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Monday
Jun102013

Hari Mari

I like the idea of embracing some bold color this summer. And one of the easiest ways for a manly man to do so is with a pair of flip flops from Hari Mari.

Based in Dallas, Texas, the Hari Mari flops deliver on both style and comfort. The straps are made with dual colors and even if you opt for the more subdued gray, you can get a bright orange stripe along the bottom. I love that. 

All Hari Mari flops are made with recycled rubber and foam and the toe posts, which are made from memory foam, are super cozy and easy to break in. So, these flops are made well and they're made responsibly. Even better- if you send in your old flip flops, no matter the brand, they will recycle them to keep them out of landfills. Plus you get 15% off a new pair of Hari Mari flip flops. Done. And done. 

I love the idea of some colorful, durable flops this summer as I wear my standard black flops until they are practically falling apart. These are built to last, plus they provide your feet with some fun for once. Peruse the entire Hari Mari shop here.

 

Photos: Hari Mari       Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
Jun072013

Garden Party, Part 2

I'm happy to report that our first Garden Party was a sweet success...

Our prep, which I covered in yesterday's post, also included us placing Beth's colorful tissue flowers in HollyBeth's frontyard trees. We also dangled some pretty paper flowers from the driveway trees...all leading our Garden Party guests to the backyard.

We mixed tables and chairs and adorned most of the tables with a white tablecloth...

Then we mixed and matched all of our favorite new and vintage dishware. 

Beth finished making our two sided napkins that morning, which was perhaps my favorite touch of the day. HollyBeth diligently placed flower clippings from her beautiful yard atop the tables...It was a Garden Party afterall. 

And then of course was the cocktail. We wanted it to be something from the garden so we used some lavender blossoms to make the simple syrup, then added that to vodka, champagne and soda water. Mint ice cubes too. Ridiculous. I think it's my new favorite drink.

I made the cucumber gazpacho- a recipe my friend Vanessa shared from her favorite cookbook, Plenty. It's a really great soup as the dish has a lot of layers to it. I made it the second time with twice as many jalapenos for a bit more of a kick. We topped each cup with some edible flowers I found at the Grant Park Farmer's Market- provided by Crack in the Sidewalk Farmlet.

HollyBeth made her perfect Southern Drop Biscuits. They were a mix of herbs from the garden, like Thyme and Lavender, Sour Cream with Rosemary and Mint. I could eat these all day long, which I actually did. 

Beth was in charge of dessert and she blew us away with an incredible Georgia Peach Sorbet with fresh mint and a dab of honey. So good...

I think it's fair to say, a good time was had by all. I certainly enjoyed every moment of it. It was fun for Beth, HollyBeth and I to say thank you to some of the people that have helped us and inspired us over the years. 

Near the end of the party, I passed out the Peach Butters we had made previously. (FYI- If you sign up for our Sweet Peach Revival Bourbon, Bacon & Biscuit Brunch, you'll get our homemade Bourbon Peach Butter free!) 

A big thanks to Beth and HollyBeth for all your hard work and patience and care in bringing this together. Let's do another one! 

 

Photos: Sweet Peach, Stefanie Carter      Content: Sweet Peach


Thursday
Jun062013

Garden Party: Part 1

When I first visited HollyBeth Anderson's home (of HollyBeth Organics) and saw her backyard, I texed our friend, Beth Lord (of the indie-pendent) and said we have to have a party here. We ultimately decided on a Garden Party, each inviting a few close friends who have helped us in our creative endeavors. It was our way to say thank you by smothering them with some goodness and prettiness...

Our plan was to utilize HollyBeth's beautiful yard (which backs up to 40 acres of green space, so she has many lovely birds and critters meandering about). We decided on each of us making something: HollyBeth-drop biscuits, Me- cucumber gazpacho and Beth- Georgia peach sorbet. 

Beth made the gorgeous invites with card stock she had on hand, some scraps of vintage floral fabric and a bit of twine. I love that girl...

We also purchased new fabric to create two sided napkins for the tables and takeaway gift...

For the gift for our guests, we enlisted Lyn Deardorff, our resident master canner for some advice. Together we decided on making Peach Butter. Lyn, "I prefer making butters from fruits because little or no sugar is required." Lyn cares deeply about the craft of canning and I was so happy to have her help us. (Sign up for her amazing canning workshops, here.) 

To make 5-6 half pint jars, you'll need 4 pounds of peaches (firm, at peak of ripeness & organic as you'll keep the skins on), plus organic sugar to taste.  

Prepare for water bath canning by filling your canner or large stockpot with mason jars and cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and then let them sit at medium heat while preparing the peaches. Put flat lids in saucepan or heatproof bowl. Prepare peaches by washing. Cut into halves and remove pits. Do not remove the skins. Cut again and place in stockpot, then bring to a boil over high heat. 

Continue cooking over medium heat until the peaches are very soft in texture, about 20 minutes. Puree mixture using an immersion blender. Add sugar, if desired, to level of sweetness preferred (none is required, however).

Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture reaches soft ball stage. This can take from 20 minutes to a full hour, depending on your peaches. You can test when they're ready by placing a spoonful of the mixture on a plate. When cool, it should hold its shape, not run when the plate is tilted. 

Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids to sterilize. Remove your mason jars from the stockpot and place on a towel. Ladle the hot peach mixture into the hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Clean the rims and secure with lids and bands. Place jars back in large stockpot, making sure water covers them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes to process. Remove jars to folded towel and leave undisturbed for 13 hours.

Check lids for tight seal. Label them and make 'em pretty, then store in a cool, dark place. If unopened and sealed, your peach butters will last 6-12 months. Once opened and refrigerated, the butter will last for 3-4 weeks. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Garden Party tomorrow to see how it all turned out...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


 

Wednesday
Jun052013

Cicada Invasion

Anytime I hear of a cicada invasion (which is surprisingly more than you may think), I grin from ear to ear. I just love the whole idea of it. It's nature doing its thing and in the most surprising way. The Brood 2 cicadas spend 17 years underground before they reveal themselves en masse. They appear, mate, lay eggs, then die. 

Theses cicadas began to emerge last month and have been spotted from Florida all the way to Massachusetts. Their mating ritual is extraordinary. In a quick synopsis- the males gather high in trees on sunlit branches and sing 'choruses' together. The females signal with a 'wing flick' in response to the males of the same species and life cycle. The wing flicks generate a broad frequency sound from a gentle whisper to a loud pop. Males decipher the visual and audio components and respond accordingly to find their match. Fantastic...

In preparation for the cicadas arrival, Anderson Design Group in Nashville created these incredible art prints. Knowing they woud be host to the swarming multitudes, they figured why not celebrate it? I concur. And this is a great keepsake for their short but oh so memorable visit...

 

Prints: Anderson Design Group     Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
Jun042013

The Rainey Street Queen

Houston native, Bridget Dunlap has been nicknamed the Rainey Street Queen. She acquired that title by opening up a bar in a rundown Austin neighborhood that was anything but hip. Yet, with determination and a keen eye for relaxed, southern style, she transformed Rainey Street into the trendy social district it is today.

The first of four bars she has opened in this neighborhood is Lustre Pearl, named after a woman who threw caution to the wind and pursued her dream to sing by hitchhiking a ride to Reno. In no time, Lustre found a gig- and a man named Clive. 

Lustre and Clive eventually found their way to Austin where Clive bought her this house on Rainey Street. Years later, Bridget transformed the home into a place for locals to gather and unwind, without pomp or pretense. (Lustre & Clive would've liked that) 

Indside or outside Lustre Pearl has a cozy, no-fuss feel. There's picnic tables and ping pong...even a taco truck parked on the property for those late night munchies. I like that Bridget follows the mantra that decor doesn't have to be expensive to be hip...it's all about creating a mood and telling a story. 

A savvy business woman, Bridget has opened two more bars in the same area, Bar 96 & CliveContainer Bar is next, an ambitious bar to be built from refurbished storage containers. Next time you're in Austin, take some time to visit Bridget's cool haunts. They tend to get in and under your skin for a bit...and in the best way possible. 

 

Photos: Annie Ray; Lustre Pearl/Bridget Dunlap    Content: Sweet Peach

 

Monday
Jun032013

Wondermade

It's a success story heard time and time again. A person is inspired to make something and does a little research. The product is made and turns out to be pretty good, much better than what's in stores. The product is then shared with friends. The friends like them. The person makes more product. Then someone says, "I want to order your product, how much is it?" And, there you have it, a business is born. 

Nathan and Jenn Clark of Orlando, Florida are retelling that same story every day. Together, they craft marshmallows that are high in flavor with minimal ingredients. Their Guinness mallows rolled in pretzel or Bourbon mallows made with Maker's Mark are easy favorites. Especially for manly men...

The best part is each and every marshmallow at Wondermade is handmade. Nathan, "When things are machine made, the human touch is focused on rooting out defects. When things are handcrafted, the human touch is directing a product towards perfection. That's a really huge difference." See their site here for more scrumptious flavors or buy their 4 box gift set for Father's Day, which includes Bourbon, Beer, Maple Bacon and Coffee mallows for just $25, here. 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach


Friday
May312013

Sweet Peach Revival 

I'm so happy to announce my first Sweet Peach event. It's something I've been trying to conjure up for over a year now and the stars have finally aligned. I've partnered with Beth Lord of the indie-pendent and John Rich of Oakleaf & Acorn to create a 3 day event we're calling Sweet Peach Revival. (design via the talented Stefanie Carter) 

The event will include an auction, live music, food, drink, a Southern Market and much more. All will take place at Belly General Store in Atlanta. As there is a lot of planning that goes into an event like this, Beth and I have already started getting crafty- making napkins for the Bourbon, Bacon & Biscuit Brunch to be held July 7. 

And we even started making jars of Bourbon Peach Butter with master canner, Lyn Deardorff. (more on this recipe next week) ...and of course we had to finish them with a pretty fabric and piece of twine.

If you follow Sweet Peach, you know that John is a master curator of cool. He, and Beth will be instrumental in securing great Southern items for our weekend market you really won't want to miss. Our July 5th Inaugural event will be FREE but you must register to be on our private guest list. Also, click here if you'd like tickets for our July 7th Bourbon, Bacon & Biscuit Brunch. More to come...just keep checking our website for updates. Feel free to email me if you'd like to play a part in any way. And happy weekend, hope to see y'all very soon...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach

 

Thursday
May302013

Gingiber

Stacie Bloomfield of Springdale, Arkansas is one of my favorite Southern artists- you may remember some of her pillows and prints I posted about last year. Well, her newly revised shop, Gingiber, is now chock full of even more good things. I wanted to share some of her latest prints that help beautify a room and warm the heart...

Stacie has been a doodler of cute animals ever since she can remember. Having refined her skills over the years, she's amassed an impressive portfolio of over 50 prints to choose from- all in various sizes to fit your space. 

It's hard to pick a favorite but the great thing is she has all manner of color choices and sizes in her illustrations so you can peruse till you find your match. See her entire shop, which includes pillows, tea towels, magnets, wall decals & tote bags, here. 

 

Photos: Stacie Bloomfield     Content: Sweet Peach


Wednesday
May292013

JM Drygoods

Michelle Teague was settled into a nice career in film living in NYC when she took a job on There Will Be Blood in Marfa, Texas. It was an area of the country that her and her husband, John were drawn to and after John was asked to help out at the fabulous El Cosmico (I have to go there someday), well...one thing led to another and they moved there permanently in 2008. 

Upon hearing that a Dry Goods shop was available for rent, Michelle jumped at the opportunity to give it a new life. JM Drygoods was born (named after her son John Maverick), and the shop now resides in the lovely city of Austin. Inside you'll find furniture, clothing, ceramics, textiles, glassware and anything else Michelle deems as a must have for your home...

Much of what you find in Michelle's shop is found during her travels in Mexico. I'm in love with this coverlet made by the Otomi in the Eastern Sierra Madre in Hidalgo. Michelle, "The animal and floral motifs are inspired by cave depictions and their intricate embroidery and vibrant dyes are an ancient Mexican traditional work of art."  

Such a lovely shop to visit next time you're in Austin. But even if you're not Texas bound, you can still find her hand selected wares online. Enjoy...

 

Photos: JM Drygoods     Content: Sweet Peach

 

Tuesday
May282013

The Doughssant

Introducing the Doughssant, a cross between a doughnut and a croissant and the answer to NYC baker, Dominique Ansel's wildly popular and original version, the Cronut. The Cronut has become so in demand, Dominique had the name trademarked. 

Cronut Mania has created lines that stretch out the door and into the street at Dominique's popular Manhattan bakery. These inventive pastries often sell out less than an hour after the doors open.   

Atlanta resident, Cristy Lenz, brought the Cronut to the attention of her favorite baker, (and mine too) Ms. Maggie Sweeney of Cake Hag. She thought if anyone could make the Cronut taste as delicious as it does up north, it's Maggie. Lucky for the both of us, Maggie was up to the challenge. 

It took Maggie three hours to skillfully craft over 50 layers of croissant dough. This extra time and effort was well worth it in the end. As Maggie shared, "The layers are deliciousness." After the croissant dough was ready, she popped the doughnuts into a deep fryer to brown. 

Next, she topped them with brown sugar...

Then filled them with vanilla bean pastry cream. Kill me with goodness... but wait, there was one more step. 

Maggie's final touch was a dollop of homemade brandied peach puree. Her sweet, southern version is the answer to the northern Cronut...she calls it the Doughssant. 

If you would like the southern made Doughssant, you can order them in batches of 15-18 in various flavors. Contact Maggie here. Just please prepare yourself, there's no way you can eat just one...

 

Photos: Sweet Peach. Cronut pics: Dominique Ansel Bakery    Content: Sweet Peach