This July I met up with Annette Joseph in her amazing apartment in Italy for a little summer get-together with cooking, eating and dancing on the agenda.
If you know Annette Joseph from before, then you know she knows how to throw a party and make it all look oh-so effortlessly, she is a food and lifestyle stylist after all with years of experience under the belt for magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens, and is an lifestyle and entertainment expert on the Today show.
My lucky part was to be able to watch her work her magic up close and personal, enjoy heartfelt and fun conversation along the way, and play with my camera.
It was such a treat to spend time in her company.
It´s always so inspiring to have conversations between women, to hear their life wisdom, how they make their relationship work after many years of marriage, to listen to their life stories and to learn from their creative journey, how they began their career to where they are now.
Annette Jospeh was no exception, and this Tuesday she launched her very first cookbook “Picture perfect parties” a book on how to throw parties at home, how to entertain your family and friends for any seasonal occasion decorating with things you already have at home with lots of tasty recipes.
Her motto: Make it simple and make it gorgeous!
And she´s generously giving away a signed book to one of you!
All you need to do is to leave a comment on my Instagram account @marte_marie_forsberg before friday the 11th of October.
If you want to meet her on her American book tour find dates and locations here.
Here´s a little peek at our fun days together and a recipe of one of my favorite treats from the day, Spicy orange shrimp.
After having planned them menu, we took our shopping baskets and headed to the nearest Italian coastal town in her cool little mini to shop for quality produce.
The sun was high and the palm trees stood tall and still in the warm summer air with a well needed gentle sea breeze cooling us every now and then.
For the last 20 years Annett´s been going to Italy and just a few years ago she chose to buy a place in Liguria with her husband and go here every summer for three months to recharging, spend time with her Italian friends and to be inspired.
Here´s a peek at her entertaining magic as she cooked up a storm in her kitchen for me that day in July.
Watching someone cook from scratch with confidence and joy is such a pleasure. As the scents from her cooking filled the kitchen, it reminded me of the most happy memories I have from my childhood with my beloved mother cooking away by her side.
Easy, quick and full of color, perfect, just like my favorite little dish from that day, spicy shrimp, that Annette´s is kindly shared with me.
Spicy orange shrimp
(* great make ahead dish)
40 medium shrimp with heads and tails ( washed until cold water and drained)
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice ( about 2 medium size oranges)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes (you can add more to taste if you like it spicy)
1/2 teaspoon of tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon salt
In a large sauté pan add olive oil and garlic, sauté on medium heat until garlic until transparent.
add shrimp, and orange juice, cover for 2 minutes until shrimp turns pink.
Toss with oregano, pepper flakes, and tabasco and salt. Place into a shallow platter or bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
Pull out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before serving.
Then all you need is to set the table before the guests arrive.
I loved how she rolled the cutlery in individual linen monogrammed napkins with a string bow.
Cute little trick, non?
The sun went down, the music got louder and the guests could arrive.
In the end it´s all about keeping it simple, and about sharing the moment in great company.
I definately learned a few tricks here and there in terms of entertaining, but what I adored the most was to discover a hosted that can serve up seemingly effortlessly beautiful dishes, engage in heartfelt conversation, relax, dance the night away and not take herself too seriously in the process, what´s not to love.