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

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What Feeds Your Soul?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

I was musing today about what nourishes me.

What makes you really happy?

Like A Kid In A Swoozie Store!

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Last night I helped Swoozie’s celebrate their 10th birthday and it was so much fun. Their Chastain Square store is huge and filled with anything you could ever need for a party.
Champagne, Confetti and Cookies!

We’re celebrating in here! Close the door behind you…

Mr. John’s Feast + 11

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

This past weekend was my birthday and there were no shortages of celebrations. Friday night was The Cafe at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, Sunday night was pizza and beer on the porch, but Saturday was most special. My sweet bestie, John, cooked a fabulous meal for 12 of us – at my house, so I never had to leave. The party just came to me. Yay!

John decided on a La Dolce Vita theme, with all Italian cuisine. It was divine. The planning started weeks in advance, with John allowing me final say on the menu. I felt so pampered. The menu was as follows:


Savory Caramelized Onion Cheese Cake with Apricot Glaze
Assorted Crackers
Red Grapes
Green Grapes

Pan Seared Polenta with
Creme Fraiche


Pesto Insalata with Three Cheese Tortillini

Piatto Principale

Lasagne with Baby Spinach and Portobello Mushrooms


Chocolate Raspberry Panna Cotta


Come on in to see the evidence!

Danny’s Seafaring Birthday

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Yes, this is my birthday week, but last week we feted our darling Danny at McCormick and Schmick’s with some yummy seafood. There were 10 of us and we just gathered, drank, laughed and enjoyed our plates of seafood. I think the photos (snapped by our friend, Eric Rice) say it all.

A special menu with a special message for our birthday boy.

Our group

Holly, Eric and Me

My sweeties John and Danny

My boys and me sharing a giggle.

Patrick and Andrew.

Eric, Danny and Bruce

Bruce, Danny and Sweet Rose

It was a fabulous night with some of my most favorites!

Happy Birthday my darling Danny! I love you!!!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Johnny Cash – Oh Danny Boy

Poppy Fresh

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

I love when I can match my friends up for any particular reason – professional, personal or whatever. And a couple of weeks ago I was able to do just that with John and Clint. John called me with a request for Cartoon Network goodies for a child he had adopted for Christmas. Clint is a bigwig at the Cartoon Network. Voila!

For the hand off of treats, I thought I would put together a little pasta for everyone. After all, John & Danny were just returning from Florida after Thanksgiving and Clint had just made the trek back from their mountain cabin. The fact that they were both willing to stop by our place after all that driving warmed my heart. So, I in turn, thought I would warm their bellies.

Fab friend Tami H. and her wildly popular blog, Running With Tweezers, came to my rescue. She had just posted about a whole wheat past dish with poppy seeds. And the nice folks from Jovial Pasta had just sent me some of their fabulous Einkorn whole wheat pasta to sample, so this was kismet.

I made a few adjustments to Tami’s recipe (I didn’t have proscuitto, so I subbed bacon and I didn’t have green onions, so I sauteed some regular onion with the bacon to sweeten it) but the end result was insanely tasty. At first you are thinking, “hmmm, that’s unusual.” But by the end of the bowl, everyone is so happy they are ready to do it all again.

Thanks, Miss Tami. I now know what that jar of poppy seeds in my spice drawer is for. Yum.

Here’s the recipe straight from the Running With Tweezers blog. You have got to check it out.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Prosciutto, Poppy Seeds & Green Onions

serves 4 as a small main course

recipe adapted from a dish at SPQR in San Francisco

1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti or bucatini (I used Jovial Einkorn Whole Wheat Pasta)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 pound good quality prosciutto
4 – 5 green onions, chopped on the bias
4 tablespoons poppy seeds
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
– Start a large pot of salted water on to bring to a boil. While water is coming up to temperature, roughly chop the prosciutto into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Have your green onions and poppy seeds measured out and close at hand, as well, to assemble the dish. When the pasta is cooked al dente, reserve about 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta.

– In a large saute pan, add your chopped prosciutto and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the butter and allow to melt. Once melted, add in the pasta and reserved cooking liquid. Toss thoroughly together and then add in the green onions and poppy seeds. Continue to toss together on medium-low heat for a minute or two to heat it all through together. At this point, grab a bite and taste for salt & pepper then adjust accordingly. Serve immediately.

This is the photo from Tami’s site. Mine was not as pretty. But it sure was good!

whole wheat poppy seed pasta with prosciutto and green onions

Photo Credit: Tami Hardeman

If you would like to learn more about Tami and how she makes everything look so gorgeous, you can check her out at this weekend’s Lavish! Unconference in Atlanta. Tami and all the other panelists have a plethora of fabulous things to share with you.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Poppy Mercury – Badai Asmara

Friendsgiving 2010

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

I love the holidays. I love get togethers. And food. So get togethers revolving around food, friends and the holidays are the greatest.

Our besties, Crystal and Teague, throw a big Friendsgiving party every year. It is for friends and friends that are basically family. This year about 40 friends (some old, some new), got together for the annual pot luck. Crystal and Teague provide all the meats and this year that meant pork shoulder and two turkeys! Everyone else brings the sides and desserts and a beverage. It is the best fun and a sure sign that the holidays are under way.

Enjoying the crisp, autumn weather.

Enjoy the bounty inside!

Birthday, Belated, Belicious

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings! Okay, so belicious isn’t a word, but I liked how it sounded with the other words. Sunday night our besties John and Danny whipped up the most fabulous meal for a belated celebration for my sweetheart, Eric. You know we never need a reason to party.  What’s that you say? It’s Tuesday? Pop open the bubbly!

Poor Eric has been on crutches this past week due to a bad ankle, so he gave Danny a lesson on balancing on crutches when we arrived. Hilarity ensues.

Danny had never used crutches before. It's kind of a balancing act.

The food is insane. Come on in to take a look!

John’s Special Birthday

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

This past weekend we were so happy to host a dinner party for my bestie, John. Conjured up by his sweetie, Danny, we planned and plotted to have 10 of his favorite friends gathered to fete our darling birthday boy.

For this occasion I decided to leave the table bare (I tend to forget how pretty it is…) and set it with silver chargers, white plates, white napkins nestled into silver napkin rings and a small arrangement of white and red roses. It was elegant without being fussy.

Simple Is Sometimes Best

Come On In For More Birthday Fun

Pad Thai Night With The Boys

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Last week I prepped for our Pad Thai dinner with John, John, Danny and Ken. Let me show you how everything went.

The table dressings – I wanted a masculine feel, with a little bit of an Asian influence. This is what I came up with.

For The Boys

Heavy wooden placemats were set on two overlapping white tablecloths.  Striped napkins set with chopsticks and red candle holders completed the mood.

More Fun With The Boys Inside

A Lavish Repast

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

This past Saturday night was the last stop in my birthday celebration tour.  And what a night it was!  My darling bff, John, took to the kitchen and whipped up the most amazing meal ever. I’m serious. If we could have had some judges there, he would have won a James Beard Award. And there was also a fabulous gift for yours truly!

The Maestro at Work

Hurry on in, you have got to check out this meal!