Hope you all had a great Easter or Passover. We had wonderful weather, here in LA, for the holiday weekend. I spent all day Saturday out and about shopping for food, prepping and getting as much done as possible so I could relax on Sunday, which of course, never happened. We had our neighbors Gale and David and my friend Maureen over for dinner. My other neighbor Andy and his girlfriend Kirsten popped over for a glass of wine or in Andy’s case “Miller Lite” after their family dinner. While hosting Easter is something I have done many times, this was the first time we had a chef come to our house. My neighbor David, is a chef and partner, at Park Avenue & Il Garage in Stanton, CA. For all of you who ask, “Where is Stanton?” like I did, it’s located just East of Huntington Beach on Beach Boulevard. It’s a destination restaurant that has won many accolades and was recently ranked in the Top 10 of OC Restaurants by Orange Coast Magazine. In the last few years it’s been ranked number one and landing Chef David Slay on the cover. Ok, as if that isn’t pressure.
We have eaten at his restaurant several times, (which is amazing) and Blake and I have been guests at their house on numerous occasions for parties and impromptu dinners. I wanted to extend an invitation to them for Easter since they graciously hosted us for Christmas and David is always working and never gets to relax. I am a perfectionist when it comes to entertaining and love everything to look perfect and taste perfect. While I love to cook, I’d prefer to do the hosting aspect and décor. I still haven’t gotten the hang of the whole timing thing. With my girlfriend Nick flying back from Australia (she normally helps me serve), I was on my own.
Well let’s just say it was a disaster. I’m laughing about it now. We cooked our ham in their oven (which Gale warned me gets hot) so I could reheat our sides while the ham was finishing up. You would think we would have checked on the ham, nope! This is what happens when the wine starts flowing. Turns out the ham which, is PERFECT every year, was over cooked. The veggies were soggy because I reheated them and forgot to take the tin foil off and everything was a hot mess. The only thing that was good was the wine, the company, and the table setting. While they were more than gracious, I’m sure my soggy asparagus was likely the topic of conversation the next day. Everyone had plenty of wine to drink thank God! Food (when painfully overcooked) always tastes better when your drinking wine. Overall, we had a great time except me, the perfectionist, cringing every time I looked at the food. Oh well, I can only go up from here, right? Now anything I cook will look good. LOL!
Now on to the positive aspect of the evening, the table setting. I was pretty happy with how the table turned out considering everything was purchased either on sale or at a thrift store. See below for details of where everything was purchased.
TABLE ITEMS: Table cloth from Williams Sonoma purchased last summer. Plates are Spode Fine Bone China, England, Pattern Y8549-L Chinese Flowers Prunus purchased at a local thrift store. Glasses are by the Imperial Glass Company in Shoji pattern purchased at a local thrift store along with the brass candle holders and napkin rings (which they threw in for free). Wine glasses are by Riedel (Vitis Collection). Chargers are from Cost Plus, vases from One Kings Lane, burlap runner from Pottery Barn (last year), candles from Home Goods, tulips from Whole Foods, and napkins from Target.
The table setting in all it’s glory before it got bombarded by the hot mess of over cooked food.
Up close as the sun was going down.
On a side note, my great friend Nick has an Aunt who we call “Auntie Syl”. She lives in Salem, Oregon and loves to entertain, just like us. We are always sharing recipes, ideas for table settings, and swapping pictures of how we decorated our tables for the holidays. Take a look at her creative table setting that she did for Easter. She used burlap as the table cloth, stuffed egg shells and urns with wheat grass, hanging eggs on branches and put chocolate bunnies on the dinner plates. I love it.
She also sent me this picture of her deviled eggs. These are no ordinary deviled eggs. They are decorated with real violets, fresh dill, chives and parsley. Look at the little baby chick in the right corner. I call her the Martha Stewart of the North West.
Cheese Platter with Various Cheeses, Crackers and Grapes
Hartford Court, Four Hearts Vineyards, Russian River Chardonnay 2009
Beet, Rhubarb, and Orange Salad (Couldn’t get Rhubarb anywhere)
Gary Farrell, Russian River Chardonnay, 2008
Tri-Colored Carrots Roasted with Olive Oil
Scallop Potatoes with Gruyere Cheese (Bon Appetit)
Honey Glazed Ham from our Local Market
Calera 35th Anniversary Vintage, Central Coast, Pinot Noir 2010
Regusci Stages Leap District Merlot 2008
Burgess Napa Valley Merlot 2007
Robert Foley Vineyards, The Griffin Red Wine, 2009
Fresh Mixed Berries with Home Made Whip Cream Topped with Fresh Mint
Also, to my parents who’s 45th Anniversary was Sunday.
Jan, my Aussie friend. I’m so glad we re-connected! Happy Birthday!
p.s. I’m too tired to edit!
PHOTO CREDITS: All photos are taken by me (Peggy & Fritz) except the last two which are taken by Auntie Syl.