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

Gifting Wine

Written by Patti on November 7th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings,

Halloween is now behind us and Thanksgiving is a few weeks away. For me this means lots of dinner parties and when you are invited, I know you always want to arrive with a gift. You cannot go wrong with wine (unless, of course, your hosts are recovering alcoholics, allergic to grapes or are staunch beer drinkers who never drink wine – know your audience, darlings.)

EOD Cellars Wine is a charity wine that is made possible through a partnership with Tackitt Family Vineyards and the EOD Warrior Foundation. Profits from the wine sales go directly to the EOD Warrior Foundation, which are used to help current and past EOD warriors and their families. EOD stands for Explosive Ordnance Disposal, the disarming and disposal of bombs. EOD technicians are highly-trained military members serving in the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force who are responsible for disarming, rendering safe and disposing bombs. The EOD profession is one of the most dangerous occupations in the military.

 

EOD Wines

EOD Wines

Over Black Friday weekend, Tackitt Family Vineyards will be offering free shipping on all of their fantastic and award winning wines, including those with the EOD Cellars label, making it even easier to give the gift of wine this holiday season. Enter ‘EOD’ for the promo code in the coupon block to get free shipping.

For those giving wine gifts this year, it’s a good idea to keep a few etiquette tips in mind, including:

  • If you are not familiar with specific taste preferences of those you are giving the wine to, it’s always best to stick with classic varieties. Giving someone a simple white or red wine is usually a safe bet.
  • Don’t expect the host to serve it that night or right when you give it to them. They may have other plans in mind, and it is your gift to them. They can stash it away and serve it when, and to whom, they wish.
  • It’s a good idea to stick a note on the bottle, letting them know you put some thought into the selection. If you are choosing an EOD Cellars Wine, for example, it’s a nice touch to write on there that you thought they would appreciate the selection and the mission.
  • You may want to give something with the wine, with good options being to consider pairing it with a good chocolate, cheese, Spanish olives, dried fruits, or almonds. Another nice option is to pair it with a special hand painted wine glass or small wine pairing book for their collection.
  • Wrapping it in a wine bag is optional, but if you choose not to use one, then it’s a nice touch to add the hand-written note and a ribbon or bow.

I love the idea of wine gifting with a purpose. Later this week, I’ll be discussing some of my favorite local Georgia wines.

Tis the season!

xoxo, Patti

 

Hocus Pocus – Yumtastic!

Written by Patti on October 25th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

I love Halloween. Not only is the dressing up fun, but CANDY! And not only candy, but all kinds of adorable treats.

This past weekend we went to a Halloween Baby Shower for our friends Laura and Evan. That was a first. Tons of fun. Our fabulous friends, Paige and Alex dressed their 3 yr. old son, Lucien up as Michael Meyers. Which I thought was hilarious.

Here’s our photo together.

How awesome (and scary) is this little killer? I

How awesome (and scary) is this little killer? 

Are you looking for a new, easy, adorable recipe to feed your party guests? How about this Hocus Pocus inspired smores pop? The folks at Delish have got it going on.

I need these. Well, I don’t actually NEED them, but I sure would love to have one. 🙂

Love these!

Love these!

Let me know if you make them and how they turn out!

BOO!

xoxo, Patti

 

 

Cube The Ice at Alma

Written by Patti on October 24th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Eric and I recently visited Escape The Room, right downtown on our beloved Peachtree Street. It was an hour of finding clues to unlock the locks that held us captive. We had one hour.

Good thing that door opens automatically after 60 minutes. We did not solve all the clues.

Sleuthing is thirsty work. We hopped across the street to Alma Cocina, for the Lay of the Land margarita and some chips & salsa.

The bartenders are new. Kit is the only one who knew how to make it! Luckily for us, Kit had returned to Alma as Beverage Manager and was in the house to whip up said Lay of the Land margaritas. They are spicy and sweet all at the same time.

Lay of the Land and chips & salsa consumed. Now what?

We spied a gentleman at the bar enjoying a giant ice cube and a shot of tequila. Kit, what’s that?

It’s THE CUBE! Ice cubes made with fresh ingredients and paired with a shot of different tequilas to enhance the experience.

We needed THE CUBE. I tried the cube made with pineapples and Eric chose the cube made with coffee and maple syrup.

Our cubes and tequila shots.

Our cubes and tequila shots.

They come with tiny little spoons to break up the cube after you pour the tequila in. Or you can shoot the tequila and wait for the cube to melt, but that seems silly.

Go see Kit at Alma. Get THE CUBE. Impress your friends. Be cool.

xoxo, Patti

 

Frito Fail!

Written by Patti on October 21st, 2016

Good Morning Darlings,

Happy Friday!

It’s always a hoot when things in the kitchen don’t go as planned. Eric and I got a wild hair last weekend to try and whip up homemade fritos to go with chili. The New York Times had what looked like a super easy recipe with basically three ingredients.

And ours looked pretty close to the ones pictured in the Times.

Here’s their photo:

New York Times Fritos (on the right)

New York Times Fritos (on the right)

And here’s ours:

I seriously have to use a better camera, y'all.

I seriously have to use a better camera, y’all.

Perhaps I should have laid mine out on pretty polka dot wrapping paper?

Anyhoo, Frito Lay doesn’t have to worry about going out of business. We immediately went out and bought three bags of real fritos. We had friends coming over! We couldn’t feed them these homemade things.

But we did – just so they could see what the homemade version tastes like. And you know what? They ate them, because they are awesome people. Polite to the max.  It was the first attempt. We can get better.

Popping out to the store is so much easier and tastier, though.

What are you cooking this weekend?

xoxo, Patti

 

Spookvegas

Written by Patti on October 13th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

It’s always fun to see what’s going on in other parts of the country. Especially for Halloween.

At the Bellagio and Aria in Las Vegas they are making this October deliciously scary. Take a look:

How can he be so skinny and be made of chocolate?

How can he be so skinny and be made of chocolate?

All chocolate! The pumpkins AND the zombie!

All chocolate! The pumpkins AND the zombie!

ARIA’s main showpiece is a 200-pound, six-foot-tall male zombie made out of chocolate and rolling fondant. Due to his bold, statuesque position near the shop, guests are encouraged to take goosebump-worthy selfies with him if they dare. Another sight to behold is the life-size skeleton perched in a chocolate electric chair. This design took the team more than 70 hours to complete, using approximately 130 pounds of white and dark chocolate.

From gory and gruesome body parts to whimsical cakes and pastries, the displays cater to every guest, no matter how they prefer to celebrate the holiday. Executive Pastry Chef Claude Escamilla and his talented team worked diligently for eight months to create more than 45 festive showpieces that place the undead at center stage.  With a year of planning, countless sketches and hundreds of ideas from skilled pastry artists, the final display showcases their hard work through a cake closely resembling human flesh, tombstones straight out of a horror movie and many more hair-raising pieces.

“I was very much inspired by my favorite TV program, “The Walking Dead,” said Escamilla. “When I was watching the show, I kept thinking about how I could take the characters and turn them into life-size creations for the holiday.”

So you KNOW I’m loving Chef Claude’s creations.

Shall we visit Las Vegas? Hmmm?

xoxo, Patti

 

Serenbe and Sleepy Hollow

Written by Patti on October 12th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings,

My friends are so fab. They always know the cool places to go and the fun things to do.

Travis suggested we all go see the Sleepy Hollow Experience at Serenbe Playhouse. Oh, this would be perfect to kick off the Halloween Season. And truly, it was. You follow the actors through the woods as the play unfolds and it is incredible. The actors, the sets, the costumes and the Headless Horseman – you heard that right – all thrill.

Selfies while waiting for the play to start.

Selfies while waiting for the play to start.

If you get there a bit early, you can grab a bit at The Hil, Serenbe’s cozy restaurant on the, well, hill. We stopped in for a cocktails and the charcuterie platter before making our way to the middle of the field (it’s seriously in the middle of a field, so be prepared to drive your car on only dirt roads).

The Sleepy Hollow Experience.

The Sleepy Hollow Experience.

I really need to get the camera on my phone fixed.

Anyhoo, if  The Sleepy Hollow Experience is not sold out, go. Go – gogogogogogo. It was the best. And before you leave the field after the play, look up. All the stars are visible in that expansive field. It’s gorgeous.

xoxo, Patti

 

Venkman’s

Written by Patti on October 11th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Last week John was in town and so we had to celebrate. We chose Venkman’s, one of faves. There was also an acoustic set of Beatles tunes thrown in for free.

Have you been to Venkman’s? Named after Bill Murray’s character in Ghostbusters. Thursday night their special is an entire fried chicken served with pickled veggies, slaw and potato wedges. All for $29. Eric and I decided to go for it and were rewarded with crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside chicken with puckery pickled veggies and creamy slaw. The potato wedges were a nice foil to all the tartness. And after we ate our fill of chicken, there was still plenty left to craft into a fabulous breakfast hash on Saturday.

And jalapeno corn muffins, too!

And jalapeno corn muffins, too!

I love Venkman’s. You should go. And say hi to Chef Nick Melvin.

xoxo, Patti

 

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