A sunset picnic at Estancia Culinaria

Florida is having the most amazing weather lately, and since this is a rare occurrence my husband and I took full advantage and went on a picnic last weekend for Valentine’s Day.

FarmPhoto1But it wasn’t just any ordinary picnic…We attended an amazing event at Estancia Culinaria in Miami.  The ten-acre organic avocado farm is an oasis of calm, graced by horse paddocks, a coral rock chapel and walking trails that make you feel like you are anywhere but Florida. It’s a magical place and one worth checking out if you are planning a wedding or special celebration.

FarmPhoto6The avocado farm hosted a sunset Valentine’s Day picnic complete with blankets, champagne, culinary delights by New York Food Co., live romantic music and professionally styled picnic decor by Unearthed Vintage.  The well-planned afternoon was amazing and hopefully the event will turn into a Valentine’s Day tradition.

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I am so happy we decided to forgo the usual restaurant reservations for something completely different. It was an afternoon filled with love, new friends and memories!  I can’t wait to do it again, or host my own sunset picnic, soon!

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Want to host your own sunset picnic? Grab a quilt a few pillows and a picnic basket.  With a little imagination, you can create a simple and chic treat for you and your loved ones.  Need a little inspiration? Here’s a simple set up to get you started.

Picnic in the park

Creamy Artichoke and Kale Dip

Easy Superbowl Recipe!
If you are looking for an easy appetizer to serve this weekend, you need to try this creamy artichoke and kale dip from Food Babe. I whipped it up a few days ago and it was a huge hit!  Check out the recipe below.  And, don’t judge the recipe by my last minute iPhone photo!
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Food Babe’s Creamy Kale and Artichoke Dip
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 bag of frozen artichoke hearts thawed and chopped
  • 4 cups of finely chopped kale, spinach, Swiss chard or collards
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 cup organic sour cream (or ½ cup sour cream and ½ Greek yogurt)
  • 3 tbsp organic mayo
  • 3 tbs Parmesan or manchego cheese, plus more for top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and place into a medium-sized baking dish
  3. Top with additional cheese if desired
  4. Bake for approximately 30-45 mins covered
  5. Remove from oven, and let sit for at least 5 mins before serving with homemade pita or tortilla chips

Enjoy!!

Color of the Year – Marsala

When I hear Marsala, I think of chicken or wine…I can’t help it, I’m Italian. But apparently there’s more to Marsala than just poultry.

According to Pantone, “much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

At first I wasn’t sold on the color, but it is starting to grow on me, and I actually really like it. Take a peak to see for yourself.

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Dinner Party Essentials

Devouring delicious food in good company just got easier, thanks to these simple tips…

You don’t have to break the bank to host a real housewives worthy dinner party. In fact, you can put together an impressive  gathering by  incorporating what you already own and using a little imagination. To help plan your next bash, here are a few suggestions to get you started.

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1. Don’t forget about lighting –  Lighting is an important detail and shouldn’t be overlooked. To help set the mood consider dimming the lights,  decorating with candles of various heights or stringing cafe lights above the table.

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2. Flowers — Adding a simple floral arrangement to a table will help bring it to life.  They don’t have to look perfect, loose arrangements or vines and moss will work just fine.

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3. Mix and mingle expensive items with inexpensive finds — Break out your fine china and mix in inexpensive stemware to create an eclectic look. You can create a stunning table scape by adding in fabric napkins or plates in different colors or patterns.

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4. It’s in the details — Design pretty place cards, menu cards or even play a fun game.  Whatever you fancy, by adding in an interesting twist, you can create an engaging experience and a party friends and family will not forget.