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Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Annette joseph style's

It’s that time of year again: time for my holiday gift guide 2020. This year, I am putting an even greater focus on small businesses that I love. These businesses need our help more than ever, and I am happy to send some shoppers their way.

The holiday season is going to look different this season, and I think with the slower pace, there is more time for thoughtful gift-giving. Remember to place orders in advance to allow plenty of time for shipping! Take advantage of this weekend’s sales. With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, you can easily tackle everyone on your list!

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Annette joseph style's From left to right, top to bottom:

  1. La Fortezza Postcards & Art by Kate Bholm.
  2. Puzzle and Puzzle Glue from Anthropologie.
  3. Bottle Brush Trees by Annie Selke.
  4. Gauzy Robes from Food52.
  5. Saint Rita’s Pound Cake from Lucy’s Market.
  6. Negroni Bar Soap by Soap Distillery.
  7. Rain Boots from Le Chameau.
  8. Cookbook and iPad Stand from Etu Home.
  9. De Nimes Candle by Boy Smells.
  10. La Fortezza Workshop Gift Card, of course!
  11. Cashmere-lined, Italian Leather Gloves from Ann Mashburn.
  12. Hemp-infused Honey by Potli.
  13. Forbidden Fruit Puzzle by Piecework.

Happy Holidays!

xx Annette

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It’s never too late, rethink your guest list for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas and New Year’s Eve

Happy African American family having fun while taking a selfie during Thanksgiving meal at home. Focus is on father and son.

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As Covid-19 cases spike during the winter months, I feel I must weigh in as an entertaining expert. It is my responsibility to share my opinion about entertaining in 2020 and early 2021. I am pleading with people to rethink your holiday gatherings and to please keep all the celebrations very small. Follow the CDC guidelines and keep everyone you love healthy and safe. Limit your gatherings to people living in your home, or in your quarantine bubble. Family gatherings look like they are number one in spreading Covid -19.

This is the year to use technology to gather around the table. I know we all want to be together, but this year will be an exception, and I urge you to reconsider large family gatherings. It will be different in the upcoming years, but we want everyone to be present and with the threat of spreading a deadly virus, it’s best to err on the safe side.

It’s never too late. If you’ve invited the whole family, opt to send a zoom invite. Zoom has suspended it’s time limit on meetings, so you can all see each other via your computer for the duration of the meal.

Over the last few months, I have been asked to contribute to holiday features on blogs and magazines with subjects like: “How to set your table for the Holidays”,  “Holiday Potluck Recipes” etc. But quite honestly the timing, in my opinion, is off.

I cannot stress enough that traditional gatherings is the not right message from entertaining experts this year. So I am taking a moment to tell you all that parties and entertaining will need to wait until it is safer and wiser to gather around the table. Some of you will say I don’t want to wait, so I encourage you to take your parties outdoors and wear masks.

Here are some great tips to host a larger gathering outdoors. If you want to take all the safety precautions, then here are some great tips for dining outdoors. Here’s an entertaining feature that I thought was timely and felt good about contributing to. If you are going to host a larger crowd outside, make sure you start planning now for all the safety precautions, so you’re well prepared to ensure the safety of everyone attending.

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This too shall pass, but let’s make sure we protect our families and friends. Please wear a mask, distance and wash your hands. God bless us all. May 2021 bring better times. Until then, let’s stay away from each other…at least until next year.

xx Annette

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THE BEST Thanksgiving stuffing:: Pear Walnut Crispy Bacon Stuffing

Turkey with Pear Walnut and Crispy Bacon Stuffing

Saying a recipe is the best is a bold statement, I know. But this stuffing really is a game changer. Give it a try and let me know what you think. And if you’re looking for more Thanksgiving inspiration, tis’ the season for my book Picture Perfect Parties. If you want to pull off an amazing holiday soiree, grab a copy!

Pear Walnut Crispy Bacon Stuffing
Serves 8-10

 

You will need:
– 5 slices of bacon
– 1 yellow onion chopped
– 2 stalks of celery chopped
– 3 cloves of garlic minced
– 1 cup toasted walnut halves
– 3 pears cored and cubed
– 4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
– 4 tablespoons chopped rosemary
– 3 links of Italian sausage, out of the casing and crumbled
– 1 loaf of country bread cubed
– 3 cups of turkey stock

To Prepare:

In a large sauté pan, cook bacon until crispy, drain, and set aside. Reserving about a ¼ cup of the bacon drippings in the pan (discard the rest) sauté the onion, garlic and celery in the bacon drippings, when translucent, add the sausage and sage and rosemary walnuts, pears remove from heat. In a large bowl place the bread cubes and the turkey stock, add the mixture from the sauté pan, and crumble the bacon into the bread bowl combine thoroughly.

Grease a casserole dish pour the stuffing into the dish. Set aside until ready to bake

*Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven, serve warm

 

Photo Credit: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

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Introducing:: The La Fortezza Collection by Kate Blohm

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Today, I am thrilled to be among the first to announce Kate Blohm’s latest project her La Fortezza Collection, a series of postcards featuring our home in Italy. Below, Kate tells all about the inspiration for the series, how it came to be, and when it will be available for purchase. Take it away, Kate! 

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Annette Joseph has really created something special with her Italian fortress, La Fortezza. My favorite moments are in the details and Annette has a fine-tuned eye. She pays close attention to every element, which makes it a lot of fun for me to capture.

The first time I visited La Fortezza in 2018, I was a student. I was awarded the Les Dames d’Escoffier Continuing Education Grant. I chose to attend the Slow Food Styling Workshop with Angie Mosier and Chef Rebecca Wilcomb. Throughout the week we visited a local cheese shop, a specialty baker, a truffle hunter, an olive oil producer, and a digestiv factory. Authentic food and immersive experiences are the focus of this story.

Shooting in Europe was something I knew I wanted to do, especially involving food and small food producers. The story for La Fortezza continued after Annette hired me back in Atlanta for a magazine article. Throughout my first visit to La Fortezza, I wanted to capture everything in stills and in motion. Utilizing this footage I put together a small film for Annette, to share my perspective of the amazing experience that I had. She invited me back on the spot, followed up the next day, and sent me to dates to come the next year as the On-Staff Photographer.

La Fortezza is my favorite subject to photograph and I’ve had the pleasure of photographing it twice. Every moment is a photographic moment. Fresh bouquets being clipped and arranged, freshly picked tomatoes being prepped for sauce and the sun setting with every shade of lavender. I’m excited to see these in print and in spaces. Where escapism meets function. This collection will feature postcards and high-quality prints of various sizes.

Available November 10th!

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Bourbon Apple Cider for Two

apple cider bourbon

A few years ago, chef and author Virginia Willis was a guest on the blog. She shared an absolutely delicious apple bourbon cider recipe, and today, I’m reviving it from the archives. It will be perfect for a fall weekend spent outdoors whether you’re trick-or-treating or not.

Bourbon Apple Cider
Serves 2

– 3/4 cup freshly pressed apple cider
– 1/3 cup Bourbon
– 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 2 thin slices fresh ginger
– 2 thin slices apple, for garnish
– 2 sprigs thyme, for garnish.

Combine apple cider, bourbon, and lemon juice in a shaker. Shake to combine. Pour into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with ginger, apples, and thyme. Enjoy!

photos by Jona Willis

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