Gathering | Summer Tablescape

An elegant dinner party for friends.  Sounds delish, right?  It is. And, you can totally pull it off tonight. (Okay, you can wait until the next Friday rolls around.)  How do you bring the fancy, fast and without a fuss?  Answer: orchids.  A lovely orchid arrangement as a centerpiece is always a showstopper.  We went all out orchid and dressed up our table in our Nouveau  cloth with coordinating napkins in white and that fabulous shade of pinky-rose.  Layer in simple white plates, fine silver and a variety of interesting glassware.   An elegant tablescape needs nothing more than that.  Just add your classy friends, some fine wine and a thoughtfully prepared meal.  Voila!

Gathering | A Bridal Tea

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something brewed...

Recently, a friend held a tea for her niece who is marrying this fall.  Invitations went out to all the women in her family: mother, daughters, sisters, cousins, aunts and, of course, Grandmama.  It was an opportunity for everyone to gather around the table and share stories about family weddings: the good, the bad and the ugly bridesmaid dresses.  

The table was simply set with our modern, yet elegant Palm Mineral cloth and coordinating ruffle napkins.  Bowls of hydrangeas cut and tied into bouquets served as the centerpiece and as a lovely takeaway from the day.  To help set the scene and inspire story telling, china and crystal dating back three generations (and borrowed from an aunt or two) was laid out.  And as a surprise, my friend's niece was given a china tea service that belonged to her great, great grandmother.  The tea and the tears flowed, the laughter and the finger sandwiches fed them and a new generation of matriarchs was begun.  

Guacamole | Super Bowl Sunday 2015

What is your team color?  Did you know that the team wearing white jerseys has won nine of the last 10 Super Bowls.  New England will wear white on Sunday.

Enjoy your Super Bowl festivities with this yummy recipe from Barefoot Contessa.  Don't forget the cocktail napkins in your favorite team colors…we don't have white, but we think you will be a winner with any one of these colors.

Guacamole (Makes 3 cups)

4 ripe Haas avocados 
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon) 
8 dashes Tabasco sauce 
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion) 
1 large garlic clove, minced 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced 

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, Tabasco, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.