Sunday, November 30, 2008

"We're Going to Party Like It's 1929" New York Times Article Reciepes

Below are the recipe's from this Sunday's New York Times article by Alex Williams "Holiday's Downsized: We're Going to Party Like It's 1929"

I served my favorite twice baked potato with toppings: Three Bean Chili, Mushroom Ragout, as well as sour cream, chives and butter. For dessert I recommend a simple Angel Food Cake covered with frosting and coconut.

Twice Baked Potato
8 servings
8 Over sized Idaho Potatoes, bake until done.
Scoop out
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 lb butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of heavy cream or until smooth
Combine all and hand mash mixture.
Add back into potato skins.
Brush the top with butter.
Bake 20 more minutes at 350 degrees.
Finish with a quick broil to give a golden brown top.
Three Bean Chili

2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 pounds ground sirloin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon cumin seed, toasted
1/4 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white beans (great northern or cannelini)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sweat onions and garlic in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Add beef, oregano, and cumin and cook, breaking up until meat is browned. Add tomatoes, chili powder, and cayenne and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add beans and simmer another 30 minutes. Add Tabasco if you'd like a spicy mix.
Wild Mushroom Ragout

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1.5 pounds mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and torn
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup creme fraiche
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat; sweat shallots until soft. Add mushrooms until golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, stir in tarragon and creme fraiche, cook another minute or two, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Cream of Chestnut Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 cup Sauternes
4 cups chicken stock
1 15.5 ounce can puree of chestnuts
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish
Garlic toast
Heat butter on medium, add shallots and saute for 10 minutes.
Add Sauternes and cook 10 more minutes.
Add chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce heat, add chestnut puree and whisk until smooth.
Add cream, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve with garlic toast.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What David Monn. LLC is Thankful For

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season I thought it would be nice to share with my blog readers what my office is thankful for.

From left to right: Caitlin McGettigan, Liz Santoro, Jeanine Worell, David Monn, Lisa Archambault, Laura Irizarry, Ashley Bartlett, Cathy Riva, Barry Pincus and Julianne Austin

Caitlin McGettigan: I am thankful for the health and happiness of my friends and family, andthe chance to spend Thanksgiving with them.

Liz Santoro: I am thankful for the country we live in. A place where women have the right to vote, drive, and do just about anything else they choose to do.

Jeanine Worrell: I am thankful for my yesterdays for they have brought me were I am today and I am especially thankful for tomorrow because there is no telling what it may bring into my life.

David Monn: I am most thankful, for the gift of family and friends, health and good fortune, and most of all Sammy.

Lisa Archambault: I am thankful for the sound and smell of the ocean - it keeps me sane.

Laura Irizarry: I am thankful that I get to spend time with my little brothers over the holiday.

Ashley Bartlett: I am thankful for my great health, friends and family.

Cathy Riva:
I am grateful everyday for all of the love and support I have in my life.

Barry Pincus: I’m thankful for Isabella, a true fighter who has gone through more in her first six months of life than most of us do in a lifetime.

Julianne Austin: I am thankful for the support from all of my family and friends. I am also thankful for laughter and its ability to cure all.

Isaac Downing: I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for my wife. I'm thankful for the opportunities that I have been given within this company and thankful for my co-workers and the headaches that they give me!

Kristian Guillen: I am thankful that we are off and that my family is healthy.

Sheri Scribner: At this time of year I always find myself being quite emotional about my relatives that have passed and reminiscent of the times shared with them. This, in turn, reminds me that I am to be incredibly thankful for my two healthy, beautiful children, husband and family and the times shared with them are to be cherished.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Worlds BEST Thanksgiving Turkey

Everyone thinks that they have the smartest child or the cutest dog, but I do have the best Thanksgiving turkey. The secret to my turkey is making sure that the bird is kosher. Purchasing a kosher turkey means that the bird has been killed in such a way that all of the blood has been drained from the meat, resulting in an amazing taste. Cooking this turkey is easy just follow my simple steps.

1. Wrap the bird tightly in a cheese cloth
2. Pour bourbon over the bird and leave it to marinate for 2 days in the refrigerator.
3. The day of cooking, lift the skin off the entire bird.
4. Ground herb de Provence with a mortar and pistol.
5. Pumice the ground herb de Provence into the meat of the turkey
6. For a 20lb turkey cook the bird for the first 3 hours at 180 degrees.
7. Raise the temperature to 350 degrees for another 1 and a half hours.
8. The secret to a moist turkey is taking it out of the oven and covering it with aluminum foil because it allows the meat to cook on the bone.
9. Keep the bird covered with foil and baste with butter every 20 minutes for the last hour.
10. Stuff the turkey with courted Vidalia onion – only for flavor.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Natural Scents

As it has become apparent on this blog my passion for finding beautiful and natural scents. I have just found this amazing ceramic light bulb ring. How does it work? You place the ring on the light bulb and fill the ring with essential oils. The light bulb heats the ring causing the oils to release their scent into the room.

What I love about this is essential oils have no added chemicals, are 100% natural and last much longer than most candles. If you are looking for an alternative for making your home or office smell amazing both Aveda and L'Occitane have great natural oils in an array of scents.

Lavroma Ceramic Ring
$4.75 each

L'Occitane Essential Oil Blends
$18.00 each

Aveda Oils
$13.00 each

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Lesson in Cheese

This Friday I am pleased to announce that I will be teaching my first class on with Artisanal Cheese. During the class, "The Art of Entertaining and the Seasons of Cheese", I will be focusing on how to serve a proper cheese course and how to set a beautiful table for any event or Holiday. Each guest will enjoy a variety of cheeses paired with exceptional wines as they learn how to present, properly serve and cut a variety of cheeses.

What I am most excited about is a portion of the proceeds will benefit my charity- The Art-Fund, a charity bringing art education back into America's schools.

The evening Includes a half hour reception with sparkling wine, passed gougeres hors d'oeuvres and a significant offering of our famous cave-aged Artisanal Premium Cheese. Event concludes with an Artisanal Cheese Cake.
Go to Artisinal Cheese's Website to sign up now! If you are not able to make it this Friday I will begin monthly classes in the new year, and I will keep updates on the blog, so check back!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Week in the Hectic Event Life of David Monn

As some of you may have read in the press, this past weekend we created the largest event held in Florida since the 1920's. The celebration was the reopening of the Fontainebleau resort in Miami Beach. As you can imagine, it was a crazy and hectic week trying to get this colossal event organized. Because I am frequently asked what goes into putting such a large party together, I have chronicled my week to provide a glimpse into the meticulous planning that goes into the parties that we do.

Tuesday: I arrived in Miami early in the morning, after having completed the Guggenheim International Gala the night before. Our schedule had been delayed two days due to some permit and building issues, and the atmosphere was tense when I arrived. It was mostly a technical day; we set up the lighting, sound. and video. Working as efficiently as possible was key because of our tightened schedule and the number of elements required to create this event. If one thing was assembled incorrectly, it would create a domino effect.

The Stage

Our boxwood crew got to work, building thousands of feet of my signature boxwood hedges with 10,000 pounds of boxwood that had been trucked in from Virginia.

Wednesday: We started getting the large decor elements loaded in and finished the last minute technical items. The stage was installed for the guest artist, Mariah Carey. Due to our two-day work stoppage, we began to operate on a 24-hour schedule. Although we were under a massive time crunch, we knew we would get it done as we always do.

In the afternoon, I was invited to take a tour of the Victoria's Secret tent for the fashion show that was taking place at the hotel on Saturday. It was a logistical feat to coordinate these two huge events back to back.

Thursday: Things really started to take shape in the morning. Beautiful custom bars were put together and the seating risers in the main ballroom were set up. Mirrored screens were installed and at that point the rooms began to come to life.

Late Thursday night we did a sound check with Mariah Carey, and I started to get excited about how wonderful this party was going to be!

Friday: The day of the party!! With all of our large events, we like to get everything done the day before so we can spend the day of the party making sure that everything was the way I had envisioned it. Even with the time constraints, our team was able to meet the Friday morning deadline so that we could perfect every detail throughout the day.

Our florists got to work on the huge floral project of the day -- creating a curved rose wall above the iconic "Stairway to Nowhere" with 6,000 white roses. At 8:30 pm three models ascended to the top of a fountain we constructed in the main lobby of the resort, and the party began!

What a week! I'm feeling tired just writing about it. If you want to see more, stay tuned...on Friday I will post the final spectaular design.

Please leave a comment.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Guggenheim International Gala

Monday was another evening of art, honors, and great company at the annual Guggenheim International Gala in New York City. Inspired by the invitation design by M/M (Paris), the d├ęcor reflected the spiral-shaped Guggenheim itself. The chargers, centerpieces, and auction paddles represented the abstract form of the museum. Below are some photos and video from the event. Not only did the evening encompass the feel and the ideals of the Guggenheim, but the auction was beautiful and successful as well.
More Information on the Gala

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bulk Your Shelves, Not Your Belly!

One of the results of our current economic situation is the increase in food costs. More than ever, we can all benefit from becoming smarter shoppers! One way to do this is buying in bulk. The concept of buying in bulk may trigger thoughts of wasted food or overeating, but there are ways to avoid that.

First things first: Shop at Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s. They provide everything from 6-pack toothbrushes to food trays for hosting dinners.

At the store: The healthier the foods, the less likely you are to overeat and ultimately gain weight. Frozen produce and healthy treats are great to buy in bulk. Candies and sweets for the kids would not be the top recommended bulk buy!

Once you’re home: Divide your food into sensible portion sizes. This is a great way to discourage overeating and to get the most number of meals from your purchases.

Please let me know your best money saving ideas.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Scent of the Season

There are always scented candles burning in my apartment, my office, and at all of my events. My philosophy is that all five senses should be engaged to create the most satisfying and sensual experiences to be enjoyed every day.

Aromatic sprays can also give you that luxurious feeling. Recently I discovered a natural spray called ORANGER by Diptyque. It's the perfect scent for the holidays and throughout the winter season.

You can find out where it is sold at

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Night at the Library

As I have said before in my blog, the New York Public Library is one of the institutions that I wholeheartedly support. I was privileged, for the fourth year in a row, to design its annual Library Lions Gala. This year , the NYPL honored four of the greatest writers of our time --Edward Albee, Ashley Bryan, Nora Ephron and Salman Rushdie.

This prestigious evening is the only event of the year held in the famous Adam R. Rose Main Reading Room. I transformed this historic place into a seasonal wonderland, with garlands composed of thousands of preserved white and brown oak leaves, large mirrors and oversized lampshades for the room's elegant chandeliers.

It is deeply inspiring to be surrounded by literary giants in the setting of this landmark building. The Library is truly one of New York City's greatest treasures.

Visit your local library and become inspired!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Month of Simply Sauerkraut

Whether you’re traveling around the world or taking a trip across the country, you can never escape the reach of sauerkraut’s popularity. Given its earthy flavor and versatility, making homemade sauerkraut is a wonderful edition to your recipe library.

Since making sauerkraut takes about a month to make…let’s start now!

The first step in making sauerkraut is to choose a spot in your house that will be your prep area. I prefer using the basement, but any space will work. When I’m making my fall batch of sauerkraut, I like using the biggest crock pot I can find! You will also need a lid that fits inside the pot.

Simply layer shredded cabbage and salt in bottom of crock and place the lid over it to weigh it down. Each week add more shredded cabbage and salt to the pot. At the end of the month, your delicious sauerkraut will be ready to share!

You do not need any fancy kitchen accessories or containers to create this universal dish -- just cabbage, salt, and some enthusiasm!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Little BOOST for Your Day

My health and energy determines the outcome and success of my daily activities. As we travel to event locations, place table settings and build floral displays the last thing that I want is a cold to hold me back. The busy environment makes it impossible to deal with an additional distraction like a ceaseless cough.

Eboost allows me to stay healthy during my 7 day a week, 365 day per year schedule. The two forms of Eboost, tablet and mix, contain an exceeding amount of daily vitamin C and B to give you a healthier and livelier day. I haven’t been able to find a better form of vitamin to keep me healthy throughout the year.
Vitamin Packets-$24
Vitamin Tablets-$12