When warm weather came to Brooklyn this year, Rich threw an intimate "Hello to Summer" gathering for some friends in his lushly planted rooftop garden. Called for the afternoon, when the flowers would be at their fullest and the plants at their greenest, the party featured drinks and appetizers that were heavy on the garden-fresh ingredients.
Here's a full look at the party, from the setup to the cocktail recipes, including a few gardening tips along the way. Planning an outdoor party this summer? Here's some inspiration for making it a relaxed and delicious gathering.
The signature cocktail for Rich's "Hello to Summer" rooftop gathering was inspired by the fragrant summer herbs already flourishing in his lush outdoor planters. Built around a handful of muddled basil, mint and parsley, this drink tastes fresh from the garden. You can find the same freshness, whether from the basil plant on your kitchen counter or at your local market. Here's our recipe for the most refreshing cocktail of the summer.
After an especially brutal winter, Rich was even more excited than usual to see springtime come to his beautiful roof garden. In the summer months, the rootop is his favorite room in the house, with walls of hydrangea and boxwood and pots of herbs and lettuces. So naturally, Rich wanted a little fanfare to celebrate the start of the season. To properly welcome summer, he threw a casual afternoon gathering for some friends and neighbors, serving food and drinks inspired by the bounty already flourishing in the garden. This week we'll be telling you all about his party, the recipes, the decor, and the shindig itself, starting today with the Party Plan. Want to see how he did it all?
How would you (and a very lucky friend!) like to jet off to Paris this summer, stay in a gorgeous hotel on the beautiful Place des Vosges, and have your own personal chauffeur drive you to all the greatest spots in the city?
Update: Thank you to those who submitted! We have already cast this project, but we loved all the submissions. Our readers are what make our site the vibrant, authentic community it is, and we deeply appreciate your participation!
A well-stocked kitchen is a happy kitchen. Maybe that's why we're such suckers for HomeGoods: With so many essential pieces, global flavors and styles, it's like a wander through a sublime gourmet market. You can score everything from Italian olive oils to gourmet spices to gleaming copper pots and top-notch cookware, all at great values — not to mention cheery canisters, glamorous barware and ingenious gadgets. Forget ho-hum tableware and workaday spices: This is a well-stocked kitchen that's well-traveled, too.
HomeGoods has everything you need for your kitchen, no matter your taste.
Your own bonne maman deserves an extra-special treat this Mother's Day, non? Classic French foodie brands Le Creuset and Bonne Maman think so — that's why they've teamed up to create the ultimate midday celebration, featuring the garden-fresh flavors of Bonne Maman preserves and the timelessly fashionable function of Le Creuset cookware. A peek at the recipes proves it: Between the ham biscuits with creamed collards and (hello!) bacon-berry preserves, the whimsical shrimp lollipops in orange-horseradish glaze and the sweet-tooth-satisfying strawberry orange mini-trifles, this is a year's worth of maternal mercis. (And a dreamy way to channel your inner Julia Child.)
Every good cook should have a no-fail brunch recipe up their sleeves, and I personally consider the "French toast" casserole to be the holy grail of weekend entertaining. Just in time for a Mother's Day debut, this decadent combination of Bonne Maman Four Fruit Preserves and buttery croissants — baked up in a gorgeous Le Creuset skillet — is the newest recipe to take top honors at my breakfast table.
This week, I've been sharing the plan and menu for a casual weeknight dinner party I threw with our neighbors and their little kids. Today, we'll reveal how it all came together, how we kept it comfy and cheerful for the little kids while still making it a special night for us all. We hope it shows you, like it showed me, that dinner parties don't always have to be elaborately planned affairs, but can simply be a bigger, prettier version of your everyday family meal. Warning: you may be inspired to throw impromptu weeknight or weekend dinner parties all the time now, so grab your crayons and come on in!