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

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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

Hop To It Bunny – At 14th Street Antiques!

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

Easter is right around the corner. I LOVE Easter – all the pretty colors, the nice weather, the leftover ham. What’s not to love?

My favorite thing is to set the table. I attended a meeting this week at 14th Street Antiques and Modern Home and wowza, do they have gorgeous things to set the table with. Take a gander, my little geese.

All that glitters, might be gold!

Swimming in glamour.

Always welcome your guests with a drink.

And for all you Easter fans like me, there’s even a sale on all things spring and gilded. Love.

Color me glitter!

Go visit my fabulous friend Lisa over at 14th Street Antiques and Modern Home and tell her I sent you. You could spend the entire day in there.

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

 

 

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

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

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

Ready, Set Bubbles!

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

NYE 2017 is just days away – how will you celebrate?

We will celebrate in a very different way this year. A tiny little fete’ for 8.

If you have been following me for any time at all, you know my absolute go-to for bubbles is Segura Viudas Brut Cava. Honestly, it’s as tasty as wines that are 3 times the price and its $8 price tag allows me to buy in bulk (truly, I have 3 cases at the house – you never know who will stop by!) My friends can always count on me to provide them with a glass of bubbles. Life is a celebration, drink it in. Does that sound cheesy? It’s okay to be cheesy!

When the lovely folks at Segura Viudas got in touch about their new Reserva Heredad (SRP $25), I jumped at the chance to try it. Look how fancy the bottle is!

THE Drink for NYE 2017

With only a few faves gathering, a few bottles are affordable and why not spoil your besties? We will be feasting on roasted veggie lasagna bathed in bechamel sauce, yummy garlic bread, crisp salad, caviar and a surprise dessert.

The pop of Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad will be our soundtrack as the clock strikes midnight.

It should be your go-to, too! Happy New Year!!

xoxo, Patti

ps – Check out the fabulous music video on their site. It will get you all revved up to party! 🙂

Gifting Wine

Monday, 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