When one receives a beautifully addressed invitation by mail, an anticipatory excitement is sparked. Immediately, the guest begins to conjure up visions of chic revelers floating about in a candlelit glow, cocktails in hand. Consummate hostess and elegant tastemaker Stephanie Booth Shafran harnesses that very feeling in her debut volume, You’re Invited.
I am often asked if I make dinner every evening—the short answer is absolutely not. Who has time for that? While I do cook very often, we are not sitting down to a homemade meal seven nights a week at Chez Muffy. I have a repertoire of recipes that suit our palates and enjoy trying new dishes quite a bit too. I whip up about four to five dinners a week when my husband is in town and if it’s just us gals, Louisa and I love an easy salad and pasta spread or cocktail party food such as cheese, olives, and a fresh baguette. She’s her mother’s daughter!
Back in August, I received an email from The Atlantan‘s very lovely editor-in-chief, Lauren Finney Harden, asking if I’d like to contribute a holiday tablescape for an upcoming feature entitled Master of Ceremonies. Immediately, visions of clementine trees danced in my head and I excitedly accepted.
There are a few things that taste infinitely better when made from scratch like pie crust, chocolate chip cookies, and a divine salad dressing. A few years ago, I whipped together a salad bathed in shallot dressing that changed the trajectory of my cooking forever. My palate just could not go back to store-bought and so long went the days of cruising the condiment aisle for convenience in a bottle.