How To Entertain: Elegant Easy Dinner Party

I love having people over for dinner, knowing what to make, however, is never the easy part for me.  That’s why I love The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten always has a plan, and the perfect menu to use! Case in point: this menu {and all the recipes too!} for her Italian Surprise Party.

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For me, honestly, dinner parties are not just about the food and the friends or family, but the table setting!  I love nothing better than to pull out a stack of antique or vintage plates, and create a beautiful table for my friends to enjoy.

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Last week, we were having some of our dearest friends over for dinner.  I went to Trader Joe’s to buy some of the ingredients for our meal, and they had gorgeous spray roses for 5.99 a bundle. I bought three bunches, Pink, Apricot and a Rosey Red Pink, and mixed them together. {I’ll show you how to arrange the flowers in a milk glass urn like this in a few days!}

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Sorry about the slightly fuzzy shot of these Vintage Fairmont Hotel Plates.  Just when I was arranging the finishing touches at the table, the doorbell rang, our friends arrived, and the party started!

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I set our wood table without a runner or tablecloth this time, I love the contrast of the white plates with the darker wood.  In order to help everyone truly relax, I set the table in the kitchen, this is where we love to entertain in a casual elegant style. Two different French glasses, antique Victorian mother of pearl silverware, and antique French napkins are the perfect blend of antiques at the table.  A little bouquet of two roses that snapped off in the package arranged in a silver creamer added a finishing touch.

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Ina’s Rossinis are delicious!  Right by the front door I set up a little tray as a welcome drinks station, shown here before I popped the cork on the Prosecco and placed the strawberry mixture in the glasses.  It’s so welcoming to be able to hand guests a festive drink right after greeting them in your entrance, don’t you think?

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We sat by the fireplace in the living room enjoying our drinks, for a light starter I made Ina’s Parmesan Crisps, if you have never made these before, they are easy, and so delicious!  I added the Rosemary Marcona Almonds from Trader Joe’s, and a sprig of rosemary from the garden on an antique ironstone platter.  The dinner was delicious, and we had a truly magical evening with our friends. Ina’s menu is perfect for a family dinner, a surprise party, any time. I had never made fennel as a vegetable before, it turned out absolutely fantastic. The Beef? melt in your mouth. I recommend this dinner wholeheartedly, with some prep work ahead of time you will enjoy your guests, and have a magical evening, at your own five star restaurant.   In a few days I will share the pictures of how easy it is to arrange the roses for this easy, florist quality centerpiece.

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If you want to romance your Home and Garden with antique and vintage treasures to make you smile each time you come home, visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.

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One Comment

  1. John Paul
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Looks fantastic! Love the menu, love the table. This bears copying over here on our farm.

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