Summer Party

Over the weekend I had a dinner party to kick off the official start of the summer season. The weather in Boston has been stunning the last few weeks so it was perfect weather for some homemade watermelon margaritas

The table was set with my favorite plates from RAMPINI in Tuscany where we have gone a few times while in Italy. They were a gift from Dixie. The centerpiece I made with sunflowers from a local farmer's market.

Since the weather was so nice I decided to grill flank steak with our family marinade recipe which is so so good and so so easy! For two large steaks I use:

1 and 1/2 cups soy sauce
1 and 1/2 cups vermouth (the cheapest you can find)
4-5 cloves sliced garlic
1 healthy teaspoon of ginger powder

Mix all of the ingredients and marinate the steaks for 24 - 48 hours in the fridge. Flip the steaks in the marinade when you think of it. Bring to room temp before grilling. Grill until done to your likeness. Let rest 10 minutes and slice on 45 degree angle.

Happy summer!


New Favorite Find: Kitchensurfing

One of my favorite finds of late is KITCHENSURFING Have you tried it? If you live in one of the cities they serve then you need to...stat!

The site provides an easy and affordable way to find and hire a private chef to come cook for your next party. It can be an intimate gathering for two, a small dinner party or a big bash. 

You can also have a chef come in and do a private cooking lesson for you and your pals. I have used the company and had a terrific experience. Talk about stress free entertaining! The chef does all of the shopping, food prep, serving and clean up.

Photos: Gourmet 


Parisian Chocolate Mousse

It's a fact. Everything tastes better in Paris. It must be a combination of the fresh ingredients, the setting and the elegant people. I am going to France for two weeks this summer and it can't come soon enough! I heard a great interview on NPR with Dorie Greenspan author of AROUND MY FRENCH TABLE who spends half the year in Manhattan and the other half in Paris. 

Greenspan discusses how every Parisian host serves the perfect chocolate mousse.  She discovers the deliciously simple recipe and it is fab! 

I encourage you to try it for your next fete. And the interview is great fun too! Find both HERE


Cranberry Margarita

Holiday greetings! And yes, I am the worst blogger ever to have let so much time pass before doing a post. My apologies! It may have something to do with the fact that I have been living with friends since my new condo was ready and have been "homeless" since August. But I am in my new place in time for the holidays. And I making these CRANBERRY MARGARITAS as a Thanksgiving cocktail. Yuuuum!

Photo: Bon Appetit


Posh Baby Shower

With the Royal Baby Watch in full frenzy on both sides of the pond, I wanted to share a post on hip baby showers. Who says an old tradition can't get a stylish makeover?

If you send an evite go with PAPERLESS POST and any of these could be customized for a shower

Everyone seated at one long table. I love this blue table setting from Carolyne Roehm. 

Custom COOKIES wrapped in cello bags with a ribbon at each place

Serve fun drinks both alcoholic and non in mason jars. Have them already chilling in a tub and guests can help themselves.

With personalized straws on the side with fun messages for the mom-to-be. I would coordinate the color scheme, but this gives you the idea. Find straws HERE.

Classic tea sandwiches get an upgrade. Skip the cucumbers and make BLTs, curry chicken salad and other delicious sandwiches. Cut stars out of silver paper and glue to toothpicks. Cut in the shape of moons and you can find the cookie cutter HERE

Gazpacho is perfect for a summer gathering. RECIPE

Other ideas for a party menu

Carmelized Onion TARTS with apples

Grilled ASPARAGUS with an Orange Dipping Sauce

For dessert, skip the cake and do something a bit more summery and unexpected like tarts with ice cream and warm blueberry sauce. RECIPE

And a Candy Bar for guests to take sweets home with them. 

In custom FAVOR BAGS

Have guests bring the new baby a favorite book that he/she is not likely to already have in their library. 

A few titles that might not be in the mom-to-be's library


Festive 4th Ideas

The weather in Boston has been the pits! Blech! Someone described it yesterday as soupy and clammy. Clam chowder?? Grey skies and 150% humidity does not feel very festive. But it is the 4th and time for some summer (or summah as we say here). Some ideas for entertaining.


Patriotic TARTS

Ice Cream FLOATS

Blueberry Ice Cream PIE



Have a great holiday!

Top Photo: Martha Stewart