Living Entertaining:

The Magic Carpet

Photography by Winnie Au. Hop on over to to swoon further.

The purchase of my ‘60s midcentury modern Amagansett beach house marked a major shift in my life: from our family’s urban focus to one of greater appreciation of nature, to slowing down and enjoying quieter moments together—biking, beaching, surfing, camp fires … swooning. This home spawned not only my design career and my love of all things creative and beautiful, but also, this site.

Eyeswoon was brought to life through cooking, creating, and entertaining friends in this home. This home has taught me, over multiple occasions of practice, how to become what I hope is a gracious host. And most importantly, this Eastern Long Island lifestyle has introduced me to a vast, interesting cast of characters I now consider friends. A comingling of creatives, from designers and artists and fashion friends, to bloggers, hoteliers, and editors. People that inspire me, raise me up, and amplify this magical, much appreciated lifestyle.

I was thrilled to welcome so many of these people to my home for this enchanted & intimate, long imagined summer soirée made possible by Cointreau. The guest list of fellow notable swooners included Nate Berkus and Jeramiah Brent, Natalie Joos, Jeanann Williams, Pheobe & Anette Stephens, Jenne Lombardo, Rachelle Haurska, Sean MacPhearson, Sabine Heller, Kelly Framel, Peter Davis, Leilani Bishop, Tali Magal, and Casey Freemont, to mention a few. The evening far exceeded my expectations, and only got better as day turned to night and we sprawled across my lawn for the feast ahead. Chef Jeff Schwarz’ farm-fresh, family-style dishes were passed among delighted guests, filling my belly with abundance, and my heart with laughter.

What I love about nights like these is the magic generated from sharing a table of seasonal food and drink in an unforgettable environment. The joy of seeing my friends relaxed and carefree was palpable. We played musical chairs (or rugs, I should say), hopped in the pool, played on my son’s zip line, and lay on one another’s laps giggling and telling tales, buoyed by our Cointreau Lime Rickeys. The evening ended with us all huddled around the fire pit roasting marshmallows for s’mores, a full moon glowing overhead … magic indeed! Thank you, friends and Cointreau, for turning this dream of a hippie-style summer soirée into a full-blown swoon-worthy reality!

A thank-you note from Nate Berkus the following day filled me with emotion. “You were at your very best on Saturday night: charming, relaxed, beautiful, and creative. What a gorgeous evening of warmth and welcome you extended—and therein lies the magic. Everyone there felt like old friends. Brava.”

To bring the evening together, good friend and fellow swooner DJ Chelsea Leyland put together the perfect playlist for the evening – tune in here!

Summer Squash and Charred Corn Salad

From the kitchen of Jeffrey Schwarz


Serves 4

  • 4 ears cleaned corn, lightly coated with olive oil
  • 3 medium summer squash or zucchini
  • 2 red or green jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup picked cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The Prep

Preheat grill to medium heat. Place corn on grill, rotating until entire cobis slightly charred. Remove and let cool. Cut end off of squash and quarter lengthwise. With a chef’s knife remove seeds by carefully running the knife the length of each quarter. Slice squash strips on the bias creating half moon cuts and place in a large bowl. Using a serrated knife, remove corn from cob over the large bowl.

Slice jalapenos whole starting from the tip to create cylindrical cuts. When the knife reaches the seeds, stop.

Pour in olive oil and lemon juice and mix, adding salt and pepper to taste. Finish with Cilantro leaves.

Wheat-Berry Tabbouleh

From the kitchen of Jeffrey Schwarz


Serves 4

1 cup wheat berries, presoaked for eight hours (if possible) and drained

1 small cucumber, peeled and cored to remove seeds, then diced

1 pint (about 2 cups) baby heirloom or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup tightly packed mint leaves

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons salt, divided

Black pepper

1.2 cup crumbled feta

The Prep

Add wheat berries, 4 cups of water and a tablespoon of salt to a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over hight heat. Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer, then cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Place the cucumber, tomatoes and scallions in a large bowl. Finely chop the parsley and mint together, and add them to the large bowl. Add the cooled wheat berries to the mixture, and mix in the olive oil and lemon juice. Add remaining salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle feta over the tabbouleh to finish.

Serve at room temperature.

Grilled Peaches and Pistachio Brittle with Cointreau Drizzle

From the kitchen of Jeffrey Schwarz


Serves 4

  • 2 large ripe peaches
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau
  • 1/4 pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup shelled, toasted pistachios
  • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

The Prep

Preheat grill to medium heat. Halve peaches by running a paring knife from the stem side around the peach along the seam. Remove pit with knife. Lightly rub peaches with olive oil and place on grill skin side up. Close grill and let cook for 3 minutes. Carefully flip peaches over and cook for one minute. Remove and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine Cointreau, molasses and water. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer for 8-10 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool.

With a chef’s knife, rough chop the pistachios and set aside.

To plate, place one peach half on a plate. Scoop vanilla ice cream next to it. Sprinkle pistachios over the ice cream and peach. To finish, spoon Cointreau drizzle over peach and ice cream.

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