Monday, July 18, 2011

Easy Summer Entertaining

I really do love to entertain, but quite honestly, it makes me a nervous wreck.  I can think of very few events I've hosted that did not in the end, give me hives and turn me into a lunatic an hour before start time.  I'm trying to change that though by taking on less, preparing easier dishes and not fretting about how spotless my floors are.  What I'm finally learning at the age of 35 is that as long as you light a few candles, add a simple flower arrangement, and have plenty of good food and wine to drink, your guests really won't care how clean (or dirty) your floors are and if you have holes in your wall that need patching (although some may ask) ;)  Also crucial is to wear a smile when you open the door to greet them.  There's nothing more unsettling to a guest than having the hostess greet you with a frenzied look of panic on her face.  I speak from experience.

Saturday night Rachel and Jules came over and since they both stayed out past their bed time, I'm guessing they had a good time.  I know I did.  I always assume my friends enjoy food as much as I do, so once we'd established a date and time for our get together, the topic of conversation quickly turned to food.  They each brought something to share and between it all, you'd thought we were feeding an army.  We kept the dishes simple and light with a balance of both sweet and savory, focusing on fresh in season fruits and veggies, details below...

Vegetable Platter: heirloom tomatoes, baby sweet peppers, celery, french green beans & mushrooms with a zucchini hummus for dipping.  The hummus recipe I use is very similar to this one.

Cheese Platter: Herbed goat cheese, Double Cream Brie & Manchego with honey roasted figs & prosciutto.  I tried a new cracker from Trader Joes; Rosemary Raisin Crisps and they were delicious.  

Spicy Watermelon Salad: Inspired by an appetizer we ate during our PTA Moms Gone Wild night, I've been recreating this salad by mixing cubed watermelon, heirloom tomatoes and baby seedless cucumbers together with the juice of 1 lime and a few dashes of sea salt and cayenne pepper.  A refreshing salad for warm summer nights. 

Jules brought me those beautiful avocados that included a hand selected quote for me.  Jules loves a pretty package and she has inspired me to amp up my next hostess gift, something I'm really not very good at.  She also added this salad from Better Homes & Garden which was delicious and Rachel brought a Parmesan beer bread that was the perfect balance of sweet and savory.  For dessert, again I kept it light and simple by putting out dark chocolate, craisins & almonds and these Hail Merry raw Macaroons, which are incredible.  I am just about running out of adjectives to describe the food so I will end it here.  I hope your weekend was filled with both a mix of sweet and savory.


  1. Oh man, I totally freak out about cleanliness when I host parties too... and I'm usually frantically cleaning up to the last minute.

    I love the simple decor, I need to remember candles!

  2. I love the candles and the accompanying flowers. Very pretty. Glad it was such a lovely time. This is definitely one thing I miss - entertaining.

  3. You are am amazing entertaining and I had a wonderful time!

  4. We used to entertain a lot...it's so much work that I have done a lot less in the last few years. It's fun though and I kind of miss it! Looks like you had some great food and fun!

  5. WOW - it all looks lovely! The watermelon salad sounds intriguing....

  6. What a fun night! Wish I lived about six hours closer!!

  7. super beautiful evening! you're the hostess with the mostest for sure.

  8. first off, that looks like a party i'd like to crash! three of my favorite bloggers, all in one place? plus delicious food and wonderful conversation? count me in for next time! :)


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