Category archives: Artists + Artisans

Summer Tomato Garden PartyPhotos by Jess Wilcox for Flutter Mag

I love tomatoes, and I wanted to create a garden party luncheon with a tomato-centric menu. Valerie Rice of Eat, Drink, Garden loved the concept and she created this simple menu featuring seasonal ingredients picked from her own garden.

 For the table setting, this simple striped khaki linen from Porch was perfect for this casual lunch in the garden. I used potted plants as seating cards and also as a favor for guests to take home to their own gardens.
For our first course we served a simple green gazpacho for this luncheon. To make it you’ll need:
-2 lb. green zebra tomatoes
– 1 lb. lemon or persian cucumbers
– 2 lb. padron peppers
– 1 clove garlic (optional)
– 1 tbsp + 1 tsp lime juice
– 2 tsp salt
Slice peppers and remove all seeds. Rough chop tomatoes. Peel cucumbers and rough chop. Place peppers, tomatoes, cucumber  in a blender along with garlic, lime and salt and blend. Strain soup through a fine mesh strainer and discard. Refrigerate overnight. Garnish with diced lemon cucumber, sun gold cherry tomatoes and chives.
For the main course, wild salmon was wrapped and roasted in fig leaves. The fig leaves gives a coconut type aroma to the salmon. To make the salmon you’ll need:
– 4.5 oz fillets of wild salmon
– 4 fig leaves, washed and stems removed
– 1 tbsp melted butter
– 1 tsp olive oil
– salt and pepper to taste
Combine the butter and olive oil and paint fish with mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Lay fillets skin side down on the fig leaf and then wrap together with butcher’s twine. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in an oven at 400 degrees.
To finish the meal, Valerie served a Fig Fool with Lavender Honey. To make it you’ll need:
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 1 pinch sea salt
– 2 tsp confectioners sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla
-1/4 cup fromage blanc
– fresh figs
-sweet spanish flatbread or vanilla cookie
-lavender or orange blossom honey
Whip the cream with salt and combine until it forms soft peaks. Add sugar and vanilla. Fold in fromage blanc and refrigerate until ready to serve. Plate figs and dollop cream mixture, garnish with cookie or flatbread and then drizzle honey to finish.
Thanks Valerie for the great recipes and I hope you were inspired to plan your own garden to party luncheon!
Photographer: Jess Wilcox for Flutter Magazine
Styling & Concept: Kelly Oshiro
Food & Cocktail: Valerie Rice of Eat, Drink, Garden

Making Truffles with Jessica FosterPhotos by Josh Gruetzmacher

In honor of Halloween and the ridiculous amount of sweets I’ll be eating this week, I thought I’d highlight my absolutely favorite chocolatier on the planet, Jessica Fosters Confections. I’ve been obsessed with Jessica’s choclate well, for years now, and I wanted to capture her art in action. Josh Gruetzmacher was in town for a wedding and captured these gorgeous images on film…

Jessica specialized in handmade truffles indused with a variety of unique and unexpected flavors.

Some of my favorite flavors? Milk chocolate madras curry, and dark chocolate earl gray…

Unlike most chocolate you buy at the store, all of Jessica’s chocolates are based on 3 simple ingredients, cream, butter and chocolate.

Aside from traditional truffles, Jessica also makes mint infused truffle sticks that are super refreshing and very addictive (Josh and I may have had a few during the shoot…).

The sticks are made be pouring out white chocolate and letting it set, then the choclate is cut into sticks. The white chocolate sticks are painted with milk chocolate and tossed in granulated sugar.

On the market for homemade caramels? How about ones made with no corn syrup? She makes those too. And her caramelized almonds dusted with coco powder are way too good. They never last more that an hour in my house.

Interested in trying your hand at chocolate truffle making? Here’s a recipe from Jessica for how to make liquor infused chocolate truffles:

-12oz milk chocolate, chip or bar, cut into small pieces

-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

-1 oz butter

-2 Tbsp your liquor of choice (Fra Angelico, whiskey, Cointreau)

-melted chocolate for dipping

-cocoa powder for dipping

Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat cream and liquor in a small pot. Let it come to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Stir to combine and then add the butter. This will create your chocolate ganache. Once butter has melted, stir the ganache regularly until it cools. Create quarter size balls of ganache using a scoop or a spoon (a piping bag also works). Chill as needed to form fairly round balls (approx. one hour). In another bowl, melt chocolate for dipping. Dip balls of the  set chocolate ganache into the melted chocolate, and then drop into the cocoa powder. Roll around to coat evenly, enjoy!



Home Style: Leslie’s Eclectic Santa Barbara Abode

Today we’re visiting the home of one of my favorite local Santa Barbara artists (and invitation designers), Leslie Lewis Sigler. Her home is her creative space and is filled with collection of vintage and heirloom pieces, her paintings, and a few pieces from good ole’ craigslist.

In the dining room is her father’s table that he made for her and which Leslie drove all the way out from Texas. A built in nook holds colorful plates and bowls, and a vintage child’s chair makes an adorable plant stand.

In her bedroom, her pups, Peach & Skip enjoy colorful prints, eclectic pulls on the dresser, and a serious collection of jewelry.

Outside a petite bistro table is flanked with a grouping of succulents, the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of tea. A big thank you to Leslie for sharing her home and you can see more about her work, here, here and here.

Spotlight: Lilly & Louise

I’m a big fan of pretty paper goods, and local Santa Barbara invitation designer Leslie Lewis Sigler of Lilly & Louise does just that. About a month ago Kirsten of Beaux Arts and I did a little styling session with Leslie’s paper good for her new website. It was a fun day and I loved all the pretty paper goodies we captured.

Leslie does completely custom work and she’s also a fine art artist so mixing media, colors and textures is right up her alley (she was the genius behind my own blog re-design). Here’s a very classic and elegant invitation which I styled with a black tie, vintage perfume bottle and a string of pearls.

I love the playful calligraphy of this suite, and the notched flag detail? Adorable!

From programs with a sewn edge, to buttons with guest names, to fortune tellers, Leslie designs paper items way beyond your standard invitation.

Here she designed welcome bags to match the invitations. Seriously, have band-aids ever looked so cute?

Of course, if something more mod, and slightly Mad Men in flavor, is more your speed, this suite she created for a 70s birthday bash is pure mid-century awesomeness. I styled the invites with some matchbooks from the period (I found a bunch in Los Alamos). Anyway, you can see more of Leslie’s paper goodness here, her fine art here (she painted my favorite silver piece in my collection right here) and if you’re looking for logo design, she does that too, right here. And you can take a tour of Leslie’s adorable home over on Design*Sponge!

Home Style: Nancy Neil’s Cabin in Carpinteria

Today I’m super excited to share the beautiful home of one our contributors, Nancy Neil. Nancy lives on a small fruit ranch in Carpenteria with her husband and two sons.

Nancy’s home is a rustic cabin constructed out of old railroad ties. How beautiful is the texture of the wood?

Step inside, and you”ll find a cozy living room with plenty of room for her sons to run around and play. And how about that awesome pendant light? Want!

Nancy’s filled her home with lovely collections of found objects and sentimental pieces from her past. I particularly love the old movie film tins as book ends.

In the bedroom, a beautful triangle window is echoed in a huge orange triangle painted on the wall (talk about an easy way to create a focal point/art piece). Thank you, Nancy for sharing your beautiful home with us!