waxflower crown, while John and his groomsmen wore handsome navy suits and emerald striped bowties.

The pair exchanged their wedding vows in the courtyard of the William Aiken House, where Palmetto Strings provided elegant accompaniment. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed the couple's signature citrus cocktail and passed hors d'oeuvres from Charleston's Fish Restaurant before heading into the dining room for dinner. Lush arrangements of ranunculus, dahlias and dusty miller by Ooh! Events matched the opulence of the vintage place settings and gold flatware, and event planner Haley Kelly of A Charleston Bride made sure each detail was perfectly in place. After a fabulous evening on the dance floor, Emily pulled on a white fur stole and kissed her mister beneath sparklers held by cheering friends and family.

Though I'm certain the memories of their wedding day will last a lifetime, the couple was lucky to have the talented Virgil Bunao on hand to capture each gorgeous moment. Tell me, what's your favorite detail from this stunning celebration?

A Crimson Kiss – Timeless Events and Classic Cocktails by Ana Degenaar : Blogger