Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Royal Dinner Party

Yesterday, Romancing the Home hosted an event for The Lake Forest Women's Club to review our new book "Romancing the Home Entertains. We set up several tablescapes to illustrate our book's content. This table was for a formal dinner party, but really showed the mixing and matching of china. We used vintage china , mixed with a new line of accent dinnerware that we have in the store. Taffeta was used under a gold bridal lace as the tablecloth. Vintage sherbet and champagne glasses served as votives and floral containers. We made the menu card from scrap booking supplies. The white and gold over sized napkins in the tiger print really updated the overall table, and are also available at the store. Be sure to visit to see other tablescapes on Tablescape Tuesday.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cocktail Party on the Cheap Side, but so very divine!

Nothing like having friends over for cocktails and having them bring the food! Plus our local grocery store was selling primroses for $1.00, and flowers for $4 a bunch, so even the centerpieces were on the cheap side! Seriously - last night the Romancing the Home girls came over to review our spring strategy for the store and each were asked to bring an appetizer, worthy of being in a cookbook and I think they over achieved! I had little goody bags for them, filled with some of my favorite things, including the little gold boxes of chocolates from Le Chocolatier at the French Market in Chicago. My friend Lynda was in town and created the stunning berry charlottes for each to enjoy. Tied with ribbons, they were a delight to the eye. Candy, Amy and Penny created the fabulous portable French cheese, olive and tomato shooters in the wine box. Pureed fresh grape tomatoes, topped with minced black olives and goat cheese, was delectable, and the Camembert Butter concoction, rolled in pistachios, was to die for. How very clever those girls were. Julie's risotto with shrimp and lemon aloli was yummy and absolutely beautiful on the silver platter. Katha choose to delight us with a pear, pancetta, and goat cheese appetizer, drizzled with honey and topped off the presentation with the ribbon dazzled pear! Laurell made her mother in law's old standby recipe of a delicious crab mold and presented it beautifully on a black and white antique platter. It tasted so good! But perhaps the most complex presentation was the wooden chicken with the Ritz cracker and cheese whiz combination. Penney spent hours putting together the little mini pizzas with the cheese whiz, olives and pizza sauce. And how clever she was - disguising that cheese whiz container with the wrapping and kale! Seriously- really- someone has to be kidding me!!! We laughed and I wish we had caught Penny's presentation on tape- Saturday night live- here she comes!
I am a lucky girl to have such a talented and fun crew to work with me!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Treats for Two

Valentine's Day demands that you serve sexy, pretty food! Heart shaped ravioli from our local grocery store, chocolate dipped strawberries, and decadent cupcakes, resplendent with sugar flowers and blackberries. Add your own beautiful dishes and lots of candlelight! Chocolate dipped strawberries are best enjoyed by a roaring fire with chilled champagne. A simple dish of basil and tomato ravioli, shaped into little hearts is delicious and pretty served with a marinara sauce and freshly grated Parmesan. Vanilla cupcakes, filled with a raspberry filling, are garnished with sugar roses, calla lilies, and blackberries. Yummy little treats for your special Valentine~!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Copenhagen Dinner Party lights up the room!

It just goes to show that you can create a party with about any theme- it just takes a little ingenuity- so how about Copenhagen as a theme!!!! For a recent fundraiser in Austin, my friend Mariterese and her friend, Eric, created a dinner party with a Danish theme. The tablecloth was of red taffeta, with a white band running down the centers, mimicking the Danish flag. The chandelier was decorated with icy branches and red flora, creating a stunning effect. Tons of little votives, napkin rings created from the crest of Denmark, red glasses and white dinnerware kept to the red and white colors of the Danish flag. A gold crown, filled with red roses, was a beautiful centerpiece.

Denmark is known for its open face sandwiches, so creative varieties were served as appetizers, along with a parsnip ginger soup in a little shooter glass. Pork tenderloin, in a cherry wine reduction, was the main course.

This was such a cool concept for a fundraiser- Guests purchased a ticket to have dinner at one of several individual dinner parties. Each had a different themes and were held in various Austin homes. After dinner, all the attendees gathered for dessert and festivities at a central location.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentines Day - Tea for Two!

How about just a sweet little table for two? Afterall, that is what Valentine's Day is about - two people that are each other's Valentine! This is a table from our cookbook "Romancing the Home Entertains". We have used old Fitz and Floyd cherub embellished plates, a vintage stand for the tea sandwiches and vintage lenox espresso cups for the beverage of your choice - coffee, tea or me! A small cherub sits on a vintage rhinestone embellishment, removed from an old dress, and chaperones this tea party for just two!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2011 Blizzard Creates a Romantic Fantasy Scene

White, fluffy snow and lots of it - over 22 inches for us so far and still falling. I haven't been able to open the doors to really get out and take pictures so far, as the snow has created natural door stops. But from our front door I did capture the natural fantasy land that Mother Nature created on our covered front porch last night. A white icing of snow coats every wicker chair, every statue, and every green on the porch. It looks like a scene from Dr. Zhivago. To step off the porch is impossible- no sight of the steps from the drifting snow. But it is gorgeous - and something to make you respect Mother Nature.