Summer Floral Dessert:: Lavender Ice Cream

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Believe it or not, we still have more than 6 weeks of summer left. In fact, the first official day of fall isn’t until late September. As such, let’s all agree to continue indulging in summer’s bounty and celebrating the season, shall we?

One of my favorite summer recipes is this delicious blueberry pie and lavender ice cream from my first cookbook, Picture Perfect Parties Rizzoli NY.

While this is the most delicious blueberry pie recipe, the lavender ice cream is the star of the show. It’s a beautiful combination. Lavender is an unexpected fun flavor for guests. If you’ve never cooked with it before, make sure you purchase food-grade lavender. Essentially, get the stuff that’s safe to eat!

I think you’ll love the floral notes of this ice cream, and if you want the blueberry pie recipe to pair with it, you can find it here. Enjoy!

Lavender Ice Cream
Serves 6-8

You will need:
– 3 cups heavy cream
– 1 cup whole Milk
– 2 tablespoons dried lavender
– 6 eggs + 2 yolks
– ½ cup sugar
-¼ tsp salt
– ¼ cup honey
– 1 teaspoon vanilla

To prepare:

Simmer cream, milk and lavender in a saucepan until milk is scalded about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat pour into a bowl and let lavender steep for 30 minutes.

Strain cooled lavender milk mixture back into the saucepan and bring back up to heat. In a bowl whisk egg and sugar, salt and vanilla until creamy. Pull the hot milk off heat and pour about ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking while pouring.

Pour warmed egg mixture into the sauce pan with hot milk and put back on heat (medium) simmer until custard is formed and coats the back of a metal spoon about 10-15 minutes.

Whisk in honey and place into fridge chill until very cold.

Put into an ice cream maker follow manufacturers instruction.

Place ice cream into low pan with plastic wrap on the bottom. Freeze until ready to serve.

Photo Credit : Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

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Wedding Workshop and Weddings at La Fortezza

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As you might have seen on IG stories, last month we hosted a wedding workshop. It was amazing. Kim Vasil of August designs lead the group, and the images are fantastic.

We had Hanna and Megan as part of the dream team. Hannah is an amazing hair and make up artist, and our Megan, from Pictory Productions, captured everything on video and was kind enough to do some photography as well since our photography instructor pulled out last minute. I love that I have such amazing pros around me that rally for the cause. It was an all hands on deck week with Sharon Fisher, from Sharon Fisher Events, assisting us with anything that we wanted and being an over all consultant on all things bridal.

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As we hone our wedding skills, I am hopeful that with the help of Lisa Redgrave of Hitched in Italy, and Eliza Honey as staff florist, we will pull off the most magical weddings.

Big news: Kim Vasil will be joining the team as our American liaison to weddings here at La Fortezza. She will team up with Lisa Redgrave, our on site consultant, to produce unique and bohemian weddings for very special brides and grooms. Our location is something very special, rustic, artistic and curated for the creative bride. I know with the addition of Kim’s expertise, we will make our weddings one of a kind. Please feel free to contact her or Lisa for more information.

In the meantime we will be working on making La Fortezza the perfect destination wedding location for small bespoke weddings.

We will host only 2 weddings per year. We already have 1 booked for 2019, so there is only 1 wedding left…will it be yours? Of course feel free to email me annette@annettejosephstyle.com

xx Annette

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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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My Favorite Easter Tablescape Inspirations

Hi Everyone! I’m Nicole, Annette’s web manager, and I’m back today to share some of my favorite Easter tablescapes. As you all know, Annette is renovating The Fortress in Italy. What you might not know, is that I started my own stateside renovation (on a much smaller scale) just a week after her.

As a result, we’ve been sharing our growing pains with renovations together, and it’s been so nice to lean on Annette for advice since this renovation isn’t her first rodeo. It’s always good to have someone to talk to!

Once our renovation is complete, we will finally have a real dining room. Until now, our home has had an eat-in kitchen, and our dining room space functioned as our office but not anymore! I am thrilled to have a real dining room table along with a space where I can host dinner parties for friends and family, especially for different holidays.

While we’re not quite ready for entertaining, I’ve been spending the past few weeks dreaming-up what my Easter tablescape would look like if I was hosting Easter this year. Sign me up for all the flowers, eggs, and bunnies, please!

Using tulips is not only seasonally appropriate but also a beautiful way to incorporate garden-like florals into your centerpieces. I also love the use of the green bunnies. It’s a cute way to be festive.

These egg place settings are sweet yet chic. It’s a great way to repurpose your dyed eggs (but make sure you save some for deviling!).

I know Annette likes to send guests home with a little something, and I think these baskets of miniature chocolate eggs would be perfect for exactly that. I would place them by the door, so no one forgets their treat!

What are your plans for your Easter tablescape this year?

xo, Nicole

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Tabletop {Masterclass} at Summerill and Bishop New School in London

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When Summerhill and Bishop asked me to come teach their first ever Masterclass at their new school in London last week, I was honored and thrilled. Summerill and Bishop is located in the most gorgeous neighborhood at 100 Portland Road near Notting Hill. If you’re in London, make a point of stopping by and if time allows, take a class.

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Okay so here’s the scoop:

When I arrived the day before my class, the school was, well, quite frankly a construction site. A beautiful space with patina walls, large industrial lighting but not quite finished. Talk about down to the wire…

However, once I met the amazing staff at S&B School, I knew everything would be in place and ready to roll by Thursday night at 6:30pm…and I was right.

Eliza and Marcelo made sure everything would be in place; what an amazing team!

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After an early morning trip to the New Covent Garden Flower Market for my floral craft project, we were ready to go. Btw, the wholesale flower market was a highlight and not unlike any other flower wholesaler. It was filled with beauty and very funny snarky vendors, but here in London they have adorable English accents.

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Summerhill and Bishop, quite honestly, has one of the most comprehensive selections of handmade linens I have ever seen, and every other chic thing you would need for your table. And yes, as you can only imagine, I went nuts. Let’s say that there will be some very very pretty props for my next workshop in Italy. The selection of tabletop is beautiful, chic, and approachable. Fair to say if I lived in London, it would be my go-to prop shop. The good news is I can order online and ship everything. Don’t you just love that?

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Thursday night, the school was filled with nibbles, wine, lovely ladies, and lots of lively banter about setting your table for the upcoming holidays. I talked about how to be prepared, basics of organization, how to produce your party like a pro, and how to create a beautiful flower arrangement in an unlikely vessel, like a juice glass. With our juice glasses in hand, we crafted a votive and vase project using seed paper and raffia. We filled the vase with a beautiful floral arrangement, and even made a place card and take home gift for guests. These are just a few clever solutions for the table using a simple juice glass. You all know that’s the way I like to do it!

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Punch holes with a hole puncher in a belly band of seed paper that is wrapped around the juice glass tied with raffia. This craft project is the perfect votive holder and vase to parade down the middle of your holiday table. Easy to make and so impressive.

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Everyone was so enthusiastic about making a floral arrangement, plus they got to take it home at the end of class. We finished up the class by making my no bake dessert: a Raspberry Cannoli in a glass using the same small juice glass we made our votive vase project with. Unlikely vessels with brilliant results. My basic juice glass project 3 ways was a big hit.

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As you know, in my cookbook Picture Perfect Parties, I have tons of easy and brilliant craft ideas plus delicious recipes to make all your parties unique and special with that personal touch.

Thank you to everyone  at the S&B School; you all were so delightful, and I feel like we are a family. Thank you for making me feel so welcome in your home.  A special THANK YOU to Seb for coming-up with this brilliant way of connecting creatively. My prediction is that this school will be a HUGE success. Seb, Thanks for letting me be the first.  xx until next time…

S&B School

A bit about the School:

The S&B School:

The school is run by the charismatic chef, Marcelo de Campos.

Marcelo is West London’s best kept secret, and the man behind some of the most exclusive dinner parties and events in town, and he’s bringing his know-how exclusively to us here at School.  Having worked in some of the best kitchens in the world—from Gordon Ramsay’s, to Claus Meyer’s (of Noma fame), to the hallowed halls of Claridges, to some of the most exclusive private London residences—he’s not only a chef, but a trained expert in l’art de recevoir. And, with his Brazilian roots, he brings a sense of fun and warmth to everything he touches.

Sign up for the S&B School newsletter here:

All classes require booking, with a maximum of 12 people per class. We offer a range of class times, listed below:

Tuesdays
10:00 – 11:30 am
1:30 – 3:00 pm

Thursdays
10:00 – 11:30 am
1:30 – 3:00 pm
6:30 – 8:30 pm

Prices from £70 per class

Please contact school@summerillandbishop.com or call +44 (0) 20 0001 3415 for more information on classes.

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