Friday, July 17, 2009

sophistikitchen: lemon rosemary shortbread

as an event planner, i've had lots of experience with caterers. some wonderful and some downright frightening. i've learned the ability that food has to set a tone for an occasion or an environment. to make you feel at home, safe, impressed, is such an incredible medium for sophisticated expression. over the years i've had a growing interest in cooking and, despite a lack of training, i am becoming increasingly confident and enjoy trying lots of new things.

one of my recent successes?
lemon rosemary shortbread cookies.
rich, light, fresh, aromatic--they are just so right. i served these at this year's easter brunch and they were the perfect springtime touch after a very rich meal.

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar for decoration
  1. in a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 2/3 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. stir in the flour, salt, lemon juice and rosemary until well blended. the dough will be somewhat soft. cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
  2. remove dough from the refrigerator and hand-roll small balls of dough (about 1T) and place about 1 inch apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. slightly flatten the balls of dough into disks.*
  3. preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. refrigerate the dough disks for another thirty minutes. this is essential for the shortbread cookies to maintain their shape while cooking.
  4. sprinkle lemon zest and the remaining sugar over the tops of the cookies.
  5. bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden at the edges. cool on wire racks, and store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 2 days before serving (to allow flavors to mellow).
*other options:
1. after refrigerating, roll dough about 1/2 inch thick and cut into small rectangles.
1. prior to refrigerating, mold dough into a log shape and wrap in plastic wrap. refrigerate for 1 to 1 1/2 hours and slice circles about 1/4 inch thick.
[recipe adapted from]

...happy sophisticating...

Monday, July 13, 2009

coming soon!

hello dear sophisticates,
i know i have been missing in action for some time now. i was away on vacation in a land with no internet access (yikes!)

BUT i have been scheming and dreaming and i have lots of sophistication planned for the near future! in case you've not visited this blog before, here is a little tour of the different features you'll find here...

event galleries
straightforward enough. enjoy galleries of events i have designed and coordinated, plus some behind-the-scenes tips you can use to sophisticate any event.

design obsessions
incredibly fabulous and amazing interior design trends that i just can't get enough of.

you could call them kindred spirits of sophistication...these features highlight artists, designers, photographers, planners and just generally sophisticated people. whom you should admire. excessively. like i do.

COMING SOON: sophistikitchen
this new feature will be a celebration of the sophistication that takes place in the kitchen. recipes, tips to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary and even guest interviews and recipes from incredible chefs. not to be missed.

COMING SOON: sophisticated traditions
so much of my inspiration for this blog comes from the influence of my mother and grandmother--the consummate sophisticates. my love of all things sophisticated has been inspired by decades of christmas dinners, tea parties, centerpieces and decorating. this feature will serve as a window into the traditions that have become part of the thoughtful and sophisticated fabric of our family.

COMING SOON: class has no price range
another influence of my mother and grandmother, this phrase has practically become a family mantra--one many of my friends have heard often. i have always been taught that class and sophistication do not in any way require wealth, but rather a commitment to thoughtfulness, poise and consideration. as such, this feature will highlight inexpensive gems (decorating tips, accessories, event ideas) that lend an air of sophistication, without a costly price tag.

so much coming so soon. in the meantime...
...happy sophisticating...