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

Lets Talk Christmas

Written by Patti on 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

The color scheme will be red, silver and white –  I’m riffing on this fantastic tablescape from Eddie Ross.  I’m even going to go all out and make the carnation centerpiece.  I just love this look!

The How To for Eddie's Fab Table

The How To for Eddie's Fab Table

I love that he touts flour sack dish towels as napkins. We all know how I feel about my Ikea towels, don’t we?

But unlike some of Eddie’s champagne picks, instead of real silver chargers, mine are silver colored and from Target – $5.99 for 4. Such a deal! I bought 3 boxes – you just never know if there will be 6 or 12 people at dinner. I like to be prepared.

Silver Chargers on the Cheap

Silver Chargers on the Cheap

I also love all the milk glass Eddie uses. You can almost always find these pieces at the Goodwill or any thrift store.  They really dress up a table and any color pops when next to them.

For the tablecloth, I saw lovely red ones at Ross for $9.99. I need to go back and pick up a couple (my table is so big one doesn’t usually work).  Hoping to find napkins that match or I might just go with white to offset the red.

So, I am all set for Christmas dinner.  Now I just have to prepare for the cocktail party for 70 we are giving on the 12th.

Let’s see – I’ve hired the bartender and a helper in the kitchen.  The case of champagne is ordered and a few fab friends are bringing some of their tastiest tidbits.  I want to whip up some yummies too, so I have been perusing Martha’s site for some simple, yet gorgeous hors d’oeuvres.  Here is a really cool one that not only will taste fab, but will wow the guests with how cool it looks.

Olive Straws!

Olive Straws!

You can go here for video of Martha cooking up these lovelies, or for the recipe, look below.

Olive Straws

Makes 12

  • All-purpose flour, for work surface
  • 13 ounces Rough Puff Pastry(I think store bought would work fine here)
  • 15 large green pimento stuffed olives, about 1 1/4 inches long
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out puff pastry to a 12 1/2-by-6-inch rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Using a large sharp knife, cut the rectangle into a 5 1/2-by-6-inch rectangle and a 7-by-6-inch rectangle. Place both rectangles on a baking sheet and transfer to refrigerator; let chill 20 minutes.
  2. Place the 5 1/2-by-6-inch rectangle on a baking sheet. Place 5 olives, end-to-end, in a straight line along the short side of the rectangle, leaving about a 5/8-inch border. Repeat process two more times to make three lines of olives.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and milk. Brush egg mixture on all exposed spaces between olives. Cover with the 7-by-6-inch rectangle of puff pastry, pressing the whole surface of the dough between the olives firmly with your fingertips. Transfer to refrigerator; let chill 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a very sharp knife, trim edges of dough; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide straws. Lay flat-side down on a baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until pastry is golden and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer straws to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

There’s a nice little start for your Christmas gatherings.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you have planned this holiday season!

xoxo, Patti


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Eddie Ross says:

    You’re so sweet! Can’t wait to meet you next month!

    Eddie + Jaithan

  2. Patti says:

    Me either! The two of you are the bees knees!