5 Cocktails To Try This Fall

Since moving from LA to NY I am really embracing the seasons, I actually have to change out my closet for Fall now! Another thing I like to change is my home cocktail list from the Summer staples like Moscow Mules and Greyhounds to warmer seasonal favorites. I have searched around and found five standouts that we all need to try this Fall I just don't know which one to start with.

Manhattan

IMG_9409.PNG

This is my personal go to and I have been using this recipe from Esquire for the past few years with different Bourbons & Rye's however I always use Carpano Antica vermouth. I also garnish mine with three Luxardo Maraschino cherries, they are not cheap but totally worth the splurge. This picture is from my Disneyland dinner at Carthay Circle, who knew they had craft cocktails?

Autumn Bellini

Mulled Apple cider instead of Peach puree is such an easy swap out to make this drink Fall. Get the recipe for this Autumn Bellini from Saveur

Whiskey Chai

Does this combo even need an explanation? I love the spicy warmth of chai tea, and Whiskey could be my night time nickname. In this recipe from Food & Wine they make their own spice blend, personally I would just use ready made chai.

Will you try one of these? What are your favorite Fall cocktails?

How-To Organize A Small Kitchen

When Matt and I moved to New York everyone here imagined that we were coming from some expansive LA mansion. However Gingham Cottage our home in Laurel Canyon was only just above 800 square feet, not quite a mansion. We had spent three years squeezing every single inch of storage out of that place, bookcases, closets, custom furniture, you name it we did it. However after I unpacked all of the boxes here in the apartment I realized that we had none of those smart storage solutions to speak of. Furthermore this is a rental so it wasn't like I was calling an artisan cabinet maker and scheduling a crane. Plan B, the mecca of an organized apartment The Container Store, its not the cheapest solution but in organizing you get what you pay for. I resolved to measure and research my way around the store and get a handle on living big in a small apartment, starting with the kitchen.

The first thing I realized was that the kitchen had exactly zero drawers, guess the people here before didn't use silverware. I found a simple affordable kitchen island on Amazon that had two drawers:

Next was organizing those drawers, what I couldn't do is put a thick organizer into that small drawer. I found these great organizers from Rubbermaid that have a very small footprint and they interlock, done!

The apartment has an interesting layout because it is actually two units combined with a spiral staircase, that means two doors. Not one to waste an inch of space I decided to claim the upper door for the kitchen. I ended up using this ingenious Elfa wall rack that attaches simply with a few screws and adds tons of storage. Because this is an open solution I kept everything that went onto it in the same silver and white color palate so it doesn't look junky.

I still needed more drawers to keep things like kitchen towels tucked away so I turned again to Elfa (no they didn't pay me to do this I paid them) this time for the x-narrow mesh drawer. This handy little set fits right under the sink and provides me with tons of space, I even store lids for my Pyrex bake ware on top.

By this point I am feeling good but I still needed a spot for foil, parchment, waxed paper etc... I found this simple $8.00 solution on Amazon its called a Door Wrap Wrack and it is basically the space saver of the century. How many of you have an entire drawer dedicated to foil and plastic wrap? Claim that drawer!!

Did any of these solutions inspire you to get your kitchen organized? Do you want to see more ideas like this?

Check out the video below to watch me build the whole thing:

What do you bring when you are staying overnight?

Matt and I are very luck to have amazing friends, many of them whom have beautiful homes all over the place . We also get invited to stay for weekends at many of them which is something I absolutely love. There are many keys to being a good house guest one pf them is bringing a proper gift and thank you. After you get back home from an amazing weekend this thing called LIFE happens and many of us can forget to send a little something. That is why I have recently started planning ahead and bringing a gift and a blank thank you note with me. It is so easy to write a quick thank you and set it with a small gift to leave in the guest room. This is one of those "surprise and delight" moments that you can create for your host. Here is a picture of one I just did after staying with our friend Robin at her Westhampton home:

I used a stack of kitchen towels from Williams Sonoma with a simple thank you note i picked up at Paper Source

Here are some more ideas for great overnight host gifts:

Gourmet olive oils & balsamic vinegar

A set of handmade goat milk soaps from my friends at Beekman 1802

 

What would you add to this list? See anything you would give?