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

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Thanksgiving 2010

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

We are finally recovered from Thanksgiving (I think). It was a wonderful time with fabulous friends and I bet you want to hear all about it. Lets do it!

Just between you and me, I had no intention of hosting Thanksgiving Dinner, but when bestie Diane said she was coming home, I knew that called for something special. We bought the turkey, planned a few dishes, invited a few friends, bought a case of bubbly. Then our incredible friends from Black Tie Barbecue told me they were holding a smoked turkey with my name on it, I decided to go ahead and roast the turkey we had at home and freeze the meat for the Christmas party nibble ingredients.

Do you remember the photo of those smoking turkeys? Unbelievable.

More thankful fun inside!

Souprise Saturday

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I am still glowing from the weekend’s activities. Last Friday, I got some surprise news that tickled me to no end. It was a treat I wanted to share with our very besties and neighbors so I sent out an email asking everyone to be at our house on Saturday between 5- 7pm for a huge surprise.

All the guesses I received were hilarious – was I pregnant (what?!?!), did I get a television show (hmmm…), are we moving (hell no!!!)

But I knew it would make all of us smile and warm our hearts in a big way.

And it did.

Are you dying to know? Come on in!!

The 3 Cs – Clint, Carrie and Castleberry

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Last week we received an invitation to join the cool folks in Castleberry for tapas and paella.  I love all the people in Castleberry and their fabulous loft culture – so urbane!  My bestie Clint is part of the clique, so we were thrilled to have snagged an invite for Tapas & Sangria at Clint’s and then to Carrie & Steven’s for paella (just a short stroll across the street!)

Joining us were Steve & Calvin (another C!), Tracy and Stephanie.  The nine of us had a grand time. Starting at Clint’s with both red & white sangria and a number of tapas. Ranging from tiny bites (olives and almonds), to more substantive fare (cheese stuffed, bacon wrapped dates & taquitos) it was hard not to get filled up on all the yummy tidbits.

Clint’s loft has just been repainted the most gorgeous combination of pale green and grey, making it even more chic than before.  More colorful than the paint? Clint and his neighbors.

Ice Cold Sangria Ready to Pour!

More Chic Loft Fun Inside

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

Comfort Food and More Comfort Food

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Good Morning, Darlings!

Since our holiday party I have been in a bit of a fog…part dreamy, part wiped out.  But of course, I am still eating and cooking. And when I’m not, I’m at someone else’s place sitting, drinking and eating.  The day after the party and last night were two such times that I played the guest and not the host, which is so nice.

Sunday, Tracy and Isham put together the most amazing dinner that required Eric and me to only get off the couch, change out of pajamas, and mosey across the street. Nope, no driving involved.  There we found roast pork with a cherry/raisin chutney, cheese bread and the most decadent mashed potatoes I have ever eaten. I believe they contained butter, cream cheese and sour cream. Oh my goodness, they were tasty.  Joining us were Tracy’s friends Mark and Wesley, who are flat out hilarious and the dinner conversation took such odd twists and turns that I can honestly say I can’t remember having a more unusual or lively visit. It was terrific, meeting new friends was terrific and Tracy & Ish are super terrific to have us all over.  It was nice to eat real food. Not party food or pizza.  Of course, I forgot my camera, but I will stop doing that. Sorry, Sweeties!

Last night found me at the glamorous new loft of bestie Clint for cookie making.  Clint and I had not caught up in ages and we just didn’t feel like getting our hands dirty with messy cookie dough, so Clint pulled some containers of pre-made cookie dough out of the fridge and we just scooped, baked and ate. And ate. They were yummy!  We visited, toured the loft, decorated the tree and generally enjoyed each other’s company. Clint has been globe hopping lately – freshly back from St. Thomas and off to Memphis for Christmas – I was lucky to spend an evening with him.  Pictures? Nope, not last night either. I have got to snap out of it!

Today, I will be having lunch with buddy Tami at Bocado. Promise to report in full and take photos.

xoxo, Patti

Party Week – Day Four

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Good Morning, Darlings!

Wednesday was a doozy, if I do say so myself.

My sweet Chioke, Taruan’s significant other, told me Taruan has been called to the Bahamas to do some work on the Atlantis. Now, I know Taruan would much rather be here in Atlanta with me, deciding where the bar should go as opposed to being on an island paradise, but work is work. He will return soon and then I will know where to put everything for the party.

Art Director Tracy is feeling much better so today we set out to buy some glitter with which to coat branches and pick up her dress from the tailor. Michaels had all the Martha Stewart glitter we could ever need and a visit to Hancock Fabrics yielded some lovely ice blue netting for the table. After those errands, we visited Tracy’s tailor to pick up her dress. Uh oh….this was not what she had asked for. Her bustier had been taken in where she didn’t want it taken in and the skirt was no where near what she had asked for. But I know a swell tailor named Alfredo in Sandy Springs and we ended up taking a drive to see him and ask his opinion. He explained that the way the skirt was cut on the bias made it impossible to turn said skirt from an a-line to a mermaid skirt. It still looks gorgeous on her and she was happy.

Starting With A Pile of Stuff

Starting With A Pile of Stuff

Less Drama More Crafting After The Fold

Party Week – Day Three

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Good Morning, Darlings!

Tuesday brought downpours and so I stayed in and managed some household minutae. I wrote thank you notes, did the laundry, stripped the guest bed and washed the linens since Holly is staying the night with us on Saturday after the party (she is the most delightful houseguest!) I half-heartedly cleaned the bathroom and straightened up.

I also pulled out all the serving trays for the party and placed the appropriate plates into the two three-tiered servers.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but on top of everything else Crystal has done for the party, she made me two of the most scrumptious rosemary wreaths. They smell so heavenly! My first thought was to hang them in the kitchen separately, but then got inspired to tie them together and hang them from the mirror over the mantel. Take a look – I love it!

Mantel Decorations Done

Mantel Decorations Done

Rosemary Wreaths!

Rosemary Wreaths!

Day Three Chaos Next

SEC and Trimming The Tree

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Good Morning, Darlings!

As you know, I was most excited about watching the Gators vs. Alabama play the SEC Championship last night. Well, my Gators lost, but the food was fun!

Midafternoon, I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of Miss Diane – Modern Love by David Bowie. Miss Diane says that every time she’s at our house it comes on the radio. Well, I was in the kitchen making peppermint brownies when that very song came on so I had to call her. She asked me how many people were coming over to watch the game. Uh….nobody but Eric and me, sitting on the couch, hollering at the television. Of course I asked her to join us.

Peppermint Brownies - Recipe To Follow

Peppermint Brownies - Recipe To Follow

I had gotten out the andouille sausage, the cheesy poofs, the salt and pepper chips, the plain chips, onion dip and some moon pies. There was wine and beer and cokes to drink. I had also baked the aforementioned peppermint brownies and had put some bread dough out to rise to take to Crystal and Teague’s house after the game so we could help trim their Christmas tree and indulge in some of Crystal’s grandmother’s Beef Vegetable Soup. Yum, soup!

It was a junk food afternoon at our house. Perfect for game day. Take a look at my bowl of chips on the left as put together by Miss Diane when asked what type of chip I would like. “Yes” was my reply. That’s a lot of chips!

Food Groups For Game Day: Chips, Moon Pies, Wine, Dip

Food Groups For Game Day: Chips, Moon Pies, Wine, Dip

More Junk Food 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!
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