September 13, 2014

A Floral Birthday Dinner

A great party has a high impact moment.  For this intimate birthday dinner, the amazing Maurice of Bloom and Plume created said moment with a colorful hanging garden.  A true artist, Maurice is so fun to work with because he always brings a creative, unique perspective to the visual story of the party.  Since the flowers and bistro lights created such a festive atmosphere, I aimed to match that energy with a playful dinner menu.  Guests started with Greg's delicious cocktails (the grilled peach old-fashioned is a new favorite) and yummy snacks such as b.l.t. filled cherry tomatoes.  After a summery salad, we served some crowd favorites: buttermilk fried chicken with creamed corn, wilted greens, tomatoes and french fries (the best!).  A great night, made special by a series of thoughtful toasts to the birthday girl, was one I was happy to be a part of.

The Menu

Sips

cucumber mint gimlet

ginger margarita

summer old-fashioned

Snacks

b.l.t. stuffed cherry tomatoes

dungeness crab with stoneground mustard on little gems

To Start

market lettuces, speck, grilled peaches, burrata, marcona almonds & basil vinaigrette

To Share

buttermilk fried chicken 

creamed corn

wilted kale with chili & garlic

heirloom tomatoes with sea salt

french fries

Sweet

dark chocolate pots de creme

confetti birthday cake

September 4, 2014

B.L.T.'s & Games

I love a game.  If you've seen the movie Anniversary Party you are familiar with the type of person who has a tendency to get a little too intense during a game.  A bit overly competitive.  I may be that type of person.  But I'm working on it (otherwise Greg would refuse to ever play with me!).  So, I love games and I also love B.L.T.'s (a perfect food): hence, a B.L.T. & Games dinner party.  My friend Jenni Kayne, who is doing an entertaining series featuring fellow entertainers, shot the dinner for her blog Rip Plus Tan; all of the recipe & details can be found there.   It was a really simple night inspired by tomatoes and the guests (namely my friend Molly who is an enthusiast, like myself, and her enthusiasm for things like homemade pickles and vinegary drinks makes me happy to make them!).  I love the shrub based cocktails at Baco Mercat and have been meaning to make them at home.  It turns out that if one mixes blackberries with sugar, lets them macerate for a couple of days and adds vinegar, they have a very delicious base for a cocktail (recipe on Rip Plus Tan!).  Cocktails led to a family style dinner which led to the main event: the game.  On this particular night we played the latest crowd favorite Cards Against Humanity.  While controversial to some, it is def designed as a social game, perfect for a dinner party.  I was on my best behavior, if anything, it was Cass who owes everyone an apology.  For dessert, I highly recommend a bourbon spiked root beer float (I've been enjoying them all week!).  So as not to waste, guests took home the tomatoes from the centerpiece along with jars of homemade basil pesto in canvas farmers market totes.  Goodbye Summer - I'm so, so ready for Fall.


The Menu

Sips

blackberry thyme shrub cocktail

belgian beers

Snacks

homemade pickles

charred padron peppers & cherry tomatoes with aioli

To Share

b.l.t.'s with heirloom tomatoes, black forest bacon & basil mayonnaise 

arugula salad with grilled corn & shallot viniagrette

roast potato salad with celery & dill

honeydew & cantaloupe melon with macron almonds & mint

Sweet

bourbon spiked root beer floats

To Take

basil pesto, farmers market bags & tomatoes 

August 28, 2014

Bucatini & Clams

A couple of weeks ago we had a dinner party planned for twelve with Rip Plus Tan.  And then life happened.  Greg had to make a last minute trip to New York so Teddy and I were left to host on our own.  As much as I love the men in my friend's lives, I asked if we could switch it just girlfriends so that we could really catch up in that way that only ladies do.  With a friends' recent engagement and another's upcoming wedding we had a lot to discuss!  After a weekend full of parties, I had little time and even less desire to do any heavy duty cooking.  So Teddy and I went to The Hollywood Farmers Market to gather all of the ingredients for a super easy, no-fuss, summer dinner.  Check out all of the recipes, as well as my favorite market vendors and tabletop details, on Jenni Kayne's amazing blog Rip Plus Tan.  While Teddy napped I set the table, grounded by a pretty olive garland from the lovely ladies at Botany Flowers.  Julianna (the recently engaged!) is a stellar sous-chef and always helps me plate in the kitchen.  After some last minute assembling, we sat down to a simple dinner of caprese salad, bucatini & clams and finished with yummy flavors from Carmela Ice Cream.  It must be said that Courtney brought me a gag hostess gift of the Sex and the City Trivia Game.  In fact, it was no joke!  After enough champagne, I insisted that we play and it turns out I've probably seen each episode a few too many times!!  I love my friends and eating good food with great company is the best- throw in a game with lots of laughs, what more could one want from a summer night?

The Menu

Sips

champagne & rose

Snacks

salami, cucumbers, olives & figs

To Start

heirloom tomatoes, basil & burrata

To Share

bucatini & clams with fennel & leeks

Sweet

carmela ice creams
honey lavender, mint chip & peaches 'n cream

August 21, 2014

Teddy's Sip and See: A Kentucky Derby Party

It's been awhile.  A long while.  And a lot has happened.  Greg and I had a baby: Teddy!  Teddy is awesome and we're having so much fun obsessing over him.  Between my pregnancy, our thriving catering business and the arrival of Teddy, something had to give and blogging is what I gave up.  However, I've missed it as a creative outlet and a way to share all of the parties that we throw, for ourselves and our clients.  There have been over a hundred parties since my last post and I hope to catch up, as well as share our many upcoming ones.  Teddy's Sip and See Party back in May seems like the natural first post back.  I'd been dying to throw one ever since I learned of the southern tradition - I practically had Teddy for this very reason!  We went with a Kentucky Derby theme (I've wanted to do one every year!) and kept it classically preppy and festive.  Seersucker table cloths and attire set the tone for the day.  Teddy's Aunt Amy arranged mint and tulips in my mint julep cups (one of many ways that she has spoiled him) and made custom racing horse signs.  We sipped on mint juleps (of course) and spiked arnold palmers while grazing the buffet of pulled pork sandwiches and seasonal, slightly southern salads.  The whole party was a fun way to celebrate our new party animal and for him to meet many of his new friends.  Can't wait to share all of the parties in his future!!!
















The Menu

Sips

mint juleps
kentucky bourbon, mint, sugar

arnold palmer
vodka, mint iced tea, lemonade

Snacks

pimento cheese & toast

deviled eggs

To Share

pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw & bourbon bbq sauce

hominy & green chili casserole

chopped salad with cherry tomatoes, black-eyed peas, corn & avocado

snap peas, asparagus & mint

three bean salad

Sweet

strawberry shortcakes with buttermilk biscuits & sweetened cream

banana pudding cups

chocolate pecan bars