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

February, 2010 browsing by month


Birthday In NOLA – Lucky Day Three!

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Day three in New Orleans was the greatest and….it was my actual birthday, so even better!

Eric and I arose fairly early and caught the trolley to The Trolley Stop Cafe for brunch.  And since it was my birthday and I could do anything I wanted, I ordered a blueberry waffle and a crab cake. Both delicious. Eric ordered the eggs, toast and bacon. Also yummy.

After brunch we wandered around the Garden District and enjoyed all the beautiful homes. The architecture in New Orleans really is fantastic and refreshingly without a whit of snobbery.  Then we hit Magazine Street for some shopping. Such fun.

First Stop - Brunch At The Trolley Stop

More Birthday Fun After The Fold

Birthday in NOLA – Part Deux

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Our second day in New Orleans my sweet Eric woke up early and decided to take a walk while I got pretty for the day. After primping, I walked out to find him and we met at Harrah’s. Mr. Perfect was armed with cafe au lait and fresh beignets from Cafe Du Monde.  We walked down to the river and had an impromptu picnic breakfast while enjoying the tugboats.

A Wonderful Way to Start Our Day

More Day Two Fun Next

Birthday in NOLA – Day One

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

For my birthday this year, my perfect husband took me to New Orleans for quite the celebration.  Eric booked a sleeper car on Amtrak, so we could try a different mode of travel. Great idea. Our compartment was so big we turned on our iTunes and danced, we watched movies, we played cards and just generally had a ball. It only took a bit longer than driving and we had nothing to do but sit back and enjoy ourselves. It was just like Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in North By Northwest. All aboard!

Our Car Was Just Like This One

For More Birthday Fun Click Here

Birthday Week Kick Off With Clint & Matt

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Thanks for not minding that I took a vacation for a few days. My birthday was this past Saturday and so the celebration started on Wednesday, of course!

My sweet Clint and Matt invited Eric and me for dinner last Wednesday night to kick off my birthday and what a dinner it was!  Starting with a huge platter of the biggest steamed shrimp you have ever laid eyes on followed by tender pan-sauteed tilapia with a luscious meuniere sauce, roasted green beans accompanied by cherry tomatoes, along side scrumptious yellow rice topped off with rich and gooey chocolate candy puff pastry purses for dessert.

But even better than the food was the company. Beginning the evening with a champagne toast and ending with lots of hugs, it was the perfect start to what would be the most perfect birthday ever.

But I bet you want to see all the yummy goodness, yes?

Huge Shrimp Cocktail

Click to continue »

A Very Un-Valentine’s Day To You!

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Sunday was Valentine’s Day and after Eric and I finished cooing and cuddling, it was time to cook.  And since we have so much love for each other, we always know there’s plenty of love to go around, and for us, that means feeding friends.

And cook we did. For besties Taruan and Diane we made coq au vin, garlic bread and shared that gorgeous cake from Chef Layne.

Dinner was a blast, we took turns around the table asking each other “who would you want to spend 24 hours with and why?”  And of course, hilarity ensued. This little game kept us going for a while and laughing a ton.

Playful Place Setting

Since we weren’t going for romance here, I put our funny wooden robots on the table to play with during dinner. Placecards were coasters from Turner Classic Movies depicting movie characters drinking  with the drink recipe on the back of the card. Super cute.

Taruan with His Pre-Dinner Tipple

One Perfect Plate of Coq Au Vin

Chef Layne's Cake - We Added The Bacon On Top!

Hope you spent Valentine’s Day exactly how you wanted. We certainly did.

xoxo, Patti

Shhh….It’s A Secret (Supper, That Is)

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Saturday night Eric and I were so happy to be invited to Black Tie BBQ’s Secret Supper for Valentine’s Day. I had yet to attend a secret supper and was very excited.

Held at a building in Midtown on the 8th floor, we were escorted (after signing in) to the dining room for the night.  The dining room was a raw space that had been transformed for the evening just for us.  The view of downtown was spectacular and the tables were beautifully set with silver rimmed china, low set candelabras and red rose petals. It was the perfect ambiance for a romantic evening.

Sitting At The VIP Table!

More Romance After The Fold

Chinese New Year

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

This past Saturday was a busy one.  We attended a Valentine’s Secret Supper (more on that tomorrow) in the evening, but in the afternoon attended a party for the Chinese New Year. Fun!

Invited by my buddy, Lisa, we were asked to bring a Chinese dish (store bought or homemade).  Since Atlanta had been in the midst of a snow storm, we decided on fried rice, since we had all the ingredients at hand (except for soy sauce – thanks, Crystal and Teague!)

Eric made a killer fried rice, and we were off. Or on (like Donkey Kong), depending on how you look at it.

Frying Up The Rice

More Deliciousness After The Fold

Fried Chicken Wednesday

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

You might remember that I’ve been trying to use up the food in the house in an attempt to be frugal.  When I spotted some chicken thighs in the freezer, I knew we needed to have fried chicken night.  Ok, so it was necessary to pick up a few things at the grocery store, but I think that’s all right.  I invited Diane, Jonathan and Tracy over and set about prepping the meal the night before.

I took the thawed chicken and placed it in a gallon size Ziploc bag and then poured  enough buttermilk in to cover the chicken and put it in the fridge over night. The next day, I drained the chicken, took some flour and put it on a dinner plate, seasoned it with salt and pepper and got out another plate, in which I put four beaten eggs.  Into the pot went about three inches of vegetable oil and set the burner to medium.  The chicken first got dunked in the eggs, let excess drain off and dredge in the flour. Then it goes into the hot oil for about 8 minutes. Repeat until all pieces are ready. Place the fried chicken onto a baking sheet and put into a 200F oven so it can stay warm while you are frying the remainder of the chicken.

Steam your green beans. Warm up the amazing mac and cheese Tracy brought. Warm up the dinner rolls. Pour copious amounts of wine. Enjoy!

Perfect Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken Makes Everyone Happy!

For dessert?  Oh my goodness, I tried a recipe from Framed (such a cute website!) It was a peach crumble cake and it was fabulous! Find the recipe here.  It was pretty sweet, so I might cut that next time with some fresh whipped cream. But I bet everyone will love it. What’s that you say? You’re horrified because it is made with cake mix? Oh, darlings – you can’t make everything from scratch – well, I guess you could, but it might cut into time with your guests, and to me, that is much more important.

Yum Yum Peach Crumble Cake!

It’s a fresh new week – enjoy!

xoxo, Patti

A Tribute To Eric

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I know I said we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day around here, but that won’t stop me from saluting the man who makes everyday Valentine’s Day.

Eric, thank you for being a prince of a husband. You are here for me no matter what:





You stand by me…whether we are:

In the Mountains

Or in Wine Country

You constantly allow me to see things in a different light.

It's As Clear As Black And White

That no one else would ever do.

You are the best dad to our dogs.

Whether You Are Making An Omelette Just For Us

Or Dry Aging Beef For Eight

You always make me feel protected.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetheart. I love you!

Sweets for Your Sweetie

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

One more day until Valentine’s Day, if you are counting.  If you need something sweet, but also adorable and delectable, I have a wonderful suggestion for you.

Yesterday, Miss Diane and I drove in the beginnings of the snow storm to Chef Layne’s bakery, Sweet N’ Sinful, over at Avondale Estates. Super close to the city, but in the cutest little string of shops.  Chef Layne is up to her elbows in sugar and spice and making everything nice for this holiday of hearts.

Would you like to see what we picked up?

Oh How I Love This Pink Confection

More Yummy Goodness After The Fold