63rd & 12th
by Keely Laughlin
A styled cheese board is a perfect entertaining hack to elevate your gathering! When I assemble a cheese board, I consider guest count first. The board pictured here with two cheeses and one meat is perfect for a group of five to snack on during cocktail hour.
My favorite cheese is Parmigiano-Reggiano, the salty hard cheese is a little bit expensive but so worth it. My favorite alternative to this is a Manchego. I love blue cheese, and so does my boyfriend Poole which is why I selected it for this board. But you can also choose a more mild soft cheese, like a Camembert, to appeal to more people. My go to meat is typically a Soppressata (pictured) or a prosciutto. Add-ons like pickles, whole grain mustard and pepper jelly make the board come to life. And of course, never scrimp on the baguette & crackers!
PS: My board is from the Joanna Gaines for Target line Hearth & Hand With Magnolia.
I love to shower my friends with pretty, fun food that really makes a splash (and shows that I put extra care into things). Which is why I am absolutely obsessed with piping right now! What a crazy easy way to elevate your desert tray and really make your guests or friends feel special.
For these cupcakes, I purchased a few clear disposable frosting sleeves and I had 4 decorative tips. Cut the tip off the sleeve, and slide one of your decorative tips to the bottom of the sleeve where you made your cut. Next comes the critical step - getting your frosting in the sleeve. If you're like me, you only have two hands and this part can be difficult. I put my sleeve down on a cutting board, folded the opening of the sleeve over and then placed my frosting in with a spatula. Squeeze it all the way down (Pro tip: do this over the sink!) I didn't have a rubber band handy so I just held the top to keep the frosting moving down, I wouldn't recommend that. Tie your sleeve with a rubber band if you can!
I mixed a few different sprinkles together to give me just the perfect look that I wanted - all purchased at the grocery store no need to make an extra trip to a specialty store!
Daiquiris. They take me back to balmy Florida vacations. As a child, I would sip them (virgin) gleefully with a whipped cream dotted nose and ruby red lips. Now as an adult, I favor the classic sip over the frozen beach bar concoctions. And the effortless combination of white rum, lime juice and simple syrup still packs a tropical nostalgia punch!
Confession - I'm not an exact recipe girl. I look at a bunch of different ideas, and make what tastes good to me. I used two shots of rum, a half shot glass of simple syrup, and a shot of lime juice with lots of ice and then shake, shake, shake! If you want to use exact ounces here's a great recipe on Imbibe!
Poole's favorite summer time drink is a mimosa, but sometimes we like to spice it up. For this quick sip, I blended a cup of chopped watermelon, one basil leaf and a splash of water. Then I double strained. Poole loves pulp, but if you don't thoroughly strain these the excess watermelon solids will create large bubbles and coat the sides of the glass - not cute. Fill your glass 1/3 of the way with the juice and then finish with your favorite sparkling wine!
Avocado toast, cliche? Possibly. Delicious? Always! I like to add a soft-boiled egg for a protein boost. It's quick and super easy. I followed the instructions from the experts at Bon Appétit, here, with one adjustment - I removed my egg 30 seconds earlier than they recommended so it would be just slightly runnier.
I like to crush my avocado with lemon juice and olive oil. Then finish with sea salt and pepper.
Black coffee + a little fruit and we are ready to take on the day!