A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘champagne’

Nights of Wine and Roses

In Design, Drink, Fashion, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on May 7, 2013 at 10:48 am

Lily Lodge Veuve Clicquot Rosé

A few weeks ago I received an invitation from Veuve Clicquot to join for an evening floral arranging class with my friend Ariana Lambert Smeraldo at her ultra-chic floral boutique, Lily Lodge. I knew it would be fun and that I’d learn a thing or two because Ariana has exquisite taste and her floral arrangements are second to none (psst—if you are wondering what we moms really want for Mother’s Day, a big green box from Lily Lodge is a good start). If you’ve ever wondered who does the drop-dead gorgeous arrangements at Bouchon, it’s this girl:

Ariana Lambert Smeraldo

At some point we’ll want to devote another post to Ariana’s hair, but in the meantime back to the flowers. Buckets of orange and pink petals on tables as Ariana instructed us how to arrange, starting with our biggest blooms first and playing around with height and color.

Lily Lodge Veuve Clicquot


lily lodge floral class

There were trays of gorgeous little lobster rolls and ahi on cucumbers. Even the food was pink and orange!

mini lobster roll

I love the idea of using cupcake wrappers for popcorn or crab salad. Wouldn’t they be great for a birthday party?


And there was champagne, lots of it—pretty little coupes of Veuve Clicquot Rosé with candied rose petals were on offer from young gents, also with good hair.


If I can ask you to refocus your attention for just one moment, check out the gorgeous array of vintage vases over his shoulder in the background. Oh, that’s what you were looking at all along? Good. Because one of Ariana’s exquisite arrangements sent in a vintage vase for Mother’s Day would really knock it out of the park.

Christine Natalie Nina

At the end of the evening we got to take home our creations. I love Natalie Martin‘s arrangement, above, but she is a fashion designer after all so of course hers is going to look fabulous! Ditto for the stylings of STYLOOT co-founder, Carlota Espinsoa, below.

carlota espinosa

Even if my own arrangement was, in Ariana’s words “wild and crazy,” I am absolutely wild and crazy about it! Here it is on our kitchen table.

heathers flowers

Cheers and thanks to you, Ariana, for an absolutely beautiful evening.

Veuve Clicquot Champagne Reception at Lily Lodge photos courtesy of Veuve Clicquot.

Let’s Drink to Mother’s Day

In Drink on May 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Flowers, spa treatments, breakfast in bed—it’s all good. But after the kids are in bed, what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a well-deserved drink? One of my favorites is The Lulu (above)—a delicious muddle of basil and strawberries topped with Prosecco, St. Germain elderflower liqueur and Aperol, created by friend and celebrity caterer Lulu Powers.

Also in the fruity family is the beloved Pimms Cup cocktail. Grab some blueberries, strawberries, oranges and fresh mint at the farmers market in the morning and make a pitcher in the afternoon. These taste even better when enjoyed with friends.

For something that packs a little more punch, try a refreshing Vodka Rosemary Lemon Fizz. The nonalcoholic version of this sophisticated drink is equally delicious for moms-to-be. Just skip the vodka and add more club soda.

Or, if we can’t wait until the kids are in bed, why not start the day with my friend Laurie’s perfect Bloody Mary?

Another entry in the morning cocktail category, a favorite riff on the bellini: Peach Tarragon Bellini, a recipe I developed for Bon Appétit magazine. Or just skip the peaches and tarragon and go directly to champagne. Cheers!

Sipping Pretty at the SAG Awards

In Drink, Fashion, Film, Media on January 30, 2011 at 8:40 am

It’s been years since I’ve been to an awards show—the last time was covering the Oscars from the red carpet back in 2004, which I have to say was pretty damn exciting. Especially the part where Jude Law and I locked eyes and he said, “Dunhill,” when I asked who made his drop dead gorgeous navy tux. I nearly fell over. This afternoon, I’ll be attending the SAG Awards and I can’t wait to see what everyone is wearing. Yours truly is playing it safe and going short with a charcoal silk drape dress from Lanvin and palest pink 4-inch Louboutins and blood red nails. Best of all, I know what I’ll be drinking! One of my very, very favorites—Taittinger Champagne will be pouring at the event and I am so honored to be their guest. And Suzanne Goin of Lucques/AOC/Tavern is cooking. So excited!!!!

P.S. Nosing around on the SAG auction site (proceeds benefit various children’s charities), there’s a fabby 6L bottle of Taittinger Le Brut Français up for sale that will be signed by actors on the red carpet this afternoon. Who wants to go in on it with me?!

Champagne Caps

In Design, Drink on December 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm

On my very first visit to Reims, I remember marveling at how the French children collected Champagne caps—swapping them like American kids do baseball cards—the rarer the cap, the higher its currency. A decade or so later, shortly after I first met my husband, I noticed that we were amassing quite a collection ourselves. For a while, the caps and cages lined the window sill in our kitchen because they made me happy, each one a memory.

At some point I ran out of sill and began storing them in a bag in a closet. But I had a plan all along. For years I’ve been looking for just the right demijohn—a large glass bottle used to store wine during fermentation. My parents have a gorgeous green one from the 18th century. When we were little, my sister and I liked to drop copper pennies into it. So maybe it was fate that when we were up in Napa Valley last week visiting my parents for Christmas, my husband spotted a vintage vessel circa 1910 in a shop on Main Street, St. Helena. We brought the bottle home.

While Tiny G was napping earlier today, I spent an hour or so engrossed in organizing the Champagne caps by color, and stacking repeats, on our dining room table. They are so pretty.

My husband came home in the middle of this Very Important task and was clearly concerned, but graciously pretended that what I was doing was sane. Here are a few of my favorites, including the cap from the very first bottle he and I ever drank together, a 1995 Bollinger Grand Année that had been a gift.

We dropped all the caps into the demijohn. The bottle is destined to live next to the fireplace once the Christmas tree comes down, but here it is on our dining room table. Sure felt like a lot of caps going in (I’m thinking around a couple hundred?), but they barely made a dent. I guess we have a lifetime ahead to fill it up. Time to start celebrating.

Holiday Punch

In Drink, Fashion on December 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I love this picture that my friend and celebrity photographer Alex Berliner took of yours truly with gorgeous friends Anna and Ariana at our holiday party a couple weeks ago. While Ariana is holding the goodness that is my sister’s masterful Triple Chocolate Cranberry Cookie, Anna and I are all about the punch, though it looks like her glass needs a little replenishing. I’ll tell you, the stuff disappears quickly. I blogged about the recipe earlier today on Herman Miller’s LIFEWORK blog in my weekly “Good Taste” feature, so head on over for the skinny. Go ahead, take a sip, it’s loaded with pomegranate antioxidants (she said by way of enticement). And white rum…and more rum…and Champagne, so while we can’t exactly call this a health beverage, we can call it the most festive and prettiest punch you’ll drink all year. Cheers!

A Plum Day

In Drink, Food on July 13, 2010 at 7:39 pm

It only seemed appropriate—mandatory even—that to celebrate our son’s first full day at preschool yesterday we should pop open the very last bottle of this deliciously nutty, rich 1996 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne from our wedding three years ago. Even prettier in my favorite Marc Jacobs for Waterford Champagne coupes.

It was quite, quite good. So was this crisp I made late last night (perhaps a wee bit tipsy) with plums from my friend Lizzie’s tree. I tossed the plums with a little brown sugar, dotted with butter and used toasted pecans, butter and cake flour for the topping. Some days, life can be so sweet.

Blood Orange Mimosa

In Drink on April 4, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I’d like to raise a toast with a gorgeous Blood Orange Mimosa to fabulous family, friends and neighbors. More tomorrow on this morning’s brunch (which is doing double duty for dinner tonight!), but wanted to share my new favorite riff on the mimosa, made with fresh blood orange juice and Barcino Cava (avail at Larchmont Wine & Spirits for under $15/bottle). I have a feeling we’ll be drinking this cava all summer. My friend Katie told us about it and it’s perfectly dry, citrusy and excellent either in a mimosa or all on its own. Get some, that is if Katie and I don’t clean them out first.

When Dom Pérignon Blogs…

In Drink, Media on February 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Any day that starts with talking to Richard Geoffroy, chef de cave of Dom Pérignon, is a good one. He is in town promoting his exquisite new vintages of Dom Pérignon Rosé: the current 2000 vintage as well as the Oenethèque 1990 rosé—his first vintage with Dom. While I can’t share the contents of our conversation, I can tell you that Richard has launched his own blog! This is a man obsessed. I’m looking forward to more of his musings from the road and in the cellar!

Jane Royale

In Baby Love, Drink on January 17, 2010 at 11:53 pm

The most beautiful baby girl in all of Los Angeles has her own signature cocktail. Think pink. Think pretty. Tie it up with a pretty pink bow, and you have the Jane Royale! This weekend, friends Trisha, Gia and I hosted a baby shower for one of our favorite people on the planet! Trisha had the genius idea of developing a pink cocktail to honor the little lady’s arrival, and I riffed on the French 75 to come up with a TOTALLY DELICIOUS cocktail that incorporated two of her mommy’s favorite adult tinctures: pink Champage and gin. I substituted pink Champagne for brut, agave syrup for castor sugar, along with a heady dose of gin and freshly squeezed lemons picked from the tree in our backyard. And then I dropped a raspberry in the bottom.

For party favors, Trisha tied gorgeous recipe cards (that she made) around splits of delicious and fruity Pommery Pink POP.  The result is a pretty and pink cocktail that packs an inconspicuous punch. And for people who don’t think they like gin (ie, my husband, a diehard vodka drinker,who PS was crazy about this concoction), this one is for you.

Jane Royale

2 ounces dry gin
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
Pink Champagne
2 raspberries

Shake hard the first three ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and strain into two chilled Champagne flutes. Top each with Champagne and drop a raspberry into each flute.

Check back later this week for add’l baby shower pics—lots of great shower ideas. I kind of can’t even deal with how amazing a hostess Trisha is…………I promise you will want to learn at the feet of the master mistress! Tune in tomorrow.

T Minus 362 Days

In Drink, Food on December 27, 2009 at 6:42 pm

As soon as the last plate of prime rib had been cleared on Christmas night, my husband declared that he was already starting the countdown to Christmas 2010. The one-two punch of fondue on Christmas Eve followed by Christmas dinner at my parents’ is by far the best meal sequence of the year—every year. We start Christmas evening with osetra caviar (this year we splurged on Caspian instead of domestic) and Champagne (Salon ’97).

Then my dad roasts a prime rib using a classic recipe out of James Beard, which calls for steady low heat. This year my husband made Yorkshire Puddings from an old Gourmet recipe. My mom has a great popover pan, which produces perfect individually sized puddings.

Here is indisputable proof that my father makes the best prime rib on the planet, and that Mr Foodinista has a way with a carving knife:

This year with the prime rib we enjoyed a 2003 Far Niente Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon along with a bottle of 1999 Cakebread Cellars Benchland Select from my alma mater (yours truly used to work at Cakebread Cellars right out of college over a decade ago), and a bottle of 2003 Eisele Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon from my friend Christiane’s family winery. We finished off the evening with some stilton and vintage port. And ibuprofen. I mean, let’s be serious.

And so the countdown to next year’s festivities begins! For a look at last year’s, click HERE.