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

Saturday Brunch

Written by Patti on January 26th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

This past Saturday I had promised to teach our darling Chioke how to make biscuits and sausage gravy. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to throw a little get together.

Now usually, sausage gravy and biscuits sounds like a down home kind of meal. But I decided to amp up the glamour.  There would be 7 of  us at brunch and I wanted a very special table setting. First stop, the State Farmer’s market to see the flower lady. The roses there start at $9.99 for 2 dozen and they are really beautiful.  She was having a “buy two and get one bunch free” deal that I could just not say no to. I ended up with 2 bunches of yellow roses and one bunch of a very, very, pale yellow roses.  So total roses – 6 dozen. Cost – $27.50. The “wow” effect on my friends – priceless.

Eric and I had just shopped a sale at a precious little shop called Vivid in downtown Decatur and picked up the sweetest tiny clothespins with chickens and cows on them. I thought they would be perfect to hold the name cards onto the napkins. So cute! I paired them with the notecards from our wedding (years ago!) so each guest would have a special message inside personalized just for them. This is the easiest thing to do, and makes everyone feel so special. And isn’t that what it is all about?

To round out the menu, we whipped up a fantastic fruit salad, fluffy scrambled eggs and that hazelnut taffy (!) as to-go gifts – all washed down with mimosas and Bailey’s laced coffees.

The house looked so great….but something was missing….uh, I forgot to stock up on bathroom tissue. You know – Charmin! Oh boy – two quick calls to Crystal and Diane quelled what could have been a hostess horror.

Toilet paper crisis averted, Chioke and I set out to bake some biscuits and cook up some sausage gravy. Eric handled the rest (he is the greatest!)

So you can cook along, here are the recipes:

The biscuits are from Paula Deen. You can watch her make them here.

Paula Deen’s Cream Biscuits

  • 2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. (Note: I only heated our oven to 450F – smoke alarm concerns…and baked for 15 minutes. They turned out great).

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and cream until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with additional flour. Fold the dough in 1/2 and knead 5 to 7 times, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands. Gently roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter coated with flour, cut dough into biscuits. Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray, leaving at least 1-inch between each biscuit. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Patti’s Sausage Gravy for a Crowd

2 tubes of sausage (I like Jimmy Dean’s medium)
1/2 quart of half and half (you could also use milk or heavy cream here)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup corn starch, made into a slurry by adding 1/8 cup water and mixed together
Pepper to taste

Brown both tubes of sausage over medium heat. When browned, add half and half to skillet and bring to a boil. Then add your cornstarch and water slurry (this will thicken the gravy).
Stir frequently
Add flour as needed to thicken up gravy
Keep stirring
Add pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper)
Don’t stop stirring until it is done

Devour. Serves 8

And now, some photos from our day:

Those Fabulous Roses - And Gold Candlestick Holders For Glam Effect!

Those Fabulous Roses - And Gold Candlestick Holders For Glam Effect!

Biscuits, Fresh and Hot From The Oven

Biscuits, Fresh and Hot From The Oven

Eric's Perfect Fruit Salad

Eric's Perfect Fruit Salad

Taruan and Diane Share A Giggle

Taruan and Diane Share A Giggle

Teague and Chioke Discuss The Power of Biscuits

Teague and Chioke Discuss The Power of Biscuits

One Sweet Little Place Setting

One Sweet Little Place Setting

Time to Eat! One Side of The Table....

Time to Eat!

Close Up Of Those Roses

Close Up Of Those Roses

I am still enjoying the roses. They make me feel so pampered – and at a cost much less than a trip to the spa. And they last longer.

See you tomorrow!

xoxo, Patti


7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oh I just love the place settings! Stealing your idea ASAP. XOXO

  2. Patti says:

    Thank you, Susan!

  3. tristan says:

    what a great deal on the roses! the place settings are adorable. you can never go wrong with paula deen. 🙂

  4. Patti says:

    Thanks, Tristan!

  5. tammie reed says:

    Awh I wanna come over Patti,let me know that looked like fun! lol

  6. Chioke says:

    Patti- This brunch was SO much fun! I pulled out the hand written recipe card you gave me and made the Sausage Gravy and Biscuits for a few friends last weekend- pure perfection! Of course, everytime I make them Taruan gets on me about my bread intake- so I may have to start just making the Sausage Gravy by itself. (hehe)

  7. Patti says:

    Oh, Chioke…you’re so bad! xoxo, P