Everyday Entertaining

Goin’ Coastal

An easy coastal themed tabletop perfect for relaxed summer entertaining
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

With the first day of summer officially come and gone I’m focused on soaking up every bit that summer has to offer. Which for me means easy, relaxed dinners alfresco.

Typically in summer with the heat being what it is I like to keep the meals light, which usually means seafood. Grilled fish, shrimp skewers, and in today’s case white wine and garlic clams. And with seafood typically on the menu my summer table decor tend to lean in the coastal direction. Think blues, whites, and natural fabrics mixed in with no fuss accents. Which is exactly what I’m sharing today.

If you asked me to pick a favorite from this setting, I couldn’t. I honestly want every single piece. The updated take on spongeware by Mark D. Sikes mixes perfectly with my favorite blue and white stripes and coastal inspired melamine accents like these $5 dipping dishes and the bread board. And the rattan accents in the form of placemats, glassware and place card holders add that relaxed feeling that is summer.

And continuing on the theme of relaxed, our no-iron linen napkins are an absolute must for entertainers of all levels. They’re not too fussy and YES no-iron means no-iron. So you can wash them time and time again and they’ll be ready to go from the dryer straight to the table.

Lastly, I rounded everything out with ivory acrylic flatware in the shape of bamboo, melamine wine coasters, cobalt blue hibiscus VIETRI bud vases filled with tulips, and sea-salt citronella candles to keep the bugs away. And I pulled out my bamboo folding chairs. I ordered two sets of these years ago and I’m so glad I did. I love having them at the ready for extra guests or any extra seating needs. I really do use them all the time!

Jumping back to the flatware real quick; these stopped me in my tracks when I first spied them. I had wanted the traditional brown bamboo flatware for ages, but had never pulled the trigger and I’m so glad I didn’t because the ivory is STUNNING! Plus it goes with absolutely everything. I did say I couldn’t play favorites, but if I was pushed it would be these!

So that’s it friends. A relaxed summer tabletop ready for all those long summer nights ahead. Enjoy! Truly, MKR

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Photography: Rustic White Interiors

DIY S’mores Tray

With temps finally dropping, now is the perfect time to build a fire & build some s'mores
Filed Under > Desserts

Last weekend we hosted some of our closest friends and their little ones from out of town.  When planning out our evening and trying to figure out something that was both and adult and kid friendly I had the idea of creating a DIY s’mores station. I mean I already had a ton of candy for Halloween, and who doesn’t love a S’more?! And while S’mores have been billed a summer treat, I feel there’s no better time to enjoy a S’more than by the fire on a chilly fall evening. 

Building your own DIY S’Mores tray is extremely simple, and a great way to get the kids involved. Using a large galvanized tin tray that has been my go-to for BBQ’s and patio drinks for years now and just happens to be on sale, I added three different kinds of graham crackers; chocolate, regular, and cinnamon. And then kept it classic with jumbo marshmallows, Hershey Bars, and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. 

You can go “gourmet” with your S’Mores tray and add all sorts of different high-end chocolates, but I argue against it. I’ve tried fancy S’Mores at numerous places, but nothing beats the melt and classic taste of a Hershey Bar. To finish the tray off simply add plates or napkins, and get your roasting sticks ready.  I had the hubs grab sticks from the neighborhood for roasting, but if you’re looking for a more permanent solution I love these marshmallow roasting sticks

After the tray was built all that was left to do was cozy up the space with plenty of blankets and pillows and build a fire. We have an extremely small backyard, but that doesn’t prevent us from utilizing every square inch of the space we do have. Which of course includes a fire pit.  We used to have a larger fire pit, but found that took up too much of the coveted small space. So this year I opted for a smaller and very inexpensive version. After one full season of use, I’m extremely happy with the results. It’s easy to move and store out of the way when we’re not using it but gets the job done when we’re ready to cozy up with an evening fire.

So next time you have friends over for dinner, or want to get the kids outside, throw a few logs on the fire and build this super simple S’mores tray for the perfect way to end any evening. Truly, MKR

 


 

An Easy End Of Summer Brunch with Shutterfly

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

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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.
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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. 

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