Red Velvet Everything

Red Velvet Everything

Red Velvet Everything

R E D. V E L V E T. E V E R Y T H I N G. ❤️ When my friend Ning and I decided it was time for one of our dine & dish affairs to properly catch up, she immediately thought of the red velvet pancakes at her neighborhood fave, Larchmont Bungalow.

I was a little skeptical…but highly intrigued. And, now that I don’t have to fit in 14 dresses for Grammys weekend, today was our day to get our red velvet indulgence on.

A full-on tasting of their red velvet pancakes with sweet cream cheese filling, red velvet waffles with crème anglaise and fresh blackberries, the Jambalaya omelet, their latkes with lox, poached egg, and their take on the traditional potato pancake accoutrements of sour cream, apples and chives made for one very filling fix of a brunch.

The best part was that Ning and I got to chat more than the normal 10 minutes we get at most events we attend, and made future plans. Now, to pay the price at Pure Barre Beverly Hills at noon.

Parting (and reality) is such sweet sorrow…

Tapas & Talking Points

Tapas & talking points

Tapas & talking points

We met last year with No Kid Hungry and now here we are. Welcome to LA, Silvie Snow! And, what a way to kick it off with tapas & talking points for two at Pour Haus Wine Bar.

From new chapters to new presidents, politics to pretty products, philanthropy to family, public policy to peppers, ideation to idiocy, and cheese to changing the world, we think we have it just about covered.

Sure, it might sound silly, but we don’t think so.

After all, it really does take just one forward thinker – with their heart in the right place – armed with a pocketful of prowess, a half-tablespoon of chutzpah and a gallon of gumption to make a real difference in this world. Watch us go. 🙌

 

Disappointment & Arnold Palmers

Disappointment & Arnold Palmers *Sunnies ℅ LAMB

Disappointment & Arnold Palmers
*Sunnies ℅ LAMB

Today, I had the loveliest lunch with Christeen of Angeleno Magazine at Porta Via today.

It was the perfect midday break – filled with shrimp salad and Arnold palmers – in Beverly Hills in the middle of a busy week that feels more like summertime than February.

Today, I also received a little piece of disappointing news.

But, I have learned that I rarely experience any kind of loss without love or levity being born from it.

Sometimes, a dose of disappointment can end up opening up something as simple as space – space you didn’t even know you needed – in which something else can bloom.

As we move forward into this week, I say this for us all: “Let us peacefully let go of what is not for us, and be open to the possibility -and beauty – of the unexpected.” 🙌🍹🍹

 

A Donut Story

🍩 Awwwww, man. SK Donuts, y’all spoil me with this surprise Saturday donut dozen delivery. We’re gonna have to have these guys on my new podcast.

A Donut Story

A Donut Story

Oh! Did I not mention that was happening, y’all? Well, stay tuned for the details.

🍩

For now, I’m just tasting these little beauties one tiny taste at a time – using kitchen scissors – because with as much food coming into my life these days with this upcoming show, I’m gonna need to learn the key to being a true taster.

Fun fact? Whenever I see donuts, I think of rituals.

For me growing up, it was Saturday mornings eating Southern Maid donuts, and listening to the Casey Kasem countdown with my big brother, while my mom taught a Saturday class, and my dad photographed weddings.

I also love my best friend Cathleen’s family ritual, and how her husband takes the kids for a “daddy donut date” every Friday. What’s your donut ritual? 🍩🍩

 

On any given Wednesday…

Me in a nutshell on any given Wednesday morning: a heart of gold, messy morning cake and always taking notes on this thing called life.

Me in a nutshell.

Me in a nutshell.

Coffee Mug: Paper Source

Cake: Hansen’s Cakes

Notebook: Marshalls

Saucer: Homegoods

It all began with Adirondack chairs…

With casting director, and dear friend, Sarah Katzman

With casting director, and dear friend, Sarah Katzman

I met this beautiful birthday girl, casting director Sarah Katzman, in Cape Cod over 15 years ago, where I sat – a heartbroken 21-year-old, clad in a powder blue fairy outfit, with glitter eyeliner – at a costume-themed wedding, where my lifelong crush was getting married.

There, we sat next to one another at the afterparty, overlooking the water in Adirondack chairs, where I spilled my juvenile heart, and she cheered me up, with her talk about LA, where she currently lived and worked, and the place I hoped to move to, upon college graduation the following May. I remember feeling very alone, and I remember feeling that not only did she tolerate me, but that I had made a friend, and, thus, was a little less alone.

That friendship continued – and, was tested – when I did indeed move to LA in 2000, and my mother and I proceeded to drill her about everything from what hotel we should stay in, to where I should live, to where we should eat, to where we could get furniture, to where we could get manicures. It is one of my most favorite times in life, and she helped make the transition from my family home to my adult home, both easier – and sweeter – for my mom and me.

I am forever grateful for that, and I am so thankful to know this dear heart – the kind, listening girl she was to me when we were sitting in Adirondack chairs, the lady she has become, and the strong woman who lives just a hop, skip and a jump away up Hauser…and just around the corner from Vinoteque. Love you, Katzman. Happy birthday. ** My tee: CloverCloth

Friendsgiving 2015: A Very Hickory Farms Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving 2015

Friendsgiving 2015

My favorite thing on this here planet is to have people sitting around my table.

Friendsgiving 2015 with Hickory Farms and friends at my home

Friendsgiving 2015 with Hickory Farms and friends at my home

So, when Hickory Farms and I decided to team up to host a Friendsgiving luncheon to launch their Signature Party Planner Gift Box ($46) this holiday season, which benefits No Kid Hungry

Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner (only $46), and for every box sold, Hickory Farms donates $5 to No Kid Hungry, which feeds 50 kids.

Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner (only $46), and for every box sold, Hickory Farms donates $5 to No Kid Hungry, which feeds 50 kids.

we wanted to create a warm, open-hearted environment where many of the inspiring women I know could sit, dine, support one another, share their successes and proclaim their goals and gratitude.

Mismatched plates? No problem. Pick up seasonal plates at a flea market or discount store for whimsical, carefree holiday entertaining. I got these plates for $2 each!

Mismatched plates? No problem. Pick up seasonal plates at a flea market or discount store for whimsical, carefree holiday entertaining. I got these plates for $2 each! And, I served water out of mason jars (just about $1/pop)

Putting the friends in Friendsgiving

Putting the friends in Friendsgiving with Eva of Happily Eva After, Lily Diamond of Kale and Caramel, and Ellen of Hedley and Bennett.

I invited a few of the finest folks in my social media influencer life, who really appreciate the reason of the season: gratitude. 

Starting the lunch off in the right spirit by placing a "I am grateful for…" card on everyone's place setting, to get them in the mood…for gratitude, of course!

Starting the lunch off in the right spirit by placing a “I am grateful for…” card on everyone’s place setting, to get them in the mood…for gratitude, of course!

Good guests can make or break an intimate in-home gathering, and if there’s even one person who’s a weak link, simply by bringing in a bit of negative energy, the experience can be ruined for all. Well, there was no weak link at this ladies lunch. Instead, a lunch that was supposed to last 2 hours, lasted almost 4, with all of the guests staying until sundown, save a couple who had prior obligations.

As beautiful as the sunflower centerpieces  were, the real centerpiece of the lunch was gratitude

As beautiful as the sunflower centerpieces were, the real centerpiece of the lunch was gratitude

We went ’round the table, sharing our stories, listening to those of others, and brainstorming about how we can make a difference both in each other’s lives and in this world…all while drinking wine and nibbling on cheese and sausage. I watched women who had never met before leave as good friends, and knew that from this single, magical afternoon, some life-changing alliances were born.

Strangers who became friends mean my Friendsgiving was a success!

Strangers who became friends mean my Friendsgiving was a success!

As for the Friendsgiving menu? Here’s just a little of what you can get when you order from Hickory Farms this holiday season to keep everything festive, while keeping your guests fed and fueled, without you feeling overworked.

As a host, I felt no stress with my guests, thanks to the ease, convenience and deliciousness of Hickory Farms!

I actually was able to sit, eat, drink and talk!!! As a host, I felt no stress with my guests, thanks to the ease, convenience and deliciousness of Hickory Farms!

First up? Drinks, of course. Did you know that Hickory Farms sells wine? And, I mean really, really GOOD wine!! My favorite is the Flora Springs Merlot ($40). I want to buy like 6 cases of it for all of the holiday entertaining I do…and maybe just to sip while watching Scandal. Who’s with me?

Wanna get one of the best Merlots I've ever tasted? Head over to HickoryFarms.com. Seriously.

Wanna get one of the best Merlots I’ve ever tasted? Head over to HickoryFarms.com. Seriously.

An easy peasy cheese tray with Hickory Farms cheeses served as a tempting – and satisfying – appetizer.

The easiest way to entertain? An easy peasy cheese tray, thanks to Hickory Farms. Some of my lifelong faves? Smoked cheddar, jalapeño cheddar, farmhouse cheddar and port wine cheese spread.

The easiest way to entertain? An easy peasy cheese tray, thanks to Hickory Farms. Just cut into different shapes, and you’re done! Some of my lifelong faves? Smoked cheddar, Jalapeño cheddar, Farmhouse cheddar and Port wine cheese spread.

My personal FAVE is the Port Wine cheese spread. My professor parents used to be gifted with it every holiday season, and I would eat it up with a spoon before anyone else had the chance!

My personal FAVE is the Port Wine cheese spread. My professor parents used to be gifted with it every holiday season, and I would eat it up with a spoon before anyone else had the chance!

And, don’t forget the sausage! I chose to serve the Turkey Summer Sausage and the Signature Beef Summer Sausage for two tastes.

Turkey Summer Sausage and Beef Summer Sausage, served on a slab of wood for added harvest -festive feel.

A tale of two tastes: Turkey Summer Sausage and Beef Summer Sausage, served on a slab of wood for added harvest -festive feel.

A Spiral Sliced HoneyGold Ham ($75, serves 14-18 generously).

A holiday staple in my family? A Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced Ham. I serve it for both Thanksgiving AND Easter!

A holiday staple in my family? A Hickory Farms Spiral Sliced Ham. I serve it for both Thanksgiving AND Easter!

The big hit, though? The DIY Biscuit Bar!

DIY Biscuit bar, featuring Hickory Farms ham, cheeses, sausage, mustards and homemade Hickory Farms Farmhouse Cheddar Pimento cheese.

DIY Biscuit bar, featuring Hickory Farms ham, cheeses, sausage, mustards and homemade Hickory Farms Farmhouse Cheddar Pimento cheese.

But, more on that on tomorrow’s blog. I did it purely for ease and convenience, but my-oh-my, was it tasty!

My Hickory Farms-stacked biscuit was gooood

My Hickory Farms-stacked biscuit was gooood

And, who knew? Shredded Hickory Farms farmhouse cheddar cheese makes for a delicious pimento cheese spread, with my recipe, of course! (That recipe will be up on the blog tomorrow, too).

My homemade Pimento cheese, featuring Hickory Farms Farmhouse cheddar

My homemade Pimento cheese, featuring Hickory Farms Farmhouse cheddar

And, lastly, a well-stocked dessert table.

A well-stocked dessert table, thanks to Hickory Farms: (from L to R) Chocolate Lava Cakes, Red Velvet Cakes, Chocolate Decadence Trio.

A well-stocked dessert table, thanks to Hickory Farms: (from L to R) Chocolate Lava Cakes, Red Velvet Cake and Chocolate Decadence Trio.

nCnOxGXt10MNrNk3cjxEIO1J8vuPZFSTQZbTwAVS4lM,qrVLwBwLprn8k64HH8CuzRFmVr9tpiEaMjvR6zVr2sc

There are those gnome-inspired wooden cake stands again. What can I say? I like a theme.

-V9N4XNiVOS0SlcpWeOU4hHge0EHxalsfEDPBTX8K_I,wOIS06fQNpvAdXireQbvhWLbwIExEB7ba7EYt4OK2_o

I'm just a girl who can't say no!!! At least, when it comes to Hickory Farms red velvet cake. Geesh!

I’m just a girl who can’t say no!!! At least, when it comes to Hickory Farms red velvet cake. Geesh!

And, a little nibble of cheddar to balance that sweetness out. How trés français of me!

A little cheese with my cake, please.

A little cheese with my cake, please.

As for the decor?

Friendsgiving decor

Friendsgiving decor

I kept it cozy and comfy with harvest-hued rugs, blankets, pillows and puffs on the ground…

Cozy on up, Friendsgiving guests!

Cozy on up, Friendsgiving guests!

my mismatched chairs around the farmhouse table…

Who says everything has to match?

Who says everything has to match?

and a chalkboard runner that my creative friends could scribble and doodle on, while sharing their gratitude. Listen, we’re all just big kids. If you give them chalk pencils, they’re gonna get busy. Trust me.

You supply the chalkboard table runner and chalk pencils, and they'll supply the creativity and gratitude

You supply the chalkboard table runner and chalk pencils, and they’ll supply the creativity and gratitude

 

As for the fun factor? Well, there’s only one person I call in for that. My dear friend, and creative powerhouse and constant source of inspiration, Courtney Collins of Little Junebugs and Max Love Project.

My creative source of inspiration: Courtney Collins of Little Junebugs and Max Love Project.

My creative source of inspiration: Courtney Collins of Little Junebugs and Max Love Project.

 

Courtney and I decided to do a “Pretty Your Pumpkin” station to entertain guests with metallic paint, sequins, studs, and…helllooooo…GLITTER(!!!!) to pump up their pumpkins. Disclaimer: This was all Courtney, as I am the least crafty person you know.

Pretty Your Pumpkn.

Pretty Your Pumpkin. *signs by the FAB Karla Magno

She's crafty!

She’s crafty!

The one high maintenance thing I did? I did ask my fashionable guests to wear shades of fall-festive autumn. Don’t judge me. And, besides, it sure did look pretty.

Fall-festive fashion sets the mood for a fall fest!

Fall-festive fashion sets the mood for a fall fest! Here, with the fall festive Eva Amurri, founder and author of the blog, Happily Eva After.

tu4m4o1Gemkp_ouv6jMfdSK84BP7rcOKlVQ1e1Q45K8,3t7jwxgHuQsb221Y-tP2RnWuZfuasrGknPaXryTvqQ4

Actress and host of Dating Naked, Amy Paffrath

rNQOeiIXG_kkHJuf9CGS_aaz7YcR_KEpWkIm7H5ZyXw,52IEkGqpb01ru38IOmtJd6snoZxIrnmNjOnSzX49QZY

Rachel McCord of The McCord List

k_z9JbcuplKtzfEB8oROfuIH5MSElFJglfCEhFgsXIU,aE5XqKVjjSxcg4_IzCGM_92bmu7pFlxbDrAJs4K7Nu0

Leila Lewis of Be Inspired PR and Inspired By This blog, and host, actress & producer, Diane Mizota.

As fun as the whole day was, my favorite part was when we all sat around the table for the last few hours, sharing our stories and getting to know one another, while we sipped wine and nibbled on sausage and cheese.

This was my favorite part…besides the Hickory Fams port wine cheese spread, of course.

This was my favorite part…besides the Hickory Fams port wine cheese spread, of course. Here are Eva, and Steph Eitel Farrar and Sierra French-Myerson, co-editors of the cooking and entertaining blog, French and Farrar.

Takin' it easy, as the sun said goodbye and our tummies told us we were full.

Takin’ it easy, as the sun said goodbye and our tummies told us we were full.

OrSMzvPcOZX7u2sqBNIUMpF7RaQN6HqL2Op7j5VT-2k,Mp2xixnyT5QV8gBBuFXos8oMW5P_awjBJUJjNwkAIDg

With Amy Paffrath and The Modern Day Girlfriend creator & editor, Arianna Thomopoulos.

p7GsbMS1HCAAZgnSjT_tq5g6YyRia5tRtVLAs9fm-1g,p1KY-V2DGVTSQ1hJHIUcH5pmpolXOUjYaXBMcnb_Yr4

Hugs all around! With Ellen Bennett of Hedley And Bennett.

fm7rI7buld4xSV6by1gxGfki7NlqOlNyEqhXzjooakE,5pzcsITpOStsUjdQ-thxKw9sAvy95YPnLEsgwEynNyE

With all those influencers, yes, there WAS bound to be a little tweeting going on.

Old friends and new friends became all friends.

Old friends and new friends became all friends.

Thank you to every single one of you who graced my table with your grace, and thank you especially to Hickory Farms for bringing these fine women together.

Girls really do run the world, and with these women at the helm of it, I feel completely confident in our future.

Dawn Do? In sticking with the reason for the season, when it’s time to buy those host gifts this holiday season, pick up a Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner Gift Box ($46). For every box sold, Hickory Farms donates $5 to No Kid Hungry, which feeds 50 kids.

The perfect  gift that gives back: Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner, benefitting No Kid Hungry

The perfect gift that gives back: Hickory Farms Signature Party Planner, benefitting No Kid Hungry

Ellen and I with our gifts that give back…to No Kid Hungry, that is!

Ellen and I with our gifts that give back…to No Kid Hungry, that is!

That’s better – and sweeter – than any box of chocolates.

xoxo,
Dawn

Details:

Food & Wine: Hickory Farms

Photography: Molly + CO

Signage: Karla Magno

Event Production: Good Carma Studio & Dawn McCoy

 

Honored To Attend: The 2015 No Kid Hungry Heroes Dinner in Beverly Hills

Never prouder than when I get to stand as an ambassador with my No Kid Hungry family.

Never prouder than when I get to stand up against childhood hunger, as an ambassador for No Kid Hungry

Never prouder than when I get to stand up against childhood hunger, as an ambassador for No Kid Hungry

Tonight, I got the honor of getting to taste many a fancy food from many a fancy LA restaurant at the fancy Four Seasons in the fancy city of Beverly Hills, being seated next to many fancy people.

But the real honor was getting to join No Kid Hungry in Arkansas in April, where I had the opportunity to learn all about the efficacy & impact of breakfast in schools. I learned that when breakfast is served in schools in the classroom, visits to the nurse’s office, visits from social welfare and absences are reduced by 75%. SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT!! 

I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry, I can’t even function, let alone learn what I’m being told to learn and be civil. Thank you, No Kid Hungry for keeping our kids fed so that they can be fueled so that they can flourish. Love & appreciate you, Shore family & Share Our Strength.

I’m doing this for my father, who grew up in a home with teen parents in Eagletown, Oklahoma, who often went to school with his belly empty, and was helped to get that belly and mind full, by many a kind stranger, so that he could later go on to graduate high school and college, armed with a dream, to become a success story in Dallas, Texas.

Breakfast – and kind souls – makes dreams dreams come true.

Period.

Be that kind soul.

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Photo ℅ David Livingston/Getty Images

Photo ℅ David Livingston/Getty Images

 

xoxo,
Dawn


Site Design by: Shindig Shoppe :: Site Development by: The Star Factory