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

December, 2010 browsing by month


White Bean and Chicken Chili

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

My wonderful husband, Eric, is taking the reins today to share the recipe for the scrumptious White Bean and Chicken Chili he made this weekend. It is perfect for these cooler nights. Enjoy!

This chicken chili hits the spot on a cool evening.

White Bean and Chicken Chili


  • One whole chicken, in parts
  • 12 tomatillos
  • Two large poblano chiles
  • Two medium jalapeño chiles
  • 1 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 12oz cans cannellini beans
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 beers
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Adobo
  • 3 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp basil
  • Salt & black pepper

Debone the chicken. Season evenly on both sides with salt, pepper, adobo, sage, and basil. Reserve.

Peel and rinse the tomatillos. Cut the smallest in half and the larger to roughly that size. Put in a medium saucepan, and add the cider vinegar and one beer. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until the tomatillos soften.

Roast the chiles and wrap in plastic to steam them, 15 minutes. Rub or peel off the skin, then remove the seed pits and dice.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot to a shimmer. Add the chicken, skin side down, and brown. Remove before the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Drain on paper towel.

To the pot, add half of the liquid cooked with the tomatillos and deglaze. Add the chiles and onion to the pot and sautée* with a pinch of salt. Once toasted, add the garlic and toast, stirring often 5 minutes. Add the tomatillos and liquid, then the cans of beans, with liquid. salt and pepper the beans before you stir them in. Add the other beer.

Dice the chicken and return to the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour. Taste frequently to correct the seasoning.

Serve with white corn tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream.

* If you started with a whole chicken and have giblets, dice them and add them with the onions and chiles. Skip the kidneys and neck.

xoxo, Patti


Today blogging to Beyonce – He’s My Man

The Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Arriving from Atlanta on flight 46, Air Tran’s 717 touched down in West Palm Beach in what seemed like minutes from take off to landing.

We stepped out of the airport and were greeted by a warm, steamy breeze, indicative of Florida summers.

As we exited the taxi at The Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach, we were greeted by even more warmth, this time of the human variety. Dustin and crew handled our bags and Lexi at the front desk checked us in and made us feel very welcome.

Steve, our tourist guide/bellman, gave us the low down on every aspect of the property before we ever reached our room. And the room – although standard, was anything but as we gazed at the Atlantic Ocean from our ample balcony. This private spot would continue to be our own respite from the world during our stay.

The exquisite lobby

Take a stroll on the beach with me?

Mini Hiatus

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

The powers that be (aka the web masters), tell me they must do a little maintenance work on the site, so I am taking a few days off.

I will miss you but I will be back with a killer post that will totally wow you.

xoxo, Patti

Christmas Party 2010

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

I’m sitting at the kitchen table in my red flannel pajamas, watching dreamily as snow flurries outside the window like sprinkles of white glitter, still basking in the glow of Saturday night’s party.

If you were not here, I wish you could have been. Because, if I do say so myself, it was astounding. Truly. But I cannot take credit for it all. First, I must thank Holland, our balloon designer for turning our house into a twinkling wonderland of lights and ribbons and balloons.

How about a peek?

Join the party!

Fun Find Friday – Yacht Rock, Baby!

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Leave it to our girl-about-town, Caren West, to come up with something to warm you up and something to cool you down, at the same venue. Tonight.

What? There’s an opening in your party going schedule? Let me help you pencil something in for tonight.

Yacht Rock. That’s right. Yacht Rock. You know, cover bands that do all the fun music from the 1970s. Like Christopher Cross and Seals & Crofts and whatever else was popular back in the day. It’s fun! And…you can get all cooled off before the show by ice skating at Park Tavern.

Honey, we’ve got you covered. Miss Caren, details please!


Featuring Three Levels of Entertainment and Performances from the Yacht Rock Revue, Yacht Rock Schooner and DJ MP3PO

Atlanta, Georgia (November 29, 2010) – The second annual Yacht Rock Holiday Special will be held at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park on Friday, December 10, 2010.  Revelers are invited to attend an early show at 8 p.m. or late night bash at 10 p.m. The festive evening features three levels of live entertainment including the Yacht Rock Revue, fireside performances by the Yacht Rock Schooner, ice skating at The Rink with DJ MP3PO, and the PleaseRock Carolizers!  Two cans of food for the Atlanta Community Food Bank will get guests a picture with Santa at the Mixtape Atlanta photo booth. Advance tickets are available for $20 for both the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows at

This should be a blast – go on, buy some tickets. You know you want to…

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Christopher Cross – Sailing

Up to My Elbows in Cocktail Napkins and Kleenex

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

You all know how busy we all get during the holiday season. Great googly moogly there are a lot of parties and get togethers happening.

One must take it easy or one might….catch a cold and be on the couch for a few days. Like I have been earlier this week.

So my greatest piece of advice this holiday season is to stock up on echinachea and orange juice and get plenty of rest where and when you can (go ahead, use up those sick days – you have parties to rest up for!)

Now, full speed ahead for this year’s Black Tie Christmas Party – there’s two pork shoulders to cook and shred for bbq pork sliders, turkey to chop and mix up with dill, mayo and other ingredients for dilled turkey salad sliders, potato chips to drizzle with chocolate for that one bite of something sweet. Our decorator will be here at 2:30 on Saturday, just passing me as I leave to get my hair done, which will mean we will be passing each other when I return to have my makeup done by Richard at 5ish. Champagne needs to be chilled and the table needs to be dressed. So much to do!

My dress is picked out and Eric’s tux is ready to go (I think…), shoes have been matched perfectly and accessories gathered.

Should be a perfect night. I am also debuting a little surprise of my own…

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Mary Poppins – Stay Awake (go ahead, take a nap, Darlings)

Guest Post – Feast of the Seven Fishes

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Today’s post comes from my friend, Chip Ivie, who told me of a supper club he belongs to. They recently got together to create a Feast of the Seven Fishes, which fascinated me. Chip was very sweet to write up and send me all the details. This sounds like the perfect way to involve all your friends in a special dinner.

Come on in and meet Chip

Celebrating With Richard

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

I hope your holiday party calendar is full this season. Mine certainly is. Party, Party, Party! Last week Eric and I went to a party here. Truly giggle inducing. It’s not everyday you get invited to a $10 million dollar house just to party. It is an evening we will not forget.

Another party I will hold dear in my Christmas memories this year is Richard’s Christmas party last Friday night. It was so much fun! Yummy appetizers, delightful beverages and some of the coolest people. It was a swell time.

The perfect time for my red hat!

We exchanged stories, sang and filled up on tasty fare that my sweet friend Richard slaved over all day long.  Marvelous bruschetta, mini quiches and all sorts of treats.  There were friends I already knew (Patricia, Jay, Barry and Kathy), along with brand new friends, Ricardo, Michael, Jamie, Kris, Sonny, Alexis and Bria – all super fabulous.

Sharing a hug with Kathy and Barry.

Not only is Richard an insanely talented photographer and stylist, but an incredible host as well.  We had so much fun and were so tickled to be invited.

And aren’t friends the best gift of all? Priceless.

A very happy and stylish group of friends!

xoxo, Patti

Today, blogging to Dionne Warwick and Friends – That’s What Friends Are For

Poppy Fresh

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

I love when I can match my friends up for any particular reason – professional, personal or whatever. And a couple of weeks ago I was able to do just that with John and Clint. John called me with a request for Cartoon Network goodies for a child he had adopted for Christmas. Clint is a bigwig at the Cartoon Network. Voila!

For the hand off of treats, I thought I would put together a little pasta for everyone. After all, John & Danny were just returning from Florida after Thanksgiving and Clint had just made the trek back from their mountain cabin. The fact that they were both willing to stop by our place after all that driving warmed my heart. So, I in turn, thought I would warm their bellies.

Fab friend Tami H. and her wildly popular blog, Running With Tweezers, came to my rescue. She had just posted about a whole wheat past dish with poppy seeds. And the nice folks from Jovial Pasta had just sent me some of their fabulous Einkorn whole wheat pasta to sample, so this was kismet.

I made a few adjustments to Tami’s recipe (I didn’t have proscuitto, so I subbed bacon and I didn’t have green onions, so I sauteed some regular onion with the bacon to sweeten it) but the end result was insanely tasty. At first you are thinking, “hmmm, that’s unusual.” But by the end of the bowl, everyone is so happy they are ready to do it all again.

Thanks, Miss Tami. I now know what that jar of poppy seeds in my spice drawer is for. Yum.

Here’s the recipe straight from the Running With Tweezers blog. You have got to check it out.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Prosciutto, Poppy Seeds & Green Onions

serves 4 as a small main course

recipe adapted from a dish at SPQR in San Francisco

1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti or bucatini (I used Jovial Einkorn Whole Wheat Pasta)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 pound good quality prosciutto
4 – 5 green onions, chopped on the bias
4 tablespoons poppy seeds
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
– Start a large pot of salted water on to bring to a boil. While water is coming up to temperature, roughly chop the prosciutto into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Have your green onions and poppy seeds measured out and close at hand, as well, to assemble the dish. When the pasta is cooked al dente, reserve about 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta.

– In a large saute pan, add your chopped prosciutto and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the butter and allow to melt. Once melted, add in the pasta and reserved cooking liquid. Toss thoroughly together and then add in the green onions and poppy seeds. Continue to toss together on medium-low heat for a minute or two to heat it all through together. At this point, grab a bite and taste for salt & pepper then adjust accordingly. Serve immediately.

This is the photo from Tami’s site. Mine was not as pretty. But it sure was good!

whole wheat poppy seed pasta with prosciutto and green onions

Photo Credit: Tami Hardeman

If you would like to learn more about Tami and how she makes everything look so gorgeous, you can check her out at this weekend’s Lavish! Unconference in Atlanta. Tami and all the other panelists have a plethora of fabulous things to share with you.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Poppy Mercury – Badai Asmara

Cafe Circa with Francine Reed

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

You know I just love our friend Caren West of Caren West PR. She is into everything! This weekend’s fun tip is actually something you can plan for Monday, Dec. 6th, with your sweetie or a group of your besties. Just to step back from all the holiday madness. With Atlanta’s own Francine Reed and the fabulous Cafe Circa.

Lets get the scoop from Caren, shall we?


$20 Two-Course Dinner Special Paired with Live Performance

Monday Evenings from 7 to 10 p.m. on November 8, 22 & December 6, 20 and 27, 2010

Atlanta, Georgia (November 8, 2010) – Café Circa presents Dinner and the Blues, a series of unforgettable Monday evening performances in November and December featuring celebrated Atlanta vocalist Francine Reed. To make the experience even more delicious, Café Circa is offering a two-course dinner special – choice of an appetizer or a dessert and an entrée – on the nights Reed performs created by new executive chef Hopeton S. Hibbert for $20. Music lovers are also invited to relax at the bar and explore Café Circa’s innovative cocktail menu of seasonal signature offerings and timeless classics. Legendary blues singer Francine Reed is slated to perform on Monday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m. on November 8 and 22 and December 6, 20 and 27, 2010. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit or call 404.477.0008.

WHAT: Dinner and the Blues

WITH: Legendary Blues Singer Francine Reed

WHERE: Café Circa
464 Edgewood Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30312

WHEN: Mondays November 8 and 22 & December 6, 20 and 27, 2010
7 to 10 p.m.

CONTACT: For more information or to make a reservation, please visit or call 404.477.0008.

About Café Circa
Located in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta, Café Circa offers a casually sophisticated atmosphere that merges classic style and modern elements with scrumptious signature menu items and a premium bar offering classic and innovative cocktails, select spirits, and a full wine list for every taste. The culinary team led by executive chef Hopeton S. Hibbert prepares fresh, deliciously seasoned food with a Caribbean Latin twist including creative small plates, inspired entreés, and tempting desserts. Café Circa is open Monday through Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. Call (404) 477-0008 or visit

Go, have some incredible food (try the salted cod – really!), lovely libations and the sultry voice of Francine Reed. You can’t miss with this combination.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Francine Reed – Wild Women Don’t Get The Blues

Cafe Circa on Urbanspoon