TWINK + SIS HALLOWEEN DINNER PARTY

It's spooky season! We were so thrilled to have our Halloween dinner party featured on ELLE Decor. Today, I'm so excited to share even more images and details from our Halloween celebration with you.

THE DESIGN: We wanted to create a stylish and dramatic Halloween dinner party for the adult set. Something fun and festive, without losing the beauty of a sophisticated dinner party. 

The first two key elements of our table were the black flatware and the Jarrahdale (light grey/green) pumpkins. Those two elements were actually the jumping off point for the whole design. 

We purchased the pumpkins from a local pumpkin patch and they really made the table. We knew from the start that we wanted to forgo orange and do something a little more unusual. We were completely in love with these pumpkins and just wanted to cover every inch of the table in them. 

Once we had settled on black and the pumpkins being key aspects, that dictated everything else as we moved forward. We added light grey plates, flowers in deep red/purples as another contrast to the lighter colors, and smokey brown (goblets) to finish it off. We also thought that using classic silver for candlesticks, vases and goblets, added a perfect moody touch. 

We have a rule to always use fresh elements, wherever possible — even at our kids' parties. Whether it be pumpkins, flowers or evergreens, having an abundance of fresh, seasonal items really creates the most beautiful effect.

The plate decorations are actually chestnuts! We really wanted to have the flowers be a bit spooky and unusual. So when we came across these little brown monsters, we knew they would be the perfect unexpected addition to the table.

We loved the glass cloches. We placed some of the black birds, branches and the chestnuts under them. They created a great eerie vibe.

Make the most of your investment: Load up on heirloom pumpkins. Not only do they make great party decor, but they will keep your home festive all the way through Thanksgiving!

THE COCKTAIL: Our signature drink for the evening was “The Darkest Night.” It consisted of fresh muddled blackberries, bourbon, lemon juice and simple syrup, topped off with sparking water. It was like a Halloween soda for grown-ups.

THE DESSERT: The cake was created by Whisk & Whittle. It was a two-tierd (gluten-free) chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. She created the spiders from marzipan and the web from spun sugar.

CREDITS:

Party Concept, Design, Cocktail & Florals: Twink + Sis

Photography: Sarina Cass of Red Anchor Photo

Cake: Whisk and Whittle

Tabletop sourced from: Borrowed Blu

Flatware: Classic Party Rentals

Candles: Yummi Candles

Skull & Blackbirds: Pottery Barn

Pumpkins: Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch

 

SALTED DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING (REFINED SUGAR-FREE)

Lately I have been doing a ton of cooking and baking. Every night I seem to be testing out some new version of my favorite recipes to suit my (kinda, almost) mostly sugar and grain-free diet. Sis coined this as "Paleo Adjacent" and I think that's a perfect description. Turns out, Sis and I like our Paleo Adjacent desserts more than their earlier, traditional incarnations. This Dark Chocolate Pudding is taken from the most INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS recipe from The New York Times. I've substituted the sugar for maple syrup but I do love it with real milk and cream. I've included a non-dairy version that is really delicious too. The original recipe also called for corn starch which I replaced with arrowroot powder and optional grass fed gelatin. The texture is thick and smooth. Make this for your Valentine and I'm sure you'll get lots of X's & O's. 

SALTED DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING

Serves 8

1 large egg, plus 2 yolks

6 oz extra dark chocolate 70-85% (or darker if you prefer), roughly chopped

2 tablespoons butter (use ghee for a dairy-free version)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups whole milk (use full-fat coconut milk for a dairy free version)

1/2 cup heavy cream (use coconut cream for a dairy-free version)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 tablespoon grass fed gelatin (optional)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for garnishing

whipped cream for serving (whip up the leftover heavy cream from above with a dash of vanilla and a splash of maple syrup)

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together egg and yolks. Set aside.

Place chocolate, butter and vanilla in a food processor or blender (I use my VitaMix) but do not turn on.

In a medium pot, whisk together milk, cream, maple syrup, cocoa, arrowroot, gelatin and salt until smooth. Bring to a full boil, whisking, and let bubble for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let it burn. It will start to thicken. When it does, remove from heat. 

Pour a little of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly to prevent them from curdling. Do this a few times and then pour the eggs into the pot with the remaining mixture. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture just returns to a bare simmer (one bubble is plenty). Immediately pour into the food processor or blender. Run the machine until the pudding is very smooth (the hot mixture will melt the chocolate).

Pour into individual bowls or one large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refridgerate until firm and cold. At least 4 hours for individual servings or 8+ for a large bowl. One chilled and ready for serving, remove from fridge. Sprinkle with medium-sized sea salt granules. Top with fresh whipped cream. I also love this with fresh berries.

 I hope you love it as much as we do! xoxox!

Seersucker Napkin: Hedley & Bennett

Wooden Tray: West Elm

Wooden Bowls: Target

WHISK & WHITTLE'S TRIO OF THANKSGIVING PIES

It's no secret that we are kind of obsessed with Whisk & Whittle and her stunning desserts. So I am really excited to share THREE of her Thanksgiving pie recipes with you today! This year, I'm all about ordering my holiday desserts from Emily but if you feel like making your own, here are her recipes for Apple, Pecan & Pumpkin Pies (the beautiful Fig Galette on the right is by The Naked Fig).

Apple Pie

1 Recipe Pie Crust, divided into two
6-7 apples, I like to use gala, cored, peeled, sliced into 1/2" pieces
about 1/2 a cup brown sugar (more or less depending on the sweetness of your apples)
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
2 Tbs. Tapioca flour or cornstarch
about 2 Tbs. Unsalted butter
1 egg
extra sugar for dusting

Generously flour your workspace. Pull chilled dough out of the refrigerator and roll to about 1/4" which. Dust off the flour, drape the dough into the pie pan. Press it into the corners and sides, letting it hang over about an inch all around. Set it back into the refrigerator while you mix the filling. 

Mix apple slices, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and tapioca flour in a bowl. 

Pour the filling into the crust. Cut up the 2 Tbs. of butter into pieces and disperse the pieces evenly on top of the filling.

Roll out the dough for the top of the pie and place it on top of the filling. Roll  the edges and crimp as desired. 

Let chill in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 375 F

Bake for 45 min-1 hour until juices are bubbly and crust is golden brown.

 

Pecan Pie

1 Recipe Pie Crust
2 Cups Pecan Halves
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tbs. Molasses
1/2 tsp Orange Zest
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Tbs. Bourbon (optional and recommended)
3 Eggs

Generously flour your workspace. Pull chilled dough out of the refrigerator and roll to about 1/4" which. Dust off the flour, drape the dough into the pie pan. Press it into the corners and sides, letting it hang over about an inch all around. Roll the edges under and crimp as desired. Set it back into the refrigerator while you mix the filling. 

In a smal saucepan, melt butter with sugars and molasses. Remove from heat. Add zest, vanilla, bourbon and salt. Whisk in eggs one at a time. 

Put the pecans in the pie shell. Pour the filling over the pecans and chill the pie while you preheat the oven to 350 F.

Bake for 45 min-an hour until crust is golden and center is set. 

 

Pumpkin Pie

1 Recipe Pie Crust
16 oz. Roasted pureed pumpkin (or, let's be honest, 1 can pumpkin puree)
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Clove
1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 Cup Half and Half

preheat oven to 375 F

Generously flour your workspace. Pull chilled dough out of the refrigerator and roll to about 1/4" which. Dust off the flour, drape the dough into the pie pan. Press it into the corners and sides, letting it hang over about an inch all around. Roll the edges under and crimp as desired. Set it back into the refrigerator while you mix the filling. 

Whisk together pumpkin, eggs and sugar. Add salt and spices. Slowly add half and half.  

Pour filling into the prepared pie shell. 

Bake for 50-70 minutes until the crust is golden, the edges are set and the center just barely jiggles like jello. 

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Happy baking!!! xx LL

 

 

IT'S NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY!

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It's basically the greatest day of the year. National Chocolate Day calls for some serious decadence! So after slaving away tirelessly and having no fun at all, I've put together a round-up of some pretty fine looking chocolate recipes for your viewing and eating pleasure. Enjoy!

ABOVE: Chocolate Buttermilk Frosted Brownies via Food52

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Gjelina's Chocolate Tart with Pine Nut Crust via InStyle Magazine

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Not Messing Around Chocolate Cake via Whisk and Whittle

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Triple Chocolate Bakes Donuts via The Little Epicurean 

Chocolate Caramel Tart via Saveur

Chocolate Pots de Creme via Martha Stewart

Grain-free and Refined Sugar-free Chocolate Chip Cookies via Sweet Laurel Bakery

Salted Peanut Caramel Ice Cream Bars via Not Without Salt

Chocolate Bourbon Caramel Macaron Cake via Half Baked Harvest

Perfect Hot Chocolate via Food52

RORI'S ORGANIC ICE CREAM COMES TO SANTA MONICA!

Our very favorite ice cream, once only available in Santa Barbara and Montecito, has just opened a brand new shop in Santa Monica! Rori's Artisanal Creamery is the creamiest, highest quality ice cream out there and we just about lost our minds when we learned they were coming to LA. We stopped by over the weekend to celebrate their arrival.

These little hooligans couldn't get enough.

You can grab pints to-go, like I did. 

Check out these ingredients. Stellar stuff!!

Two scoops of Fresh Mint Patty for me after Brixton went to bed! ;) Welcome to LA, Rori!!! xx

Rori's Artisanal Creamery is located at: 910 Montana Ave., Santa Monica