Back from Vacation & Feeling Inspired!

It's been a few weeks and I'm back, having been on vacation in Rome and Paris! The sights were amazing. The food was amazing. While I'm combing through hundreds of photos to share with you, I found myself already missing some of the tasty, French dishes I was so lucky to enjoy. I've invited a few friends over for Sunday brunch, tomorrow and I'm going to make them Croque Madame's (the French version of a ham and cheese sandwich with a fried egg on top). SO good. 

One of the most important ingredients? Good bread. It doesn't get better than fresh sourdough, so I snapped a quick shot (incidentally with a new lens I got today)! I've gone back and fourth with a couple of recipes and will share the outcome with everyone! Talk soon - Jonathan

Celebrate Summer, Entertaining

It's finally summer. When it's not 100 degrees, here in the south, it's one of my favorite food seasons. You can't go wrong with the classic, American staples; hotdogs, cheeseburgers, French fries and corn on the cob. I also love this time when we celebrate with all things red, white and blue. When done tastefully ('case you can definitely OVERDO it), this nod to the good ole USA, makes for a beautiful presentation. 

I loved pulling this patriotic tablescape together, mixing and matching textures and patterns. I found the blue and white star napkins at Pottery Barn which paired perfectly with the vintage red and white striped napkins from the Lexington Company (see links below). The rattan chargers add charm, complimenting the clean white plates.

Below I've pulled together some of my favorite elements as well as some festive American decor. Happy entertaining and have a safe and happy 4th of July!

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Grilled Corn with Honey Butter

Grilled Corn with Honey Butter

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 ears fresh yellow or white corn
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the butter, salt, and honey. Preheat your grill to medium. Remove the husks and all of the corn silk from the ears. Wash the corn to remove any stray pieces of silk. Pat dry. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat each ear with olive oil.
  2. Grill the corn, turning often, until the the corn kernels are slightly charred and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. When the corn is done, brush each ear with some honey-butter and serve with extra butter alongside.

Planning: When choosing corn, look for ears with moist, fresh husks (it’s okay to peek under one to inspect the kernels). If not using the day of purchase, store corn in a dry, plastic or large zipper bag in the fridge for a few days.
Product Purity: Use unsalted butter and then add salt in the recipe. Since salt is a preservative and unsalted butter has a cleaner, fresher taste (not to mention that the amount of salt in butter ranges wildly – you can control the amount of salt in your dish).
Presentation: Sprinkle minced parsley over the corn for a hit of fresh flavor (plus, it gives the corn an appetizing color).

Photo by Jonathan Stiers, original recipe from Picture Perfect Meals.

 

Cheesecake with Blueberries

With SO many place settings, glasses and things, cake stands are a great way to elevate items, like this tasty cheesecake. To dress it up All-American Style, I topped it with blueberries and raspberries. Since this was a smaller cheesecake, I improvised and used the Rhodes Drink Dispenser Stand from Pottery Barn.

Balancing Act

I had fun doing this photo shoot. My partner and I cooked AND ate a lot of food. From a photography perspective, this was definitely one of the biggest undertakings as far as scale. Cooking the food, styling the food, setting the table, and the "Oops I forgot something, I have to run back inside." We definitely got some exercise that day but had a lot of fun doing it! 

Found Soda Crates - Pottery Barn

Found Soda Crates - Pottery Barn