The Tastiest Cilantro Margarita

This Cilantro Margarita has a little twist on it. With super fresh ingredients it is perfect for Cinco de Mayo, a neighborhood BBQ or just a girls night on the back porch. I know you are going to love it.

The main ingredients we are going to use in this cocktail are tequila, lime juice, homemade simple syrup, cilantro, kosher salt, and ice. We’re going to keep it clean and keep our ingredients fresh and to a minimum. First we are going to select our glass and use a little bit of the lime to coat the edge of the glass. If you prefer no salt, but the best way to rim the glass is to use a little bit of the lime to moisten the edge and use kosher salt.

Cilantro Margarita recipe perfect for a summer celebration Cinco de mayo, BBQ, neighborhood block party by krayl funch 66 1000x

I only like a little bit of salt, so what I prefer to do is dab on a little tiny bit. Next pick off some of the cilantro leaves and place them in the glass. I know cilantro can go either way – you either love it or you hate it, but I happen to love it, so any time I can get fresh cilantro from the farmer’s market, I go ahead and grab it and make as many things as I can. I love it with tacos, guacamole, really anything. Even when we go get sushi I ask them if they have any cilantro – if they have it I just tell them to add it any roll they can!

After you add the lime and cilantro muddle then together. The juice of the lime will help mix that up. Muddle it and then add the lime juice. I always prefer to use fresh squeezed and natural, but if you can’t, the Key Lime very tasty.

Cilantro Margarita recipe perfect for a summer celebration Cinco de mayo, BBQ, neighborhood block party by @KraylFunch 14 1000x

A little bit of simple syrup just in to add a little bit of sweetness, then tequila and add in ice. Once you add your ice, stir and top it off with a sliced lime wedge.

I love the bright lime that makes it a little sour, and the cilantro. It’s a lot of cilantro flavor but not too much. Then a little bit of simple syrup makes it a little bit sweet, but honestly, you could do without that. Just depends on how you like your cocktails.

Cilantro Margarita recipe perfect for a summer celebration Cinco de mayo, BBQ, neighborhood block party by @KraylFunch 51 1000x




lime wedge, to muddle and as garnish
kosher salt
1 ounce lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1.5 ounces tequilla
1 ounce simple syrup
lime wedge


Moisten the outside edge of the glass with a lime wedge, dip in kosher salt to edge with salt. Place wedge in glass with cilantro leaves and muddle together to break down the cilantro leaves. Add lime juice, simple syrup, tequilla and ice. Stir together to combine.

Garnish with lime wedge and serve very cold.

Makes one cocktail.

Be sure to check out all the festive recipes from the Sunday Supper Community – And a special thank you to Marlene of Nosh My Way for hosting and with Sunday morning link updating from Cindy of Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Tidbits and Pupus



Condiments and Sauces


Main Event

Delectable Delights

Tropical Foods and Drinks Sunday Supper

Wine Pairings

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Passion to Print Day 15: PSA! Protect Your Berries

A few days ago I brought together friends and their families for a summer gathering on the river complete with crabs, corn, craft beer and a selection of summer berries. The beer, I expected to go quickly but the berries went even faster.

AnAppealingPlan Book Shoot - behind the scenes Kickstarter - summer gathering set up #CelebrateEveryday #AnAppealingPlan

First of all, can I say how amazing the setting was for this celebration?! Thanks to my friend Dr. Dae Sheridan and her fantastic husband for creating a space for the magic to happen. They are regular entertainers and I am always hearing about their impromptu late night gatherings. Dae is a fan of “always having the house ready for people to stop over”, jute roping on her accessories and having a signature drink ready to go. There is no wonder we are friends!

AnAppealingPlan Book Shoot - behind the scenes Kickstarter - summer gathering set up corn shucking #CelebrateEveryday #AnAppealingPlan

Although my adult friends hail from the Northeast – New Jersey to be specific – their kids are Florida born and raised so they had never shucked corn! Yes it is true…. Luckily they were quick learners and seemed to enjoy it just as much as I did growing up.

There is nothing like the fresh smell and feeling of shucking Jersey corn! If you have never done it… grab a beer, a dozen ears and try it out.

AnAppealingPlan Book Shoot - behind the scenes Kickstarter - summer gathering set up berry drink table sunflowers #CelebrateEveryday #AnAppealingPlan


Back to the berries… My intention was to have a gorgeous drink station, complete with sunflowers, berries in pretty blue pint boxes, lavender honey in my favorite weck container, with themed cocktail napkins {super fan of the cocktail napkin thanks to my Grandmom}, but my plans were “modified” by a certain berry thief!

AnAppealingPlan Book Shoot - behind the scenes Kickstarter - summer gathering berry stealer #CelebrateEveryday #AnAppealingPlan

That’s right folks. 3 pints of berries {well almost 4 once the refills came in} where quickly devoured by this cute little lady in the Zinna print sun dress!

My take away from this day….  the best laid plans are frequently altered in the name of enjoying the moment.

So please, as much as I love a good plan, THE most important part of life is the celebration of it. Do NOT get so stuck on how you think it “should go”  that you miss out on the amazing experiences that are happening all the time, everyday and right now around you.

To wrap up, I would like to thank you all of you who have supported this Kickstarter project in any way. It is incredibly humbling to see the daily posts being shared, backers emails coming in and overall love being put towards this book.

 Only 14 days to go…. let’s make this happen!! Remember, this project ONLY gets funded if it is FULLY funded at the end of the campaign.

What ever you can do is appreciate: Pledge To Fund An Appealing Plan the Book or Socially Share It. Gratitude and Virtual Hugs go out to you!!


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Entertaining Summer Style: Finds For Your Table

Memorial Day. Fourth of July. Labor Day. Three holiday weekends that are classic summer entertaining opportunities. You can almost feel the excitement building in the air as the dates approach. Our Nations colors become part of our home and tablescape design. Fly your flag high and break out the Red, White & Blue with these #SummerStyle Entertaining picks we think are must haves for your next gathering.

#SummerStyle Entertaining Product Round Up via @AnAppealingPlan #celebrateeveryday #memorialday #fourthofjuly #laborday 760x2000


1} Lobster Cocktail Napkins by Caspari available via PaperStyle ~ $5

2} Red & White Star Paper Straws by Shop Sweet LuLu ~ $4

3} Red Rustic Serving Tray by FasProjects ~ $80

4} Blue Striped Melamine Plates by West Elm ~ $6

5} Red Bikini Tags by AnAppealingPlan for Etsy ~ $6

Do you have a special platter or tablecloth you bring out for your summer table? Tell us about it in the comments! Like + Share using the buttons below and be sure to sign up for everything to your inbox using the form below. Happy Summer!

A Classic Blue + Silver Centerpiece

One of my favorite entertaining tips is for every host to have a “go-to” centerpiece or arrangement that they can easily pull together in a moments notice when friends or family give the word that they will be stopping by, or simply to have on your kitchen table to welcome you home each day. This classic Blue and Silver centerpiece using Hydrangeas is at the top of my list as it is a fantastic combination of simplicity and elegance.

themed centerpiece @AnAppealingPlan  #hydrangea #silver #DerbyParty

To watch this video click on the image below.

My favorite silver vase to use is similar to the mint julep cups found at the Kentucky Derby. I love to mix and match different sizes to create a centerpiece. For this centerpiece we’re going to use julep cups, one taller and one smaller as well as two different size Hydrangea.





  • Tall Silver Julep Cup
  • 2 Blue Hydrangea Blooms
  • Kitchen Shears
  • Water



Fill julep cups with water approximately half full.

Cut your hydrangea stems to the correct height by placing your cups on a table and measuring the height of the stem so the bloom will sit in the cup just above the rim. For this particular floral centerpiece you will want them to rest just above the top. Cut off the appropriate amount off the bottom of the stem.

Pull the two vases together to create small centerpiece or create a larger version by grouping several julep cups.

Silver and blue is a perfect classic combination for gatherings throughout the year but particularly during the spring and summer months, this arrangement is perfect for a Kentucky Derby gathering or Garden Party.

Read more by visiting eHow.

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Mardi Gras Hurricane Cocktail Recipe { #SundaySupper }


Hurricane Cocktail Recipe #MardiGras #AnAppealingPlan #cocktails logo

“The world-famous Hurricane is a Pat O’Brien’s original. The cocktail is a sweet alcoholic drink consisting of rum, passion fruit syrup and limejuice. The drink originated in the 1940s because of the need to use up 50 cases of the less popular rum that the local distributors forced the bar to buy before getting the more popular scotch and whiskey liquors. The drink was given to sailors in a hurricane lamp-shaped glass and the name “hurricane” stuck. The drink quickly become popular and is now one of the must haves when visiting New Orleans’ French Quarter. The Hurricane drink is still served in its classic hurricane glass, but many times it is seen in plastic cups because of local New Orleans drinking laws that prohibit public drinking from glass containers.”

On my very first visit to New Orleans I fell in love with the city. But if you want my advice, skip Mardi Gras and head there on a down weekend. The city is filled with amazing food, music and hidden courtyards.

Until you can make your way to the not quite so hidden courtyard of Pat O’Brien’s, put some zydeco music on and enjoy my version of this classic.

The Hurricane Cocktail Recipe


  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces passion fruit juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • juice of a half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine
  • orange + lime slice for garnish


Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Pour lime juice, dark rum, light rum, juices and other ingredients into shaker. Shake well. Strain into glass over ice. Garnish with orange, lime & straw..

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And, if you are looking for even more easy holiday entertaining, check out An Appealing Plan the book.

I believe we are bringing back entertaining at home, lingering over a table after a lovingly prepared meal with friends. I am thrilled to be able to invite you on this journey with me through a year of celebrating every day. Filled with recipes, tablescapes, floral inspiration and seasonal entertaining ideas An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations.To learn more about An Appealing Plan :: A Year of Everyday Celebrations here. 

* * * * *

Be sure to visit the other Sunday Supper Member’s sites as they celebrate Mardi Gras through food, beverage and stories.



Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Cocktails & Other Beverages:


Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:




How to Prepare for Entertaining Guests: The Table 101

I am passionate about entertaining. Not only my own entertaining, but your entertaining as well.

In this video I discuss items you should have on hand to set the table or buffet for your next gathering.

“Help! I have a fear of hosting a dinner party and I don’t know where to start! “

If this sounds like something you might say, this is for you. Get ready to send out those invites!

With just a few items in your cabinet you can easily set a beautiful table or buffet for your next gathering. Entertaining doesn’t need to be perfect or stressful. It is about connecting with friends and family. Entertaining should be about welcoming guests; sitting down and talking about your week or your dream vacation.

And you can tweet that one!

 “Entertaining doesn’t need to be perfect or stressful. It is about connecting with friends and family.”  

In the comments below let me know what you think of these tips and what other concerns you might have about welcoming guests. I would love to answer your questions directly in an upcoming segment. AND be sure to sign up below for my weekly updates direct to your inbox. Until then, see you in the comments!

You Can do it! XO ~ Krayl


Red, White and Blue Celebrations

Summer is for Celebrating and if I had to pick one visual symbol that represents this joyful season it would be the American Flag. The colors red, white and blue are peppered through the decor, food and beverages of gathering everywhere.

I spotted a few for you to enjoy and provide inspiration. Share your favorites in the comments below.

Jello Partait


Festive Cupcakes with Star Picks


Flag Cake with White Icing


Clean and Simple Flag Inspired Tablescape


Blue Glasses and Towels Carry the Theme to the Pool Area


Games Keep the Party Going into the night


Enjoy this post? Be sure to share with your friends and sign up to receive my newsletter for ideas straight to your in box! See you in the comments ~ krayl

kickstarter - AnAppealingPlan Book LeaderBoard passion to print large #CelebrateEveryday 728 x 90

Recipes + Tips for a Fresh Summer Berry Cocktail Bar

Summer Berry Cocktail Bar Tips + Recipes 1 #AnAppealingPlan

The summer entertaining season is upon us and just as if mother nature could read our minds, so is the juicy summer berry season. How did she know? What a fantastic combination! And what better place to combine this match made in heaven than on the cocktail bar. Prepare to greet your warm weather revelers!

Join me as I walk you through setting up a welcoming Summer Berry Cocktail Bar.

Summer Berry Cocktail Bar Tips + Recipes #AnAppealingPlan

Strawberries. Blackberries, Blueberries and Red Raspberries placed in small bowls or low dishes, provide the perfect colors and flavors to add to your favorite spirit. Provide a large bowl of ice, a wooden muddler and plenty of rocks glasses.

Summer Berry Cocktail Bar Tips + Recipes #AnAppealingPlan

 Arrange a variety of fresh-cut citrus on a cutting board or plate for muddling together. Your guests tastes are sure to vary so provide 2-4 spirits including, vodka, rum, bourbon and gin. A few small arrangements of cuttings from the garden in Julep cups or clear juice glasses will liven up your bar and add to the festive summer display.

       Summer Berry Cocktail Bar Tips + Recipes #AnAppealingPlan



Vodka, Gin, Bourbon, Rum


Strawberries, Blueberries, Red or Yellow Raspberries, Blackberries


Lemon, Orange, Limes, Grapefruit


Ice bucket with ice, scooper for ice, wooden muddler, rocks glasses or other glass with solid base, Bitters, simple syrup, club soda, tonic water, sparkling water


Tray, napkins, Dusty Miller, Freesia {or other fresh cuttings from your garden}



A few of my favorite combinations include:

The Garden Party Sipper {Grapefruit + Gin}

Raspberry Rosemary Summer Sipper {Raspberry + Gin}

Tangerine Thyme Cocktail

Provence Lavender Cocktail


Like these tips? Make sure you receive our FREE weekly Updates by completing the information below. And share this with your friends on Facebook & Twitter.

XO – Krayl

Be sure to check out ALL of the #SundaySupper recipes featuring Summer Berries below.

Breakfast & Brunch

  • Angel Food French Toast with Blueberry Lemon Sauce by Neighborfood
  • Blueberry Lemon Baked Doughnuts by Small Wallet, Big Appetite
  • Blueberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal by Pies and Plots
  • Overnight Strawberry Stuffed French Toast by In The Kitchen With KP
  • The Best Blueberry Muffin by Supper For a Steal

Sweet & Savory Berry Recipes

  • Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Wild Blueberry Sauce by Noshing With The Nolands
  • Red, White, and Blue Chicken Salad by MarocMama
  • BBQ Strawberry Pizza by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

Jams, Jelly, Sauces & More


Cocktails, Drinks & Smoothies

Party Planning

Summer Berry RecipesCheck back on Sunday for all of wonderful Summer Berries recipes! We’d love if you joined our #SundaySupper chat on Twitter too: we’ll tweet throughout the day and share all of our recipes. Then at 7:00pm EST we’ll start our weekly chat. Please jump in anytime and join us! To join in, just follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets. You can also check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and photos.

It’s not what I do. It’s what I do, can do, for you.

Thoreau suggests you should:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!
Live the life you’ve imagined.”

But are you? Are you living the life you’ve imagined?

Has the pursuit of your career dreams taken a toll on creating a balance in your personal time and environment?
Of course you love your family, just as much or more than your business. But how can you be everything to everyone, and everywhere, all at the same time? You are successful in the workplace, but struggle to get it all done at home. All while still striving to be the best spouse and mother you can be.

Do you sometimes think, if you just had help you might be able to:  Entertain more often and with less stress; add those final design touches to your home; properly decorate for each season; have a welcoming entranceway; or perhaps even cook brunch with the fresh herbs cut from your own garden.

You know, live like Martha does.


People ask me: “What is it that you do Krayl?”

There is usually a pause.

The problem is, it’s not that cut and dried. It’s not that simple to explain what it is I do.
It is a different project every day. Not one particular project fits everyone’s lifestyle needs. For some it is creating the perfect entranceway for your home. (I call it my gateway drug. Try it sometime, you will love it.) For others it may be planning a dinner party you have been wanting to host for clients, complete with the perfect tablescape, menu, wine and flowers. For some a project entails redecorating a guest room and bath to prepare for their summer guests’ arrival. Other days you may find me styling for a photo shoot.

Every day is completely different in my life and I love it all. It’s not simple to explain because . . .

It’s not what I do. It’s what I do, can do, for you.

I’m not always sure what I will be doing next week. What I do know is that it will be giving you the support you need to let you get out there and be who you want to be.
Essentially, I put the LIFE back into your LIFESTYLE.

While this may seem like a luxury, in the long run, I can save you time and stress. From overwhelming projects to simple tasks, always check with me first, let’s discuss your needs and find a solution. Creating personalized environments for gardens, gatherings and everyday living is my passion, my gift to you.

So go out and create the life of your dreams, everything will be ready when you come home.

If this sounds like exactly what you need, head over to my newly focused website for more information. Or simply email me directly today with your concerns and start living the life you’ve imagined.

If you’re not quite ready yet, not to worry. I will continue to post tips and ideas for you

right here on An Appealing Plan.

XO ~ Krayl

Cinco vs Derby. Lime vs Mint. The battle continues.

Kentucky Derby or Cinco de Mayo? Mint Julep or Margarita? It is an age-old question leading up to the first weekend in May. Well OK, maybe not age-old but still, a question that I  have asked every year in May during my adult entertaining years.

Living in the North East most of my life Cinco de Mayo was my excuse to have a party and my kick off to summer. One month before the traditional Memorial Day weekend, I would send out the invite and pray for a warm sunny day to host friends for guacamole, salsa, margaritas and the always popular “Cinco Brownies” outside on the patio. Then one year, two friends RSVP’d to the invite that they would be late arriving due to a Derby Party! “What is this Derby you speak of? “ I asked. “The Kentucky Derby of course!” They quickly responded. Now of course I had heard of the Derby but never having attended an official party I had no idea it was such a big deal.

When they showed up dressed to the nine’s in their summer whites and fancy hats, I was suddenly torn. An excuse to get overly dressed up in summer attire, and then to also find out there is even a special drink with the main ingredient of Mint served in a fancy silver cup! Could there be a better way to kick off the summer entertaining season? It was too much for my hostess brain to handle.

This year, as it happens every so many years, the two fall on the exact same weekend and we are once again asked to choose. Cinco or Derby? Margarita or Julep? How can one decide? Perhaps we can create Derby de Mayo? Which one will YOU celebrate? In the comments below share which one if your favorite and how you will be celebrating this year.

In the meantime, as a good hostess would, I leave you with two cocktails. One recipe for the classic Mint Julep and the other my favorite twist on a Margarita, the Prickly Pear Margarita. Whichever  you choose please enjoy Safely!

{BONUS: looking for an arrangement for your Derby Celebration? Give you Julep cups double use with this classic centerpiece.}



Ingredients {serves 1}

  • 1 ounce minted simple syrup
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Fresh mint sprig, for garnish


In a silver Julep cup, add minted simple syrup, then 1 cup crushed ice, bourbon, and splash of water. Add enough of remaining ice to fill glass. Stir well, garnish with mint sprig and proper straw.



Ingredients {serves 4}

  • 8 ounces white tequila
  • 4 ounces Cointreau
  • 4 ounces cactus pear syrup
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Lime wedge, for garnish
  • Coarse salt, optional


Combine tequila, orange-flavored liqueur, cactus pear syrup, lime juice and ice in a shaker. Serve over ice in rocks glass and garnish with lime.

Entertaining In the Heat: Video ABC


Getting together with friends and family is the perfect way to spend summer evenings and weekends but being aware of safety concerns will make you the ultimate host.

–          Keep in mind the ages of your guests and their needs; both young and old.

–          Consider moving your event inside when temperatures are expected to rise.

–          Plan your events in the morning or late afternoon when it is cooler.

–          Be aware of food safety concerns.  Only allow food to sit out for recommended times and temperatures.

–          Electric fans keep air circulating and the bugs away.

–          Offer non-alcoholic options and lots of chilled water.


The right theme can help tie the party together and if properly planned can be a fun way to beat the heat.

–          Ice. Ice. Baby.: Ask everyone to bring a bag of ice and drop it in the pool, to cool it down.

–          Made in the Shade: Provide umbrellas for your guests to use to shield the sun. Or have them bring their own from home.

–          Chillin’ and Grillin’: Keep the heat out of the kitchen by serving only grilled and chilled foods.

–          Glamping: Glamorous Camping is all the rage these days. Set the tone by using your china and crystal at a wooden picnic table, or in a tent! {Made famous by the ladies of BRAVO, of course}

–          Sunset Soiree: Start your party as the sun sets to beat the heat. This will also save you from having to provide a full dinner for your guests.



Your table, whether fully set or a buffet, is where your theme can really shine. Make sure your centerpiece and décor will look great until the final guest leaves by selecting options that will stand up to the heat.

–          Succulents

–          Woody Herb Bunches {Rosemary, Thyme}

–          Cut branches, large tropical leaves, summer hardy flowers

–          Fruits & Vegetables  {Lemon, Limes}

–          Flowers in small containers

–          Sprouts/Wheat grass


Seasonal entertaining is an example of working with what you have and making the most of what you are given. Each year the summer season brings about a new crop of trends from planners, designers, home-makers and crafters, showcasing the best of what it has to offer. Searching websites sites like and will give you new ideas for trends to incorporate into your gathering. Just a Few of the Latest:

–              Frozen ice pop cocktails

–              Berries frozen into ice cubes

–              Herb infused chilled water and Cocktails {Thyme, Vanilla, Rosemary, Lavender}

–              Melamine dinner plates in designer patterns

–              Outdoor Lanterns

–              Toned down flower arrangements


Relax and enjoy the time you have with you guests. No matter what they will have fun. Promise. ~