Dinner Party of Blue, White and Chocolate

I was preoccupied with Payback Time last week and didn’t tell you all about my dinner party! It was my dad and I, a good friend of mine from home and her parents, who were also good friend with my parents back in the day. Clear?! Ha.

I got excited about this blue, white and chocolate color scheme, and bought this gorgeous paper at the paper store around the corner with which to wrap vases for the table.


Which I filled with fluffy white flowers and paired with blue-silver placemats.


I made simple placecards out of gorgeous chocolate-colored paper and a white gel pen.


And placed them inside a napkin envelope – which I didn’t iron! I ran out of time. There was nothing to do but just go with the wrinkly look and hope it worked in a casual way.


I think it worked okay. It’s the least complicated table I’ve designed in a while, and I liked the minimalist simplicity that it had.

I’ll post the menu and recipes soon!

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Brainstorming Dinner Party Decor

My dad will be visiting next week to do press for his new book, Payback Time, which is coming out March 2 (click here to pre-order on Amazon – sorry to plug it, but I’m excited!).

We’re going to have some wonderful family friends over for dinner, and I’m brainstorming my table design. I’m not really sure what I want, exactly. I don’t want it to look girly, but I do want it to look pretty, and I feel in the mood to spice up the table with a print by wrapping vases.

Snippet and Ink

Snippet and Ink

Like these vases, I’m almost feeling a simple and elegant black and white theme, on a white tablecloth with fluffy white flowers and black placecards. It’s a sophisticated color scheme and it won’t compete with the food. A little cold, though?

I have lovely ice blue- and pewter-colored placemats that go really well with my dark wood dining table. I could design around them, with silver candlesticks and maybe chocolate or bronze wrapping on the vases, fluffy white flowers, white napkins with chocolate placecards tucked into them. It would be a color scheme similar to this inspiration board, though less embellished wedding and more birds nest with blue eggs and white accents.

Snippet and Ink

Snippet and Ink

I love that lightish bronze color of the birds nest.

I’m going to see what wrapping paper is on offer at the paper store and go from there . . .

Rainbow Colors Inspiration

I came across this table on 100 Layer Cake and absolutely fell in love.


It is so gorgeous! The hues meld in perfect colorful harmony, and against the monochromatic background of white, cream and silver, the rainbow colors pop.

I especially adore the yellow persimmon on the white plates. It’s different, playful and surprising, and would be the perfect vessel for a placecard attached to a toothpick.

closeup colorPhotos by Erin Hearts Court via 100 Layer Cake

Lucky Meal for the New Year Dinner Party

Happy New Year!

I have a strong feeling this is going to be a good year. I feel it. I wish the best for each of you with a fresh start and renewed energy, and I look forward to sharing many gorgeous and yummy things with all of you here in the next year.



Epicurous has a lovely description of lucky foods from around the world to usher in a most lucky 2010 – and Nancy, my step-grandma, cooked the Southern ones here: collard greens for lots of greenbacks and black-eyed peas for pocket change, she said! I took hasty photos with my iphone and then lost it the next day in I’m not sure which snowboarding tumble in roughly three feet of heavy powder. So no photos from me, and I have to go buy a new phone today.

I’m a midwesterner – now New Yorker – and have absolutely no instincts in my blood for real down home cooking, so it’s all new to me. When Nancy made these dishes last year, I found out that traditionally you cook collard greens with ham hock! I never knew there were dishes with meat in them that didn’t specify that there was, in fact, meat in them. My poor little non-ham-eating heart was shocked. So she substituted chicken broth for the ham for my sister and I and it may not have been strictly traditional, but it was damn good. This year, she actually started three days before, when she cooked the collard greens and then set them in a ziploc bag in the garage to keep cool and steep. Two days before, she put the black-eyed peas in a huge bowl of water to soak, and then the day of she made grits. You could make them with veggie broth just as well, for a nice vegetarian meal.

ChampagneYou could make this lucky New Years meal anytime during the year – nothing wrong with a little luck in April or August, presented with full New Years flair of gold and silver all over the place. Anytime you need a fresh start and a little favor with the gods, it would make a great dinner party and would be so happily different from the usual holidays at the usual times. Give everyone New Years hats and noisemakers, and celebrate each person’s rebirth in whatever way they want! It could be a lovely addition to a happiness group or to cheer someone up.

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