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

July, 2010 browsing by month


Fun Find Friday – It’s ME!

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I have never wanted this blog to be anything more than my diaries of good times, great food and tipsy parties. I always felt if I tried to sell something, you might run the other way.

But I’m taking a leap of faith. I am partnering with Opensky to bring you the coolest things for your lifestyle. Your kitchen, your table, your parties. I promise never to preach or to push anything on you. Heck, I won’t even post about stuff I would never use myself.

Pinky swear.

In 10 days, I will open my very own Anatomy of a Dinner Party Store in conjunction with my buddies at Opensky. I have to tell you, a skeptic like me was terribly hard to convince. But after a swell phone conversation (who calls anyone anymore?) with the lovely Jonathan, my fears were allayed and I look forward to dishing on some cool stuff that will make your food a little more yummy, a little easier to cook and a lot lovelier to look at.

Jonathan, by the way, went to school in Atlanta. I like that. And he loves Fat Matt’s BBQ.

Dang, Now I'm Hungry For Ribs!

Stayed tuned, Darlings!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Willie Nelson – Blue Skies

You Saucy Tomato!

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Do you remember this past spring when you couldn’t wait to plant your tomatoes? Do you now have a bundle of tomatoes and can’t decide what to do with them?

I am also experiencing a massive amount of tomatoes on my vines. What to do with that beautiful crop? How about some scrumptious, fresh, tomato sauce? With the addition of those herbs you are also growing, you can have a super healthy dinner on the table tonight.

When you have gathered all your ripe, luscious tomatoes, wash them and make an “x” at the bottom of the fruit. Put a large pot of water on to boil and drop your tomatoes right in to boil until they just start to look wrinkled. Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking. The skins will peel right off and then you can squish them with your clean hands into another bowl.

Cut an "x" into each tomato

Ready to Make Some Sauce? Come On, Let’s Do It!

Peas on Earth

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

My dear friend, Christy, is really changing lives, one pea at a time. With her organization, Peas For Prosperity, not only is she creating the sweetest jewelry (made with black eyed peas), but she is employing the homeless. In my eyes, she is a true saint.

Miller Jackson and her staff at The Mansion on Peachtree have also taken note and feted her last week with a fabulous party in her honor.

The Mansion on Peachtree

Join Me At The Party Inside

Lunch With Three Sisters

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

A very special celebration is in the works and it involves my good friends at Three Sisters Vineyard & Winery. Last week I traveled up to Dahlonega with my fun friend Terri (you met Terri here) and we lunched with Doug & Sharon Paul. Chef Dairen was on hand to cater and discuss the event with us. Everything was lovely and I just adore being up in the north Georgia mountains – it’s all so serene. As an extra special treat, Sharon took Terri and I on a fabulous tour of some glorious spots on the property. I cannot wait until I can share the details of our upcoming evening with you!

But I can share the details of our lunch together.

A beautiful salad with homemade dressing started the meal.

Salad Course Paired With Fat Boy White

For More Lunch Goodies, Click Here

One Show Stopping Night

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Saturday night we attended our third(!!) Secret Supper with Black Tie Barbecue. I am of the opinion that what they do is unlike any secret supper operation in town. The suppers are always at a fresh, fabulous, fun location and the food is incredible. Just when I think they cannot top themselves, they do.

The morning of the supper I received a call from Spencer with the location. This time to be held at Theatrical Outfit, a small, professional theatre downtown. A theatre! Eric and I were both theatre geeks in high school and college, so this was a special treat.

The Ultra Chic Venue

Join Me In The Theatre For A Night Of Fun!

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I was thinking of you all this Saturday morning, and just had to share this dessert I made last night for 7 of us.

Maureen, our dear friend from high school, was in town and I decided on a Taco Bar to welcome her to Atlanta. I cooked all day (what a luxury to putter around in my swell kitchen) and then promptly forgot to take any photos. That’s how much fun we were having.

But, I would love to share the bread pudding recipe with you. It’s from Paula Deen, so you know it is going to be yummy. The recipe says it feeds 10, but I would say at least 12. It’s huge…and rich. Instead of french bread, I used a loaf of brioche…because, you know, it needed more richness. As if. And I made my own whipped cream to top it with.

It was super yummy. And easy. Easy is important. This would be a fabulous dish to bring to a potluck. Trust me on this one.

Miss Paula's Bread Pudding

Chocolate Bread Pudding
courtesy of Miss Paula Deen

  • 1 (1-pound) loaf French or Italian bread, cubed
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup coffee flavored liqueur
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Directions
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

    Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and place the bread in the dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, and liqueur. Using another bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder and mix well. Add the sugar mixture to the milk mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla and almond extract, and cinnamon to the beaten eggs. Combine the egg mixture to the milk mixture and mix well.

    Stir the grated chocolate into the mixture. Pour the mixture over the cubed bread in the pan. Let the mixture stand, stirring occasionally for approximately 20 minutes or until bread absorbs most of the milk mixture. Bake pudding for 1 hour or until set. Check pudding by inserting a knife through the middle and it should come out clean.

    Serve the pudding warm, or refrigerate and serve chilled with whipped cream if desired.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Darlings!

    xoxo, Patti

    Today blogging to Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing

    Fun Find Friday – Cuisinart Hand Blender

    Friday, July 23rd, 2010

    Good Morning, Darlings!

    Today’s fun find is the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender (retail $24.95) It’s so cute! And you can blend lots of ice cream drinks right in their containers, without lugging  the clunky blender from under the counter or wherever you put it last (where is that thing, anyway?)

    Anyhoo,  you can blend soups right in the pot, make more ice cream drinks (loving the ice cream drinks in this summer heat), or whip up a batch of whipped cream, you know, to go into your ice cream drinks.

    I love how sleek it is, too. Can’t you just picture James Bond using one of these? Well, me neither, but you sure would look swanky using it!

    Look How Swanky!

    Rushing off to buy one now. But you can click right here and get it from the comfort of your own home and the nice UPS man will bring it right to your door.

    Now, if only we could get him to deliver the ice cream…..

    xoxo, Patti

    Today blogging to The Cars – Shake It Up

    The Kiki and DeeDee Supper Club

    Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

    Good Morning, Darlings!

    We go to a lot of events. Dinner parties we throw, cocktail parties feting fab friends, cookouts and birthday celebrations.

    But last night was a first. Eric and I were hosted by not one, but four hostesses, at a dinner party in Decatur.

    Let me explain.

    Invited by my friend, Elizabeth, who I met through bestie Clint (you all know Clint, right?), to the home of her good friends, Allison and Joel. Oh, their home was dandy – a grand piano, fantastic art created by Joel himself, it was a very elegant setting. Allison even set their lovely table with collected silver and beautiful southern china. Add Victor, a most dapper Image Consultant (I have got to call him) and you have got yourself the recipe for a perfect night.

    A Genteel Table Dressing

    What Was The Evening’s Twist?

    Walnut Pesto With Green Beans & Potatoes

    Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

    Good Morning, Darlings!

    This weekend, Eric and I had the grand opportunity to just laze about on Sunday. Lazing about has become a rare commodity these days and we relish the times when they arise.

    Lazing about almost always includes movies, and this Sunday was no exception. I had been wanting to see “It’s Complicated” and so my darling husband conceded to watching with me.

    There is one scene where Meryl Streep walks to the dining room table with a huge bowl of green beans and potatoes covered in pesto. Eric had to have it. I had to make it.

    And so, last night I did.

    Meryl In The Garden

    More Pesto Fun Inside

    Charm Camp Recap

    Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

    Good Morning, Darlings!

    What makes fabulous future hostesses? Practice, practice, practice.

    The Ritz-Carlton South Beach is fostering this idea with their Charm Camp for Girls. In June, 13 young ladies attended this day of fun and education. There were workshops on make-up, writing thank you notes, nutrition & menu planning and to top it off, there was a session with the Miami Heat Cheerleaders!

    Great hostesses aren’t born, they learn these skills through those around them. Be it their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, teachers or family friends. Instilling the gracious arts is imperative if we want to see the next generation succeed. These 13 girls are on the right course. Let’s take a look at their day as photographed by Melanie Nayer.

    Turning Young Girls Into Young Hostesses