Browsing Category

Parties

Alpine Holiday Feast

Menu - Ditch the Dolomites, we are the Catskills

The menu – Ditch the Dolomites, we are in the Catskills

 

I finally found the time to do some entertaining on my own – and for my own – this past winter at my home in upstate New York. I usually throw parties in the spring and summer so that I can utilize all of my outdoor space, but my friend Rebecca Ffrench and I had a hankering to throw an Italian Alpine holiday feast. We selected a date between Christmas and New Year’s to help people keep the festivities going.

We wanted to create a theme of sorts; being that we live in the Catskills – essentially our version of the Alps – we decided to do an Alpine spin on Italian cuisine, which is always a favorite. The Dolomites theme seems to be popping up everywhere lately, so we thought this was just so apropos.

Catskills- The Alps of New York

Catskills- The Alps of New York

 

All of the décor was plucked from the field; we created arrangements from pine boughs, berries, spruce tips, dried milk weed pods, grasses, and green lichen-covered logs. Our friends at Broadway Party Rentals shipped in gorgeous modern burnished black flatware and beautiful crushed taffeta linen that had the look of wood grain, and I got the opportunity to pull out all of my pottery that I never seem to be able to use. We threw some sheepskins over the mismatched chairs – even I don’t have 27 matching chairs – and created a cozy, intimate dining table.

The invitation was extended to all of our favorite local Phoenicia and Woodland Valley chefs, celebrity photographers, publishing executives, hotel owners, home designers, and foodie friends to join us in a celebration of the bountiful local delicacies available in our area year-round.

To begin our feast, we had an incredible presentation of locally pastured and cured meats from Jacüterie in Ancramdale, Alpine cheeses from Chaseholm Creamery, smoked duck and pheasant sausage from Quattro’s Farm in Pleasant Valley, and pickles and krauts grown by my husband, Joshua Sheldon, and made by yours truly. Our lavish meal continued with the most succulently tender roasted pork shoulder with crackling skin, venison ragu with polenta, canederli (Alpine dumplings) made with beets and local rye bread, all kinds of delicious vegetables from Eliza Clark and Tim Trojian of the gorgeous new Foxfire Mountain House, and an incredible winter salad of bitter greens from our neighbors, Hayley and Marlon. But the most fun and delicious part of the evening – I have to admit – was the pizza. We have a wood burning soapstone fireplace with a pizza oven on one side, and our close friend Rudy Accornero – of Savini Tartufi in Tuscany – graciously made fresh mozzarella and pizzas with a selection of truffles that he brought with him from Italy.

Locally pastured and cured meats from Jacüterie in Ancramdale and smoked duck and pheasant sausage from Quattro’s Farm in Pleasant Valley

Locally pastured and cured meats from Jacüterie in Ancramdale and smoked duck and pheasant sausage from Quattro’s Farm in Pleasant Valley

 

Alpine cheeses from Chaseholm Creamery

Alpine cheeses from Chaseholm Creamery

 

Delicious vegetables and winter salad of bitter greens.

Delicious vegetables and winter salad of bitter greens.

 

Pickles and krauts grown by Joshua Sheldon and made by Marcey Brownstein.

Pickles and krauts grown by Joshua Sheldon and made by Marcey Brownstein.

 

Tender roasted pork shoulder with crackling skin

Tender roasted pork shoulder with crackling skin

 

Pizza made in our wood burning soapstone fireplace pizza oven.

Pizza made in our wood burning soapstone fireplace pizza oven.

 

Pizzas topped with homemade fresh mozzarella and a selection of truffles, from by our close friend Rudy Accornero – of Savini Tartufi in Tuscany.

Pizzas topped with homemade fresh mozzarella and a selection of truffles, from by our close friend Rudy Accornero – of Savini Tartufi in Tuscany.

 

The final course of our feast included Italian cookies from private chef Rebecca Shim of Phoenicia Honey Co., several frozen treats from my friend Robin Chess (who is an incredible cook, and leads the cooking program at our local school)…and I could go on! We were so stuffed that we didn’t even have a chance to open all of the dessert cordials I bought from Harvest Spirits in Valatie. In the spirit of the holidays and Italian-inspired camaraderie, it was a wonderful night of community, gastronomy, and overindulgence.

 

IMG_1858

All photography by Joshua Holz.

Photo Booth Fun

What a treat it is when we actually get to put our feet up (or down on the dance floor) and be one of the attendees at a fabulous soiree. We did just that at our friend Christian Oth‘s annual holiday party this past December. As expected from “ONE OF THE TOP TEN BEST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE WORLD” – AMERICAN PHOTO – the photo booth was anything but ordinary. Here are a couple of photos from the event of our very own Marcey Brownstein with good friends and colleagues Ellen Kostman of Side Kick Events and Manu Kingston of Revolve Furniture. We’re so lucky to be friends with such creative people and had a blast spending some quality time and cocktails with them.

12-11-2014-photo-booth-1-small

12-11-2014-photo-booth-2-small

12-11-2014-photo-booth-3-small

Circa 1799 Barn

Hammertown is a fantastic home design store in the Hudson Valley. Every nook and cranny is filled with covetable items – you’ll want to buy everything in this place! We are so excited that Joan, the owner, was a guest at this recent wedding we catered at the gorgeous Circa 1799 Barn and she wrote a beautiful blog piece about it on the Hammertown Blog. To read the full article, click here. Special shout out to the event planner Susan Caruso of Susan Caissy Caruso Special Events!

hammertown-06-05-2014-2 hammertown-06-05-2014-4 hammertown-06-05-2014-6 hammertown-06-05-2014-7 hammertown-06-05-2014-8 hammertown-06-05-2014-9 hammertown-06-05-2014-5

Ladies Who Lunch

I had the pleasure of hosting some great women at my home and farmden in upstate New York recently. The wonderful photographer (and friend of mine) Amber Gress recently covered it on her blog and it was so lovely and I just think it is so gorgeous that I smile every time I look at it.

via Amber Gress Photography Blog:

As I mentioned in one of my last posts, I’m working on my online persona, and how I would like to better blend it with my actual living identity, which is part of why I am posting about more aspects than just weddings, or photography for that matter.   Part of why I chose photography as my path, is because it gives me access.  It gives me access to many worlds, many lives, and  many stories.  I love life, I love people, I love telling stories.  I want to share stories about the places I’ve been, the people I meet, and the magic that ensues.  I am very blessed to know people from all walks, and to  be invited into an array of different worlds.  Some of the things I love are gatherings, cooking, and good conversation with amazing women who are doing amazing things.  This lunch really encompassed so much of that, and I feel so blessed to have been a part of such a lovely day with some truly lovely and talented people.  The roster ranged from jewelry designer, chef, acupuncturist, event planner, to amazing self made entrepreneur.  I want to thank our lovely hostess Marcey of Marcey Brownstein Catering for bringing us all together, and opening her lovely home to us in upstate NY!  Please check out the links below to see the roster of lovely ladies who attended, and are doing amazing things for a little inspiration!

xo
amber

2013-07-24_0001 2013-07-24_0002 2013-07-24_0003 2013-07-24_0004 2013-07-24_0005 2013-07-24_0006 2013-07-24_0007 2013-07-24_0008 2013-07-24_0009 2013-07-24_0010 2013-07-24_0011 2013-07-24_0013 2013-07-24_0014 2013-07-24_0015 2013-07-24_0016