Category Archives: Entertaining

How to Throw a Wine and Cheese Party

Entertaining, Parties | | | 1 Reply

We love wine and cheese parties (Who doesn’t?) — and fall is the perfect time to host one. This season, host a wine and cheese party with style — one that involves more than putting out a plate of pre-sliced singles. We had a #pbtwitterparty yesterday with our entertaining expert, Tony, to get his tips on how to throw a wine and cheese party with some Pottery Barn style.

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Say Cheese
Wine and cheese can get expensive. A good cheese costs a lot! To mix things up and stay on budget, we like to use more affordable cheeses in clever appetizers — like crostini or fondue.

Want to pair wine and cheese for tastings? This usually works best with contrasting (sweet + savory) or complementary (sweet + sweet) flavors. Mix up the types of cheeses you serve, too. Firm, soft, semi-firm and flavorful cheeses like gorgonzola.

Give your guests a little break from cheese with other snacks, too. We love to use our Round Vintage Pizza Paddle Board to serve charcuterie. Throw a handful of almonds, olives, dried berries, grapes and other fruit into little bowls. Tip: We’d avoid apples, since they can get brown, unless you squeeze some lemon on them!

Don’t forget that cheese can be a dessert, too! Choose a dessert wine and complement with honey and chocolate for a wine and cheese tasting after a dinner party. 

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Wine Me Up
Just because you’re hosting doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Turn your wine and cheese party into a potluck of sorts to make your life a little easier. Have every guest bring a bottle of their very favorite wine to share — assign red and whites to mix it up.

Turn it into a blind wine tasting to make it extra fun. We love this wine tasting party from Julie Blanner.

Worried not everyone will want wine? Serve a few champagne cocktails to keep things festive. Click here for inspiration and recipes.

Don’t forget non-alcoholic options! Martinelli’s Apple Cider is great to have on hand — serve it in flutes! Spritzers are a great choice too — try mixing simple bitters and soda water.

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Hostess with the Mostess
Make hostessing easy and have guests serve sangria, cocktails or spritzers themselves with this fabulous wine barrel drink dispenser.

Bring a stopper or corkscrew as a hostess gift, or wrap your wine in a new dishtowel with a pretty ribbon.

Use wine tags to label glasses so your guests don’t get mixed up. Use paper hangtags and tie them to glasses with raffia or rope. Or, make it super simple and ask a friend with good handwriting to write everyone’s names on the glasses with Sharpie — it comes right off in the dishwasher, trust us!

End of Summer Beach Bonfire with Camp Makery

Entertaining, Parties | | | 7 Replies

Summer’s almost over — can you believe it? Every year it seems to fly by even faster than the year before.

This summer, our friends at Camp Makery were inspired to celebrate the end of the season with a beach bonfire. Set on one of San Francisco’s foggy beaches, this gorgeous shoot encompasses everything we love about the Bay Area. Take a look at some of the shots, below, to get inspired for your own beach bonfire!

PS: Stay tuned for all of the food + drink recipes featured in these photos next week!

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Photographer: Christina Richards
Recipes: Tiffany Sauter of Camp Makery
Styling & Art Direction: Lauren Weems of Camp Makery
Drink recipes: Don Julio, Ketel One, Bulleit Bourbon
Props:  Cecita Tile Print Layer PlateBelgian Flax Linen NapkinsWashed Velvet Pillow CoverCambria Mugs

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For the bonfire, Tiffany Sauter of Camp Makery adopted the classic Cajun shrimp po’ boy into a California-style sandwich that suits this West Coast setting.  Baking the shrimp instead of deep-frying and filling the shrimp po’ boy with fresh veggies makes it more of a healthy meal that still tastes delicious.

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California Style Shrimp Po’Boys

Ingredients:
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails removed
4 hot dog buns
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 red bell pepper, core and seeds removed
1/3 cup raw cashews
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup fine or medium cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (more if you like spicy!)
1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 425°.  In a small bowl, toss red wine vinegar and red onion.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss shredded cabbage and apple cider vinegar.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, mix cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and oregano.  Toss with shrimp until they are coated.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and place shrimp in pan in a single layer without shrimp touching each other.  Bake for 15 minutes.  In a food processor or high-powered blender, puree cashews, garlic and red bell pepper.  Toast hot dog buns in oven for 3 minutes, if desired.  To assemble, spread red bell pepper sauce on bottom bun and top with shrimp.  Fill the bun with flash-pickled red onion and shredded cabbage.

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Do you love our Cecita plates as much as Camp Makery does? Enter for a chance to win a set of your own! Fill out the form below for a chance to win one set of Cecita Tile Print Bread Plates and a set of Cecita Tile Print Layer Plates.

See official rules here. 

This contest is now closed. 

Top Party Tips for Summer from Evite Party Planner Jessica Bailey

Entertaining, Parties | | | Leave a comment

Did you catch our Twitter Party yesterday? We were so excited to host Jessica Bailey, Evite Party Planner and blogger at Linen, Lace, & Love, who shared her top party planning tips (and Pottery Barn picks!) with our fans and followers. We loved her expert tricks to help make summer entertaining easy and fun for everyone. Take a look at some of our favorite tidbits from the Twitter Party, below — and don’t forget to follow Pottery Barn on Twitter for more entertaining and decorating tips!

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Adios, mosquitos!
Beat bugs by covering appetizers with pretty Pottery Barn glass domes.
 Hole punch cupcake liners, place upside down on your glass and put a straw through it to keep bugs out of your drink!
 Circle your party area with citronella candles to light when the sun sets.

Bring the indoors, out.
 Repurpose indoor furniture and move it out to the patio to create an alfresco dining experience.
 An inexpensive way to get an outdoor space party-ready is to use white candles to line a pool and/or walkway.

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Stick to something simple.
 
Keep food simple for outdoor entertaining: salads, fresh fruit and cold drinks are all you need.
 Save time and money by delegating dishes to friends (i.e. potluck style).

Try a themed party!
 
I love a late night “Drive in Cinema” party, with this invitation.
 Throw a #1 Fan party! Make it all about their favorite team and/or sport.
 Host a movie night + picnic. Put up a screen in your backyard, set up blankets and pillows, and offer snacks.
 I love a retro flamingo pool party for tweens — think black, white and pink.
 If you start with basic decor — black and white striped table cloth, white dishes — you can have a pirate party!

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Stock the bar.
 Cool beverages with a metal drink wagon outdoors.
 Served pre-mixed drinks so guests can help themselves — like our Hard Iced Tea bar featuring Pottery Barn’s Mason Jar Drink Dispenser
 I like to attach my bottle opener to a beverage tub with ribbon — they always go missing, otherwise!

PS: Don’t forget to enter our Summer’s Better Together Sweepstakes with Evite, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen. You could win $5,000 to shop at the Pottery Barn brands to help you plan your next summer celebration!

Sweet Summer Nights: A Santa Barbara Barbecue with Some Pottery Barn Love

Entertaining, Parties | | | 2 Replies

 

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Simplicity is the key to a successful summer party. Good friends, fresh ingredients, warm weather and wine — not much else is necessary to make a great night. That’s what’s so wonderful about this summer Santa Barbara barbecue, originally posted on Camille Styles.

Photography by Jen Huang

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Hosted by Poppies & Posies (who put together all of the florals) the barbecue took place in a beautiful Santa Barbara backyard on a perfect summer night. Barbecue expert Michael Steifman of Stuart & Co. whipped up an elegant but casual grilled menu.

Fresh farmer’s market vegetables made up the majority of the menu — served on Pottery Barn cutting boards and wood pedestals. Roasted red and yellow cherry tomato bruschetta on grilled bread with burrata made for a fresh but indulgent appetizer. Steifman also whipped up a batch of grilled shrimp with cilantro, peanuts, lime zest and chili paste. For the main course, Steifman served a brisket with smoked tomato salsa. Guests had their pick of spice-rubbed chicken, ribs and potato salad, too.

An elegant menu, with calligraphy by Jen Huang art, was displayed on our Cuisine Board Shelf with a flower arrangement by Poppies & Posies. Simple table settings with dark plates, teal napkins and marble slate name tags by Jen Huang stuck to the dinner’s summery but moody vibe.

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See the full story on Camille Styles.

 

 

Raspberry Ricotta Sticky Buns Recipe from Two of a Kind

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 2 Replies

It’s only Wednesday, but we’re already thinking about weekend brunch. These days, we’ve been enjoying cooking on our own rather than going out. These raspberry ricotta sticky buns (seen here on our Blonde Wood Pedestals) from the talented Alison of Two of a Kind are the perfect excuse to host brunch at home this weekend. Keep reading to get the full recipe and get your brunch on!

See more recipes here.

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Raspberry and Ricotta Sticky Buns

Makes 12 buns

INGREDIENTS

Dough:

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Filling:

2 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup ricotta, drained (see notes)
2 tablespoons honey

Syrup:

6 fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Raspberry and Ricotta Sticky Bun

INSTRUCTIONS:

Make the dough:
In a large bowl, heat milk and water until warm – about 30 seconds in the microwave should do. Stir in the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Whisk together until thoroughly combined and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Add the remaining sugar and the rest of the dough ingredients (butter through lemon zest) to the milk mixture, stirring everything until it comes together to form a shaggy ball. Then knead the dough by hand (or with a dough hook attachment) until it’s smooth and elastic – this will take about 10 minutes (or less if using a stand mixer). Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling.

Make the filling:
In a small sauce pan, combine the raspberries, sugar, butter and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, combine ricotta and honey and mix until smooth. Set aside.

Shape and bake the buns:
Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside.

After the dough has risen, roll it into an 18-by-10-inch rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or bench scraper, cut the dough into 12 1½-inch strips.

Place 1 tablespoon of the ricotta-honey mixture at the end of each strip. Then place 1 tablespoon of the raspberry mixture right below it and spread it down the remainder of the strip.

Starting at the end with the ricotta, gently roll up the dough at a slight angle so that the center is the highest point of the bun. When you reach the end of the strip, gently press it into place.

Place buns, point side up, in the muffin pan. Lightly cover buns with a piece of plastic wrap coated with nonstick spray. Let buns rise until slightly puffed, about 1 hour.

When buns have almost finished rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove plastic wrap and bake buns until golden, about 22-30 minutes. While the buns are baking, prepare the syrup.

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Make the syrup:
In a small sauce pan, combine raspberries, sugar, water, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and set aside.

Once buns have finished baking, remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove buns from the muffin cups and place in a 12-by-9 inch casserole pan.

Pour syrup over the buns and let them sit in the syrup for 2 hours, basting occasionally.

Remove buns from the casserole pan and serve.

NOTES:
To drain ricotta, place cheese in a cheesecloth-lined colander set over a bowl. If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use a coffee filter. Place in refrigerator and let sit for a few hours.

How to Host a Backyard Wine Party: Part 2

Entertaining, Parties | | | 2 Replies

View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/gg_july4

Last week, we showed you one of our favorite ways to enjoy a warm summer night (with the help of the talented Caitlin Moran of Style Within Reach and Glitter Guide) — a backyard wine party!

Photography: Krista A Jones

View More: http://kristaajones.pass.us/gg_july4

Along with some of our favorite La Crema wines, Moran also presented her guests with a spread of her favorite summer bites — a must for warm weather wine tasting.

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We love how Moran kept her fresh cherries on ice — it makes for a fun presentation, and keeps each piece of fruit feeling crisp and fresh.

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A cold glass of La Crema Pinot Gris is the perfect way to stay cool, too.

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Keep a few easy snacks out for guests to munch on before a light dinner — cheese, olives, grapes and almonds suit wine perfectly.

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Don’t go overboard when making this meal — make it a light meal, since heat can stave off the appetite. We love this simple pasta dish Moran made with peas and shrimp.

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Keep your decoration simple for a backyard party like this — summer is all about easy living, after all. A fresh bouquet of white flowers is all you need to make your tabletop look pretty.

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Our patterned napkins add a little extra color, too.

See the rest of the party here.

Dreamy Spanish Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe by Sugary & Buttery

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 4 Replies

Melina Thompson has a way with the two very decadent ingredients her blog is named after — sugar and butter. The writer and cook behind Sugary and Buttery whipped up this delicious twist on a standard cheesecake in this exclusive recipe for Inside & Out. The festive dessert looks even more beautiful when served with our Shasta Round Chargers and Barcelona Napkins. Read on for Melina’s recipe and baking tips, below!

 
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Written by Melina Thompson of Sugary & Buttery, exclusively for Inside & Out. 

This cheese cake is a twist on a traditional Spanish cheese cake recipe, Quesada Asturiana, from a northern region of Spain. Usually, the recipe calls for requeson, a Spanish goat cheese, but I replaced it with ricotta, which makes an absolute perfect substitute. Flavored with cinnamon, lemon and brandy, it is probably the cheese cake with the most interesting flavor I’ve ever tasted! Top it with toasted meringue and you get one of the most beautiful summer cakes for your next garden party. And the Pottery Barn Barcelona napkins just tie in wonderfully with the whole mediterranean theme, pure summer feeling!

Spanish Ricotta Cheesecake with Toasted Meringue

Ingredients

For the cheesecake:
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 pounds ricotta cheese
6 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 oz brandy

For the meringue:
4 egg whites
cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

Whisk together ricotta, brandy, egg yolks, flour, the zest and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Whisk egg whites with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Raise speed to high, and gradually add sugar, whisking until glossy peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.

Gently fold egg whites into ricotta mixture using a rubber spatula until just combined.

Pour batter into pan and bake until center is firm and top is golden brown, about 1 hour.

Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake; release sides to remove from pan, and let cool completely.

To make the meringue, whisk egg whites with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and raise speed to high. Gradually add sugar, whisking until glossy peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.

Spoon meringue on top of the cheesecake and toast with a torch.

See more recipes here.