Food & Finishes-Beautiful Living by Terri Havens

Jan 27, 2020

Hi Friends! This week we are going to talk about my two favorite things- food and finishes. With my daughter’s wedding coming up and me needing to be able to wear a dress, the right kind of food is just as important to me as that perfect finish!!

I had put Beautiful Living in my holiday gift-giving guide this year and have personally purchased many signed copies for those special someones. Client, Terri Havens hired another client of mine, cookbook editor Roni Atnipp to work with her on not just a cookbook, but a guide to living beautifully. The pages are filled with lovely tablescapes, beautifully styled plates and mouthwatering recipes that are unbelievably healthy.

I met Terri when I worked with her and her husband when they were redoing their lovely home! In fact, you may know of it by this photo of her dressing room selected for the cover of Segreto Style. She and her husband John own Cal-a-Vie spa in California whose Chef, Curtis Cooke, is known for his delicious, low calorie, healthy cuisine. New Orleans transplants, Terri’s knack for southern hospitality, creative spirit and amazing good taste have been a big part of this luxury spa’s success!

Pictured are Terri and Roni at a behind the scenes shoot in an article from Paper City-photographed by Shelby Hodge. Roni has edited a long list of successful cookbooks- 10 in fact. Here are a few of my favorites: Stop and Smell the RosemaryPerfectly Aged: 40 Years of Recipes and Stories from The Taste of TexasLuby’s Recipes and Memories: A Collection of Our Favorite Dishes and Heartwarming Stories, and With Gratitude, Johnny Carrabba.

Chef Curtis Cooke is at the hub of Cal-a-Vie’s amazing cuisine! He gives cooking classes at the spa and with so many people asking for the recipes, Terri wanted to share her love of health and wellness with all of us! Having many publishing houses vying to publish the book, she decided to self-publish to ensure it was beautifully presented and as quality-oriented as the spa itself! I certainly appreciate that!

With Beautiful Living selling over 2000 copies in its first month and being awarded Best USA Hotel Cookbook from the international Gourmand World Cookbook Awards no wonder, it is the talk of the town.

I was so excited to have some of our finish boards used for a few of the beautiful table settings and well-plated foods. Deborah Smail’s photography is a work of art on each page. This lime green Venetian plasterboard creates a striking backdrop for the vibrant blue china.

As you know I love setting a beautiful table and the tablescapes are as inspirational as the food is masterful. This tray of Bloody Mary Gazpacho sits in front of a smokey plaster background.

Spying our gold leaf board used as a placemat in the front of the appetizer section makes me want to create a set of my own for my table.

The Buzz Magazines who featured Beautiful Living in one of their magazines sampled one of the recipes! Here is what writer ANDRIA FRANKFORT has to say! “I made the nuts and olives both, and while both are delicious, the olives are truly addictive. The ingredients are simple, and there’s hardly any prep, but they taste like much more than the sum of the recipe’s parts. Which is exactly the kind of thing we need to be making right now: simple, yummy and healthy too. Not to mention, when you make them, you bring a little bit of Cal-A-Vie luxury home.”  Who doesn’t want that?

Wanting a fun and festive board full of color for the ice creams and sorbets, we custom made this one for their display.

Stenciling over plaster truly creates sophistication and depth to any room……and to these beautifully displayed vinaigrettes.

I have never been more excited to start the new year with healthy eating and a new way to view food. With over 120 recipes tested and put in terms we can all understand-sweet Roni’s contribution, we no longer need to sacrifice taste to maintain our waistline! At the launch party, a full buffet lunch was provided with cashew-stuffed mushrooms (31 calories per serving), roasted cauliflower soup with curry oil (152 calories per serving), Asian chicken salad (329 calories per serving), and chocolate mousse with salted almonds (74 calories per serving.)  That is just 586 calories in total including dessert!

Pretty enough to leave on your coffee table, you will want to keep these recipes which include calorie count, salt, carbohydrate, and fat content with each recipe in your kitchen. Beautiful Living, written by Terri and created by a team of people who truly have followed their passions is inspirational to me. After all, following our dreams, doing what we love and helping others is what life is all about! Kudos to the creatives below! I am fortunate to know and love most of them and am so excited for their success! Till next week! xo Leslie

Terri Havens, who has helped so many people obtain their best life through health and wellness.

Roni Atnipp, editor/production manager, who ensured each recipe could be easily replicated, chose paper flown in from Italy and ensured each place setting was as beautifully displayed and unique as the food.  

Elise DeSilva, a principle with Limb Design, whose passions for graphics have matched each recipe with a graphic splendor.

Debora Smail, a New Mexico-raised, Texas-based; culinary, editorial, photojournalistic, digital & film photographer, whose photography in itself is art.

Chef Curtis Cooke, whose creativity in the kitchen has enabled us to enjoy clean eating at its finest!

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