Southern Summer Treats

Garden and Gun recently posted their favorite summer recipes and I suddenly recalled the amazing ice box cake recipe that I tried a couple summers ago from their magazine courtesy of the Lee Brothers. This is literally the PERFECT warm weather dessert – sweet, creamy and nutty. I am reposting below as it is the perfect thing to serve if you are looking for something sweet and cool to make this Memorial Day weekend:

It involves no baking so you don’t even need to turn on the oven, which is why it is a perfect for summer. I started on it quite late Sunday night and even though there is no oven involved, you need to build in a few hours after mixing it to stir and fold it along with time for it to “set” in between.  Best to start it before 6PM if you don’t want to be stirring it at 1AM like I did.  I also burt my pecans while trying to lightly toast them which gave it a hint of “campfire” flavor.  Oops.  It still got rave reviews from my family though, and I’d definitely make it again, and maybe even add in a second seasonal berry next time.  Given the color palate it is perfect for Memorial Day and would also be great for July 4th! Get the full recipe here.

Also, if you live in Charleston or are visiting in the next two weeks, don’t forget that on Memorial Day at 11:30AM, The Grace Episcopal Church Tea Room officially opens its doors for two weeks.  The food is excellent (lunchtime only) – all made by the volunteers and church staff adn they also serve the most incredible, homemade desserts, all donated by church members. It is the kind of genuine, Southern cuisine you can usually only get in peoples’ homes and via family recipes. All proceeds from the Tea Room go to local Charleston charities.  Last year they distributed over $50,000 of Tea Room profits and you can even call ahead and get your lunch to go. More details on The Grace Church website. Bon Appétit!

 

Vintage At The Restoration Hotel

Last Thursday marked the launch of a collaboration I did along with Seeline Vintage with the The Restoration Hotel and their boutique, The Port Mercantile at 75 Wentworth Street in Downtown Charleston. The Port is located adjacent to the lobby of their beautiful hotel, but far from a typical hotel gift shop, it is a well curated trove of unique designer items including many Southern brands. They approached my friend MK Quinlan of Seeline to do a month-long pop-up shop but wanted to accent her great vintage clothing collection with some jewels and accessories – so that is where I came in. Not to mention, it is always fun to get to work with friends.

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MK is pregnant, and chicly managed to camouflage her growing bump in one of her gorgeous vintage gowns while I opted for one of her vintage cocktail dresses – a floral, Emanual Ungaro wrap dress I purchased from her while we were setting up our shop. Shopping while you are trying to make money is always one of the pitfalls of pop-up shops! We had a small launch party last Thursday but the curated vintage collection of clothing and jewelry will be up until the end of the month if you can get there fast enough! Even the first night, our one-of-a-kind pieces were flying out the door…

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We both tried to select vintage pieces that complimented the earthy, rich tones of the store as well as spoke to the season… think spring garden cocktails, summer evening dinner parties and weekend jaunts…

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A crown jewel of my collection for the port was the chunky, gold Egyptian Revival cuff pictured below. Designed by Elizabeth Taylor for AVON in the early 1990’s it looked like it had never been worn and was in it’s original packaging when it came into my possession. It lasted a mere 24 hours, but at least I have this photo to remember it by… (sniff, sniff…)

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I also worked with century old jewelry house CINER in New York to re-manufacture some one-of-a-kind vintage designs from their archives for this curated collection. All of their manufacturing is still done in house in the center of Manhattan and they were able to quickly turn around some incredible pieces pulled from their archives that emulate the season – from under-the-sea fantasy pieces like this dolphin cuff to the elegant rhinestone butterfly choker. If you are in Charleston are able to make it by The Port Mercantile at The Restoration Hotel this month, do not miss out on this special collection!

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We loved seeing all our friends join us at the opening for whisky sours and pimento cheese crackers. Lindsay Fleege (pictured below) did a fabulous job with her firm Gray & Co. promoting our event! Lindsay used to do PR for CHANEL in New York and her own jewelry collection is seriously incredible.

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The sweetest grandaughter/grandmother duo in town to celebrate my good friend Cator’s wedding…

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Interior Designer Sidney Wagner peruses the vintage racks

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Lindsay & Ellie of Gray & Co. PR

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Our most stylish customers…

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Helping Anne Elkins of The George Gallery find some statement earrings

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Vintage shopping is the prefect girls night out activity!

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HIGH_FIVE

Thanks to all who came out! It was so much fun. Be sure to visit before we pack up shop on May 31st!

Your May Cocktail: All Grown Ups Are Pirates

If I peek my head out the front door of my shop at 9 Cannon and look right, I am staring at The Ordinary, hands down my favorite restaurant in Charleston. Housed in an old bank building, it is a high end seafood hall with a particular bent towards oysters, that exists in that wonderful place where fine dining intersects with every day (or at least sometimes weekly) eating. It squarely faces the point Cannon Street intersects with King which gives you the feeling that the second you leave my shop it is drawing you in like some kind of gigantic, oyster-filled magnet. I have tried most of the menu – every type of oyster, the fresh and slightly spicy tuna poke, the irresistible crab toast (with hot sauce) the Tuesday night lobster roll, the off-the-menu flounder ceviche… I have yet to have even a dish there that wasn’t completely amazing. But what’s also special about The Ordinary and what attracts the regulars as much as it does those making a pilgrimage from other cities, is their wonderful cocktail menu. The Ordinary bar is known for its rum-based cocktails like special daiquiris made with aged rum or their most popular rum drink, the “Call Me Old Fashioned.”

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I, however, had been stuck “White Lady” rut – the gin cocktail I’d been ordering there since it opened that was once on the menu then cruelly whisked away.  I’d been on a campaign to bring it back as I am not a big rum drinker – but Lane Becker, their bar czar (pictured below), promised me that this cocktail will be your (and my) “gateway rum cocktail.” Lane came to The Ordinary from McCradys, another fine dining destination in Charleston well-known for its well stocked bar. Lane honed his craft there before moving over to The Ordinary, lucky for us, and is now just half a block away from Candy Shop On Cannon.

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Lane’s cocktail of choice for this post: the summery All Grown Ups Are Pirates – a cocktail you can make at home (he gave us the recipe) but it might be easier to just sidle up to the bar at the Ordinary and whisper that code name – “All Grown Ups Are Pirates”  and try his version, especially since his homemade pineapple infused rum took 10 days to “set.”

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All Grown Ups Are Pirates

2 oz. House Pineapple Rum (Barbancourt 8 year base)

1/2 oz. Petite Canne Cane Syrup

1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

1/6 oz. Fernet Branca

1 oz. Egg White

Shake without ice for 30 seconds, then shake with ice for 15 seconds. Strain onto fresh ice and drink quickly. Garnish with a slice of lime, Luxardo cherry and mint.

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The cocktail was light and almost creamy without being heavy (which I attribute to the egg whites). With all the ice and served in a high ball and especially with the mint garnish it was refreshing and summery. It didn’t taste strong, but after a few sips, midday and prior to lunch I felt ready to go take a nap in a hammock under a palm tree. Really it’s the perfect summer cocktail – you can certainly try All Grown Ups at Pirates at home, but I bet it will taste the best at The Ordinary Bar with a side of a dozen oysters. Thanks Lane & thanks to Clay Austin for the photos!

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Welcoming The Charleston Blog Society

One of the really nice things about having a brick and mortar storefront is that I often get to connect with people in person and not just from behind a computer or from my iphone. Don’t get me wrong, I love my social media, but there’s no substitute for seeing people in real life – chatting with the girls over drinks who have supported Candy Shop Vintage – and introducing my brand to new faces. So I reached our to Gillian Ellis of the Charleston Blog Society to host one of their monthly events at the shop, which happened to fall on Cinco de Mayo:

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So naturally we did a make-your-own margarita bar and dressed the shop up with some festive, Mexican flair, my Society Social barcart has been working overtime these days:

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Kelly Harold of Paper Meets Pearl came back for more cocktails and food blogger Jessica Scully visited the shop for the first time:

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Gillian (right) runs the blog society and was such a pleasure to work with. She also took all the photos and blogs regularly on her blog, A Coastal Bride:

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I’ve known Natalie, Caycee and Annie Reeves for a few years now and these girls have been such huge supporters of my business. I am very grateful for them! They are all funny, down-to-earth and smart and they work incredibly hard. I really admire them. While they often partner with larger, more lucrative brands from a blogging perspective, they are equally supportive of a smaller business and designer. Annie has even come to work part time at Candy Shop Vintage as our wholesale guru and I love the perspective her blogging career brings to work with me:

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And I enjoyed meeting Kendra, Tiffany and Shree and many more of the ladies- all new faces for me but so fun to connect with them for the first time. If you look closely at Tiffany’s (below, center) wrist she is actually wearing her original, vintage Rice Beads from her Mom!

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Cheers to all the Charleston Bloggers, new faces and old who make Charleston a sweet and fun creative community!

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(Above: Annie of anniereeves.com and Liz of The Charleston Weekender)