porch party

This week I attended a Porch Party Workshop hosted by 6.25 Paper StudioArt of the Table, and Aperitivo at 6.25's storefront downtown. When I signed up for the event I wasn't sure what to expect but they mentioned party decor and summer cocktails and that sounded just grand to me. My mom attended as well and we had the best time.

We were greeted by a darling tablescape, complete with personalized straws and pinwheels. The decor was so playful and inviting.

The workshop began with a presentation by Amy Ruis, owner of Art of the Table, a local staple for gourmet food gifts, wine, and kitchen decor. She also owns Aperitivo, a wine and cheese bar in the Downtown Market, a favorite of ours. 

Amy taught us all about cheeses and accompaniments, giving us great suggestions for entertaining, as well as a few great cocktail recipes.

6.25 took over from there, leading us through our first activity of the night, painting a chalkboard cheeseboard. We painted our boards, had some snacks, and then spent time creating our own paper decor as we enjoyed Amy's libations.

All of the hosts were fabulous and the mood of the evening was so fun and light, and I really enjoyed tapping into my creative side. We left with great ideas for summer parties and I'm looking forward to future events like these at 6.25 Paper Studio. 

For great summer cocktail recipes and porch party ideas, check out the book they recommended: Porch Parties: Cocktail Recipes and Easy Ideas for Outdoor Entertaining.


honey lavender goat cheese crostini

When I have people over, or if I'm bringing a dish to a friend's house, I like to bring something that is, or at least seems, just a little bit adventurous or creative. It's a great opportunity to try something new. Yesterday, a friend hosted a girls' night and I knew I needed the dish I brought to be quick and easy to make since I'd be putting it together after work with E underfoot.

Enter goat cheese crostini.

On nights when I don't have time or energy to produce much of a meal, I like to make crostini. It's so simple, you cut the bread, add some olive oil, toast it up, and top it off. Easy peasy.

Goat cheese is one of my favorite ingredients to work with because it's so versatile. It can be used in sweet or savory dishes, it plays nice with other ingredients, and of course there's that delicious tang.

Add a goat cheese mixture to crostini and you have a surprising simple little treat that's beautiful to boot.

Honey Lavender Goat Cheese Crostini

1 loaf baguette
1/4 cup olive oil
10.5 ounces (or so) soft goat cheese
1/2 cup milk of your choice
2 teaspoons culinary lavender
2-3 tablespoons honey
10 blackberries, halved lengthwise

Heat oven to 425 degrees. 

Cut your baguette into thin slices, say a quarter-inch thick. I like to cut mine on an angle, it adds more surface area for extra toppings. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper if you'd like then place the baguette slices on the baking sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil, then flip the slices and repeat.  Bake the slices for 6-8 minutes, flipping half way, until the edges start to toast, then remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Whisk together goat cheese, milk, lavender, and honey.

Once the toasts have cooled a bit, spread with goat cheese mixture. Top with blackberry halves. Bon app├ętit!

Next time you need a quick dish to pass, try these out.  If you don't like these flavors, you can try all sorts of combinations: goat cheese with figs, apricots or strawberry and balsamic - basically any fruit would be good, mushrooms, ricotta with mint and peas, try blue cheese or brie, or add prosciutto or bacon, even shrimp. Pick whatever you love and, I promise, these will become a fast favorite.


a weekend in denver

The best weekends are filled with:



Time with family.

New friends.

And just hanging out with your favorite people.

Ours will filled with all of those things and we had a blast visiting our family in Denver this past weekend.

Can't wait to see all of them again in July!