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Food & Drink

    Food & Drink

    Drink for Good: One Hope Wine (plus dinner party menu)

    We have been so excited about our backyard and hosting friends that for a few weeks there it was a non-stop party at the Hollar home! No complaints about that but we finally took a minute to slow down and have a smaller dinner party with just a few, a menu inspired by Ina Garten (you know that’s always a good sign) and the yummiest wine from One Hope.

    Side Note: Flower arrangement cameo apperance is from the floral arranging  tutorial with Hello Honey. 

    First off, have you guys heard of One Hope wine?! It’s is such a great business! A percentage of every bottle purchased goes to various non-profit organizations. Printed on the back of each bottle it says where exactly the proceeds are going – how cool is that?! They partner with organizations to help end childhood hunger, provide life saving vaccines, provide people with clean drinking water, support cancer medication development, aid veterans in finding a renewed sense of purpose,  and the list goes on and on!

    Admittedly, I was skeptical at first that the wine would be any good- don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoy a nice two-buck chuck now and again but I have also learned to appreciate delicious wines as well and I can tell the difference! Starting at the first sip we were all blown away at how great this wine is! I mean really! Bottle after bottle, red after white, it never let us down. Everyone kept saying how impressed they were with it! You really need to give it a try! If you are already buying wine – might as well enjoy it while helping others right? It’s a win/win for everyone. They also have these suuuuper cute glitter bottles that I can’t wait to get my hands on!

    OK, have I won you over yet? I just really want everyone to try this wine because I know you’ll keep going back for more and so much good can come from it!

    You can learn more about it and purchase it here, through conultant Melissa Ferber, who generously provided all of the wine for our party 🙂

    (In case I need to clarify, I think this is a good time to point out that I only had a few sips of each wine, it probably equated to a glass or so in total. Don’t worry – I didn’t forget that I am pregnant 🙂 )

    Wine is great on it’s own but as we all know – it’s even better with food. I know, dinner parties can be A LOT of work but they are also A LOT of fun! So, to make things a bit easier I broke down all of the things I made and even how to prep for the party to make its easy-peasy. All of the recipes are inspired by or taken directly from Ina Garten, which means they will be your new favorites. Links to the recipes are below along with some of my own tips and a schedule that allows you to do almost everything before anyone even arrives allowing you to fully enjoy your party and your friends!

     Camembert & Prosciutto Tartines.  

    **alteration: I drizzled some honey on top because I figured, why not, and oooooh man – it was SO good! Do that.

    **tip: make sure all of the prosciutto gets a bit crispy – some of mine didn’t get roasted all the way and the crispy ones were definitely better!

    **alteration: Camembert is like brie but it is a bit stronger, if you would prefer a lighter taste to the cheese you could substitute with brie.

    Filet of Beef with Béarnaise Mayonnaise 

    OK so for this one, I didn’t want to make the mayo myself  because of the raw eggs and being pregnant. So, if that is a concern for you here’s what I did and it came out great!

    Sauté the tarragon, shallots, & wine (I use One Hope 🙂 ) as she says to do. I left the vinegar out because store bought mayonnaise already has vinegar in it. Then combine sautéed mixture with tablespoon of mustard and 1 cup of store bought mayo in a food processor. Voila!

    **alteration: A beef tenderloin isn’t really an inexpensive piece of meat but it is DELICIOUS and is the consistency of butter. It’s really great for a special occasion. But you could also make the same bearnaise mayonnaise with your favorite cut of steak to make it more of an everyday meal.

    Parmesan Chive Smashed Potatoes 

    Butter Lettuce with Mustard Vinaigrette (below)

      Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe (Hollar Family Recipe):
    2tsp salt
    tsp pepper
    3tbs Dijon mustard
    1c apple cider vinegar
    1tbs honey
    1c olive oil
    1c vegetable oil (or canola)

    In dressing shaker, using a blender or hand mixer, mix first 5 ingredients.
    Add olive oil and Vegetable oil and mix again.

    Chocolate Creme Brûlée 


    Day before:

    • Make mayonnaise cover & refrigerate (can be done 2 days in advance)
    • Make creme brûlée custard, cook, let cool, cover, & refrigerate.
    • Prep/wash lettuce, dry, cover & refrigerate.
    • Make dressing and refrigerate. (can be done 5 days in advance)

    Day of:

    • Afternoon:
      • Boil potatoes & smash on baking sheet. Cover & set aside until time to cook.
      • Prep chives & parmesan
    • About an hour before guests arrive prepare the tartines and stick in the oven a few minutes before they arrive.
    • About an hour and a half-ish before you want to eat (probably 30 minutes before guests will be arriving) butter meat and stick in the oven.
      • If you have two ovens this works. If you don’t have 2 you can just put roast in immediately after the tartines come out and eat a little later.
      • Another option would be to put the meat on the grill rather than in the oven; this is actually what we did because Julian really wanted to cook it in his Big Green Egg.
      • You can also do what Ina recommends to do and cook roast up to 2 days in advance (store in fridge) and serve at room temp with mayonnaise – she says it’s delicious.
    • When meat has about 20 minutes left stick potatoes in the oven. (If cooking meat in advance just do this 30min before you want to eat)
    • After dinner caramelize sugar on creme brûlées.

    **Notice that all you are actually doing while the guests are there is sticking potatoes in the oven and crystallizing sugar for the creme brûlées! That gives you the ability to actually enjoy your guests!
























    Food & Drink

    Recipe: Apricot French Tart

    My parents in law were here last week which means I basically got a nice little stay-cation. They entertain Margot, make our food and even did my laundry..If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed that Julian and his dad even built Margot the sweetest playlet in outback yard, which I am still all heart-eyed over.

    While they were here Julian’s mom made us a tummy apricot tart. I was SO easy and she just whipped it up like it was nothing so I wanted to share it with you guys!

    Marilyne (Julian’s mom) was born & raised in France, so, she knows pastries. They grew up together, they are best friends and much to everyones delight, they often show up at parties together. Much to MY delight she has informed me in the past that, really, making a pastry crust isn’t worth all of the hassle on a regular basis and the frozen ones are actually pretty great. YES! Free pass to make things easy! We Americans love that. I have also come to learn that over seas they actually have better flour and butter (etc..) which is why their pastries are soooo melt-in-your-mouth-flaky like little pieces of heaven. SO, if you haven’t been and you get the chance – go to France and eat your weight in pastries. Until then – you can use this super easy recipe to tide you over.

    NOTE: Your tart is only going to be as sweet as your fruit is ripe. So be sure to use nice ripe apricots.

    14-16 ripe apricots

    1 pack of 2 frozen pastry crusts thawed to room temp

    3 eggs

    2 tsp vanilla

    1/2 cup granulated sugar (in two 1/4 cup portions)

    5 oz. Creme fraiche

    **we got it at Trader Joes, I think whole foods has it as well.**

    Butter to grease pan

     1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    2) Grease tart pan with butter

    3)Unroll pastry crust and lay into tart pan with removable bottom, we needed to use both crusts to fit the pan (notice the seam) Just make sure you mend that seam together well.

    4)Using a fork jab some holes in the crust to keep it from bubbling up. (see photo above)

    5)Slice apricots in half and remove the pit

    6)Arrange the apricots cut side down in a circular fashion in the tart pan.

    7) In a medium bowl mix using a fork the 3 eggs, vanilla 1/4 cup sugar and the creme fraiche.

    8) Pour the mixture over the apricots and into the pan until it is just under the top – don’t over fill. 

    9) Bake in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

    10) Reduce heat to 350 degrees and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup sugar on top – cook for 15 more minutes until browned and set.

    11)Let cool for 10-15 min and remove from tart pan ( OK if you need to leave bottom portion on) and allow to cool completely.

    Serve at room temperature with any toppings you like!

    We had some extra ingredients so we made a baby apricot tart and a little blueberry tart as well just because they are cute.


    Food & Drink, Travel

    Vanilla Lavender Fizz Cocktail + Cookie Tags

    Valentines day – love it or hate it it comes around every year and every year I am unprepared. Probably because all my life I sort of glazed over it, when I was little I was only in it for the candy and when I was in high school all it did was remind me that I probably didn’t have a boyfriend. In college I began to welcome the day because I was dating my now husband, Julian, but it was still not an overly exciting day. However, as of recently I have realized that Valentines day doesn’t have to be about a specific KIND of love, romantic love is wonderful but I love and appreciate a lot more people than just Julian and that is just as worth celebrating! This year I am making a vow to be prepared and shower my friends and family with tasty treats. I have THREE exciting things for you here today, my simple yet glorious champagne cocktail, the Vanilla-Lavender Fizz, watercolor tags for you to attach to wrapped up cookies and gifts, and a cookie recipe for  Lavender Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies from my good friend Kate Wood, of The Wood and Spoon blog.

    This past weekend I flew coast to coast to spend some time with my besties from college. We met in 2005 and didn’t leave each others side for the next 4 years. Much to our dismay we did have to peel ourselves away from one another at some point and begin our adult lives. Over the past 12 years they have helped me grow into who I am today; they have encouraged my dreams, taught me how to truly care for my friends, and they definitely keep me silly. During the post college years we have all moved to different states, we have different lives, and have made new friends along the way but these ladies have remained such an integral part of my life.  We met up in Flager Beach, Florida; the air was chilly, the sun was warm and the beach was all but deserted. This year I thought ahead and was prepared to celebrate how much I love them all! We layed a blanket on the sand and had a valentine’s day themed beach picnic (I know it’s still January… I’m just over compensating for years of being under prepared). One of these ladies is Kate Wood of the amazing baking blog, The Wood and Spoon. Kate is just as sassy as she is beautiful and she makes magic happen in the kitchen. She and I teamed up for our galentine’s afternoon – we made my Lavender Vanilla Fizz cocktail and ate her Lavender Vanilla Bean sugar cookies. If that doesn’t set the stage for a perfect afternoon with the girls I don’t know what would! We sipped, laughed, devoured cookies and took a series of photos that made the most ridiculous stop motion video.
    Maybe one day if you’re lucky I’ll embarrass us all and post it…

    But, how beautiful are these cookies?! I’ve made my fair share of sugar cookies in my life and usually the dough is finicky and the decorating process takes hourrrrssssss. But GUESS WHAT the dough for this recipe is the easiest sugar cookie dough I have ever worked with – I didn’t have to refrigerate it even once! The dough 100% keeps it’s shape in the oven and Kate shares a decorating technique that is beautiful and super quick! Be careful tasting the dough though because you may end up eating all of it…I probably ate about 5 cookies worth of dough…You can get the recipe and tutorial for them here on the Wood and Spoon Blog.


    The Vanilla Lavender Fizz is a delicious concoction consisting of champagne, vanilla bean and lavender bitters – it’s not too sweet, not too floral and bubbly enough to make it feel like you’re celebrating.

     It’s creation was inspired by a drink I had a few weeks ago when I had the opportunity to go to a “luxury whiskey bar” in Beverly Hills called Ten Pound, it is one of only two in the entire world! We were led inside in a speakeasy type fashion, the door man took our name and introduced us to the hostess who then led us through a long hall and up a flight of stairs. We ended at an unassuming door which opened to a quaintly sized Old Hollywood feeling bar. The bartender named Cash showed us to our couch on the patio. He explained that he would be preparing our drinks and gave a description of every whiskey and cocktail on the menu. I stuck to the cocktail menu (because I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to straight liquer) and I went for the “Filigree”. He brought it to me and if I wasn’t worried about being able to walk out of the joint I probably would have had 15 of them. Simple, understated and so delicious I needed it to be a part of my cocktail repertoire, so, I created the Lavender Vanilla Fizz

    Champagne – use one that you wouldn’t mind drinking straight

    Lavender Bitters – I used Scrappys

    Vanilla Bean simple syrup – like this one or make your own

    Sugar cubes

    Add 1 tsp vanilla bean simple syrup & 4-5 drops of lavender bitters (a bit less than 1/8 tsp) to champagne glass.

    Pour champagne into glass

    drop sugar cube into glass

    Thats all there is to it! Enjoy with those you want to love on and be sure to tell them all that you appreciate about them!