07.26.18

GRAZING BOARDS WITH BLUE DIAMOND ALMONDS

grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest

back with our second post with Blue Diamond and their new Crafted Gourmet Almonds! this time, it’s all about entertaining at home, which is something i really enjoy. whether it be hosting a sunday dinner at my house, an impromptu gathering on my patio or girl’s night to catch up on reality tv, i love having people over to share food and hang out in my kitchen. once justin moved in, entertaining became way more fun because we shop and prep all the food together and i find it to be a really relaxing way to spend the weekend. it’s always more fun to create something beautiful and delicious when you have people to enjoy it with!

grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest

i like to remind myself that entertaining doesn’t need to be stressful. one way to cut down stress is to create grazing boards, which offers something for everyone and can be prepared before your guests arrive. we brought in the experts, sorella collective, to help us craft these ones and to share a few of their tips on how you can create one at home. here are their tips:

• pick cheeses based on how they work together in flavor on the board. we usually go by what is soft/medium/hard to mild/unique/familiar. We always recommend splurging on at least one cheese as you truly see the difference in quality and taste!

• we recommend going to your local farmers market (if possible) for seasonal produce to pair with your cheeses and almonds. Right now we are in summer so the markets are bursting with stone-fruit, grapes, melons, figs, and summer berries. A cheese lovers dream team! the farmers markets make you think out of the box, and guide you try something new and different. there is truly nothing like getting your produce straight from a farm. the taste is unlike anything you’ll find in a market. and will bring your boards to the next level!

• when cutting your cheese for the board, aim for a mix of generous whole slices, slices that are cut in half so you can layer to create height and easily accessible pieces like squares of cheddar. the cheddar squares are the perfect size to grab and pair with an almond and are great for grazing, no cheese cutting required!

grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest

•  for the charcuterie, we recommend getting it freshly sliced at your local meat shop or market. make sure they are thinly sliced! our rule of thumb is two different medium- large circular pieces and a smaller one that can be laid down or easily scattered. try to find flavors like chili, fennel and garlic. the fennel sausage was perfect with the rosemary and sea salt almonds.

for the boards we used both the Crafted Gourmet Almonds Pink Himalayan Salt and the Rosemary and Sea Salt flavors. the simplicity of the pink salt variety was perfect to pair with the stronger cheese and also the sliced apples and the rosemary ones were great with the salami and the olives. they’d also be really good with some fig jam and crackers. the almonds are roasted so they have a delicate texture, that pairs well with a lot of things.

grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest
grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest

and for their final tip on assembling:

• when arranging your board, always lay the cheese and charcuterie down first. Its sets the foundation of the cheeseboard and starts the flow for the rest of the items. For texture, we make our crowd favorite “salami flowers and ribbons” that are tucked in between the alleys of the cheese. next, we cascade berries down the surface of cheese, or in any crevices for color. For holes this is where we put almonds, olives and any other items that tend to easily roll off the board. it is also a must to add something salty and crunchy, like the Crafted Gourmet Almonds. to finish off the board add the rest of the fruit and accoutrements. this is where you should be as creative as possible! We love to cut strawberries and blackberries in half, and of course adding a pop of color with edible flowers.

you really can make an entire meal out of these boards, put the more substantial board out first with the almonds, meats and cheeses and finish with the fruit board. we served ours with rosé but a glass of bubbly would also be great.

grazing boards with blue diamonds | designlovefest

this post was sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds

07.26.18

DRESS YOUR TECH / 241

lauren coyle from onward wander studio made these cute summer desktops for us! they’re making us want to go on some fun  summer adventures. you can shop more of her work here. click through below to download the desktops!

CLICK THROUGH TO DOWNLOAD THE DESKTOPS…

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07.24.18

HEIRLOOM TOMATO TART

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

i’m not going to lie, using phyllo dough was a mistake. we made this on a super hot day and i had to brush olive oil on every sheet of it and layer it in the baking dish. if i was to make it again i would use puff pastry. the other important note is that you have to let the crust cool completely before adding the cheese mixture and you want the cheese mixture to be cold or it will all melt together and make it really difficult to cut. these are all things we learned the hard way so take our lessons and run with them! this is the perfect thing to make with all the gorgeous tomatoes that are at grocery stores and farmer’s market. summer tomatoes are the best! – joanie

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

what you’ll need: we adapted this recipe from an old issue of Gourmet Magazine 

• 1 package of phyllo dough or puff pastry (can be found in the frozen section of the grocery store)
• 4 -5  medium sized heirloom tomatoes sliced
• 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
• 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
• 1 zest of a lemon
• 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
• basil as garnish
• 2 teaspoons salt

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

• pre-heat oven to 350. bring the phyllo dough to room temperature before unwrapping. once warmed unroll and cover with a damp cloth or paper towel as to keep the thin sheets from drying out while working on them. with one sheet at a time, lightly brush olive oil or butter over the surface of the phyllo sheet. then add it to your baking dish. (we used a 10 inch pie dish but any oven safe dish will work as well!) repeat process for about 10 sheets depending on how thick you would like the crust. remove the excess crust by cutting with a knife or kitchen scissors. bake for 15 minutes on 350 degrees or until golden brown. remove from oven to cool completely.

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

• to make the filling mix the mascarpone, parmesan, ricotta and lemon zest in a bowl, and the olive oil and salt. place in the fridge at least 30 minutes to firm up the cheese filling.

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

• to assemble add the cheese filling to the completely cooled crust and spread evenly. layer the sliced tomatoes and garnish with fresh basil, you may add additional salt and pepper to taste.

heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest
heirloom tomato tart | designlovefest

07.23.18

SUMMER WHITES

something about summer that makes me want to wear white every single day. i love a white blouse tucked into jean shorts, worn half unbuttoned over a bikini, or tied up at the waist with your favorite skirt. here are few white tops i have my eye on, most of them at a very reasonable price! – joanie

H&M off the shoulder $35  – i love the romance of an off the shoulder blouse.

Free people top $128 – i’m okay with long sleeves in the summer heat as long as they aren’t skin tight. this top has a fun, laid back feeling.

Reformation top $98  – such a pretty little piece with the lace ruffles around the edges. i love anything that feels victorian!

Crochet linen top $45 – high neck and bare shoulders all the way! i like how they styled her hair on top of her head for this look too, i’d do the same.

White linen top  $99 – i own this top and have worn it so many times this summer. such a simple piece but it’s great with jeans or a skirt. half linen, half cotton.

Swiss dot top   $45 –  very into swiss dot with anything and everything!

V neck blouse $40 – can’t belive this is H&M, i love it so much. the soft v-neck and the delicate sleeve detail.

Textured blouse $30 – simple and sweet.

Polka dot blouse $30 – for the petite people in our lives! and love the cinches waist.

 

07.20.18

WEEKEND AT HOME / 122

hammocks have a way of manifesting that peaceful easy feeling. they conjure up the feeling of summer: warm sun, swaying in the breeze, afternoon naps. i’m all about transforming your home to be a place of relaxation, and hammocks are my favorite way to make your patio feel like a secluded getaway. i love the idea of an interior hammock too! they’re are SO easy to put in your yard, why not make your yard a private paradise this weekend with a hammock? erika

shop them

CLICK THROUGH FOR MORE INSPIRATION…

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