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

Frito Fail!

Written by Patti on 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

 

Spookvegas

Written by Patti on October 13th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

It’s always fun to see what’s going on in other parts of the country. Especially for Halloween.

At the Bellagio and Aria in Las Vegas they are making this October deliciously scary. Take a look:

How can he be so skinny and be made of chocolate?

How can he be so skinny and be made of chocolate?

All chocolate! The pumpkins AND the zombie!

All chocolate! The pumpkins AND the zombie!

ARIA’s main showpiece is a 200-pound, six-foot-tall male zombie made out of chocolate and rolling fondant. Due to his bold, statuesque position near the shop, guests are encouraged to take goosebump-worthy selfies with him if they dare. Another sight to behold is the life-size skeleton perched in a chocolate electric chair. This design took the team more than 70 hours to complete, using approximately 130 pounds of white and dark chocolate.

From gory and gruesome body parts to whimsical cakes and pastries, the displays cater to every guest, no matter how they prefer to celebrate the holiday. Executive Pastry Chef Claude Escamilla and his talented team worked diligently for eight months to create more than 45 festive showpieces that place the undead at center stage.  With a year of planning, countless sketches and hundreds of ideas from skilled pastry artists, the final display showcases their hard work through a cake closely resembling human flesh, tombstones straight out of a horror movie and many more hair-raising pieces.

“I was very much inspired by my favorite TV program, “The Walking Dead,” said Escamilla. “When I was watching the show, I kept thinking about how I could take the characters and turn them into life-size creations for the holiday.”

So you KNOW I’m loving Chef Claude’s creations.

Shall we visit Las Vegas? Hmmm?

xoxo, Patti

 

Serenbe and Sleepy Hollow

Written by Patti on October 12th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings,

My friends are so fab. They always know the cool places to go and the fun things to do.

Travis suggested we all go see the Sleepy Hollow Experience at Serenbe Playhouse. Oh, this would be perfect to kick off the Halloween Season. And truly, it was. You follow the actors through the woods as the play unfolds and it is incredible. The actors, the sets, the costumes and the Headless Horseman – you heard that right – all thrill.

Selfies while waiting for the play to start.

Selfies while waiting for the play to start.

If you get there a bit early, you can grab a bit at The Hil, Serenbe’s cozy restaurant on the, well, hill. We stopped in for a cocktails and the charcuterie platter before making our way to the middle of the field (it’s seriously in the middle of a field, so be prepared to drive your car on only dirt roads).

The Sleepy Hollow Experience.

The Sleepy Hollow Experience.

I really need to get the camera on my phone fixed.

Anyhoo, if  The Sleepy Hollow Experience is not sold out, go. Go – gogogogogogo. It was the best. And before you leave the field after the play, look up. All the stars are visible in that expansive field. It’s gorgeous.

xoxo, Patti

 

Venkman’s

Written by Patti on October 11th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Last week John was in town and so we had to celebrate. We chose Venkman’s, one of faves. There was also an acoustic set of Beatles tunes thrown in for free.

Have you been to Venkman’s? Named after Bill Murray’s character in Ghostbusters. Thursday night their special is an entire fried chicken served with pickled veggies, slaw and potato wedges. All for $29. Eric and I decided to go for it and were rewarded with crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside chicken with puckery pickled veggies and creamy slaw. The potato wedges were a nice foil to all the tartness. And after we ate our fill of chicken, there was still plenty left to craft into a fabulous breakfast hash on Saturday.

And jalapeno corn muffins, too!

And jalapeno corn muffins, too!

I love Venkman’s. You should go. And say hi to Chef Nick Melvin.

xoxo, Patti

 

Red Phone Booth & Amalfi Pizza

Written by Patti on September 20th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

We went on a double date with sweet friends Spencer and Allison to Red Phone Booth and Amalfi this past Saturday.

It was marvelous! The Red Phone Booth is a speakeasy only accessible via the…you guessed it…red phone booth!

 

Pre-dinner cocktails! This is the fog cutter

Pre-dinner cocktails! This is the fog cutter

 

Date night!

Date night!

 

Spencer had the best pie of the night.

Spencer had the best pie of the night.

 

Eric is so cheeky.

Eric is so cheeky.

Pie crust stuffed with fresh ricotta.

Pie crust stuffed with fresh ricotta.

 

Go. You will love it. Pinky swear.

xoxo, Patti

 

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – DragonCon

Written by Patti on September 9th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

DragonCon – could there be anything more magical? Cosplay, meeting all your favorite characters and then drinking with them.

Photos really tell the story best.

Visiting with Robbie the Robot.

Visiting with Robbie the Robot.

The land of Oz

The land of Oz

Mojojojo and Me.

Mojojojo and Me.

Captain America was there, too!

Captain America was there, too!

Bestie Melanie met two old friends. Like Jurassic Old.

Bestie Melanie met two old friends. Like Jurassic Old.

It was the place to be! Were you there? I’d love to hear your stories.

xoxo, Patti

 

 

 

Venkman’s

Written by Patti on September 8th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

If you know me, you know I love Bill Murray. Love love love.

This weekend Eric and I popped over to the brand new eatery in town, Venkman’s. Named after Bill’s character in Ghostbusters. Because these people must be awesome.

They are. The brunch was fabulous.

PICS!

Big Ass Sticky Bun. Yes, that's the name.

Big Ass Sticky Bun. Yes, that’s the name.

 

Duck hash. OMG.

Duck hash. OMG.

Eric's breakfast sammie with homemade sausage. Nom nom nom

Eric’s breakfast sammie with homemade sausage. Nom nom nom

 

Esteban took amazing care of us. We got there way late for brunch and they didn’t even try to kick us out. We kept ordering mimosas and they all smiled kindly and kept ’em coming.

Go – order everything and say hi to  adorable Carrie at the hostess stand and Adam the badass sous chef. You’ll love it.

“Who you gonna call?” Venkman’s!!

Oh! And they have a PUPPET BRUNCH!! I have no idea what that is, but I’m going next time.

xoxo, Patti

 

 

Martha and Snoop – Together Again

Written by Patti on August 12th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

I love a good dinner party. I mean, duh! So I cannot wait til this fall for Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg’s new dinner party show.

You can read all about it on Vanity Fair.com

I wonder if anyone would watch it I taped our dinner parties? Tell me below in the comment section (which is finally fixed).

I will be glued to my seat waiting for this show. With a gin and juice, natch.

xoxo, Patti

 

BLT Salad

Written by Patti on August 11th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

I was starting to wonder if I could face another salad – can I keep the magic going?

Surprisingly, yes.

This little number comes from How Sweet It Is, which is a daily obsession. Jessica is always coming up with the tastiest dishes and she is also completely adorable.

There is everything to love about this BLT Salad – bacon, fresh corn, grape tomatoes, feta (to be honest, I ran out of feta and used goat cheese), but besides that, we followed this recipe to the letter. And we were greatly rewarded.

It counteracts those Krispy Kreme donuts I had for breakfast. Ok – you can judge me. But just a little bit. 🙂

Go make this with someone you love.

Seriously, these salads keep getting better!

Seriously, these salads keep getting better!

blt chopped salad with corn, feta + avocado

Totally lifted from Jessica at How Sweet It Is.

ingredients:

2 cups butter lettuce, chopped
2 cups fresh arugula, chopped
1 pint grape tomatos, quartered
4 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup sweet corn
1 avocado, chopped
4 ounces feta, crumbled

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

directions:

As a note, to chop my lettuce I like to lay it out on a big cutting board and just continuously run my knife through it (in all different directions) until it’s chopped as much as I like.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, corn and avocado. Add in salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice then toss well to coat. Fold in bacon and feta then divide evenly amount 2 plates. Serve!

That Jessica knows her stuff.

And for extra inspiration, go visit my girl and fellow co-founder at Atlanta Movie Tours, Carrie, at her blog, Cre8iveone, where she is slaying it! So proud. Go, visit, leave a very sweet comment.

xoxo, Patti

 

Sometimes, It’s Just Snacks

Written by Patti on 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