Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic
 

Red Phone Booth & Amalfi Pizza

Written by Patti on September 20th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

We went on a double date with sweet friends Spencer and Allison to Red Phone Booth and Amalfi this past Saturday.

It was marvelous! The Red Phone Booth is a speakeasy only accessible via the…you guessed it…red phone booth!

 

Pre-dinner cocktails! This is the fog cutter

Pre-dinner cocktails! This is the fog cutter

 

Date night!

Date night!

 

Spencer had the best pie of the night.

Spencer had the best pie of the night.

 

Eric is so cheeky.

Eric is so cheeky.

Pie crust stuffed with fresh ricotta.

Pie crust stuffed with fresh ricotta.

 

Go. You will love it. Pinky swear.

xoxo, Patti

 

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – DragonCon

Written by Patti on September 9th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

DragonCon – could there be anything more magical? Cosplay, meeting all your favorite characters and then drinking with them.

Photos really tell the story best.

Visiting with Robbie the Robot.

Visiting with Robbie the Robot.

The land of Oz

The land of Oz

Mojojojo and Me.

Mojojojo and Me.

Captain America was there, too!

Captain America was there, too!

Bestie Melanie met two old friends. Like Jurassic Old.

Bestie Melanie met two old friends. Like Jurassic Old.

It was the place to be! Were you there? I’d love to hear your stories.

xoxo, Patti

 

 

 

Venkman’s

Written by Patti on September 8th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

If you know me, you know I love Bill Murray. Love love love.

This weekend Eric and I popped over to the brand new eatery in town, Venkman’s. Named after Bill’s character in Ghostbusters. Because these people must be awesome.

They are. The brunch was fabulous.

PICS!

Big Ass Sticky Bun. Yes, that's the name.

Big Ass Sticky Bun. Yes, that’s the name.

 

Duck hash. OMG.

Duck hash. OMG.

Eric's breakfast sammie with homemade sausage. Nom nom nom

Eric’s breakfast sammie with homemade sausage. Nom nom nom

 

Esteban took amazing care of us. We got there way late for brunch and they didn’t even try to kick us out. We kept ordering mimosas and they all smiled kindly and kept ’em coming.

Go – order everything and say hi to ¬†adorable Carrie at the hostess stand and Adam the badass sous chef. You’ll love it.

“Who you gonna call?” Venkman’s!!

Oh! And they have a PUPPET BRUNCH!! I have no idea what that is, but I’m going next time.

xoxo, Patti

 

 

Martha and Snoop – Together Again

Written by Patti on August 12th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

I love a good dinner party. I mean, duh! So I cannot wait til this fall for Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg’s new dinner party show.

You can read all about it on Vanity Fair.com

I wonder if anyone would watch it I taped our dinner parties? Tell me below in the comment section (which is finally fixed).

I will be glued to my seat waiting for this show. With a gin and juice, natch.

xoxo, Patti

 

BLT Salad

Written by Patti on August 11th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

I was starting to wonder if I could face another salad – can I keep the magic going?

Surprisingly, yes.

This little number comes from How Sweet It Is, which is a daily obsession. Jessica is always coming up with the tastiest dishes and she is also completely adorable.

There is everything to love about this BLT Salad – bacon, fresh corn, grape tomatoes, feta (to be honest, I ran out of feta and used goat cheese), but besides that, we followed this recipe to the letter. And we were greatly rewarded.

It counteracts those Krispy Kreme donuts I had for breakfast. Ok – you can judge me. But just a little bit. ūüôā

Go make this with someone you love.

Seriously, these salads keep getting better!

Seriously, these salads keep getting better!

blt chopped salad with corn, feta + avocado

Totally lifted from Jessica at How Sweet It Is.

ingredients:

2 cups butter lettuce, chopped
2 cups fresh arugula, chopped
1 pint grape tomatos, quartered
4 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup sweet corn
1 avocado, chopped
4 ounces feta, crumbled

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

directions:

As a note, to chop my lettuce I like to lay it out on a big cutting board and just continuously run my knife through it (in all different directions) until it’s chopped as much as I like.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, corn and avocado. Add in salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice then toss well to coat. Fold in bacon and feta then divide evenly amount 2 plates. Serve!

That Jessica knows her stuff.

And for extra inspiration, go visit my girl and fellow co-founder at Atlanta Movie Tours, Carrie, at her blog, Cre8iveone, where she is slaying it! So proud. Go, visit, leave a very sweet comment.

xoxo, Patti

 

Sometimes, It’s Just Snacks

Written by Patti on August 10th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Same theme – it’s HOT here in Atlanta. Even too hot to make salad. Last night I threw together this fun platter of treats from rummaging in the fridge and the pantry.

Crab dip, baby carrots, club crackers, grapes and pistachios. It was like a tiny cocktail party without…gasp…the cocktails. Even we have to take break every once in a while.

 

It doesn't have to be difficult to be delish.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to be delish.

Pull out your cute little bowls and a nice white platter and add some colorful food and you have an instant party. Voila!

xoxo, Patti

 

Farro Salad – Yes it’s cold…

Written by Patti on August 9th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Yes, I am still on a chopped salad kick. Today’s entry comes to us from Ellie Krieger, who served her adorable little salads in tiny mason jars.

I don’t want to eat out of a mason jar. I want a real bowl, so I can get every bite. Sue me.

But I digress. If you want to layer this salad in a mason jar, you go right ahead. I’m sure it will be precious. But I’m just hungry!

This salad is just as good the next day. I mean – it is TASTY!

Farro Salad. You should make this. Like right now.

Farro Salad. You should make this. Like right now.

Layered Farro Salad (or not layered – I won’t judge)

Ingredients

1 cup farro
11/4 cups walnut pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups shredded kale leaves
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
11/4 cups crumbled feta cheese (6 ounces)
2 cups quartered red or black grapes

Directions

Cook the farro according to the directions on the package. Drain well, then place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool, then chop.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Place the kale in a medium bowl, add half of the dressing, and toss to combine. Add the onion, parsley, and remaining dressing to the farro and toss to combine.

To assemble the salad, place the farro in the bottom of a large glass bowl, patting down slightly. Add the kale on top. Sprinkle with the feta cheese. Then layer with the grapes and finally the walnuts. Alternatively, make individual salads by layering the ingredients in wide-mouthed 12-ounce (500 ml) jars.

Makes 8 servings

You know the drill – gobble down like hungry badgers and wash it all down with something delicious. A margarita would be nice here.

xoxo, Patti

 

Kroger = KroBar = Louis and Alysa

Written by Patti on August 8th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Eric and I do all our shopping at Kroger with an occasional stop at Trader Joe’s and if we’re feeling like pretending we are the 1%, Whole Foods.

In Atlanta we like to name our Krogers. There’s the Disco Kroger on Piedmont which used to be the dance club Limelight and the most unfortunately named but most famous, Murder Kroger on Ponce de Leon (which Atlantans all know is pronounced Ponce Dee Lee On. If you pronounce it with a spanish flair ie. Ponce A Day Lee Ahn, you will have outed yourself and we will all know you are from out of town immediately and might say to your face, “bless your heart”, which if you don’t know, is not something you want a southerner to say to you.)

Anyhoo. The newest Kroger is setting the city on fire. Eric and I call it KroBar and my girlene and Atlanta Movie Tours co-founder, Carrie calls it Boozy Kroger, which I think is hilarious. Now why would we call this particular Kroger this name? Oh, boy, wait til you hear this!

This Kroger has a bar in it!! A bona fide, belly up and order craft beer and wine from an honest to goodness bartender. Now in all honesty, this is brilliant marketing. We show up, have a beverage, meet either other friends that are shopping or brand new friends who are also drinking and we stay. For like HOURS! My newest favorite bartenders, Louis and Alysa keep the party going with their witty repartee and bringing us delicious snacks and allowing us to taste beverages we have an interest in.

THIS IS DANGEROUS. We have wiled away 4 hours between drinking and shopping here. But dangerous in the most fun way ever.  The last time we did this, I walked out with 3 lbs of crab legs that were not on the list, but I just had to have for dinner. I rationalized this by the fact that $25 worth of crab legs was much cheaper than eating at our favorite weekend seafood place. Eric concurred and in the basket they went.

Krobar!

If you live in Atlanta, this is a don’t miss, one-of-a-kind treat.

Say hello to Louis for me!

xoxo, Patti

 

 

Still Chopping

Written by Patti on August 6th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Remember when I said I could eat that BBQ chopped chicken salad every day? I might have been exaggerating a teeny bit.

So I have another salad to share with you so you won’t get bored.

This one is a Greek Salad that takes a LOT of liberties with the OG recipe. I mean A LOT. Since it took liberties, so did we. Eric hates kale so we used arugula. We love arugula. We may or may not have bought a bottled basil/garlic vinaigrette that I found at Kroger so we didn’t have make our own. It was still super tasty. Here’s a hot photo of that cool salad.

I've got to switch up my backgrounds. I promise to work on that next week.

I’ve got to switch up my backgrounds. I promise to work on that next week.

This recipe called for chickpeas. I’m not a big fan, but it’s been a while, so I thought I would give them another go. They work really well in this salad and you don’t miss that there’s no meat in the dish.

I found this salad at Gimme Some Oven (how cute is that blog name?)

CHOPPED KALE  ARUGULA GREEK SALAD

This chopped kale arugula salad is fresh and full of those Greek flavors we all love!

INGREDIENTS:

GREEK SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large bunch (about 10 ounces) kale¬†arugula leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • garlic parsley vinaigrette (see below)

GARLIC PARSLEY VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed (or finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE GREEK SALAD:

Toss all ingredients together with desired amount of dressing until evenly mixed.

TO MAKE THE GARLIC LEMON VINAIGRETTE:

Whisk all ingredients together until blended. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Gobble down like hungry badgers and add a Corona (or two, no judging here). Go visit Ali at Gimme Some Oven, who lives in Kansas City where my bestie John is now living. COME HOME JOHN!

Ahem. I miss John.

xoxo, Patti

 

 

Chop It Up, I’ll Eat It

Written by Patti on August 5th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Golly gee whiz, it is HOT here in Georgia. Yes, I know, it’s August. But wow, all I want to eat is chopped salad these days. I’m on a kick and taking Eric with me.

Here is one of the salads we’ve been enjoying recently. I’m a big fan of California Pizza Kitchen and love their BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad. I could eat it everyday. But that would get pricey, so I learned how to make it at home. Would you like to make it for yourself? Let me help!

You can make this at home, too!

You can make this at home, too!

I didn’t say I was dieting, I’m just beating the heat. Add a Corona – don’t judge.

The recipe is from¬†Food.com, and I can’t lie, I used tortilla chips and bottled ranch dressing and then threw it all together. If you have the time to follow all these steps, bless your heart.

INGREDIENTS:

4

DIRECTIONS

  1. To Make the Fried Tortilla Strips: In a deep, heavy frying pan, heat several inches of vegetable oil to a temperature of 375 degrees. Working in batches if necessary to prevent overcrowding, carefully add the tortilla strips to the hot oil, submerging them with a metal skimmer or slotted spoon. Fry the tortilla strips until evenly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully lift them out with the skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer them to paper towels to drain and cool. Set aside, uncovered.
  2. To Make the Garden Herb Ranch Dressing: In a mixing bowl, use a fork to stir together the mustard and cold water, forming a paste. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl and, using a handheld electric mixer at low speed or a whisk, blend together just until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too much air into the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  3. To Make the Grilled Garlic and BBQ Chicken: Preheat a stovetop grill or the broiler. In a mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, and salt. Turn the chicken breasts in this marinade and leave to marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Grill or broil the chicken breasts until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Cut the chicken breasts into 3/4-inch cubes and, in a bowl, toss with the barbecue sauce to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  4. To Make the Salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuces, basil, jicama, Monterey Jack cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, dressing, and half of the Fried Tortilla Strips. Transfer the salads to chilled serving plates. Surround each salad with diced tomatoes and the remaining Fried Tortilla Strips. Top each salad with chunks of Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken and drizzle the chicken with the barbecue sauce. Garnish with the scallion.

Gobble down like hungry badgers. Crack open another cold beer. Sit in the air conditioning and watch Stranger Things. OMG, I love that show!

What are you doing to beat the heat?

xoxo, Patti