Using Trays to Style

One no-fail stylist secret is gathering things in mass on trays. It works in the living room on your coffee table, for home accessories, and even on the dining room table. It’s a universal stylist trick.  When I’m hunting flea markets and vintage shops, I’m always on the lookout for trays to add to my I prop stash. They’re just so versatile.

Trays make plating food simple and fabulous, and styling with them is a tool of the trade you’ll want to have in your repertoire. Next time you have a party to plan, look around the house for trays to repurpose. Think outside the box, and you will wow your guests.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use trays:

For an unexpected centerpiece: Gathering guests around the table will never be a problem if you place a beautiful tray of bruschetta (or any other nibble!) in the center.

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For salad, beverages, and desserts: Try turning the tray upside down to use it as a riser on the table.

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For a beverages station: Gathering glasses for guests to help themselves always makes for a beautiful display.

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For entrees: Using a gorgeous wooden tray instead of a ceramic platter adds instant style to your table.

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Photography in order:

Deborah Whitlaw Llewelleyn

Jennifer Davick

Marte Marie Forsberg

Deborah Whitlaw Llewelleyn

Michael Graydon

 

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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 Patriotic Tablescape for July 4th

While we won’t be celebrating the fourth of July in the traditional sense in Italy, I know many of you are gearing-up for a few days of festive fun at home. Whether you’re planning a cook-out at your house or headed to a friend’s home, I wanted to give you a bit of July 4th inspiration.

A few years ago, I created a patriotic tablescape for guests. I used red, white, and blue of course, but I also added a few pops of silver. The silver streamers add the cutest fourth of July flare and mimic sparklers.

The video above covers a few of my other favorite ideas for setting a great table as well as some tips for keeping drinks in order and some ideas for nibbles and treats too. Take a look and let me know what your 4th of July plans are in the comments!

xx Annette

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Cocktail Italiano:: My Book Launch Party at Switch Modern

If you were not there, you missed a spectacular book launch party at Switch Modern in Atlanta last week. Roy and Doug, and Scott and Liz really know how to throw an event. The Aperol Spritzes were flowing non- stop, along with Campari sodas and lovely Italian aperitvio nibbles in the Switch Modern showroom. It was truly spectacular and the perfect way to kick-off the release of my new book, Cocktail Italiano. We had over 150 of the who’s who of Atlanta, and let’s face it: the party crowd was ready to roll.

Roy and Doug Owners of Switch Modern

Roy and Doug Owners of Switch Modern.

Betsy Riley Editor and Chief of Atlanta Magazine, me and Liz Lapidus of Liz Lapidus PR

Betsy Riley Editor and Chief of Atlanta Magazine, me and Liz Lapidus of Liz Lapidus PR.

Me with Rachael and Justin my right and left hands

Me with Rachael and Justin, my right and left hands.

Me with Penny Randolph who illustrated my map

Me with Penny Randolph, who illustrated my map.

Me with Sandy she flew in from Florida, gotta love a fan

Me with Sandy; she flew in from Florida! Gotta love a fan.

Scott Reilly of Switch Modern, Liz and her husband Jeff Levy

Scott Reilly of Switch Modern, Liz and her husband, Jeff Levy.

My web manager Nicole Letts and her mother in law

My web manager, Nicole Letts, and her mother in law.

I had a great time chatting all things Italian Riviera, even though the line was so long, and I signed so many books. I hardly had time to chat. Thank you to the guys at Switch Modern, such an incredible launch. Liz Lapidus the best PR firm in the biz. Gorgeous fun, grazie mille.

Liz and Mary Logan Bikoff Editor and Chief of Atlanta Magazine's Home

Liz and Mary Logan Bikoff, Editor and Chief of Atlanta Magazine’s Home.

The lovely ladies from Americasmart

The lovely ladies from Americasmart.

Me mixing up a Campari Shakerato from my book

Me mixing up a Campari Shakerato from my book.

For those of you asking, I am not going on book tour. Full disclosure: for my last book, I did go on tour all over the USA, but it’s not a thing as much as it used to be. I know it looks glamorous going from city to city signing books, but the truth is that most people buy books online and are too busy to come see you and have you sign their book. When I did my book tour at huge venues and food events last time, I would maybe sign 1 book. It’s just a different time in the world. Even big box stores have a small turn out. So if you would like me to sign a book, email me; we can work out the logistics, quite simply: annette@annettejosephstyle.com

I will do a few US book signings in the fall. But for now, I am concentrating on finishing La Fortezza, and conducting our many workshops in Italy.

You can buy my new book here.

Again, many thanks to all who showed up to support me at my launch, and Liz Lapidus, I love you. x

P.S. Until the 19th of this month, head to Switch Modern’s site and receive a 10% discount if you type in my name annettejoseph in the discount section at checkout.

cin cin x

Photo Credit: Hillary Harmon of Liz Lapidus PR and Frank Joseph MD

 

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Aperitivo Nibbles from my new book Cocktail Italiano

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My new book includes lots of great appetizers; I like to call them nibbles.

Whenever you order a cocktail at a bar in Italy, there is always food involved. Simply brilliant. I think it may be my favorite part. Full disclosure: I love seeing what bars choose to serve with their cocktails. Sometimes it’s just olives and the humble potato chip, and sometimes it’s the most lovely fresh focaccia with sublime charcuterie, a veggie frittata or mini salads like the fennel orange salad in this post. Poached scampi, rice salads, and fried calamari are some of my favorites.

Check out my book Cocktail Italiano for all the nibbles recipes, and my fun stories about our time living on the Italian Riviera… oh and of course, there are amazing cocktail recipes as well.

Enjoy the recipes in my book at home with friends, or toss it into your suitcase and do my Aperitivo tour on the Riviera in the back of the book. My book includes all my favorite bars, beach clubs, local joints, fancy hotel bars and classic haunts to enjoy aperitivi. Cin cin. x

Cocktail Italiano

Orange Marinated Fennel with Pecorino Shavings
Serves 4

You will need:
– 4 oranges peeled and sliced in ¼ “ thick slices
– 1 large fennel bulbs sliced into paper thin pieces
– ¼ cup apple balsamic vinegar I like Ritrovo brand or apple vinegar.
– ½ cup orange juice
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– ½ cup small black olives
– 1 cup shaved Pecorino cheese

To prepare:

Slice peeled oranges and fennel into paper thin slices. Combine vinegar, juice, salt, oil in a bowl. Place the oranges and the fennel on a platter pour the vinegar mixture over the oranges and fennel. Sprinkle olives over the oranges and fennel. You can make this in the morning and let sit out all day, serve for aperitivo with small plates with forks.

Scampi Poached in Olive Oil

You will need:
– 3 cups olive oil
– 3 large fresh rosemary sprigs
– 18 uncooked large shrimp or scampi, peeled and deveined
– 4 Lemon wedges

To prepare:

Add 3 cups olive oil into heavy large saucepan, and add rosemary sprigs. Attach deep-fry thermometer to side of saucepan and heat oil over medium heat until thermometer registers between 165°F and 180°F. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to hot oil and poach just until shrimp are opaque in center, adjusting heat to maintain temperature between 165°F and 180°F, about 8 minutes. Transfer shrimp to paper towels to drain. Serve at room temperature, garnish with lemon wedges.

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