High-Low 4/22/14: Easter & Ouch

Yet again, it’s time for the most popular column on BeautyFrosting – my High-Low. *So what exactly is a High-Low, you ask? High-Low is the BEST & WORST part of your day, week, month, etc. I started this tradition with friends & family after I discovered it through a movie decades ago. Not only is it useful for the sake of reflection but it is also an excellent way to communicate with your spouse, kids or friends over the dinner table. By introducing this tradition to folks, parents have told me that their kids have opened up more and friends have told me that their spouses have become more communicative. Try it for yourself and let me know what your experience is…


HIGH-LOW 4/22/14

Easter? Yay!!! Face burns? No bueno.

This week was a doozy (aren’t they all?) as it contained my favorite holiday – for which I hosted a garden party – and my not-so-fave as, well, my face got burned! And it all happened in one day. See? Doozy.

As my old boss used to say, Oy vey.

Up first? The high, of course. Here we go, here we go, here we go.

HIGH: My 3rd Annual Classic Southern Easter Dinner

My Easter table surrounded by friends. My cup runneth over...both literally and figuratively

I love having a houseful of people. To be honest, I feel most alive and happy when I am hosting a soiree at my house – surrounded by friends, indulging in delicious, homemade food and drinking wine and laughing. Add in some board games and I’m having the time of my life. All of that just does my heart good. And it definitely does my heart good to look around me and see the folks I hold so dear looking plumb happy.

Which is why I ignored a friend’s advice when he told me to skip hosting my annual classic southern Easter dinner this year (although he’s usually quite wise). With all I have going on, it just didn’t seem like the smartest thing to do. But I am so glad I did it!

There were old friends, new friends and enough food, wine and spirited conversation to go around. And I really appreciate that my guests who have attended each year said that they so look forward to it and it’s one of their most beloved events of the year. It might be a hefty task to take on when things are busy and bustling but anything that makes me feel so good simply can’t be a bad thing.

The theme this year? Ricky Nelson-Garden Party style. In the backyard with the tasel garlands, puffs on trees, birds and the bees. Oh, you know what I mean...

The reason I love this tradition so much is because it marries the best of the old traditions precious to my family – which reminds me of my younger days – with the new traditions that I’m creating on my own with my friends and surrogate family out here in LA. It is such a beautiful thing – and isn’t that what life’s all about?

As with everything, it’s all in the delicate details – and the delicate details are what delight me. I used my Nanny’s silver, made her Jello lime salad in her vintage jello mold and served the salad on her white and gold cake stand. I always feel connected to her when I bake but when I actually use precious family treasures that she owned for years, I feel especially connected to her.

Marrying the old traditions with the new ones. Pictured here is my Nanny's silver and my favorite new washable linen napkins from Haute Hostess (Left) and Jessie Steele (right)

We started out the day with a DIY Mimosa bar from One Hope Wine that was a hit! Guests could custom-make their own mimosas featuring One Hope Sparkling wine and select from a bevy of juices, fruits and mint to muddle, mix and design to their heart’s content. More on the Mimosa Bar (and how you can order the One Hope Wine Mimosa Bar Set) on Thirsty Thursday this week!

DIY Mimosa Bar featuring One Hope Wine Mimosa Bar Set - this was a HIT!


What else was served for dinner? Well, we always have a HoneyBaked ham, my Cowboy Corn Casserole, my Paris, Texas Green Bean Casserole, my Southern Pea Salad, Matt Marr’s Prized Deviled Eggs, mac & Cheese, turkey, salads and SO much more!


The Spread: southern fare galore!


As for the best part? Dessert, of course! I baked my annual Easter Bunny Coconut Cake (this year her name was Bedelia – yes, seriously), my Chocolate Cream pie, my Blackberry Cream pie and my Nanny’s ‘Nana Pudding. Holy goodness, it was all delicious!

But even more delicious than the food was the company. Thank you to each and every one of you who came and celebrated a beautiful spring day in my backyard. The memories will live on long after the food is gone – and the memories were downright magical.

The memories will live on long after the food is gone...

LOW: Ouch!

LOW: Ouch! Too many irons in the fire and something might catch ON fire! (p.s. That white stuff on my face? It's Silver Sufudiazine which helps burns)


I’ll keep this short. I burned myself. While busily setting the table, cooking, baking and decorating for Easter dinner, I spotted a Diptyque candle on fire in my living room. Nope. Not stressful at all. A fire extinguisher would’ve made a mess for such a small fire so I (dumbly?) decided to blow it out. Well, the hot wax splashed up and hit my face. It actually didn’t really hurt – probably because I was so focused on putting out the fire!

I’m fine  – and it could have been much worse but I did receive 4 small burns on my face – one second degree that’s requiring a bit of attention so as to prevent scarring. But thanks to my dermatologist, I’ll be right as rain in no time. And, again, even though I’m calling it a low, I know that there is much, much worse than having a few burns on your face. A good reminder to yes, keep all those irons in the fire but to keep your eye out for things catching on fire with all we have going on every day.


BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week?



Thirsty Thursday: La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2012 – the official taste of Summer 2013

Before I bid summertime adieu, I must share with you my summer love… La Vielle Ferme Rosé ($9.99).


Thirsty Thursday: My taste of summer 2013 - La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2012


I have bought a bevy of bottles of this ravishing rosé this summer and have enjoyed every single, solitary one. Oh, don’t you judge – almost every bottle was shared with a friend, neighbor or passerby on the street. Kidding…well, about the passerby thing.


My brother-neighbor, Matty, & me enjoying a glass (or two) of La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2012 last Saturday while frosting cupcakes

However, I’m not kidding when I tell you that this vino will symbolize Summer 2013 for me forever. With its pretty, whimsical watermelon hue, its floral scent with hints of baked brown sugar and aniseed and its taste of southern flowers, bing cherries and fruit pastille candies, this dry – yet juicy – rosé just represents the taste of summer 2013 for me. And, for me, summer 2013 was filled with fun, new beginnings, farm-to-table-fresh food, music, travel, romance and lessons learned.
One glass of La Vieille Ferme Rosé is never enough, two is not too much and the conversations and memories enjoyed over 3 glasses of this wine will live on forever.

Lucky for me, I know there will be another vintage next year. So here’s – and cheers – to Summer 2014 with La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2012!!!



BF Asks: Do you have a favorite rosé? Spill it. 


Thirsty Thursday: The East End

As we segue from summer into fall, it can be a bit challenging to find just the right balance of tastes for a late summer/pre-autumn cocktail. Citrus cocktails alone seem too reminiscent of early summer while the pumpkin, apple and cinnamon cocktails of fall seem a little premature.

That’s why I’m loving this custom cocktail – The East End –  from Hooray Henry’s (LA’s newest nightclub to see and be seen) and master mixologist, Curtis of Blacklab.

The East End - both sweet AND spicy!


With elements of both sweet and spice, it will leave you feeling ooooooohhhhh-sooooo-nice!

2oz Corzo Silver Tequila 
1oz lime juice
1oz pineapple juice
.75oz habanero syrup
house made chili salt rim
shake/strain into a rocks glass


BF Asks: What cocktail are you loving this week? 

Thirsty Thursday: The Clover Gingersnap Champagne Cocktail at Happy Hour at The Orlando

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending a happy hour at The Orlando Hotel on 3rd Street here in Los Angeles. Lucky for me I did because I discovered my new favorite cocktail.

As I walked in, I was offered two selections – a variety of fresh, cold-pressed Clover juices (which just so happens to be housed downstairs) or champagne. Well, you know me…I thought, why choose? Let’s make a new cocktail for the occasion – so my friend, Edward suggested using the Gingersnap juice and, thus, The Clover Gingersnap Champagne Cocktail was born!


Thirsty Thursday: The Clover Gingersnap Champagne Cocktail

So what exactly is in this delicious drink? It’s very simple, really – champagne (naturally) and then Clover Gingersnap Juice ($8). This juice has Fuji apple, green apple, lemon and ginger and it is super scrumptious with a bit of spice.
I’m thinking it’s going to be a big pick for Fall because it seems to marry the citrus, zesty flavors of summer with autumnal elements like apple and spice.

So try it for yourself. And see if you enjoy it as much as we did!

Enjoying The Clover Gingersnap Champagne Cocktail at Happy Hour at The Orlando with my good friends, Jennifer Chan & Rose Curiel of E!


Just add 2 parts Clover Gingersnap Juice to 1 part champagne and presto-changeo – you’ve got yourself The Clover Gingersnap Champagne Cocktail.

Yep, happy hour indeed…





BF Asks: What cocktail kick are you on right now? 

Thirsty Thursday: Pampadour Summer Sangria

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the “Be Parisian For A Day Event” hosted by Fournier PR. While eating macarons (yes, I’m serious)…

Macaron heaven at Be Parisian For A Day

and getting to know all of the new beauty products I’m destined to be in love with –

Being, well, Parisian...or at least trying to be...

 I spotted this:

Pampadour Summer Sangria

So what is this sangria-making “Pampadour“, you ask? Well, I asked the same thing…and then I promptly signed up and became obsessed. It’s a social platform for beauty. Need more details? Here you go:  If Facebook married Pinterest and it was a marriage based solely on a love of beauty then you would have Pampadour. And luckily we do. By the way, that sounds divine, doesn’t it?
I’ve played a bit on Pampadour and let me tell ya – it is ADDICTIVE!!
But back to their sangria. It was delish and they were nice enough to send me the recipe.
It’s a refreshing warm weather beverage that’s just dying to be enjoyed with friends!

Summer happiness - also called Pampadour Summer Sangria - in a cup

Pampadour Summer Sangria:
1 bottle White Wine ( Pino Blanc or New Zealand Sauvignon – I personally prefer the $3.99 Espiral Vinho Verde from Trader Joe’s!)
1/2 c Brandy
4 c Club Soda
Sliced Plums, lemons, limes, strawberries, apples, tangerines
Serve chilled on Ice.
BFBF Asks: What’s your favorite sangria recipe? 

Thirsty Thursday: Andrew Lane 2009 Merlot, Sonoma County

Last Saturday, I went for an afternoon matinee showing of A Place Beyond The Pines. Well, as I was about to encounter both Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, I thought a glass of wine was in order.

I told Alex D at The Landmark Wine Bar what I was looking for – something big & juicy and not too thin – and he didn’t hesitate at all before he suggested the Andrew Lane 2009 Merlot, Sonoma County.


Thirsty Thursday: Andrew Lane 2009 Merlot, Sonoma County

It was perfect! Alex D knows his wines!

With dark fruit and french oak, this wine drinks more like a Cabernet than a Merlot – and I mean that in the best possible way!




BF Asks: What’s wine would you choose before seeing a Bradley Cooper & Ryan Gosling movie?



Thirsty Thursday: Bastianich Rosato di Refosco (2011)

After the Paris Photo exhibit a few weekends ago, my friend and fave photographer, Amy Opoka, and I were famished! So we decided to stop by Pizzeria Mozza for a little pizza, salad and…WINE, of course!!

We asked our bartender what would be a refreshing choice to pair with our pizza and he had a rosy answer for us.

Bostianich Rosato di Refosco - rosy & refreshing

At $39 a bottle, Bastianich Rosato di Refosco (2011) was on the pricier side for me so we opted for a glass. And I savored that glass with delicious glee. With a heavier weight than you might expect – more like a light red wine – this wine tickled my tastebuds.

With hints of juicy strawberries, zesty orange and floral aromas of rose petals and violets, this is not only a glass of wine but summertime in a glass. A happy compromise for the couple with both a white wine lover and a red wine lover, a bottle of this will keep you in each other’s good favor and keep summertime alive in your hearts – and mouths – all year long.



BF Asks: What’s your favorite wine paired with pizza? 

Thirsty Thursday: Castle Rock Pinot Noir 2011

I love my wine. But when it comes to Pinot Noir, I’m not usually the biggest fan. I like my wines heartier, juicier and full-bodied.

So when I was gifted this Castle Rock 2011 California Cuvée Pinot Noir by one of my generous guests at my Easter dinner, I thought to myself, “Awww, that’s so sweet. But bless your heart, I’ll never drink it.”

Castle Rock’s 2011 California Cuvée Pinot Noir

But, lo and behold, when my dear friend Vanessa came over last Friday night for an impromptu girls’ night, my hostessing skills couldn’t rest with just a glass of lemonade. I offered up the Pinot and we had a glass. And then we had another one. And then we had another one. Don’t judge. We’re not lushes. It was just divine. And it may have just changed my mind about Pinots.

My tongue tasted notes of cherry and raspberry while my nose detected a pinch of pepper.

And I’m not alone. Wine & Spirits Magazine’s April 2013 issue awards Castle Rock’s 2011 California Cuvée Pinot Noir in its “Years Best” section awarding it with 86 Points and a “Best Buy” designation. They say: “Brooding and savory, this avoids the dried fruit flavors that mar many value priced California pinot noirs. Its green, fenel-like edges feel refreshing and honest, and set it up for chicken or pork sausages.”

Nice. But I’ll take mine with a side of juicy conversation.

Bless my heart for finallly having an open mind when it comes to Pinot! And bless you, Vanessa, for coming over for a last-minute girls night and giving me the push I needed to taste this fab Pinot Noir for under $15.


BF Asks: Are you a Pinot Noir fan? 

Thirsty Thursday: Super Bowl Beer Punch

SuperBowl Beer Punch

Now, what’s more Super Bowl than beer? Nothin’, I tell ya.

So how can you appease the attractive boys in your life while satiating the sassy ladies?
Beer punch, my friends.

Its main ingredient is beer but the citrusy lemon lime keeps the mood light and fizz high.

So whatcha’ waitin’ for? Ten-hut!!


Makes 6 servings


  • 4 bottles of your favorite beer
  • 2 cans Sprite
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • Citrus slices for decoration
  • Ice


  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Ladle into glasses and serve with ice.


Thirsty Thursday: Holiday Cocktail

Craving a perfect Christmas cocktail that isn’t the standard eggnog or hot toddy recipe? How about this Holiday Cocktail? It’s chilled and fizzy and oh-so-Christmas-y!

Holiday Cocktail: Apple, Cranberry, Vodka & Ginger ale - yummy!

Holiday Cocktail
1 Cup  Apple Cider or Juice
1 Cup Cranberry Juice
1/2 Cup – 1 Cup Vodka
1 Cup Ginger Ale
Pour ingredients into blender and whizz until light pink and frothy.
Pour into large jug and top with 1 cup of Ginger Ale and a good handful of ice.
Serves 4
BF Asks: What’s your holiday cocktail of choice this year?