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

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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

Sometimes, It’s Just Snacks

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Same theme – it’s HOT here in Atlanta. Even too hot to make salad. Last night I threw together this fun platter of treats from rummaging in the fridge and the pantry.

Crab dip, baby carrots, club crackers, grapes and pistachios. It was like a tiny cocktail party without…gasp…the cocktails. Even we have to take break every once in a while.

 

It doesn't have to be difficult to be delish.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to be delish.

Pull out your cute little bowls and a nice white platter and add some colorful food and you have an instant party. Voila!

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

SuperBowl Snack Bracket With Van Gogh Vodka

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

How was your Super Sunday? We had a swell time with a few close friends at our annual Snack Bracket. Everyone brings a dish in one of the following categories:

1. Sweet
2. Savory
3. Dips
4. Vegetarian

Guests will judge the entries in each category and then one winner will reign over all! The winner takes home bragging rights and a trophy.

It’s always a blast. Here’s the table pre-party:

That

Are you ready for some snacking?

Are you ready for some snacking?

There’s the trophy in the center of the table. Every year I have to find something that might work as a trophy. Last year it was an egg cup with googly eyes glued on. This year we upped our game.

Drinks are an absolutely necessity for every party and this is THE party. The lovely folks at Van Gogh Vodka sent me a couple of bottles along with the cutest and yummiest recipes to match the teams playing. Take a look.

SuperbowlCocktails

THE BRONCO

1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Oranje Vodka

3 oz. Orange Juice

1 oz. Club Soda

Pour vodka and juice into an ice-filled highball glass rimmed with blue sugar.  Stir and top with orange juice and garnish with an orange slice

 

THE PANTHER

1 oz. Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry Vodka

1/2 oz. Blue Curacao

5 oz. Lemonade

1/2 oz. Triple Sec

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice filled highball glass rimmed with silver sugar.  Garnish with floating blueberries.

Even though Peyton Manning took home the trophy, our guests loved the Panthers cocktail best.

At our party, it was the Panthers 4-1.

But who took home the Snack Bracket trophy?

This was early in the evening. Not everyone had entered yet.

Everyone had a blast sipping Van Gogh cocktails and watching the game.

Look at those happy faces!

But who won the Snack Bracket???

It was Vareck with his famous meringue pecan pie. It was SOOOO good!

Congrats Vareck!

May I recommend that you mix up these cocktails for your Valentine? They will love you for it!

xoxo, Patti

Halloween Shenanigans!

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Good Morning Darlings!

How was your weekend? Did you go to all the parties? Eat all the candy? Me, too!

My sweet friend and neighbor, Stephanie threw a fab party so we could all stay in the neighborhood and out of traffic. It was the most fun. I dressed up as Stephen King’s Carrie. The stores were all completely out of fake blood, so I used beet juice. Mercifully, it washed off easily.

Pics!

Caroline, Me, Stephanie

Caroline, Me, Stephanie

Eric is just a blur....

Eric is just a blur….

Melissa and Caroline. Melissa won the costume contest.

Melissa and Caroline. Melissa won the costume contest.

Stuart, Jay and Evan.

Stuart, Jay and Evan.

It was a perfect party! We danced and danced. Thank you, Stephanie!

Okay, everyone – it’s November. Time to start thinking about Thanksgiving!

xoxo, Patti

Affairs At The Fox

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Good Morning Darlings!

Earlier this week Eric and I were tickled to be invited to The Fabulous Fox Theater to experience Affairs At The Fox, Affairs To Remember marvelous reveal of a new type of partnership.

Affairs To Remember has long been a preferred caterer at the famed theater, but now they are creating events that include dishes that are exclusive to The Fox and even themed by shows performed there!

We enjoyed gorgeous decor and delish food in the Egyptian Ballroom. A walk out onto the open air promenade afforded stunning views of the moon on a perfect night. This was all capped by an extraordinary tour of the facilities, ending up with us on the stage! So cool.

Christmas is coming – plan your events NOW!

Pics!

The Stunning Egyptian Ballroom

The Stunning Egyptian Ballroom

Scrumptious Bites made with local sources

Scrumptious Bites made with local sources

Eric and I onstage at The Fox. We'll be here all week! (Not really).

Eric and I onstage at The Fox. We’ll be here all week! (Not really).

Have a stupendous weekend, Darlings!

xoxo, Patti

Buttering Up To Bulldogs

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Good Morning Darlings,

If you know me well, you know that I am a complete sucker for all things bulldog. My beloved Chelsea was the flower girl when I married E, much to her distaste of wearing a tutu.

Wedding

Chelsea went to heaven many years ago, but my love for English Bullies stays strong. The wonderful folks at the Georgia English Bulldog Rescue are always taking in stray and abandoned (how can that even be a THING?) English Bullies and give their all doing so.

They are having a fundraiser to pay for all the great work they do and all you have to do is show up and eat and drink (half priced bottles of wine, y’all!) Take a look:

GEBR eclipse di luna 2015

 

So go out next Sunday and grab some yummy treats for a great cause.

 

xoxo, Patti

TV Stars and Healthy Eating

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Good Morning Darlings,

I know Memorial Day has come and gone, but you know what? We still have an entire summer of cookouts ahead of us.

What does this have to do with anything?

Snack Bracket 2014

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Good Morning Darlings!

It’s Grammy Day, and that means staying home and texting snarky fashion comments with Holly & John. We will whip up something fun to munch while watching, but it is not our biggest food day of the year.

What’s the biggest food day, you ask?

Raising A Glass With Nobilo Icon

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Good Morning Darlings!

How wonderful to see you all – I have been very busy.

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