I found just the right time to make your Cinco de Mayo plans.
A real crowd pleaser, the margarita. On the rocks.
I love a good frozen margarita too. I'm also happy to share a pitcher. As long as the ingredients are real (see below), I'm good to go.
Fresh & simple recipe from Serious Eats:
Lime wedge, plus 2 lime wheels for garnish
1 tablespoon coarse salt, for glass rims
4 ounces high quality blanco tequila (see note above)
2 ounces Cointreau
1 1/2 ounces fresh juice from 2 limes
Run lime wedge around the outer rims of two rocks glasses and dip rims in salt. Set aside. In cocktail shaker, combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over). Fill glasses with fresh ice and strain margarita into both glasses. Garnish with lime wheels and serve.
And just like that, April is over! What a fantastic start to a beautiful summer here in WNC. Cheers to 5 gorgeous cocktails we shared each Friday of this month.
Let's see what kind of summer series I'll cook up for May...
A Pimm's Cup. Incredibly refreshing and easy to drink. Citrus, mint and cucumber always garnish my Pimm's.
Since this is my favorite of all 5 cocktails I'll be sharing with you this month, it makes sense that I post it on my birthday, cheers!
Great story plus recipe found here on Eater:
1.5 ounces Pimm’s No.1
½ ounce Hendrick’s Gin
½ ounce Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
Fever Tree ginger beer
Juice from 1 lemon wedge
Build above ingredients over ice. Top with Fever Tree ginger beer. Garnish frivolously with fresh fruits of the season and some form of greenery. Cucumber, however, is a must.
Every year in April I feel lucky that my birthday falls on Earth Day. As a nature lover, my mom loves to say she picked the best birthday for me. On April 22nd I like to celebrate and enjoy birthday fun and something outdoors.
When the weather doesn't cooperate, we've been known to catch a Disney nature movie and when the weather does, we're absolutely outside.
This year I'll be heading to the Biltmore Conservatory (I've never been!) after waking up slowly to my husband baking scones. The rest of the day we'll take it easy and likely grill out on the deck for dinner.
Just for fun, I decided to bake a funfetti cake with an Earth Day touch.
I tied Earth Day into my Asheville blog post for April as well. I toured some favorite garden shops in our area, snapped some photos and bought small spring plants.
What great resources we have in Asheville! Check 'em out over on their blog. Photo below taken at Thyme in the Garden.
Iris Apfel, what a bad ass.
Women can never have enough unique, independent role models. Iris is one of them and the muse for a styled shoot I was involved with in February.
Amber Hatchett is a local jewelry designer with big ideas. I've watched her put together and participate in fantastic collaborations and styled shoots on a consistent basis. This is no easy feat! Styled sessions are a lot of work to wrangle multiple creatives, get everyone on the same page, shoot all day and then submissions to blogs for exposure. It's tiring! And it's all done in love and inspiration.
Four looks were put together by local Asheville talent to pay homage to another creative, famous for her bold style.
Model Emily pulls off Iris so well, I never would have anticipated such resemblance.
Which is your favorite look?
Look 1: Shirt dress, sweater, and shoes provided by Minx. Cloak provided by Honeypot. Vintage bangles from Bryant Antiques.
Look 2: Dress and jacket provided by Minx. Vintage flower pendant and vintage bangles provided by Bryant Antiques.
Look 3: Dress provided by Frock. Cover up provided by Maison Mary. Shoes provided by Minx.
Look 4: Coat and pants provided by Honeypot. Turtleneck sweater provided by Maison Mary. Vintage bird skull necklace and vintage pendant from Bryant Antiques.
Photographer: Chelsea Lane Photography
Model: Emily Gillis
Stylist: Eric Campbell
Makeup Artist: Joanna Ferree of Powder me Pretty
Hair Stylist: Zhenya Lazarchuk
Jewelry: Amber Hatchett Designs
Location and props: East West Venue and Vintage Rentals
Peach bourbon iced tea. What a gorgeous drink. A little strong to drink for the faint of heart but it's wonderful if you enjoy bourbon.
Recipe from my husband Philip:
1oz simple syrup
4oz unsweet iced tea
(sub unsweet tea for sweet tea but skip the syrup!)
2-3 ripe peaches
Bunch of mint leaves
Muddle 1/4 cup of peaches and about 8 mint leaves. Add muddled ingredients, bourbon, syrup and tea to a shaker, shake it up. Strain the shaker content over ice and add 3 slices of peach plus a sprig of mint for garnish.
This drink would perfectly accompany the sunset. Cheers!
There's a rumor going around that family portrait sessions have to be awkward, involve matching white tee shirts and ridiculous poses on the beach.
Welp, they don't.
I've had the pleasure of photographing two lifestyle sessions for the modern family recently... two sisters at the Biltmore Village Inn B&B and a mother and son in their downtown loft.
Family sessions are exactly what you want them to be. Loved ones, favorite spots that bring up beautiful memories, clothes that make you feel amazing and minimal posing.
This sister session was a surprise from one to other and just for fun!
The original plan was to venture out into the woods for beautiful scenery but they both were feeling sick my the time the session rolled around. New plan! We roamed the grounds of the B&B they were staying at to capture memories of their stay there. Going with the flow is key.
The downtown loft session was with a newly single mother and her 4 year old son. They were currently house sitting this killer Asheville loft and wanted to make the most of their time there! So they dressed up, read books, played with legos and ate snacks while I captured it all.
Play time speaks to them more than a pose in front of a backdrop.
The French 75.
Although not southern in origin, it is a well known New Orleans favorite. And New Orleans is a top favorite Southern city for myself.
The New Orleans style French 75 can differ from the classic. The question is, gin or cognac?
Some say the cognac version suits colder days and the gin version suits a warm southern night, so of course we're choosing the latter today!
A simple recipe from Saveur:
1/2oz simple syrup
1/2oz fresh lemon juice
Brut champagne or dry sparkling white wine
Combine gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a glass. Top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist to serve.
Cheers to bubbles even if you're not celebrating a birthday or Mardi Gras!