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There are few things that define the south moreso than our food. From biscuits to peanuts to whiskey to okra, we have a diverse palette and a variety of ingredients to keep the tradition alive. This week we’re chatting all about our favorite southern restaurants, and hope you’ll join us at @heirloomed on Twitter on Monday at 9:00 PM est at #southernchat!


#southernchat: southern restaurants (Monday, 1/14/13, 9:00 pm est)

Q1: In the south, we are blessed to have some of the best chefs around. Who are some of your favorite southern chefs?

Q2:  There are always a few southern-inspired food trends. What do you predict for 2013?

Q3: What are the best southern restaurants around? Share your local favorite!

Q4: If you could pick just one southern food on the menu, what would it be?

Q5: Besides the food, what other elements help to set the stage for a top-notch southern dining experience?

Giveaway or Giving Back:

Team HIDIThis week, instead of a giveaway, we’re giving back with #southernchat. In true southern spirit, and in keeping with the theme this week, I’d love to introduce you to the story of Ryan & Jen, a restaurant concept called Staplehouse, and Team HIDI. There are so many southern chefs and restaurants who have joined together to help, and it is truly inspiring. I hope you’ll take a moment to read their story and see how you can help yourself.

To learn more about #southernchat, to be a guest or host a giveaway, click here to learn more.

I just launched my brand new line, heirloomed. and went in search of other “heirloom” quality items that make fabulous finds for the holidays for those who appreciate the finer things in life that are lasting. These are a few of my favorites!


rifle paper co recipe card boxes / watering can at terrain / heirloomed set of 4 napkins at icemilk aprons / sewing scissors at west elm

Garden & Gun is hands down one of my favorite magazines. It’s a diverse and beautiful magazine that truly captures the essence of the south.  This month they launched a new Southern foodie subscription program called Sideboard and I’m thrilled to announce that we’re partnering with Garden & Gun on this new tradition!

Sideboard is Garden & Gun’s way of sharing the good eats they feature in each issue with you all year long.  Sideboard features a handpicked selection of Southern staples sent every 6-8 weeks for a total of eight seasonal packages throughout the year.

Included in the welcome package sent to each new Sideboard member is an IceMilk Apron, exclusively for Garden & Gun.  Our limited edition apron is from our new heirloomed collection and includes an embroidered G&G signature detail. In addition, the package includes a set of Southern Expression kitchen towels, and an assortment of some favorite recipes from the magazine.

The aprons reflect part of my own personal aesthetic that the magazine speaks to as well, a little bit of outdoors and a focus on fine detail.  And, being such a long-time fan of the magazines I am so honored to be a part of this new southern tradition.

There are few things in this world that are better than southern food and I can’t wait to keep you all updated on Sideboard as it continues to evolve! For more information on this exciting program, be sure to check out their site for more info.

You know it’s my favorite post of the week, the Heirloom Recipe Series is back for another installment with Ashley Brooke Quinatana of Ashley Brooke Designs!

We’ve been tweeting for some time and even had a fun meet & greet at a past Gift Mart in Atlanta. She’s just lovely and I am thrilled to be partnering up {more to come, stay tuned!} And, hopefully you have already taken a moment to enter the fun giveaway she’s doing on the blog for her fabulous hand-illustrated lemon recipe & note cards!

I loved reading her yummy recipe below, and love that it comes from many generations back. And besides, as a true southerner, she had me at “buttermilk.” Enjoy!


Heirloom Recipe Series with Ashley Brooke Quintana

This is my great grandmother’s (oh-so-yummy!) Buttermilk Candy recipe. I look forward to every Fall when the holidays start to roll around and I start smelling the buttermilk candy in the kitchen. Gosh, this stuff just smells amazing. My great grandma Ann used to make this and bring it to all our family gatherings in a beautiful tin, but now that she is 99, she’s earned her right to relax during the family baking season, and now my grandma Kay (who is featured in the old photo!) her daughter, is in charge of the buttermilk candy. It’s just one of those amazing feels-like-home recipes.  I hope you enjoy!

Buttermilk Candy:
2C – Sugar
1C – Buttermilk
1/4C – Butter
1t – Baking Soda
2T – White Karo Syrup
1t – Vanilla
1C – Peanuts

Mix in a large kettle, sugar, buttermilk, butter, baking soda, and Karo syrup over medium heat. Stir  and check with a candy thermometer until the temperature reaches “soft ball” status.  Remove from heat and let cool. Then add in the vanilla and nuts. Then beat until its very stiff, like fudge.

Mix in a large kettle, sugar, buttermilk, butter, baking soda, and Karo syrup over medium heat. Stir  and check with a candy thermometer until the temperature reaches “soft ball” status.  Remove from heat and let cool. Then add in the vanilla and nuts. Then beat until its very stiff, like fudge.

The lovely Ashley Brooke Quintana of Ashley Brooke Designs is the owner & creative director behind the beautiful illustrations. She has a great enthusiasm, loves to learn and try new things, and is sweet as can be! Her passion for paper cannot be denied. Be sure to connect with her on her blog, twitter, facebook, instagram, and pinterest.

i have had a pair of moccasins in my closet, in some form or fashion, for as long as i can remember. minnetonkas are a staple at the mast general store, the most fabulous general store of all time, that we frequent during our trips to north carolina. i love that they are throwback {my first pair was the “thunderbird”} and the indian nature in which they originated from the land. and, you can beat the fact that they simply last forever.

my current pair is more of a chocolate suede with some light fringe and i spent many, many hours in them last fall & winter. i was thrilled to see the fringe look to be pretty in vogue for fall fashion this season, perhaps i’ll get slightly less comments on mine this year. i’ve been loving the light-skinned mocs above since i first saw them this past summer, and am toying with an ankle or mid-calf length bootie of sorts too to combat the cold for the upcoming season – aren’t they great? of course, i couldn’t resist these little teeny mocs for baby boy. his first pair of shoes and i’m quite sure he’ll love them!

are you a lover of the fringe? would love to see your favorite picks for this season!

images via : minnetonka / zulily

IMG_1766A thoughtful gift can be pages found wrapped between the cover of a book.

Books come in such a variety that you can truly make the most personal of gifts for any occasion. From the loveliest of photo books to the thickest novels.

When giving the gift of a book, commemorate the experience with a delightful message scribed just inside.


Note the occasion, the date, the to and from. And, make it lovely.

What a wonderful, throwback treat such as this one given to my great grandfather from his

sister Lena as a Christmas gift back in 1912.

Who knew a dictionary could be such a treasured heirloom?

The surest way to appear to have mastered the art of entertaining, is to always (yes, always!) be prepared to entertain.

An impromptu cookout, a neighborly visit, or a last-minute “lets meet at your house” can easily leave you feeling inhospitable without properly being prepared for a gathering.

The secret ingredient to making you stand out as a host is all in the details. Things don’t have to be elaborate, just thoughtful.

Here is a quick checklist of things to keep on hand to ensure you can whip up a

celebration for almost any quick gathering!

Cocktail napkins – consider a monogrammed napkin with your last name initial

Wine – always have at least one red & one white (chilled) on hand so guests can choose. consider something that stands out, either from a vineyard you traveled to, with a funny name or label that is meaningful to you in some way, or simply something different that you can introduce to someone who doesn’t know anything about wine.

Drink – Get a nice bottle of water or gourmet lemonade and keep it in the fridge for such occasions.

Crackers & Cheese – again, keep it simple, yet impressive.  go for a cracker that has some pizazz, such as herb infused or sesame seeded type that looks earthy. and a cheese that requires little to no preparation – like a small wheel of brie that you can keep on hand to quickly whip out.

Herbs – grow an herb garden – there is nothing better to add garnish than fresh herbs. Parsley to garnish the cheese & cracker plate, mint to garnish a dessert or drink, cilantro, thyme, sage, lavender – just a handful of plants can make a world of difference.

Something Homemade – Of course not everyone has fresh baked goods lying around at any given time, but having something homemade on hand to offer your guests is always a treat. I prefer keeping a jar of Grandma’s homemade chocolate sauce in the fridge, with some vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer, with a mint leaf for garnish!

The Presentation – At the end of the day, it’s all in the presentation. be sure to have some unique serving dishes, cake plates, bowls, glassware, etc. on hand to make a good presentation. Flexibility is key. A simple tablecloth for a patio table & a jar of candles goes a long way too.

Signature – Find a signature something to fit

your entertaining style. Maybe it’s a food, a game, music, a treat or a goody bag – but find something that you can call your own & be known for it.

Would love any other wonderful tips you might have!

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