Entertain: Southern Traditions

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Image via Society Bride

Inspired by yesterday's toast to the Kentucky Derby , we're sharing our favorite recipes for classic Mint Juleps and mouth-watering Chocolate Bourbon Pie. Known as the quintessential Southern cocktail, Mint Juleps call to mind the grand dames of high society and horse races as well as the most magnificent pomp and circumstance. With just a few ingredients, you can recreate this splendid classic and keep the leftover simple syrup refrigerated for another Southern favorite - sweet tea. The rich dessert pie is an ideal way to end your Derby Day festivities (and the recipe below is from a Louisville native and ardent Derby fan). What better way to celebrate the Run for the Roses or even a simple Southern wedding or dinner than than with a bar set to serve these two classics. Serve alongside your favorite china and enjoy!

A classic Mint Julep. Image and recipe via Southern Living.

3 Fresh Mint Leaves
1 Tablespoon Mint Simple Syrup
Crushed Ice
1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons (1 oz.) bourbon
1 (4-inch) cocktail straw or coffee stirrer
1 Fresh Mint Sprig
Powdered Sugar (optional)

Place mint leaves and Mint Simple Syrup in a chilled julep cup. Gently press leaves against cup with back of spoon to release flavors. Pack a cup tightly with crushed ice; pour bourbon over ice. Insert straw, place mint sprig directly next to straw and serve immediately. Spring with powdered sugar, if desired.

Scrumptious Chocolate Bourbon Pie. Image and recipe via Southern Living.
1/2 (15 oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon or water
4 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Fit pie crust in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under and crimp. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of the pie crust and set aside. Combine corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk about one-fourth hot mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared pie crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

Toast: The Kentucky Derby

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Southern Tradition: Top yourself off with an elegant hat and serve mint juleps for a festive Kentucky Derby inspired event.
The first Saturday in May marks the fastest and most ambitious two minutes in national sports with the Kentucky Derby.  The rich history of the sport and the amazing athleticism and sportsmanship of both jockeys and horses alike is remarkable. This year, the road to Churchill Downs Racetrack takes a different turn as it marks the first time for a point-based system (rather than the traditional graded stakes earnings) for the 20 thoroughbreds who will race for victory. The beauty of the race lends itself to pomp and circumstances upheld beyond Kentucky state lines. If we can't be there, the next best thing is hosting a derby-inspired dinner, complete with all the Southern traditions.

Left, Dapper dressing is a must for men. We love everything about this look. Center, simple yet elegant tablescapes. Get the look with P.O.S.H. Pure Stemware, Silver Beaded Chargers, Christofle Flatware, and silver accented centerpieces. Right, A gorgeous Southern belle knows her way around wearing pearls, lace, and hats.

First things first, break out your mint julep cups, seersucker suits, and elegant dresses. This event is the equivalent of a royal wedding when it comes to head attire, so don't forget to don your finest hat millinery. We picked out favorites on our Southern Traditions Pinterest board.

The Rules of Engagement
1. This is a formal affair. Invitations are a must!
2. Share the traditions of the Kentucky Derby with your guest. The Run for the Roses, as it is also known, has it's own rich history revolving around the red rose. Kroger actually makes the garland of roses for the winner, which you can read all about here. Want to know what the competition looks like?  From Governor Charlie to Charming Kitten (don't let the sweet name fool you), each fierce champion in it's own right is featured here.
3. As mentioned, the traditional attire includes a fantastic hat. We'd hate to be the lady who shows up without one! Get your head-to-toe guide on derby attire here and check out our Pinterest board for inspiration. Gentlemen should be dashing and dapper. Channel our favorite pretty woman and go for a winning Julia Roberts and Richard Gere racetrack look.
4. We love using mint julep cups as festive individual centerpieces. Use the traditional roses for an elegant addition to your tablescape. Mint juleps and bourbon are also the drinks of the day. Keep a steady supply of these favorites and pass out miniature bottles of Kentucky bourbon as a favor. 

What's in a mint julep? Check back tomorrow for Kentucky Derby recipes. 
If you're as intrigued by Kentucky and horses as we are, be sure to read our past posts by our friend Marin Fiske-Rankin, Events and Food Service Manager at SMU's Meadows Museum here and here.

Tabletop Tuesday: Baroque Beauty

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Luxe be a lady. P.O.S.H. COUTURE RENTALS - Place Setting: Chocolate GEO Charger, Barcelona Gold Dinner Plate, Arte Italica Dinner Plate, Gold Lace "Hot Toddy" Demitasse (with raspberries), Dynasty 24K Gold Flatware, Royal Gold Water Goblet, Silver Goblet, Gold Lace Champagne Flute; Additional Serving Pieces: Gold Leaf Cordial, Silver Champagne Saucer/Compote Dish. Linen by LA TAVOLA FINE LINENS.
Inspired by Prada's Fall 2012 runway, Todd Fiscus designed a lavish tablescape for Dallas Bride on the idea of transitioning from fall to spring. We love the mixture of metals, gilded accents, and of course, baroque beauty - perfect for a true tastemaker or bride. According to Todd, in order to truly go baroque, "you have to take it 25 percent too far." Too far turns out to be too perfect. 

Concept, design, floral, TODD EVENTS | Photography, MANNY RODRIGUEZ | Published, DALLAS BRIDES, MODERN LUXURY  | Rentals, POSH Couture Rentals.

Moodboard: Earth Day

Monday, April 22, 2013
When designer Philippe Stark said, "We need to look at the idea of renting rather than owning," he likely envisioned a world that celebrates Earth Day, every day. While we are far from doing everything we should, we are getting better. Women's Health Magazine published statistics from a survey of 500 brides and found that 78 percent of them were making their weddings more environmentally friendly by donating leftover food (37 percent), using locally sourced flowers (35 percent), and using sites like GreenBrideGuide.com to figure out how to reduce waste from their big day. You know the saying, we have but one life and one earth, so let's take care of it. 

Check out our Earth Angel board on Pinterest to set more ideas on tablescapes, centerpieces inspired by Earth's gorgeous floral and fauna. We even have pins for POSH Petite parties where the idea of reusing and recycling plays a huge part in everything from decorations to party favors. Tell us, how do you your part?