Entertaining: Dinner in the Apple Orchard

December 05

Remember when I was scouting for the location for this shoot? You can check out the full entertaining story online at Flutter Magazine right here, or you can pick up a copy at these stockists or you can buy a print copy of magazine online right here. This was the kind of shoot where everything fell together perfectly in ways that couldn’t have been planned.  A big thank you to the amazing Nancy Neil for the insane photos and the to die for food by Paper Palate.

The signature apple drink  by Paper Palate was a serious hit.

The Menu:

Garden Carrots, Green Olives and Radishes with Bagna Cauda

Roasted Late Summer Tomato Soup with Herb Pesto Oil

Roasted Two Day Salted Whole Local Chicken

Pumpkin Tacos

Okra & Tomato Salad

Stuffed Baked Apple with Melted Cheddar Cheese

The table itself had a beautiful galvanized finish and is available for rent from Vintage Vignettes. Each place setting consisted of  gorgeous plates from Anthropologie, a hand painted menu by Rebekah Miles, glassware from Upstairs at Pierre Lafond, vintage flatware, and napkins by Rachel Craven.

I used pre-made loose weave ribbon around candles and tucked in millet, wheat, scabiosa, and astrania instead of doing a traditional flower arrangement. Flowers can be purchased at Fabulous Florals.

Pumpkin tacos, check out the recipe here.

Local Cambria Estate Wines paired perfectly with the menu.

I found these short tumblers from Upstairs at Pierre Lafond and I knew they’d be perfect for our baked apple dessert.

Dig in! Thank you to all the contributors and Flutter Magazine! I’ll be posting some behind the scenes action on Wednesday.


Photography: Nancy Neil // Styling + Production: Kelly Oshiro // Food: Paper Palate // Location: Private Ranch // Serving platters, glassware, lanterns: Upstairs at Pierre Lafond // Tables: Vintage Vignettes // Menus: Rebekah Miles // Napkins: Rachel Craven // Wine: Cambria // Purchase Flowers: Fabulous Florals


On the Rocks: Blended Beer Margarita

April 12

Okay, I know what you’re thinking–beer in a margarita?! That’s crazy talk! My mom actually introduced me to this recipe and it is so refreshing and delightful! Perfect for these sunny Santa Barbara days. Cheers!


1 1/2 shots of gold tequila

1/2 shot triple sec

2 lime wedges

Heavy splash of Mexican beer

Heavy splash of lemon lime soda (or Sprite)

*Squeeze limes and add all ingredients in a blender with ice. Serve blended with a salted rim–quadruple the recipe for a pitcher.

-XOXO Melissa

On the Rocks: Persimmon Margarita

November 30

Happy Friday SB Chic readers! It feels great to be back and boy–do we have some tasty holiday treats in store for you! This Persimmon Margarita with a salted-cinnamon rim is sure to knock your socks off….Enjoy!

- 1 1/2 shots of gold tequila
- Heaping spoonful of pureed persimmon (puree in blender/food processor with skin on)
- Lime wedge
- Small splash of Triple Sec
- Heavy splash of homemade sweet n’ sour (1 part simple syrup, 2 parts lemon juice)
- Small splash of sprite
- Kosher Salt & Cinnamon  (for glass rim)
*Add all ingredients over ice, shake well and serve on the rocks with a salted cinnamon rim
-XOXO Melissa
And you can browse all the On the Rocks posts right here.

On The Rocks: Green Machine

August 31

I just LOVE cucumber in my cocktails! It offers such a freshness and is so darn pretty. This lovely libation incorporates all things green and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Enjoy!


1 1/2 shot of silver tequila

Homemade cucumber sweet n’ sour (directions below)

Pureed honeydew


Fresh mint


*Muddle mint and lime wedge in a martini shaker. Add a spoonful of pureed honeydew, tequila, a heavy splash of the cucumber sweet n’ sour, and a small splash of soda. Shake well and serve on the rocks.

Homemade Cucumber Sweet n’ Sour


1 Cup simple syrup

2 Cups bottled lemon juice

2-4 pureed cucumbers (I left the skin on)

Add all ingredients in a pitcher, strain and refrigerate. Make it skinny by subbing raw Stevia for the sugar in your simple syrup. And to see even more On the Rocks cocktail ideas they’re right here.

-XOXO Melissa

On the Rocks: Sweet n’ Salty Gingy

August 16

TGIF! I am so excited because I have some of my girlfriends coming up to visit me this weekend and you can bet that we’ll be shaking up some cocktails. Today’s tasty treat is for the ginger beer fans out there and is a beautiful concoction. The bright red color of the blood orange addition gives a vibrant addition to this yummy yummy drink and pays further homage to the name “Sweet n’ Salty Gingy”…a double entendre no?


1 1/2 shots of silver tequila

Blood orange soda


Ginger Beer

Kosher Salt

Granulated sugar

On a plate, add Kosher salt and granulated sugar and mix well with a fork. Rub the rim of a glass with a lime wedge and dip into sugar/salt mixture. Set aside. Add ice to a martini shaker, tequila, lime wedge (squeeze first), splash of blood orange soda, and heavy splash of ginger beer. Shake well and serve on the rocks in your rimmed glass. Enjoy!

-XOXO Melissa

PS The coaster and glass are both available at Anthrologie….And for even more cocktail ideas check out past On the Rocks posts here.

On the Rocks: Mango Mumbo

July 06

It is Friday at last! This spicy concoction is incredible tasty and is sure to have your taste buds dancing this weekend. Enjoy!

Add one spoonful of pureed mango to a glass and a small splash of habanero simple syrup (directions below). Add 1 ½ shots of your favorite tequila and a heavy splash of homemade habanero sweet n’ sour (directions below). Then add a small splash of soda water–to balance the sweetness from the sour and simple syrup. Shake well and serve on the rocks with 3-4 habanero slices.

Cocktail Recipe: 

-1 Tbsp pureed mango

-1 1/2 shots tequila

-Small splash habanero simple syrup

-Heavy splash sweet and sour

-Splash soda water

Habanero Simple Syrup:

Bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil until sugar is completely dissolved. Add a few slices of raw habanero and let sit for 10 min. Remove pepper slices and refrigerate until use.

Homemade Sweet & Sour:

Add equal parts simple syrup and lemon together juice and refrigerate. And to see even more On the Rocks cocktail ideas they’re right here

-XOXO Melissa

On the Rocks: Salted Melon Margarita

June 01

I think a good ol’ margarita is the perfect way to wrap up this busy week. This particular marg is incredibly easy and tastes much fancier than it actually is. Pair with some homemade guacamole and you’ve got yourself the perfect little fiesta at home. Enjoy!

how to make a margarita

Cut watermelon and cantaloupe into small cubes and add to a glass with a lime wedge. Muddle and make sure to extract oils from the lime rind. Add tequila and a small splash of Amaretto almond liquor (I prefer this over triple sec, but either works). Add a heavy splash of homemade sweet n’ sour (ingredients below), ice, and give it a good shake.

Serve on the rocks with a salted rim and lime wedge. Ole!


Cubed watermelon

Cubed cantaloupe

Lime wedge

1 ½ shots of Tequila (silver or gold)

½ shot of Amaretto almond liquor

Heavy splash of homemade sweet n’ sour

Kosher salt

Homemade Sweet n’ Sour Ingredients:

Equal parts simple syrup and lemon juice

*Add ingredients together and refrigerate


And to see even more On the Rocks cocktail ideas they’re right here.