Cocktail & Create Dinner Party Guide

Here is the official dinner party entertaining guide!

I know you've have been wanting to that throw a dinner party and catch up over some delicious food & drinks with your good friends but ... kids ... games ... work. How would you pull it off?! I’ve got ya covered! 

This dinner party blueprint will make sure you don’t miss out on the weekend and actually have fun at your party. 

The key is to focus your energy on two clutch homemade dishes and order the rest.  No one will know the difference and you’ll be happy to have that extra time to actually dry your hair.  

CKT (almost flourless) Chocolate Cake

MENU (for 6 people)

to start
rosé spritzers
prosciutto wrapped asparagus (order from blackberry market)
ratatouille crostini (order from blackberry market)

main
farm salad with seasonal vegetables (order from blackberry market)
pork ragu over wide noodles, fresh basil 
(make a double batch if you have a hungry crowd!)
baguette

to finish
(almost flourless) chocolate cake with berries and ice cream

CKT Pork Ragu

You will make the CHOCOLATE CAKE on Thursday night. And Saturday, you’ll find a spare 30 minutes to prep the PORK RAGU and let it cook low and slow for 3 hours. Then you'll run over to Blackberry Market and pick up the final touches and get ready for your friends to arrive!

CKT: Cocktail & Create

Keep your tablescape elegant yet casual. I love the look of white and green flowers (hydrangeas, roses, ranunculus and eucalyptus in mason jars) with lots of candles--a combination of votives and candlesticks.  Use a mix of your nice cloth napkins and white plates if you have them. For the table, pick up the chalkboard paper table runner at Target (found in the wrapping paper section). Use your favorite placemat to add texture and contrast. Move the flowers to the bar area when it's time serve the food, family-style.
(...flowers from Standard Market and the candles and craft paper are from Target)

DRINKS

Cocktail: Rosé with St. Germain and lemon slices
Beer: Domaine DuPage and Fist City
Wine: Pioneer Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon
(...you can pick all of these items up at Standard Market)

PLAYLIST

Don’t think I forgot about the music...you know your crowd, but, here’s what I’d roll with... 

La Vie en Rose | Louis Armstrong
Stand by Me | Otis Redding
California Stars | Billy Bragg, Wilco
When the Stars Go Blue | The Coors, Bono
Listen to the Music | The Doobie Brothers
Wouldn't It Be Nice | The Beach Boys
Man on the Moon | R.E.M.
Rich Girl | Hall & Oates
Good Thing | Fine Young Cannibals
Valerie | Steve Winwood
Young Turks | Rod Stewart
Everybody Wants To Rule the World | Tears for Fears

Remember ... perfection is not the goal, fun is! Bon Appétit!

**photos are a combination of my own and Doreen Corrigan's!
 

Summer Ready

We just got back from California (more on that soon!) and I was reminded how amazing these pool coverups are for the kids. They are from Mini Boden. I might even get one in my size. The reason I love these so much is that unless it's scorchingly hot, it's usually a little cold getting out of the pool (cue the wearable towel!). So in the summer, after the kids hop out of the pool, we do a quick towel dry and then throw these on while they eat lunch or run around during adult swim. The towel throw-on is also perfect for vacation--think days that turn into nights on the beach, building fires and roasting roasting marshmallows. Can it be summer already???

CKT summer ready