Category Archives: Entertaining

Oct 20, 2018

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield photo by Liz Banfield

It’s that time again, when fall entertaining is in full swing! So, I’m sharing some of my favorite fall recipes. All inspired by one of the most lovely fall weddings we’ve done, which we’ll be showing you on Wedding Wednesday this week.  Our first one is always a hit- Devils on Horseback. This particular recipe is shared from marthastewart.com

24 large dates, pitted

12 slices bacon, halved crosswise

1/3 cup crumbled Stilton cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 24 toothpicks in a small bowl filled with water; let soak 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fit with a wire rack; set aside.

Halve dates lengthwise being careful not to cut all the way through. Place a small amount of cheese in the center of each date. Wrap a piece of bacon around each date. Secure bacon with a toothpick.

Place dates on prepared baking sheet. Bake until bacon is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfieldphoto by Liz Banfield

We named this a “Blushing Bride” in order to make it a fitting signature drink for the wedding, but you can come up with whatever fits your theme!  Wooden drink stirrers for an added touch available thru Lettered Olive.

The POM Sparkler (yields about 8 1/2 cup servings)

2 cups freshly squeezed juice or POM Wonderful

1 1/2 cups lemon sparkling water

1/2 cup of your favorite vodka (I like Tito’s)

Garnish- Lemon or Lime rind strips, or a rosemary sprig

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher; pour over ice and garnish!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfieldphoto by Liz Banfield

Sweet Potato Biscuits (Makes 18-20), shared from my book, Weddings by Tara Guerard

3 cups flour

1 3/4 light brown sugar

2 1/4 tsps baking powder

1/8 tsp allspice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

3/4 tsp plus pinch of baking soda

 10 1/2tbs shortening

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/3 cups chilled sweet potato puree

Mix all dry ingredients; add shortening, buttermilk, and sweet potato puree. Mix the dough, but don’t overwork, using a flowered board. Cut dough into 2-inch rounds or squares with a cutter. Bake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes- rotating after 12 minutes. Coat with melted butter when done.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfieldphoto by Liz Banfield

While these mini pecan pies are from Jim Smeal and beautifully adorned with a mini maple leaf and homemade cream, you can accomplish a delicious mini pie at home that is Pinterest worthy!

This recipe from the authorities on Pecan Pie at Karo Syrup yields 16 mini pies (or 1 large pie)

1 egg

1/3 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup OR Dark Corn Syrup

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1 box (14.1 ounces) refrigerated pie crust dough

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk egg, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.  Stir in pecans. Set aside.

Unroll pie crusts on counter.  Cut out 16 (3 to 3-1/2 inch) circles using a round cookie cutter.  A coffee mug or small bowl can also work, carefully cut around with a sharp paring knife or just press like you would a cookie cutter.  You will have a little dough left over.  Gently fit each circle into muffin cups (2-1/2 inch).  Dough should come up about halfway in each cup.  Spoon about 1 tablespoon filling into each shell.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until filling appears set.  Cool 5 to 10 minute on rack.  Using a sharp knife, carefully remove each pie from the muffin pan.  Store in a tightly closed container.

Recipe Note:  Extra pie dough can be cut in pieces, brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon to create little designs for decorating your pies.

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

Of course, you can’t go wrong with a classic cheese spread. I can go in so many directions here, but obviously 2 hard cheeses, 2 soft cheeses, and 1 something special is a good balance here. I like a variety of accompaniments- something sweet like a fig or quince spread, and something spicy like a sweet chili or pepper relish goes great. Dried turkish apricots, or Trader Joe’s dried wild blueberries are also favorites. Of course, you can add dried and cured meats, and garnishes to make the men happy.

10.20.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Entertaining, Food and Drink, Parties, Recipes, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>
Oct 20, 2018

photo by Corbin Gurkin

We are designing all of our fall weddings right now, and I’m loving coming up with new ideas and concepts for our table designs, specifically our place settings. Here is roundup of some of our past settings that we are taking inspiration from, and maybe you can too. One thing that we insist upon are perfect details. We love a linen napkin, sometimes with a custom designed embroidered monogram (a nice gift we give to the couple after the wedding for their new home).  Beautiful printing details (we commission Lettered Olive for most of our designing needs) can also make all of the difference!

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

For this light and airy fall fete, the finishing touch were sprigs of fresh rosemary, a perfect fall scent, and a punch of fresh greenery.

photos by Melanie Mauer 

This early fall tabletop was all about layering and mixing elements. Copper metallic, embossed leather, colored linen, and pops of pinks and purples in the flower arrangements came together for a chic table look.

photo by Squire Fox

I love love love incorporating different textures in fall and winter designs (hence our recent post on velvet), and one of my favorites is suede. Nothing seems more luxurious to me as a wedding guest than having a soft cozy luxe velvet linen.

photos by Gayle Brooker

The feeling of this wedding can’t be felt from the photos, but it glowed golden and warm. So many elements contributed here, like velvet linens, gold metal paper, and soft textured floral elements like peonies…

photo by Corbin Gurkin

A bright blend of seasonal blooms set the tone for this tabletop… The Balmoral plates lovely in and of themselves , and topped with embossed leather menu books, and accented with gold flatware an unexpected fall feel fell into place.

photo by Liz Banfield

Now this table design remains one of my favorites.. Ostrich leather topper (I mean… ) with wooden and burlap lamps and mixed blooms were so unexpected, but guests really couldn’t get over the custom ombre velvet menu booklets with etched bronze name plates for place cards… So lovely!

10.20.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Entertaining, Event Design, Flowers, Food and Drink, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>

photo by Lauren Bailey

Crazy Rich Asians is breaking box office records worldwide (if you haven’t seen it, it’s fantastic), and with it’s fabulously over the top wedding scenes, it got me thinking about all of the ways we have used an Asian flair in our designs. It can be a very strong theme in printing. For one our recent weddings, the rehearsal dinner was taking place in a meditation garden, so watercolor bamboo made for pretty envelope liners.

photo by Liz Banfield

We don’t back away from our chance to use orchids (of any variety) in our flower works.  A colorful mix of Phalenopsis orchids made a vibrant centerpiece for an escort card table. We also use the dendrobium orchid variety as a garnish in champagne glasses… photos 1&2 by Liz Banfield

Of course, food is an obvious place where couples can incorporate their favorite Asian dishes.  To put a more formal twist on a sushi station, Sushi chefs prepared fresh rolls for guests, and plated them with chopsticks making it easier for guests to enjoy. And for a couple of weddings with Asian stations, pre setting the dish in take out containers with chopsticks made it super easy for guests to grab and go (cutting down on lines) and adding a decor moment. photos by Corbin Gurkin

We also had a recent groom who loved loved loved Chinese food, so his groom’s cake was a larger than life to go container with fortune cookies and sweet fortunes on top… Cake by Jim Smeal

photos by Liz Banfield

We have had many a wedding where saturated hues and asian flair was blended into the decor… Red has long long standing roots of meaning good luck and fortune in Chinese lore. Whether from lanterns, to red florals, to interior design elements like furniture and textiles we have woven the feel into these weddings yet without it feeling too “themey”.

photo by Liz Banfield

And of course, sending guests off with something “to go” is a fun last thought and easy detail if you don’t want to go overboard.

10.20.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Cakes, Entertaining, Event Design, Event Planning, Food and Drink, Reception, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>