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

Valentines Day browsing by tag


Toast Your Sweetie

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

Valentine’s Day is just SIX days away. Hubba Hubba!

Have you thought of what you will do?

Woo Your Sweetheart-In Mexico!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Good Morning Darlings!

Feeling frisky with Valentine’s Day on the horizon?


Me, too!

V-Day Recap and The Morning After

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Hope you all had a fine Valentine’s Day – no matter who you spent it with. Ours was swell. Lets recap the menu:

Crab Cakes
Creamy Pasta
Fresh Green Salad
Lemon Souffle

It was all so good. The souffle was delicious, but needs some work. I thought it was pretty good for a first try. An oven thermometer would probably help to make sure it’s calibrated correctly.

Some photos?

Crab Cakes and Creamy Pasta

Eric whipped up the cream sauce with the most spectacular oregano and gorgeous Greek olive oil by Frixa, that was just sent by lovely Miss Leigh in St. Simons Island. The Chryssaidis family owns a restaurant, Athena, in St. Augustine, where they go through 20 liters of this elixir each day. Can you imagine? And you can buy both the olive oil and oregano online. Yum.

The sauce goes like this (thanks, Honey!): Melt 2 tbsp butter and add 2 tsp Frixa oregano, infuse with low heat while the pasta cooks. When the pasta is al dente, strain and quickly beat together 2 eggs, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup parmesan with a little pasta water. Dress the pasta in the sauce and drizzle with the butter to serve. (cooks note: boom done).

Eric’s crab cakes were essentially crab, a bit of mayo to bind and panko for coating. Perfect.

I dressed the table with three large pillar candles, red beaded placemats from Mexico, silver napkin holders, hammered silver flatware and red champagne flutes. Although I believe I forgot to shoot the table because I was so excited about dinner. Sorry, Darlings.

Here’s a peek at the souffle.

Fresh from the oven and dusted with powdered sugar.

To our plates.

And into our bellies! Nom nom nom. And having an excuse to practice my souffle skills is a delicious reason for dessert, yes?

But, Eric and I both agreed, the really special treat came this morning inside the delicate confines of four very fresh eggs, gifted to us by our oh-so-sweet friends Stephanie and Reeves, who raise chickens just a few blocks away from us. They taste nothing like what you buy from the grocery store. No, these are much more piquant, with a richness that betrays its supermarket brethren, and puts them to shame. And look, Stephanie puts the date each one, so you know exactly what day it was gathered.

Gathered 2 days ago! And more cooking in the background. In Beka!

We didn’t say too much during breakfast – we were too busy trying to savor every bite of those pristine eggs. Thanks Stephanie and Reeves!

Aren't they lovely?

Oh, and my Sweeties – I am giving away two tickets for The Wedding Experience tomorrow. You just need to comment here on this blog post. You don’t have to be a bride, you might have a friend who is getting married and could benefit from this – so get your comments in!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Nat King Cole – Love

Valentine’s Day Dinner

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Welp, today’s the day. The day we make those who are so special to us feel even more special. This does not mean you have to have a significant other – or more specifically, it means that a significant other can mean lots of different things.

It could be your best friend, your child, your dog. Doesn’t matter. Just give someone you love a big hug and enjoy the day together. And tonight, cook up something special.

Eric and I love to cook together and it’s a rare occasion on a weeknight. But tonight at our house it will be crab cakes and pasta with cream sauce, fresh green salad and lemon souffle for dessert. Crab cakes are one of those fab dishes that are super easy and impress everyone. Just add bubbly! Here is a great recipe from Miss Paula Deen, who knows what we southerners like. I would omit the bell peppers, but that’s just me. And I would let the cakes rest in the fridge before I dipped them in flour and fried them, just to make sure they keep their shape. And one more note: I like buying big king crab legs instead of the canned crab. This way I know where the meat came from and there is less chance of shells. You just cut them up the middle and pull out the crab meat. Easy peasy.

Paula Deen's Crab Cakes, Courtesy of Food

1 pound crabmeat, picked free of shells
1/3 cup crushed crackers (recommended: Ritz)
3 green onions (green and white parts), finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Flour, for dusting
1/2 cup peanut oil
Favorite dipping sauce, for serving

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and peanut oil. Shape into patties and dust with flour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm with preferred sauce.

Don’t they sound good? See? Now go impress your loved ones. And don’t bother baking – let your neighborhood bakery do the work.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Ella Fitzgerald – That Old Black Magic

Kahlua 101

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

I thought I would slip a bonus post (or two) in this weekend. If your mind is on Valentine’s Day today, here are some super easy and yummy cocktails to be made with Kahlua. Isn’t Kahlua yummy? All sweet and exotic – it’s great by itself or even poured over some ice cream. Easy ideas, both. But here are a couple more ideas from Chef Aaron Sanchez sent to me by our friend Jaclyn in New York.

Celebrity Chef and TV Personality, Aarón Sánchez’s favorite cocktails are easy to make in the comfort of your own home and are simply delicious! Each is made with Kahlúa, keeping close to his Mexican heritage.

Here are a few recipes below for you to try this Valentine’s Day…

Kahlúa Black Russian

1 part Kahlúa
1 part ABSOLUT® Vodka
How to mix it
Fill a rocks glass with ice, add Kahlúa and ABSOLUT VODKA and stir.

Kahlúa Espresso Martini
1.5 parts Kahlúa
1 fresh brewed espresso
How to mix it
Fill a shaker with ice, add Kahlúa, ABSOLUT VODKA and a fresh brewed espresso. Shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Kahlúa Sparkling Water
2 parts Kahlúa
4 parts soda water
How to mix it
Pour Kahlúa into a highball glass filled with ice. Add soda water. Top it with a lime and serve.

For more recipes visit .

Don’t they sound delicious? Charm your Valentine.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Tom Jones – Love Me Tonight

Fun Find Friday-Baby Got Beka

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

You know when I get together with my buddy Barry, it’s time for fun. Yesterday was no different. We put together a teaser video for my friends at Beka Cookware. The Beka cookware is fast becoming my favorite go-to. With pots and pans that literally wipe clean, they are saving me tons of time in the kitchen. I can’t wait to show you how to throw a party with their chic fondue set or the gorgeous tajine. Both perfect gift ideas, by the way. But in the meantime, here’s a little Valentine’s Love Letter from Barry and I, to our friends at Beka. Which can be purchased on Amazon. Go for it!

Wait til they see the video with the dancers. Oh boy.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Beka – you make everyday special for me! And special thanks to Olivia, my neighbor, who got locked out of her house yesterday and ended up filming for us. You know how Barry and I love our guest stars!

oxox, Patti

Today blogging to – what else? Baby Got Beka!

Bubbly Treats for Your Valentine

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

With Valentine’s Day right around the bend, I bet you are trying to decide how to impress your sweetheart, yes? I have a couple of ideas that will thrill couples or singles (after all, why not celebrate the friends that are always there for you?)

My fab friend Maura over at 365 Atlanta (however does she find such cool things for us has the perfect idea for tonight – a Champagne Tasting…for $15 dollars!!!! Sign me up. Pack up all your favorites in the car and pop on up to Dunwoody to Alon’s for this evening of bubbly fun!


Ok, you have your bubbly all picked out – but why just pour a plain glass of champagne when you can glam it up? My sweet friend Jamie in NYC is shaking things up with Corzo Tequila and champagne – my buddies in the big city sure know how to do it right!! Here’s a special cocktail that is sure to make your valentine giddy! Oh, and don’t forget to save a bit of your Corzo Tequila for the exciting recipe after this one!

A blush drink for your blushing Valentine.

Corzo Amor
1 part of Corzo Silver Rose petals and Hibiscus infusion
3/4 part Elderflower liqueur (St. Germain)
Top with Champagne
Serve in a champagne glass and finish with a lemon twist.

Where to find Hibiscus flowers: Any Latin American market or health store.
Where to find Rose petals: Any Latin American market (Rosa de Castilla dry).

Aw, criminy, does the boss have you working late tonight and you can’t make the champagne tasting? Well, that’s okay, Sugar, I have an ultra cool idea you can do at home. I adore this idea and I am just unhappy I didn’t think of it first. It is so brilliant.

Gorgeous Naomi over at Bakers Royale is whipping up these insanely fab treats for her friend’s parties. Take a look.

They’re jello shooters, y’all!!! OMG, aren’t they the coolest things ever? Naomi has also fashioned shooters to look like lemon wedges and rock candy. She is today’s big blog crush.

Whoever you make these for is bound to feel very, very special indeed. Go ahead, impress your lovey!

What have you planned for Valentine’s Day?

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Frank Sinatra – My Funny Valentine

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