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Garnish & Gather

I had the pleasure of meeting with Emily of Garnish & Gather just yesterday for coffee and I couldn’t wait another moment to share this wonderful company with you!

I already knew I’d be a fan of Emily thanks to the mentions by talented friends Heidi & Ginny, and of course they were right. I love the simple and whimsical design treatments and packaging. And, even more, love the simple concept of G&G. They work with local area farms to source their ingredients, then team up with brilliant chefs to put together delicious recipes, making the most brilliant little meal kit you can imagine.

We’re a busy family and I’d say I have somewhat limited patience, so I much appreciated having everything handy, measured, fresh, local and ready to go without having to think for a minute “what’s for dinner tonight?” The meal we enjoyed last night was Grassfed Ribeye Steak with Muscadine Gastrique, Roasted Potato Wedges and Sauteed Squash. I love squash, my husband & son love steak, and I had never cooked with muscadines before {despite being from the south and having access to bucket loads of them at the farm}. The local farms that brought us our dish were Moore’s Farm, Heritage Farms and Geezers Garden.

The meal was so much fun to prepare, everyone enjoyed it, it was so simple! I will definitely be enjoying another meal again soon, and I think a kit or gift certificate would make a perfect gift to bring over to a new mom.

Have you tried Garnish & Gather yet? I’d love to know!

With Easter right around the corner, this week we will #southernchat about Easter Traditions, a topic suggested in one of our earlier chats.  Everyone has their own special traditions for Easter – from family to eggs to baskets. Some of my favorite Easter style pieces are oh-so-Southern-inpsired, keeping it classic but still spring fresh. Seersucker, straw, pastels, stripes and floral scents help set the stage for an Easter gathering you’ll never forget.

Easter Style

My own traditions growing up were family events that brought us closer together. My grandmother always put together special Easter egg hunts at her house, leaving little clues in each egg that led to the next.  After the last egg, the next clue helped us to find our Easter baskets which were filled to the brim with treats.  The wooden baskets we found were handcrafted by my parents and painted in soft spring colors, mine with a bunny and my sisters with a chick on it.  They went perfectly with the Easter dresses my sister and I would wear as we made our way to Easter brunch at my grandmother’s country club.

Liza Graves Style BlueprintThis week, we have a special guest, Liza Graves, co-founder of  I very much related to the Easter memories that Liza had to share.

I grew up honoring Lent, with a grandmother and all of her sisters who gave up liquor each spring for 40 days and then got quite tipsy at the annual Easter party, held at my grandmother’s on a 3-acre lot on the river in the second oldest house in town. It was THE party to be invited to. Ham biscuits, coconut cake and sparkling punch, spiked and served out of a punch bowl, were always mainstays on the buffet table. Sometimes my grandmother & her sisters would get a little tipsy, get into arguments and storm off to their respective homes, all within one block of one another – just in time for the caterer to leave and everyone to proclaim that it was the best party yet.

I do think that everyone has funny Easter traditions, but the big Easter Egg Hunt at a friend or neighbor’s house, lent, smocked dresses, ham biscuits, coconut cake and family spats that end in hugs are something that most southern families have in common!

I love Liza’s spin on Easter, and I can’t wait to hear all about your Easter traditions, too! I hope you can join in the fun.


#southernchat: Easter Traditions (Monday 3/25/13 9:00PM est)

Q1: What Easter Traditions do you & your family have?

Q2: When you think of Easter, what elements come to mind?

Q3: What are some of your favorite southern foods on the Easter table?

Q4: What are the perfect pieces for a classic Easter outfit?

Q5: What southern goodies will you be filling the Easter baskets with this year?

Kayce Hughes LogoGiveaway!

Special thanks to Liza for coordinating this week’s giveaway – a $50 gift certificate from our friends at Kayce Hughes! With stores in Nashville, Chattanooga, and now, Atlanta, what better place to outfit your whole family for the Easter holiday than here. Just join in the chat by using the #southernchat hashtag sometime from 9:00-10:00pm est on 3/25/13 and you’ll be automatically entered to win.

Easter Style: Rachel Zoe Straw Hat, ASOS Cork Clutch, NARS blush, Happ & Stahns Eau de Parfum, J.Crew Seersucker Dress, Gucci Necklace, Butter London Polish, Sperry Wedges.

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.

This week we have the lovely Maggie Battista from over at Eat Boutique here as our guest for the Heirloom Recipe Series. I am thrilled to have Maggie, as she was a very early supporter of IceMilk Aprons and was so kind to include us in {this blog post} way back in 2009!  Maggie has a fabulous sense of style and I do fall in love with nearly everything she features on her blog. Eat Boutique is fabulously committed to the stories behind food-based businesses, you can read more about their mission {here}, but I am truly inspired and in love with the stories as you know so we are a match made from the start! Enjoy this delicious heirloom recipe from Maggie, and special thanks to her for putting so much time into this post & her lovely images, especially during the hustle & bustle of the holiday season!


Heirloom Recipe Series with Maggie Battista from Eat Boutique.

Hispanic and Italian American by birth, I was surrounded by so much amazing food growing up. We had sweet plantains and homemade refried beans every Sunday, and there was always a big pot of orange-tinged rice on the stove, loaded with so much chopped cilantro. Sure, we sprinkled Parmesan cheese on our plantains and served our beans with finger-thick slices of whole milk mozzarella, always finding a way to intertwine the foods of my Mom’s Honduras with my Dad’s Naples-infused Newark-upbringing.

The holidays were really no different from the every day, except that our dishes were just much bigger, brighter and even more exotic. We had tamales often, as they were one of those impressive Latin dishes that required extra time to prepare, something my hardworking family really only had around the holidays. And on many Christmas Eves, my Dad would make a rich, tangy “gravy,” filled with pork neck bones and so many cans of Italian tomatoes. I was in charge of opening each can, a task I took on gleefully, loving to watch my Dad on his rare appearances in the kitchen and knowing the sweet reward was a bit of the chef’s treat, a bite or two of that meltingly rich pork.

It wasn’t strange to incorporate other cultures into our festivities. Rarely would a family celebration conclude without a thick glass of store-bought Baileys, a warming Irish treat that my non-Irish family adopted as their own. My family closely identified with the Irish, always pointing out their centuries of suffrage. My Honduran uncle always said he never met an Irish man who didn’t intimately understand his own plight as a poor, hard-working immigrant who just wanted a good life for his family. He never met an Irish man he didn’t instantly adore. (He also slyly requests his “Irish medicine” when he wants a tiny glass of whiskey or Baileys, whatever is on hand.)

Twenty years later, I met my Irish man. Born in Boston but raised to feel solidly attached to all his cousins, aunts and uncles in the old country, my husband completely understood me but didn’t quite understand my family’s infatuation with Baileys. From his visits to Ireland, he recalled how the coffee and whiskey infused cream was just something the old ladies drank instead of straight whiskey. It was rarely drunk in his family. In fact, he didn’t really remember tasting it until my Mom offered him a glass of the stuff with a few ice cubes. Now, he can’t get enough.

When my sister’s colleague shared her recipe for homemade Baileys a few years ago, I laid my claim to the ingredient list and poured, measured and mixed everything until I found my favorite version. I also replaced many of the ingredients with the organic versions (although that’s not necessary) and homemade extracts (and that’s really not necessary but, I think, kind of special). I now make this each holiday season and bottle it in tiny medicine bottles. I love sending my holiday visitors home with one of my family’s favorite medicines to sip and savor once they’re home, out of the wintry cold. While this specific recipe hasn’t been in my family for generations, the spirit of it has and I’m so pleased to share it with you too.

Homemade Baileys

4 fresh hen eggs
0.5 teaspoon of homemade almond extract
1.5 teaspoons of homemade vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of organic chocolate syrup
2 teaspoons of organic instant coffee granules
1 can of organic sweetened condensed milk
1.25 cups of good Irish whiskey
1 cup of heavy whipping cream

Blend all ingredients in a blender or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Or put everything in a jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake it all until combined. Store in the back of your refrigerator, where it’s the coldest. Shake again just before serving, and serve over a cube of ice. This recipe makes a quart that keeps for 4-6 weeks.

Ingredient notes: (1) I always use farm fresh eggs when I’m making something that isn’t cooked in some way. (2) Whiskey is a very personal decision so use whatever you like. I tend to use the good stuff like Basil Haden (my favorite) or Bushmills (my husband’s favorite).


Maggie Battista is a Boston-based entrepreneur with more than 12 years of community building and outreach experience connecting millions via sites like Lycos, Tripod and TripAdvisor. She took a break from technology years ago to explore authentic food, fine dining and superior hospitality, and discovered the vibrant real world communities that emerge around food. She started to celebrate exceptional food experiences derived from entrepreneurial spirit, pure ingredients and great service, and regularly drive long distances for one amazing night with a great chef, farmer or host.

Be sure to connect with Maggie over at Eat Boutique and discover all the wonderful things she & her team have to say!


Part of our Heirloom Recipes Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

IceMilk Aprons so proudly announces our newest Gourmet Retailer, Bella Cucina.

The gourmet line of artful foods, founded by the delightfully engaging Alisa Barry, has a perfectly-packaged and savory experience that cannot be missed.  The flagship store is located in the oh-so-charming neighborhood of Virginia-Highlands in Atlanta, however their distribution does not stop there. From the nooks & crannies of fabulously unique gourmet retail stores, to gift stores, to the superior Henry Bendel, Bella Cucina has certainly made a place for themselves and has quite a following of foodies around the globe.

The Italian gem of a store is so perfectly appointed that it may possibly be the perfect home for IceMilk Aprons to be showcased. The pictures speak for themselves but the design is simple, rustic elegance to the max, with dreamy oversized fabric shades hanging from the ceilings and gourmet goodies scattered amidst garden-fresh veggies and worn wooden fixtures. Delish.

Our line of gourmet heirloom aprons debuted in the Bella Cucina store this August for their weekly Artisan Thursday event, another can’t-miss-moment when experiencing Bella Cucina.

We at IceMilk Aprons are so very thrilled to be involved with this timeless brand, honoring the luxury of food and recalling recipes of generations past. A special thank you and warm welcome to Alisa & her team as we embrace them as another wonderful Gourmet Retailer showcasing the IceMilk Apron line!


Bella Cucina
1050 North Highland Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30306
Phone: 404.347.6476

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