buon appetito

antipasto plate_jsorelle

We’re Italian and proud of it. We love our heritage and the Italian culture…and of course, the food! Our mouths water with the site of a good Antipasto Platter.

But, how do they do it? How do people create that savory “before the meal” plate that can bring people together and satisfy their cravings? What’s the secret to a beautiful and delicious Antipasto Plate?

We know an expert who can tell us…because we know a place that does everything right when it comes to Italian food and ambiance.

Parisi.

Christine and Simone successfully recreated a little piece of Italy in Denver, Colorado. If you haven’t been, you need to go. And, if you don’t live in CO, you need to add a visit to CO to your bucket list, and add Parisi to your must-eat list.

Here’s owner Christine’s tips for a delectable Antipasto Platter.

- Make sure there’s a balance of olives, cheese, cold cuts & toasted bread with topping.
- Include a mix of soft and hard cheese.
- Tempt the palette with new flavors because people always like to try new things, but also intermingle with a few familiar flavors.
- Keep the toppings simple for the Bruschetta using seasonal veggies. It’s nice to add a little sweet balsamic to the mix to balance out the savory.

parisi antipasto platter_jsorelle

And, what about the essential sidekick to a yummy Antipasto Platter, otherwise known as wine? Christine has us covered there too.
“Reds are a good choice for heartier antipasti plates such as a San Giovese blend {San Giovese is the grape used for Chianti and so many of the Tuscan faves),” she said. “But a refreshing Pinot Grigio isn’t a bad choice for those who insist on white.” 
She added, “Oh, and then there is one of my favorite red Italian blends from the Veneto region:  La Cappuccina’s Madego.. it’s organic and so smooth, but not boring. But I am all for blends these days…I can’t commit to just one grape.”
parisi antipasto platter_jsorelle
The list of ingredients from the mouth-watering plate Meredith Moran of Meredith Moran Photography snapped for us at Parisi includes…
Drunken Goat (harder goat cheese immersed in red wine)
Fresh Asiago
Pecorino Picante
Prosciutto di Parma
Finocchiona salame (with fennel)
Castelvetrano & Kalamata Olives
Mortadella
Pancetta
Bruschetta with an artichoke topping & a cherry tomato topping
parisi antipasto platter_jsorelle
Now are you ready to impress your guests with the most amazing Antipasto Platter ever? Of course, if you need some authentic Italian food for inspiration, a great sandwich for lunch, an impressive place to bring a special date, or you just want to indulge yourself because you deserve it, stop by Parisi. If you want to eat for hours like the Italian’s do in a more intimate setting, make a reservation right below Parisi at Firenze a Tavola {same owners}. I promise, you will want to go back for more. It’s special to us, not only because Florence is our love affair city, but also because Jenna and Will celebrated their rehearsal dinner at Firenze a Tavola, and that was just the beginning to a wonderful life together.
parisi denver_jsorelle
parisit denver_jsorelle
Thanks to Christine at Parisi and Meredith Moran for making this post possible.

back to school

noteworthy year_jsorelle

It’s time for back to school. No more lazy mornings and pool days basking in the sun…until June rolls around next year. I know, so sad. Jessica’s oldest son starts Kindergarten this year, which is also a sad reality of ‘letting go’ just a little, adjusting to a new norm of waking up early and getting out the door in a semi-organized fashion everyday and the realization that no matter what we do, they still grow up.

To make the first day of school even more fun for the kiddos this year, we made easy, DIY favors for the kids and teachers…and it was a great activity for our kids to practice writing their names.

noteworthy year_jsorelle

All you need is college ruled paper, a printer, Elmer’s Glue and Crayola crayons.

Follow the photos above if you’re a visual person, and read the instructions below if you need it in words:
1. Use Microsoft Word to print your personal note on the top-right side of the paper. We typed, “It’s going to be a noteworthy year. your friend,”
2. Fold the paper in half with text visible on top.
3. Fold the paper in half again.
4. It should look like this.
5. Cut the top two layers on the top blue line.
6. It should look like this.
7. Cut a curved arch on the back two sheets of paper.
8. Use Elmer’s Glue to glue the edges together. You will have extra edges on the back flap and front flap, so add a little glue there too.
9. Add Crayola Crayons and sign name.

noteworthy year_jsorelle

{images via j. sorelle}

piano boy

diy piano keys

Jenna loves her music, and so does her family. For her son’s first birthday, she and her hubby hosted a music themed party. And, there was no better runner than a DIY piano in the middle of the table. Jenna re-purposed the keys for decor in Dante’s room. He dreams with notes of the piano keys running through his beautiful mind.

You can too.

You’ll Need:
white paint
black paint
45-50 paint stir sticks from Home Depot {the kind you stir paint with…that are FREE}
wood glue

How To:
Cut or saw the curved ends off of each stick.
Cut or saw 10 of the sticks in half for the ‘black keys’.
Paint the keys white and black. Refer to a real piano keyboard for the correct order.
Glue the sticks together to create your piano.

The party was so long ago, and our photographs are not good but you get the idea.
diy piano keyboard

diy piano keyboard_jsorelle

diy piano_jsorelle

summer garden party essentials

Where is the summer going? Although the booties at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale were so pretty and my feet were drawn to them, I held onto my flip-flops tight. I can’t even think about a colder season right now – we are loving summer too much.

Before the summer is over, we really need to embrace all the bright colors, smells, outside play and parties and bare feet. So, we challenge you to either…

1. Complete numbers 1-10 on our Fun in Summer Essentials list below, inspired by photos from the fantastic Alt Summit garden party.
or
2. If there’s a fab hostess inside of you, throw a summer garden party like Alt Summit did {see photos below for inspiration}.

Alt Summit knows how to throw a fabulous party, so there is no greater inspiration for you. I was fortunate enough to witness it first hand this year. Not only was every detail well thought-out and executed beautifully, but their parties were really fun!

BIG THANKS to Justin Hackworth and Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit photos

alt summit_garden party inspiration

alt summit_garden party

alt summit_garden party

garden party_alt summit

alt summit_garden party

alt summit_garden party

alt summit_garden party

alt summit_garden party

alt summit_garden party inspiration

alt summit_garden party

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: Justin Hackworth and Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit photos

CO is turning 138

colorado state burlap flag_jsorelle

August 1 marks Colorado’s 138th birthday. Happy {early} Birthday Colorful Colorado! Being born and raised Colorado girls, we love to represent our state and give its flag some love. We also love burlap. So, we combined the two and created a piece of art…or a basket accessory.

You’ll Need:
a piece burlap
a photo of the Colorado flag {we used regular, white printer paper}
Golden GAC 800 Medium from Golden Paints
brush

How To:
Print a photo of the Colorado flag.
Use a brush to apply the gel medium to the item you plan to add the photo to.
Place the image, face down, on the item you are adding the photo to, in this case, a piece of burlap.
Gently press down and rub all areas on the back of the photo so the medium is applied, without bubbles, to the entire photo.
Wait for the medium to dry. We waited about 2 hours.
Use a wet wash cloth to ‘wet’ the back of the photo. The photo will look wet, and if it doesn’t, you may have to add more water to the wash cloth. Once the paper looks transparent, rub the paper with your hand or the wash cloth gently – it will peel the ‘paper pulp’ and reveal your transferred image.
We added the DIY Colorado burlap flag to a red basket with twine, and added lovely sunflowers. This would also be pretty framed, or mounted on an old, antique piece of white wood.

colorado burlap flag diy

colorado burlap flag diy_jsorelle

diy colorado burlap flag_jsorelle

{images j. sorelle}