Category Archives: Entertaining

How to Host a Backyard Summer Wine Party: Part 1

Entertaining, Parties | | | 3 Replies

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Warm summer weather doesn’t last forever — we’re trying to soak up every bit of sunshine while we can! That means hosting outdoors whenever possible — like this lovely backyard La Crema wine party from Caitlin Moran of Style Within Reach and Glitter Guide.

Photography: Krista A Jones
Florals: Intrigue Design + Decor

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The key to a successful summer party (or any party, for that matter) is creating maximum impact with minimal effort. Warm weather foods suit this mantra well.

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A pretty display of crisp grapes, good cheese, olives and almonds can give guests something to munch on while they sip their wine.

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Fresh melon cubes wrapped with prosciutto provide that perfect salty/sweet combination.

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Don’t forget a drink dispenser of water to cleanse the palette!

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A lush and green summer backyard like Caitlin’s doesn’t need a lot of decorating. A simple vase of hydrangeas and napkins in a fun pattern make the set up feel both elegant and festive.

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Our Galvanized Metal Caravan Bar Cart helped keep some of our favorite warm weather wines cool in the hot weather.

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Plus, the cart encourages guests to grab and serve themselves throughout the evening.

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A casual garland of leaves and hydrangeas by Intrigue Design + Decor dressed it up with just a dash of summer style.

Stay tuned for part 2 — with Caitlin’s favorite warm weather recipes — soon! 

4th of July Party Picks and Tips from the Pottery Barn Design Team

Entertaining, Holiday | | | 1 Reply

Need inspiration for this weekend? We asked our design team to tell us what they’d need to throw the perfect 4th of July Party. Read on to hear about four of their dream parties and their top entertaining picks!

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“Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays, because it’s all about casual entertaining. One of my favorite things to do is to load the pickup and head to the Oakland Hills for a view of the sunset and all of the fireworks from all different parts of the Bay Area.

“We’ll start by taking Palmetto Stacking Chairs off the back porch, and then load our folding Moroccan Tray Table (this will hold drinks and plates when we’re sitting down). We’ll head to Market Hall for our meal and drink supplies to store in what I’m calling the “entertaining station” — our Outdoor Party Bucket and Table (1). I’ll use our Rope Melamine with a Star Melamine Serving Set (2) for some stars and stripes.

“If it’s a big group, we can ask others to bring their own folding chairs and throw an American Flag Tablecloth (3) over a big folding table. I’ll also grab Hyannis Lanterns (4) from my backyard to light up the table when the sun goes down.

“If everyone pitches in, this can be set up and broken down very quickly. It takes little effort to take in the sights and celebrate the holiday in style!”

Tony_PD_Picks

“I’ll host a rooftop party in the city. There are no fireworks allowed, but we’ll bring sparklers and write our names in the summer night sky. I’ll break out my Round Market Umbrella and load it with Cafe String Lights (1) and all of my leftover Christmas lights — and hang them up casually.

“I’ll keep my Galvanized Party Bucket (4) outdoors, filled with Tecates and Jarritos. A side table stocked with Clamato, sea salt, Tapatio and sliced limes and lemons will help turn those basic canned beers into delightful micheladas — served in Pottery Barn Rope Outdoor Highball glasses (2).

“I’ll bring a few of Glass Hurricanes (3) upstairs and layer them with red, white and blue corn tortilla chips, flanked by a serving bowl of my slow cooked pulled pork and freshly made (ahem, purchased) salsa for nachos.”

Eric_PD_Picks

“I heard through the grapevine that a barge will be anchored off of Ocean Beach this year … with nothing but a few matches and POUNDS of fireworks. I’ll be there — who’s coming with me?

“I’d start my party at noon with some Kai Infinity Pool Floats (1) and mimosas. The trick will be balancing cups in the high tide! Afterwards, we’ll have more sparkling cocktails on shore with our Galvanized Metal Wagon Party Bucket (4) (it’s a struggle to get to this picnic — but well worth it in the end!)

“Everyone will be soaking up the sun on our Color Block Beach Towels (3), with snacks that we carried over on our Beachcomber collections and served on Beaded Melamine (2). At dusk, we’ll light our spot on the beach with Flameless Outdoor Candles.”

Brett_PD_Picks

“I’d take over a picnic table in the park, and throw a couple of red striped Bonnie Indoor/Outdoor rugs (4) over them. They’re great, because you can hose them down after everyone spills their sauces.

“I’d use Vintage Wood Paddle Serving Sets to serve my salads and the Blonde Wood Pedestals (3) to display my favorite fried chicken and Mexican corn — slathered in sour cream, butter, queso fresco, lime and salt.

“A small Tuscan Planter filled with ice can hold beer and other refreshments, while Red LED Firework Branches (1) stuck in sand in our Grill Caddy (2) add festive light.”

Picnic Time! A Sweet Summer Picnic for Two

Entertaining | | | 4 Replies

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It’s the peak of summer — and for many of us, that means ridiculously hot day and deliciously warm nights. We love how Ashley Pepitone from Camp Makery styled this summery picnic with our Rattan Picnic Basket — perfect for warm nights outdoors. Macarons, watermelon feta salad, fresh baguettes and three of her favorite La Crema Winery wines combine in a beautiful, light meal that’s perfect for summer picnics.

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As part of our Style Your Summer Contest with La Crema Winery, we’re giving away everything you’ll need for outdoor entertaining this summer: outdoor drinkware, a bocce ball set, $250 and more! Enter here for a chance to win. Hurry — this contest ends July 7!

Styling and concept: Ashley Pepitone
Photography: Janet Howard Studio
Wine: La Crema Winery
Macarons: Ansley’s Macarons

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Turning on the oven and cooking a big meal sounds like the last thing we’d want to do in the middle of a summer heatwave. That’s what makes an evening picnic sound so appetizing — snacking on light bites that require little to no prep with a cool glass of La Crema Pinot Gris on the side? Count us in! This watermelon-feta salad is a refreshing accompaniment to a warm baguette — just mix cubed watermelon, feta, mint and lemon juice together in a big bowl.

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An outdoor lantern provides cozy candlelight as the sun sets.

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Tip: Use citronella candles if you’re worried about bug bites! Pepitone also added basil to her beautiful bouquet to help keep bugs away, too.

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What if your perfect picnic weather breaks into a sweet summer shower?

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Take the picnic indoors — personally, we think there’s something very romantic about an evening picnic for two on the living room floor.

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Don’t forget something sweet for dessert — in this case, Ansley’s Macarons and a glass of La Crema Rosé.

Product featured: Rattan Picnic Basket for 2, Picnic Table Stake, Rope Outdoor Dinnerware in White, PB Classic Outdoor Wine Glasses





Fourth of July Recipe: America the Beautiful Strawberry Shortcake

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 1 Reply

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If you’re on the hunt for a great Fourth of July dessert, look no further than this citrus and strawberry shortcake recipe. This shortcake gets a fun twist with some limoncello and lemon zest. Read on for the full recipe from Camp Makery and try your hand at this delicious updated American classic!

Photography: Jessica Noelle Photography
Recipe and styling: Ashley Stanley

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Ingredients
(Makes 10)

For the shortcake:
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)

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For the strawberries:
2 pints fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons limoncello

For the Whipped Topping:
2 cups cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons limoncello
1 cup sugar

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Instructions: 
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Next mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a mixing bowl with a fork until fully combined. Now add the milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until just combined — do not overmix, since it’ll make the shortcake tough.

Flour a work surface and pat out the dough to a ¼ inch thickness. (Note: This is slightly less thick than traditional shortcake recipes because this recipe does not cut the shortcake biscuits in half).

Next, use a fun cookie cutter (we used one in a USA shape from Williams-Sonoma, but stars would be great, too) to cut out shapes and place the cut out dough on a baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the shortcakes with one egg mixed with a tablespoon of water. This will help keep the shortcakes soft.

Bake the shortcakes for 10-15 minutes or until the shortcakes are golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to fully cool.

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While the shortcakes bake, slice two pints of strawberries and mix with 3 tablespoons of limoncello and set aside. If desired, save the first slice of the strawberry to cut into little strawberry heart garnishes.

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For the whipped topping, whip the cold cream until peaks form and it holds its shape, then set aside. Be sure to not overwhip or you’ll have butter instead of cream! Next, cream the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and limoncello until it is smooth with no lumps. Slowly fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture in bathces until it is fully combined and the mixture is smooth.

To assemble the shortcakes, place a generous helping of strawberries on top of one shortcake. Then spoon a generous amount of the cream mixture over the strawberries and top with another shortcake top. Place a strawberry heart on top of the shortcake and prepare to devour!

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Hurray for the Red, White and Blue! Start Prepping for Your Fourth of July Party

Entertaining, Holiday | | | 2 Replies

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Are you throwing a 4th of July party next week? This year, set up your table in style and aim for something a little more elegant. We love this tablescape designed by Star White from Camp Makery. Although the entire design uses a very patriotic scheme of red, white and blue, it has unexpected bursts of gold and geometric pattern.

Photography: Jessica Noelle Photography

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Star used our Rope Outdoor Dinnerware and Meredith Brass Lanterns to add functional glamour to the setting.

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One of our favorite parts of this beautiful set up is the stunning DIY ribbon chandelier — which is surprisingly easy to make. Take a look at Star’s DIY instructions below, so you can make one of your own!

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Supplies:
2 wreath frame hoops, 1 large, 1 small (found at Joann’s Fabric)
Ribbon without wire (2 spools of the 25 yard and 3 spools of the smaller gold ribbon)
Fishing wire
Scissors
Hot glue
Measuring tape
Hook

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Step 1: Begin by creating the framework of the chandelier. This can be done by cutting 3 equal lengths of fishing wire and securing them evenly around the outer-most ring of your small wreath frame. Attach the fishing wire to your hook. Repeat this process to attach the larger wreath frame below, this time securing the fishing wire around the small wreath frame. You are shooting for the 2 frames to be balanced and not falling to one side when you hold up the hook.

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Step 2: Measure and cut your ribbon. The size of chandelier you want will determine the length of your ribbon. Cut a test ribbon to see if you like the length; then, proceed to cut enough ribbon to fill the circumference of the frame. I chose a sturdy (but wireless) ribbon in blue and white, as well as a thin gold ribbon to add a little flair! I cut each ribbon to 50 inches, and this created quite a large chandelier. Using your hot glue gun, begin attaching the ribbon along the outer-most wire of your large wreath frame.

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Step 3: Once the large frame is complete, begin pulling each ribbon up through the center of the wreath to then attach to the smaller frame. You will have to overlap the ribbon on the smaller frame. Be sure to stagger the order of the ribbon you are gluing to the small frame, instead of gluing one, then the one next to it, and so on. This will help keep the ribbon balanced and not get twisted or off-center. Check to see if each ribbon is securely glued in place, and add glue as needed. If your chandelier is going outside like mine, you will be grateful for the extra little effort (Kansas is WINDY, ya’ll!). Where you have it! A bold statement centerpiece that really adds a fun, visual focal point.

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Hooray for the red, white and blue! Tell us: How do you plan on celebrating the Fourth of July this year?

 

TGIF Happy Hour: The Campbell County Julep

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 2 Replies

Happy Friday! We’re getting ready for the happiest hour today — when the clock strikes 5, we plan on mixing up this fruity take on a classic mint julep. Strawberries, sweet tea and fresh mint complement bourbon and crushed ice perfectly in the Campbell County Julep. Mix one up in our Mason Jar Mug and head to the front porch — the weekend has officially arrived!

Campbell County Julep 1

Campbell County Julep

Ingredients:

1.25 oz. Bulleit® Bourbon
 3-5 fresh strawberries
 5-6 fresh mint leaves
 Sweet tea
 Crushed ice

Preparation:

 Muddle the strawberries and mint, add the Bulleit® Bourbon and stir.
 Add crushed ice and top with sweet ice tea.
 Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint, add a small drinking straw, and serve with a napkin in our Mason Jar Mug.

You might also like: TGIF Cocktail Recipe: Green is the New Black

 

Sweet & Savory: Chicken and Waffles Recipe by Two of a Kind

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 4 Replies

Chicken and waffles? We’ll admit — the combination sounded odd to us at first. But this recipe is truly love at first bite. The combination of sweet, salty and savory with lemon-dressed arugula certainly doesn’t disappoint. Try your hand at this delicious recipe (served on our turquoise Cambria dinnerware) from Two of a Kind for your next brunch, lunch or even dinner!

Baked Chicken and Cornmeal Waffles

Oven-Fried Chicken and Waffles With Arugula Salad

Make 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

Chicken:
1 1/3 cups panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” thick strips
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 egg
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Baked Chicken and Cornmeal Waffles3

Waffles:
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons sugar
3/4 + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (optional)
1 large egg, separated
1 1/6 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Salad:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups arugula

Baked Chicken and Cornmeal Waffles2

INSTRUCTIONS:

Make the chicken:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Put panko in a medium fry pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toast over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Set aside.
3. Season chicken strips with salt, pepper and mustard powder.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, honey, mustard, Sriracha sauce and milk.
5. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Then dip in egg mixture and let excess drip off. Finally, coat chicken with toasted panko, pressing to adhere.
6. Place chicken on prepared baking sheet and bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Make the waffles:
1. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mustard powder (if using); mix well.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolk and buttermilk; mix well. Gradually whisk in the butter.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix just until the batter is combined.
3. In a clean small bowl, beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Then, gently fold the egg white into the batter with a rubber spatula.
4. Preheat a waffle iron. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles; you do not need to grease the iron as the butter in the batter will allow the waffles to easily release. Set aside until ready to serve.

Make the salad:
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add arugula to bowl and toss to coat.

To assemble:
Place 1-2 waffles on a plate (depending on how big your waffles are). Top with a few chicken strips and a handful of the arugula salad. Drizzle with maple syrup just before serving.

 

You might also like: Sweet Summer Desserts: Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake