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

dinner parties

...now browsing by category

 

Strike a Pose – Vogue (TableVogue)

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

With all the summer parties still to come, you’ll want your tables to look festive.

I love a pretty tablecloth but want it to look perfect without ironing. You, too?

Enter, TableVogue. I swear by these. Truly. Open up your six foot folding table and throw it on. Voila! You look like the perfect hostess. Saving you more time to pick out the perfect party dress. Or have that cocktail before the crowds descend. I don’t judge.

How perfectly pretty is this?

Buy these stunners here. And they didn’t even pay me to tell you about them. I love them that much.

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

Stubb Your Ribs + A Giveaway!!

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

Summer is here (To me, at least. Memorial Day = Start of Summer).

Are you grilling out this weekend? Need some ideas? I’m here to help!

My friends at Stubb’s Legendary BBQ are hooking us up with awesome tips (clean your grill with an onion?! check it out below) and a couple of coupons for $5.00 off any of their fabulous products. That’ll take care of your rub and sauce needs. Wait, that sounded bad..you know what I mean.

DIY sauce recipes: Kick the ketchup habit with some fun, easy and tasty DIY burger sauces that you can make with some items you might already have on hand.

  • Mustard + Original BBQ Sauce: ¼ cup mustard to every 1 cup of BBQ
  • Bang Bang Sauce: Mix together 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 3/4 cup Stubb’s Original BBQ sauce, 1 heaping tablespoon of hot sauce and either a tablespoon of honey or some brown sugar depending on what I am cooking.
  • Spicy Mayo: ½ cup of mayonnaise and 3 tablespoons of Stubb’s Spicy BBQ sauce
  • Not Just Basic BBQ:

o    For a sweeter BBQ sauce – add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoon honey to 1 cup of Original BBQ

o    To give your BBQ sauce a spicy kick – add habanero peppers to 1 cup of Original BBQ (add as many as you like depending on your level of spice)

Tips for Grilling your Meat:

  • Start with a clean grill so your burgers don’t stick and fall apart. My tip is to use an onion to clean your grill. Cut the onion in half, and while the grill is heating up, rub the onion across it. The juices from the onion clean the grill and get it ready for use. Note: I DIE! How cool is this, y’all?
  • Make a thumbprint in the middle of the patty before putting it on the grill. This will help the patty come our nice and flat (not puffy in the middle) and the meat will be cooked evenly throughout.
  • Avoid burning or charring your meat by flipping it every couple of minutes. It’s a myth that you shouldn’t flip your meat! The hotter the grill, the more often you should turn it.

And some recipes to help you win that burger cook off. You go, girl!

Full Recipes:

  1. Toasted Pecan Burger:
  • Ingredients

–       1 pound ground chuck

–       ¼ cup chopped red onion

–       ¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted

–       1 tablespoon finely chopped green bell pepper

–       3 tablespoons Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce

–       2 tablespoons Stubb’s BBQ Spice Rub

–       Lettuce, mayonnaise, and toasted buns, for serving

  • Instructions:

–       Mix together the chuck, onion, pecans, bell pepper, Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce, and Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Spice Rub. Shape into 3 large or 4 average-size patties. (The burgers may be mixed and shaped earlier in the day; refrigerate until ready to use.)

–       Prepare a grill for direct cooking. For a charcoal grill, when the coals are ashed over, rake or spread them out in the bottom of the grill so the food can cook directly over the coals. (For a gas grill, fire up the burners so the food can cook directly over the heat.)

–       Grill the burgers over direct medium heat, first on one side then on the other, 7 to 10 minutes, until they reach your desired degree of doneness. (Medium burgers register an internal temperature of 160°F.) Serve with lettuce, mayonnaise and toasted buns.

  1. Stubb’s Fried Egg Burger with Spicy Mayo:
  • Ingredients

–       ½ cup mayonnaise

–       3 tablespoons Stubb’s Spicy BBQ Sauce

–       2 lbs. lean ground beef

–       1/3 cup Stubb’s Texas Steakhouse Marinade

–       2 tablespoons vegetable oil

–       6 eggs

–       6 hamburger buns

–       Tomato

–       Lettuce

–       Blue Cheese (optional)

 

  • Instructions:

–       In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and Stubb’s Spicy BBQ sauce. Set aside.

Using your hands, mix the ground beef and marinade. Divide meat into six patties.

–       Prepare the grill for direct cooking. Cook the burgers for 6-7 minutes on each side for medium doneness.

–       Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Crack eggs into skillet and cook until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny, approximately 3 minutes. If you prefer your eggs over easy, flip and cook for an additional 15-20 seconds.

–       Assemble the burger in the following order: bottom bun, lettuce, tomato, cooked burger, blue cheese (optional), then egg. Spread the spicy mayonnaise on the top bun and place on top of the egg.

  1. Stubb’s Stuffed Burger: 
  • Ingredients

–       2 lbs. ground beef

–       3/4 cup Stubb’s Original BBQ Sauce

–       2 tablespoons Stubb’s Beef Marinade

–       2 tablespoons Stubb’s BBQ Spice Rub

–       7 oz. can of nacho sliced jalapenos

–       3/4 cup shredded cheese

  • Instructions

–       In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, Beef Marinade, and Bar-B-Q Spice Rub together with your hands.

–       Use about 1/3 cup of meat and press it into a thin patty with your hands. Top the patty with one tablespoon sliced jalapenos and two tablespoons shredded cheese, leaving at least a ¼” rim around the edge. You can adjust toppings per your taste.

–       Press out another thin patty. Place the second patty on top of the first patty and use your fingers to seal the two patties together well. Repeat another five times to make a total of six burgers.

–       Grill burgers over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes per side, flipping once during cooking. Baste with Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q sauce during last 3 minutes of cooking.

–       Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings.

Okay – leave a comment and you might be one of the winners of those $5 Stubb’s Certificates. If you do not comment, I will use them all myself, make all of these burgers at my house and not invite you. And nobody wants that.

xoxo, Patti

 

Oh Happy Party Day!

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

I get so many emails everyday touting everything from vacation spots to dog collars. It could make a girl’s head spin.

Once in a while, something comes across my desk that makes my head spin in a good way. Today that something is Oh Happy Day – a website packed to the brim with everything I love and makes me scream “TAKE MY MONEY!”

With Memorial Day almost here – can you believe it? Some friends actually had to remind me that it was THIS WEEKEND. Gah. I am so not ready. But I might be if I can get speedy shipping from my friends at Oh Happy Day. Take a look a some of their adorable offerings. And, no, they didn’t send me any product, I’m just in love.

Peacock Balloons! Oh my word.

Beach ball napkins!  I need a beach house, y’all!

Step aside, Imma need this to serve lemon layer cake on.

I’ll take the ‘Cheers’ cocktail stirrers, please.

 

You get the idea. If you need me, I’ll be shopping!! Tomorrow, we’ll talk about grilling out.

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

Dinner Parties 101 and Traveller Bar

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

With spring in the air, I am dying to start planning some outdoor parties. Our new (100+ year old) house has a gigantic front porch that faces a very busy and loud road, but I’m still determined to throw a porch party (or three) this spring to bring together friends old and new for adult beverages and fun conversation.

What do I do for inspiration? Why, I do the same as you – I read dinner party blogs! I love this one, Cup of Jo, who gathered tips from tons of party givers. I even learned a new tip or two.

Warmer weather makes us want to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Or a drive to somewhere indoors. Recently, Eric and I enjoyed a night out at Saltwood, the hotel restaurant at the Loews Atlanta. I am swoony for a hotel bar and restaurant and Saltwood did not disappoint. Incredibly charcuterie, and gorgeous craft cocktails at their new Traveller Bar, which may be gone by now. It’s a pop up! Take a look.

Traveller Bar, as seen in LA. It looks the same in Atlanta! 🙂

And here in Atlanta. Photo credit, Eater Atlanta

I will admit, instead of having dessert in the restaurant, we retired to the bar for another cocktail. So good. Special thanks to our sweet friend, Rachel Peavy, who is the PR Maven for the Loews Atlanta. It was so much fun running into her and catching up.

Go forth, and entertain your friends. Mix up some fresh lemonade and add a bit of grenadine to make it pink and then some vodka to make it boozy. It is such a lovely springtime cocktail! Here’s a great version!

xoxo, Patti

 

 

How To Be The Perfect Guest

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

I am asked so often what is the best thing to bring to a dinner party. So many lovely answers. No one ever seems to ask what not to do.

But I am happy to clue you in. Shall we begin?

  1. Never show up early. Ever. Your hostess is putting the finishing touches on everything (including her face). Don’t be early. We expect to give you a 15 minute window to arrive after the announced time. Five or ten minutes late is perfect. We will greet you at the door with a smile and cocktail and welcome you warmly. Showing up early is akin to setting the cat on fire or knocking over an entire bottle of red on a crisply ironed white linen tablecloth (but even that is more tolerable than showing up early). Don’t set the cat on fire, please. And it bears repeating – don’t be early.
  2. Do show up with a small something for your hosts. Wine is always welcome. Bourbon is even better. A couple of fluffy cinnamon rolls for your hostess to enjoy the next morning is so sweet. We love homemade treats. And if you are bringing a beer, something unusual or local is sure to please. What not to bring? Please, for the love of all that is southern, please do not show up with flowers that are not in a vase. The last thing your hostess wants to think about is running around looking for something to put those flowers in.  Also, do not bring a dish that you have not been asked to bring. This is a no-no for a couple of reasons: A. this dinner has been scrupulously planned, right down to the olives & nuts served with cocktails, and B. all of her serving dishes have been coordinated with the table. If you show up with pimento cheese sandwiches on a flowered tray, she (I) might fly into a silent rage. While smiling. We southern hostesses always smile.
  3. Introduce yourselves to the other guests as they arrive. Especially if your hostess has to duck into the kitchen for just a moment. Ask how they know the hosts. That always gives you something to talk about. She has put you all together for a reason and thinks you will be fine friends by the end of the night. If you are shy, think of it this way – you are going to meet your new best friends and it’s way more comfortable.
  4. Have an interesting or funny story to tell. Keep it short. Keep it clean.
  5. Read the crowd. Is everyone drinking and then drinking some more? Well, then. Go ahead and have that third gin and tonic. Is it a school night and the group is having a cocktail before dinner and either a glass of wine or beer with dinner? Follow suit.

That’s a good start. Let me know your favorite ideas. Oh! And here’s a look at our homemade limoncello. Next time we make a double batch. This disappeared in no time. Serve it in a gorgeous cut glass decanter. Or bring some to your hostess. Before serving, put in the freezer so it is ice cold when your guests enjoy it. YUMMY!

Lemon & vodka, ready to mix with the simple syrup.

xoxo, Patti

Let’s Get Cheesy

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

I’m always on the search for the perfect cheese and charcuterie board. How about you? The same old thing gets boring.

My friends over at The Gander NYC shared their ideas with me, and now I’m sharing with you. Take a well, Gander…

What’s on your cheese board?

xoxo, Patti

Australia Day Party!

Monday, January 30th, 2017

G’day Darlings!

Last week we were invited to celebrate Australia Day with our friends Liz and Vance at their swanky midtown pad.

I have to admit, I didn’t even know this was a thing. But it is and it was delicious!

Liz and Vance served Australian Meat Pies, which are scrumptious. Topped with mashed potatoes and minty mashed peas, they made a hearty meal on a very cold night.

Pics!

Our sweet hostess, Liz and me – all smiles with them every time we get together.

 

 

 

Yummy meat pies.

 

 

With Jen and James.

For those of you in Atlanta, the Australian Bakery is our go-to for these treats. Buy in bulk and freeze them, because you are definitely going to want more once you try them.

Big thanks to Liz and Vance for hosting and darlings, I promise to get a better camera pronto!

xoxo, Patti

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

Happy 2017 to you all. Hope your celebrations were fabulous and safe.

We threw a tiny party for 8. The menu:

Cheese & Salami Platter with Sea Salt Crackers & Holman & Finch Semolina Bread

Caviar Service with fresh buckwheat blini, sour cream and chives

Veggie lasagna

Salad filled with olives, artichokes, bermuda onions topped with a lemon basil dressing
Garlic Bread
Assorted Cupcakes
More than our share of Segura Viudas Cava

Table Decor provided by my friends at TLC Rents. I chose a purple and gold theme. Purple tablecloth with a gold sequined overlay. Purple napkins. Tons of votives. And for extra interest, small plastic dinosaurs were placed all around the table. Always opt for whimsy when you can. Look around the house – you will surprise yourself.

Since our party was so tiny, I decided not to post any photos of the guests. But – you can see the table below.

It’s like you are right there next to me!

Tell me about your night!

xoxo, Patti