Heirloom Recipe Series: Cynthia Wong, Pastry Chef at Empire State South.

As the holidays grow near, I am excited to continue the wonderful Heirloom Recipe Series that has become everything I could have ever imagined it would be. I just can't get enough of hearing the back stories behind these special recipes, from some very special people - and this week is no exception! Joining us today is Cynthia Wong, pastry chef at one of Atlanta's own southern-staple restaurants, Empire State South. I fell in love with ESS even before I ever set foot into the fine establishment, simply because of my past experience with their sister restaurant Five & Ten in Athens, Georgia where I attended college. The atmosphere & ambiance is perfectly southern, with a fabulous bar and bocce ball on hand too - and the food is certainly top-notch.

With Thanksgiving week upon us, I am thankful today that Cynthia has shared a heartfelt and honest post below, sharing a special shrimp dish recipe with us all and reminding us that there are so many things to be thankful for. Many thanks Cynthia for taking the time to join the Heirloom Recipe Series!

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This recipe for shrimp dip belonged to my late father-in-law, Bob Harmon. Like my husband, who is his spitting image, Bob was a strapping man, a master of banter, talented cook, and lover of good wine and late nights. I’ve spent most of the last 13 holiday seasons with the large, loud, warm, accepting, incredibly funny Harmons, who now seem more like adopted family than in-laws. I have always been a bit shy, and was initially uneasy during Christmas visits to the Harmon family homestead. I had a hard time keeping up with the all-night, wine-soaked story telling and joke cracking that left me with hangover headache that would blister the paint off a car.

Their 10-foot long family dinner table is always set for Christmas supper with a succulent, mahogany-skinned behemoth of pork known as The Harmon Family Ham, yeast rolls and biscuits, a large jar of mustard, a heaping dish of Hellman’s mayonnaise, cranberry jelly, cornbread dressing, roast oysters, smoked beef tenderloin and horseradish sauce, sausage balls, green salad, collards, black eyed peas, and Bob’s shrimp dip. The food is left on the table after dinner, until every last bite is eaten-- a practice that initially appalled me, but one that I have grown to love. Why put away the leftovers and go to bed? Would it not be better to put your feet up by the fire in the den, make another plate and tell another tale of family legend? Sleep is for later, when you are back at home and need to go to work.

I am estranged from my own family, who are as different from the Harmons as to almost seem alien. Two of the most terrible things I’ve come to learn as an adult are that some differences are truly irreconcilable, and that time does not really heal. But the best thing I’ve grown to understand is that contrary to the old saying, you can choose your family.

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Bob's Shrimp Spread

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Be sure to connect with Cynthia by following Empire State South on Twitter and Facebook too!

Part of our Heirloom Recipe Series, featuring foodies, chefs, artisans, Southerners & fabulous folks willing to share their stories, recipes and photos in an effort to help preserve and share these family recipes for generations to come.

simply put. grande opening!

i am so happy to share some photos from the grande opening event of the lovely, new Atlanta store - simply put.

i absolutely adore the unique products that paper designer Ashley Woodman and her uber-talented team have, perfect for gifting! the grande opening of this Westside shop was a great gathering, where I enjoyed meeting several new friends and catching up with a few old ones too. i hope you'll stop in to say hello and check out the lovely assortment of goodies!

the pillows are just killer and there was a campfire candle that makes me want to go take a hike in the woods and never come back! a giant pewter trophy continues to catch my eye each time I walk in the store, and a fun candy bar that is stocked full of hard-to-find candies. and, just in time for Halloween, i can't get enough of the not-so-spooky {but super cute!} witch display they have put together with our mother & daughter aprons! isn't it just adorable?

click over to take a peek at the full collection of photos I took from the evening!

images via : my personal collection

Gourmet Retailer : Mini + Floyd

I am excited to announce one of the newest Gourmet Retailers for IceMilk Aprons - the delightful Mini + Floyd. With a mantra of "Garden, Gourmet & Glamour," I knew we'd be a match made in heaven in an instant. Heather and her team truly have a gem of a shop, located right on Main Street in the quaint town of Honesdale, PA.

I have had such a fun time perusing all the images Mini + Floyd sent over for us to share - you can click here to see the full photo album over on our Facebook Page. I just adore the mix of products they have chosen for their store - from boots and bags to cloches and pots. And now, aprons of course! Heather has even been canning her very own homemade preserves - and I adore the simple way she has chosen to package them. The perfect product mix for a small town country girl at heart.

Be sure to take a peek too at how sweetly they have displayed our jars filled with IceMilk Aprons, and I am loving how high-waisted they have brought up our waist apron styles on their dressforms. Simple a delight to see our different stores finding such creative & inspiring ways to display our heirloom aprons.

If you're nearby, be sure to stop in to visit and peruse the oh-so-fabulous Mini + Floyd!

Mini + Floyd

Maude Alley, 1023 Main Street

Honesdale, PA, 18431

570-253-6300

IceMilk Aprons and The Mercantile.

IceMilk Aprons is thrilled to announce we are now in-store at The Mercantile, a fabulous home design boutique in the Brookhaven neighborhood of Atlanta. Run by designer Barbara Heath, I personally have been swooning over this store since it moved into the neighborhood and seem to find a new wonderful treasure each time I stop in. They carry wonderful collections like Trowbridge and Match, and have some of the most unique lighting & sofa pieces I've seen in all in one place. One of my favorite finds was a small horn spreader that I use nearly every time I entertain (how fabulous!)

Another perk of this tasteful boutique is their affiliation with Taigan, an online membership-only selection of the finest boutiques & wares, coupled with their online registry services.

We are so thrilled to have a home within The Mercantile. Do stop in & peruse!

The Mercantile

1430 Dresden Drive, Atlanta, GA 30309

(404) 816-0060

www.mercantileatlanta.com

Copyright (c) IceMilk Aprons 2010

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IceMilk Aprons & Saks Fifth Avenue.

Saks Fifth Avenue is made of what little girls dream of, reminiscent of the elegance of only the most proper of ladies dressed to the nines in heels & fur on a snowy-charmed street of the City. IceMilk Aprons so proudly announces our line of heirloom aprons will be in-store at the Saks Fifth Avenue Atlanta store at Phipps Plaza beginning December 9th as part of the Trinity School Spotlight on Art Artists Market Preview, along with 11 other fabulous Atlanta artists.

We are just thrilled to adorn the luxurious shelves of Saks with a whole bunch of preserves jars each carefully packed with our aprons waiting for you to come in for a holiday visit! Hope you'll stop in and check out our display as you're out gift-gathering for the loved ones.

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