Is it awkward if I take this moment to confess my long-standing girl crush on Laney Crowell? ‘Cause it’s almost impossible not to develop one within minutes of meeting this chic NYC-based beauty who doles out warmth and wisdom in equal measure. Laney and I first crossed paths through a mutual friend many years ago when she’d just joined Estée Lauder to run their social media and editorial content, and I was immediately struck by her business savvy, as well as the style she brought to every aspect of life in a seemingly effortless way. Now she’s bringing that same unfussy know-how to the wellness space in her newly-launched site, The Moment. I’m sure you’ll be just as taken as I am by its clean beauty recos and healthy living tips. Laney invited us into her light-drenched Sag Harbor home to talk olive oil ice cream, her hippie-approved playlist, and why a cheese plate is always a good idea.
What’s the entertaining rule you rarely break?
Bare feet. Opening the door without shoes on instantly makes friends know that the party is going to be casual and fun.
Give us your must-have entertaining tool.
Handmade ceramics. I’ve always loved beautiful pottery and the ceramics boom happening right now makes me so happy. When you have original pieces, made by hand, they instantly transform your table. Their thoughtfulness permeates the meal.
Signature entertaining dish?
Healthy cookies with homemade ice cream. I have two go-to recipes that are easy and quick but wow my guests every time. And even though they don’t like taste it, they are super healthy. I never want my guests to leave without dessert, but I also don’t want them to feel sick to their stomachs because that’s not fun either.
Can you spill the recipe?
Gluten-free Nut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup nut butter
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Roll into balls and bake at 325 degrees until golden.
What scares you about entertaining?
Making sure everyone has a good time. I want everyone to leave feeling fulfilled emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
The perfect dinner party playlist includes:
For a breakfast or lunch, I love to have folk music on the record player or on Spotify to put everyone in a chill mood. My parents were hippies, and I remember sitting around a bonfire in Colorado while my mom and her friends played Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, and John Denver on their guitars.
What’s the taste you’re always craving?
Fresh fruits and vegetables. When I see a piece of beautiful fresh fruit or gorgeous just-harvested veggies, I literally get butterflies. Having grown up in California, I know how amazing produce can taste and I’m always on the hunt for fresh, local finds. I read a funny comic once that said, “Ohhh, the medicine is in the food…” I think about that every time I walk around the farmer’s market in awe of how special real food is.
Laney hosted a springtime brunch for friends at her home in Sag Harbor, New York.
What items are always in your refrigerator?
Lemons, dates, raw unfiltered honey, goat or sheep cheese, raw cashew butter, and nut milk.
Tell us about the restaurant meal you’ll never forget.
Too many to just pick one. But most recently, my boyfriend and I ate at a magical restaurant on Lake Como. It sits on the water and you look up at the hills while eating freshly made pasta, burrata, and of course the most amazing tomatoes. I remember telling him that I never want to forget that moment.
What’s your secret to a great dinner party?
Not stressing. This is something that I’m trying to get better at. The more relaxed you are, the better the vibes. I’ve found that the more prepared I am, the more easy going I can be. So my secret is having as much food prepped in advance as possible and getting the wine flowing early.
These waffles make us wish the weekend would hurry up and get here.
What’s your current favorite color palette for parties?
White, always white. I think white is a spiritual color that makes people feel light and happy. You can see that reflected on our site The Moment. It was really important to me when designing the site that it be a place where people come to feel calm and inspired.
Never forget the power of a cheese board! I love making a big cheese plate to start a party so that I can focus on greeting my guests and don’t have to worry about intricate appetizers. And let’s be honest, great cheese makes everyone happy.
Describe your entertaining style in 5 words or less.
Filled with love and flavor.
Who are your dream dinner guests?
Hillary Clinton, Sheryl Sandberg, Ina Garten, Oprah, Jane Goodall, Malala, Kamala Harris, Meryl Streep, and Guru Jagat. I love surrounding myself with insanely smart and accomplished women.
What’s your standard hostess gift?
I like to give people gifts that they’ll use. Recently I’ve been giving tea towels from Creative Women. They are made by women collectives in Ethiopia and are so, so chic.
We’ve GOT to get the recipe for your olive oil ice cream.
- 1 1/2 soaked cashews
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Soak the cashews in water for 2 hours. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix. Scoop product in ice cream maker. Let churn for 20 minutes. Scoop ice cream into a pan lined with parchment paper and freeze. Top with olive oil and flake salt.
Who else is suddenly ready for summer dinner party season?