Lite Fare Favorites!

You guys… The folks over at Cooking Light have seriously outdone themselves with some of their recent published recipes – so much so, we had to share one of our top favorite finds from the May 2015 issue with you!

When warm weather hits the city, we really don’t want to weigh ourselves down with rich, heavy meals, not to mention all those added calories that come along with them. Lightening up our evening meals has been a goal of ours as of late and this dish makes that super simple – it’s the latest addition to our rotation of lite fare favorites:

Pork Medallions with Spring Succotash

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1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch-thick slices
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
1/2 cup dry white wine 
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup halved and thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup finely diced white onion 
3 tablespoons water 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1/4 cup chopped green onions (white and light green parts)

 

1. Gently pound pork slices to 1/2-inch-thick medallions with a meat mallet or the heel of your hand.

2. Combine garlic, rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes without turning. Turn and cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm. Return pan to medium heat. Add garlic mixture; sauté 1 minute or until fragrant. Add wine and stock; cook 30 seconds or until reduced to 1/2 cup, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove pan from heat; stir in butter.

4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add carrot and white onion; cook 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons water, and pepper. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until carrot is crisp-tender. Stir in edamame and green onions; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Divide edamame mixture among 4 plates. Top each serving with pork and sauce.

*Jill’s Tip – Make sure the pan is quite hot when you initially add the medallions. This will ensure proper browning of the protein and give you all those leftover brown bits in the bottom of the pan, ensuring excellent sauce flavor! 

Not only is this a super tasty, hearty meal, it’s a fantastic use for frozen edamame, one of our favorite, versatile ingredients for any time of the year!

DSC_0025We served this up on our new/old Asian-inspired blue and white china and it truly popped. A treat for the eyes and mouth!

Hopefully this inspires you to try this dish, or another lightened version of your favorite weeknight dinner – you may even feel good enough for a nice, leisurely post-dinner walk after such a smart and healthful meal!

 

Introducing the Garden Bouquet Collection by Steve McKenzie!

We’re so excited to share the new Garden Bouquet fabric collection by Steve McKenzie with our blog readers today!

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This beautiful collection is currently available through steve mckenzie’s, as well as in New York City at Studio Four NYC, and can been seen in person, in the showroom, so plan a visit soon, so you may experience these fabulous new textiles in person! If you’re not able to make a visit to see these fabrics up close and personal, check out the steve mckenzie’s website, where the full collection is available as well.

Read below to learn more about Garden Bouquet and the inspiration behind this lovely assortment of fabrics, which have been in the works for the past year…

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For his latest fabric collection, Steve McKenzie reaches back to his first glimpse, gained as a child, into the world of interior design and recalls the English Garden Chintz, used in spaces by Sister Parish, David Hicks and Mario Buatta.

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The Maison Valentino Spring/Summer 2015 runway show Steve enjoyed last year offered the needed spark to turn to his love of floral patterns into inspiration for his next fabric collection.

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Looking to photographs of roses Steve took in his then garden, he began painting those homegrown roses in watercolor and worked to translate those artworks into patterns combined with hand-drawn French stripes.

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With that, the Garden Bouquet collection was conceived.

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Printed on Cotton Sateen, Garden Bouquet is McKenzie’s interpretation of the Chintz of yesterday, transformed into a modern palette for today’s homes and lifestyles.

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And there you have it – Garden Bouquet by Steve McKenzie! These fabrics have added such a fantastic breath of fresh air to our current offering, and they’re even more stunning in person.

We hope to see you in the showroom soon – or if you find yourself in New York City, visit our friends at Studio Four NYC – and take a peek at these for yourself!

More than just suits… Dress for Success Atlanta

We’ve recently been introduced to our local Atlanta affiliate of the Dress for Success organization and were so touched by a presentation by Sandy Johnson, a Dress for Success Atlanta Senior Staff Member, at a West Midtown Business Alliance meeting, we had to share a bit about her and this fantastic organization with you!

And please keep an eye out for information on a future event we’re working on with Dress for Success Atlanta – it’ll be a great opportunity to sip, shop and support at the same time!

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The mission of Dress for Success Atlanta is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. 

Dress for Success Atlanta, formerly Working Wardrobe, was founded in 1997 by Deborah Wolf. Ms. Wolf created the organization after seeing numerous highly-skilled applicants through her medical staffing agency who could not be placed in professional positions because they did not have appropriate interview attire. She urged her friends and colleagues to help her with donations of gently-used suits and accessories and to volunteer as Personal Shoppers to assist clients in finding just the right outfit for an interview. Ms. Wolf secured donated space from the Apparel Mart. Until 1999, Dress for Success Atlanta was an all-volunteer organization.

Sandy Johnson, Dress for Success Atlanta Senior Staff Member
Sandy Johnson, Dress for Success Atlanta Senior Staff Member

In listening to Sandy’s West Midtown Business Alliance presentation and speaking with her since then, we’ve learned that Dress for Success Atlanta really is so much more than providing work appropriate clothes for women looking to enter/reenter the job force. It’s all about preparing them to ace an interview, give them the confidence they need to succeed, as well as the resources they’ll require before and after getting a job to maintain the momentum they’ve built up throughout the process.

May 2015 Going Places Network Graduates
May 2015 Going Places Network Graduates

One of the most interesting components – and one that’s proven especially valuable to the Dress for Success Atlanta participants – is their “Going Places Network,” which is a 6-10 week program, sponsored by WalMart, where women who are un-or-under-employed work to better themselves to become more desirable job candidates. Through this program, mock interviews are held, resume writing classes take place and general interview preparedness processes are put into place.

Through all of the great work Sandy, and the Dress for Success Atlanta team (comprised mostly of volunteers) do, they boast a 70% success rare for hires within 60 days of program completion! That’s amazing. And the soft skills these women work on, such as eye contact, self expression and response development, shouldn’t be taken lightly. These will be skills bound to these women for the rest of their lives, bettering them not just for immediate job placement, but also advancement over time.

A Healthy Cooking Demo at a Pro-Woman's Group Meeting
A Healthy Cooking Demo at a Pro-Woman’s Group Weekly Meeting

Dress for Success Atlanta also hosts a Pro-Women’s Group, who meet on a monthly basis to encourage job retention and advancement. It offers participants an invaluable network of other professional women who truly understand them, and can provide help and support on a personal level, beyond pure professional networking. The 70 long-time members of this group gather together to discuss anything from life balance to financial literacy.

Sandy shared that each time a woman puts on a suit for the first time, their reaction is priceless. Usually it’s a “WOW!” combined with sharper posture and overall more positive demeanor – and these are immediate results!

We’re so looking forward to working with Sandy and Dress for Success Atlanta, and if you’re interested in giving back to this great organization, check out their “Get Involved” webpage for more info and be sure to keep a lookout for info regarding a future event at the steve mckenzie’s showroom!

Library Friday – Giorgio Morandi: The Art of Silence

Last month, we asked steve mckenzie’s team member, Xavier Neuner, to share his thoughts on a Library Friday post, featuring “Rex Ray, Art + Design.” It was such a hit, we’ve asked him once again to select a book and share his insights about it with us. Lucky for us all, he agreed and chose “Giorgio Morandi: The Art of Silence” as this pick for Library Friday.

Xavier Neuner
Xavier Neuner

As you may remember from a previous Library Friday post, Steve has been an appreciator of Morandi and his work for quite some time. What a coincidence Xavier would be just as moved by an artist, as to select a book on their life and work for a feature post here?! We knew we liked Xavier for some reason…

Without further delay, we give you his thoughts on “Giorgio Morandi: The Art of Silence:”

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My pick for this Library Friday is “Giorgio Morandi: The Art of Silence.”

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Giorgio Morandi

Morandi was an Italian painter and printmaker who specialized in still life. His landscapes are what captivated me even before I found the book in the library.

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While in art school, I took a painting class and we had to recreate a master copy.  I chose one of his landscapes based on his use of soft tones and thin layers that portray an incredible texture. My mother still has that painting hanging in her home to this day.

What a fantastic story – and, of course, an excellent selection for this Library Friday – thank you Xavier!

Please give Xavier a big hello next time you’re in the steve mckenzie’s showroom, he’s such a great addition to our team and we’re so glad to be working with him!

This Saturday, we’re cultivating creativity with Cotton + Quill and Dunes and Duchess!

Saturday night, you’re invited to steve mckenzie’s showroom to meet and greet with the creative founders of three luxury home brands:

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Mary Catherine Folmar of Cotton + Quill

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Stacy Kunstel of Dunes and Duchess

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And our own namesake, Steve McKenzie

We’ve been collaborating with these two design mavens recently, and are thrilled to have been able to add their collections to our offering at steve mckenzie’s!

As we’ve been cultivating our partnership with Cotton + Quill and Dunes and Duchess, we’ve recognized a real synergy between our brands and product offerings, and are so excited to take this opportunity to share how we’re able to work with the industry to bring our unique stylings together.

Textiles from Cotton + Quill, steve mckenzie's fabric collections, pieces by Dunes & Duchess
Textiles from Cotton + Quill, steve mckenzie’s fabric collections, pieces by Dunes & Duchess

This Saturday’s meet and greet will take place from 5-8PM at the steve mckenzie’s showroom and summer-themed drinks and bites will be provided.

We’re looking forward to this fun networking event. If you’d like any additional information, please feel free to reach out to the team at steve mckenzie’s. If you’re unable to make it out Saturday evening, be sure to stop into the showroom soon, and take in all of the great new offerings and fabulous looks we can create with Cotton + Quill and Dunes and Duchess!

We’re Celebrating July 4th!

To one and all, we wish you a fabulous Independence Day!

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We hope you’re enjoying the 4th of July holiday with family, friends, and maybe even a few fireworks.

steve mckenzie’s will be closed today, in honor of the national holiday, but we will be back open Monday with our regular hours.

This Month, Life’s a Picnic

July is National Picnic Month! And for us, we need no other excuse to bring a meal outside… Even if it’s just dining al fresco on the patio, enjoying a meal in the fresh air can’t be beat.

If you do need another excuse to make the most of this month’s holiday, we give you the perfect picnic tote by the fine folks behind The Mason Shaker:

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As you can see, this is not your average picnic basket.

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The Mason Shaker picnic tote is a beautifully proportioned canvas tote bag featuring genuine leather details – with a leather strap ideal for cross-body wear. Forget the big, bulky basket and bring along this stylish alternative. People will be stopping you in your tracks on your way to the park, asking about this smart travel picnic solution!

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If you know someone who’d appreciate this stylish picnic tote, consider gifting them with The Mason Shaker Picnic Gift Set, which includes the tote, their classic mason jar shaker, muddler, jigger, ball glasses and napkins.

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No matter what, Mason Shaker’s picnic tote is the must-have accessory for National Picnic Month and steve mckenzie’s has you covered! If you’re interested in getting one for yourself and/or a picnic-appreciating friend or family member, contact our team today. And don’t forget we gift wrap and ship!

As a little added bonus in celebration of National Picnic Month, here’s a fantastic gallery of picnic recipes from our friends at Country Living – yum!

Happy National Picnic Month to all, we’ll see you outside… Bon appetit!