Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Entertaining Inspiration

Entertaining is such a fun experience ~~ why is it we tend to put it off? Why is it we call our girlfriends and say "let's meet at Panara's for lunch" when we could have fun using some of our many dishes and we could try all those stacks and stacks of recipes we collect.
There are a couple of books I really want to share with you. They are ones I refer to over and over again for inspiration and for the tried and true or never fail me recipes.
The first is called The Art and Craft of Entertaining
Kimberly Kennedy
It's actual a book I read cover to cover and looked forward to the next chapter wondering what she had to say. It's full of party planning ideas from organizing your dishes to making take home gifts for your guests to making napkin rings, menu planning and a slug of recipes.
She shows this idea of having an inspiration board of things you love and gradually seeing a plan come together by using and collecting things that are truly dear to you. A picture of a room, a bird plate or a cool looking cocktail in a distinctive glass could actual inspire your next party, she explains. Another book to share with you is one I've had since I was in my mid twenties. It's called Cookery for Entertaining by Marlene Sorosky. Yes, I know some of you weren't even born yet. It is one I still use and it never fails me. It's basically a cook book and also filled with instructions, pictures plus very, very good recipes. I refer to it often when I want to fix something really nice. This picture shows an Apple Puffed Pancake which I served to six girlfriends. I hosted a birthday brunch for two who shared the same birthday and we all enjoyed the party in my home, eating "real" food. Here is one recipe that I make often. It has the best taste and texture. I hope you will enjoy it too.
Chocolate Chip Coffeecake ~This is a favorite brunch recipe of mine ¼ lb. butter, room temperature 1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, room temperature 1 ¼ c. sugar 2 eggs 1 t. vanilla 2 cups all purpose flour 1 t. baking powder ½ t. baking soda ¼ t. salt ¼ c. cold milk 1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips (1 cup) Pecan Topping: ¼ c. sugar 1 t. cinnamon ¼ c. chopped pecans Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9”x3” springform pan; set aside. Prepare Pecan Topping; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in cold milk and chocolate chips. Mixture will be very thick. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with Pecan Topping. Bake 50 to 55 mins. til pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes. Remove outside ring from springform pan and cool cake completely. May be frozen. Makes 12 servings
I would love to hear of any entertaining books that are favorites of yours.
In other news, Laura Lu @Hidden Promises has bestowed a very nice award to me! It's just my second one and I am thrilled that she selected me. It's called Sisterhood Award and isn't that just exactly what we have become ~~ a sisterhood of sorts.
Thank you sweet friend. I am honored to add this to my blog. :)


Tardevil said...

I will have to check out those books b/c they both sound like something I would like to read. The recipes sound good to me!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Good afternoon Donna..I use to love to have the gals from church over and we always did a tea and I have one book I almost wore out...its by Emily Barnes and its called "If tea cups could Talk" its got some wonderful recipes and table settings in it...Alway great fellowship and wonderful day together...thanks for sharing..may you have a great day...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Miss Laura Lu/RMS4291960 said...

Hey, Hey Donna! (I'm sorry I just had to quote that song!) Anywho! You are so right!!! I am bound and determined to start doing that...etertaining at home! I've just got to get my craft stuff cleaned out of my dining room! I am definitely going to try this's got all my favs! Did I not come over here and tell you I've got a little surprise for you! I thought I did...but I don't see it!? Come over and pick it up when you get a chance..just a little blog award I'm bestowing upon you! God Bless! Lauralu :)

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Donna, these do look like good books. I'll have to see if I can find them. That recipe sounds wonderful, and I love that you can freeze it. Anything that can be done ahead of time for a party just makes the party so much more fun for the hostess. Thanks for sharing it. laurie

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Hi Donna..thank you for your sweet visit.
I so seldom entertain anymore other than inviting my children to dinner..but usually everything social is done at one of my daughters homes or at the restaurant...which is good for me. has gotten me out of practice. I do buy books for the girls on the subject of entertaining, etc... as giving teas and lunches is something they enjoy. Much of what I used to have has gone to them in the way of flatware, sterling, etc..and even then I have lots left. I must see if I can find "The Art and Craft of Entertaining." It will make a great Christmas gift and exactly what they will appreciate. One daughter has aspired to a tea room for years..but the economy has made her rethink her plans at this time.

Mele did not do good last night. I have taken steps to fix what could possibly be the trouble. I will see tonight if it did help at all. I was up nearly all night long with her last night. There is a lot that has happened in the past four days..but have removed some of it from my blog as I am afraid it might ...just not be the thing to write about in a public blog. :) One follower has left and I feel terrible. Not sure that was the could be.
Hugs for your kindness..

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna,

Congrats on your award.

I love to thumb thru recipe books, those look like goodies.

Thank you for that recipe...that will be a winner in this house.

All the best,
Kathy :)

Chrissy...The Apothecary Shop said...

Hey... thanks for coming by!! One of big fetish's is books, I just love them, I think I have more than 50 decor books but they are so inspirational aren't they? Take care, talk soon...Chrissy

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna! I would love to have these books! You're a lady after my own heart! We love our faux flowers! Thanks for the visit!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Miss Janice said...

I've read Kimberly's book but not the other one...will have to look for it!