Easy Icing for Steve’s Cake

icing Steve McKenzie
Steve McKenzie topping off the Sour Cream Cake with this easy icing!

We’re tickled at all the requests for this easy recipe, and happy to share. It will become part of your baking repertoire for sure. If you missed the Sour Cream Cake recipe, jump back to this blog post.

Add a special flavor with Jackson Morgan Southern Cream Salted Caramel

Good old Food Network and Alton Brown came to the rescue for a simple royal icing and here’s the recipe. Always looking to change things up, Steve decided to incorporate the delicious Jackson Morgan Southern Cream in Salted Caramel.

icing Jackson Morgan
Add a special ingredient to this versatile icing
icing Steve McKenzie
A couple of bowls, your trusty hand mixer, and fresh mint
icing Steve McKenzie The Preppy Stitch
Perfect for sharing with friends

Just add a few colorful touches like the Creative Candles votives, pretty Mottahadeh plates, and these darling monogrammed napkins from The Preppy Stitch, and you have a dessert party.

Let us know if you make this cake and icing, and if you use a special ingredient in the icing. Tag and follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook. Happy baking!

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Tastemaker Tuesday – Owen Masterson & Christine Anthony of Anthony-Masterson

We have a treat for you all today! We’re thrilled to feature the husband-wife team that is Anthony-Masterson. This dynamite team specialize in photography and filmmaking. And their work is almost as fantastic as they are… Steve and Jill have gotten to know Owen and Christine by working with them on a number of design projects and have found such like-mindedness, as they’re also a couple that do just about everything together. We believe you’ll thoroughly enjoy this fun little conversation/interview and are so pleased to introduce you to the latest Tastemakers for the blog for steve mckenzie’s, Owen Masterson and Christine Anthony:

Christine & Owen of Anthony-Masterson Photography

We began shooting sixteen years ago determined to combine our individual talents.  Before that Owen was working with some of the best cinematographers in Los Angeles as an actor and Christine was an in-demand food stylist.  We had both spent a lot of time on sets observing what it took to get a great shot.  Inspired, we picked up a camera and a bunch of film and began shooting.  We started with food.  Shortly after that a new stock agency dedicated to food photography began licensing our images.  In 2001 we shot our first job.  Since moving to Atlanta in 2005 we have been shooting Interiors, Food and Travel.

In 2008 we acted on a long held desire to make our pictures move and began experimenting with filmmaking. This led to a number of short films and two award winning feature length documentaries.

Working in both mediums provides great balance plus we get to travel a lot and work with some extraordinarily talented and interesting people.

1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?

Owen:  Do we each get 3 words?

Christine:  What have you got?

Owen:  Fast, edgy and dangerous.

Christine:  I think that describes you more than the aesthetic.

Owen:  Okay, what have you got?

Christine:  How about balanced, uncluttered and provocative?

Owen: That’s why I love you.

2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?

Owen:  You go first.

Christine:  I always go first.

Owen:  Ok.  Plaza Towers  25th floor, stunning pied-a-terre, killer view of Atlanta skyline. 

Christine:  And the rich tones in the living room.  What about the first interior project we ever shot? That beautiful home on the coast in Malibu owned by the Fluxus artist Van Schley and his wife.

Owen:  Wow that was so long ago and we shot it on film! 

Christine:  And we hardly knew what we were doing.

Owen:  The challenge was the light bouncing off of the Pacific Ocean into practically every room in the house.  But we figured it out.  

Christine:   Speaking of the coast… what about the light in the house at Wrightsville Beach?

Owen:  Love.

3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

Owen:  Christine.  That was an easy one.

Christine:  I guess I better say Owen.  But really, it is Owen.  When you live and work together 24/7 as a team you each bring something different to the party so it’s essential to be inspired by your partner’s vision – or madness.

Owen:  I always know I’m in for something challenging when Christine says “Tell me if you think this is a crazy idea.”  But we don’t live in a bubble so there’s the things we see and the people we meet in our travels that influence and inspire us as well.

4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Christine:  That’s tricky.  Only three?

Owen:  John Lennon, the Pope, and it might get fun if say, Amy Winehouse comes.

Christine:  The Pope choice seems off unless it’s Alexander Pope.

Owen:  Okay, how about Jimi Hendrix, Jackson Pollock and Howard Finster?

Christine:  Better.  But I’d really like to cook for Joan Didion so one has to go.

Owen:  Wait a minute, don’t we each get three?

Christine:  We could be here all day… how about we move on?

5. A favorite type of space or even a favorite type of object/setting to photograph?

Owen:  We love the skill set of shooting interiors.  It’s so exacting, like a high wire act. 

Christine:  The placement and balance of objects.

Owen: The play of shadows and light.

Christine:  The vignettes.

Owen:  Capturing the more intimate moments that really express the personality of the room.

Christine: But there’s also a freedom to shooting the travel stories that we enjoy.  Being out and about, anticipating, keeping an eye out for the shot.

Owen:  Because we shoot so many different things: interiors, food, people, travel, and then there are the videos too, it’s like cross training.  It keeps our imaginations limber and eyes fresh.

6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?

Owen and Christine:  See it. Love it.  Shoot it! 

Christine:  That’s been our motto from day one.

Owen:  Of course our clients’ needs come first but we always try to take the shots further than they had imagined; the angle, the frame, the composition.

Christine:  And then there’s the lighting.  We shoot primarily with natural light and Owen is the master of light and shadow so we like to wow our clients with the lighting.

7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

Owen:  Playing records

Christine:  Owen is the house DJ, he spins, I cook.  I love long hours at the dinner table or on the deck with close friends. 

Owen:  Christine is a great cook so the dinners are always good.  And then there’s the wine and the conversation. 

Christine:  It’s like the exact opposite of social media.

Owen:   Which is anti-social

Christine:  So you’d say social media is over?

Owen:  Definitely over.  And out.

8What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Christine:  Do we each get one thing?

Owen:  Fire.

Christine:  That way I could cook.  So maybe I’d bring a knife.

9. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the photography design industry. 

Owen:  I’d give the same advice we were given when we started. Just do it!

Christine:  It’s a process and you have to work at it to find your eye.  Just make sure you understand the business end of it.  That can be the most difficult part for creatives.

Owen:  Find your passion.  It’s an art form even if you’re shooting plumbing supplies. It’s a journey and you should have adventures doing it.

Christine:  Oh, the places we’ve been…

Okay, so that was a lot of fun, right?! We need to find more dynamic duos to feature in our Tastemaker series! At least ones with such wonderful senses of humor… And isn’t their work divine. The way they work with lighting – it’s magical. And they make our spaces look absolutely phenomenal. We’re fans of Owen and Christine’s and are willing to bet that after reading this post you are too!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Annette Joseph

Sounds the trumpets – we’re absolutely thrilled to be featuring our friend, and acclaimed stylist and entertaining expert, Annette Joseph as our latest Tastemaker here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s!!

If you’re a part of the home design and luxury lifestyle industry, you already know who Annette is. But, for those of you who may not be familiar, we recently shared a bit about her and her upcoming photography workshop, taking place this fall in Berlin, where Steve will be joining in as the branding and social media expert, along with Christina Wedge, an amazing lifestyle and interiors photographer.


In addition to her photography and style workshops, Annette has also authored a fantastic book, “Picture Perfect Parties,” which we urge you to check out!

If you can’t tell already, we’re so excited to have this opportunity to share all about Annette with you – so, without further ado, we give you the newest member of our Tastemaker family:

Annette Joseph
Annette Joseph

Annette Joseph is an expert on entertaining, cooking, and styling. She regularly appears on The Today Show and Martha Stewart Sirius Radio. Her recipes and party ideas have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Epicurious, DesignSponge, MSN, The Huffington Post, Southern Living, and Woman’s Worldamong others. Annette now enjoys sharing the many ideas, tips and tricks she has gained as a nationally recognized photo stylist/producer specializing in lifestyle editorial images for magazines. With over 20 years experience, her expertise includes photo styling for interiors, food propping and special production projects. Annette currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and 2 children.

1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?

Utilitarian, Masculine, Italian

picture perfect parties - Annette Joseph

2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?

Oh gosh, there are so many. But I think shooting my own cookbook, Picture Perfect Parties, was probably the most exciting. Having total control of the aesthetic is a dream come true for a photo stylist and producer. My team was amazing we used my home, the home of Bill Peace and Innerpieces Antique Warehouse as locations. We pretty much had a blast everyday!


3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

I live in Italy part of the year it’s a huge part of my life and my style inspiration.

4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Only three? Okay… Wes Anderson, Pablo Picasso, Julia Child

MJJ15_LookBook_Final-16-483x690

5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?

I love chairs, I own lots of them. I actually have to stop myself from buying chairs.

6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?

I am pretty much from the gut. I have a natural ability to mix textures and colors in a design composition. Having said this, I hate color themes, so I tend to design with textures in mind not color. Italians are not about color themes at all when they decorate, they are more about textures and color composition and quality, which is completely different than designing with just color in mind, it may be why I love Italian design so much. I feel like getting away from strict color themes is something American designers need to work on.

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7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

Right now I am designing our new home in Italy. Although it’s over 500 years old, so it’s not exactly new, but I am into external wiring and vintage light switches. Over? I am over Jonathan Adler, he needs to update his home furnishings collection. I dislike whimsy in interior design.

8. How does artwork fit into your designs?

We collect photography so that’s a must in every home. My father was an oil painter so only original artwork has a place on our walls.

9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Olive oil, that way everything would be tasty and it’s a great moisturizer as well.

10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry.

The same advice I offer photo stylists, apprentice or assist someone you admire for at least 2 years. Travel as much as you can. Put in your time, work hard, read a lot, listen, and pay attention to details. Be humble, and kind and professional. Everything takes time, so be patient. In this day and age everything is so immediate but learning an artistic craft and feeling confident takes time. Enjoy the process, life is a journey, not a competition.

As much as we appreciated Annette before this little q&a session, we love her even more now – and have realized more similarities than we initially thought… Her love for chairs being one of those areas. Steve is addicted too!

berlin 1

After reading this post, you’re probably as taken with Annette as we are – and for good reason! Meet and learn from her in person, along with Steve and Christina, at her Berlin photographic workshop. It promises to be an unforgettable experience!!

Thank you so much to Annette for her participation in this series and for her friendship and inspiring work!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Zoe Gowen

We’re back with another fun Tastemaker feature, and this time around, we’re featuring a shelter publication and design industry maven – Zoë Gowen! She’s a true gem of a person, and someone Steve has known since his Larson-Juhl days. We appreciate her love of art and strong Southern vernacular. We think you’ll enjoy getting to know Zoë and her take on interior design…

Zoe
Zoë Gowen

As Southern Living’s Senior Homes Editor, Zoë Gowen canvases the South looking for the best in decorating and inspiration for the magazine’s 16 million readers. She has helped to launch the careers of designers, stylists, architects, and other rising creative talents in the world of design and architecture. Before joining Southern Living, she worked at an art gallery in Washington, D.C., specializing in museum-quality, nineteenth- and twentieth-century art. A graduate of Sewanee: University of the South, she majored in American Studies with a focus in Southern Culture and Art History.

1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?

Bright, relaxed, classic

janet gregg living-room2-xl
Design by Janet Gregg

2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space?

Growing up, you’d always find me sprawled out reading in the living room. It sat in the front of the house with a lot of windows on one side and had two big arched openings to the dining room and the hallway on two  other sides, but not many people would go in there. It was the perfect place to be close to the action, but not overwhelmed by it (there were always a lot of people and a lot of activity in my house). Thinking about it now and picturing my current house, you can easily see bits my old favorite room’s cantaloupe colored walls and the chintz covered sofa.

Design by Richard Norris courtesy of HouseBeautiful
Design by Richard Norris courtesy of HouseBeautiful

3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

I’d honestly say that I get a lot of interiors inspiration from reading magazines both new ones and the one-zillion that I own. My friends and co-workers are an interactive source of inspiration. They never fail to encourage (or sometimes discourage) me from executing whatever crazy idea I’m pondering. Lastly, I can’t understate how many ideas I get just from people watching. I actually look forward to airport layovers. There are so many people from all walks of life to observe!

dinner guests

4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Oh wow! This is a fun question. I could take this in a lot of different directions. First off, apologies to all of my deceased family members who are reading this! You know I’d prefer to catch up with you all. For mass reader appeal though, I’ll limit my dream dinner party guests to famous dead Southerners since I work for Southern Living.

Thomas Jefferson – I’m a big history and architecture nerd, so I’d really like to ask him about his design decisions in the 18th century. Without him, would our government buildings all look like Colonial Williamsburg?

Flannery O’Connor – Is there anyone with a drier sense of humor? She could also give me some writing tips.

Elvis – He’d have to wear his white Vegas jumpsuit. I’m from Memphis and a big fan of his and Graceland. Ideally, this dinner party would take place in the clouds inside the Lisa Marie, but we wouldn’t eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches (yick). Instead, we’d have my favorite foods: chicken salad, shrimp remoulade, watermelon, and chocolate chip cookies.

Design by Celerie Kemble; Photo by Laurey W. Glenn courtesy of SouthernLiving.com
Design by Celerie Kemble; Photo by Laurey W. Glenn courtesy of SouthernLiving.com

5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?

A sofa. It really is where I spend the most time when I’m home. I believe whole-heartedly that a sofa should be both comfortable and pretty. Yes — it’s possible! I just got back from High Point Market and I’m finally going to pull the trigger on a very chic sectional. I’m debating between a floral pattern, a stripe, or a solid coral with trim. Please advise on your thoughts in the comments below.

mix
Design by Ada Saul; Photo by Laurey W. Glenn courtesy of SouthernLiving.com

6. Do you recommend people follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc.?

I think the only “real rule” is balance: offset pattern with some whitespace to prevent visual chaos, mix in modern pieces with a trove of antiques to keep your house from feeling like a museum, and so on.

ruthie-sommers
Design by Ruthie Sommers

7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

I hate to preach, but decorating is too expensive to follow trends. You should really figure out what you love and buy from there. Of course, I do fall into trend traps though. Right now, I’m obsessing over daybeds and painted faux-finishes like stries and tortoise. Bold geometric patterns and bright lacquers are on my back burner.

Courtesy of Barton Perrira
Courtesy of Barton Perrira

8. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

My eyeglasses. I wouldn’t be able to see anything without them and they could also help me start a fire.

Design by Richard Norris courtesy of HouseBeautiful
Design by Richard Norris courtesy of HouseBeautiful

9. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry.

Keep your eyes and ears open to everything. The more you see the better for you to develop your eye. When it comes to getting a job, approach the best people. Once you’re there, make yourself indispensable to ensure you stay there.

That last tidbit is smart – become indispensable. Right on! Oh, and we love Zoë’s dream dinner party foods… Bring on the shrimp remoulade and watermelon!

Thank you, thank you to Zoë for allowing this glimpse into her design-centric mind from the perspective of a magazine editor. And a very happy Tastemaker Tuesday to all!