Temps are dropping (slowly, but surely…), and the season of fall gatherings is officially upon us! I firmly believe that the whole point of having friends over for dinner is to make everyone feel at ease – yourself included. That’s why I was so excited when one of my fave home collections,The Citizenry, asked me to create a fall inspired table with their newly launched table linens collection. All of their linens are so lovely I actually couldn’t just set one table – I had to set two.

Scroll below to see how you can create two different fall entertaining vibes by simply swapping out your napkins (and a few other choice details) along with some of my best entertaining tips.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

Setting a lovely table makes a meal feel a little special, but creating it shouldn’t have be complicated. A simple white linen tablecloth is my go-to foundation. It offers a nice blank slate. A few wrinkles – or even a big fold or two are no big deal. I love how it gives everything a more Euro-rustic vibe.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

There’s no need to have a collection of fancy china. Simply create layers with your daily dishware. I love to mix and match dishes in different colorways to add extra dimension. And I will always approve of gold flatware for everyday use – there’s no reason to make them wait for a special occasion. It quickly makes any table feel a bit more festive.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

Adding flowers to your setting also doesn’t have be stressful. You can let your creative juices flow, combining whatever fits into your color palette. A fall arrangement can mix all kinds of greenery – everything from lambs ear and grasses, to cuts of leaves. A few dahlias give you that plucked straight from your garden look. But if creating your own centerpiece feels overwhelming, head to your local flower mart or corner florist. The talented ladies at Marigold SF put together these stunners. There’s no shame in putting a pretty arrangement into your own vase. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

I created two different fall tables by only swapping out a few simple things. I like to stick to 2-3 colors on the table to keep things from getting overwhelming. This first table features a set of The Citizenry’s subtle Onam napkins and tablerunner in blush. You can fold the the napkins to highly their mustard gold threading or camouflage it to keep the look really light, neutral and airy. The Citizenry’s set of Dasar bronze trays make the perfect serving dishes. I added white oak candle sticks and warm golden taperd offer a light, feminine touch.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

To quickly and easily change this tables look, I simply swapped in pops of indigo and chambray to create a slightly bolder, high contrast look. The Citizenry’s Chera napkins feature hand stitching, but are made from durable cotton – meaning they’re machine washable! Hits of black – candlesticks, the Citizenry’s black marble cheeseboard and our dining chairs elevate the look. I’m also obsessed with The Citizenry’s new Ba Lai glassware. Matte gray on the outside, with a high gloss glazed interior, they’re seriously so good.

Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34Simple Steps for a Stunning Fall Table on apartment 34

I’m struggling to pick a favorite between these two looks so I’m thinking I just have to throw two parties to put both to the test. Do you you have a favorite??

See the rest of my favorite fall entertaining tips on The Citizenry blog here.

florals by marigold studio / photography by andrea posoadas

This post in partnership with The Citizenry. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and that keep our doors open!

My appreciation for wine and my love of wine country has been well documented. But it’s rare to find a winery where you not only love the vino, but also get to meet and befriend the people who both grow the grapes & make the wine. It’s even rarer that their winery happens to sit atop one of the most beautiful vistas in all of Northern California wine country.

When those three things combine, you get what I call a little slice of wine country heaven otherwise known as Sophie James.

wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34

Sophie James started as a dream in 2011 when founders Sophie & her husband James (pre-marriage and babes) stumbled upon an amazing piece of property atop Sonoma Mountain. While Sophie had long day-dreamed of making wine while she worked as a biochemist, she didn’t necessarily think their dream would become a reality. But after painstakingly organically farming five acres of Pinot Noir grapes over the last six years, Sophie and James released their first vintage of rosé and pinot noir this year.

wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34

But I swear their wines taste even better when enjoyed upon the land from which they came. Sophie James has recently offered private vineyard dinners atop their mountain, catered by Michelin-star chefs, complete with the option to glamp overnight in tricked out Shelter Co tents. You can stroll their rolling hilltop property, rosé in hand, enjoying 360 degree views of the Bay Area. On a good day you can see the Pacific Ocean and all the way to San Francisco!

wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34wine wednesday: meet sophie james on apartment 34

But what really sets Sophie James apart is the opportunity to watch a young family realize their dreams (and not just because I might harbor a similar one!). Sophie and James have not only produced delicious wines but also cultivated an amazing community – their Tribe – of passionate wine lovers, but also just really cool people that you actually want to hang out with. Bonus. Every time you visit Sophie James you can see the passion and the joy Sophie and her entire family have poured into making this place come to life.

While the Tribe is currently at capacity, Sophie James will be accepting new members soon so I strongly recommend you get your name on their waitlist right here. Perhaps I’ll see you up on the mountaintop sometime soon!

For more of my wine country favorites, CLICK HERE.

The summer entertaining season is winding down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze one last get together. I’ll take any excuse to get girlfriends together for much needed mama time. You know it’s going to get sparse as we get into fall. So I recently gathered some of my fave bloggers for a little rosé tasting party! It combined all of my loves – designing a gorgeous table, trading blogger (and mama!) tips and sipping on lots of yummy wine of course.

rosé tasting party on apartment 34

To set a stunning scene, I created a relaxed, slightly boho vibe. A simple linen tablecloth, stemless wine glasses and charcuterie boards a plenty.

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I decided to set this gathering up as a blind rosé tasting. That means you don’t know anything about what you’re drinking. Being a long-time wine geek, I love the process of tasting wine, describing it, comparing one to another and really thinking about what you like or don’t like. It’s a really fun exercise and quite educational if you’re a wine novice. While rosé is often referred to as the pink water of summer, there are actually very good rosés out there. You just have to know what you’re looking for.

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shop the post: glass plates / notebooks / wine glasses / marble cheese boards / wood cutting boards / glass wine decanter / table throw

Throughout lunch, we sipped on each wine, talking about the flavor profile (fruity or earthy?), how heavy or light the mouth feel felt, how it paired with the food, and debated which wine we thought was the cheapest and which the most expensive. Conversation may have also frequently wandered to toddler tantrums and what the heck is up with the dang Instagram algorithm these days, but we tried to stay focused on the task at hand! Upon the final reveal, we discovered everyone actually liked the mid-tier, $16 bottle of rosé from California best.

All in all, the party was a total success. I was able to design a unique, personally meaningful way to bring friends together. The setting and the fun little activity made what would have otherwise been just any old lunch, feel a little more extraordinary. But in the end, the afternoon wasn’t really about the wine.  It was about the company, the conversation – the bringing together of friends that we’ll all remember.

for more end of summer entertaining ideas, CLICK HERE.

original photography for apartment 34 by stephanie russo, florals by lambert studio 


Today we have extra tasty treat for you. My dear friend Maia is stopping by to take Tasty Tuesday to the next level. Maia is a bit of a renaissance woman. That’s a fancy way of saying she’s really good a lot of stuff. She’s a graphic designer, photographer, art director (of Rue Magazine no less), mother, founder of the fab online children’s shop Bitte (who is having a major sale this weekend FYI!), and also a great cook. Now that she bought her first house with an enviable yard, Maia has also become something of a amateur gardener too. Color me impressed.

I’m just thankful Maia is willing to share some of the fruits of her labor  – literally – in the form of amazing end-of-summer recipes inspired by what’s coming out of her garden right now. Even if you have to get your produce from the farmer’s market (like I do), fMaia is going to help us make the most of this seasonal bounty. Continue to scroll for three mouth-watering recipes.


First up is a recipe for Savory Zucchini Muffins. It’s a twist on the usual sweet zucchini bread, that as anyone who grows zucchini knows, you get sick of pretty quick. The best part is that these can easily be frozen in a ziplock freezer bag and brought out months from now when you’ve recovered from your zucchini overdose. You could also easily sub out half the flour with whole wheat flour to make them a little heartier. These little babies are great for breakfasts on the go or packed into school lunches.


Makes 12 Muffins
2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dried oregano
½ cup greek yogurt
½ cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter
½ + 2 tbsp cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
2-3 minced garlic cloves
1 cup shredded zucchini (drained of excess liquid)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and oregano.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt and egg.
4. Stir the garlic into the melted butter.
5. Whisk the melted butter mixture into the other wet ingredients.
6. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mix, and gently combine. Don’t over mix the batter.
7. Stir in the shredded cheese (leaving out 2 tbsp for topping) shredded zucchini and chopped basil.
8. Spoon even amounts of mixture into a greased muffin tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the bread comes out clean.



I’ve already established how much I love peaches. As the season comes to a close (boohoo!), my friend Maia is back with the perfect to make good use of the final crop. This recipe for homemade peach granola is going on my must-make list this week. It’s as yummy for dessert as it is for breakfast. You better get your cook on before all the peaches are gone!


3 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
2 cups Mixed Nuts – combo Almonds, Pecans, & Walnuts
3/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Vanilla greek yogurt
Dried peaches – You can buy them or if you want to make your own, follow the directions below.

1. Preheat oven to 300
2. Mix dry ingredients.
3. Mix wet ingredients.
4. Combine & thoroughly mix so all grains and nuts are coated.
5. Spread out on a cookie sheet
6. Bake for 1 hour, stirring and turning with a spatula halfway through.
7. Let cool completely
8. Spoon the vanilla yogurt into a small bowl, top with granola and dried peaches. Drizzle with a little maple syrup for an extra treat.

Oven Dried Peaches
Preheat oven to 200 degrees (if your oven goes lower you can do 170 degrees)
Slice peaches
Soak the peaches in lemon juice for a few minutes to keep from turning brown
Place on cookie sheet
Bake with the oven door ajar for 6-8hrs

roasted salsa recipe on apartment 34

While I’m a little sad to see summer go, there’s something about so comforting about fall. After the summer’s calling to constantly wander, spending an afternoon cozied up on the couch feels refreshing. And we all know couch-hanging must be accompanied by appropriate snacks! Thankfully, tomatoes and jalapeños are overflowing at the farmer’s market. This salsa is perfect for said couch hangs or better yet, late summer get togethers. And it’s so simple to make, you can whip up a batch with all the fresh and delicious produce available right now. I plan to make some big batches and freeze the extra for a little taste of summer in the middle of winter. That is if I can keep myself from just eating it all up right away! PS, this would go SO well with our homemade chilaquiles recipe.


5-6 medium tomatoes
1 large onion
1-2 Jalapenos
2-3 Cloves of garlic (unpeeled)
Juice of 1 lime
Small bunch of cilantro
agave (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash and dry the tomatoes & jalapenos
3. Cut the tomatoes and onions in quarters
4. Place tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and garlic on a cookie sheet and bake in oven for 45-55 minutes. Until tomatoes are splitting and juicy and all veggies are a little dark and blistered on top.
5. Let cool
6. Add all veggies to a blender and blend together. Add lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste.
7. If you’re tomatoes weren’t very sweet you can add a smidgen of agave.

For the entire Tasty Tuesday archive CLICK HERE.

original photography for apartment 34 by maia m. smith

Hello there, summertime. I’ve missed you and love you oh so much. Sunshine, beach time, warm night. But actually one of my favorite things about this time of year is the food! I count down the months until peaches, berries, watermelon and cherries pack the market shelves. So today, I’m celebrating the season delicious summer-inspired smoothies. You know the smoothies I’m talking about. The ones filled with fresh produce from the farmer’s market—so fresh you can taste it in every slurp of the straw. Is there any better way to enjoy  summer? I think not. (And there’s also no better way to detox after an over indulgent fourth of July week! I’m talkin’ more about the cleanse I’m currently trying on Insta-stories right now btw).

To make sure you’re armed with the best smoothies fruit (and in some cases, veggies) can make, I rounded up five of the most delicious—not to mention beautiful—recipes the great interwebs have to offer.

5 smoothies to jumpstart your day on apartment 34

I have a major crush on blood orange everything. Every time I see the item included in the recipe, I’m instantly attracted, and this Blood Orange, Berry and Spinach smoothie is no exception. Filled to the brim with citrusy goodness and superfoods like chia and hemp seeds, your day will be off to an amazing start with this in your to-go mug.

5 smoothies to jumpstart your day on apartment 34

Ah, the classic green smoothie. In this case, the Green Goddess smoothie. It’s loaded with all the goods—spinach, apple, banana, chia seeds, almond milk and for an extra creamy twist, avocado. Your belly will be nourished and full for hours.

5 smoothies to jumpstart your day on apartment 34

This Wild Blueberry Zucchini smoothie is, first of all, a very pretty color. Second, it’s extremely intriguing because I’ve never thought of zucchini as a smoothie veggie. But if this thing tastes even half as good as it looks, I’m sold.

5 smoothies to jumpstart your day on apartment 34

I feel like a good strawberry smoothie is a cult classic as far as blended fruit goes, but this one is actually a Strawberry & Mango Coconut Water smoothie. I love a good coconut essence, so this is one I’m definitely going to add to my weekly rotation. Plus, there’s also a handful of spinach mixed and I always appreciate a little hidden green.

5 smoothies to jumpstart your day on apartment 34

I never thought I’d be one to add whole nuts to a smoothie, but this Mango, Banana & Cashew smoothie recipe has me rethinking everything. Turns out when you soak or boil and then blend cashews, they’re marvelously creamy. Not to mention a healthy dose of good-for-you fats.

If you weren’t a smoothie drinker before, I bet you are now, yes? These all look so mouth-watering. Prefer to chew rather than sip your breakfast? Then you might enjoy our equally healthy and rather gorgeous smoothie bowl recipe. Smoothie lovers, this one is dang good too.

If you’re looking for something a little stronger than a smoothie, find all the margarita recipes you’ll ever need right here. Cheers!

recipe 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

With the 4th falling smack dab in the middle of the week this year, it’s not really the rollicking vacation we’re accustomed to. But if there’s one thing we will have enough time to do – it’s eat! I might be stuck in 60 degree weather and the fireworks may be shrouded in fog, but oh I will eat well. I’ve pulled together my favorite BBQ-friendly recipes to ensure your 4th of July menu is on lock. No judgements when I grill with with my Patagonia jacket on.

4th of July menu on apartment 34

Yes, burgers are a 4th of July mainstay but these babies offer a little more kick. They feature a spiced patty that’s cooled by a yummy tahini yogurt sauce. To whip these up you just need a few extra ingredients including baharat spice blend (that you can either buy or make yourself) and yogurt to make the topping. Click here for all the details.

4th of July menu on apartment 34

Since the 4th is dominated by all things unhealthy, a good salad helps balance things out. This one is filled with tasty pumpkin and sunflower seeds as well as avocado so it’s filling too. Perfect option for any vegetarians in your BBQ crew. The recipe is here.

4th of July menu on apartment 34

For drinks, why not shake things up with a white sparkling sangria. We named this one the Star Spangled Sangria so it seems very on theme. I highly recommend a dry white an dry sparkling wine to keep this baby from getting too sweet. Save that for dessert!

4th of July menu on apartment 34

For dessert I say more is more. Ice cream is kind of requirement. You can have some fun and make your own homemade ice cream sandwiches – or you can go really big and make your own strawberry ice cream. This is a fun project to do with the kids in the morning – you’ll teach them patience as they’ll have to wait until the evening to enjoy the fruits of their labor!

4th of July menu on apartment 34

And then, for those in hot climates (you lucky ducks you) or for anyone who prefers lighter fare, these berry coconut milk popsicles are light, refreshing and seriously delicious. They’re also seriously guilt free. Sweetened with honey, they’re the perfect dessert for anyone who doesn’t want a ton of sugar. These are also another fun one to make ahead of time with the kiddos. The recipe is here!

Regardless of where you are, what you do and what you eat, I hope you have a fun (and safe!) Fourth!


After of a dose of the Texas heat in Austin last week (are you following all my recaps on Instagram Stories yet??), all I can think about is outdoor dining. Those balmy evenings, perfect for endless late-night hangs and glasses of rosé, are really is the best thing about the summer months. I don’t think I’ve ever met an outdoor dining situation that I didn’t like. As soon as I finally finish my the inside of my house, I’m going to be starting on our yard, so I figure it’s never too soon to start banking inspiration.

10 outdoor dining ideas on apartment 34

I’m drooling over this neutral outdoor dining area. That simple bar area is the perfect solution for an outdoor “kitchen” that doesn’t require a major construction project. The mix of materials, rustic wood, stainless steel, and wicker. But the black chairs, lanterns and wall sconce add a modern edge.

10 outdoor dining ideas on apartment 34

If you love a boho vibe, there’s no need for an outdoor dining set! Simply throw some vintage rugs and poufs on the ground. A bit of plywood can serve as your table. A simple bolt of cloth makes a great runner and your set of white dishes look fresh and bright with a beautiful dip-dyed napkin. While you probably wouldn’t leave this set up in your yard all summer long, it’s the perfect solution for a beautiful dinner party.

10 outdoor dining ideas on apartment 34

A pergola is a perfect way to demarcate a dining area in your yard. They offer shade, they offer a spot to hang cafe lights or even install an outdoor fan.

10 outdoor dining ideas on apartment 34

Who says you have to hop a plane to a far-flung destination to feel like you’re on vacation. A reclaimed wood table and benches, woven mats and vintage wicker chairs will immediately give you the island vibe.

10 outdoor dining ideas on apartment 34

The top of your table not so purdy? No problem! Just lay down a layer of butcher paper and you’ve got a gorgeous neutral background for your tablescape.

10 outdoor dining ideas on apartment 34

Bench seating is a great way to pack a lot of guests around your outdoor dining table, but I love the idea of spicing up the look with a crazy cool vintage peacock chair.


10 outdoor dining ideas on apartment 34

I’m really digging the look of the desert inspired yard. A simple white table is paired with stools (the ones above are actually concrete side tables – virtually indestructible – & you can get them here) for an individual seating place for each guest. A woven end chair softens the look (one like this would work well). The table is a high-gloss white wood making it pop against the sand and also makes it very easy to wipe down!

10 outdoor dining ideas on apartment 34

While outdoor dining is usually associated with laid back, casual affairs, it’s pretty easy to set a dramatic scene. Simply dot your table with tapered candles and some beautiful stemware and your yard will feel dressed up in no time.

10 outdoor dining ideas on apartment 34

Not everyone gets to enjoy a super toasty summer evening every night. That’s why I love the layers on this outdoor dining table. The sheepskin-covered benches offer a spot for guests to warm their bums. The linen tablecloth and runner add a cozier texture to the table and the throw pillows warm up that gorgeous vintage cane chair. While still casual and easy, this set up also feels special.

And who says you have to actually set an outdoor dining table. Why not just put a giant cheese board down the middle. Your guests can grab and nosh as they please. A self-serve drink station is also never a bad idea. A gorgeous stone-topped outdoor dining table makes it easy to create a beautiful setup. A simple wipe with a damp cloth and you have all the decorating you need.

What say you? Does one outdoor dining style speak to you more than another. It’s usually too cold in San Francisco to eat outside in the evenings but we head to wine country next week and I’m planning to pack some pretties to set a gorgeous table – just because I can!


For my favorite yard design inspiration, CLICK HERE.

For outdoor dining recipe ideas, CLICK HERE.

For my favorite summer cocktail, CLICK HERE.


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As we dive into summer, (I mean, we’re close enough) I realized I’d yet to throw a party this year. Not really sure how that happened. Oh wait, I have a three-nager. That might be why. But I recently decided that had to change (not the having a toddler part – the party part). I’ve learned you really shouldn’t wait for a reason to get friends together. They take too long to materialize. Instead, just make one up! A brunch to welcome summer seemed like as good of a reason as any. But as a busy mama I’m in no mood to spend hours pulling a party together.

So I pulled out all my tricks to host a beautiful summer brunch without losing my mind. And today I’m spilling the beans in the hopes it might inspire you.

TRICK 1: Amp up your tabletop. A gorgeous tabletop is a bit of a ubiquitous requirement for a brunch, but who can manage to stock multiple set of dishes to switch up a look? That is where the first trick comes in. Take your classic set of white dishes next level with Harlow & Grey. If you haven’t discovered Harlow & Grey yet, I’m about to blow your mind.

This line of modern party goods is absolutely stunning. This is way more than a disposable plate. Harlow & Grey’s artful collections (think black, gold, even marble!) feature modern designs and amazing attention to detail like gold-foil edges and of the moment colors. Hello, amethyst, color of the year. Harlow & Grey’s coordinated pieces offer plates, cups, dinner & cocktail napkins to transform all your tabletop staples. I’m obsessed with the light and lovely look we created for this party.

To celebrate the transition from spring to summer, we layered my dining room table in a sea of pale lavender, white, and subtle pinks A mix of gray and white candles in marble and brass holders added ambiance. Hits of black kept things from getting overly saccharin. To make things feel extra personal and little more special we added Harlow & Grey place cards and a flower sprig on each plate. It’s those little tiny (easy!) details that take a table next level.

TIP 2: Don’t sweat the food. While I’m all for some good home-cookin’, when you’re hosting why take on the unnecessary burden? Especially for something like brunch. I strongly advise hitting up your favorite bakery or cafe for a bevy of treats. Things like quiche can be purchased the day before and reheated. Salads are simple and easy.

I turned to Le Marais Bakery, my go-to spot in San Francisco for an amazing treat. Supplement with fresh berries, mixed nuts & dried fruit and everyone will go home quite satisfied. And you won’t have spent hours slaving in the kitchen. Win win.

TIP 3: Rosé all day every day. Enough said. Except if you want to make a really dramatic moment serve up your rosé in a magnum. Just be sure you know how to open the bottle. (check Instagram stories today to see my poor attempt to open my favorite Azur Rosé).

TIP 4: Take your flowers next level. You can break the grocery store bouquet habit. Thankfully now there are some really great sources for beautiful blooms that you can arrange at home. We’re lucky in the Bay Area as we often get to test out new services before they go national. Case in point, Matilda’s Magnolias.

Matilda Magnolias buys fresh cut flowers from Bay Area farmers, changing the weekly arrangements to make sure they’re using the best of what’s in season. Then Matilda’s delivers a “bloom box” of stems to your door and you get to do the arranging! Each box comes with a beautifully illustrated tip sheet on how to make the best bouquet. Matilda’s introduced me to Astilbe which might be my new favorite bloom.

And so you see – there was really hardly any work that went into pulling this pretty setting together. I sent the invite out via email. Easy. Almost everything on the table could go in the compost or recycling bin. Clean up was a breeze.

I want this brunch to serve as the model for your gathering this season. Because you can create a stunning atmosphere, have delicious treats, a table full of people you love and not make yourself crazy. You just have to remember you don’t have to do everything yourself. There are amazing, beautiful things created by amazingly talented people who can help you. And there’s no shame in that!

SHOP THE TABLE: harlow & grey plates / marble candle holder / wine glasses / gold flatware / harlow & grey cups / gray taper candles / matilda’s magnolias blooms / harlow & grey place cards / copper place card holders / harlow & grey napkins

This brunch was a such a special treat and shared with such lovely friends that we had to go and make a beautiful video to capture the day. I hope it inspires you to gather your girls and spend some time together for no other reason  than the fact that you can.


For even more summer party inspiration, CLICK HERE.


original photography & video direction by andrea posada creative
amethyst collection tableware by Harlow & Grey
wooden place card holders from Esselle 
calligraphy by Joy + Confetti
floral arrangements by Matilda’s Magnolias
brunch spread by Le Marais Bakery
rosé via Azur wines
gifts by saje wellness / lilah b beauty / karuna skin 

It’s been a little while since we talked food around these parts, but I suspect you all still like to eat, yes? Me too. And preferably not leftovers off of my toddler’s plate. I firmly believe there is nothing better than enjoying a meal made with fresh, in-season ingredients. Farmers’ markets are now brimming over with some awesome spring produce so this is the time to take full advantage. With Memorial Day Weekend coming up I know we’re supposed to be focused on all things grilled, but really, how exciting does a charred piece of meat ever get? I’d turn to a lovely meal of fresh pasta any day of the week. So I’ve gathered three spring pasta recipes that you can either whip up for a weeknight dinner or even serve over Memorial Day – very European style (yes, I realize Memorial Day is a very American holiday, but I’d always rather be in Italy so pasta it is!).

3 spring pasta recipes on apartment 34

Bucatini with Zucchini, Olives & Macadamia Nuts: While it might sound a little odd to put macadamia nuts in with pasta, their rich fatty texure and smooth flavor can mimic pine nuts and works wonderfully. I love the addition of big salty olives to this dish. If you can find early season tomatoes, go for it, otherwise just skip ’em.

Ingredients for basil pesto:
1 large bunch of basil
1-2 cloves of garlic
40g pine nuts
30g Parmesan, finely grated
freshly ground black pepper
a small pinch of freshly grounded sea salt
50-60ml of good quality extra virgin olive oil

Place basil, garlic, pine nuts in the food processor bowl first. Whizz until fine and then add the rest of the ingredients: grated Parmesan, salt, pepper and olive oil and mix them all together with a spoon.

Ingredients for the pasta:
350g fresh pasta – I love a local whole wheat bucatini made by Bay Area-based The Pasta Company
4 zucchini
200g green olives
200g yellow tomatoes
100g macadamia nuts
a handful or two of pine nuts
good quality olive oil
a handful of grated parmesan
fresh basil leaves

Boil the pasta in lightly salted water with a spoonful of olive oil. Drain, pour some cold water through it and place back in the pan. Add the pesto and mix it in well so it covers the whole pasta. Pour some oil in a pan, heat it up and add sliced zucchini, cook until just softened. Add them to the pasta and heat it up slightly. Take it off the heat again and add the rest of the ingredient: olives, halved tomatoes, macadamia and pine nuts. Sprinkle with some grated Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

3 spring pasta recipes on apartment 34

One-Pot Spring Pasta with Smoked Salmon: This dish evokes the flavors of blinis with smoked salmon and sour cream, but this time over pasta instead of a tiny canapé! Peas and asparagus lighten and brighten things up. I’m into it.

12 oz. linguine or other long pasta
3/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb.), trimmed, cut into 1″–1½” pieces
1 lb fresh peas shelled (or 1 (10-oz.) bag frozen peas)
4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream, divided
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more
6 oz. smoked salmon, sliced into ½” strips
1 cup basil leaves

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, 7 minutes (or 2 minutes less than package instructions). Add asparagus and continue to cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add peas and continue to cook until cooked through, about 1 minute more. Drain pasta, asparagus, and peas together, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Transfer pasta and vegetables to a large bowl. Add butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 1/2 tsp. pepper, and remaining 3/4 tsp. salt. Toss, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid bit by bit as needed, until a smooth sauce coats pasta (you might not need all the liquid).

Divide pasta among bowls. Top with salmon, basil, and remaining 1/4 cup sour cream. Season with lots of pepper.

3 spring pasta recipes on apartment 34

Penne Pasta with Ramp* Pesto, Peas & Walnuts: This recipe is full of bright fresh flavors including wild ramps, lemon and chile flakes (if you like heat). It’s most likely what will be on my plate tonight!


Fresh penne pasta
1/2 C sugar snap peas
1 package pea shoots
Ramp pesto
grated parmesan
salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil
chile flakes


Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 5 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water. Meanwhile, trim the sugar snap peas, removing the strings and cut the sugar snap peas in half. Coarsely chop the pea shoots. Cut the lemon into wedges for serving.

In deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the sugar snap peas and sauté until nearly tender-crisp, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

When the pasta is ready, add it to the pan with the sugar snap peas, along with the pesto, half of the cheese, and the reserved pasta water. Toss over low heat until the cheese has melted, 1 minute. Fold in the pea shoots last. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heap the pasta on plates and sprinkle with some of the remaining cheese, the walnuts, and chile flakes, if you like. Serve warm, with the lemon wedges for squeezing.

* Wild ramps are in season this time of year. They are kinda like a cross between a spring onion and fresh garlic. Simply substitute ramps for basil in the typical pesto recipe (and skip adding additional garlic) and you’ll get a really bright flavorful sauce.


Do you have a favorite spring pasta recipe?

For more spring meal inspiration, CLICK HERE. If classic Memorial Day recipes are more your thing, CLICK HERE. And if you need cocktail ideas, CLICK HERE. This one is my very fave.



photography & recipes via bea’s cookbook, epicurious and good eggs

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