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Entertaining

13 SEC-Approved Tailgating Essentials

Here are the secrets to setting up a Spread Worthy of a Win
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

SEC Tailgating essentials, Waiting on Martha

Being a non-Tennessee native, people always ask me why I ventured down to University of Tennessee to become a Vol years ago.  I think honestly a huge part of the reason was the SEC tailgating!  If you’ve ever been to Neyland Stadium, then you’ll understand.  The sea of screaming fans and the beloved culture surrounding Game Day is enough to turn anyone into a lover of orange and white.  And years of tailgating in Knoxville has taught me a thing or two about SEC tailgating essentials. 

But of course, tailgating is a treasured tradition throughout the entire SEC.  And the gear and tools to set up a proper spread are taken very seriously.  Think luxury coolers, embroidered throw pillows, high-end bartending pieces and enough food to feed a small army.  I’ve included my top picks in the list below…take a look and tell me what I’m forgetting!  Go Vols!  Cheers, Kat

P.S. Check out two of our favorite tailgate libations HERE

SHOP THE STORY  / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE


  

Classic Cocktail Kit

Waiting on Martha Home, $45

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This perfect little cocktail mixing kit is just what you’ll need as you combine drinks for a crowd. The mixing glass, stir stick and strainer have proven to be the exact essentials for a great libation. 

Insulated 50 oz. Bottle

Waiting on Martha Home, $54

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Swig has answered my tailgating prayers with this 50 oz. insulated bottle.  It literally can hold up to 2 bottles of wine, all while staying discreet in a double-wall stainless steel bottle that you can top off all yours and your friends’ cups throughout the day. Sounds like a good Game Day to me. 

Hand Embroidered College Pillow

Waiting on Martha Home, $175

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These gorgeous designs deserve to be front and center on the tailgating chairs, back home on the couch (if you’re watching from afar), or atop a throw blanket in the bed of the truck.  They’re available in 60 different designs, ensuring that you can rep your team in style. 

Southern Cocktails

Waiting on Martha Home, $14.95

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Toast to the SEC with classic southern cocktails at your tailgate! Think Mint Julep, The Hurricane and all of the essentials you’ll need to stock a proper bar on Game Day. 

Tailgating Tavern

Overstock, $64.70

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The secret to a great tailgate lies in preparation AND organization. This transportable station will be your new best friend, offering a nice workspace and easy storage for all of your essentials. 

Chip & Dip Serving Tray

Target, $39.99

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Talk about a great chip and dip bowl!  This handwoven seagrass piece offers easy cleanup with its glass insert, and provides nice storage with the included lid. Love the elevated look of this serving piece at any tailgate. 

4-in-1 Bronze Bar Tool

Waiting on Martha Home, $35

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The worst thing ever?  Getting out to the tailgate lot and realizing you didn’t bring a bottle opener!  This 4-in-1 tool is a lifesaver in more ways than one. 

Cork Insulated Luxury Cooler

The Grommet, $495

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Talk about a fancy cooler! I mean this thing will have everyone on the tailgate line green with envy.  The design has cork as its natural insulator; making the cooler as functional as it is beautiful.  And a clear shield lets the cork shine through while protecting it for years to come. The design can store wine bottles upright and to keep things organized and presentable inside, there’s a divider, too. Not to mention, there’s a clear prep tray included that makes everything easier as you’re mixing up your next cocktail.  

Divided Serving Tray

Target, $27.49

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Here’s another great piece in Target’s Artland Garden Terrace collection! Two glass trays and three glass bowls offer great containers for tailgating snacks.  Not to mention, the handwoven seagrass is stylish AND durable. 

Acapulco Glass Pitcher

Target, $12.99

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Bringing along an easy, affordable pitcher is a must when serving any sort of batch drink to the crew. This one from Target is a go-to whenever we’re packing up our tailgating gear. 

Ultra Soft Throw Blanket

Overstock, $44.95

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Can’t be caught without some team gear!  This super soft, oversized throw blanket always makes its way with us, offering easy seating when the place gets packed, and some festive decor when thrown over a chair after we head into the game. 

Picnic Time Collapsible Chair

Overstock, $94.46

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This design should be considered as the king of tailgating chairs, in my opinion. It features a convenient surface for your plate and drink, easy storage for any belongings you need to set aside while lounging, and it also keeps drinks closeby in a nice little cooler.  Genius, really. 

28 oz. Insulated Tumbler

The Grommet, $39.95

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Here’s another beautiful design by Sovaro; the 28 oz. insulated tumbler.  It’s perfect for a large mixed drink, and keeps a low profile.  I love this elevated take on your standard tumbler cup!

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

An Easy End Of Summer Brunch with Shutterfly

Celebrating Summer's Bounty & A Recipe for Cheesy Drop Biscuits
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

Shutterfly entertaining essentials, Waiting on Martha End of summer entertaining with Shutterfly, Waiting on MarthaSummer entertaining with Shutterfly, Waiting on Martha End of summer entertaining with Shutterfly, Waiting on Martha Summer tablescape on Waiting on Martha Personalized wine glasses from Shutterfly, Waiting on MarthaSummer tablescape inspiration on Waiting on MarthaPersonalized gifts from Shutterfly

As summer draws to a close and the trail of house guests slows down a bit, I knew I wanted to give a little nod to summer’s bounty with an entertaining brunch spread that was just as easy and achievable as it was beautiful. 

A welcoming tablescape that celebrates the everyday is something I like to think I’ve perfected over the years.  Sure, I know how to set a formal table for a special event, but I relish the chance to dine with friends and family on any given day.  

I know many of you get overwhelmed by the thought of putting together a tablescape, whipping up all of the food, and being a gracious host all at the same time.  But I promise you it’s easier than you think.  Most of us just tend to overcomplicate it.  It really comes down to a three simple steps you can replicate time and time again: seasonally sourced easy recipes, a table full of personalized details to be used over and over again, and simple fresh blooms. 

For the food, always keep it in season.  Choose recipes that can be prepped the night before.  For this brunch, I focused on vibrant citrus notes and herbs from the garden.  I served homemade cheesy drop biscuits with fresh chives that were truly to-die-for,  as well as an heirloom tomato, peach, pea and summer corn salad.  Drooling yet?  Scroll down for the cheesy drop biscuit recipe.  And don’t worry; the latter recipe is coming Monday.  

When it came to the table, I created a warm, welcoming effect through added depth and layers; think chargers, linen napkins, cutting boards and varying serving pieces.  I added a personalized touch with custom stemless wine glasses, a monogrammed glass jar as the vase for the flowers, and even sent guests home with their own potted herb in personalized flower pots. All of these pieces are what I call “forever pieces.”  Classic monogrammed glassware and accessories, wooden chargers, and gold stemware are all items that can be used during every brunch, lunch or dinner that you host.  By simply switching out the appetizer plates and linens, you’ll make the table feel new and fresh every time.  For example, I added these personalized lemon tea towels that will hang from my oven door once the guests have said goodbye.  An easy, inexpensive way to stick with the theme of brunch.

Lastly: fresh blooms.  While flowers are always a must, I know many of you stress over your ability to put together an arrangement worthy of being the focal point of the table.  My advice: KIS.  Keep It Simple.  Stick to one type of bloom, preferably no more than two colors, and add in additional greenery if needed, and place your arrangement in an interesting vessel.  I chose tulips because they’re usually the easiest to find at a reasonable price.  When it comes to tulips, I like to cut them just before guest arrive because I actually prefer when they bend over rather than stand at attention.  As far as the vessel goes, I love using anything other than an actual vase.  Most often I use pitchers, planters, or jars like the monogrammed one I used here.

Speaking of monogrammed items…can you believe they’re all from from Shutterfly!  What?!  If you’re like me, you’ve always thought of Shutterfly for all things photos.  They’ve been my go-to for printed photos and holiday cards for years.  So you can believe my surprise and delight when I recently discovered the ever-growing collection of entertaining and home decor pieces, all incredibly versatile and customizable—which, of course, makes them all perfect for gifting!  I’m talking all kinds of glassware, cutting boards, coasters, plates, serving trays, decanters, glass jars…even outdoor pillows!

Like all of my previous experiences with Shutterfly, ordering these personalized gifts was easy-breezy.  I seriously could not believe how fast everything shipped.  I’ve been buying monogrammed pieces for years and I know to expect slower shipments.  But that wasn’t the case here.  The order arrived in less than a week, with each glass item in the most gorgeous box.  The details were second-to-none too; the quality of the engraving and the lettering was anything but generic.  

I always think a tablescape, even a simple brunch, should be attainable.  And I’m a believer that a surefire way to get there is by adding meaningful touches to the table. I’m absolutely thrilled with the new pieces I’ve added to mine. Stay tuned for the recipe for the heirloom tomato, peach, pea and summer corn salad coming on Monday!  I promise you’ll be a fan.  Truly, MKR

 

Cheesy Herb Drop Biscuits
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 5 tablespoons butter
  5. 1 cup Whole milk
  6. Parsley, Rosemary & Thyme Chopped
  7. 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  8. 1/4 cup butter, melted
  9. 2 cloves garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. Cut in butter and mix with your hands until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, add the milk, cheddar cheese, and chopped herbs; stir to combine.
  5. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
  7. While biscuits are baking mix melted butter and minced garlic. Brush garlic butter over hot baked biscuits.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/

 

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha | This post is in collaboration with Shutterfly, a brand we love and adore.  All opinions are 100% our own. 

Easy Summer Wines: 7 Toast-Worthy Types to Try

You'll love these picks for Summer Rosé, Chardonnay & more
Filed Under > Entertaining

Easy Summer Wines on Waiting on Martha

Summer is the time for patio sittin’ and wine sippin’ always and forever.  I’m a big fan of wine in general, and I especially love my easy summer wines.  Extremely drinkable, light, refreshing and cool, all of these wines are sure to become staples in your entertaining arsenal. 

Below, I list my current favorite rosé, chardonnay and other refreshing blends.  By now you know about Whispering Angel, a WOM favorite, so you’ll appreciate a list of additional options. 

So if you’re looking for sippable, easy summer wines to try, look no further.  Hopefully this list helps you discover your new favorite summertime sip!  Truly, MKR

P.S. See our previous list of more patio season wines here. xo 

2016 Summer Water Rosé

Winc, $15

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Quite possibly the best rosé around?!  This is a dry wine that’s perfectly crisp and ideal for summer drinking. The grapes for this Central Coast Grenache and Syrah blend were picked early in the season to achieve an ideal natural acidity. Expect notes of strawberry, pink grapefruit and white peach. 

Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016

Exquisite Collection, $8

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So Fortune named this wine one of the best wines of the year and ranked among the best rosés in the world, and it’s only $8, AND it’s sold at Aldi.  Enough said, right?! 

2015 Rosé

Hogwash, $16

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I like to think of this rosé as summertime in a glass. It has a pale salmon-pink color, and a lively nose of watermelon candy, red cherries, red current and rose water. It’s medium bodied, and it has that vibrancy that has you coming back for more.  It also has a great finish that makes it incredibly easy to drink, for everyone.

2014 Overlook Chardonnay

Landmark Vineyards, $15.98

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This wonderful Sonoma wine features notes of Meyer lemon tarte, marzipan, toasted almonds, Asian pear, honeysuckle and a hint of Tahitian vanilla on the nose. On the palate, notes of apricot, clover honey and toast are in perfect balance with zippy acidity and bright minerality.

2016 Arriviste

Blackbird Vineyards, $28

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I can’t get enough of this elegant, salmon-pink colored rosé of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

On the nose, it has a mélange of aromas of strawberry and stone fruit come together with light floral notes. The wine has flavors of blackcurrants, crisp red apple and citrus on the mid-palate, carrying clean minerality and bright acidity on the lingering finish. While the 2016 Napa Valley growing season saw near-optimal conditions, it allowed for an abundance of perfectly-ripe grapes with a smooth balance of acids and sugars, producing this spectacular rosé.

Laurent Reverdy Sancerre

Trader Joe's, $12.99

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Trader Joe’s brings us a really, really good Sauvignon Blanc that’s produced in the Sancerre region in France.  This region is known for its rich, limestone soil, which helps it produce such reputable wines. 

This white wine is crisp and well-balanced, with intense citrus fruit notes, along with hints of peach, pear, and lychee. 

2013 Qupe Marsanne

Santa Ynez, $15.99

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Santa Ynez is magical.  It was actually the first place I’ve ever tasted wine. The Qupe Marsanne is a fresh white wine, with minerals and citrus and that classic peach pit and wet stone character.  It’s medium bodied, and perfectly balanced.

Featured image, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

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