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it is hard to put into words all of the incredible beauty & inspiration that was tucked into a few precious days at the SEA ISLAND RESORT in GEORGIA – from the stunning FLORALS by the insanely talented AMY OSABA to the stunning FASHION & SET styling by the ever gracious GINNY BRANCH to the truck load of treasure from BLUE EYED YONDER – it was literally my DREAMS coming to life before my eyes….

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the attendees were embraced by SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY that embraced us at every turn at SEA ISLAND RESORT – they learned & created side by side with each other & with ME – they finger painted with WAX from incredible artist, encaustics master & book maker LEAH MACDONALD

elizabeth messina_a lovely workshop_instagram0003they sat with MARTHA STEWART WEDDINGS photo editor, SHIRA SAVADA & soaked up her insights on publishing & got a bit of her fantastic sense of humor along the way…they enjoyed treasures from BENEFIT COSMETICS, WILEY VANETINE, ARTIFACT UPRISING, VELVET RAPTOR, MONKEYS ALWAYS LOOK, CUPCAKE VINEYARDS, CACAO, FUJI FILM, PRETTY PLUM SUGAR, TIBI, RUCHE, YOU SMELL all tucked into beautiful custom made totes by the one & only WEDDING CHICKS – & our staff wore handmade aprons by ICE MILK APRONS

elizabeth messina_a lovely workshop_instagram0004Tthey photographed stunning fashion by CLAIRE PETTIBONE, TWIGS & HONEY, CHELSEA ROSE BRIDAL, THE SENTIMENTALIST, and IVY & ASTER which hung beautifully from the frames of five stunning models KAREN, SARAH, JESSICA, GINA & ANNA…whose beautiful hair & makeup were carefully tended to by ERIN SKIPLEY & CLAUDIA MEJERLE

elizabeth messina_a lovely workshop_instagram0005then we dined on scrumptious SEA ISLAND RESORT meals while lovely LA TAVOLA linens covered the tables – as a handmade chalkbroard sign by SOUTHERN SPROUT sat beside us & LOVE LETTERS & such were artfully written by incredible calligrapher MAYBELLE -we laughed, we cried – it was everything i LOVE about collaboration – the end result was much bigger than all of the parts –

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i think the thing that truly touched my heart the most was the incredible group of people that came to A LOVELY WORKSHOP to learn from me & my fantastic group of collaborators…all of the attendees brought something special to our group…they are all ARTISTS & it was a pleasure to share time with each & every one of them –

elizabeth messina_a lovely workshop_instagram0007please take a moment & explore the creative work &
websites of the 2013 LOVELY WORKSHOP attendees


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as a working mother i am constantly juggling
meeting deadlines & keeping my little ones healthy
FOOD TO LOVE has me feeling like i can do it


i am so excited to share that my dear friend RACHELLE SCHWARTZ of WILEY VALENTINE has created a wonderful healthy food WORKSHOP –  The FOOD TO LOVE Workshop is an afternoon of hands-on demonstrations, shared knowledge of healthy eating habits, and an open forum for discussion and questions. They seek to empower parents with the importance of feeding their families good, healthy, homemade, organic foods. They’ll also cover topics such as using organic and natural household products and how to make it fun for the whole family! The FOOD TO LOVE workshop cost only $20 & includes lunch – space is limited, so if you are interested you can pre-order tickets HERE….i LOVE FOOD TO LOVE


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love this time of year…there is so
much to be thankful for…xoxo

lovely styling by MERRYL BROWN EVENTS & scrumptious food created by VALERIE RICE of EAT DRINK GARDEN & the most delicious hand made organic chocolates by SWEET NUIT (i am so in love with these) & bakes good by the very talented ELIZABETH COLLING (formally the food editor/stylist for MARTHA STEWART) & beautiful florals by KATE HOLT of FLOWERWILD & the stunning location is THE VILLA AT SUNSTONE VINEYARDS – as i said so much to be thankful for – xoxoxo

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you are gonna love this fabulous &
easy classic butter roasted turkey recipe

soooo easy…a child can do it…seriously….

first you need fresh ingredients…organic is always best….

and you cannot be afraid to get dirty…that’s part of the fun…

maili’s flavor tip…put butter & sage under the skin….

Classic Butter Roasted Turkey
by Maili Productions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  (But you will reduce the heat to 375 after the first 15 minutes)

Remove plastic from turkey in the sink.  Remove the neck and all organs from inside the turkey cavity.  (You will use the neck and neck skin for the turkey broth you will use to make gravy.)  Rinse the turkey and pat it dry.

Place the turkey in the roasting pan.  Slide your hands between the skin and the breast in order to separate it so you can put large clumps of unsalted butter under the skin.  Place at least three or four clumps on each side.  Then place whole sage leaves under the skin.  (You will not be able to see the sage leaves well when the butter is firm and in there, but when the turkey is roasted they will show through beautifully.

Coat the entire outside skin of the turkey with olive oil and generously coat with kosher salt.  Leave cavity empty and do not stuff so the heat can get inside the turkey and it can cook more quickly.  Also, my personal tip is to untruss the turkey and leave the legs out so that the hot oven air can cook the turkey more quickly.  (I’m not a fan of trussing in chickens or turkeys)

Cook the turkey at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 375 (or 350 for smaller ovens).  Every 30 minutes while the turkey is cooking, get a stick of butter and rub it all over the top off the turkey.  Cook for 2 hours for a 15 pound bird and under.  Cook for 2 and a half hours for a 16-20 pound bird and higher.  If the turkey browns too quickly on top, tent it with aluminum foil.  (You can just lay the foil over the bird, you don’t have to tuck it in or anything like that.)

Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving it.  You can also cover it with foil for up to an hour to keep it warm and then carve it.  Or keep it in the oven on very low temperature 200-225 covered with foil if it is finished before you need to serve it.

Moist and Delicious!  And the leg meat is darker and a bit pink by nature so don’t overcook it worrying that you haven’t cooked it long enough.  There is nothing worse than dry overcooked turkey.

And if you like the taste of stuffing inside the bird, just pour turkey broth or chicken broth over your stuffing to mimic that moist taste that comes from cooking it inside the bird.  But you will have a better tasting turkey if you cook it unstuffed.

(adorable child not included)

another tip…drizzle olive oil over the bird & rub it in….

and voila…the yummiest turkey ever…..

the only thing left to do at this point is….

dig in….bon appetite!

for this & more fabulous recipes visit the MAILI FILES….xoxo

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this truly lovely bridal shower is featured in the new issue of
C-MAGAZINE…you simply must pick it up…serious eye candy….

wishing the beautiful bride a wonderful wedding…xoxo



Cake/desserts: Cupcakes – www.cupcakescouturemb.com
Florals: JL Designs – www.jldesignsandevents.com
Stationery: Momental Designs – www.momentaldesigns.com
Scent Station: Kamilyin – www.kamilyin.com
Linens: La Tavola – www.latavolalinen.com
Champagne: Nicholas Feuillatte – http://www.feuillatte.com/
Production: Be Inspired PR – www.beinspiredpr.com
Photos by Elizabeth Messina – www.elizabethmessina.com
Catering by  Cory Martin Events – www.corymartinevents.com

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The secret to this cake is buying the best peaches possible.
I wait every year for Prima Peaches to come in season.  They are
so addictively delicious.  I sauté the peaches in butter and a
little butter and sugar so there are fresh peaches on
top of the cake as well as inside it.

For Peaches:

1 pound sliced peaches (about 3 cups) for inside of cake.
Additional peaches will be needed for top of cake.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

a pinch of kosher salt or sea salt

For the Cake:

1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs, at room temperature

3 cups unbleached white flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups cooked peaches (note:  the three cups of peaches will cook down to about 1 1/2 cups.
Reserve some peaches for the top of the cake or just cook more.  The more peaches the better!
Also remember to reserve the liquid from the cooked peaches for the frosting.

For the Frosting:

2 8-ounce block of cream cheese, softened

2 sticks of unsalted butter

2 1-pound box of powdered sugar

1/4 cup of peach syrup (liquid after you cook the peaches)

For the Shards of Sugar (to garnish additional peaches and to garnish top of cake)

1 cup Sugar

For the peaches: Heat a large skillet to medium high heat.  Add butter and peaches.  Sprinkle with sugar.  (if the peaches are not naturally sweet you may need more sugar.  The peaches I use are very sweet and only need a little sugar)  Add ground ginger and a pinch of salt.  Set aside.

For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour 2 8-inch-round cake pans.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing them completely into the butter mixture after each addition.

In a separate bowl combine all of the remaining dry ingredients:  flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix or sift together well.  Add the dry ingredient mixture alternately with the sour cream.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the cooked peaches into the cake batter.  Divide batter evenly between cake pans.  Baked for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove cakes from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then invert onto cooling racks to finish cooling.

Make the Frosting: It is probably best to make the frosting in two batches unless you have a really big bowl.  So put one block of cream cheese, one stick of butter and one box of cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix until well blended.  Mix in reserved peach syrup from your cooked peaches.  Then make another batch exactly like it.

Make the burnt sugar shards: Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  In a large stainless steel saucepan, place the sugar.  Heat over medium high heat until sugar begins to melt and brown.  Do not stir.  Tilt the pan if you need it to melt more evenly.  As soon as the sugar is a beautiful amber brown color pour it onto the parchment paper lined sheet tray.  Slightly tilt the pan so it spreads around.  It should harden immediately as it cools.   When it is completely hard break it into shards by either hitting it with a mallet or dropping the tray so the sugar cracks.

Frost the cake.  Just before presenting place more sautéed peaches on top of the cake for garnish.  Place some of the sugar shards on top of the peaches.  Garnish around the cake with peach halves and quarters and piles of burnt sugar.

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