Picnic

Art Food & Drink Interviews Video

Paint + Petals: Artist Bridgette Thornton on Her Anthropologie Houseware Collab (and Picnic-Party Tips)

Just the mention of floral decor will often bring our dear grannies to mind—or at least their living rooms, trimmed with pansy wallpaper borders and rose-clad tea sets. But then someone young and modern freshens up our image of florals and our passion for pansies is rekindled. This is probably what the buyers at Anthropologie, the retail chain that forever encapsulates the cool, vintage edge of granny chic, thought of artist Bridgette Thornton when they spied her botanical prints on their sales floor.

How the prints got there is a long, wending tale, but the gist is a third-party art distributor picked up the 26-year-old artist’s work and arranged the sale of several of her illustrations in Anthro stores. Fortunately, the artwork piqued the artist collaboration team’s interest—and a capsule housewares collection was launched. It was everything Bridgette had worked toward since first visiting an Anthropologie store as a teenager. An avid believer in vision boards, she might even tell you she “manifested” the collection. And now that Nordstrom carries a curated assortment of Anthropologie Home, you can find and buy the whimsical, colorful pieces—from throw pillows and quilts to dishware and phone cases—on our site.

We recently caught up with the Bay Area native to discuss inspiration and career motivation. Oh, and picnic menus—seeing as the collection’s melamine dishes literally deliver summer parties on a platter. (Bridgette and her boyfriend even created a delightful dining-al-fresco video for our viewing pleasure!)

READ + WATCH: PAINT, PETALS & PICNICS

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Food & Drink

Easy Sparkling Pomegranate Lemonade Party Punch Recipe | What’s Cooking

Party Drink Ideas: Sparkling Pomegranate Lemonade Recipe from Nordstrom with Blackberry Syrup. Photo by Jeff Powell.It’s summer. You’re hosting a crowd. Throw together this refreshing pitcher drink to cool off your guests at your next party! Our simple recipe for freshly squeezed lemonade hits the perfect sweet-to-tart ratio and gets topped up with pomegranate juice, blackberry syrup and club soda for an effervescent sparkle.

Try this pomegranate lemonade seasonally at any of our Ebar locations, or make it at home for your next large event. Our recipe yields two gallons (or is easily halved, for one)–enough for a big backyard barbecue, sporting event or potluck. And yes, you can most definitely make this kid-friendly beverage into an adults-only party punch; just switch out the club soda for a dry Prosecco or splash in a bit of high-quality vodka.

Nordstrom Ebar Sparkling Pomegranate Lemonade. Photo by Jeff Powell.

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Food & Drink

Summer Berry Salad Recipe with Blackberry-Champagne Vinaigrette | What’s Cooking

Two years ago, one of the first recipes that kicked off our What’s Cooking series was a summer berry salad with balsamic fig vinaigrette and spiced, candied almonds. We thought it high time for a new salad idea featuring everyone’s favorite summer ingredient (berries!) for those hot and sunny days.

Mixed Summer Berry Salad Recipe with Blackberry Champagne Vinaigrette. Photo by Jeff Powell.

This time around, we’ve got snack-on-the-leftovers-worthy candied walnuts and a beautifully colored (and flavored) Blackberry-Champagne Vinaigrette. Rounding out this salad, roasted chicken breast and blue cheese (pick a good creamy but crumbly one or a goat cheese, if you find blue too funky) ground everything with their savory notes. Prep your ingredients up to two days in advance, and you’ve got a dinner salad–or office lunch everyone will jealously eyeball–at the ready whenever you are.

You’ll have extra berries after making this recipe. I’d encourage using the additional blackberries to serve up a couple Amelia Cocktails with vodka, lemon and St. Germain, or get a couple extra pints while you’re shopping and make your menu a real berry bonanza with a summertime dessert like our Shortcakes with Lemon Curd or White Chocolate Mousse.

Mixed Summer Berry Salad Recipe with Blackberry Champagne Vinaigrette. Photo by Jeff Powell.

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Food & Drink

Crispy Seasoned Fried Chicken Recipe | What’s Cooking

Extra Crispy Seasoned Fried Chicken Recipe with Honey Chipotle Glaze from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell

Fried chicken. Yes, please! It’s perfect hot or cold–which makes it one of the best picnic recipe ideas. There are a lot of secrets to crispy skin and flavorful meat out there; here’s Nordstrom Sixth & Pine Restaurant’s for mouthwatering results: a double dredge in heavily seasoned flour with a good, long wait in between to let the herbs and spices make their way into the pieces before frying. The sweet and spicy honey chipotle dip adds a modern twist to this classic. Pair it with our Deviled Egg Potato Salad for a lunch, dinner or picnic that’s perfect for summer.Extra Crispy Seasoned Fried Chicken Recipe with Honey Chipotle Glaze from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell

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Food & Drink

Creamy Deviled Egg Potato Salad Recipe | What’s Cooking

Creamy Deviled Egg Potato Salad recipe from Nordstrom with mustard, pickles and eggs. Photo by Jeff Powell.

This is the kind of recipe that I especially love. Yes, because deviled eggs are having a comeback moment and this classic salad is delicious—creamy, tangy and punctuated by the crisp texture of diced celery and onion—but more so because it brought back memories and offers a strong foundation that can be built on. After I made it at home, this creamy potato salad with eggs, mustard and pickles (served at our Sixth & Pine restaurants) took me right back to my grandmother’s kitchen and her famous egg salad.

This is the kind of recipe you pass down the family line and are asked to share at barbecues and picnics. It’s the kind of recipe to which each new cook adds a special spin making it her own. After my first taste, I added my grandmother’s secret egg salad ingredient—and I don’t think she’d mind me sharing. It took me years to pry it out of my sister, who was one of the only people my grandmother divulged her winning ingredient to: apple cider vinegar. Simple, but what a difference it makes to the memories on my palette.

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While this classic potato salad with mustard and egg is perfectly flavored and balanced as is, there are so many different ways you could adjust it for a personalized touch: adding bacon (of course), scallions and cucumber, blue cheese with hot sauce for a Buffalo-style twist, shrimp with capers and parsley, harissa, scallions with dill and lox, paprika and chorizo … the list goes on. Make this recipe for your next summer gathering, and feel free to make it your own.

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Summertime Essential: Picnics Made Easy

Here in Seattle, it’s common knowledge that real summer weather doesn’t start until July 5. True to form, after an overcast and drizzly weekend, today has been beautiful and in the 80s in the Emerald City. Once the season has arrived, we take every advantage of our brief but beautiful summer weather, and one of our favorite things to do (even after a long day at the office) is pack up a picnic basket and head outdoors to soak up as much vitamin D as possible.

Planned or spontaneous, in the park or in the backyard, dining alfresco and lazing on a blanket couldn’t be a more perfect way to enjoy a brunch, lunch or dinner. Once you have your essential gear at the ready, all you need is to pack up and head outside. Make picnics an easy (and regular!) summertime activity, and find all you’ll need in our Outdoor Entertaining and Picnic Shop.

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