By Guest Contributor Natalie Stanton of Natfly Love,
The holidays are coming up and that means my baby boy will be here soon (I am due December 29th)! Amazingly time has been flying by, and I cannot believe Thanksgiving is almost here. Time is starting to slow now that I am feeling stuffed like your holiday turkeys were!
Luckily, I recently attended an awesome event with Gail Simmons (!!) and Camille Styles (!!). The event was hosted by Pure Leaf Tea and I learned some really fantastic ideas that I share below to help make your fall entertaining extra special!
1. The Welcome Cocktail
My good friend, Jessica, over at Used York City gave me a great entertaining idea – to always have a welcome cocktail to serve to guests. I am no mixologist so I had no idea what to serve. But, thanks to Gail Simmons and Pure Leaf Tea, I now have an amazing welcome cocktail to serve to guests who may come over this fall, the Lemon-Ginger Pomegranate Sparkler. It’s delicious and easy on the eyes.
Lemon-Ginger Tea Pomegranate Sparkler
By Gail Simmons
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 cup Pure Leaf Iced Tea with Lemon
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
Cold club soda
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, for garnish
2 cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Instructions: In a saucepan, combine the ginger and Pure Leaf Iced Tea with Lemon and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to steep, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool in an airtight container in the fridge.
Fill two highball glasses with ice. Pour 1/2 cup ginger-infused tea, then 1/4 cup pomegranate juice into each glass. Top each with club soda, garnish with a tablespoon of pomegranate seeds and a cinnamon stick to stir.
For alcoholic version, add 2 ounces gin or bourbon before adding tea.
*I am going to serve the drink with some bourbon for guests but it also makes a fantastic mocktail for pregnant ladies like me to drink if you do not add the alcohol.
2. A Yummy Fall Salad
Gail taught us how to pickle radishes for this recipe. Brilliantly, the pickling juice can also be used as the dressing for the salad. The result is a refreshing, healthy salad perfect to serve to your fall guests. I loved the salad so much I had to buy a mandolin so that I could slice my vegetables just right. The recipe is below.
Shaved Fall Vegetable Salad with Tea-Pickled Radishes
By Gail Simmons
FOR THE TEA-PICKLED RADISHES:
1 cup Pure Leaf Sweet Tea, warmed but not boiling
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
8 small radishes, thinly sliced or 4 large watermelon radishes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Instructions: In a medium bowl, combine the tea with the salt; stir to dissolve. Add the vinegar along with the radishes, garlic and peppercorns. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight. Drain the pickled radishes, reserving 1Ž4 cup of pickling liquid for use in vinaigrette. Set aside.
Note: The drained radishes can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
FOR THE SHAVED VEGETABLE SALAD:
1/4 cup reserved picking liquid
1 tablespoon honey
Freshly Ground Pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 sweet, crisp apples, such as Gala or Fuji, cored and thinly sliced into half moons
2 small heads radicchio, thinly sliced
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a bias, leaves reserved for garnish
2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Tea-Pickled Radishes, see recipe above
Instructions: Pour the reserved pickling liquid into a large bowl. Add the honey and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly add olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly to emulsify. Add the fennel, apple, radicchio, celery, parsley and pickled radishes to the bowl and toss all ingredients together to coat. Season with more salt and pepper if desired and garnish with celery leaves before serving.
3. Setting the Table
I was really impressed with Camille Styles’ simple ideas to make a spectacular fall table. Below you can see what she was able to do with candles, leaves, branches and fall vegetables. She also used a stylish vase to hold some of the fall vegetables for an adorable centerpiece and for a final touch she made a lovely orange garland.
Camille Styles’ Tips for Creating an Orange Garland
• Cut two large oranges into 1/2” thick slices
• Lay each slice flat on a baking rack that’s nested in a sheet pan, and bake in a 200 degree oven for 6-12 hours, or until oranges are fully dry
• To allow air to circulate completely, leave oven propped open a few inches throughout the drying process
• Once orange slices are dried, easily string each slice onto a long piece of thick jute twine
I was so surprised how easy it was for Camille to create this beautiful table. The fall centerpiece was simply just fall vegetables in a decorative vase. She placed a small amount of water in the bottom of the vase to keep the kale fresh and then added various other beautiful colorful vegtables like orange cauliflower and yellow squash to make a gorgeous centerpiece.
Leaf Place Cards
The leaf place cards were so easy as well. Using a white ink pen (or you can choose another color – I think gold or silver would look nice as well) simply write out your guests names on leaves you gather from outside. There are plenty in Central Park this time of year so even city folk can use this table setting tip. The place card I made is below.Find more fantastic recipes and entertaining ideas at http://theloveofleaves.com
Thank you to Pure Leaf Tea for hosting this fabulous and informative event.