Grab me my gun. The best magazine you’re not reading.

I’ve always felt like I lived in the wrong part of the country and born in the wrong time period. I really should have been a southern belle in the 1950’s. Maybe I’m pulling a Shirley MacClaine and really was??? Spooky… or maybe it’s just because of my roots I feel so drawn to the south. My Grandmother was born and bred in Texas. Her little sister is even named Dixie. Seriously.  So my grandmothers Southern blood coupled with spending summers with an aunt in Virginia it’s made me a total wannabe debutante. That is why this magazine has replaced Martha Stewart Living as my monthly must have.

My mom lives in North Carolina during the week for work and commutes back to Minnesota on the weekends. On one of these trips last summer she grabbed an issue in the airport and brought it home for me knowing full well, it was my magazine soul mate. Oh, don’t y’all have magazine soul mates too? (See what I did there?)

The photography is  breathtaking and the subjects covered are true Southern Americana.

Isn’t this photo haunting and beautiful at the same time?

The magazine not only features sporting and food,  but it also highlights Southern musicians

The Avett Brothers.

The magazine was launched by Rebecca Wesson Darwin in 2007. Ms. Darwin envisioned a magazine about the South, the sporting life and the land. She had recently moved back to Charleston, South Carolina following a successful publishing career in NYC, and in hindsight, launching a lifestyle magazine in the beginning of the recession was probably not the smartest choice, but she steered them through it and the magazine is thriving.

The magazine also highlights true Southern fashion.

The recipes and food photography is incredible. Traditional southern barbeque with coleslaw and deep fried Okra. Doesn’t get more Southern than that.

Oh wait it does. Pimento cheese spread!

They also offer true southern cocktail recipes like the 610 Magnolia 

1 large and uneven slice of lemon peel
1 rough-cut brown 
    sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash Regan’s Orange 
Bitters No. 6
No more than 1 oz. branch water (or bottled water)
2 large ice cubes
2 oz. Van Winkle Special Reserve 12-year bourbon
Small triangle of orange slice for garnish

Add the lemon peel, sugar cube, and both bitters into the bottom of an old-fashioned glass. Using a wooden muddler, begin to muddle the ingredients firmly but not violently in the bottom of the glass, working the muddler in a circle. The tapered shape of the glass allows you to perform this task with ease.

Add the water, and continue to muddle for a bit longer. Add the ice and then the bourbon. Stir with a spoon. Float the thinly sliced orange on top of the drink (not wedged onto the side of the glass), and serve.
I also love that the magazine prominently features animals.

As their masthead says, it truly is the Soul of the South.

With that, I’ll leave you with this truly Southern recipe from one of their recent issues.

Arnold Palmer Cake

From Momufuku Milk Bar
Makes a 6″ Cake, Serves 6 to 8

1 Lemon Tea Cake
1/4 cup Bitter Tea Soak
1 cup Tea Jelly
1 3/4 cups Lemon Mascarpone
2/3 cup Almond-Tea-Crunch

8 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
9 bags Lipton black tea leaves
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream the butter and granulated sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. After 2 or 3 minutes on medium-high, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and egg yolks one by one until they disappear into the butter and sugar.

Scrape down the sides again and turn the mixer to low speed. Stream in the oil, buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Mix on medium until everything is homogenous and fluffy—about 5 minutes.

Combine the flour, tea leaves, baking powder, and salt in a separate mixing bowl. With the mixer running on low, incorporate the dry ingredients into your main bowl. You don’t want to overmix the cake; just mix until the dry ingredients disappear (45 seconds or so).

Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat. Spread the cake batter on the pan and give it a little jiggle to even things out. Bake for about 30 minutes, then give it a gentle poke. You’re looking for it to bounce back and for the cake to have pulled back from the edges a bit.

(makes a little more than you need)
2 1/4 cups water
8 bags Lipton black tea
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup instant Lipton unsweetened iced-tea powder
1/2 tsp. pectin NH
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove it from the heat and add the tea bags. Let the bags steep for 5 minutes, or until the tea is very bitter. Discard the tea bags and store the bitter tea soak in an airtight container.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, pectin, and tea powder until thoroughly combined. Over high heat, slowly whisk in 3 cups of bitter tea soak and the lemon juice, and bring to a full rolling boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least 2 minutes. This activates the pectin and will turn the tea and lemon into a beautiful jelly. Transfer the jelly to an appropriate container and refrigerate. Once set, the jelly will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Hotel Crashing: Viceroy – Palm Springs Edition

Whenever I head to Palm Springs, The Viceroy is the place I always have to visit.

Originally opened in 1933 as a boutique hotel, the property was completely redesigned in 2001 by the Grande Dame of Design herself, Kelly Wearstler. (Her husband is the CEO of the Viceroy Hotel Group)  The hotel consists of 67 guest rooms, including studios, suites and private villas. All rooms and bungalows feature a classic Hollywood regency style using black and white with punches of neon yellow.

The lobby

A bungalow

The entrance to their beautiful spa, Estelle.

Outdoor massages under the gazebo!

The property has three large pools. This one is viewable from the hotel rooms. Look at that yellow and white awning stripe fabric, how Troop Beverly Hills.

“Never go to Reno for a divorce, girls. The California community property laws cannot be beat.”

God, I love that movie.

Oh, hello there Monsieur.

These white greyhound statues are the signature item of the hotel. They’re everywhere.

This is the entrance to their meeting space. Yes, that is astro turf. I may or may not have got down on all fours to sniff it and make sure.

The interior is decorated with cool gray walls, wainscoting, (love that mirror inset idea) white chiavari chairs, and chrome accents.

A closer look at one of the glass chandeliers. I’m pretty sure that plaster sunburst detailing is original to the building.

Had to get a quick shot of the roman shades on the doors. I love a hint of greek key.

The entrance to a bungalow. Please ignore the sunspot. Bad photographer! Bad! Instead note the coral doors (GOD, I love that color) the chrome hardware, and the striped awnings.

The view when you step inside. While we’re on the topic of things I love, here’s another, a good kick plate. They transform any door.

The ample living room

A closer look at the glass fireplace. I adore this style of gas fireplace. You simply turn that knob on the left wall, and then hold a match over the glass shards, and it instantly lights. Much more aesthetically pleasing than those faux log monstrosities.

I find it so cool that they selected such a vibrant wallpaper and continued it through to the ceiling. It defines the space and creates a comforting feeling. Definitely a pro’s trick you can steal for your home.

The kitchenette was the only let down for me. It looks like something you’d find in a Queens fourth floor walk-up. I understand wanting to maintain the integrity of the original 1933 space… but new counters, a modern sink, and appliances would have gone a looong way.

The bathroom. Another decorator trick you can adapt for home. If you have a standard tub/shower combo, give it drama by raising up the curtain bar ( you can go all the way to the ceiling) and using two curtains with tie backs. Then use a fabric shower liner. Always a FABRIC liner. There is nothing tackier than a plastic shower curtain.  I’d rather watch you eat Colby cheese on a chicken in a biscuit cracker than see a plastic shower curtain in your home. Seriously.

Here’s something I don’t find tacky. A neatly stocked lucite shower caddy.

Now for the pièce de résistance, a dramatic bedroom.

Floor to ceiling drapes, an almost all white palate, greek key, and a stylish armoire…Swoon.

Also, swoon-worthy was their restaurant Citrone.

They have a mix of indoor and outdoor dining spaces.

A table all set up for something fabulous. How fun would it be to have a bridal shower here? Or a bachelorette weekend:)

A view into the delightful bar

So bright and chic. It reminds me of something that would be on the Cote de Azure.

I’ll close this post with another gratuitous pool shot.

Hope you enjoyed this addition of Hotel Crashing! Tomorrow, I’ll be dissecting the newest edition of Elle Decor. There are some hits and some BIG misses… Also, I’ll have a look at the new Lily Pulitzer furniture line and a DIY Union Jack dresser. Here’s a teaser…

Stay tuned!