i know it’s fall in the rest of the country, but we’re still rockin’ 80 degree temps here in texas, so i thought i’d get this cocktail in just under the wire. the sweetness lends it self to summer, but my good friend bourbon can definitely carry any cocktail into sweater weather.
this latest sips + whistles cocktail, the southern gentleman, comes from one of my favorite cities, new orleans. and just like nola, this drink is sweet and sultry. i’m normally not a blackberry fan – i love the flavor but hate the seeds, so for me, this drink requires a quality strainer. another important tip is to taste your blackberries before you make the drink. are they particularly sweet? if so, maybe add a little less simple syrup. if you’re using larger berries, you may only need two for a perfectly balanced cocktail.
the southern gentleman cocktail
1 ½ oz bourbon
½ oz simple syrup
3 mint leaves
splash lemon Juice
toss your blackberries and mint in the shaker and muddle until berries are juiced well. add in simple syrup, bourbon, and lemon juice and fill with ice. shake vigorously until the shaker begins to condensate. using a collins strainer, strain into an old fashioned glass with an ice cube. garnish with a small lemon wedge and mint leaf and enjoy!
september is a strange time in texas. by definition, this month signifies the start of cooler temps and long anticipated sweater weather, but it never quite looks like that here. this september juice recipe is refreshing enough for the 90 degree heat, but still has a hint of those savory fall flavors that we simply cannot wait to see.
i realize that most of the time my measurements are pretty subjective – a handful of this, a pinch of that, and that’s because our tastes are subjective too! we truly want to encourage y’all to play with flavors and amounts til you find what you love. isn’t that the whole point really? this is also the case with our september juice. it can be as sweet or as savory as you’d like. not a fan of pineapple? swap it with an apple or two. and the ginger amount is a mild suggestion that is easily palatable. if you love ginger, then really go for it! if parsley doesn’t do it for you, try some fresh mint in it’s place.
september juice recipe
1 small pineapple
2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled
2 handfuls of fresh parsley
quarter and core your pineapple, and be sure to rinse all of the produce before processing through your juicer. we recommend starting with the pineapple and carrots, and then adding the ginger and parsley to taste. juice what we recommend, taste, and see if you want more of that flavor. other than that, juice it, stir it, and enjoy!
*makes 1-2 quarts because we like to juice a few days worth at a time
although it’s already august, the summer heat is only just beginning here in texas. so why not skip the humidity and mosquitos and enjoy a lazy summer breakfast in bed? for the first of our bloom series, we wanted to capture the wildness of summer blooms alongside the laziness that those balmy august mornings can bring.
our weeks are a whirlwind, so we absolutely cherish those saturday mornings where we can stay in bed a bit longer and soak up one another’s stories from the week. there’s a sort of playfulness that can only be found when you just wake up. somehow i think we lose that as the day goes on, and we tackle our to-do lists and venture out into the world. why not set aside one morning to relish in that feeling just a bit longer?
our pjs were hand picked vintage finds from local designer kellie wheeler over at material. material specializes in custom fit vintage items along with perfectly tailored retro clothing with a modern twist.
a breakfast in bed can be both beautiful and delicious without complicated recipes and meticulous plating. here we used everything we already had in our home. the recipes require little to know measurements, so just put on a good record, make some coffee, and whip up this sweet little breakfast tray so you can head back to bed!
the concept behind the bloom series is simplicity. you can find plenty of inspiration in your own backyard or by taking a stroll through your neighborhood streets. look for clippings of different leafs, twigs, or vines that catch your eye and that represent your home well and then you can simply display them in a pattern on your wall above your bed. yes they will eventually wilt, but that makes it fun – a revolving piece of art in your home, or better yet, an ever-changing “headboard”!
for a not so traditional bedside arrangement, go to your local floral supply store or even amazon and get yourself a “floral frog” (pictured below) and a shallow, wide vessel. place the frog in the bottom of the vessel, fill 1/3 of the way up with water and then stick different blooms you picked up from the grocery store or gathered from your yard into the frog. the fun thing about this, is there is no wrong way to arrange the clippings – make them all flow in one cohesive manner, or stick out in all different directions, whatever you’re feeling that week. whatever you do it will be way more intriguing then throwing 10 stems of the same flower in one vase.
for a simple breakfast in bed tray – keep it small and dainty, you don’t want anything to get in the way of eating your amazing breakfast!we used a vintage ink well to place a few blooms in and did the trick perfectly!
recipes + such
now for the food. we recommend not ruining your lazy morning with complicated recipes and tedious preparations. thus, we’re sharing two of our favorite go to dishes that are both beautiful and simple… and of course, delicious.
these toasted croissants with minted goat cheese, figs and honey are a must. if you’re looking for something slightly less indulgent, swap your croissants for some rustic bread. we find that the figs and goat cheese pair pretty perfectly together, however any summer fruit will work.
and the baked eggs are as simple or as complex as you’d like them to be. we’ve included a few guidelines below for the first timers, but we make these so often that we don’t even measure anything out anymore. you’ll notice that this recipe doesn’t call for salt, and that’s because the prosciutto is going to add all of the saltiness you’ll need. if you prefer your baked eggs with just fresh veggies and herbs, then we’d recommend salting to taste.
croissant with minted goat cheese + figs
croissants or rustic bread
handful of fresh mint, chopped
fresh figs, sliced
toast your bread or croissants until lightly golden and set aside. in a small bowl, stir goat cheese and chopped fresh mint until well blended. the goat cheese should be fairly smooth and close to room temperature. lather on a nice layer of your minted goat cheese to each slice, top with sliced figs, drizzle with honey and enjoy!
baked eggs with kale + prosciutto
2 slices prosciutto
¼ onion, diced
handful of kale, chopped
½ tbsp butter
¼ cup heavy cream
shaved parmesan reggiano
fresh black pepper
preheat your oven to 350. next, in a small pan, preferably cast iron, saute your prosciutto until slightly crispy on the edges. remove prosciutto and set aside. in the same pan with a touch of olive oil, saute the onion along with a spring of fresh thyme, or any garden herb you may have on hand. once onion becomes translucent, add the kale to the pan and cook until bright green. return prosciutto to the pan with the other ingredients and remove pan from heat.
add a small dab of butter to the bottom of each ramekin (we recommend no more than 1/4 tbsp per ramekin). next separate the prosciutto + kale mixture between the two ramekins, and with a splash of heavy cream. crack an egg over the top, sprinkle with fresh pepper, and finish with a few large shavings of parmesan reggiano.
place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. if you like your yolk runny, check the ramekins at 15 minutes to avoid overcooking. remove pan from oven and let sit for a minute before serving.
*this is a very basic recipe, but you can swap the prosciutto for pancetta, or incorporate your favorite cheese. we highly recommend fresh herbs, and this dish is also quite nice with fresh peppers or mushrooms. get creative with it!
we are so incredibly happy to finally share with you a new project that has been months in the making now, our seasonal bloom series! the bloom series is an ongoing collaboration with two of my local favorites, bricolage curated florals and photo by betsy.
throughout this series we will be sharing simple tips to adorn your everyday. each season will feature beautiful photos, simple floral lessons, and of course recipes, to inspire, and more importantly straight up show you how easy it can be to create special moments in the everyday madness of life. now meet the dream team:
bricolage curated florals has created some of the most striking and whimsical arrangements i’ve ever seen. they specialize in dramatic florals that beautifully capture the romantic wildness of nature. yet their process is simple and organic, often using floral finds from the landscape around them. samantha is also just a doll to work with, so there’s that too.
betsy of photo by betsy is the most down to earth and personable photographer you could ever ask for. i’ve been on the other side of her camera a few times now, and it usually just ends up feeling like a few hours of laughter, with absolutely beautiful results. bets has a knack for capturing the genuine moments between people because she is natural and effortless in her photography style.
the bloom series will also be highlighting some hand-picked local makers along the way. the series will launch next week with a lazy summer breakfast in bed, so stay tuned!
my man is out-of-town. in france to be precise, so as i write this, i’m in an oversized hoodie on the couch shoveling peach cobbler into my face. yes, every time i’ve missed him this week i’ve gone straight for the cobbler. i guess everyone’s got their ways of coping. now that confession time is over, let’s talk about this simple summer ravioli recipe. sometimes we do beautifully curated recipes and sometimes we do real life on-the-go recipes… this is the latter.
i threw this little dish together for lunch the other day and it was too good (and too easy) not to share. we’ve been eating a lot of fresh pasta this summer, and i honestly can’t recall the last time we used sauce. here’s a little rule of thumb: the best pastas don’t need sauce. we almost exclusively do fresh pasta with just some quality olive oil and a few sautéed veggies and herbs. this combination was especially delightful though.
simple summer ravioli
¼ onion, sliced
cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh ravioli of your choice (i used foraged mushroom)
fresh mozzarella, cubed
get a pot of slightly salted water boiling. meanwhile, in a non-stick pan (no oil necessary), sauté the pancetta until crispy on the edges. transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to cool. in the same pan, sauté the onion until translucent. once you’ve added your fresh ravioli to the boiling water, toss the tomato, fresh mozzarella and a splash of olive oil into the pan with the onions.
once the mozzarella is warm, but not fully melted, add the reserved pancetta. remove from heat and tear a few fresh basil leaves on top of the mixture. drain your pasta, and return it to the pot with a little drizzle of olive oil. serve pasta onto your plate, top with the pancetta mixture, and voilà!
this was a packaged ravioli, but i’ve been meaning to dust off the ol’ pasta maker. anyone have a great pasta recipes out there?
gosh y’all, we haven’t had a sips + whistles post in some time now. but we’re coming back strong with this grapefruit + mint gin spritzer. in creating this cocktail we went with gin, because hey, we love gin, but you could easily swap it for vodka if you’re into that sort of thing.
texas is known for our ruby red grapefruits, so we kept this cocktail recipe simple so that tart and tangy sweetness could shine through. it’s also what gives this drink such a lovely color. and yes, only one mint leaf may sound strange, but it adds just the right amount of depth without overpowering the other flavors, so just trust me on this one.
grapefruit + mint gin spritzer
1 fresh mint leaf
1 oz gin
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
¾ oz st. germain
splash of club soda
place coupe glass in the freezer to chill. muddle your mint leaf in a shaker until crushed and aromatic. add in the gin, grapefruit juice, and st. germain. top with ice and shake vigorously until shaker begins to condensate. strain into your chilled coupe glass and top with a splash of club soda. garnish with a grapefruit slice and enjoy.
now that we’re at the tail end of our remodel, we’re searching for all of those finishing touches. with all of the tiling and demolition behind us, we get to enjoy putting the house back together, which is my absolute favorite part. we recently got an amazingly huge farm table and now we’re looking for chairs. i fell in love with cast + crew on our trip to marfa and i simply cannot stay away from their website. i mean c’mon, how perfect are these neon dipped chairs? pay a visit to their online shop, you won’t regret it.
this is one of my favorite summer snacks: a simple radish toast. requiring only a handful of ingredients, this snack is undeniably good, and always a crowd pleaser. i’ve introduced this to a lot of friends, and they’re always hesitant until they take that first bite… then they’re hooked for life.
start with a fresh loaf of bread. we always use bavarian rye, and you’ll want to ensure it’s fresh otherwise it’ll be tough to bite through. you’ll also need some irish butter, flake sea salt, and radishes of your choosing. we personally prefer the standard red or french breakfast varieties. the irish butter is so rich and creamy that it adds a nice contrast to those little crunchy radishes. seriously, you can’t go wrong with this recipe people.
simple radish toast recipe
2 slices rye bread
unsalted pure irish butter, room temperature
flake sea salt
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
start with two nice thick slices of rye and lather them up with the irish butter. then sprinkle a little bit of flake sea salt over the top of it all. a pinch or two should do nicely. layer as many radish slices on top as you’d like – i’d recommend at least one radish’s worth of slices per piece of bread. once assembled, pour a glass of your favorite rosé and enjoy.
although it has a reputation of being a sleepy town, there are actually a lot of fantastic ways to explore marfa and its nearby sites. one fantastic stop i’d recommend before you even hit the city limits is balmorhea state park.
we absolutely fell in love with this swimming hole. the park’s entry fee is $7/person, so plan to bring a picnic and a deck of cards, because you’ll want to stay awhile. the water is so clear and you are literally swimming alongside little fishies (don’t worry, they’re of the harmless minnow variety). if you’re planning to go over the weekend, get there early, because once the park is at capacity, they switch to a one in- one out line of cars.
before you embark on all of these adventures, i’d recommend stopping by the get go. this cozy grocery has just about everything you’d ever need. the basic toiletries of course, but they also offer a spectacular variety of beer and wine, healthy and organic produce and ingredients for cooking up a feast, and of course lots of snacks. we stopped by here once a day to stock up on goodies.
once you arrive in marfa, there are lots of gallery options to explore by day. also, if you dig photography like me, your walk through town will be littered with stops because basically all of marfa is a perfect backdrop.
marfa is saturated with artists. some have lived there for decades, and some that are just passing through. that said, you can expect a wide (and i do mean wide) variety of art displayed throughout town. i won’t pretend that i loved it all, in fact there were some features that looked like people wearing the label to make a quick buck, but what i truly can appreciate is a town that celebrates and embraces creativity in all forms. and i tip my hat to those true marfa artists that fill their days with the dedication and intention it takes to create something that genuinely speaks to them and resonates with the world around them [steps down from soapbox]. let us continue…
ballroom marfa was probably my favorite gallery. the exhibits are ever-changing, but i truly loved their feature at the time. they also sell old screen printed posters, so naturally we picked up a few for our newly remodeled spaces. we didn’t have time this trip, but plan on touring the chinati foundation on our next trip.
cast + crew and mirth are two small, but incredibly curated shops that stole my heart. featuring home goods and quirky knick knacks, it’s hard to walk out of these shops empty-handed. tienda m is also another wonderful spot worth visiting.
marfa book company is also quite the treat. the books alone are worth it, but there is also a small gallery in the back that is easy to miss, but definitely worth meandering through. planet marfa is the perfect spot to unwind between shops. it’s basically located in someone’s backyard, and they have just about every bar game under the sun.
our last and final suggestion, is a must. go to star party. it is incredible. only offered on tuesday, friday, and saturday nights, star party is an interactive two hour tour of the night sky held at the mcdonald observatory. it’s about 40 miles outside of town, but the drive up the mountain alone is worth it. i’m telling you if you do one thing during your marfa trip, it should be star party.
in our first marfa travel guidewe shared our favorite places to stay from tepees to bungalows. now of course, we have to fill you in on where to eat, because let’s face it, our travel plans revolve solely around good eats.
is a little food truck specializing in falafel, but be sure to get there early because once they run out, they’re done for the day. the guy that runs food shark is basically the monopoly man, because you’ll see him in the window of just about every quirky food establishment serving out an assortment of dishes. he moonlights at a crazy electronic shop that turns into a late night grilled cheese joint on the weekends. seriously, you will see this dude all over town.
is only open on the weekends so plan accordingly. they serve up delicious thin crust pizza pies and also usually have five or six by the slice options if you don’t want to wait. pizza foundation also serves a variety of wines by the bottle and beer on tap. the space is industrial and wonderful and the pies are damn tasty.
is only open for breakfast and lunch, but offers a fairly wide variety of options. we kept it healthy our first trip with the lox plate and an acai bowl, but on our last day we through caution to the wind and went face first into some belgian waffles. one weird thing, they advertise as a sort of juice bar, but they only serve their juices at lunch and not breakfast. unfortunately, in marfa, you don’t question things like this, you just take them for what they are. realize this early, or you’ll lose your mind trying to make sense of it all. stores may say they open at 1:00, but then the owner decides to open at 3:30 instead. relax. you’re on marfa time now.
is hands down our favorite place to eat in marfa. their menu changes daily, but is always spectacular. they serve up fantastic craft cocktails and also have a fairly extensive wine list for such a small town. we dined on escargot, crispy duck, and some truly excellent quail and finished it off with a decadent flour-less chocolate soufflé. if dinner simply isn’t enough, they also offer a sunday brunch.
not pictured, but certainly worth mentioning are jett’s grill in the paisano hotel (we recommend the tilapia tacos and the chile rellenos), boyz2men taco trailer, and frama coffee. our last and final tip: have cash on hand, because marfa boasts businesses with low overhead and the atms are unreliable on a good day. other than that, eat, drink and be merry!