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

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Brunch Boards!

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

Happy Monday – the first Monday of December. Which means lots of celebrating is around the bend.

If you’ve been with me a while, you know brunch is one of my favorite ways to entertain. Whether in the morning or the wee hours after a black tie gala, bacon, eggs and brunchy foods make everyone happy.

I love this new article by Kate Williams at Southern Kitchen telling you how to put it all together. Visit her here to learn how you can do the same!

Brunch works anytime of the day!

Now get to brunching, my loves!

xoxo, Patti

InStyle Parties

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

It’s no secret that I love a party. I love them so much! The lists, the menus, the guest list, the beverages, the decor. Between you and me, I almost love the planning as much as the actual party.

We are heading into the busiest party season of the year. The lovely people at InStyle Magazine sent me a copy of their newest book, InStyle Parties  and it’s a stunner. Packed full of great tips and ways to make your life easier when throwing your soiree. They even have a recipe for Black & White Cookies – my favorite of all the cookies.

I love all the ways this book helps you plan. Each party helps you plan with a Countdown so you won’t feel rushed on party day, Shortcuts so you don’t have to create every detail, The Pour with terrific cocktails and of course, wonderful menus with recipes and the most gorgeous and swoon worthy photographs.

InStyle Parties would make a perfect gift for a friend, or a treat just for you (you deserve it!). This tome is going on my coffee table so I can refer to it frequently as I plan my next get together.

In stores now!

xoxo, Patti

Here and There

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

Things have been hopping around here, so I thought I would post a few photos and give you an update.

 

Candy Experiment

Eric and I went to see Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Night Sweats on Halloween night, so we weren’t here for most of the candy-handing-out. I put a sign on our candy bowl and set it out. It worked pretty well. No one took the bowl!

Larry. Oh, Larry.

This is crazy Larry. No, he won’t make you a great deal on a new car, but he lives with us now. Larry loves long walks, chasing balls, driving Karen insane and sleeping on the bed. Get off the bed, Larry. We are learning to love Larry.

These ladies are electric!

This was a group of ladies I brought together that pretty much run this town. From the Arthur M. Blank Foundation to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and beyond, these ladies taught me so much in one evening. Looking forward to plenty more dinners with women of substance like these five.

Cream Puffs!

Did you know that cream puffs are insanely easy to make? You can make tons in an afternoon and watch your friends gobble them all up. This is a before picture, but they turned out great. I topped them with chocolate ganache and filled them with…GASP…vanilla Jello pudding (I dumped all the jello into a piping bag and hid the evidence). Don’t judge. They were delicious. Here’s a recipe. Go make them right now.

I love my friends.

After I made the cream puffs, we had a lovely dinner party for 6 friends. I made a beef bourguinon and served it over Israeli cous cous with a crisp green salad and yeast rolls.

The photo above is my kitchen after the dinner party. Our wonderful friend Teague rolled up his sleeves and washed all the dishes. Our dishwasher is on the fritz. I could tell you why, but the story is too gruesome. If you live in a 100+ year old house, you can imagine.

Anyhoo. How’s your week coming along?

xoxo, Patti

 

Pizza Skulls!

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

My friend Sherry shared this on Facebook and not only are they fabulous for Halloween, they look easy to make and tasty too (if you can get past the creepiness – is that a word?)

Anyhoo, get the deets here at Genius Kitchen and amaze your friends. These are awesome.

They’re so creepy!!!

I need these in my life. How about you?

xoxo, Patti

More Lemony Goodness

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

I can’t get enough of anything lemon this summer. I leave you with this today. Go, make it. Treat yourself and all your loved ones.

You need this tart. I need this tart.

Find the recipe here. 

xoxo, Patti

Easter Re-runs!

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

Still crushing on Easter – only 1 more day!

If you are looking for inspiration, here are a couple of my favorite blog post about my favorite spring day. Enjoy!

It’s a Swoozie’s Easter!

Easter With The Fam

Peeping Easter

I’ll leave you with a link to the lemon meringue pie I’ll be making on Sunday. The recipe is by my sweet friend, Brookie Lark, who created the Anatomy of A Dinner Party logo and makes everyone swoon with her famous blog, Cheeky Kitchen. I LOVE Brooke.

Isn’t this pie a beauty? Thanks Brookie!!

Happy Easter my Bunnies!

xoxo, Patti

Hocus Pocus – Yumtastic!

Tuesday, 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

 

Frito Fail!

Friday, 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

Lemonlicious

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

I’ve been so busy lately, but I’ve missed you! And now it’s almost Easter.

Bestie Melanie is cooking dinner and I am contributing deviled eggs and lemon meringue cupcakes. Don’t these cupcakes sound divine? Take a look at how pretty they are!

LemonCupcakes

Now, that isn’t my finished product, but it did come from the lovely people at Nielsen-Massey, who were so kind to send me their gorgeous vanilla AND lemon extract so I could recreate this masterpiece at home.

And, it would not be kind of me to keep the recipe all to myself. Here you go – make these and look like a superstar this Sunday!

Lemon Cupcakes with Marshmallow Meringue(Makes 2 Dozen)

For the Cupcakes:
2½ cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest (3-4 large lemons)
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract
3 large eggs
½ cup low-fat buttermilk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350?F. Place paper liners into two standard cupcake tins; set aside. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend and set aside.In a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla and lemon extracts. With a handheld mixer, beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients one-half at a time, alternating with buttermilk; beat after each addition and scrape sides of bowl as needed. Do not overmix batter.Fill each liner with about ¼ cup batter and bake until done, about 18 minutes. Carefully place cupcakes in 2 (9 x 13) pans and cover with plastic wrap; set aside to cool. Make sure the wrap does not touch the cupcake tops; this method of cooling will make deliciously moist cupcakes.

For the Marshmallow Meringue:
4 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar
1 cup marshmallow creme
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract

Directions
In a large bowl, add egg whites and cream of tartar. With a handheld mixer, beat on medium-high speed until foamy. Increase mixer speed to high and gradually add sugar until soft peaks form.Add marshmallow creme, vanilla and lemon extracts, and beat until combined. Using the back of a spoon, mound and creatively swirl meringue onto each cooled cupcake.Place cupcakes on a rimmed sheet pan. Use a handheld kitchen torch or place under a broiler and toast until golden brown. If using the broiler method, watch to ensure meringue does not over brown.

xoxo, Patti

Brunch Time

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Good Morning Darlings,

Brunch is my favorite meal. And since it really only makes sense two days out of the week, you can really make it special.

At our house, brunch can turn into a 7 hour affair that can become quite raucous. But we like that kind of thing.

What to serve? Champagne is a must. Cava and prosecco are perfectly budget conscious replacements. Just think bubbly. Then you can add orange juice for a mimosa, peach puree for a bellini and anything else that strikes your fancy. A bloody mary bar is always appreciated, too. Fill bowls with olives, onions, stalks of celery and let your guests build their own. Add worcestershire sauce as well as salt and pepper or hot sauce to top off the fun.

This is the time to break out your best everything – china, wine glasses, flatware, napkins. You can arrange some pretty flowers around the table, making sure not to create an arrangement that is so high your guests can’t see each other from across the table. Hydrangeas set in a pretty bowl would be nice this time of year.

Lovely hydrangeas

Next – what will you serve? I like to try and keep it simple, with a make ahead menu that will allow me to spend more time chatting with my guests instead of feeling like a slave in the kitchen. A few weeks ago, this is what we served for a group of 6:

Mimosas

Starbucks Coffee Cake (it’s so easy and delicious!)

Chipotle Candied Bacon

Hashbrown Casserole

Fresh Strawberries

Coffee

Notes on the menu:

Coffee Cake: Next time I make this (and I WILL make it again – it is so good) I will line the pan with aluminum foil so it overlaps the edges and I can lift the entire cake out. Not lining the pan caused the cake to stick to the bottom because it was so moist. I know, first world problems. I also made this the day before the party.

Chipotle Candied Bacon: I prepped two pans of the bacon, set on cookie racks sprayed with Pan and then wrapped them in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge the night before. The next morning, I took them out so they could come to room temperature and popped them in the oven with the casserole.

Hashbrown Casserole: Not sure what went wrong, but I’m thinking I didn’t cook it nearly enough as the potatoes weren’t particularly crunchy, which I would have liked. My guests were super polite and ate it anyway. Lol.

Brunch is such a fun and economical way to get friends together. If everyone brings a bottle of bubbly, your cost goes way down, while the fun stays waaaaay up. If you don’t bake, pick up a coffee cake or bagels from the store.

It’s all about having fun. Don’t stress out. 🙂

xoxo, Patti