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

February, 2017 browsing by month


When Life Gives You Lemons…

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

It’s February. Which means winter. It also means it’s my birthday month!

I needed a pick me up to hold me over until my Florida vacay in 10 days (please let it be warm and sunny!) and I had a surplus of lemons I was going to use for that detox drink that gets Beyonce to her fighting weight.

But I never got to making those detox drinks and the lemons were waning.

You know I’m always up for a party, so I decided to use those sunny little orbs to make my first ever batch of limoncello!

First, we have to find a terrific recipe. I found this precious blog called Garden Betty and decided to follow her recipe for my first foray into making adult bevs. Go follow her and get her recipe and then we can make limoncello together!

Aren’t lemons the happiest of fruits? So sunny and they smell soooo good.

So sunny and fresh!

You have to zest them all and then you can’t just leave the juice – those lemons need to be juiced, too! I ended up with about 3 cups of juice from 15 lemons. I can’t lie, Eric juiced most of the lemons. He’s the best.

Thanks, Eric for juicing all those lemons!

You put all the zest into a glass gallon jar and add a liter of vodka. For some reason, friends have been gifting us with vodka, so we have a boodle at the house. It looks like this.

I bet that is so tart!

At second glance, that may be bigger than one gallon. Anyhoo. The jar goes into the dark pantry for 6 weeks.

Have you ever made limoncello? Tell me all your stories!

xoxo, Patti

The Magic Of Butter

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

Atlanta is grieving after our SuperBowl loss to the Patriots. I thought we needed something to boost our mood.

What better than butter?

Take a look here at how they make the butter at Bordier Butter in France. Isn’t their packaging gorgeous?

Beautifully crafted French Butter


xoxo, Patti

Grill Out and Rise Up Sunday

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

It’s almost time for Super Bowl and our Atlanta Falcons are set for a big win.

Our great friends Jay and Valerie are hosting the party this year. I’m pretty happy to be a guest.

Of course, you can’t be a good guest without bringing something yummy to share. My dill chicken salad is always a hit and I love how it tastes when I grill the meat first. That will require cleaning the grill. And it’s been a while. My new friends at Napoleon Grills sent me some tips for a gleaming grill worthy of my chicken.

  • Clean the cooking grids and searing plates. Soak the cooking grills in warm water and soap before giving them a good cleaning to get rid of the grease and food crust that has been burnt on. Season them for the coming season and get ready from incredible grilled flavors all summer long. While your searing grids are soaking, remove the heat shields (give them a good scrape as well) so you can run your barbecue brush over the burners. This is also a good time to check your igniter and rear burner to make sure all is in working order.
  • Clean the grease cup. The more you use your grill, the more you will have to clean or replace your grease cup. Before firing up your grill, take out the old and put in the new.
  • Scrape off the grease tray. All the grease and food remnants from past meals collect and char on the grease tray. No need to get out the soap and water for this one, but give it a good scrape with a spatula or putty knife to clean off all the bits.
  • Check for leaks. Inspect your hose and fittings to ensure everything is in order and that there are no leaks. Do a soap test to be safe: in a spray bottle or small bowl, mix one part water to one part dish soap. Apply the mixture (spritz it or apply with a small brush) to all fittings. Make sure your lid is open and all the control knobs are turned off. Turn on your gas – any growing bubbles are a sign of a leak that needs to be addressed.

There you go – all ready to grill!

Now, what are you cooking?

xoxo, Patti