I gave myself a makeover and you can find my portfolio and content at sarahedodge.com!
Good things, y’all. Good Good things!
So, I know that I told you this past weekend was a busy one for Sean O’Keefe Events, but I might have glossed over the fact that it was also filled with so many beautiful things. To some, taking creative part in two events in one weekend is mad, but that’s just what Sean is: mad AMAZING. No matter what the event or how many there are, Sean and his faithful team always execute things wonderfully giving the client just what they want and need.
On Friday, Sean helped create the room for Doggies on the Catwalk and on Saturday, Sean and his team put together some of the most beautiful flower arrangements for Kate’s Club's annual fundraising Gala at the fabulous Lowe's hotel. What's fun about the Kate's Club event was being able to be privy to the whole process. I watched (and Blogged!) from start to finish the process that Sean takes to ensure clients are satisfied throughout the entire process. What I love the most about the way Sean and his team work with clients, is that he takes his time leaving people feeling like the priority that they are. A client will never feel “handed off” when working with Sean and it’s what i truly unique about the work that Sean O’Keefe does. So, check out the process of providing florals for the annual Kate’s Club Gala. From that initial meeting to the day off, it’s easy to tell that Sean makes the process fun, efficient, and beautiful!
From start to finish, check out what Sean O’Keefe Events has to offer for your event planning needs. Whether it’s a summer soiree, an outdoor wedding, or the fundraiser to end all fundraisers, Sean not only has you covered, he will quickly become the best friend you never thought you needed.
It was a very busy weekend for Sean O’Keefe Events and per usual, I luckily got to be around for most of the excitement.
First up, Friday found us at Peachtree Dekalb Airport for Doggies on the Catwalk, a fashion forward fundraising event for Atlanta Humane Society. In it’s 7th year, Doggies on the Catwalk continues to draw some of Atlanta’s finest to raise money, awareness, and hopefully a few adoption papers for our city’s most well known animal shelter. The event’s founder and organizer, E Vincent Martinez, called upon his friends at Meg Reggie PR and Sean O’Keefe Events to make this year’s event even more amazing, and of course they did not disappoint. Refreshing cocktails, DELICIOUS sliders from Lucky’s Burgers and Brew, and the most adorable fashion show, there was no detail left unturned.
This year also brought another wonderful and very fashionable sponsor: West Elm. Oh my, don’t we all love a little West Elm and don’t we all wish every party we attended was styled with West Elm furniture. I certainly do now! Setting up styled decor and seating areas as well as “the West Elm Lounge” full of yummy craft cocktails, the evening was high style all the way around.
Such a fun night for all involved! I cannot wait till next year! Stay tuned to part 2 of SOE’s crazy weekend where we found ourselves dressed in black tie high up at the Lowe’s Midtown for the annual Kate’s Club Gala.
i love watching that transition from spring to summer. the leaves grow from small translucent buds and shoots to dark green fully grown leaves. i love watching flowers blossom. i love going on road trips and seeing how the scenery changes as the seasons change.
we headed to Asheville a few weekends ago for a friends wedding and took in all the awesomeness that part of the country has to offer. if you haven’t driven that stretch or any stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway, i would suggest you put it on your list.
//Julia + Asher got married at the Old Sherrills Inn at Hickory Nut Gap Farm and it WAS SO PERFECT. the views, the weather, the people, the pigs… so lovely. it totally solidified my dream to get some land and run some sort of inn. easier said than done //
//we stayed in a really awesome VRBO spot just outside of Asheville. it’s an old converted barn that’s great for couples or even a ladies group. if you’re looking for a place to stay, check this one out!
//continuing on with the plethora of amazing spring vegetables. simple spring vegetable pasta is my favorite and i spiced it up with a little carrot green pesto//
//Wonderfarm was this past weekend and i was asked to make the lavash for the cheese course. i was so honored to take part and so happy to be apart of 2 organizations that mean so much to me and Atlanta: Wonderroot + CFM. and i got to use Anson Mills bread flour which is the shit!//
// the rest of my time is spent hanging in my garden usually just staring at my plants waiting patiently as their little lives transform. i’ve become quite obsessive and have had to put a limit on my garden purchases as i was getting out of control//
so, we all know i’m a farmer’s market girl. as often as i can, i buy many of my fruits, vegetables, and kitchen staples at my local markets. additionally, i used to have access to my own chickens, but now i oftentimes rely on friends in the neighborhood for eggs (wink wink to Berean…
i am excited to do a little work for the Atlanta division of Zagat, and even more pumped that my first project was to take photos of a little place called Lusca. life is funny. the space is truly beautiful and i couldn’t be more excited for Angus, Nhan, and Sellitto. the menu looks perfect and the few dishes that i did shoot and taste are spot on. i can’t wait to go taste the whole menu and the new Sunday brunch!
check out what Zagat had to say and my images here!
happy friday, y’all!
Charleston, Charleston, Charleston, you are a city after my own heart. every time i venture there, i can’t help but fall more and more in love. there are always new things to uncover and old favorites to revisit.
our main stops this trip were :
/the Ordinary- GO!/
/Blue Bicycle Books-my second favorite used book store that’s been recently redone and it’s better than ever- GO!/
/Battery Park- it’s where all them fine pretty homes be and i just stare at them and wonder how in the hell people actually afford (or maybe don’t afford) to live there. either way- GO!/
and now for the real reason for this Charleston weekend venutre: these 2 amazing love birds shown below…
they went ahead and had about the most endearing and lovely wedding i’ve ever attended. the rehearsal dinner was a low country boil at a friend’s marsh side house on John’s Island. the wedding was at Runnymede Plantation on the banks of the Ashley River. these 2 nights combined made for a weekend full of good views, happy laughs, and tons of sweetness. i was not officially photographing this wedding, but it’s editing and putting these photos into the world that remind me why i take my camera with me everywhere i go. i know i’m nowhere near as skilled as i want to be and i know that not many would categorize me as this amazing art photographer, but capturing life and the people and moments that reside in life is what i love. these photos bring a huge smile to my face just as the actual weekend did.
the hardest part of a weekend in Charleston is coming home. you’re usually insanely exhausted, slightly or majorly hungover, really full, and that weird southern drawl you just happened to start using really sounds ridiculous. so, the best thing i know to do is to imitate the food you ate, drink a cocktail, and edit pictures.
so, i did just that channeling the insane meal from the Ordinary. our second visit to the restaurant was even better than the first. we had oysters, shrimp, a salad, a california sparkling white, and a local beer. sounds kind of boring, but all were perfect, and this salad was INSANE. it has gone down in my books as the best salad i’ve ever had. it’s not complicated, in fact, it probably has the fewest ingredients of any salad. but it was the quality of the ingredients. they were so fresh and paired so wonderfully. the salad consisted of arugula, english lady peas, a hard cheese, and the loveliest garlic vinaigrette with possibly ramps as well. it was perfect. for my version, i added some mixed spring lettuces, substituted radishes for the hard cheese, and made a very intense garlic vin a la Martha Stewart that was perfect. i was immediately transported back to the raw bar at the Ordinary. if you haven’t been, get in the car, and just GO!
so, we all know i’m a farmer’s market girl. as often as i can, i buy many of my fruits, vegetables, and kitchen staples at my local markets. additionally, i used to have access to my own chickens, but now i oftentimes rely on friends in the neighborhood for eggs (wink wink to Berean Ave’s soon-to-be chicken coop co-op).
but sometimes a compromise must be made, and when i’m involved in a lot of baking or cooking for my private parties, there are times that call for buying eggs in bulk. it is those times that i purchase Safest Choice Eggs. through a process of dipping certified humane laid eggs in a warm water bath, Safest Choice Eggs ensures that their is no chance for salmonella in their consumer’s eggs. so when i know i’m not able to support my local farmer’s and buy their eggs, i definitely want to use eggs that i know will be safe when cooking with partially cooked or even raw eggs. after all, pasteurized equals peace of mind.
i recently bought a couple dozen Safest Choice Eggs and put them to good use recreating one of favorite cakes: a dark brown sugar bundt cake with a lemon curd glaze.
i love bundt cakes and i wish i saw them more often. i love the way they taste. i love the way they look. and i love the word bundt which derives from the german word “bund” meaning “tied together.” being the nerd that i am, i think that’s pretty great and it makes me wonder why more weddings don’t contain bundt cakes?!
anywho, after a great, but exhausting weekend in Charleston, i returned home to a rainy Atlanta which i gladly welcomed. rainy days always find me wanting to bake and create something comforting. this cake is as traditional and as comforting as it gets. using dark brown sugar gives this cake a darker smokier more molasses taste which i love with my morning coffee or afternoon tea. i added an almond streusel on the bottom for a nice little crunch and played around with a partially cooked lemon curd to make more of a glaze. using the Safest Choice Eggs allowed me to get the glaze consistency that i was looking for while not worrying that the eggs weren’t entirely cooked.
dark brown sugar bundt cake w/ almond streusel and lemon curd glaze
lemon curd glaze ingredients:
for the cake:
Grease and flour a bundt cake pan or tube cake pan. Heat oven to 325°.
whisk flour, salt , and baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger together in a bowl and set aside.
in a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat sugars with eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy.
add eggs one at a time beating well in between each addition. add vanilla and mix until incorporated.
add flour mixture and sour cream to the sugar mixture alternating between the two and starting and ending with flour. mix on slow and mix just until incorporated. make sure to not over mix or else your cake will lost it’s nice tenderness.
bake for 1hr 20min or until cake tester comes out clean. rotate cake every 20 minutes or so in oven to ensure even cooking. remove from oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes in pan before removing.
for the streusel:
In a bowl, combine the brown sugar with the flour, almonds, oats, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter or your hands, cut or rub the butter into the mixture evenly. Refrigerate the streusel.
for the glaze:
using a micro-plane, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. pulse the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor until well blended.
Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until almost thickened (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly. at 170 degrees the curd will thicken. i took it off at about 140 degrees where it was still runny and would create a nice glaze for the cake. serve warm or refrigerate and keep for further use.
Love Eggs? Like receiving seasonal recipe ideas and coupons? Join Safest Choice Eggs mailing list and you could win a Chef approved cookware set and a $500 gift card! To participate, just click and fill out the form and you will be automatically be entered into the giveaway.
it’s been an exhausting but productive week. i am becoming so grateful for this 52 week project. having a visual diary of my week to week is so neat. and it’s also a good way to watch the time go/appreciate how quickly time goes by…
//we spent some time in and charleston this past weekend which is always treat. by the end of this summer i’ll know charleston like the back of my hand! the history of that city and thus the architecture is heaven for me and my camera. i fall more in love with it every time i go it also was a treat to attend our dear friend’s wedding down there, but more on that later… in the meantime check out last year’s trip to the Chucktown//
//i published my Steeplechase images with lots of good feedback. i had a blast working for Sean O’Keefe and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Chairman’s Tent Collaboration//
// i got a glimpse into the most beautiful new restaurant in town! LUSCA is now open and i couldn’t be more happy for Angus + Nhan. go in tonight!! check out the piece on Zagat now//
//it’s HOTDOG SEASON!!!//
// a good week for my private cooking clients. so many good ingredients coming into season. beets, radishes, so many greens… my plate runneth over. i refined my mashed sweet potatoes (not in season, i know) by steeping my milk with garlic, rosemary, and butter for a little longer. it’s definitely a nutritious kid friendly side. also excited about an upcoming recipe for Honest Cooking + pasteurized eggs. stay tuned!//
//and it’s roadtrip season… my favorite season. we’re headed to asheville this weekend with lots of good stops along the way//
happy friday, y’all.
as the weeks progress into, it’s becoming quite apparent that i’m involved in a season of change. it seems that when it rains, it pours and after years of cruising comfortably, i’m making a break for it and making several changes.
after living with a wide array of roommates over the last 10 years, i have flown the coop and am living with my manfriend. it’s an awesome yet strange adjustment that has taken some patience. in the end, it’s been one of the best things i’ve ever done and i know i’m embarking on a pretty sweet situation here on Berean ave.
i’m also switching gears and giving my career the ole change-up. after being in the kitchen for 5+ years working for some pretty amazing people, i’ve decided to hang up the restaurant apron and move on. i’m taking on more food styling, food photography, and food writing projects while continuing with my private cooking clients. every day is a little different and very challenging. the only thing i have to rely on is myself which somedays is uber frustrating because i can be pretty annoying. when self employed, you are either your biggest enemy or your biggest ally, and more times than i’d like to admit, i am my own worst enemy. self-doubt creeps in and can take hold and it’s like a car without breaks heading towards disaster. but thankfully, i have good people by my side urging me along and some even creating new branding to be unveiled soon (wink wink to the amazing Hannah Lee Designs).
but, all that aside, there has always been and continues to be one constant in my life : Community Farmers Markets. ever since i came back from my road trip 3 + years ago, the East Atlanta Farmer’s Market and the Grant Park Farmer’s Market have remained a constant in my weekly routine. i’ve also been and remain involved in their fundraising dinners and events and it is such a blessing. this year, i’m grateful to be more involved in their outreach programs that bring educational chef demos to schools, businesses, and events to areas that are in need.
this past week, we headed to Therrell High School in one of Atlanta’s biggest food deserts: southwest Atlanta. the school has been around for a long time changing demographics over the years. my mom went to school near East Point and Therrell was one of their rivals. walking in, the school is beautiful and very updated, but it’s definitely a change of scenery. flanked by metal detectors and security guards, it’s a different vibe from my Woodward days (important to note though, that everything is different from my Woodward days). kids sit at their computers drinking liter bottles of sodas completely tuned out. we set up our demo table and dished out sample strawberry mint salads with lemon + honey and just waited not quite sure what was going on, but being told that the kids would not be partaking in the food because that was not a good idea. not happy about that, we handed out the salad to whoever walked by explaining where the strawberries came from and that every week the CFM farmer’s markets sets up so that people can purchase fresh and local produce. surprised but pumped, we got the most enthusiasm from the kids interested in the fact that strawberries grow from the ground and in Georgia and that they too can purchase them and make this simple salad. some kids and adults threw the salad out claiming that they didn’t eat green things or they were allergic to fresh strawberries but not frozen ones. it hurts a little, but in the end, if you can captivate just a few people, then that is better than zero and thats what these demos are all about.
it’s projects and days like this that remind me why i ever got interested in food in the first place. i love feeding people and i LOVE talking about food especially with the younger generation. if we don’t have organizations like CFM or Georgia Organics who spend lots of time and energy to connect farmers with consumers and bring education into communities that need it the most, then our local food systems and the health of our communities will fail. i’m so honored to take part in all of the things that CFM does and i urge each and every one of you to visit their markets in East Atlanta on Thursday evening, Decatur on Wednesday + Saturday, and Grant Park on Sundays. check out their facebook page for specific times and locations. although it will require more than one person to change our current food system, each person making the conscious effort to spend a little more money on their local farmers does a world of difference. so every time you’re headed to Publix or Kroger to buy a pint of strawberries or even a loaf of bread consider heading to the farmer’s market instead and putting a few more dollars back into the local economy and purchasing better tasting, fresher, organic food. you’re tummy, heart, and mind will thank you.
super simple strawberry mint salad
combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well. garnish with a mint leaf and serve.
*another great way to get involved is with the upcoming WonderFarm, a collaboration between WonderRoot + CFM. it’s a little pricey, but worth it. a food collaboration curated by Steven Satterfield and a lovely display of local artists. find tickets here!