June Workshops registration is about to close

I am very excited about welcoming our June 2017 Style + Photo Workshop students, after all they will be the first to experience our new Tuscan location. We will have an action packed 4 days touring, learning, eating, and styling and photographing. Even better, we have 2 amazing photography instructors joining us in June.

April 30th is the deadline for signing-up for June workshops. Don't miss your chance to be among the first to experience La Fortezza in person! Christina Wedge  is teaching our very first workshop this summer, Christina is a wealth of information. She’s funny, smart, and is originally from Berlin, so she feels right at home in the EU. Her workshop filled-up quickly, too. I think everyone wanted to be the first to say they were at La Fortezza for the first workshop; the first ones to experience our dream come true. Christina and I have taught Style + Photo workshops together for years.

Helen Norman, who is an amazing photographer and instructor, has worked in the business for many years. She is one of America’s well-respected photographers. She’s full of great tips and tricks. She and I conducted a workshop in Maryland last September at Helen’s gorgeous farm Starbright Farm. I can hardly wait to work with her again. Her workshop still has spaces left. If you quickly grab them before we shut down registration, you will not be disappointed. April 30th is the deadline for signing-up for JUNE workshops. Don’t miss your chance to be among the first to experience La Fortezza in person!

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QMUN75rc We still have spaces available in  Sarah Dorio’s July 5th workshop and Sif Orellana’s workshop July 19th. Head to the workshop page and sign up. My strictly styling workshop July 12th is full. I will be scheduling that one again next spring in 2018 for those of you who missed out this year.

The DEADLINE TO SIGN UP for remaining workshops in JULY is May 30th, so head over and grab your space. Italy is waiting for you.

We could not be more excited about opening our new creative retreat location. The renovation is spectacular, and our vineyard will be in full swing. I am living for our first picnic in the vineyard.

Needless to say, this is our dream come true, and we are so incredibly excited to share it all with of our attendees.  xx

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A Day at the Races:: Kentucky Derby Party

Annette's tips for hosting a Kentucky Derby party cannot be beat, and a Kentucky Derby party wouldn't be complete without a classic cocktail, a Mint Julep. Annette's tips for hosting a Kentucky Derby party cannot be beat, and a Kentucky Derby party wouldn't be complete without a classic cocktail, a Mint Julep.

Hi Everyone! It’s Nicole, Annette’s web-manager here. I don’t know about you, but the Kentucky Derby is my unofficial start to summer. One of my very best college girlfriends is from Lexington, Kentucky, and she instilled a love for the race in us while we were in school.

Even though I’ve only gotten to have one trip to Churchill Downs for the run for the roses, there’s something about the Kentucky Derby that keeps me intrigued year after year. Maybe it’s the beautiful horses or the fabulous fashion…or maybe it’s the the Mint Juleps. Either way, it’s such a quintessential, classic event.

This year, I’m planning to watch the races with friends. Who knows? Maybe we’ll don fun hats and chic sundresses for the occasion, too. I’ve already started thinking about decor, food, and beverages for the day, and of course, I’ve turned to Annette for all of the details.

Annette's tips for hosting a Kentucky Derby party cannot be beat, and a Kentucky Derby party wouldn't be complete without a classic cocktail, a Mint Julep.

Annette’s tips for hosting a Kentucky Derby party cannot be beat. I love her ideas for decor like including vintage horse trophies and ribbons, sprinkling in plastic horses here and there, and making sure roses make an appearance. To plan a party of your own, you can find her full list of tips here.

And a Kentucky Derby party wouldn’t be complete without a classic cocktail, and what’s more appropriate than a Mint Julep? A splash of simple syrup and a whole lot of Bourbon makes for one sinfully sweet sip.

Classic Mint Julep by Becky Stayner
serves 1

You will need:
– Crushed ice
– 2 oz. good Bourbon
– 1 oz. simple syrup
– 6 leaves of fresh mint + fresh mint for garnish

To prepare:

Make the simple syrup by bringing one cup of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir in one cup of sugar till it dissolves. Once it’s chilled, stir in mint leaves to steep overnight (a trick from Annette’s friend, Becky). Put crushed ice, bourbon, and mint leaf simple syrup in a julep cup. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Don’t crush the leaves! Be gentle…after all, this is a Southern drink.

xo, Nicole

photos by Leslie Graham

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Spring Recipes for a Crowd- Passover or Easter

Our family celebrates the holiday of Passover which is on Monday April 10th. Passover has a very specific menu. We are not allowed to eat leavened bread, we eat Matzoh. The story of Passover is an interesting one, and one that we recall at our dinner table on the night of Passover. Here’s a great dessert to make for your gathering this year… and it involves chocolate!

PotsDeCreme

Salted Chocolate Pots de Crème
Serves 6-8

You will need:
1 ½ cup whole milk
– 1/2 cup whipping cream
– 5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
– 1 teaspoon sea salt, or flake salt
– 6 large egg yolks
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 cup whipped cream for topping

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Bring milk and cream just to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and salt; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk yolks and sugar in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot chocolate mixture. Strain mixture into another bowl. Cool 10 minutes, skimming any foam from surface.

Divide custard mixture among six 3/4-cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. Cover each with foil. Place cups in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake until custards are set but centers still move slightly when gently shaken, about 55 minutes. Remove from water. Remove foil. Chill custards until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.) Top with whip cream, and serve.

Photo by Sarah Dorio

Styled by Moi

One of my favorite entertaining stories was for Atlanta Magazine’s Home. It was a Greek Easter party thrown by good friends every year, a party we always look forward to. Greek tradition calls for this sweet bread which makes a lovely and festive presentation. Imagine taking it somewhere for your Easter feast. Get all the recipes and the full feature here.

Passover begins on Monday and last through the following Monday (the day after Easter), and I have two great spring recipes for a crowd to share with you.

TSOUREKI (Easter Sweet Bread)
Serves 4 loaves

You will need:

– 7 cups Flour
– 3 quick rise yeast packets
– ½ cup warm water
– 1¾ cup sugar
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 1 Tablespoon mahlepi
– 1 teaspoon mastic
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 2 teaspoon lemon & orange zest (mixed)
– 5 eggs (room temperature)
– ½ cup hot milk
– 1 cup melted butter

Note : All ingredients should be warm or at the very least room temperature to help the dough rise faster.

Egg Wash for bread:
– 1 egg
– a few drops of vanilla
– 1 Tablespoon water
– ½ cup of sliced almonds

To Prepare:

  1. Mix warm water and yeast, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl put flour, make a whole with your hands in the center of the flour to put the sugar, zest, salt, spices and mix that your hands. Add hot milk and mix again with your hands. Once the dough is incorporated add eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Then add the yeast water mixture, your dough should be stringy when pulled apart.
  3. Next pour melted butter into the bowl one handful at a time and fold the dough (do not knead the dough). Pull and fold and pour in melted butter, repeat until you’ve used all the butter. Don’t worry if you see butter puddle around the edges, it will absorb as the dough rises.
  4. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap that it tucked down inside the bowl touching the dough. Then wrap the entire bowl in towels and place in a warm place for the dough to rise for about 2 hours. Once dough has risen, separate into 4 equal parts. Then separate each of the four parts into three pieces and roll the dough with your hands into approximately 14 inch long and about finger thickness.
  5. Braid the three long cylinder pieces just like you would braid hair. You will have 4 braids.
  6. Place each braid in a 12” round pan that has been lined with parchment paper and cover with towel, place in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes for dough to rise again.
  7. Once each of the braids have risen, prepare the egg wash. Beat the egg with water and vanilla then brush each of the braids, this will give the bread a beautiful shine.
  8. Place pans into a preheated 350° oven (2 at a time) and bake for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the dough, if you see it getting too brown, cover with foil until baked through.
  9. Once bread has cooled, cut out the center and place a hard boiled egg that has been dyed red sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Photo by: PATRICK HEAGNEY

Styled by Moi

xx Annette

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Italy Style + Photo Workshop Update

Spaces for this summer's Italy workshops are filling-up quickly, and trust me, you'll want to experience the new workshop location in person. It's a dream!

As you know, we were in Italy last weekend checking on the new workshop location.

The studio space is almost complete, and we went over day trips and menus with our chef, Leo.

We are making plans to get the kitchen garden in order since my intention is to eat as much from the garden as we possibly can. Our vintner is busy getting the vines prepped for the season. It’s pretty exciting to think that we will be teaching at this new gorgeous location over the summer.

We still have places available for our workshops although there are very few spots left. The June 21st workshop still has spaces, but registration closes in 1 month. If you are interested, I would go ahead and sign up.

July has a few spaces, too. Workshop registration closes May 30th, so again I would not wait, especially since flights to the Pisa airport are limited.

The location is like a dream, and I can’t believe we will be cooking out of our garden and drinking our very own wine this summer. I hope you can join us. If not this summer maybe in the fall; we will be offering a very special culinary workshop. An oilve-centric experience, the workshop will have a fantastic chef, Alisa Barry from Bella Cucina, and photography instructor Emily Followill will return again to teach with us in Italy. I could not be more excited. More information will be released in July. If you are interested or would like more information, please email me at annette@annettejosephstyle.com.

This workshop will be the first time that attendees will stay on the property at The Fortress. We will all be staying on site at this retreat, and we will eat drink and photograph it all.

Sign-up for a summer workshop here.

xx

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ALT Summit 2017: A conference in review

A few weeks ago, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country from chilly Atlanta to sunny Palm Springs for a few days at the ALT Summit conference. The Palm Springs airport is stunning! A few weeks ago, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country from chilly Atlanta to sunny Palm Springs for a few days at the ALT Summit conference.

Hi Everyone! I’m Nicole, Annette’s blog manager, and today I’m sharing our awesome, whirlwind trip to ALT Summit. A few weeks ago, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country from chilly Atlanta to sunny Palm Springs to meet Annette for a few days at the conference.

You might remember that we attended last year, and after having a fantastic time and learning a ton, we knew we had to get back for the 2017 conference. This year’s ALT was held in Palm Springs at the Instagram-worthy Saguaro hotel. You’ve probably seen this hotel in photos; it’s an old motel that’s been modernized and painted punchy colors. While Annette and I both agreed that the hotel wasn’t really our style, it made for some gorgeous photos.

A few weeks ago, I hopped on a plane and flew across the country from chilly Atlanta to sunny Palm Springs for a few days at the ALT Summit conference.

The conference is attended by over 500 women from all over the world and features speakers from some of the best in the blog world. We rubbed shoulders with the likes of Darcy Miller (aka Martha’s wedding expert…yes, THE Martha), and heard from speakers like Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day, Susan Peterson from Freshly Picked, and the husband-wife duo behind Young House Love. Many of the speakers made a point to share and be vulnerable with their stories which was inspiring and interesting.

31930478174_f2bb695466_k 32771535115_7d3a662e17_k 32771364985_c8980764f6_k One of the best parts of ALT summit is being surrounded by like-minded women who focus on community over competition. We met some new friends and spent our days mingling with bloggers, photographers, stylists, and authors who are just as driven and business-minded as we are. It was such an empowering atmosphere!

Of course, we also did a little exploring around Palm Springs. It was such a funky town with a lot of visual interest, and the landscape was incredible.

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We soaked up as much sun and knowledge as we could, and we’re both looking forward to implementing some of the things we learned at ALT summit here on the blog. If you’ve ever considered attending ALT, don’t hesitate to go. Tickets usually go on sale in the fall, and this year, it sold out in 24 hours!

If you were at ALT this year, we’d love for you to say hello, and if not, let us know if you have any questions about what we learned. We’d love to chat more!

xo, Nicole

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