Friday, January 13, 2012

Entertaining Inspiration + A Book Recommendation

I have been busy this week planning the details for a baby shower I am hosting for one of my best friends next weekend. I love planning a party.  Especially that moment when I can finally see it all come together in my mind.  Sometimes it takes longer than others, but then all of a sudden I'll have some sort of epiphany and I can visualize it all ~ the table setting, the food, the games and crafts if it's a child's party ~ I will start to sketch out the table and scribble down ideas right down to what servingware I will use for each recipe.  I always start with the menu {unless it's a bday party for my children, then I usually start with the theme}.  Thinking about what makes sense for the season, the number of guests and the time of day.  I also like to try make different things from one party to the other. More for me than anyone else because that keeps it fun for the cook.  This time it will be a lunch for about 20 girls in January, so things like tea sandwiches didn't feel right - too springy and things like soups or chili sounded messy and not very showerish.  I also need to keep in mind the guest of honor, who in this case has a serious sweet tooth and a rather unadventurous palette. Here's the menu I've planned.

Katie's Baby Shower Menu
Baby Greens with Roasted Asparagus + Lemon Vinaigrette
Tomato + Basil Tart
Arugula + Bacon Quiche
Potato + Leek Gratin
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Petits Fours
Chocolate Layer Cake
Sparkling Raspberry Cocktails

I will share all the recipes after the shower, since I'm likely to change my mind a time or two before it is here.  The good news is that EVERYTHING can be made ahead.  And everything, except the gratin, is just as good at room temp as it is fresh from the oven.

When it comes to parties I go to Ina for food inspiration {I swear I'm not getting gratuities mentioning her name again!} and Martha for table set up and food presentation ideas.  The images in this post are from her newest entertaining book.  {click here to find it on amazon} Is is a heavy, gorgeous, sit by the fire with a cup of tea and get lost in it sort of book.  It was a Christmas gift from Jimmy and by far my favorite Martha book in my collection.

I hope you are all bundled up and settling in for a cozy weekend.  I had one more post planned for this week that will have to wait. Charlie has boycotted all his naps this week so I was robbed of precious blogging time. Wishing you a happy weekend! xo


  1. My mom gave me the gorgeous Martha Stewart book for a Christmas gift! I agree, it IS her best. There are so many photographs of her to-die-for house in Maine. I really liked the features on the Easter egg hunt at Bedford, the luncheon for Bedford farmers, and the master gardener celebration for Dan Hinkley. I was very surprised to read her caption on pg. 267 that began with "when I was incarcerated.." Didn't expect her to write that! Thanks for the menu post..I have a bridal shower here next weekend and a baby shower the week after that! Hope Charlie will fall in love with naptime soon!

  2. Your menu sounds delightful! Can't wait to see your table!

  3. Oh, I can't wait to see what you come up with. Your menu sounds excellent! And I didn't even know Martha had that book out. Where have I been? I'm adding it to the wishlist pronto!

  4. Gorgeous post...knock-the-wind-out-of-me-stunning-post! Can't wait for the recipes! I'm collecting all the make ahead recipes I can get my hands on!!! What a lucky girlfriend Katie is!

  5. Wow I love this post..makes me want to have a party like now!! Those huge vases overflowing with peonies are breathtaking!! The menu sounds amazing...yummy. Cannot wait to hear and see more, love all this inspiration!

  6. No doubt that Martha is the master. I love and have every one of her books, she makes everything user friendly.
    Your menu sounds perfect, I threw a baby shower last year and have to say it was one of the most fun parties I have ever planned. Thanks Martha:-)

  7. Beautiful images...LOVE the silver and glass-art in itself! Good luck planning for your shower! Can't wait to see how it all looks :)

  8. Looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

  9. It is fun to plan a can definitely be overwhelming until it all comes together in your mind.

    looking forward to seeing pictures of your friend and her shower.