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

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A Weekend Snapshot

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Happy Monday to you all. I hope your weekend was stupendous. The weather in Atlanta was ridiculously beautiful and we had lots of fun.

Friday night, Eric and I had ourselves a little date night and went to see the movie Red. This was a hoot. Lots of things blowing up and Helen Mirren as an assassin. What more could you possibly ask for? After the movie we ducked into Fox Grille at Atlantic Station for a drink and to catch up on all the games. Did you see the Yankees against the Rangers? Unbelievable.

Saturday, Eric had a haircut scheduled, so we had a cup of coffee together and off he went. I went across the street to take pictures of our neighborhood park being landscaped by our wonderful neighbors. When he returned, we picked up Valerie and took the MARTA to the Little Five Points Halloween Parade. This is always a a great time, with loads of costume ideas to be inspired by.

Eric, Valerie, Curtis, Me at the parade

To enjoy the parade, click here

Souprise Saturday

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I am still glowing from the weekend’s activities. Last Friday, I got some surprise news that tickled me to no end. It was a treat I wanted to share with our very besties and neighbors so I sent out an email asking everyone to be at our house on Saturday between 5- 7pm for a huge surprise.

All the guesses I received were hilarious – was I pregnant (what?!?!), did I get a television show (hmmm…), are we moving (hell no!!!)

But I knew it would make all of us smile and warm our hearts in a big way.

And it did.

Are you dying to know? Come on in!!


Monday, October 4th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Whew, what a weekend. Lets get started with the recap.

Friday night we attended FLUX, the art installation in Castleberry Hill. It is more of an art installation than art festival because it is interactive and a bundle of fun. Called Le Flash last year, this year’s incarnation had a ton more partiers and more things to see. There were zebras running on buildings, movies projected onto high rises, singing heads, food carts and much more. Eric and I went with besties Crystal & Teague, said hello (and Happy Birthday!) to our friend Denise Jackson in her gallery, and then stopped for a drink at our other besties loft, Matt and Clint. It was delightful, exhilirating and cultured.

Roll the footage!

Crystal and Teague party down at Miss Jackson's gallery

More Fluxy Fun Inside

Playing Rough

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

You all know how much I adore living in Atlanta. It’s a town filled with surprises. We are genteel, we are foodies, we love a parade, we love a spectacle. Sometimes we like  it rough.

Saturday night was one of those rough nights. Besties Crystal, Teague, Denise, Rick, Eric and I all packed up the food and tailgated before the Atlanta Rollergirls bout at the Shriners Temple. This was my first time seeing the Rollergirls in action, and what a treat it was. But first, we must eat.

Hanging With Denise and Crystal Pre-Game

See How Rough It Gets After The Fold

A Birthday Party Worth Singing About

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I had the sweetest time in NOLA with my darling husband, but the birthday celebration didn’t stop there.  This past Friday night, 22 of us gathered to celebrate some more at Karaoke Melody, a terrific spot on Buford Highway that has private karaoke rooms. Most.Fun.Ever.

The photos really tell the story here, so lets begin!

Teague Checking The Mics

Join The Party By Clicking Here

Our Christmas Feast for Six

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Good Afternoon(!!), Darlings!

I trust you all had a bang up Christmas.  We certainly did.  There were six of us gathered around the table this year and it was the one of the nicest Christmases I can remember. Oh, we had fun. But you knew that already, didn’t you? 🙂

First, let me list the menu:

Prime Rib, Dry Aged By Eric
Yorkshire Pudding
Mashed Potatoes
John’s Awesome Veggie Bake w/Brussel Sprouts, Portabellos, Broccoli, Wild Rice, Cheese (Everyone had at least 2 helpings of this!)
Beef Gravy
Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding w/Homemade Whipped Cream
Everything Cookies
Buckets and Buckets of Champagne

More Christmas Celebrations After The Fold

Diane and Jonathan & Crystal and Teague

Friday, December 18th, 2009
Warm and Inviting, Yes?

Warm and Inviting, Yes?

Good Morning, Darlings!

It is a very rainy day here in Atlanta. I understand there will be snow up north. But here, not so much.

But it has been cold! I thought some soup was in order.  Miss Diane was sweet to pick up a gift for us and swing it by, so I thought she should have dinner with us.  She called me mid-afternoon to let me know that her beau Jonathan would be flying in from assignment in Columbus, Ohio early evening.  How exciting!  We would finally meet her mystery man.  Jonathan is a well-respected videographer and we couldn’t wait for him to join us.

And to add to the mix, we invited Crystal and Teague to join us.  I love a party!

More Dinner Party Fun After The Fold

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 »

Cabbage Reigns Supreme

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Happy, Happy Sunday, Darlings!

For all of you that do not live in Atlanta, I have to tell you that you missed a great time yesterday in Cabbagetown. Chomp and Stomp is just the southern social event of the year. I rode over early with Crystal and Teague so we could help Miss Lisa set up at her booth. The top was off the jeep and the day was warm and sunny. In November!

We arrived and I helped Miss Lisa with her sign for the day. She decided on selling locally made snap-when-you-bite-them hot dogs and beautiful white bratwurst.

You know what? I have so many photos, I believe I will let them tell most of the story. And away we go!

Miss Lisa's Specials of the Day

Miss Lisa's Specials of the Day

Those Gorgeous Brats

Those Gorgeous Brats

Miss Lisa & Mr. Bob Share A Moment

Miss Lisa & Mr. Bob Share A Moment

Mr. Bob is a restaurant reviewer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, so we kinda have to hide his face. You would agree his is a great face, if you were to meet him.

There were a slew of celebrity judges on hand to judge the chili (and there was a LOT of chili to judge). There was Kevin Gillespie, of Woodfire Grill , who might very well go all the way on “Top Chef,” Kevin Rathbun, who slew Bobby Flay on “Iron Chef,” Scott Serpas, Shaun Doty , Joe Truex and certainly not least of all, Chef Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch.  Some fun shots for you:

Chefs Gillespie, Serpas, Doty, Hopkins and Rathbun

Chefs Gillespie, Serpas, Doty, Hopkins and Rathbun

Chili to be Judged

Chili to be Judged

Chef Gillespie Takes a Moment for his Fans (me!)

Chef Gillespie Takes a Moment for his Fans (me!)

As exciting as mingling with celebrity chefs is, there was also live music and other celebrities as well. Hollis Gillespie (no relation to Kevin, I believe) is a famous author who is about to have her books adapted into a television series. She is seriously hilarious and took a moment to let me be photographed with Lary, her bff and herself.  Go buy one of her books!

Hollis, Patti and Larry

Hollis, Me and Lary

And of course, lots of friends and neighbors were there, too.

Leila, Val and Jay

Leila, Val and Jay

Val, Me, Leila, Miss Crystal

Val, Me, Leila, Miss Crystal

Val and Me Before We Entered the Toilet Plunger Relay Race

Val and Me Before We Entered the Toilet Plunger Relay Race

Yes, Miss Val and I entered a relay race – I called it the Toilet Plunger Relay, Chomp and Stomp called it the Cornholing Relay Race. One member of the team holds a toilet plunger between their legs and runs to the next member, who is holding a roll of toilet paper between her legs – #1 has to use the plunger to thread the toilet paper onto the handle of the plunger. It was fun. We didn’t win, but we laughed – a lot! Oh, and we had to do it while holding a cabbage on our heads. Pretty!

Now for the main attraction – The Cabbage Shredding Contest.  Our bestie Teague has won this competition 3 years in a row.  First, there were two heats to see who would battle Teague for his crown. Then it was time for Teague to show em how it’s done. Little Michelle handed us her ball point pen and we all wrote a big  “T” on our palms to show our support. Teague was clearly in the lead when all of a sudden, he dropped his cabbage! We all gasped and waited to see what would happen next. Teague, the consummate professional, just popped over the table, grabbed the cabbage core and once again took the crown! We all howled with joy! Wooooooo Hooooo!!! I even got some cool action shots. And I won’t even make you wait to see them.

Teague Was In It To Win It!

Teague Was In It To Win It! Look at the Cabbage Flying!

Our King and Queen

Our King and Queen

As Teague’s motto goes – “Today We Slaw!” and slaw he did. He most certainly did.

Besides cabbage and chili everywhere, there were some other food vendors (besides Miss Lisa and her awesome dogs and brats). Lets take a look, shall we?

Perla, One of Miss Lisa's Coffee Girls

Perla, One of Miss Lisa's Coffee Girls

Nobody Can Resist a Corndog!

Nobody Can Resist a Corndog!

Funnel Cakes! Fried Dough! Nom, Nom, Nom...

Funnel Cakes! Fried Dough! Nom, Nom, Nom...

After all our darlings filled up on chili and beer, Pie Queen Crystal and Cabbage King Teague (foodie royalty!) invited us all back to their house for a bonfire.  Miss Lisa was so sweet and gave me a bundle of bratwurst and buns to take to the bonfire and I added some blue corn chips.

Miss Crystal grilled the brats while we all warmed ourselves by the fire. They were insanely tasty and everyone gobbled them up.  Then Becky and Tim introduced us to a twist on an old favorite – ‘smores.  They took two slices of Italian bread, brushed it with olive oil and salt, grilled it, spread it with a nice smear of Nutella, roasted a marshmallow and slipped it between the two pieces of grilled bread. It was heavenly. Tim called it “Italian ‘Smores,” I said it should be called “It’s A’smore.” Whatever you call it, I can tell you what it tastes like. It tastes like you need one more.

"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, It's A'Smore!"

"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, It's A'Smore!"

By this time I was pretty beat and ready to hit the sack. Eric and I bundled up and walked home as our shoes crunched the dried, fallen leaves underfoot.

I am going to leave you with a quote from Mr. Tim’s blog :

I hope you live where you love and if you have a longing to be somewhere you’re not I hope you find your way there.

For me, that place is Atlanta.

xoxo, Patti