We’ll miss it. The earthy scent of freshly mown grass. Open windows. A breeze that breathes through the curtains. The clink-clink of ice tumbling into glasses and frosty beads of sweat promising cool comfort. We will miss summer soon enough.
So let’s celebrate its last balmy nights with the fête it deserves: an Indian summer dinner party with candles, romance and plenty of red, white and rosé. Tell your guests all they need to bring is good conversation.
It’s a misconception that an elegant gathering takes days of planning and lots of fuss. Outline a simple but special menu like grilled pepper jack and avocado quesadillas to start. Then serve suave skewers of shrimp and prosciutto and a festive Moroccan carrot salad with spicy lemon dressing.
Now set the stage. Pick a spot for the table where you and your guests will be comfortable sitting for hours. Gather a loose bouquet of freshly cut roses and make it a focal point. Bring out the china and glassware, linen runner or posh placemats. It’s wonderful how the tenor of the moment shifts into the realm of the uncommon with small touches like these.
Involve your welcome guests. Before the sun slips low on the horizon, invite them to carry something to the table. One brings the napkins, another a stack of salad plates, yet another the wine.
And have them light the candles. Quantity is key here. Scatter votives haphazardly around the table. Dot the landscape with lanterns. Place hurricane-topped pillars on the porches, patios and poolside like stationary fireflies. Your guests will find the task of lighting all of them a playful, celebratory scavenger hunt. Passersby will notice the happy illumination and yearn to be invited—some enchanted evening must be happening there.
Yes, it is an occasion that comes around once a year: Indian summer. Our chance to give the season we love so much a proper send-off.
Tackle every outdoor fête with grace using inspiration from our Pinterest board.
Courtesy of Food & Wine
1/4 cup harissa
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
4 lbs carrots, julienned on a mandolin or coarsely shredded in a food processor (about 12 cups)
2 cups raisins
4 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
1lb feta, crumbled
In a large bowl, whisk the harissa with the lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Add the carrots, raisins, parsley and feta to the dressing and toss well. Serve lightly chilled or at room temperature.
The carrot salad can be made without the feta and parsley and refrigerated for up to 6 hours; add the feta and parsley just before serving. The lemon dressing can be refrigerated overnight.
Harissa is a chile paste used in Tunisia and Morocco. It is available in jars and tubes from specialty food shops.
From Manhattan to Miami, Seattle to San Diego, and everywhere in between … juice is having its day.
Call it clean eating in a glass. Green, red or gold, these elixirs promise more energy, a clearer mind and a healthier body. Plus, they’re an easy and palatable way to load up on vibrant micronutrients and get more greens.
And with a bounty of summer fruits and veggies hitting their peak, there’s no better time to enjoy a cold, fresh-pressed juice. Here’s how:
If you’re serious about juicing, you need a juicer. A blender just won’t do the trick. Pure juice is super nutrient-dense and not to be confused with a smoothie – which is thicker and often contains protein or dairy.
Today’s juicers are more powerful than ever, which means they make light work of leafy vegetables, crisp fruits and even nuts. There are three types of juicers. The first are juice extractors, also known as centrifugal juicers; they separate the juice from the pulp and fiber. Next are masticating juicers, also known as cold-press juicers; they slowly crush and mash the produce, keeping the pulp with the juice. Lastly, whole-food juicers use high-speed blades to shred produce into a high-fiber drink that some consider more of a “smoothie” than a juice.
The most important thing to remember is that your juice is only as good as your fruit, so in-season produce promises maximum flavor. If you’re blessed with a bounty from your own garden, juicing is an excellent way to use your harvest. Otherwise, you can stock up at your local farmers market. Whatever you decide to juice, you’ll need lots of it!
While you may be tempted to add every leafy green in the crisper drawer, you’ll enjoy the juice more if you keep it to a few key ingredients (such as, kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, pineapple, apple, lemon, lime, ginger, parsley and cayenne or jalapeno).
Get your creative juices flowing with our favorite recipe. It’s great for newcomers to green juicing because the brilliant emerald color comes from mild spinach, the taste of which virtually disappears amidst yummy apple, lemon, ginger and orange flavors.
Add the following to a masticating juicer (or juice the spinach on slow speed in a centrifuge juicer):
• apples, 3 medium
• orange (peeled), 1 large
• lemon, ½ fruit (rind is optional)
• ginger root, ¼ thumb
• celery, 4 large stalks
• spinach, 5 cups
Discover more recipes on Pinterest.
The cooler temperatures of early fall tease us with the promise of what’s to come: swaths of trees, ablaze in crimson, pumpkin and gold. But warm Indian summer days are sure to lie ahead … and they demand a drink that’s refreshing and appropriately vivid. We think a rosé sangria with smoky grilled fruit is made to order.
Reflecting fall’s palette, golden citrus wheels and ruby-red grapes swim in a pool of blushing rosé wine. But the real key to this sangria’s autumnal appeal is the delectable flavor that comes from grilling the fruit. Ready for a surprise? Lightly searing whole grapes over hardwood gives them an intriguing flavor that delivers new depths to sangria.
If you grill twice as much fruit as the recipe calls for, you’ll be ready to make a second batch (unless you snack on all the grapes while you enjoy your first cocktail). Just be sure to cook the fruit over glowing coals, not an open flame, to avoid a sooty taste.
Courtesy of Food & Wine
3 cups stemmed seedless red grapes
2 oranges, cut crosswise into ½-inch wheels
2 lemons, cut crosswise into ½-inch wheels
Two 750 milliliter bottles rosé
8 ounces simple syrup (see notes below)
8 ounces brandy
Light a hardwood charcoal fire. Put the grapes on a perforated grill sheet or in a grill basket, and grill over high heat, tossing occasionally, until they just start to burst – about six minutes. Transfer the grapes to a plate to cool completely.
Meanwhile, grill the orange and lemon wheels over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred – about six minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool completely.
In a large pitcher, combine the wine with the simple syrup, brandy and grilled fruit and stir well. Refrigerate until the sangria is chilled and the flavors are blended, at least one hour and up to eight hours. Serve the sangria over ice.
To make simple syrup, combine equal amounts of sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved – about three minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and let cool completely. The simple syrup can be refrigerated in a glass jar for up to a month.
If you prefer your wine straight up, you may want to discover the small producers and lauded estates of the Frontgate Wine Club.
Savor more of that fall feeling with inspiration found on Pinterest.
Fashion-forward furniture designs are looking more like far-flung resorts. Or as Katharine Posillico McGowan puts it, “Everyone wants to feel their home is a vacation now.”
So McGowan, owner of Long Island-based Katharine Jessica Interior Design, brought the Mediterranean home to the Hamptons. In outfitting a patio at the 2015 Hampton Designer Showhouse, she channeled the glossy vibe of a jet-set getaway.
The Côte d’Azur’s terra-cotta roofs, white-sand beaches and gorgeous water inspired the patio’s palette of orange, white and blue. The sculptural dining table, high-gloss side table and steel accents evoke the polished yachts dotting the Riviera. Two streamlined daybeds provide balance, and contemporary planters delineate the space.
Then there’s the dramatic Frou Frou Parasol, which McGowan calls “the diamond of the entire space.” Dancing in the breeze, the raffia-like fringe creates a visual spectacle, providing kinetic energy. In fact, McGowan chose the umbrella first and built the look from there. “One little item can inspire you to create a whole concept,” she says.
McGowan encourages experimentation. The daybeds, dining table and chairs she chose come from different collections. Pick key items to anchor your space, and then add accents. She designed the patio with some formality, but the daybeds encourage lounging.
View all the outdoor furniture and decor pieces McGowan used in furnishing the patio.
The Hampton Designer Showhouse in Bridgehampton, New York, runs through Sept. 7. If you’re vacationing or attending the Hampton Classic nearby, stop by the Showhouse to see the patio – and a host of other top designers’ work – in person.
A low-key celebration is all that’s needed to make Mother’s Day one she’ll truly appreciate and never forget. Click for our tips... ---> bit.ly/MeaningfulMemorableBrunch