Cooking For A Cause (with just a little Bourbon)

Cooking For A Cause (with just a little Bourbon)

There are a few things that I simply cannot turn down: yummy food, cooking with my hubs, and giving back to our community. So when the Washington County Arts Council invited John & I to be Celebrity Chefs for their annual fundraiser event, we were thrilled to say yes.

The Washington County Arts Council hosts a unique fundraiser each year called The Art of Cooking. This event invites community members to a lavish evening of trying local couples’ favorite recipes prepared by the Fountain Head Country Club kitchen experts. The celebrity chef couples demonstrate their recipe in the kitchen, as if on a cooking show, and then community members in attendance are served each recipe plated at their table. This event perfectly ties together what we all love about cooking, which is putting a unique spin on a recipe, and truly showing the audience that there is an art behind the food. [Author’s note: the art may in fact be the ability to not set each other on fire in the cooking process.]

Celebrity Chefs

Over the course of six months, five Celebrity Chef couples met to discuss what our version of this event would look like. Over monthly meetings with dinner and drinks, we brought our favorite recipes to the table (literally) and together concocted a full-course dinner menu that would flow and keep guests’ pallets intrigued. The menu included passed hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour, followed by an appetizer and soup before the entrée and two side dishes, finished off with a delectable dessert.

The menu items chosen by the Celebrity Chef couples unfolded as such:

Ceviche – Chef’s Sam & Dana Wright
Pumpkin Soup – Chef’s Steve and Susan Wood-Haines
Pul Ko-Kee Korean beef – Chef’s Art & Marianne Schneider
Mushroom Ragu over Handmade Pappardelle – Chef’s Dale & Pat McCleary
Brussels, Bacon & Bourbon – Chef’s John & Kelsey Lorman

Each course was perfectly paired with a champagne or wine chosen by the wine aficionado Mr. Mike Johnston. Local celebrity emcee Lou Scally and & lovely co-host Heather Guessford entertained the 160-person-audience between courses and introduced each of the celebrity chef couples.

Lorman Chefs

Not only did the chef couples have to demonstrate their talents on screen in front of the audience, but we each also tried to come up with something that made them laugh before they enjoyed the meal (the wine will help with the morale of the group as well, am I right?) This included getting mic’d up and staged in the prep-kitchen, and mixing together our recipes as if we we each had our own show on the Food Network. With a quick change of set between each couple, we were thrown into the spotlight with hopes of not dropping, spilling or cursing (all things that happen in my kitchen regularly). Each couple took a fun spin with their time on-screen, including an apron that said “This Shit is Going to Taste Delicious”, a visit from “Hillary Clinton,” and in our case – two extra shots of bourbon to make our recipe taste extra special. [Author’s note: The shot of bourbon made me turn away from the camera for a split second, but I was trying to spare the audience of my ‘party-girl-in-a-bar-taking-shots’ face. It was really for their own good.] Plus, there was bacon in our recipe (because, duh – my husband won’t eat his veggies otherwise); I think anyone could agree that brussel sprouts, bacon and bourbon could very well be three of the best B’s in the kitchen. [Author’s note: Oh, also bread, let’s all take a minute to appreciate that ‘B,’ too.]

Entree & Side Dish Couples

Prepped In Kitchen

As the last couple of the night, I had hoped our shots of bourbon on camera would be enough to keep the audience entertained (especially through their previous three pairings of wine). Not to mention I started our segment with a selfie – the true key of success in any kitchen. Though I’m no critic, of food or comedic sketches, I believe each of the couples entertained the audience and left their pallets satisfied.

Cooking Selfie

Though we all had a great time, made some new friends, and found some new recipes, the big ‘win’ for the celebrity chefs was that we were able to attract an attendance of 160, raising $20,000 for the Washington County Arts Council.

Friends & Family

It was a night of eating, laughing and drinking (over-indulging in at least two of three areas, I might add) and most importantly a night of giving back to the arts in our community. Thank you to the Arts Council for having us, and for giving me the opportunity to feel like Rachael Ray for an evening.

[Final author’s note: After-dinner drinks at the bar across the street are always a good idea…. in theory. You may pay for that decision the next day. See the group that made it to the end, and literally closed down the bar, with us below.]

The friends and family who made it to the end of the night!
Cheers,
K Lo

For more information on the Washington County Arts Council and the 2017 Art of Cooking, check out these Herald Mail Media Articles, and the Washington County Arts Council website

Hosting Girls Night: When Beauty, Wine & Friends Meet

Hosting Girls Night: When Beauty, Wine & Friends Meet

Things I love:
Supporting a friend’s business & passions.
Getting together with girlfriends.
Getting together with girlfriends….. with wine & champagne.

So what happens when beauty products, wine, and friends meet?

When a friend approached me to host an event for a new line of beauty products she was representing, it was an easy sell for me. An intimate night with a few girlfriends, some yummy nibbles, lovely libations and beauty products for us to try out and experiment. The planning was simple; I would invite the girls, grab the goodies for food & drink, and Diana would come with her BeautyCounter products in tow.

What made this an even easier sell to my girlfriends was (well… the booze & nibbles always help!) that the BeautyCounter line is dedicated to safe, chemical-free products. So for this Girls Night, we focused on healthy, safe products for our skin and body… while we nourished those same bodies with healthy amounts of wine. Life’s all about balance, am I right?

makeupnight5

*Authors Note: If you’d like more information about Diana and BeautyCounter (a company who recently did a collaboration in Target stores nationwide) check the products out here!

The ladies would have an opportunity to learn about BeautyCounter products while trying them out, laughing over libations, and sitting with friends.We tried out sugar scrubs, luscious lip gloss, tinted moisturizer and more! It was truly a beauty queen’s playground. While it’s easy to be wrapped up in the fun, it’s important to remember that when your friends, colleagues or neighbors are coming over for a visit – there’s definitely style in hosting a gig. Here are some of my favorite party procedures to make your event fun for all those in attendance:

  • Use items in your kitchen & home to find unique ways of showing off the highlight of your party. As this was a cosmetics party, Diana and I used wine glasses, champagne flutes and glass bowls to display the make up tools and brushes; it’s an easy way to make your party feel more ‘homey’ with an intimate touch. Items in your house are more handy than they may appear!
  • The right nibbles are key! For a 7 PM – 9 PM event, I knew my ladies would have already eaten dinner, so I didn’t need to make anything heavy. Don’t make the mistake of not having anything though, when girls get together we get giddy, giggly, and hungry! I chose some light cheese and crackers, with chocolate cookies, jelly beans and marshmallows! Colorful, light and the perfect little bite when you’re getting munchy after that second (or third) glass of wine. The delectable cheese and wine were from a local Downtown Frederick shop called Crisafulli’s, a favorite for us locals.
  • To go with the nibbles, the drinks are equally important! Since there was only going to be seven of us, I didn’t need to go crazy. A bottle of champs, a bottle of white and a bottle of red are what I chose to please my crowd. I had a juice prepped for those who wanted to mix & match (and there’s nothing wrong with grabbing the vodka out of the freezer if a girlfriend requests it – a good hostess always has a back up stash).
  • Have a small gift planned for each of your guests, either to present at the beginning or end of the evening. Remember when we were little and went to birthday parties for our friends and left with some sort of goodie bag? Along those lines. Tonight, I opted for personalized Patron miniatures for each of the ladies for spending their time with me on a Thursday evening. Because, Tequila is life. (It’s right up there with pizza and french fries).

grouppic

 

So why did I love this hosting gig? I had friends in one room from all different walks of life: high school friends, college friends and work friends. We bonded over products that we love (because duh, make up), drank a few glasses of the good stuff, and even found something new that could make our beauty routines safer and cleaner. On top of all of that I had the opportunity to support a friend in a business that she truly values and cares about. It’s important that we value our friends’ passions; after all, this one led me straight to wonderfully fun girls night!

Tonight, I’m thankful for a couple of reasons: one-  to have friends to sit and catch up with, two – to have friends who make me pretty with new make up products, and three – for my beers & burgers to be traded in (if only for one night) for wine & cheese. See some more pictures from our evening below!

Cheers,
K Lo

makeupnight4makeupnight2dscn0602makeupnight1

 

Let’s celebrate!

Let’s celebrate!

Happy 2017! I’m a 25 year old from Frederick, MD living a life that hangs somewhere in the balance between sleep deprivation and French fry binges. I am excited by travel, a good outfit and anything that makes me laugh until my stomach hurts. I love happiness and long hugs, especially ones from my husband after he says those magic words, “let’s get pizza for dinner.”

I got inspired about style during an internship opportunity in Los Angeles, CA when I was 21. Suddenly fashion was all around me, from those working next to me, to those that passed me on the streets. The experiences that were engulfing me and the people that surrounded me inspired me to start a blog about that wonderful few months of my life. Now, as a working wife, local-food-lover and margarita maniac, I am excited to immerse myself in another blogging experience that will celebrate the beautiful life + style happening around me.

I love to celebrate; celebrations typically include champagne, the people you love, and laughter. Pop of Life hopes to celebrate every little moment. I hope to capture anything and everything that enriches my life, specifically life + style that I can’t live without. An outfit; a restaurant; a city… a collection of happy little moments worth celebrating.

[Author’s note: I bought this mug for a friend for Christmas, and liked it so much that I asked Santa for one of my own. Keep your head, heels & standards high – a great mantra for 2017.]

Cheers,
KLo