Martini Bar


We love the pairing of clear glass and tarnished silver for this Martini Bar from Sunday Suppers.  Clear glass lets the beauty of the ingredients shine.  While the tarnished silver reminds us that the old and warn has a beauty all its own.  How fun to pull out your grandmother's old pieces and pair them with a simple modern arrangement.  Or to scout some vintage finds at the Goodwill or consignment shops.


Did you know that linen uses less water, insecticide, and pesticide than cotton?  Even organically grown, cotton needs to be heavily irrigated.  Bamboo is a good choice only if it is eco certified, otherwise it is often manufactured into cloth using harsh chemical solvents.  Hemp on the other hand, needs no pesticides or insecticides and actually improves the soil where it is grown.  Wool is great too because it is renewable, has lower carbon emissions than man-made fibers, and, as with linen and hemp, is biodegradable.

Mix in some aged pieces like the tarnished silver above.  It's a great excuse to go rummaging through all those forgotten treasures you've stored away.  Or call a friend to scour the local consignment shops and estate sales.  It's a ton more fun to hunt for a "find" with a past than to pick something off the shelf at Pottery Barn.

So this is the big one for me!  Occasionally, we all need to purchase something.  What if our purchases were so well designed that they didn't have any negative effect on the environment in their manufacture, their use, or their end of use?  What if instead of taking advantage of the people who made them, our products celebrated and honored craftspeople.  Make a purchase that moves us in this direction.  Purchase a piece that uses recycled materials, gives to a charity, or supports an artisan in a transparent way.  And above all make it quality, so it becomes the vintage piece your son or daughter uses.

I know, I know sometimes the price difference makes it so hard.  But if you buy organic you are greatly reducing toxic water pollution caused by the runoff of pesticides and herbicides into streams and lakes (among other environmental benefits).  Not to mention that to buy otherwise means you are ingesting those nasty chemicals.

Local spirits are a growing trend, at least here on the west coast.  Here in Seattle there are 40 licensed distilleries!  That's a lot of tasting.  I'm looking forward to trying Ebb and Flow and Single Silo Vodka, which seem to have quite a following around here.


Hope this helps as we move into party season.  Cheers!

Herb Infused Vinegar and Oil

Here is my little Do-it-yourself holiday gift idea for 2010... herb infused vinegar and flavored oil.  A perfect holiday gift to bring to all the end of the month holiday gatherings with friends and the best part is they are pretty easy to make.   And of course anything food related rates high with me.  Also, it's great to be able to give the herbs that you grew all summer to friends and family.

These instructions are just for flavored vinegar.  The vinegar should be refrigerated after it is made and it has the best flavor when used within 3 to 4 months.  For the olive oil I choose to by flavored oil from We Olive.  You can make a flavored oil too, but they are only good for 3 weeks.  We Olive has many flavors to choose from, all from California, and the best part...  you get to sample them all.  Try the Blood Orange, it's so yummy! 


  • 2 Small Bottles
  • twine or ribbon
  • gift tags
  • stamp (optional)
  • Fluid Chalk Ink Pad (optional)
  • printable label sheets (optional)
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of peppercorns
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1 quart of your choice of vinegar: cider, white distilled, rice wine, white wine, or red wine

Step 1:    Place the parsley, garlic, salt and pepper in a 2 quart ceramic or glass bowl.

Step 2:   Bring the vinegar to a boil. Pour the vinegar over the herbal mixture in the bowl.  Cover and let the mixture stand for two days.

Step3:    Strain the mixture and decant into a sterilized bottle. Add one to three sprigs of the herbs of your choice.   Seal the bottle with a cork or   lid. Let stand for two more weeks before using.

When I got these cute little bottles into my shop, my first idea was to use them as wedding favors/seating cards at J and my, date-as-yet-undisclosed, big day.  Wouldn't they make great little favors for a rustic wedding?