While you’re planning your wedding, don’t forget—you’re planning a life too! That’s where your registry comes in handy. These essentials are all excellent choices, helping out with the heavy lifting on holidays and birthdays, at dinner parties with friends, and even on random Tuesdays. They’ll always be there to beautify the home and life you’re building with your partner. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

1. Flower Market Practical Pitcher Whether you fill it with lemonade or fresh cut flowers, you’ll find plenty of ways to use this gorgeous vessel.

2. Flower Market Rolling Pin Roll out dough in style with this beautiful kitchen tool. It’s so pretty that you’ll want to leave it out on display.

3. Tango Trifle Bowl Filled with fresh produce or your world famous Fourth of July dessert, this delicate glass serving dish makes every day feel special.

4. Courtly Check Enamel 7 Cup Measuring Cup Forget having to refill your measuring cup to get the full amount. This version holds an impressive seven cups!

5. Cookie Jar with Courtly Check Enamel Lid Stock this countertop stunner with sweets or treats for your favorite furry friend.

6. Blooming Wine Glass You’ll never get sick of sipping out of this delicate stemware.

7. Parchment Check Fluted Cake Stand Elevate a basic cake! The ceramic base with its ruffled edge makes any sweet a standout.

8. Piccadilly Beverage Hostess For the hostess with the mostess. Mix up one group drink or cocktail and your guests can serve themselves.

9. Flower Market Small, Medium, & Large Canisters – Black Store all of your countertop essentials inside these floral containers.

10. Courtly Check Enamel Roasting Pan with Rack A beautiful way to roast the bird and a handy rack that sits right inside.

Developing your skills in the kitchen can be a process but you learn so much by diving in! Starting out with simple recipes and graduating to more complex dishes takes time and a variety of pro-advice gleaned from cookbooks.

But how many times have you been elbow deep in flour only to realize that you’ve stumbled across a cooking term you’ve never heard of? No worries, we’ve compiled a list for you to hang on your fridge for next time you’re in a pinch. Here are some of the essentials:

AL DENTE:
An Italian term used to describe pasta that isn’t overly mushy. It’s cooked until it offers a little resistance when you bite into it.

BLANCH: Perfect for veggies, it’s when food is placed in boiling water and cooked slightly so it still has some bite to it.

MISE EN PLACE: Turns out this is just a fancy way to tell you to prep all of your ingredients before you start cooking. Pre-measure spices, cut up veggies, and pour liquids; it will make it easier than having to stop mid-recipe.

ROUX: A mixture of flour and fat used to thicken sauces.

CLARIFY: Commonly mentioned when talking about butter. It separates and removes solids from a liquid. Turning it clear.

DEGLAZE: 
Add liquid to a pan in which food has been sautéed or roasted and scrape up all little bits on the pan. The small bits of meat and juices add flavor to the liquid so you can use it as a sauce or gravy.

EMULSIFY: Combining two liquids—like oil and vinegar—that normally won’t bond together. Add in the oil slowly and whisk it with the vinegar to combine; allowing the two to combine for at least a short time.

DICE: 
When you cut food into small cubes that are the same size and shape.

DREDGE: To cover with flour or another flour-like substance.

FOLD:
Combining a fluffy food like whipped cream in with another substance without losing the lightness. Mix down to the bottom of the bowl then lift up and over until everything is combined.

GRATIN:
Yum! An oven-baked dish on which a golden crust made of breadcrumbs, cheese, or a creamy sauce forms. Think about the top of a bubbly mac n’ cheese or scalloped potatoes to get the right idea.

JULIENNE:
A cutting technique where you slice produce into long, thin strips.

MEUNIERE:
Food (typically meat) that is dredged with flour and sautéed in butter.

TRUSS:
To secure chicken or turkey with string or skewers so it holds its shape.

CASSERBOLE: A MacKenzie-Childs original! It’s part casserole dish part rounded bowl and is 100 percent awesome.

SOUR MILK: When you add an acid like lemon juice or vinegar to milk, it can be used in place of buttermilk for some recipes.

LEVAIN: A French term for a mixture of flour and water that is colonized by yeasts and bacteria and is used in bread making.

What words would you add to the list?

Shop the Post: Courtly Check Enamel 3 Qt. Saute Pan/Courtly Check Enamel 7 Cup Measuring Cup/ Courtly Check Enamel Pinch Bowl/Courtly Check Enamel Everyday Bowl-Extra Large/ Kitchen Garden Dish Towels-Set of Three/ Molly Creamer

 
Since Memorial Day weekend is basically the unofficial start of the summer season, we’re sure you’ve got plenty to toast to this weekend. Warm weather, a three-day weekend, or having family by for a barbecue—no matter the occasion, if you’re searching for a drink to fill our gorgeous Blooming Wine Glasses, here’s an idea. Try our strawberry lemonade cocktail or make it a mocktail instead. The perfect drink for summer, it’s refreshing and not too sweet. Here’s how to make it yourself:

Ingredients

1 container of fresh strawberries
1/2 gallon of fresh lemonade
2 cups of ice
3 oz. of vodka (completely optional)
1. Start with a base of fresh lemonade. So make your grandma’s recipe or buy your favorite brand. The higher quality the lemonade, the tastier the final product. Same with the strawberries. The riper, the better!
2. Fill a blender halfway with fresh strawberries. Add in two cups of ice and the vodka. Fill the blender with lemonade so that these ingredients are completely covered.
3. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
4. Pour generous servings into the wine glasses, and garnish with a slice of lemon and a slice of strawberry.

5. Enjoy!

Cheers to the summer season! If you need us, we’ll be lounging dockside all weekend long and enjoying a nice little respite from work.


So you’ve been gifted or treated yourself to one of our gorgeous tea kettles, but now what? Obviously use it to make tea to your heart’s content but admit it, you’re a little nervous on how to keep that stovetop stunner in tiptop shape. But really, less is more when it comes to caring for this item. See below for our cleaning tips:

While the surface is strong and durable, and meets the highest US standards of food safety, these pieces aren’t indestructible. So obviously take care when using or storing, because scratches, chips, and dents can happen if you’re not careful.

Daily care: Wash using a nonabrasive dish soap and soft sponge, and then dry immediately. This will extend the life of the finish.

In case of rust: If you leave water sitting in the tea kettle rust stains or mineral deposits can form. To remove them, fill the kettle with water, add two tablespoons of baking soda, and the juice of a half of a lemon. Boil four to five minutes, rinse and dry.

Marks from silverware or to remove burnt on food: Apply a paste of baking soda and water and rub gently to remove marks. To remove burnt-on food, loosen with the same solution, then use a nylon or wooden scraper to remove the rest.

Other tips you might find helpful:

 Never boil tea kettles dry, it can damage the finish.

Allow the kettle to cool before refilling.


Nothing says spring quite like the bright green of fresh peas. We’re growing Sugar Ann snap peas on the farm this year…if we can get the deer to leave it alone! Normally an add-in to a main dish, make this flavorful veggie a star instead. Sautéed with garlic and olive oil then spread onto a piece of bread, when you top it with meats and cheese it’s a quick, complete meal that will satisfy for lunch but can still look pretty enough for entertaining.

Ingredients
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup of water
3 garlic clove – quartered
1 T. olive oil + more for bread
pinch of table salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 loaf fresh bread – sliced
Prosciutto
Fresh mozzarella
Balsamic glaze

1. In a medium pan, combine garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and cook the garlic until it’s softened and fragrant. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the peas and let them simmer until peas are tender, about four minutes.

2. Strain peas, while reserving the cooking liquid. Add cooked peas to a food processor. Pulse peas adding half of the reserved liquid until a semi-smooth paste forms. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

3. Meanwhile, drizzle bread with olive oil and broil until crisp and browned around the edges. Spread smashed peas over hot, toasted bread. Add on a slice of prosciutto and fresh mozzarella or for a vegetarian option add on some heirloom tomatoes. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and lightly drizzle with a balsamic glaze.

This recipe is the perfect toast to spring! Pun intended.

Mom we love you! We owe moms all the presents and all the hugs for always being there—big and little moments are her specialty after all. So show her how much you love her by picking up something as special as she is. Just in case you’re short on time we’ve rounded-up a few of our favorite products that would make for a perfect Mother’s Day gift (or two). Spoil her on her special day!

1. Morning Glory Gardening Tool Set Plant, dig, and prune with the prettiest gear you can get. Despite their flowery disposition they’re made with stainless steel and are tough enough to get dirty in your garden. Mom will dig it!

2. Summer Scented Candle Bring the smell of beach breezes indoors. The soy-blend candle has an impressive 60 hour burn time and comes poured in a reusable Courtly Check container.

3. & 4. Flower Market Casserbole- Large/ Small Pretty enough to leave out on the stovetop—even when you’re not cooking. Cookware this attractive will encourage Mom to whip up all of her best dishes. It’s really the gift that keeps on giving.

5. Flower Market 3-Quart Tea Kettle Add a little something special to your morning routine. This bubbling beauty is one of our largest kettles so you can make tea or French pressed coffee for a crowd.

6. Portobello Tray This sturdy iron tray with a copper patina is perfect for breakfast in bed, entertaining, or as a catch-all for all kinds of accessories. You’ll find uses for it in any and every room in your home.

7. Parchment Check Bangle Watch Time for some fun when it comes to your time piece. Just because it’s practical doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty. The fresh looking color palette works all year long, but feels especially fresh in spring and summer.

8. Courtly Check Enamel Pot DIY your own bouquet and stick it in this sweet vessel. Once the flowers fade your mom can repurpose the pot for herbs or bulbs.

9. Berry Blue Tote With comfy straps and plenty of room to stash all of her essentials this bag will be her go-to on all of her adventures. The bright blue color and tassel makes it feel all the more festive. The possibilities are endless!

Bountiful beds full of flowers and lots of veggies—spring, summer, and fall on the farm are each a thing of beauty. Responsible for all of this goodness is Corinne Bowman, the estate manager at MacKenzie-Childs. Approachable and equal parts knowledgeable and self-deprecating, no one can make you feel like you can garden more than Corinne.

Her best advice? “You’ve just got to jump in and do it. This wasn’t my college major, but it was my summer job when I was sixteen, and I’ve been here ever since,” says Corinne. “Each year you learn new things and trust me, there will be trial and error, but you’ve got to celebrate the wins too!” Here are her low-key and smart tips to set you up for success this planting season.

Pay attention to your packets. Your seed packet that is. They will tell you so much about what you’re getting ready to plant. Some terms to be on the lookout for?
Direct sow: you’re going to plant your seeds right into the ground.
Transplant: you’ll start seedlings indoors first and then transplant them into the ground, place two seeds in each cell.
Zones: Check what zone you live in, even if you’re an experienced gardener. They could have changed over the years because of the climate variations we’re seeing now.

More isn’t always better. For direct seeds or even seedlings, you’re going to have to choose the strongest plant and get rid of the weaklings. We know, not easy, since you may just be happy to see growth. If you don’t thin out the seedlings though, you run the risk of losing them all!

1, 2, or 3 seeds? How do you know? You’re typically going to want to go with two or three but always check your seed packet because it varies plant to plant.

Prep work makes it happen. By starting with prepped soil you’re setting yourself up for gardening success. Just don’t skip weeding! At Mackenzie-Childs we don’t fertilize our gardens, but we do mix in a mushroom compost at the beginning before planting.

Watch those weeds. Stay on top of your weeds and don’t ever let them go to seed; they’ll multiple quicker than you can say veggies.

Earthworms are a good omen. Know your soil. Is there clay in it? You can tell because it will stick together. Or is your soil a darker, richer color? Earthworms are a great way to tell if the soil is nutrient dense and if it will be ideal for your plants. We bet you’ve never been this excited to see bugs.

Get your hands dirty! Yikes! Who knew too much of a good thing would be bad, in this case too much water. Many times you can’t bring a plant back from overwatering. So instead of just sticking to schedule, check your soil by sticking your finger into it. If it feels moist down deep near the roots, then there is no need to water.

Clever container tips. Don’t forget to provide drainage in your potted plants. Either check that they have a hole in the bottom for water to escape or place small rocks in the bottom of the container to keep the roots from being soaked in water. And while you might love the look of oversized containers, here’s a trick to make them lighter. Place a smaller pot upside down inside of your planter to take up space, then put dirt and your plants on top. That way it doesn’t need to be completely filled with dirt, which can take some muscle to move around.

We hope you’re feeling a little more knowledgeable now. Get out there and get your hands dirty!

Shop the Post: Courtly Check Herb Pots / Courtly Check Enamel Pot / Flower Market Flower Pot-Large /  Flower Market Pot-White / Morning Glory Gardening Tool Set

Do you feel that warmth in the air? Spring is here and with it comes the possibility and renewal that always accompanies a brand new season. In that spirit of change, we’d like to introduce you to our blog: From the Farm.

It’s a peek behind the scenes of our beautiful Aurora campus as well as what’s going on in our kitchens, homes, minds, and hearts each week. We’re excited to talk about food and recipes, different ways to use your favorite MacKenzie-Childs products, entertaining, home decor, gift giving, and gardening. We can’t wait to offer you smart tips along with gorgeous images that you can’t wait to look at too. Then it’s up to you to try them out, and don’t forget to share! Pin, tweet, Facebook or Instagram your favorites.

But really this is all about you! Yes, you! We want to hear your feedback and make sure we’re giving you everything (and more) that you’re looking for. So if you have questions you’d like for us to address, topics you want to see covered, or any suggestions at all, please reach out to us at blog@mackenzie-childs.com and let us know. We can’t wait to hear from you. Check back in next week for our first post. Spoiler alert: It will set you up for gardening success this summer!

And if you want to be the first to know when we publish new posts? Sign up for email updates!

 

Our inspiration for the new Honeycomb Tables came directly from the amazing honeybees at our farm in Aurora. Each table is completely made by hand in the Philippines and then further embellished in our New York studios with three-dimensional brass bees and handmade ceramic feet.

My trip to the Philippines really brought this product to life, especially after seeing the beautiful tabletops being made for us by a small group of artisans in Cebu. The honeycomb pattern on each top is a hand-applied marquetry made from maple, khaya, and black-dyed poplar veneers. And don’t forget the bee! Each top is jeweled with one beautiful bee made from tiny pieces of capiz shell, which is indigenous to this area of the world.

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Honeycomb veneer in maple with marquetry tools.

I watched one of the artisans carefully select a piece of shell no bigger than a ladybug and painstakingly place it into the veneer bee framework, as though putting together an incredibly intricate jigsaw puzzle. The inlay for each bee takes at least an hour to create, as each tiny piece is carefully placed into the pattern.

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Delicate, tiny shell pieces for the bee inlay.

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Upholstered capiz bee sample that production follows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the bee is completed, it’s then carefully laid into the top, and gently polished by hand to reveal the luminescence and soft colors that are natural to the capiz shells.

bee

Capiz bee inlay before final polishing.

It’s difficult to explain just how much care goes into each and every table. But what strikes me most is all of the wonderful friendships we’ve made here on the other side of the world. I want to celebrate these partnerships, which feel like natural extensions of our own studio in Aurora. The skill and artistry we have discovered here and in other small pockets around the globe have allowed us to do things far beyond our capabilities in Aurora, bringing to life our vision for many new designs. It’s simply amazing to me.

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Artisan applying capiz bee inlay, one tiny piece at a time.

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This process takes such concentration and patience!

 

 

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Our Honeycomb Round Coffee Table with all its embellishments!

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“Paris is always a good idea.” I’ve referenced this quote before but don’t think I’ve ever expressed why I adore this line so much. Oh Sabrina, you took your girlish heartbreak and disappointments and laid them at the feet of the great City of Lights; the charm, the elegance, and the passion for style transformed you. Audrey Hepburn’s brilliant ingenue Sabrina absorbs the essence of this great city and emerges from her chrysalis bright, elegant and so very perfectly stylish. Every time I get to go there, I always hope a little of that magic comes home with me.

 

Good morning Paris!

Good morning Paris!

vintage bead shop in Marche aux puces

Vintage bead shop in Marché aux Puces

antique bookstore in the 1st Arrondissement

Antique bookstore in the 1st Arrondissement

incredible table lamps made from found tabletop and kitchen pieces

Incredible table lamps made from found tabletop and kitchen pieces

Vive la France!

Vive la France!

place de la Madeleine agaisnt a blue sky

Place de la Madeleine against a blue sky

 

Best tea in th world- Mariage Freres

Best tea in the world- Mariage Frères

street sweets!

Street Sweets!

 

antique store in Marche aux puces

Antique store in Marché aux Puces

Place Vendome

Place Vendôme

 adorable shop owner!

Window Shopping

Very favorite restaurant in Paris near 'La Tour Eiffel

Very favorite restaurant in Paris near ‘La Tour Eiffel

Ladurée Macarons- too good to be true!

Ladurée Macarons- too good to be true!

 

 

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