Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bloomberg News: Not-for-Profit Party Ideas in NYC

Recently I was interviewed by Bloomberg News regarding my contribution to the not-for-profit world which is near and dear to my heart. I think giving back is the most important thing I can help do in my business as a party planner. Below is the article! Cheers to giving this season to your charity of choice.

Bloomberg Holiday Story here

Today Show Holiday Table

What would you do if you were asked to plan a last minute, day of, dinner party for 8 complete strangers for less than $150? Well, the Today Show called with that challenge and here is what my team and I created.

We wanted a mystical holiday table and elegant but affordable food. Below are the recipes and decor. If you need more info please comment. And, tune in to the Today Show LIVE Monday, December 20th around 9AM Eastern.

Décor List:
Quilt Batting (Table Cloth)
1 White Sheet
White Christmas lights
Apple barrel for centerpiece
Burlap fabric for napkins
Birch wood candle holders
Pillar candles

Grocery store list:
3 bunches green Grapes
Gypsy baby’s breath
1 box Sugar for Grapes (to frost the fruit)

8 servings
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

Heat butter on medium, add shallots and sauté 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.

(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.

(Venison Chili)
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 pounds venison stew meat (leg) cut into ½” cubes
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
1 cup chopped Spanish onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in a large pot until the fat is rendered and bacon is crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season the venison with salt and pepper and brown in the bacon fat on all sides (in batches in a single layer). Remove meat from pot and add peppers, onions and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until onion is translucent. Deglaze the pan with the wine and tomato paste, turn up heat, and bring to a boil. Add spices, tomatoes, beef stock, venison, and bacon. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer, partially covered, until venison is tender (about 2 hours or longer). Adjust seasoning. Like any chili, best if made a day or 2 in advance so flavors can develop.

The family was my favorite part of this entire project. I loved working with Steve and Jenny Margolis and their two wonderful boys. Thank you for allowing me into your home. Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Les Cochons Dans Une Croissant Avec Mustard!

Keep holiday entertaining simple and fun. This season I suggest creating a mustard dipping station for my favorite hors d'oeuvre of the season "pigs n a blanket", or in french "les cochons dans une croissant."

You can find an assortment of mustards at:


123 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Order online for holiday delivery!

1. Basil Dijon Mustard 7.2oz jar for $13.99

2. Chinese Mustard, Extra hot 4.25 oz for $8.99

3. Creole Mustard 5.25 oz for $9.99

4. Honey Mustard, sweet. 4oz jar $7.99

Friday, December 10, 2010

David Monn's Soundtrack of the Holidays

I have been listening to R&B lately and have been inspired by some really amazing holiday tunes, some old and some new. I'm sharing with you my music for this season. I hope you enjoy the selections and maybe they can help set the stage for your own holiday party.

Silent Night – Boyz II Men
White Christmas – Otis Redding
Merry Christmas, Baby – Christina Aguilera
Let it Snow – Boyz II Men
Silent Night – The Impressions
I Want To Come Home For Christmas – Marvin Gaye
Our First Christmas – Gabriela Anders
Do You Hear What I Hear – Yolanda Adams
Oh Santa! – Mariah Carey
This Christmas – Tamia
With a Christmas Heart – Luther Vandross
The First Noel – Born in the King
Silent Night – Keyshia Cole
O Come All Ye Faithful – Luther Vandross
Ill Be Home for Christmas – The Isley Brothers
When Christmas Comes – Mariah Carey
The Christmas Song – The Temptations
Time of Year – Ashanti

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday tips for yor table (featured on Martha Stewart Living Radio)

I love the holidays. The warmth of the season, the time with family and friends and especially the decorating! Often people ask my advice about holiday table settings and centerpieces. I have a few easy entreating tips to share that I hope inspire you to create your own festive table.

Instead of flowers I'd like to suggest a few other more affordable ideas. The first centerpiece is using green grapes, green apples, both dusted with frosted sugar, rose cones and glittered babies breath. You can spear the apples with floral sticks and insert them into floral foam.

The next centerpiece can carry you through 2012. It is all babies breath. I choose both gold and silver glittered for this sample. We used floral foam, or oasis, to secure it all in a gold bowl I had in our office.

For me, it is about creating the whole environment. I am a huge fan of having your home smell like the holidays. The Ralph Lauren Holiday candle with currant, evergreen and juniper is wonderful, but if that is out of your price range Ashland Home Occassions makes a Christmas Tree scent that is $3.50, you can find this at Michaels.

And, my fun food suggestion of the season is...Pigs n a Blanket! For Gourmet style try Dean and DeLuca's Kobe Beef and Costco has an amazing selection too! Serve with a selection of mustards!

If you'd like to listen live today, December 3, 2010 at 2PM eastern check out

Update on Post:
To check out David Monn on Martha Stewart Radio click on her radio blog here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Gold Standard

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the New York Times about some of my favorite shopping spots in New York City. It was hard to narrow it down so I choose instead to focus on something I have in my own home, the color Gold. I love the warmth of this color and these shops all have amazing items that I love.

You can read more of the story here at this New York Times link.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Story Behind "The End Of History"

I recently had the pleasure of officially meeting Stephen Saunders. He owns "The End of History", a unique antique glass and ceramic shop based in New York City. I admire that he is keeping an art alive through his passion. Here is a little about the story behind the boutique and how it got its name.

Antiques are in Stephen Saunders blood. He comes from a family of antique dealers in England. Mr. Saunders credits this as to what drives his "collections obsession". From the time he was a very small child he was taken to estate sales and local auction houses. When he was 8 years old he joined the Boy Scouts because they had the best rummage sale in his home town! By the age of 13 he was selling antiques found on the Isle of Wight to relatives in London who owned a shop near the Portabello Road antique market.

What started as a fascination with Chinese & Japanese porcelain from the 18th & 19th century turned into a rediscovery of the beauty of mid 20th century Scandinavian studio ceramics, themselves inspired by the royal collections of Sweden & Denmark of Asian ceramics, and the amazing work that came out of Italy in the 1950s and 60s, Murano glass and gold.

The name of the shop is taken from The End of History and the Last Man a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay "The End of History?", published in the international affairs journal The National Interest. The title of the shop, for Mr. Saunders, also means the end of a period when the dollar was king and American department stores were full of Scandinavian and Italian design. It was also a nod to the upcoming millennium, as he opened a shop full of 20th century design at the very end of the century in 1997.

Today, "The End of History" celebrates 13 years in business. Their merchandise can be seen in amazing homes, TV shows like Mad Men (one of my favorites), movies like Sex in the City and in many publications. I am inspired by the history represented by this collection of glass. The wonder I feel walking into his shop in New York City, I hope, can inspire generations to come.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Passion for Print

While shopping for a soon to be published New York Times story I was inspired by other artisans who, like me, truly follow their passions. The next few blog entries I'll introduce you to some of the people behind the names of some amazing stores. My holiday wish is to inspire others with these brief biography's as they have inspired me.

Luke Ives Pontifell owns Thornwillow Press. They are known for their fine handmade books and printing. In addition, Thornwillow designs and manufactures paper for some of the finest purveyors of stationary like Crane's and Cartier. They also have their own lines of cards which draw from the rich traditions of classical engraving and letterpress printing.

They just opened up a boutique of curiosities and library gallery in the NYC St. Regis Hotel. How Mr. Pontifell came to create Thornwillow Press is a story of following one's passion. This is a very short version of the amazing history behind Thronwillow and its passionate creator.

Mr. Pontifell was born in New York City, but a lot of his time was spent upstate at his parents 18th century home surrounded by Thornwillow trees. The home was full of antiques and a collection of beautiful books. He grew up fascinated with the idea that ideas and thoughts from the past will carry far into the future long after we are gone. When he was 15-years-old he took a course in letter press. It ignited his passion for typography and the written word. He was inspired to make functional beautiful objects that will last. Every year during college he printed one book. In his senior year of college his passion turned into a business. Luke and his family are now celebrating 25 years of fine printing, paper making and binding for clients such as Louis Auchincloss, Walter Cronkite, Helmut Kohl, Barrack Obama, John Updike among many others.

Thornwillow Press now is entirely based in the United States. In 2004 he set up workshops in a complex of 19th Century factory buildings he purchased in Newburgh, New York to consolidate these operations. There his team of artisans is dedicated to practicing and perpetuating the crafts of traditional hand engraving and letterpress printing, decorative paper making, gilding, leather bookbinding and fine press publishing. The work of Thornwillow is diverse, but united in its commitment to the presentation and preservation of the written word. Luke firmly believes the idea of how something is made is in the soul of the object. You can feel that when you pick up any of his products.

Some of my personal favorite's of his, for this holiday season, are the letter press, gold place cards, they are wonderful for entertaining. Next time you are in New York City stop by the St. Regis and say hello and get more of the inside story behind this amazing home made brand.