Every Party Has A Purpose

We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, holidays, you name it.  As someone who loves to entertain, I find any reason to get my friends together for fun and fellowship.

Itching to entertain, I decided that Halloween was too far to wait and opted to take matters into my own hands.  Since there were no birthdays approaching and the sight of nuptials weren’t any closer, I looked for a reason to gather some friends together.

miss america logo

Sunday, September 14, I gathered the group for an evening of judgmental stares and vicious comments…I mean, great food and wholesome togetherness.

The annual pageant and scholarship program is surrounded by pomp and circumstance, so why not capitalize on it and throw a party as you watch and wager.  Although things did not turn out quite as we would have hoped, Alabama’s own, Caitlin Brunell, represented the Heart of Dixie with poise and grace…and not a plastic cup in sight!

In spite of the results, party goers had a fun filled night accented by great food.  So as you consider planning your next gathering, regardless the purpose, check out these tasty treats that were a smash hit at the Miss America Extravaganza.

A great way to keep things connected is to create fun names for the dishes or sides you are serving.

Pulled Pork Sliders Photo

These sliders are so simple to create, but will truly take home the crown with intense layers of flavor.  The only item that is hand made is the cole slaw!  Here’s the break down:

King’s Hawaiian Rolls,
Jack Daniel’s Ready to Eat Pulled Pork,
Cole Slaw (recipe below), and
Wickles Pickles (which happen to be made right here in Alabama)

The warmth of the pulled pork, coupled with the cool crunch of the slaw was heaven in a mouthful!

Cole Slaw Recipe Card

 

You can’t have bar-b-que without chips and these will not disappoint, unlike the talent portion of the competition Sunday night.

Sweet Potato Chips Photo

Easy is the name of the game with these homemade chips.  Using a mandolin, slice sweet potatoes in uniform pieces.  After frying them to a crispy texture, sprinkle with salt and fresh Parmesan cheese.  Your guests will love them…assuming you don’t “sample” too many while you make them.

 

For the final side item, I chose to go with a warm dip that turned out to be a smash hit!  The guests literally licked the platter clean.

Corn Dip Photo

As you may suspect, this recipe is also super simple.  A little chopping, a quick sautee, throw it in the oven, and you are done!

Corn Dip Recipe Card

 

Last, but not least, is a tasty treat to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Top 10 Truffles Photo

These cookie dough truffles are amazing!  I suggest you make them right now!

Truffle Recipe Card

So whether you’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of your parents, or holding a viewing party for the season premiere of your favorite show, have fun with your food and entertain your guests with ease. Plan a party for any purpose and try these awesome recipes that are sure to be crowd pleasers!  Be a party animal this fall as you continue to stay stylish!

Fall Fashion: The Stylish Steed’s 4 Must-Haves

The notable Oscar Wilde once said, “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” I don’t know about intolerable, but here’s to another season of alterations, Mr. Wilde. With the fall season beginning in less than 20 days, it’s time for us to prepare for some changes in our wardrobe. As you move your cords and boots to the front of the closet, there are some other items that you should consider integrating into your look.

The Stylish Steed’s Top 4 Must-Haves for Fall

The devil is in the details! Maybe not the devil, but leather sure is! A polished look for the season that works in a multitude of styles is leather detailing. Whether its patches, piping, or panels, leather details add a sleek look to your outfit.

TSS Leather Detail

Blazer – H&M
Peplum Top – Madewell
Woven Jacket – H&M
Merino Sweather – J. Crew Factory
Striped Tee – J. Crew Factory


I understand that many women change their handbag as often as their undergarments, but a staple bag for this season is the Trapeze Bag. These uniquely shaped bags can be quite expensive, but with a little research you can easily find more affordable options.

TSS Trapeze Bag

Off White – Forever21
Leather Multicolored – Aliexpress
Suede Multicolored – Aliexpress


To help you get a jump on things, the iconic jumpsuit is back. In a variety of styles, there is an option to suit your body and taste. Pair with heels, boots, or even flats, and this fashion throwback can work for almost any occasion.

TSS Jumpsuits

Geo-Print Wrap – New York & Company
Blue V Neck – Zara
¾ Sleeve Wrap Front – H&M
Button Neck – Zara


Plaid is rad this season and you can wear it anywhere! If it’s overwhelming, you can simply make it an accessory, or be bold and branch out with a large print jacket or skirt. Regardless your level of comfort, reach for something plaid in a color palette that complements your coloring.

TSS Plaid

Large Print Jacket – Tulle4Us
Rain Hat – Talbot’s
Skirt – L.L. Bean
Blazer – Talbot’s
Pant – Land’s End


Whether your personal style is chic, professional, playful, or anything in between, take this time to branch out and include some of these must-haves into your fall line-up. Don’t be afraid to explore colors that are new to you. Explore a new dimension to your style and welcome fall with a fresh look that’s sure to help you stay stylish!

Prepping for Fall

Even though the high temperatures don’t agree, fall is just around the corner.  As we begin to think about the change of season, we are bustling with activities.  Whether we are tailgating, shopping, exploring nature, or just commuting to work, it’s time to Prep for Fall.  With trends and styles ranging from ridiculous to the expected, it’s difficult to know which direction to head.  A staple classic, but popular trend for fall 2014, is directly in line with my personal style aesthetic…the preppy look.  Regardless of your autumn adventures, The Stylish Steed has some preppy looks to bring your fall fashion forward.

Weekend Prep

This casual, yet put together look is perfect for any weekend outing.  By layering classic pieces, you are able to maximize your look.

Weekend Prep

The foundation of this outfit, a denim button up from Gap, can be used in a multitude of ways.  Top it with a graphic sweater from J. Crew Factory to add personality and fun to your look.  Don a great quilted vest (J. Crew Factory) and a pop of color with these rustic gold straight leg pants from Talbots, and you are ready for any excursion.  Consider a tall riding boot (DSW), a staple from recent seasons, to elevate this look to the ultimate level of prep.

Casual Prep

For those events that require a little more refined look, consider a comfortable ensemble with refined details.

Casual Prep

The navy blazer is a classic item that is really trending this season for women.  A traditional masculine item, this blazer (H&M) is tailored for a woman.  A multicolored button up from J. Crew Factory brings life to this polished look.  Pair with a lighter wash straight leg jean (Gap), a colorful statement necklace (Charming Charlie), and a great flat with gold detail (DSW) to complete the look.

Business Prep

It’s bad enough to have to go to work during these beautiful fall days, let’s not add insult to injury by doing it in a bad outfit.  For those of us in the daily grind, a business prep look is exactly what we need to cure those boardroom blues.

Business Prep

A classic khaki pencil skirt with a pinstripe button up, both from J. Crew Factory, can be quite a bore, but you can excite this look with a few added details and accessories.  A great cranberry cardigan (Gap) adds a polished collegiate feel, while the leopard skinny belt provides just a peek of pattern to your waist.  You can never go wrong with pearls, and if you’re going to wear pearls, more is more.  This layered pearl necklace from Charming Charlie gives a big impact while still maintaining a traditional, preppy feel.  Finish off with pearl detail earrings and you’re destined for the corner office.

Incorporating prep into your wardrobe can bring a breath of fresh air to your tired duds.  Polished, yet casual.  Refined, yet a touch rugged.  The preppy look is fully encompassing fashion at its best and always a classic way to stay stylish!

Pushing His Buttons

Virginia Beach native, Jason Button, is keeping things tied up in Alabama’s capital city. The son of a skilled woodworker and a cross-stitching mother, Button has set out to create a business that provides the gents with quality bow ties and pocket squares.

button's bow ties

Button’s Bow Ties, a new development that began earlier this year, was never an initial plan for Button. With a career in industrial distribution, one doesn’t need a necktie for the office, but Button established his love for ties years ago. As a wardrobe requirement during his collegiate years, Button grew tired of donning an average necktie and found bow ties to be a fun alternative. However, even with his love for bow ties, Button says that fashion is not his forte.

So how does a man with no background in fashion set out to create a men’s line of bow ties and pocket squares?

By accident, of course! It all started with a search for watercolors. What was planned to be a creative weekend of painting ended up as a business venture that is opening doors for this busy, family man from Montgomery. While trying to locate the watercolors from storage, Button came across an old tie of his wife’s grandfather. After a brief tutorial from his sister-in-law, a very able seamstress, and some online research, Button quickly discovered how he could convert this old neck tie into a functioning bow tie. Through trial and error, paired with his parent’s influential work ethic and attention to detail, Button’s Bow Ties was born. It also doesn’t hurt that Button spent some time in his college art department, even considering Graphic Design for a career. You can definitely see his natural artistic ability in his products, down to the vintage button hand sewn on each product. Thoughtful details like that are found throughout a customer’s interaction with the dapper and creative owner.

button detail

Although it’s not a family business, Button says that his wife, a native Alabamian, and his two children are very supportive of his work. Tiffany, his wife, will advise in the fabric selection department, but leaves all the creating to her sewing sweetie. His son, age 12, has reached the age where he wears his father’s custom pieces, and his daughter, age 14, has been inspired and enjoys sewing and creating her own designs as well.

Not to neglect the Junior Dapper Gentlemen, Button also has a line of onesies that include two pre-tied, snap on bow ties.

Not to neglect the Junior Dapper Gentlemen, Button also has a line of onesies that include two pre-tied, snap on bow ties.

Drawing inspiration from the creativity of designers like The Cordial Churchman and Otis James, Button strives to create pieces that are unique and focused on details.

Conveniently packaged and delivered, your high quality bow tie has a built in tab for easy closet hanging.

Conveniently packaged and delivered, your high quality bow tie has a built in tab for easy closet storage.

A customer will find the process of purchasing a custom creation from Button’s Bow Ties to be an absolute pleasure. From the initial contact to the delivered package, Button is completely committed to personalized customer service.

A southern gentleman with an entrepreneur dream, creative mindset, and focus on customer satisfaction…it’s a recipe for success if you ask me.

Button also offers his services in converting neckties into a custom made bow tie.

In addition to his creations, Button offers his services in converting neckties into a custom made bow tie.

What’s the future for Button’s Bow Ties? Currently he is focused on bow ties and pocket squares, but has ideas of expansion which I am confident will continue his reputation of quality products and superb customer service.

Available for viewing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, interested customers can contact Jason Button through private messaging for inquiries or to make purchases. Like and follow him to stay up-to-date on new developments and support a local creative designer.  It’s the dreams and ambitions of individuals like Jason Button that help us men of the world stay stylish!

Hot Food in the City

Summertime is filled with so many activities and events that it’s easy to find something to do almost every weekend. As a busy boy about town, I am always in search of those unique events that provide a fun, memorable experience with the opportunity to move away from the norm. The Atlanta Street Food Festival (ASFF) was nothing short of that.

asff logo

An annual event that showcases the top food trucks from across the southeast, ASFF occupied a large portion of beautiful Piedmont Park to provide the masses with entertainment, fun activities, and the main attraction…all the culinary creations. With over 40 food trucks present, you could have your feel of anything from juicy hot dogs and hamburgers with a twist, fall off the bone smoked BBQ ribs, or cross-cultural cuisine with maximum flavor.

Creativity was abounding as workers tirelessly produced orders for the endless lines of festival attendees. It is extremely difficult to choose a favorite, but I have narrowed it down to my TOP 5 FAVORITES OF THE DAY!

In no particular order:

firewall

1. Homemade Lemon Basil Italian Soda from FIREWALL, a wood fire oven food truck. Amidst the orders of wood fired sandwiches and pizzas, I discovered a refreshing beverage that quenched my thirst in the Hot-lanta heat. Light and flavorful, this lemon beverage with robust, infused basil was the perfect concoction for a summer day in the park.

Bar Meatball

2. Fried Risotto Balls with Pesto Sauce from Bar Meatball. Bar Meatball knows what their strengths are and capitalizes on them…meatballs and ice cream sandwiches. With variations of homemade meatballs and delicious sauces, you choose your desired combination and wait for the excellence to be served. In addition, you can also satisfy your sweet tooth with their homemade ice cream sandwiches. Simply choose your ice cream flavor and the type of cookie and the friendly staff at Bar Meatball deliver an awesome dessert that makes you feel like a kid again.

Bento Bus

3. Kamikaze Nachos from Bento Bus paired Japanese flavors with Mexican preparation.  A bed of fried wonton chips was covered and smothered with teriyaki chicken, fresh romaine lettuce, Asian pico de gallo, roasted sweet corn and queso sauce. I cannot say enough about these!  Had the line not been so long I would have gone back for seconds.

The Filipino

4. Pancit and Lumpio (Noodles and Rolls), from The Filipino held true to their mission of providing southern pacific comfort food. With perfectly prepared flat noodles covered with flavorful vegetables and a side of Filipino egg rolls, this intense pairing was the perfect dish to share while we rested on a grassy hillside.  The rolls were amazing with a flaky and crispy shell.  Subtle heat with Filipino flavors was definitely a home run dish.

Atl Burger Company

5. The Little 5 Burger and Baked Potato Salad from The Atlanta Burger Truck was a great twist on two classics.  The unconventional dressing of pimento cheese and bacon on a juicy slider was a great addition to this beef patty.  The baked potato salad was very much a pleasant surprise and change from old-fashion mustard and mayo potato salad.  Cubes of baked potatoes were mixed with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and bacon crumbles to create an explosion of flavor.  Served cold, like the traditional version, but flavored with a nod to a loaded baked potato, this was the perfect pairing with my burger.

After eating their fill, event attendees had the opportunity to wander around the park and visit great vendors set up with anything from clothing and drink mixes, to cooking gadgets and jewelry.  Keurig even had a mobile bus to provide with you an afternoon pick me up with a huge assortment of beverage options.

My favorite vendor was Pork Clouds, a company showcasing fried pork skins with intense flavors.  With three flavors available at the festival, I purchased a sample pack with Rosemary Sea Salt, and my favorite, Malabar Black Pepper.

asff 057There was a mission behind all the excitement though.  Partnering with Atlanta’s The Giving Kitchen (TGK), proceeds from the event went to support the efforts of this great organization.  Focused on providing crisis grants to members of Atlanta’s restaurant community facing unanticipated hardships, TGK embraces the opportunity to support its own.  TGK had a booth at the event and the volunteers were overjoyed to share about their organization.  Through donations and special events, TGK is able to reach out during times of sorrow and multiply joy.  To find out more about The Giving Kitchen, or to make a donation to their efforts, visit their website.  There’s nothing better than a party with a purpose.

A fun event for all ages, the ASFF was a huge success.  If you didn’t make it to the 2014 event, keep your eyes open for next years festivities.  The summer is still in swing and there are plenty of festivals and events coming up, so grab your crew and head out for some fun and fellowship at a local festival as you stay stylish this summer!

asff collage