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

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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

Remembering Citrus High School

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

You know what warms my heart?  By now, I’m sure you know that it’s Eric and my crazy dogs. But my friends come right after that. And tantamount to that is getting to see old friends after a long absence. I always consider this a precious gift.  One of those precious gifts recently came in the form of seeing childhood friend, Maureen. Bestie John, Eric and I met up with Maureen at Park Tavern in Atlanta while she was visiting our city with Carly, the daughter of another of our classmates (honestly, where has the time gone?)

I picked Park Tavern for their view of Piedmont Park and the city. There really is no better view in town.

Our Beautiful Atlanta

Reminiscing 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!

A Birthday Party Worth Singing About

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I had the sweetest time in NOLA with my darling husband, but the birthday celebration didn’t stop there.  This past Friday night, 22 of us gathered to celebrate some more at Karaoke Melody, a terrific spot on Buford Highway that has private karaoke rooms. Most.Fun.Ever.

The photos really tell the story here, so lets begin!

Teague Checking The Mics

Join The Party By Clicking Here

Darling Danny’s Birthday – A Night Out With The Boys

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

On Saturday night, Eric and I were lucky to be invited to join our sweet Danny for his birthday dinner at The Highland Tap .  It’s a fun restaurant in a basement location of Virginia Highland here in Atlanta. It’s super cozy and a great place to meet our old friends as well as make new ones!

Underground Fun!

For Danny’s Birthday Party, Come On Over

Our Christmas Feast for Six

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Good Afternoon(!!), Darlings!

I trust you all had a bang up Christmas.  We certainly did.  There were six of us gathered around the table this year and it was the one of the nicest Christmases I can remember. Oh, we had fun. But you knew that already, didn’t you? 🙂

First, let me list the menu:

Prime Rib, Dry Aged By Eric
Yorkshire Pudding
Mashed Potatoes
John’s Awesome Veggie Bake w/Brussel Sprouts, Portabellos, Broccoli, Wild Rice, Cheese (Everyone had at least 2 helpings of this!)
Beef Gravy
Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding w/Homemade Whipped Cream
Everything Cookies
Buckets and Buckets of Champagne

More Christmas Celebrations After The Fold

Party Week – Day Two

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Good Morning, Darlings.

Hmmmm.  You know things cannot go smoothly all the time.  Yesterday found my little Art Director, Tracy, sick in bed. Without Tracy I would be decorating with construction paper chains and cotton ball snowmen.  I hopped over to Tin Drum and picked her up some pho with the directions to stay in bed until she’s feeling better or Wednesday – whichever comes first. Here’s hoping she will be 100%  soon. Then I came home, let the dogs out and Karen jumped the fence to freedom.  Took about 20 minutes to get her to return. Little minx.
More Chaos After The Fold

Thanksgiving Pictorial

Friday, November 27th, 2009

I thought I was going to regale you all with some pithy commentary on yesterday’s dinner. But I think I will let the photos speak for themselves. A wonderful day was had by all of us. Eric, John, Danny, Holly, Isham and Tracy and I gathered round the table (we were able to set all the dishes out on the new table John brought me for my kitchen that belonged to his grandmother – so excited to have this heirloom!) There was no drama, no kitchen upsets or drunk relatives. It was the nicest, calmest, dearest Thanksgiving ever.

Thanks, Everyone! We love you!
Click to continue »

Thanksgiving Ideas

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Lets talk about Thanksgiving, Darlings.  It is 24 days away, which means you have 3 weeks, 3 days to get ready.

This year, Eric and I are frying a turkey with John & Danny and whoever else we can drum(stick) up to join us.  Let me know if you need an invite!

As much as I love Thanksgiving food, I love setting the table even more. This year I’m thinking of sugaring fruits as the centerpiece (I always try to have a centerpiece that is low to the table -since I am short and can’t see over anything!) What do you think of these?

Photo by Taste of

Find the very simple how-to here.

Now that we’ve figured out the centerpiece, what am I going to use to serve my guests?  I am thinking gold chargers with white plates this year.  Check out this site for crazy cheap serving pieces (24 charges for $48.80!)  I love a deal and restaurant supply sites and stores are the greatest for these types of items.  These come from The gold and white will look pretty together.

I’ve got some beautiful big white platters for the turkey and my French White Corningware with which to serve the side dishes.  I’ll use my cut glass dishes for the relish tray (you cannot have Thanksgiving without a relish tray!) and for dessert….hmmm….I don’t have that figured out yet. Any ideas?

Sides are the place where you can shake it up a bit each year. Everyone has their favorites (mine is my mother’s stuffing with sausage and raisins – I have to have it!), but usually no one minds if you conjure up a new dish here and there.  Here is a recipe that I am going to try again (for some reason, it just did not turn out the first time I attempted it) – Inside-Out Sweet Potatoes. I think they sound divine and I know all my boys will love them, too.

Lets talk more about this during the week.  I will bring you more ideas and hopefully you will share yours with me.

I’m thankful for you all!

xoxo, Patti