I met the renowned Fashion Designer, Lela Rose playing wiffle ball on Nantucket Island one sweltering July day when we were kids. I was on Team Rainwater and she was on Team Rose.
We became fast friends. She is the epitome of fun with a great smile and contagious laugh. I remember when she was in design school and hemming my jeans; she made me a great suede vest and even sewed suede on the front sides of my favorite worn out jeans making them tres chic.
Every time I wore them someone would stop to ask me where I got them. My reply would always be, "My friend Lela made them. She is crazy creative." Oh how I wish I still had those pants (or even the suede vest she made me) but I wore them out. It's fun for me to think back to the time we first met, to her interning for the Toronto Blue Jays, to going to design school then moving to LA to work for Richard Tyler to becoming a big brand.
I am a very proud friend with many fond memories. Lela just came out with her new book, "Pret-a-Party." I love it! It's chock full of "Great Ideas for Good Times and Creative Entertaining". Her incredible imagination and whimsical style really shows through every page. This books makes you want to Entertain.
But don't just take my word for it! "If you ever have the chance to attend one of Lela Rose's legendary parties, run don't walk. The whimsical fashion designer's talents extend much further than the runway, making her as well know for her parties as she is her party dresses." -HARPER'S BAZAAR ONLINE
I had dinner with Lela recently at a get-together with some old friends, new friends and clients to celebrate her new book.
Everything from the Sneekys to the tablescape was a 10. Here I am with Lela and some other crazy talented ladies.
From left to right are my friends Margot Fooshee, Head of Communications at JCrew, Marlien Reintmeester, Founder of Le Catch, the fabulous Lela Rose (whose blog contains even more spectacular ideas for entertaining), Gregg Renfrew, Founder of Beauty Counter (check out her Lustro Shimmer Oil - I use it to get a nice glow, even in these cold months), Me, and Lena Wald, a crazy talented jeweler.
I also loved the thoughtful note she included in my copy of the book!
Lela Rose's Recipe:
GRANDJOHN'S BUTTERMILK PRALINE RECIPE.
2 CUPS SUGAR
3/4 CUP BUTTERMILK
1/3 CUP HEAVY CREAM
1 TEASPOON BAKING SODA
1 1/2 TEASPOONS PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
3 TABLESPOONS UNSALTED BUTTER
PINCH OF SALT
1 CUP PECANS, COARSELY CHOPPED
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the sugar, buttermilk, cream and baking soda. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring just enough to keep the mixture from burning, especially as it thickens.
Periodically test to see if the mixture is done by lifting the spoon and dropping a couple of drops into a cup of cold water. It is done when the drops form a soft ball in the cold water or the temperature registers 235 to 245 degrees F on the candy thermometer, usually between 15 to 25 minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, butter, and salt. Beat until thick and creamy. Quickly add the pecans and stir to incorporate. Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
Let cool completely before serving.
Wahoo Lela! Way to go. Very proud of you and all you have done since we were working at Sam's cafe on the upper east side. Check out more of Lela's gorgeous work on Instagram @lelarose as well as her fabulous NEW blog, "Eat Drink Dress Lela".