Author Archives: Nicole Letts

Berry Week:: Blueberry Pie

2015-08-24_20-05-34

If you are ever in need of an excellent dessert filled with succulent berries, I recommend this delicious blueberry pie from my cookbook Picture Perfect Parties Rizzoli NY.

This is the most delicious blueberry pie recipe ever and is wonderful this time of year when blueberres are plentiful. I love to serve pie in vintage pie tins. Sometimes I slice a large piece and serve it to a couple with 2 forks. It’s a great way to mix it up.

Blueberry Pie
Serves 6-8

You will need:

Pie Crust Ingredients * pie crust can be made up to 2 days ahead
– 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 4 tablespoons sugar + 1 teaspoon sugar for the top crust of the pie
– 2 sticks butter chilled and cut into cubes
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ¼ to ½ cup ice water
– 3 tablespoons whole milk

Garnish: fresh lavender sprigs

To prepare:

Pie crust Preparation

In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt for 3 seconds. Add butter and pulse into pea-size pieces about 3 minutes. Drizzle cold water, 1 tbsp at a time, and pulse just until evenly moistened and pulls away form the sides and forms a ball about 3 minutes. Turn dough out onto a work surface and gather into a ball, turning dough to combine any dry crumbs. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, then press into a disk about 1 in. thick. Chill dough at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

For the filling, you will need:

– 4 cups blueberries
– ¾ cups sugar
– 3 tablespoons cornstarch
– 2 Tbsp. butter, cubed

To prepare:

Pour blueberries in a large bowl, sprinkle sugar, corn starch and salt over the blueberries, and toss lightly.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

Cut crust into 2 pieces form 2 disks and roll out each pie crusts to about an 11-inch circle. Place 1 dough circle into a pie plate, add blueberry mixture, dot the top with butter and cover with top crust. Trim excess dough and Crimp edges with your fingers all around and cut slits in pie. Brush with milk and sprinkle with a teaspoon sugar. Bake on the bottom rack for 45 to 50 minutes until bubbly (shielding with aluminum foil after about 20 minutes or until golden) let cool and serve.

xx Annette

All baking celebration cooking dinner party Entertaining Holiday italy Personal photography photostyling Picture Perfect Parties Recipes spring desserts the art of a party : Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Berry Week:: Strawberry Crostata

Corstata

I’ve got a fantastic week of recipes for you. It’s berry week! Berries are one of the gifts of summer, and I am always sure to take full advantage of the bounty.

Up first is my strawberry crostata. This is an Italian dessert which is the best kind because they aren’t too sweet. In fact, Italians often have cake, sweetbreads or crostata for breakfast.

Here’s the recipe; it’s a great dessert! Let me know if you give it a try.

Strawberry Crostata
Serves 8

You will need:
– 1 1/2 cups pastry flour
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 1/2 cups cold butter cut into slices
– 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup strawberry jam

To prepare: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In the bowl of a standing mixer, place flour and butter combine on low speed until crumbs form.

Add sugar, salt, and eggs. When combined about 3 minutes, place in plastic wrap and into the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Cut the dough in 1/2, roll 1/2 the dough out on a floured surface into a round disk. Place disk into the bottom of a fluted 11″ tart pan.  Roll the other half and with a pinked pie cutter cut 1″ strips.

Spread the strawberry jam on top of the crust, then lay the 1 ” strips in a lattice pattern on top of the jam.

Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Until golden brown. Cool and serve at room temperature.

4th of July All baking celebration cooking dinner party Entertaining italian cooking italy Notes from Italy Recipes spring desserts : Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Recipe:: Hotdogs with Quick Pickled Veggies

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 12.20.15 PM Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 12.21.17 PM Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 12.20.04 PM

Happy 4th of July, everyone! It’s Nicole here, reporting live stateside while Annette is in Italy welcoming guests to the Artist in Residence program with Steve McKenzie.

Today is the 4th of July which if you’re new here, happens to be one of my favorite holidays. In the past, I’ve turned to Pinterest for cookout inspiration, but why turn to strangers when I have Annette’s expertise in my back pocket?!

As you’ve seen on the blog, Annette recently worked with King of Pops for an amazing summer cookout. One of the recipes featured in the spread sounded like the perfect meal for July 4th. After all, what’s more American than hot dogs?!

What intrigues me most about this recipe is the pickled vegetables. Pickles are one of my favorite foods, and topping a freshly grilled hot dog with them sounds divine.

We’re celebrating with friends and family and will definitely be having hotdogs on today’s menu. What’s on your grilling menu for today? I’d love to hear! Happy 4th of July!

Hot dogs with quick pickled veggies
Makes 5 pint jars

For pickling brine, you will need:
– 1 1⁄2 cups vinegar
– 1⁄2 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt

For veggies, you will need: 
– 2 cups thinly sliced radishes (about 2 bunches)
– 1 jalapeño cut in half lengthwise
– 2 cups thickly sliced jalapeños, about 8 to 12 peppers
– 3 cups shredded purple cabbage
– 1 teaspoon whole dry cloves
– 1 teaspoon dry juniper berries
– 2 cups red onion (about 1 large onion), sliced into rings about 1/8-inch thick
– 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
– 1 whole star anise
– 2 cups thickly sliced sweet peppers, about 8 small peppers
– 1 teaspoon whole dry coriander

To prepare:
Pack vegetable combinations into wide-mouth pint jars, leaving 1⁄2 inch of space at the top. Stir ingredients for brine into saucepan, and cook over high heat until boiling. Pour over prepared vegetables until covered. Let cool, then seal and refrigerate for 48 hours.

Use tongs to apply liberally to grilled hot dogs—or just munch them on their own. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

xo Nicole

Styling by Annette Joseph

Photography by Raftermen

 

4th of July All Atlanta Magazine Home behind the scenes celebration cooking dinner party Entertaining Food styling grilling Holiday party tips photostyling producing Recipes style lessons Styling Uncategorized : Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recipe:: Summer Lemonade

Screen Shot 2019-06-10 at 10.18.50 AM

No summer soiree is complete without summer lemonade, but why not make it even more festive by adding a King of Pops popsicle? Perhaps the recipe from last week?

This no fail lemonade is perfect for kids and adults alike. The key is to use freshly squeezed lemon juice and create your own simple syrup. No concentrate around here!

King of Pops Summer Lemonade
Serves 8

For the lemonade, you will need:
– 4 cups cold water
– 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 2 cups simple syrup

For simple syrup, you will need:
– 2 cups water
– 2 cups sugar

To prepare:
First, make the simple syrup by warming the water and sugar in a small saucepan until boiling. Turn off the heat, and let cool until ready to use, or store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Combine with cold water and lemon juice, and stir. Serve in a mason jar, and garnish with a pop.

For more perfect summertime recipes perfect for the forth of july check out the summer issue of Atlanta Magazine’s Home

Image: Raftermen

All behind the scenes celebration cooking Entertaining Food styling Instagram Parties Party Accessories party tips photography photostyling Recipes spring desserts : Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spilling Secrets:: King of Pops Popsicles

Screen Shot 2019-06-12 at 3.23.40 PM

Hi everyone! It’s Nicole, Annette’s web manager and friend. While Annette is busy in Italy, I’m enjoying the dog days of summer in Atlanta and turning to Annette’s entertaining secrets for summer parties.

As you all know, Annette is the entertaining editor for Atlanta Magazine’s HOME. I always look forward to her stories in the magazine because they’re always filled with the best party ideas with the most fun people. This latest edition included the cool dudes behind King of Pops.

Throughout the colorful pages, the popsicle kings spill their secrets on their beloved treats including sharing a few recipes. Over the next few posts, we’ll be sharing those recipes here!

Up first? Farm Ginger Lemonade and Blackberry Honey Pops. YUM!

Farm Ginger Lemonade and Blackberry Honey Pops
serves 10

For the Farm Ginger Lemonade, you will need: 
– 2 3⁄4 cups water
– 5 1⁄2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 2 tablespoons ginger juice
– 2/3 cup, plus 2 teaspoons organic cane sugar
– Sea salt to taste

For the blackberry honey, you will need: 
– 1 cup water
– 1 pound (or a bit more) blackberries
– 1⁄4 cup honey
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

To prepare:
Combine ingredients for Farm Ginger Lemonade pops and Blackberry Honey pops in separate pitchers; transfer each to ice pop molds. Freeze overnight. Enjoy two flavors from the King of Pops!

Image: King of Pops

All Atlanta Magazine Home behind the scenes celebration cooking Entertaining Events Parties Party Accessories party tips photography photostyling producing Recipes Styling the art of a party Uncategorized : Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,