A Day of Thanks

One of my absolute favorite holidays is Thanksgiving! That’s mainly due to the endless carbs and yummy desserts. It’s also a time to reflect on traditions, family time, good food, and gratitude. 

In the Cowart household, Thanksgiving has always been about comfort food, laugher, board games, a little retail therapy, and lots of hugs! It’s a comforting time for us knowing that we have so much to be thankful for. Afterall, we have each other 😊 Naturally, the Thanksgiving menu was a hot topic in our office the last couple of weeks. From favorite dishes, celebrity chefs and traditions. 

We learned that Dede + Alexis loves to eat (if someone else is cooking) and the rest of us has a fondness for comfort food. What’s on the menu for the Cowart family tomorrow: Smoked turkey, ham, dressing, maple glazed yams, mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, collard greens, green bean casserole, brussels sprouts, and desserts from our friends at Bakers Cottage Cakes. I’m not sure about you but the dinner time changes every year at our house and it’s always based on when the mac-n-cheese comes out the oven 😉

Although I love cookbooks for inspiration, I’ve never been one to stick to a certain recipe and often merge ingredients from a couple of options to mix things up a bit! The only recipe I don’t experience with is the brine for the turkey – I’ve perfected it over the years. Most of my cooking inspiration comes from Barefoot Contessa, Pioneer Woman, and Chrissy Teigen – It’s the perfect blend of sophisticated comfort foods with a little twist. 

While we’re on the topic of “comfort” foods, one tradition we hope to carry on for years to come is the after dinner naps! That Turkey coma is something serious and always leads to us piling up on the sofa (with ‘bad’ holiday movies in the background) to take a quick one-hour nap before we pull out the sweet potato pies.  

Check out some of the Thanksgiving traditions and favorite recipes from the team.

Love, Tamuel + The Cowart Family

Kimberly

What is your favorite thanksgiving dish and why – Creamy mac & cheese. I know, I know… so basic. But it’s delicious and reminds me of my cousin and I eating too much when we were kids 😜

Is there a Thanksgiving tradition you hope to carry on for years to come – Watching the Macy’s Parade while putting up the Christmas tree Thanksgiving morning.

What are you most thankful for in 2020 – Oh, gosh, where to start!? So many things, but the one that comes to mind first is my friend group. Living away from family can be hard, and they invited me to quarantine with them for three weeks this past spring. It was such a blessing to not be stuck at home alone for almost a month!

Celebrity chefs you channel when cooking – I actually don’t follow any. I just make it up as I go!

Any favorite recipes you care to share – Cherry cobbler: boxed vanilla cake mix combined with 1.5 sticks of melted butter. Crumble on top of cherry pie filling and bake ’til bubbly. Top with vanilla ice cream.

Maddie

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish and why –Dressing hands down! It’s the most complicated to make so we only have it around the holidays. 

Is there a Thanksgiving tradition you hope to carry on for years to come – Every year the week before Thanksgiving I help my mom and other coaches’ wives cook a huge meal for my dad’s basketball team. Typically, they travel out of state for a Thanksgiving tournament and don’t get to go home, so I love seeing everyone come together as a family and try new things.  

What are you most thankful for in 2020 – My health and extra time at home with my dog Sophie!

Celebrity chefs you channel when cooking – Does Chrissy Teigan count? That’s as far as my “celebrity chef” knowledge goes.  

Any favorite recipes you care to share – Dressing (family recipe from my Great Grandmother Niblett)

Ingredients 

  • 1 whole chicken, deboned
  • 10 eggs, 4 boiled and chopped and 6 raw
  • Bell pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet onion
  • Celery
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 pan of cornbread, crumbled
  • 6 slices of bread, toasted and cubed
  • Chicken Broth…up to 32 oz container
  • salt/pepper can add sage/thyme (I don’t)

Directions 

  • Sauté sliced celery, mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper in 1 stick of butter.  Add to bowl when they are soft.  
  • Debone whole chicken in a big bowl.  
  • Boil 4 eggs, chop, and add to bowl.
  • Make cornbread and crumble in bowl.  
  • Toast bread and pull apart…add to bowl
  • Add both cans of soup to bowl.
  • Melt one stick of butter and add to bowl.  
  • Add chicken broth to make a little soupy.  
  • Add spices (salt/pepper/etc.)
  • Pour into greased baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 90 minutes or until set.  

 

Amaris

What is your favorite thanksgiving dish and why – My favorite thanksgiving dish is my Mom’s cornbread dressing. It was always the highlight of our time in the kitchen together. I’d bake the cornbread the night before and wake up bright and early on Thanksgiving day to help her prepare all the fixings. Cutting up onions and laughing through onion induced tears. The best part was being the taste tester right before it went into the oven. It’s my fondest Thanksgiving memory. Though she never shared the recipe, it’s etched in my heart and made with love every single year for our family and by request for her closest friends.

Is there a Thanksgiving tradition you hope to carry on for years to come – I’m not sure setting a menu with the family is a tradition, but, every year me and my siblings create the Thanksgiving menu together on what each person will make. We always joke that it’ll take 3 days before we get my youngest brothers dishes because he is always late (fashionably, of course). We’ve learned to not give him the important things. Dessert only!  Even when we’ve all moved to new places, It’s my hope that we’ll always come together as a family on Thanksgiving day with our children.

What are you most thankful for in 2020 – Whew! 2020 was a hell of a year!!! But I am so thankful for the time it’s given to really put things into prospective. It’s taught me that time is priceless and to cherish every single moment like it’s the last. To be present in all things and to value your friends and family. Oh, and to never take things for granted. Who knew toilet paper would be so scarce?! Ha!

Celebrity chefs you channel when cooking – Does my Grandma count as a celebrity chef?! 

Any favorite recipes you care to share – I’m the worst at sticking to recipes. Most of my favorite dishes are a hodgepodge of different recipes I’ve tried, tweaked and added my own flair to. Added more butter, a dash more of this or that. How do you measure wrist shakes of certain seasonings?! Three shakes of this, a pinch and a half of that… ok ok fine, here’s the one recipe I can kind of share with measurements 

My Peach Cobbler Recipe – Best served over two or three large scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. Tillamook Vanilla Bean is my fav

Ingredients 

Batter:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of Sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
    Filling:
  • 2 16oz cans of sliced peaches in syrup or fresh peaches peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
Directions 
 
  • Melt ½ stick of butter in a 13×9 glass pan
  • In a separate bowl, combine your batter ingredients (should be the consistency of pancake batter)
  • Pour your peaches into a large pot with the juice of one can.
  • Add your sugar and spices to taste
  • Bring to a boil, stirring constantly
  • Pour your batter over the melted butter
  • Spoon your peaches on top of the batter (DO NOT MIX)
  • Pour juice over the peaches ( not all of it or you’ll have a true mess in our oven)
  • Place in your oven at 355 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown

Akili

What is your favorite thanksgiving dish and why – Macaroni and cheese! I only make it on the holidays and it’s the perfect main or side dish. 

Is there a Thanksgiving tradition you hope to carry on for years to come – Nope

What are you most thankful for in 2020 – My family and friends! Being forced to slow down in 2020 strengthened my relationships and reinforced who’s important in my life. 

Celebrity chefs you channel when cooking – I channel Chrissy Teigen. Like her I’m not a real chef but I can whip up a tasty meal! 

Any favorite recipes you care to share – Million Dollar Chicken. This always comes out perfectly roasted and the creme fraiche sauce is incredible! https://carnaldish.com/recipes/million-dollar-chicken/

Alexis

What is your favorite thanksgiving dish and why – Leftover Turkey sandwiches with pickles and cranberry on rye bread..mmm mmm good! WHY? The food always tastes better the day after. 

Is there a Thanksgiving tradition you hope to carry on for years to come –Thanksgiving Family Football game! 

What are you most thankful for in 2020 – How much we have learned and leaned on one another. I think 2020 brought out self-awareness of our own mental health and encouraged us to check in on those surrounding us. 🙂

Celebrity chefs you channel when cooking – Shopaholics, always buying way too much food. The Grocery store is my happy place!

Any favorite recipes you care to share – Store bought cranberries is my jam, just open up the can and pour it in the bowl, clearly I’m not a cook. 😉

In conclusion, we hope all of you have the very best time celebrating (virtually) with family and friends 🙂 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tropical Wedding Foliage | Incorporating it Into Your Decor

If you haven’t noticed, tropical decor has kind of become {one of} our things. 😉 We feature tropical wedding foliage in all of our living walls, and love incorporating it into our other styling services! It can be tricky if you don’t have the right vendor team, and we’ve got our florist partner sharing some of her tricks of the trade!

Flowers by Lesley is out go-to when it comes to all things floral!

What are the best tropical flowers and plants for weddings?

I love protea, not a secret there. It can either have a tropical look or a boho vibe. They’re a large flower and really you can just use one for a bridesmaids bouquet with an accent of small filler flowers and foliage, or make a dramatic bridal bouquet with several additional flowers. 

Orchids are a classic tropical flower. Cymbidiums are usually mixed with roses or hydrangeas in a classic, neat style, and the gorgeous phalaenopsis make some of the most beautiful cascade bouquets on their own. They are more expensive but so beautiful and just a few stems make a statement. 

What are some unique ways to incorporate these into the wedding design?

Tropical wedding foliage alone can make a gorgeous bouquet with various shades of green and variegated with colours such as pink and reds. They are so versatile and would make for a different look. And, of course, tropical foliage makes fabulous foliage walls!

Clear glass cylinders can also be lined with foliage, camouflaging stems and giving a crisp clean look. 

What’s the best time of year to use tropical foliage + flowers?

Tropical flowers are pretty much available all year round. It really depends where they come from as to the price, but we’re fortunate to have nurseries here in Central Florida.

Tropical wedding foliage used to adorn the gazebo at Cypress Grove Estate House

 

Featured: Sand Sofa, Bali Chairs, Sand Chairs, Bali Coffee Table, Georgie, Sand End Table

Fur babies

Here at RW Events we don’t discriminate, never have and never will. Especially against fur babies. In fact, some have even heard our owner say that she prefers dogs over people everyday of the week. 😉

So it’s an easy question to answer when our couples ask if our venues are pet friendly—Heck Yes! Who doesn’t love a furry ring bearer or {dis}obedient flower girl. Be sure to let us know if you want to include your best friend in your event, we’ll be sure to keep some extra treats in our office. 😊

Photo Credit: Ashley Jane Photography 

Picnic in the Park

We love a good picnic in the park. But when that picnic happens at Cypress Grove and includes a basket from Miscellaneous Market + food from Big City Catering, it becomes a GREAT picnic!

As summer came to an end, we hosted a contest and the lucky winners received a picnic in the park! The winners, Jay and Kelsie, were treated to a picnic lunch, dessert from Bakers Cottage Cakes, and a photo shoot!

Photos: Dani Nichol Photography

Want to host your perfect picnic in the park? Here are our tips! 

Make It Tasty and Cute

Include items that are best served cold, easy to eat with your hands, and Instagram worthy. Jay and Kelsie enjoyed charcuterie, fresh berry salad, sundried tomato and feta turnovers, and a seasonal fruit salad.

All the Pillows, All the Style

An uncomfortable set up guarantees your picnic won’t last for long. Keep it cute and comfy with a rug and lots of throw pillows for lounging. We chose this fun blue and yellow palette and by some magic, we perfectly matched the cake provided by Bakers Cottage!

This spread by Big City Catering looks so yummy!

In Good Company

Quarantine has taught us that ANYTHING can be fun with the right company. Whether you’re planning a romantic picnic for two or something for your squad, make sure your invitees are down to kick off their shoes and relax!

Don't Sweat It

We get it: picnics are meant to be outside, but we don’t like to sweat. If the temperature isn’t to your liking, bring your picnic indoors. Yes, fresh air is nice, but sometimes A/C is better.

We loved putting this contest together and have a feeling we may be planning a fall date night at Luxmore soon!

Sideboards | Welcome to the Family, Ralphy!

Our newest sideboard, Ralphy, paired with Ice.

Boy, did we have a busy summer! A production shoot, prepping for fall wedding season, and adding new inventory have kept us on our toes! Joining the family are new upholstered pieces, sideboards, and more!

Which brings us to… Ralphy! He’s one of our newest sideboards and we love the vibe he brings! The rattan webbing makes him great for our boho brides, and the drawer style + mini legs give him a fun, modern twist.

Our newest sideboard, Ralphy!

He looks fantastic with so many of our pieces, and our pal, Melanie Paige Events, recently paired him with our new Ice chairs. What do you think of this combo? We adore the neutral tones of the tables + textiles with the pops of blue!

Our newest sideboard, Ralphy, paired with Ice.

He’s the perfect size for lots of options – a social lounge, a cake display, or even a welcome station! Melanie opted to style him in a social lounge and used him as a photo opp for the cake 😉

Ralphy is a modern, boho sideboard.
Our newest Ice chairs are a lovely shade of slate blue and look great with our sideboards!

Wedding Tablescapes for Days

Not to brag, but we know how to design stunning wedding tablescapes. Styling is our jam, and as we prepped for fall wedding season, we decided to invite others to join us in a two-day style session! Wedding planners, photographers, florists, bakers, and calligraphers all brought their A-game and styled the day away with us! We showcased some of our favorite tables, chairs, and chargers, along with table settings from Treasury Rentals.

It was the perfect way to ease ourselves back into busy season and to see some new + familiar faces. We’re so grateful to all the vendors who joined us and we cannot resist sharing a few sneak peeks from the day with you!

Fern and Curl Designs styled blooms for two wedding tablescapes in front of the bay window. Her first design is perfect for fall and features resin floral favors by Rejoice and Blossom Art. On day two she partnered with Melanie Paige Events for a bright, organic look paired with our brand-new luxe chairs!

If anything, these two days showed us just how important flowers and greenery are for styling a beautiful tablescape! We’ve got to give a huge thank you to all of the vendors who joined us and we can’t wait to reveal more photos soon! We’ve been if we’ll do this again… The answer is yes, but give us a few months to recover, and buy new inventory 😉