Tasty Tuesday: Giveaway with Ashley Macs

We’re back on this Tasty Tuesday with a great giveaway! (If you haven’t entered, click here and follow instructions on how to enter!). Ashley MacMakin and I have teamed up to give away a medium sized wavy SGP bowl and a gourmet-to-go cheesy spinach dip appetizer from her Birmingham-based cafés, Ashley Macs!

Ashley Mac's spinach dip served with torn baguette on our Oval Platter and A small sized dip bowl

Ashley Mac's spinach dip served with torn baguette on our Oval Platter and A small sized dip bowl

Ashley Mac’s café offers a variety of comfort-style foods including freezer-to-oven casseroles, fresh pasta salads, and my personal favorite, strawberry cupcakes.

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I recently brought several of her delicious dishes from her Gourmet-to-go section of her café to a cookout at my neighbor’s new house. Her spinach dip was a hit, and prep was as easy as pressing a button on the oven!

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My favorite way to enjoy Ashley Mac’s spinach dip is with pieces of torn or sliced baguette. Pop that bread in the oven to give it a little warmth and it’s good to go!

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Serve it in one of our wavy bowls and an oval platter to add some glam and you are all set!

Shop our pottery here.

Visit one of Ashley Mac’s Birmingham locations

Don't forget to tag your SGP with "SGPsavors" on social media! Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Toasted Pound Cake with Summer Berries and Grand Marnier

Even though summer is coming to a close, berry season is still going strong at our favorite local farmer's market, Pepper Place. If you ever get a chance to go to the Saturday Market, be sure to check out Burnett Farms. They are a popular go-to source for summer fruit.

Shop our berry bowls here!

Shop our berry bowls here!

One of our favorite ways to enjoy local berries is serving them over toasted pound cake. Marta's Bakery, located in the Cahaba Heights neighborhood of Birmingham, makes incredible desserts that are reminiscent of our grandmothers' favorite recipes. We especially love their simple pound cake (but you shouldn't miss their seasonal peach cake). If you are searching for a tasty, beautiful and EASY dessert that can be thrown together in minutes, this recipe will do just the trick!

Shop our Small Round Dishes here. Shop our Plates here.

Shop our Small Round Dishes here. Shop our Plates here.

Toasted Pound Cake & Berries

Recipe by Courtney Wright

  • 1 package Marta's plain pound cake, cut into 2" cubes and lightly toasted (or use your favorite pound cake from a local bakery!)
  • 2 cups mixed berries (we like using blackberries, blueberries and strawberries)
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest 
  • 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier

Directions

  1. Divide toasted pound cake and berries among six dessert plates (or eight, depending on how small or large you would like your servings!).
  2. Sprinkle orange zest over the berries on each plate, then drizzle Grand Marnier (start off conservative, then add more as desired!).
  3. Enjoy!

 

We are looking forward to serving this at our last neighborhood get-together of the summer. Let us know what you think! Don't forget to tag your pics with #SGPSavors!

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Ask anyone at SGP what their favorite season is, and you won’t get fall or spring (because let’s be honest, we mostly have one season in Alabama - HOT ). Instead, you will hear football and tomato. We are anxiously awaiting the first game of the season; so meanwhile, we’re relishing every opportunity to enjoy our favorite summer produce.

One of our favorite ways to showcase gorgeous heirloom tomatoes is this simple tart, courtesy of our dear friend Kate over at Fig and Fern Flowers. If you are not familiar with her beautiful blooms, check out her feed now (and keep your fingers crossed that she still has a pint or two of her famous Fig preserves available!).

Photo by Graciela Slyer. Shop our wavy bowls here.

Photo by Graciela Slyer. Shop our wavy bowls here.

Closer to a margherita pizza than your traditional southern tomato pie, the concept here is simple - really good tomatoes. Add a blend of Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, fresh basil, good olive oil, plenty of cracked pepper and crunchy sea salt, and you’ll be wishing tomato season was year-round.

Ingredients

  • Pastry dough or pie shell (we used one Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust)

  • 4 oz freshly grated mozzarella

  • 4 oz freshly grated Parmesan

  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes, sliced (we love the tomatoes from Harvest Farms - find them at Pepper Place!)

  • 1 Tbsp of your favorite olive oil (we used Arbequina from OliO)

  • Salt & coarse black pepper, to taste (we like using a crunchy sea salt, like Fleur de Sel)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Slice tomatoes, then layer in paper towels to absorb excess moisture.

  3. Rub a 10” tart pan or pie dish with olive oil (we actually used an 11” tart pan and it worked great); roll out pastry dough, pressing the edges against the sides of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork, then bake for 5-8 minutes. This helps the dough hold up against the juices that are released from the tomatoes during baking.

  4. Remove partially baked crust from oven. Spread cheeses over the pastry, then sprinkle basil.

  5. Cover with tomato slices, overlapping if necessary, then drizzle with olive oil.

  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.

  7. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tart, and garnish with fresh basil.

  8. Slice into wedges and enjoy!

Photo by Graciela Slyer.

Photo by Graciela Slyer.

Photo by Graciela Slyer. Shop our Cake stand here.

Photo by Graciela Slyer. Shop our Cake stand here.

This tart is pretty perfect as is, but sometimes we'll add some crumbled bacon or fresh jalapenos to shake things up. Feel free to get creative!

What is your favorite way to enjoy this summer jewel? Tell us in the comments, or tag your pics on Instagram with #SGPSavors!

Black Bean, Corn & Feta Dip

Happy Tuesday, friends! We hope everyone had a restful and relaxing weekend. We are starting off the week with a recipe that many of you have been asking for since we previewed it on our Instagram stories over the 4th of July - Black Bean, Corn & Feta Dip. This tangy and flavorful appetizer is our go-to snack for summer gatherings. It comes together in minutes, and is always a huge hit. We went ahead and doubled the recipe for you, but be prepared - it disappears quickly, no matter how much you make!

Shop our wavy bowls here!

Shop our wavy bowls here!

Shop our wavy bowls here!

Shop our wavy bowls here!

 

Black Bean, Corn & Feta Dip

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 2 cans white shoepeg corn, drained 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 8 oz feta, crumbled 
  • Coarse black pepper, to taste 

DIRECTIONS

Mix ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Feel free to add more sugar or vinegar, depending on how sweet or tart you want the dip to be. We always start off a little conservative, then add more if it's needed - it's best to wait until after it has chilled a few hours before deciding to add more, as the flavors will develop as it sits. Serve with tortilla chips, and enjoy!

 

We love to serve this up in one of our large wavy bowls, with a large one on hand for our favorite chips. What is your go-to appetizer for summer entertaining? Let us know in the comments, and don't forget to try out the dip, then tag us in your posts with #SGPsavors. 

Have a great week! 

Behind the Scenes with SGP: Meet the Maker

Welcome to Behind the Scenes with SGP! This series will hopefully give you an idea of who we are, what we do, and a little bit about how we do it! If you have any questions about our process or studio set up, leave a comment below and we will publish a follow up post and cover some topics you may want to know more about! So ASK away, friends, and we will do our best to answer! This week, we'll start off by introducing you to SGP's namesake: Susan Gordon!

Shop our Initial Charm necklaces here! Photo credit: Charity Ponter

Shop our Initial Charm necklaces here! Photo credit: Charity Ponter

1. Where did you get your start making pottery?

My first pottery class was in college while studying to be a graphic designer...clay and I were insta-friends. No other medium has ever felt more natural or come so easy to me as ceramics. After receiving my BFA in Ceramic Sculpture, I moved to Birmingham to attend graduate school, which felt like the next natural step. Towards the end of graduate school, functional ceramics begin to pique my interest.

2. How did Susan Gordon Pottery LLC begin?

Officially we got started in 2013 in my basement. Prior to that, I worked as a Director for a not-for-profit art council for seven years and acquired a lot of experience running various aspects of a business. Coordinating a county-wide education program and teaching a slew of pottery and painting classes for adults and children taught me a lot! It also gave me an education on how to use electric kilns and mid-range (cone 6) glazes. At the time, even though we had a kiln for class use, there wasn't a lot of access or space to make my own work, so I would make a few pieces here and there and peddle them at local shows. For a long time, my dream was to be a painter until my husband spotted an example butter dish from one of my classes. My husband, who is pretty hard to impress, was emphatic that I make more pottery. His faith in me really made the wheels start turning.

By 2013 my pottery studio was set up in my basement along with my very own kiln and first employee. My Etsy shop was up and running and one by one, I started listing items that were ready to ship. That following spring, my work was all set up at a local art show in Birmingham. A local retailer noticed my work and BOOM I picked up my very first wholesale account, Chickadee. Now, SGP has over 100 active wholesale accounts and 3800 sales on Etsy! We have come a long way since my dank, dark basement and I am truly grateful.

Katherine smoothing our custom rounds for our Augusta, Georgia retailer, Charleston Street Fine Flowers. Photo credit: Graciela Slyer

Katherine smoothing our custom rounds for our Augusta, Georgia retailer, Charleston Street Fine Flowers. Photo credit: Graciela Slyer

3. Give us a peak into your current studio. Why Make Bhm?

Before it was a reality, Bruce Lenier, the founder of Make Bhm, explained his idea for the communal studio space to me. His vision was compelling and my first thought was, Birmingham really needs a place like this. The basic concept is that makers shouldn't have to create alone and that collaboration is essential to good ideas. Their motto is "...our facility is a gathering place for people who believe that good design, original ideas, and collaboration are the foundation of the creative community".

The ladies of Make Bhm. Men work here too they just didn't get in this picture LOL.

The ladies of Make Bhm. Men work here too they just didn't get in this picture LOL.

Photo credit: Graciela Slyer

Photo credit: Graciela Slyer

Photo credit: Graciela Slyer

Photo credit: Graciela Slyer

We have formed a lot of relationships and collaborated with artists that we would not have gotten to know if we had moved to a dedicated studio just for SGP. Make BHM is such a fun place to come to work. There's always somebody working here. It's exciting; it makes you feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself.

Photo credit: Graciela Slyer

Photo credit: Graciela Slyer

4. Tell us about being your own boss. What is your favorite aspect of running your own business?

Even though I am mostly right-brained, running and accelerating a business is totally thrilling. It is exciting to be given a dream, to think BIG, write down your goals, and work towards making them a reality. Yes, sometimes it is hard WORK, and the not-so-fun stuff such as filing taxes and renewing business licenses can be soul-sucking. To be completely transparent and honest, not all of my goals and dreams have come true!! There have been lots of failures along the way. Mistakes which have taught me a lot about myself, how to keep trusting my gut intuition, and believe the vision that God has put in my heart is good and worthy to pursue.

Photo credit: Charity Ponter

Photo credit: Charity Ponter

5. Tell us how your creative process works. What are your go-to places for inspiration? Do you keep a sketchbook? How do you come up with new ideas?

Probably the biggest influence on my work is all my years painting abstract expressionist work! That experience has directly informed the surface application of my pottery. I do keep a sketchbook but my inspiration comes from working with my medium directly. There's something magical about the physicality of clay. If an idea is circling around in my head, most of the time it gets written down on a list and then I make a physical sample. Clay in raw form is like a sketchbook; it can be cut, pasted, and formed and then smooshed (erased) together again to create something completely different.

Real, regular life - cooking for a family of four, entertaining, and simply getting dressed - is also a big source of inspiration. I will realize something is needed, such as a certain size bowl or a pair of earrings in this or that color! For instance, our mini abstract bowls. I have a dozen at home. They come in handy for everything from candy on a table for guests, fruit storage, or for a yummy dip!

6.    What is the most challenging aspect of being a creative entrepreneur?

  For me, it is staying true to what I want to create and not letting comparison steal my joy. In art school, they taught us that "new ideas" do not exist anymore, that everything has been done. That can be disheartening when an idea births itself in your mind! Whether that is true or not, I am just going to keep my head down and create what my heart wants.

 

We hope you have enjoyed the first installment of the "Behind the Scenes with SGP" series. Let us know what other questions we can answer for you in the comments below.

Starting this blog is our way of showing you what we do, what we enjoy, and who we are. Over the course of this blog's life we are going to cover three general topics that excite us: food, design, and style. We hope you will sit back with a cup of coffee and get to know #SGPteam and a few of our favorites that we have invited to be guest writers here. Stay tuned y'all!

 

 

Savor with SGP

We are so excited to introduce our Savor with SGP series, featuring fun food and drinks throughout each season. Stay tuned as we share our favorite recipes to serve and enjoy on the SGP pieces we love.

*Photo credit: Graciela Slyer

If you are anything like us, you head into a holiday weekend with one question on your mind - what’s on the menu? You might still be working out the details, but we’ve got two recipes that are a must-add to your meal planning. 

First up - lime butter. So simple. So fresh. SO addicting. All you need is a stick of butter, one lime, a little salt and pepper, and you are on your way to citrus-y butter heaven. We love keeping the butter soft and serving it in one of our small wavy bowls (the zest really pops against the white and gold!), but you could also shape into a log, wrap in wax paper, refrigerate, slice and serve from a butter dish. 

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Use it on: EVERYTHING. So far, our favorite is grilled corn, but you will also see us devouring slice after slice of our favorite baguette with this slathered on top. Use it to finish grilled flank steak, spicy chicken or shrimp, cilantro rice or even plain ol' potatoes. Do yourself a favor and make an extra batch to stash in the freezer; then slice and enjoy all summer long!

 

 LIME BUTTER

 Ingredients:

  • one stick unsalted butter, softened

  • one small lime

  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

 Instructions:

  1. Zest the lime and set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, use a spatula to combine the softened butter and lime zest. Add salt, pepper, and juice from half of the lime; blend well.

  3. Taste and adjust to your liking. We prefer using juice from the whole lime, to make the butter nice and tart! *Don't worry if some of the juice doesn't incorporate into the butter - just pour off the excess before you serve or chill.

  4. If serving immediately, transfer the butter to a small bowl (if it's a little too soft, just stick in the fridge for a few minutes). You can also scrape the butter into a Ziploc bag, cut off one corner, and pipe onto a small dish or plate.

 

 

Next up is the slushy cocktail of your dreams. Frosé (or Frozen Rosé) has been the “it” warm-weather drink for a few summers now, and it’s still going strong. We used these two recipes as inspiration for our take, which simply combines our favorite rosé, fresh strawberries, a little lemon juice and a bit of ice. You can choose a dry or sweet rosé, depending on your preference - just make sure it’s full-bodied as it will dilute slightly with freezing (we prefer a rosé of Pinot Noir).

 

Whether you are spending the 4th on the lake, in the sand, or around the backyard grill, you will want one of these in your hand.

 

 

FROSÉ

 Ingredients:

  • 1 750 ml bottle of rosé (preferably full-bodied)

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries

  • 2-3 oz fresh lemon juice

  • ice

 Instructions:

  1. Pour rosé into ice cube trays and freeze overnight (the cubes may remain somewhat slushy due to the alcohol in the wine).

  2. Combine the rosé cubes, strawberries and lemon juice (start with 2 oz and add more to your taste) in a blender; mix on high until smooth. If you need a little extra slushiness, add a few cubes of ice and blend again.

  3. Pour into glasses and garnish with fresh lemon.

What are you excited about cooking up this holiday weekend? Tell us in the comments, and don't forget to show us your favorite ways to enjoy the lime butter and Frosé by sharing your pics on Facebook and Instagram (tag them #SGPsavors).

Wishing everyone a safe and happy 4th!