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

November, 2009 browsing by month


Lets Talk Christmas

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Happy Monday, Darlings!

Tomorrow is December 1st – 24 more shopping and planning days until Christmas! Isn’t it exciting?

Since it is Monday and we spent all the Mondays in November talking about getting ready for Thanksgiving, we will spend each Monday in December getting ready for the 25th.

Are you hosting dinner?  We are, and when Crystal requested yorkshire pudding for Christmas dinner, I thought, why don’t I just serve an entire Olde English Christmas feast?  They’ll be roast beef, yorkshire pudding, chocolate brioche bread pudding, trifle and some other side dishes yet to be decided on.  We’ll have crackers that we have to pop and then we will wear the paper crowns during dinner. You know about crackers, right? Here is a photo if you have never seen one.

Perfect for Your Christmas Table

Perfect for Your Christmas Table

Tablescapes and more below the fold ->

A Slice of Napoli

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

I love Italy. Eric and I honeymooned there so it holds a special kind of magic in my heart.

The city we did not visit on our 10 day post-wedding trip was Naples. The city of pizza. And boy, do I love pizza. I consider it to be a food group.

And then, the heavens opened up and so did Antico Pizza, here in Atlanta. At 1093 Hemphill Avenue to be precise. Oh what a wonderful day for me.

Eric and I braved the GA/GA Tech game traffic to eat there yesterday. It was so worth it. Everyone else was so busy tailgating that we got a parking space up front and walked right in. Isn’t that swell? The aroma wafting from the kitchen was surreal. I couldn’t wait to eat.

The first sight you see is tray after tray of empty cannoli shells and trays of sfogliatelle, a super flaky pastry filled with a lemony, ricotta-custardy filling. We ordered one of each, but were told we could pick them up at the end of the meal, so the cannoli could be freshly filled before eating. How divine. Soggy cannoli does not make me happy. Crispy, creamy, fresh filled cannoli does.

Cannoli Shell Waiting to Be Filled

Cannoli Shell Waiting to Be Filled

Sfogliatelle So Good It Will Bring Tears to Your Eyes

Sfogliatelle So Good It Will Bring Tears to Your Eyes

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Tree Trimming

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Good Morning Darlings!

Happy Saturday. I trust you are all digested from a big dinner on Thursday and are ready to move on to Christmas. What’s that you say? Too early yet? Oh, no! Not if you are giving a party in two weeks for 75 or so of your nearest and dearest.

And so, last night, Eric and I trimmed our tree. But not without a small incident. Dear friends Crystal and Teague gave us their 12 foot tree to put up this year (so we would have two trees!) Eric took this behemoth down from the attic and set it up in the living room. It fit. Kind of. When we went looking for our big tub of lights and garland, they had seemed to have gone missing. We could not find them anywhere. So after some wifely cajoling, my darling took the big tree apart, back to the attic and brought down our 7.5 ft. tree. I think it looks pretty.
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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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And Now…Deep Thoughts With Patti

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

It might seem mundane to list what one is thankful for the day before Thanksgiving, but I see it as an optimistic turn to let those who are so special to me know how I feel.

And now – my grateful list.

First up, of course, is Eric. This man is eternally patient with my infinite hair-brained schemes and ideas and loves me dearly in spite of them. He is kind, hilariously witty, smart as a whip and keeps me warm at night. I could go on, but there are some things I like to keep to myself.
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Magic Berries and The Magic of Movies

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Our beloved friends, Chioke and Taruan (aka – the best looking people on the planet) hosted the coolest party on Sunday.  They let all their friends vote on their favorite movies from the 80s and then chose four for us to watch.  They listed the movie times so everyone could come and go when their faves were on.  This was the schedule:

1pm – Weird Science

3pm – Coming To America

5pm – Heathers

7pm – Labyrinth
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Play By Play For The Big Day

Monday, November 23rd, 2009


Thanksgiving is here in four days.  I want to make sure you have everything you need.  Grocery stores aren’t usually open on Turkey Day, so lets get cracking.

I just found the coolest website called To Do which has lists for everything.  For a list junkie like me, this is heaven.  But if you are not, I will not subject you to my list proclivity. Except for this one Thanksgiving list. It is so fab.  I have just altered it a bit to fit our needs.
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Friendsgiving With Crystal and Teague

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Eric and I are so lucky that our friends are our family. Last night was a prime example.

Each year, Crystal and Teague host a Pre-Thanksgiving dinner that celebrates all the wonderful friends and neighbors we have. Everyone gets to cook what they would like for Thanksgiving as opposed to what they might be forced to endure annually with their blood kin on the 4th Thursday of November. My dear friends really know how to throw a bash. This year the guest list totaled 30 people – wow! Not only did Teague fry a turkey, but grilled two pork butts as well. Crystal was kept busy making not one – but two – dressings. One was an old family recipe with raisins and apples and the other was an oyster dressing. Yum yum yum. Click to continue »

Sharks, Pirates and Duck Confit

Saturday, November 21st, 2009
Planet Shark, Now At The GA Aquarium

Planet Shark, Now At The GA Aquarium

Getting together with brilliant friend, Tami at Running With Tweezers, is always an adventure. Yesterday was certainly no exception.

What started out as a simple lunch followed by a blogger’s day at the Georgia Aquarium for the new Planet Shark exhibit, turned into what could have been worthy of reality television.

First, lunch. We decided to meet up at Social, a darling little bistro in downtown Atlanta. We walk in and there is no one to greet us. Tami and I wait around for a few minutes and decide to take a table upstairs. We choose a corner nook so our food photography will not bother the other diners. Finally, our waitress comes to the table, totally flustered and telling us that someone called in sick and she was the only one there. Now, I feel for this girl, but this is not exactly setting the tone for a relaxing meal. I tell her we have tons of time and not to worry. In retrospect, that might have been a mistake. She seems relieved by this piece of news and scampers off. Click to continue »

Super Secret Cooking and Leftover Popeyes

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Well, Darlings…I had a super cool post ready for you but was told that what we were doing couldn’t be shared – yet. So, I’m a little bummed, and a little unprepared for today.

But what I made in the AOADP kitchen yesterday was very interesting. So I can tell you this – I cooked something with someone for another thing. Not very detailed, is it? LOL. As soon as I get the green light, you will have all the deets. Pinky swear.

When lunch rolled around though, we were hungry. Really hungry. Eric came in the kitchen and whipped up these fabulous chicken biscuits with the leftovers from Popeyes. Ohh, it was so good. So here is idea #1 on what to do with your wine pairing leftovers.

Crunchy, Salty, Chicken-y Good!

Crunchy, Salty, Chicken-y Good!

And today I am dining at Social for lunch with dear friend, Tami, who just returned from the gingerbread competition in Asheville. I am so excited to hear all about it. Then we are attending Blogger’s Day at the Aquarium.

I promise to have a much more thought out post for tomorrow. And this weekend. The next three days are filled with food related fun that I will be able to share with you.

Hope you all are ready for a fab weekend!

xoxo, Patti