Category Archives: Recipes

Oct 17, 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.

10.17.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Charleston, Entertaining, Food and Drink, Parties, Recipes, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>

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We are fortunate that living in the South allows us to do winter weddings with almost as much ease as Spring weddings (it’s 60+ here in Charleston today!). When you have a back drop as graceful and stunning as the Ford Planation in Savannah, Georgia, you get year round spectacular events! For this Sunday brunch wedding, our bride and groom opted for a chic blue and white toile as the pattern du jour.  The toile was worked into everything from the invitations to the umbrellas, table linens, and even tray liners. Winter white peonies and ranunculus were mixed with festive greens for centerpieces and bouquets which set a romantic mood and the cake was topped with seasonal fruit to finish it off. (All photos by Adrienne Page)

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Of course there were plenty of personal touches as well. Our bride wore a vintage family veil, and received a beautiful bracelet to wear that day as a gift from the groom. The bride’s mother made homemade banana pecan bride and peach chutney which we packaged with custom designed tags by Lettered Olive and guests received as their welcome gift.

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Set under live oaks and overlooking the river, the wedding ceremony was anchored by a simple greenery covered chuppa.  Guests then joined the couple on the back lawn of the Plantation for an al fresco brunch reception.

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The menu consisted of favorite Southern brunch delicacies with a twist, such as Quail and Grits -alongside Shrimp and Grits, Ford Eggs Benedict, as well as a Bloody Mary Station with pickled veggies and Artillery Punch (a famous Savannah celebratory cocktail). One  long table topped with umbrellas in the signature pattern for shade allowed for guests to mingle easily. The bride hand wrote notes to all of her guests thanking them for being there, which also doubled as place cards.

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As they said their goodbyes, guests tossed white rose petals out of paper cones made from the blue and white toile pattern while the couple drove off in a classic black vintage car. This winter wedding couldn’t have been more perfect!

10.17.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Event Design, Event Planning, Flowers, Food and Drink, Reception, Recipes, Stationery, Invitations and Pretty Papers, The Lettered Olive, Travel, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>
Oct 17, 2018

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Today we are sharing a  Big Greek wedding  from about 12 years ago.  I love this sweet bride and I just bumped into her recently in New York, which reminded me to share her big day. Margaret Anne Florence, an actress (she has been on everything from Inside Amy Schumer, to 30 Rock, to Guiding Light, and most recently CMT’s Sun Records), married fellow South Carolinian, Peter Saichos in a traditional Greek celebration! We don’t have the opportunity to do too many Greek weddings, so we had a lot of fun with this one!

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

We do have a Greek Orthodox Cathedral here in Charleston, which in and of itself has some beautiful architctural details. Margaret chose a purple and bronze color palette, so we brought in orchids and lilies (favorites of the brides’) which also helped lend to that color palette.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

The bride’s bouquet was an arrangement of white Casablanca lilies and purple dendrobium orchids blended for a pop of color.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Jim Smeal provided a perfectly lovely cake in the palette used throughout the wedding.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

In addition to the wedding cake, we of course had to serve traditional Greek wedding desserts like homemade Baklava, and the Almond Pear (Amigthalota) which are a staple of the wedding celebration. Get the recipe here.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

To dress up the tradition of Ouzo shots- we made a large display with shot glasses chilling in crushed ice. Then, we froze the ouzo bottles in ice with orchids frozen inside for a wedding design element.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Guests lounged on lavendar fabric benches by candlelight in glowing orchid filled cylinders.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

Guests left with personal boxes of Jordan Almonds, and we prepacked rose petals in the wedding colors for guests on their way out to properly send off the bride and groom.

Tara Guerard Soiree by Liz Banfield

A classic T Bird adorned in strands and strands of the orchids made for a perfect getaway for this couple- classic and fun loving…  Thank you to Liz Banfield for the photography.

10.17.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal, Bridal Style, Charleston, Event Design, Flowers, Food and Drink, Parties, Photographers, Reception, Recipes, Weddings | Comments >>