Last week, we had the pleasure of designing a table for the 125th Anniversary Gala for the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House at Cipriani’s 42nd Street Ballroom. Every spring, forty interior designers, artists and floral designers from around the country are invited to design tables for the annual black tie charity event. This year’s theme was “The Future Starts Now” in honor of their 125th anniversary. Recognized as one of New York’s premier non profit organizations, the settlement house provides an extensive array of human services including social, educational, legal, health, housing, mental health, nutritional and fitness to improve the lives of 15,000 people in need each ranging from 3-103. The event raised close to $900,000 and we could not think of a more worthy cause to which we could donate our time, creativity, and resources. Thank you to Virginia Pittman, Honorary Design Chair Christopher Spitzmiller, and Design Chairs Alberto Villalobos and Lindsey Coral Harper for including us in the event.
When my friends at Set, Sip Serve invited me to share an event, I thought it was a perfect excuse to celebrate with my favorite ladies from my tennis team. Set, Sip, Serve, is a delightful entertaining site where you can find everything you need to create the perfect gathering. Founders Benton Jordan Weinstock and Annie Berlanger Wehrle have researched and brought you the best style experts, taste makers, and chefs in the home entertaining industry. Click here to read more about this wonderful resource.
It is no secret how much I love tennis and my team…It is the one activity I do completely for myself that brings me a ridiculous amount of joy. We celebrated our winning season with a round robin and lunch on the lawn. They even indulged me by wearing tennis whites with a touch of pink for the photo shoot. Lucky for me they even chose the right shade of pink!
I wanted to select a color palette that would pop against the glorious green backdrop. The hot pink ballroom chairs and the navy geometric tablecloth were the starting point for the design. Dizzy Daisy Designs helped me with a customized invitation, menu and place cards that also tied in the color scheme. Floral designer extraordinaire John Lupton worked his magic with spectacular flowers of peonies, roses, ranunculus, and orchids in a variety of pink shades. Pink hand blown glasses from Branca,Inc, bamboo flatware, pink chargers, and blue and white porcelain monkeys from Furbish added to the whimsy of the table. See below for more images from our photo shoot and recipes from our luncheon…
2 oz. Strawberry Infused vodka
2 oz. Simple Syrup
2 oz. fresh lemon juice or pink lemonade
Fresh mint to garnish
3 ripe avocados
2 cups low fat buttermilk
1/3 cup walnut halves
1/3 cup fresh dill springs
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Garnish with edible flower or diced avocado
Halve and pit 2 avocados. With a spoon, scoop out flesh and transfer to a blender. Add buttermilk, walnuts, dill, red onion, vinegar, salt and 1 cup water and puree until smooth. Cover the blender and refrigerate until the soup is well chilled, at least one hour.
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup of butter softened
1 tsp grated lemon peel
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablepoons lemon juice
NOTE: You will need about 2 lemons for the juice/peel in this recipe. If you don’t have enough lemon juice left for the glaze, use water for the right consistency.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat flour, sugar, butter and peel on low speed until crumbly. Press mixture in bottom of ungreased 13 by 9 pan. Bake 20-30 min until golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl with wire whisk, lightly beat eggs. Beat in remaining filling ingredients except lemon juice and lemon peel until well blended. Finally, beat in ¼ cup of lemon juice and peel.
3. Remove partially baked base from oven. Pour filling evenly over warm base.
4. Return to oven; bake 25-30 min. until top is golden brown. Cool completely (1 hour)
5. In small bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar and enough lemon juice for desired spreading consistency until smooth. Spread glaze over cooled bars. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator, but allow bars to come to room temperature before serving.