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From the Desk of Dixie

A 30A Holiday Brunch

For anyone who has been lucky enough to experience the glittering white sandy beaches of 30A in the Florida panhandle, you would probably agree that the scenery is very close to idyllic. So what could be better than a beautiful holiday brunch in this coastal location where the warmer days cling to the waning of the autumn season?

Dixie's Senior Designer and 30A local Shelby Boston gathered her friends together for a toast to the holiday season which marks the beginning of a slower-paced season at the beach. Shelby chose Dixie artist Smith Diano's beautifully modern Sea Color Wheel collection for her invitations, recipe cards and gift tags shown above. We think this collection perfectly captures the colors of the beaches of 30A. Continue scrolling for the scrumptious and beautiful brunch buffet and all of the holiday sweets on the party menu, including some of 30A baker Elisabeth & Butter's treats!

The table was set with a variety of beautiful Juliska dinnerware and dishes as well as little holiday decor touches from a local shop, Mingle 30A.

Shelby chose a selection of Rose wine from the 30A Coastal Dunes Wine Company.

Spiced tea is one of our favorites this time of year! Our owner, Jennifer Hunt, shared her family's traditional spiced tea recipe with us last year on the blog. You can find the post here. And the lovely napkin fabric shown above was created by Smith Diano, who also created the art featured in the Dixie paper used for the party!  Visit Smith's textile company to shop all her gorgeous fabric designs.

These classic cinnamon rolls are given holiday flair with orange and cranberry flavors infused into the recipe. You can find Elisabeth & Butter's Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Roll Recipe here.

The brunch's grand finale was this stunning Gingerbread Layered Cake with hand-decorated gingerbread cookies by baking genius, Elisabeth & Butter. The gingerbread cookies used on the cake were also included in the party favors shown below. You can find Elisabeth's recipe for these adorable cookies here.

Sources::

Paper | Invitation, Menu, Gift Tag
Photography | Brenna Kneiss
Holiday Decor | Mingle 30A

Dinnerware and Dishes | Juliska
Baked Goods, Elisabeth & Butter
Textiles | Textiles by Smith

A French Country Ladies Brunch

Stylist Casey Snipes’ freshly remodeled French country kitchen was the ideal backdrop for our holiday brunch photoshoot. Casey selected the French Hens and Christmas Crest from our Twleve Days of Christmas Collection by artist Gina Langford for the beautiful invitations, placecards, gift tags and menu.

We love everything about this brunch! The hand calligraphed place cards and the vintage tartan plaid table runner set with mix and match brightly-hued plates and napkins all make us want to immediately pull up a chair to this cozy yet artfully collected tablescape! The menu for this brunch is as delightful as the table is stylish with cranberry mimosas (recipe included at the bottom of the post!), a bread-and egg casserole with ham, mushrooms and gruyere, as well as a pear tartlet from Continental Bakery are all included on the menu. What great party is ever complete without a thoughtful favor for its guests? These petite jars of Breeze Hill Farm Honey are the perfect accoutrement to this vintage French holiday brunch.

Sources | Kitchen Cabinets Paint Color, Benjamin Moore Holiday Wreath |  Mimosa glasses, Anthropologie |  Dinner Plates: Anthropologie | Salad Plates, Anna Weatherly from Brombergs and Table Matters | Napkin Rings, West Elm | Flatware, Vintage from Stash Bhm | Honey, Breeze Hill Farm Honey  | Runner, Vintage fabric | Bracelets in Calligraphy Photograph, Hazen and Co. | Ribbon, Frou Frou Chic | Calligraphy, Holly Hollon | Pear Tartlet, Continental Bakery | Flowers, Trader Joe's and Wholefoods | Cake Stand, Domicile

Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party with Huckleberry Collective

We loved working with Christina from Huckleberry Collective on the stationery for her Juleps and Jockey styled shoot. Her charm filled Southern soirée was inspired by her love for the Derby (fun fact, those ribbons and horses are hers from her riding days). She has incorporated culture from derbies past to bring you winning circle inspiration! From the Hot-Brown Bites to the Churchill Downs watercolor cookies, every detail of this collaboration was perfection. Check out her blog post to find some of her favorite southern recipes, such as cheese straws and deviled eggs. And click here to shop our Tally-Ho Derby Collection by Gina Langford.

Vendors: Appetizers, Huckleberry Collective |  Styling and Design, Huckleberry Collective |  Cake, Ashley Macs  | Cookies, Reabakes | Photography, Lauren Bryant

Ashley Mac's Super Bowl Party Menu

The biggest football game of the year is just around the corner. Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect excuse for a little bit of new year entertaining! And what is a Super Bowl party without some slightly indulgent bites? Ashley Mac's, a Birmingham local restaurant and catering business, is one of Dixie's favorite lunch spots for a get-together with friends. Ashley Mac's is also known for her delicious gourmet-to-go meals, perfect for those cooking-free nights after a long day! The girls at Dixie view Sunday's game as the perfect excuse to run by her store to pick up some of her ready-made appetizers for a no-fuss, but impressive Super Bowl food spread! 

Ashley has shared her Super Bowl menu with us, featured on Dixie's fun Football Goal Post Invitation by Eden Flora. We have included images of a few of the items at the bottom of the post.

And for all of you Super Bowl party hostesses who want to stretch your culinary skills this weekend, Ashley has graciously shared one of her appetizer recipes with us! Her mushroom puff recipe is below and we must say, they taste as divine as they look!

Whether you are in it for the football, the friends, the food, or the commercials and halftime show, we wish you a Happy Super Bowl Weekend!

Ashley Mac's Mushroom Puffs

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened*
  • 1 (8-oz.) can mushroom pieces and stems, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
Step 1

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Stir in mushrooms and next 4 ingredients. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Roll 1 puff pastry sheet into a 16- x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut pastry in half lengthwise. Spread 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture down center of each rectangle; brush edges with egg mixture. Fold each pastry half lengthwise over filling, and pinch edges to seal. Cut pastries into 10 pieces each, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining puff pastry sheet, egg mixture, and cream cheese mixture.

Step 3

Brush remaining egg mixture over tops of pastry pieces; sprinkle with pepper.

Step 4

Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned. Serve immediately.

A Holiday Spiced Tea Tradition

If you were able to read our post last week, you saw the meaningful design inspiration behind the Colonial Citrus Christmas card suite that Dixie Creative Director Holly Hollon created for our founder, Jennifer Hunt. When Holly initially showed Jennifer the card designs, Jennifer knew that this design would also make beautiful gift tags and recipe cards for one of her favorite holiday traditions - her family's spiced tea drink. 

Jennifer's grandmother, Martha Davis “aka Nonnie,” is the one who began the holiday spiced tea tradition in her family. Nonnie's recipe is based off of the traditional Russian tea recipe, but Jennifer says it is the best version she has ever tasted!  Jennifer now makes a batch of the tea with her family at the beginning of each holiday season, so they can enjoy it throughout the winter. She has also been known to add honey to the hot drink to cure a winter cough!

Jennifer has fond memories of making the tea mix with her mother, portioning out in jars with ribbon and delivering to neighbors and friends in her hometown. Thankfully, she was happy to share the recipe with us here in the hope you could use the gift idea too. For an added touch, she tied the jars with a gold measuring spoon this year. 

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Store in an airtight container like the ones we found here.

Tie with ribbon, a gold spoon and Dixie's Colonial Citrus Recipe Gift Tags.

To serve, stir 2 tablespoons of mix into 1 cup of boiling water.

We think this is the perfect holiday gift idea for neighbors, co-workers, or even your children's teachers! Shop the Colonial Citrus gift tags and recipe cards here.

Photos by Mary Margaret Smith

A Holiday Sweets 'N Treats Dessert Party

The Dixie team is so excited for the third installation of our menu series collaboration with Registered Dietician and food blogger, Holley Grainger! We had a ball using designer Sarah Robbins Powell's Gingerbread Sweetness Invitation to dream up a whimsical holiday dessert party.

Holley helped us pull together all of the delectable sweets and treats menu items for the party's main event, the dessert bar.   

Holley's scrumptious sweets menu has a little of something for everyone's sweet tooth. For cake lovers, the cake balls pack a bite-size sugar punch. And the maple popcorn, while it still has a hint of sweetness, balances out the chocolatey and peanut butter items. And we love the idea of a hot chocolate bar! What a thoughtful and appropriate "beverage" item for this particular party.

Each menu item's link will direct you to the recipe.

Now that the dessert menu is set, we can begin dreaming up ways to use these adorable gift tags attached to party favors for our guest.

Sources: Appetizer Plates | Holly Heights by Kate Spade for Lenox. Cocktail Napkins | Caspari. Pink and Green mini tress | Michaels Craft Store. Peppermint Bark | Williams Sonoma. Pastries | Whole Foods. Nutcracker Garland | Swoozies

Please contact us for menu and place card pricing.

We hope you were able to catch our two earlier posts in this series where Holley Grainger created a ladies brunch menu based off of our Paper Whites Invitation and she created a dinner party menu based off of Dixie's Creative Director Holly Hollon's Colonial Pineapple Invitation.

A Blue & White Ladies Holiday Luncheon

For the second installation of our menu series collaboration with Registered Dietician and food blogger Holley Grainger, the Dixie team used Shanna Master's Paper Whites Invitation as an inspirational starting point. 

Holley created a sophisticated holiday brunch pulling the classic blue and white color scheme from the invitation for the table settings. 

Holley dreamt up a delicious menu that we believe is perfect for an elegant ladies Christmas brunch. The menu has just the right mixture of savory and sweet, striking the perfect balance for a mid-morning feast. 

Each menu item's link will direct you to the recipe.

With the menu taken care of, please allow us to share some of the other details we created for this ladies get-together...

Sources:  China | Blue Willow. Monogram Napkin | Bromberg's. Silver | Grand Baroque by Wallace. Knife Set | William Sonoma.

Please contact us for menu and place card pricing.

We hope you were able to catch our post yesterday where Holley Grainger created a dinner party menu inspired by Dixie's Creative Director Holly Hollon's Colonial Pineapple Invitation

A Colonial Inspired Dinner Party

When the Dixie team began organizing all of the paper suites for our 2017 Holiday Collection earlier this year, the stunning holiday invitation designs were practically begging us to begin planning our holiday parties! We could not help but imagine endless entertaining possibilities with the vast array of invitations our artists had created.

We were able to take all of our dinner party aspirations one step further with the assistance of Registered Dietician and food blogger, Holley Grainger. She kindly contributed three different menu ideas for three separate styles of Dixie holiday invitations. The first menu that Holley created was based off of our Creative Director, Holly Hollon'sColonial Pineapple Invitation

With the Colonial Pineapple invitation design in mind, Holley did her best to stay authentic to the Colonial American time period when choosing her menu items for the dinner. Each menu item's link will direct you to the recipe.

With the menu taken care of, please allow us to share some of the other details we dreamed up for this elegant dinner soirée...

Sources: Gift tag | Dixie Design. China | Mottahedeh Duke of Gloucester from Bromberg's. Silver | Antique. Monogramed Napkins | Bromberg's. Candlesticks | Christine's in Mountain Brook, AL.

Please contact us for menu and place card pricing.

Hummingbird Cake

Southerners love their cakes: it’s just a fact. We use any excuse to whip up some layers and really, is there anything more comforting than a pretty cake stand holding toothsome, sliceable bit of joy. Friends drop in for coffee? Afternoon snack? Even a breakfast in a pinch. Southerners know cake. We have many, many famous cakes, from Tennessee jam cake to Lane cake, but there may be no more popular Southern cake than the Hummingbird Cake. First featured in Southern Living in 1978, the Hummingbird Cake–and its delightfully odd marriage of bananas, pineapple, and cream cheese–has been one of the most popular recipes in the magazine’s fifty year history. Lots of us can remember our mamas fixing up a Hummingbird Cake for parties or potlucks. Many versions of the flavor trio abound, from cupcakes to milkshakes, but the classic cake itself, while it is a great thing to make for an occasion, can be its own occasion. That’s how delicious it is. If you’ve never made one before, maybe start a new tradition this holiday season with one of these spins on the classic. We featured a Hummingbird Bundt Cake in our Holiday 2016 photoshoot and sure enjoyed eating it as soon as we finished taking photos. The cake was made by Susan Dobbs in Birmingham.

Mama Mac's Egg Nog by Erin Hollon

Here at Dixie, we love tradition, that is part of what makes us Southern. New designer, Erin Hollon, shares memories of making Mama Mac's prized egg nog recipe that her family still treasures today.

Every family has their own Holiday Traditions, but as kids we don’t realize that our traditions aren’t necessarily shared by every other family. 

It wasn’t until I grew up and started hosting parties around the holidays that I realized some of my yearly recipes were just downright odd to other people. And theirs were odd to me! 

Spiced Egg Nog, the runny kind you find in the dairy aisle, was a total mystery to me. Growing up we had our own Egg Nog recipe, passed down from generation to generation. Rather than spices, we added sherry and bourbon to our thick and creamy concoction. As the child of parents who never drank the rest of the year, this was a treat of nearly magical proportions! 

I remember the anticipation as my grandmother started whipping cream in the kitchen and the giggles as my aunts and uncles added more sherry to their glasses. 

Once my grandmother passed, the Egg Nog responsibility was transferred to my mom. She often let us help, reminding us to be careful whipping the cream because it could easily turn to butter. One time it did, making us feel very guilty and nervous until we discovered it was the best butter we’d ever tasted!

The addition of the gelatin is also a little harrowing, as any wrong step can leave you with tiny hard lumps in the finished product.

The older I grew the more I realized this holiday treat is really a labor of love, as so many traditions are. And now I get to make it myself and share this love with all my New York friends. They look at me like I’m crazy when I describe it, but once they taste it, they are instant fans. And we still giggle as we add an extra tipple on the sly!

Here is the family recipe, in case you’d like to give it a try this holiday season. It goes perfectly with New Year’s Celebrations too!

Mama Mac's Egg Nog
Ingredients:
6 eggs separated
2 cups sugar plus 6 TBSP
1/2 cup dry sherry
5 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 packages plain gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup heated milk
2 very large bowls and one small bowl
Directions:
Note: Rinse beaters between each step.
1. Place gelatin in water and then add heated milk. Allow mixture to cool while beating egg whites. Add about 6 Tbsp sugar to the egg whites while beating them. Placed egg 
whites in the refrigerator. Beat egg yolks. Add the remaining sugar and the sherry slowly to the egg yolks. Add the gelatin mixture.
2. Whip cream in another bowl. Add vanilla. Add whipped cream to the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the egg whites.
3. Place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until mixture is set. Fluff with a wire whisk and serve. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 quarts.
(Addition of bourbon to the egg yolk mixture before adding the gelatin is an option)
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