Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday countdown officially begins. There are exactly 33 days left in the calendar year, and if you haven't started planning your holiday party yet, pick an evening and invite friends over for some good eats, delicious drinks, and general merriment! From an ugly sweater party to a classic cookie swap, we've got 10 awesome ideas, complete with menu suggestions, drink recipes, and decorating tips, to inspire you.
Memorial Day is this weekend, and with it comes the unofficial start of Summer. It's my favorite time of year, and you can bet I'll be grilling up a storm this Friday through Monday. To encourage you to do the same, I've curated our recipes to create a classic barbecue menu. Make the whole meal or try a couple of the recipes!
Instead of taking my mom out this Sunday, I'm cooking her a delicious homemade brunch. I suggest you do the same! You'll save money and skip the wait at restaurants, which are sure to be crowded on Mother's Day. To inspire you, I've come up with an awesome menu complete with a scrumptious breakfast pizza and bubbly cocktail.
It's easy to create a beautiful tablescape for an Easter brunch: simply use the holiday's iconic symbols (eggs, baskets) and colors (pastels). Cover the serving table with a yellow table cloth ($120) and offer the food on large white platters ($70). Throw in striped cocktail napkins ($3) and colorful plates ($2.50) and glasses ($12). Add a few Easter baskets ($4) and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and call it a day!
How are you decorating for Easter?
The time is ripe for a leisurely and relaxed brunch. Consider hosting one on Easter or in the weeks to come to celebrate the royal wedding and Mother's Day. Here's a delicious menu that's versatile and full of fresh seasonal flavors. The meat dishes are on the side, so there's something for everyone — even your vegetarian cousin.
Pack up all your party supplies for a picnic in the park! Instead of using a normal picnic blanket, bring a festively printed tapestry ($189). Put the nonparishable foods, like the Polynesian snack mix and chocolate chip cookies in a large farmers market basket ($49) along with cotton napkins ($8) (they're more environmentally-friendly), paper plates, and plastic wine glasses. Fill colorful Chinese takeout containers with chicken wings, Summer rolls, and cucumber salad. An acrylic pitcher with a lid ($16) ensures that no pink lemonade spills while in transport to the party spot. Throw in a frisbee for some fun and you are ready to go! Click on the images above to shop these items.
Don't think a special drink is necessary for a picnic? Think again! All you have to do is make it in advance and pack it in a large recycled bottle or pitcher with a lid. I recommend serving something festive and refreshing like this pink lemonade. It takes its vibrant hue from raspberries and is slightly sweet, but not overly so. The ingredient list calls for sparkling water, but if no kids are in attendance, use sparkling wine! For the recipe, keep reading.
The weather has finally warmed up in San Francisco, and I'm sure things are starting to do the same in your neck of the woods. Why not celebrate by inviting friends to join you for a meal in the open air? A picnic in a local park is a great way to relax, enjoy delicious food, and engage in provocative conversation. Instead of serving a traditional menu, I've got a meal that's full of Asian-inspired flavors — along with one classic but crowd-pleasing all-American dessert.
If you're entertaining friends at a Spring soiree, you need a setup that's as fresh as the produce you're incorporating in the meal. With rustic touches and a nod to the crisp green asparagus in this vegetarian lasagna and the ruby-red strawberries in the bruschetta appetizer and berry curd cake, I've put together some seasonal party must haves that are sure to be a hit. For your entrée, serve guests on these pretty De Vincennes dinner plates ($24), and for dessert, scoop vanilla ice cream into these berry-red Latte Bowls ($20). Don't forget to decorate your table with these ceramic fruit baskets ($20-$38) filled with flowers. To shop the rest of the look, click on the images above!
Even if the weather isn't reflecting the season quite yet, the markets in Northern California are showing signs of Spring. What better way to celebrate than by inviting friends over for a delicious meal? I've looked through our recipes and created a menu that's perfect for entertaining at this in-between time. It features the beloved produce of the season (strawberries and asparagus!) and the majority of the dishes are vegetarian, but more importantly, they can be made in advance, which is a must in my book for any successful dinner party.