Search

 


Thursday
Jun052014

Sweet Peach Summer Cocktail 

Living in Georgia, I must admit peach season is my favorite fruit season of all. To help celebrate their arrival this year, I've concocted a refreshing, fruity cocktail I'm calling the Sweet Peach Summer Cocktail. This recipe is meant for two. Enjoy...

 

Photos: Whitney Ott Photography     Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
Jun042014

Sweet Peach Layer Cake

With peach season upon us, I wanted to make something sweet, scrumptious and pretty. After a bit of research, my friend Monica and I created the Sweet Peach Layer Cake with peach ombre icing. 

This is a three layer cake. You can pick your favorite sponge or white cake recipe. We liked this one and this one but ultimately gave it a go with this version. It's a butter cake recipe, tripled. 

I let the cakes cool overnight, then Monica came over to make our vanilla buttercream frosting, via Martha Stewart. Monica trimmed the top of each cake to even out each layer. (I'm a fan of this amazing video by Libbie Summers, How to frost a layer cake, both informative and adorable) 

Between the layers, Monica applied a coat of icing, then topped it with a mix of one chopped sweet peach and a couple tablespoons of peach jam (we used Emily G's Peach Marmalade). Experiment with your favorite sweet peach concoction. 

Next, she applied a crumb coat of icing around the entire cake. 

I wanted a peach ombre icing for this sweet treat. Monica found this tutorial and it worked perfectly, no matter which ombre colors you desire. 

All you need is a bit of patience and this type of icing is easy and fun to do. For the final touch, we added a sweet peach on top. But of course...

Instagram your own Sweet Peach dessert with the hashtag #sweetpeachsweetspots

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach    First and last pic: Whitney Ott Photography

 

Tuesday
Jun032014

The making of... "Sweet Peach Sweet Spots"  

If you've been following my Instagram feed, you may have seen a picture or two teasing an upcoming summer project of mine. Well, by this weekend it will come to be. It all started last year when I picked up a mini newspaper in Los Angeles by Linus Bike. I loved the look and feel of it. Always wanting my own paper of some sort, I came up with the idea of one incorporating the Sweet Peach brand...

I'm calling it Sweet Peach Sweet Spots and it highlights 50 of the most scrumptious shops, restaurants and hangouts in Atlanta. I've been mulling over this idea now for about a year but it wasn't until six months ago that I got a team together to make this happen.  

When dreaming up this map, the only person I wanted to illustrate it was Sarah Neuburger of The Small Object. She's the creator of all things adorable. When we met for a coffee one winter morning, she said yes, without so much as a second thought. I was thrilled. It was a ton of work and dedication to not just create icons for a map and the main logo, but to figure out how the design can all work together in a cohesive format. She is supremely talented and a true professional. How lucky am I? 

And then there's Bob. Oh, how I love Mr. Bob Conquest. He created the Illustrator file for this paper and then we began, minute detail after minute detail, putting this paper together. Hours and hours and more hours over the last five weeks we spent side by side. I made dinners, we drank wine and we built it, one day at a time. I so appreciate his tireless efforts that came from a place of friendship and wanting to make this paper a success. Forever, I am grateful. 

Vanessa Dina, who designed my Sweet Peach blog (and named it) is one of my closest friends since grade school. She is a Design Director at Chronicle Books living in one of my favorite cities, San Francisco. I am so appreciative of her impeccable art direction along the way.

I also need to thank my sweet friend, Monica Martino for helping me frost the Sweet Peach Layer Cake, to be featured on the front of the paper (it's peach season after all) and Whitney Ott, the talented Atlanta based photographer who came over to take a bunch of pretty pics against a white backdrop. Plus, the lovely Elena Buckley, my ever faithful editor who has my back at every turn, thank you too!

I will be approving the first ever Sweet Peach Sweet Spots paper at the press tomorrow morning and then, on Friday, June 6, 10,000 copies later, they will arrive on my front porch, ready for distribution around the city. How fun is that?  By Friday morning, I plan to have a printable PDF available here on the blog for anyone to print. I'll be working this weekend, but in those free hours and next Monday and Tuesday, I'll be delivering the paper to all 50 locations listed on the PDF.  

Oddly enough, about a month ago, my mom sent me some old editions of my first newspaper I did in grade school, called Pam's Digest.

Each edition I shared friends and family gossip, fun games, interviews and general advice like where to buy the best ice cream. It was 10 cents an issue or $2.00 for a year's subscription. Most were sold to aunts, uncles, my parents' co-workers and a bunch of others I coerced with child guilt. 

A huge heartfelt thank you is in order for the ten companies who advertised on the back of my first Sweet Spots paper. I asked all of them if I could design their ad on a paper that has yet to prove itself and each one of these companies gave me an enthusiastic yes. Please check out their shops or websites- all of them have been featured (or will be in the next month) on Sweet Peach blog and each one embodies the best of the Sweet Peach brand. So mark your calender, Friday is coming up fast...

 

 

Monday
Jun022014

The Pointer Brand Apron

As Father's Day is approaching, I love the idea of giving the gift of a good apron -to be used in the workshop or around the barbecue. LC King's Pointer Brand, based in Bristol, Tennessee prides itself on quality work clothes that are part of the rural south. LC King Manufacturing is the oldest cut-and-sew factory in the United States that is still owned by its founding family. There's a homespun feel to this factory which invites other designers in to use the space as a workshop. It's truly a gem (and a bit of a secret) here in the south. 

Their popular aprons, made of 100% cotton, have four large front pockets and two pencil pockets. They're one size fits all and machine washable...guys love that kind of practicality. 

The Pointer Brand shop and waist aprons have a classic workman style. I want to order ten to have on hand for gifts- as I love a gift that lasts, that gets better with age. Check out all of Pointer Brand's apparel which includes jeans, overalls, jackets, shorts, caps, women and kid attire, here.

 

Photos: LC King Manufacturing     Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
May302014

Bufala Negra

Hands down, my favorite cocktail is the Bufala Negra, created by H. Harper Station owner and mixologist, Jerry Slater. Jerry concocted the drink for a James Beard House event that he and Chef Todd Richards cooked for back in 2007. Buffalo Trace was one of their sponsors so Jerry found inspiration in their bourbon...   

Wanting to try an Italian take on the southern classic, mint julep, Jerry added balsamic syrup and basil. Jerry, "In Italy, balsamic and basil go together like peanut butter and jelly." Ginger beer is added last to lighten it up and make it refreshing. Jerry, "It seems out there at first but it's rooted in classic cocktails and traditional kitchen pairings." 

What's been fun is seeing this cocktail gain popularity throughout the US and across the Atlantic. It's been featured in the NY Times and seen on menus in New York, Colorado and England to name a few. It's just one of those tasty, complex drinks that surprises you- it's hard not to sip and say, 'wow, that's good.' Then you order another. Lucky for us, Jerry has shared the recipe too, but as his original is made from housemade ginger beer and balsamic syrup, you may just want to try this one in person. 

Find the Bufala Negra recipe, here.

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
May292014

Young Blood

A few months ago, I was delightfully surprised to walk into the new Young Blood Boutique in Atlanta. This locale has been an institution of sorts in the Poncey-Highland district for over 15 years. Upon hearing it would be closing back in 2012, local residents Rebecca Hanna and Jessie White delved right in to keep things running. They moved the shop a couple doors down, renovating a spot with great bones. This included large storefront windows and original brick tile flooring. It's light, airy and inviting...

Young Blood is all about celebrating handcrafted goods made by artisans throughout the US. They've been known throughout the years for their stellar artwork selection and that continues here. I'm especially fond of the print, How to Love Yourself by Chicago based artist, Laura Berger. 

I've blogged about Haand's ice cream bowls before but it wasn't till I visited Young Blood that I got to see these incredible pieces in person. I love these bowls, made to hold your ice cream then allow you to sip up the melted parts afterwards. I quickly fell for this cutting board too, made in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. Each color is a different type of wood...stunning. 

These two are a talented team as I'm always blown away by the wonderful selection of goods I find inside. The lines they carry represent different retail categories in a space that never feels cluttered, haphazard or jarring. It all just flows...

I always love seeing Courtney's lovely ceramics around town- my talented friend of Honeycomb Studio...

I'm a fan of their scrumptiously good-for-you skin care offerings which include Herbivore Botanicals via Seattle and Aster & Bay from Atlanta.

I must admit, my favorite part of their shop is the jewelry section. I rarely find so many necklaces I want in one store. Rebecca and Jessie have a great eye for picking unique and lovely pieces, all at a good price point. Many of these are the handiwork of Betsy & Iya, based in Portland, Oregon. 

If you're in Atlanta, be sure to visit Young Blood. It's an exceptional spot with truly beautifully curated items for the home (or your person). It's located next to The Shave Barbershop and Highland Row Antiques - well worth a visit as well. Keep an eye out for their online shop too, set to go live, fall 2014. 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
May282014

Hinterland Trading

I have a clay chiminea I moved from Los Angeles all the way to Atlanta, which has sat in my backyard for years, never once used. Tragic, I know. I think it's too much for me to deal with at the moment. What I would prefer instead is one of these little guys, by Hinterland Trading Co., based in Stafford, Virginia. 

Elizabeth and her husband quit their Washington DC jobs to settle in the Hinterlands of Virginia to spend their days organically growing and packing pepper seeds, moss, air plants and fertilizer. I personally fell for their small ceramic section that includes vases and candle holders...each one more charming than the next. 

Sweet and simple is how I like it. Much better than hauling logs and starting fires- I like a tea light and a match. I know, tragic. See all of Hinterland Trading Co's goods, here. 

 

Photos: Hinterland Trading     Content: Sweet Peach


 

Tuesday
May272014

Seed Factory 

Although I don't have any kids, I find myself inside Seed Factory every time I'm in the Westside Provisions District of Atlanta. The space is so bright and inspiring with gorgeous children's clothes and oodless of adorable accessories and unique toys. It's a place that celebrates imagination and joy. In other words, my happy place...

In 2002, Rachel Baba opened Sprout, a tiny shop for children. Over time it grew and grew, until she expanded into this current 4000 square foot space. In 2008, she renamed her shop, Seed Factory. Inside you'll find clothing for ages newborn to 12, books, arts & crafts, wooden toys, plus a whole nursery section with furniture, baby basics and gifts. 

Rachel works hard in curating a special mix of products that you won't see in your everyday children's shop. Rachel, "I look for something people haven't seen- items with real value and character." Many of the artists she knows personally and her makers live locally as well as throughout the US and across the globe. You'll quickly notice that each item is of high quality and showcases a sweet, simple charm. (I spy a cute stamp from The Small Object and artwork via Eclectica Kiddo


A basket of blabla dolls can only ensure happiness. When I need a baby or toddler gift, one of these adorable, super soft dolls is the first idea to come to mind. 

Rachel's nursery section in the back of her shop is full of natural light and good vibes. The bedding and pillows, not to mention the soft toys and baby basics are just the sweetest ever...

About once a month, Rachel hosts a Saturday Crafternoon for the kids as well as brings in artists to showcase local goods or creative activities. As summer is fast approaching, Rachel has stocked Seed Factory with tons of fun travel toys, arts & crafts and books. This fall she'll be carrying even more clothing by Tea Collection- a good quality, well priced clothing line that averages $25 per piece. And trust me, each and every one is adorable. 

What I'm particularly excited about is Rachel's recently completed online shop. No matter where you live, you can access her favorite finds and best sellers in just a click of the button. She's made it incredibly convenient and fun to shop for the child in your life- whether you're in her store or browsing on your laptop at home. As she continues to evolve her Seed Factory community, I'll be a big supporter. After all, it is my happy place. 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach   Final Pic: Seed Factory 


Friday
May232014

Rough South Home, Summer 2014

"I'm self taught, stubborn and I won't stop until I like it." That's how Clarke Titus of Rough South Home summed up his relatively new career as a furniture designer and builder. For years, he's gone to salvage yards and forest-free lumber yards and has created some truly incredible pieces of furniture. He's dabbled as a golf pro, a cook and a writer but always came back to his workshop to take something unexpected and turn it into something cool. He just has a knack for it.  

This year, Clarke is hunkering down and trying something new by introducing his first furniture line based on his best designs. The pieces will remain the same, but the materials will shift, depending on what's available. This first batch highlights Eutree eco-friendly white oak with natural oil rubbed steel. 

 

This table is just stunning in person. It's the Circle Base Dining Table- Clarke's take on a circle base, but with a rectangular stock kerf-cut that is bent and re-welded for texture and sturdiness.

Clarke explains the unusual process in crafting the legs, which was completed by welder, Ben Vass. Clarke, "Each line was cut which then had to be filled with a weld. It's super intricate and it took forever, but it was the only way to make those legs strong and stable with the tools available. I was pumped that I kept pushing that design until it submitted."

What sets Clarke apart from most furniture makers is his obsession with wood grain. He'll spend hours, often days figuring out which cuts go where then pay just as much attention mixing the perfect stain. Clarke, "It's obvious when it's the wrong combination. But when it's right, it's easy and calm. You can't turn a piece into something it's not. It'll feel forced." 

I think my favorite trait in any artist (or person for that matter) is the ability to embrace imperfections. Clarke relishes any changes or mishaps in the wood and lets them shine. In this coffee table, metal was imbedded into the tree causing mineral stains, which in oak, turns the wood to black. Clarke, "You couldn't really use it for flooring (basically it's trash) but I love it. I left the holes so if you look at the table in person and know what you are looking for, you can see the unfilled holes in the middle of those black patches." 

Clarke's Summer 2014 line includes tables, chairs, benches and a light sconce. After this batch, he'll begin another using different domestic hardwoods like walnut, cherry and maple. All wood will be forest-free and hand picked by Clarke himself. 

All the pieces will be hand numbered and signed by Clarke. Although part of a continuous ever-changing line, these creations are one-of-a-kind with a good story to tell. Just ask him. 

This is an exciting time for Clarke. He just introduced his new line of furniture and his first baby is due any day. (His wife, Bryan took these lovely pics) Clarke has poured a lot of his soul into this venture and I'm excited to see where this next path will lead. And as a sidenote, if you're in Atlanta, be sure to pick up the June edition of Atlanta Magazine with an article all about Rough South Home, written by yours truly. Happy Memorial Day Weekend everybody...

 

Photos:  Bryan Meltz     Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
May222014

Holler At Ya Boy

This spring and summer, I'm helping out Cathead Vodka by taking a few pics of cocktails. All of the drinks are made by mixologists here in Atlanta and all are available at their respective bars throughout the summer. I'll be featuring a few here on Sweet Peach as they can be made at home too...it just takes a little crafting. 

The first bar we ventured into was my favorite neighborhood haunt, H. Harper Station. Owner and chief mixologist, Jerry Slater crafted this super tasty cocktail he calls Holler At Ya Boy. By incorporating Cathead Pecan Vodka, walnut bitters and sassafras, each sip has a nutty taste with hints of sweetness. I'm a fan of so many of Jerry's concoctions and truth be told, this one continues to impress...

  

 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach