Archive of ‘Entertaining’ category

Copacabana Bridal Shower


This summer I had the PLEASURE of collaborating on a Bridal shower with the talented Rebecca Simms (of Wylie West Creative). The shower was for Rebecca’s identical twin sister and my dear friend/co-worker, Sarah Simms (of La Femme Epicure). Rebecca had a vision to make her sister’s shower fun, vibrant and full of color, and decided on a Copacabana theme. She did the design work and I provided the food. Sarah’s older sister, mother, Aunt, brother and cousins all contributed too. It’s so rare these days that I have the time to cater an event for a friend so it was an honor to be a part of the creative force behind Sarah’s nuptials.


Coconut Cake and Celebration Cake from Susie Cakes. Goldn fruit towers  made by Wylie West Creative = chic town USA.


The “guest book” was a box of recipe cards where guests could write advice for whipping up a happy marriage. All designed by Wylie West Creative.


Both Sarah and her Groom are twins, double the cuteness!


Rebecca HAND MADE each and every tissue paper poof and then glued them to a piece of wood, which served as the photo backdrop for the shower.



Pink lawn flamingos got a chic update from a mist of gold paint.


Tissue paper bunting hand made by Wylie West Creative in the beautiful backyard of Sarah’s Aunt and Uncle.


Flowers by her Aunt and menus by her sister, Sarah comes from a talented clan.


Spears of chilled watermelon, jicama, cucumber, pineapple and radish get a hit of fresh lime juice and chili powder.


The spears were piled in bamboo cones nestled in a trough of raw black beans.


The main entree for the shower was assorted Empenadas from Nonna’s. These little savory hand pies were a huge hit.


Summer melon with a splash of lime juice and fresh mint, jicama salad cones and crudites with cilantro hummus




Plantain and corn chips for dipping in salsas from Hugo’s Tacos and guacamole made by moi.


Pineapple & Shrimp Ceviche in mini corn cups garnished with fresh cilantro.


The full spread!


Bar garnishes included fresh sugar cane for Caipirinhas, fruity straws for Fresh Juice Rum Punch and mermaids for fun.


The beautiful bride cuts into her cakes.


Me and the Bride to Be… avec flamingos.


Bar signage by Wylie West Creative and pink bubbles by Gruet.


Rebecca ordered CULT chocolate bars from Mast Brothers and tied them with a tag stamped  “Best Day Ever.”


How can you visit the Copacabana without a fruity headpiece? Guests made their own headband creations when they arrived at the shower.


Mementos from the special day…



4th of July 2013: Table + Menu


Planning a very special 4th of July Table and Menu this year for my clients….



Baby Gem Lettuces, Heirloom Tomatoes and Green Goddess Dressing

Corn Bread with Whipped Honey-Butter

BBQ Pork Ribs & BBQ Chicken with Smokey-Cherry BBQ Sauce

Chilled Green Bean Salad with Dill Vinaigrette

Aged Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese

Ice Cream Sundae Bar with Hot Fudge, Whipped Cream and DIY Toppings

American Flag Pillow


American Flag Table






Galvanized Metal Stand

Thanks Pottery Barn for making so easy!



Bridal Shower Brunch Menu



As promised, the menu from our Greek Chic bridal shower.


The "Julie' cocktail

Makings for the “Julie”

Prosecco, St. Germain and Elderberry

granola parfait

HK Granola Parfait


Pea and Soft Boiled Egg Toasts

Ricotta, Lemon and Chili

(I’m so sorry I didn’t get a picture of this. I was giving a toast! Imagine charred peasant bread with a thin layer of ricotta topped with bright green pea mash. Add slices of perfectly soft-boiled eggs, still warm.)

poached trout with new potatoes

Poached Brook Trout and Asparagus

Shallot and Herbed Crème Friache

mason jar layer cake

Layered “Mason” Cake

Lemon-Lavender with Rhubarb

The pictures don’t do it justice. Thank you to Chef David Mawhinney of Haven’s Kitchen for such a gorgeous meal.xx Sarah

Greek Chic Bridal Shower


Baby M and I have just returned from a whirlwind two-week trip that included my sister‘s bridal shower at Haven’s Kitchen in New York City.

Haven Living Room



maidenhair fern


Haven Gallery Wall

We couldn’t host this party at home, but we still wanted a space that felt warm and inviting. Consider Haven your cool city friend’s dream pad, complete with stripes, pretty table vignettes, and a black gallery wall.


Our bride-to-be loves peonies, so Haven filled julep cups, jam jars, and bud vases with every shade of pink. My cousin collected wedding portraits from both sides of the family (a tradition that began with my wedding shower) and framed them all in silver.

Don’t my grandparents look excited to begin their lives together?

bridal shower place setting

Black sesame and raspberry macaron favors sweetened the black, white, pink and grey color palette.

photo confettiThe bride’s good friend Lauren ordered adorable photo confetti made from pictures of the bride and groom and scattered them on every surface.

Nars favors

One good trick when planning a themed party is to go for the non-literal interpretation. To celebrate Julie and Matt’s upcoming honeymoon to the Greek islands, we found “Greek” elements that worked with the party’s overall look. Here, our game prizes: Nars make up with Greek names like Corfu and Greek Holiday.


I’m a bit obsessed with this last detail! As a guest “book” we framed a collage of Jackie O learning to use a camera while summering on Skorpios. Bonus- the collage matched the bride’s dress!

Julie’s friends wrote wishes for her on archival paper which we then glued to the back of the frame. A party and honeymoon momento all in one! We can’t wait to see it hanging on the new couple’s gallery wall.


bridal showers hosts

The bride with her big girl and baby girl hostesses.

A big thanks to all my co-hostesses and congratulations to my beautiful sister!

On Friday, the menu.








Healthy Super Bowl Snack


You know you’re getting older when guys demand a healthy snack as entrance to Sunday football. Drew had to bring a Paleo friendly snack to a Playoff viewing two weeks ago and I helped him make this platter. Apple wedges, celery sticks, local honey and freshly ground hazelnut butter from Sqirl LA.

Apples Celery Nut Butter


He said it was the first snack to get eaten so I think even if you attend/host a non-Paleo viewing party this platter will be well received. Kids would like this right? You can find freshly ground peanut and almond butter in most health food stores (usually in the bulk bin section) or buy a good quality nut butter in a jar.

Paleo Platter

Are you trending healthy or unhealthy this year for Super Bowl snacks?



Eco-Chic Disposable Entertaining Products


Sometimes you want to entertain but the thought of washing every plate, platter, wine glass and cheese knife in your house is too terrifying to invite your friends over. Right? Ok, here are 2 products that will help you host with ease and save your manicure at the end of the night. They are reusable, recyclable or compostable but still CHIC looking. And you won’t feel super duper guilty when you toss them in the recycling bin at the end of the night.

Plate a Cup

How smart are these cocktail plates by Plate-A-Cup? They have a slot to hold your glass so you can hold you plate and drink in one hand and eat, shake and gesture wildly during your juicy story with your other hand. Plate-A-Cup is:

– 100% biodegradable and compostable
– 100% “Tree Free”
– Temperatures up to 93° C or 200° F.
– 100% microwave and freezer safe
– Soak proof and grease resistant



I love this cocktail size plate for appetizers but Plate-A-Cup comes in dinner sized plates as well for your next full meal function. This wine glass slot is so convenient I’ll never go back to regular cocktail plates, there I said it.

MyDrap cocktail napkins

See that blue roll on the left hand side of the picture? Those are MyDrap cotton cocktail napkins! They come on a roll as pictured, in tons of pretty colors and all the different sizes you might need. They are thick and soft, more like a fine linen than cotton feeling. You pull off the number you need and save the rest of the roll for next time. They are washable so you can use them as many times as they hold up and then recycle when done.

MyDrap Cocktail Napkins

 My Golden Globes viewing party was SO much less work to clean up thanks to Plate-A-Cup and MyDrap (and my husband who washed all the platters.)







Fall Whites


Can my Thanksgiving table still wear white after Labor Day? This year I’m going for a creamy neutral setting with hints of soft blue and grey for my family feast.

 All images via Pinterest

What do you think? Need help getting prepared for Thursday, follow our Thanksgiving Timeline (1& 2, 3, 4.) I just ironed my napkins and bought all my baking ingredients and pantry snacks.



How much alcohol do I buy for a party?

A friend just asked me this question and I directed her to this Martha Party Calculator. Sarah used this formula for her wedding and we have used it for events we’ve catered and it has not let us down. Running out of alcohol at a party is never a good thing.

Party Calculator

Follow this guide to determine how much to buy. The primary rule: Buy plenty. You can use it later or return unopened bottles (check store policy before making your purchase).

Item and Quantity

Wine: One bottle per two people per hour

Beer: Two per person per hour

Spirits: One bottle per five people per hour

Mixers: Three bottles for each bottle of alcohol

Ice: At least one pound per person per hour

Martha Stewart Living, November 2009

Berlin Dinner Party


My mom took these pictures of the dinner party Buck hosted for her visit to Berlin last month. He is in grad school in Frankfurt but lives most of the time in Berlin while running a company based in New York. Brother Buck is so cosmopolitan.

How darling is the presentation? If you don’t have platters just lay some parchment on the table and go to town.

A spartan student budget doesn’t mean you can’t entertain with style. A cluster of votive candles in a white dish is always elegant.

Looks delicious!



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