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

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A Veggie Tale

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

This little story appeared in my inbox the other day and I thought it was too sweet not to share.
An early morning story for you inside, my morning glories…

Salad Nicoise

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Survey says – more recipes. And more budget conscious parties.

Let’s tackle more recipes today. And you know, it would be great for a light luncheon for the ladies, too. Two birds, one tuna.

Eric and I learned this at The Ritz-Carlton Cancun a couple of weeks ago when we traveled to Mexico for Christmas. Chef Rory Dunaway shared it with us and it was so good and the perfect foil for all that rich food you consumed over the holidays.

The tuna portion with vinaigrette and eggs

The veggie component

Nicoise Salad

Serves 4

4 Hardboiled Eggs, Quartered

1 Red Bell Pepper, Finely Julienned

3 Artichoke Hearts, Quartered

2 Tomatoes, Cut Into Eighths

1 Cucumber, Peeled and Sliced Into Rounds

12 Long Green Beans, Blanched & Sliced Thin

2 Ounces Black Olives

2 Stalks Celery, Sliced Thin

10 Fingerling Potatoes, Blanched and Cut in Half


3 Anchovies, Minced (note: don’t skip this, it makes the salad. I promise)

1/4 Cup of White Balsamic (note: substitute red, if necessary)

1 Large Garlic Clove, Minced

1 Tablespoon Parsley, Chopped

2 Tablespoons Basil, Chiffonade

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Seared Tuna

12 Ounces Yellow Fin Tuna

(note: unless you just caught it, all tuna will be found in the store frozen)

Arrange Veggies and Eggs prettily on a serving tray.

For vinaigrette: In a medium bowl combine anchovies and garlic and smash to a paste using the back of a spoon. Add the balsamic, parsley and basil and mix well to combine. Slowly drizzle oil stirring constantly until mixture is thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour vinaigrette into serving boat so guests made add their own.

For Tuna: Pat tuna dry with paper towel, season well with salt and pepper. In a hot pan, pour a small amount of oil, carefully place tuna in pan and sear on all sides. It should be very rare. When cooled slightly, slice into 1/4 inch slices. Fan tuna slices along salad plate and serve.

Super easy! And super delish. This salad will make your guests think you are very swanky and the amount of veggies and small amount of tuna makes it very economical.

Chef Rory Dunaway of The Ritz-Carlton Cancun

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to The Little Mermaid Soundtrack – Under The Sea

Transported to Morocco

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Last week my sweet friend, Patricia Tinsley, who knows everybody, invited me to a tasting at Atlanta’s own Imperial Fez. Of course I jumped at the chance to visit the emporium of low seated booths draped in silk and filled with exotic belly dancers. I picked out an appropriate outfit (no shoes necessary, you take them off when you get there so you could show up with flip flops on and no one would notice), realized I was the first from our party to get there and was led to our gorgeous seating area.

Just like being in the movie Casablanca, without the long flight.

Enjoy an exotic evening with me!