Hello dears! In this season of my life with a baby, I find that we are entertaining at home a lot more. It’s fun and much more manageable to have our friends and their little ones over for cocktail hour or dinner rather than going out. This usually means we’re setting a casual atmosphere with buffet style service, dishes that can be prepped ahead of time and freely flowing sips! I’m going to share a few of our most recent hosting efforts along with menus, flowers and even playlists. I hope you can glean an idea or two for the long weekend ahead!
All pictures taken on my iPhone, in-the-moment!
The above spread is from a dinner we had with friends—six adults and five children under three! It was very low-stress and fairly easy to throw together.
Publix Fried Chicken
Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad: cubed watermelon, crumbled feta & fresh mint lightly dressed with fresh lime juice or balsamic glaze.
Ina Garten Crispy Iceberg Salad: I make these all the time! I could survive on the dressing alone and the fresh take on a wedge always dazzles guests.
Dessert: Frozen Lemon Squares from Trader Joe’s
Playlist: Spotify’s Leon Bridges and Friends
The perfect time to keep babies occupied during their witching hour! I set up all the accoutrements in the living room and they can crawl around on their playmat while the adults nosh & sip.
Triple Server: Cornichons and Rosemary Marcona Almonds from Trader Joe’s and Parmesan Whisps from Costco. Rosé is Gerard Bertrand from Costco as well and, helpful hint, it’s the cheapest I’ve seen it anywhere at around $13 a bottle!
Chips & Dip: Trader Joe’s Carmelized Onion Dip garnished with green onion slivers and served with Cape Cod chips.
Prosciutto Wrapped Pears: Sliced pears drizzled with lemon juice topped with a piece of blue cheese and arugula all wrapped together with prosciutto. Add a bit of balsamic glaze once they are assembled.
Playlist: Spotify’s Rosemary, Frank, Bing & Friends
I had this catered because I knew the morning would be hectic and I wanted fond memories of our daughter’s special day (not “s%*^! I burned the quiche!!”). The Hungry Peach here in Atlanta, located in the ADAC building, did a marvelous job!
Ham & Swiss Biscuits
Smoked Salmon Cucumber Cups
Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs
Parmesan & Artichoke Tarts
Fresh Fruit from Whole Foods
Truffled Brownies (The Hungry Peach has THE most decadent brownies I’ve ever had, they are a must try!)
Flowers: recently, I’ve been very pleased with the dramatic effect of some large bunches of baby’s breath. For additional color and texture, I added in some tulips and roses in mismatched vases and containers. Atlanta ladies, my favorite place for well-priced vessels is Boxwoods!
Playlist: Spotify’s Classical Feast
Thrill on the Grill
This is a great dinner to have prepped beforehand and then all you have to do is finish a couple of the items on the grill, easy-peasy! We served this the night before the baptism for our family visitors.
Flank Steak with Chimichurri: It’s delicious and fresh, perfect for a weekend BBQ! The chimichurri is a favorite here at Chez Muffy, it can go on anything from chicken to roasted vegetables.
Corn on the cob prepared on the grill
Ina Garten Crispy Iceberg Salads: See, I can’t get enough!
Playlist: Spotify’s Basa Nova
A casual evening sprinkle for a dear friend’s soon-to-arrive bundle of joy yielded heavy hors d’oeuvres, champagne and rosé for about twenty guests. I am all about one-stop shopping so pretty much everything was procured at Costco.
Marinated Shrimp: Costco’s finest! The bamboo skewers are from Amazon.
Crudité: Tri-color carrots, little Persian cucumbers and radishes are from Trader Joe’s. We cut them lengthwise and served them with Costco’s spinach & artichoke dip.
Spanakopita: Delicious frozen fare from Costco.
Petit Avocado Toasts: Baguettes are sliced, brushed with butter and toasted in the oven for 20ish minutes at 375. Top with a layer of Costco pre-made guacamole (sold in single-serving sized cups) and garnish with fresh cherry tomatoes, cilantro and sea salt.
Playlist: Spotify’s Jazz Classics
Light Dinner for Two
There’s nothing like queuing up a good movie or show and enjoying an evening in. If Mister Muffy and I have had a big lunch out with Louisa, a light dinner in is the best once she has hit the hay.
Caprese Salad: Heirloom tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, balsamic glaze, olive oil and a soupçon of Trader Joe’s Kale Pesto.
Parmesan crisps and almonds are Whole Foods favorites.
Wishing you all a splendid weekend and bon appetit!