Comments : 67

Hi there, over the years that I have been blogging I have had many, many requests to do posts specific to entertaining- what my personal “go to’s” are, favorite menus, how to handle flowers, seating, decor, how to manage large gatherings without succumbing to a nervous breakdown, hosting small dinners, having luncheons, managing stress when entertaining and more. Your wishes have been granted and today I kick off the first of hopefully many future posts on The Entertaining Diaries!

I have started these types of posts a few times and actually did post one or two similar posts but not consistently,  until now. I am no pro but I do know I love and take great joy in entertaining, (get that honestly from my mom)! I have learned a lot through the years, what works and what doesn’t so these posts are all about sharing my knowlege and I look forward to your suggestions and own entertaining tips too!

So, much like I did the Bluff Diaries in “chapters”, here starts a new series, on entertaining. I will try to break things down with each post focusing on a particular aspect. What will be different is each post I will ask you to ask your questions in the comments section so that the next time I post on the Entertaining Diaries I can answer and address your questions, sound good?

So,  let’s begin with this first post, which is going to address hosting a dinner party for a small group. When I say small I mean for 8 or under, an intimate dinner party which to me are the very best kind and the kind I don’t do nearly enough. I do hope to change that coming this fall.

I went through some old posts and gathered various pictures to tie in with whatever I was talking about, so these pictures are from assorted times and gatherings.

In these posts, I will throw in a few recipes, all the tips I know and some of the tried and true methods that at last have worked for me to insure a stress free as possible experience and maybe to help those who get anxious about entertaining to realize its not so bad afterall:) So let’s get started and remember you get to ask your questions for the next post in the comments section, enjoy!

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Required-

  • A nice interesting group of people
  • Organization! You cannot be too organized. I write everything down on lists. And there’s nothing like the feeling of getting to place a check next to each item:)
  • Key is planning, having everything READY when you need it, learned this the hard way over the years
  • Decide on if it will be a dining room setting or outdoor setting (if the weather allows) . When I am hosting a small intimate dinner, I will plan out exactly what I will serve while paying close attention to the weather (for summer and fall). Spring and winter we are always indoors but we love eating outdoors when possible
  • Several bottles of wine and all ingredients for cocktails, you choose to offer one specific cocktail plus wine or if you keep a stocked bar open it up
  • One to two easy to please appetizers/small bites to serve over the course of maximum an hour until you are seated for dinner
  • A menu that is both tasty but manageable, what fun is it if you are stressing over your meal
  • Good background music, music is so important to me
  • Flowers, whether they are a few stems cut from your yard, a few bunches picked up at your local market or an arrangement from a florist, you need flowers!
  • A few nice candles
  • So when I am hosting a small intimate dinner, I will plan out exactly what I will serve while paying close attention to the weather (for summer and fall). Spring and winter we are always indoors.
  • I am a consummate list maker and you will see my little lists all over the place. I will even make circles with the dishes I will serve to see how i might envision a plate with those items.

 

 Some of the process-

A few days before I will head to the market and shop off my list. I always write everything down (yes am old fashioned that way) and even will make a diagram showing how it might look on my table

I am a consummate list maker and you will see my little lists all over the place. I will even make circles with the dishes I will serve to see how i might envision a plate with those items.

I will often set my entire dining table 2-3 days before, partly because I love doing it and because it’s one less thing to do, laying everything out making sure its clean/polished is a great idea (ahead of time)!

I gather all my trays/serving dishes and even lay out all my serving utensils so they are ready and there’s no last minute searching

I will buy flowers the day before, if 2 days before will keep the fresh flowers in refrigerator in garage to stay as fresh as possible

The morning of I will make my arrangements sometimes they are tall and big like below, and people will ask how do you see each other? Simple, when we actually sit down to eat, they are moved to the the console:) Problem solved!

If I don’t do a big center arrangement, sometimes I will take a few dozen roses and make tight little bouquets in my mint juleps and place at each setting, looks fabulous!

***Unannounced gift with purchase, for every 6 or more mint juleps purchased get one free (no code necessary- on for 3 days*** Click here to see our mint juleps

My husband will make sure we have wine and that our bar is stocked (his job)!

If we are dining outdoors I love filling one of my favorite containers (from Sasha Nicholas) with a few bottles of chilled wine

The day of I will decide what kind of music I want to play, we  love smooth jazz and anything bossa nova.

The day of is spent cooking and preparing, I actually enjoy this process when I am “in the zone”!

Always check your powder room, I make sure that its spotless, and that there are nice fresh (and pretty) linens, sometimes have a little bud vase with a fresh flower and almost always burn a candle so even when my guests are in the powder room, they feel special

I always burn a few candles, my absolute favorites are my own:) The scent I sell is my signature scent (originally made for the Ritz Carlton, its a soft powdery gardenia and is heaven). The ones in the crystal and porcelain containers are the ones I am referring to as or signature scent.

Everyone now associates me with beautiful scent plus the quality of the candle is sublime, it permeates my entire home! They come in crystal containers as well as our signature blue/white porcelain containers (click here to see the candles). Walking into a home that smells good is such a wonderful way to welcome guests.

This is very important for me– One thing I have done for years is I will designate a “must finish by” time that day. I am an early bird so start my prep early, I will decide that I want to be done by around 1 or 2 pm, so I give myself a self imposed deadline. That means, literally there is nothing left to do other than serve my appetizers and light the candles.

I will always take a power nap sometimes it’s not falling asleep but just lying down for 3o minutes. It always feels so good to take that well deserved break and rest my feet knowing everything is done. I will often almost always take a bubble bath, its so luxurious and relaxing and just allows me to feel like I have had  a nice break prior to playing hostess. I will dress maybe an hour before my guests come but always have an apron:)

A few minutes before guests arrive, the candles get lit and I will put dimmers on in dining room and living room. Lighting cannot be overestimated enought!!  It can make or break the entire ambiance. Nothing to me as bad as a brightly lit room when you are trying to have a elegant and intimate dinner!

I will have whatever appetizers I have planned ready to go 15 min before guests are due to arrive. If it’s something that needs to go in oven I will be sure to have one room temperature appetizer ready when they get there, and put the one to go in the oven a few minutes before they arrive so I am passing it within 20 minutes or so of their arrival, husband will take care of the drinks.

 

The menu-

Appetizers- Having cocktails/appetizers should last no longer than an hour in my opinion. I think serving 2 appetizers is ample for a small gathering plus you want them to be able to enjoy their dinner! A few go to’s-

Sometimes we will have a pretty tray with a champagne cocktail, makes a nice welcome

A cheese platter (2 to 3 cheeses), crackers, breadsticks with grapes and figs and/or dried fruit

Fig and ricotta crostini (sliced lightly toasted baguette slices, a smear of riccotta, either fresh fig or fig preserves and chopped up pecans- divine and pretty)! Everyone loves this.

You can never ever go wrong with a  pretty fruit platter

A low fat spinach dip served in individual little dishes with vegetables (a cup of greek yogurt, box of frozen spinach, half a pack of Knorrs vegetable soup mix, small can of water chestnuts chopped, 4-5 scallions chopped) I put about 3 TBSP of dip in each mint julep then add assorted vegetables on top “standing” in the dip. People always ooh and ahh but truth is, its so simple!

***Unannounced gift with purchase, for every 6 or more mint juleps purchased get one free (no code necessary- on for 3 days*** Click here to see our mint juleps

I also have made an entire antipasta tray using my mint juleps for things like guacamole, hummus, brushestta, nuts, etc…..everyone LOVED this!

Shrimp cocktail (always an elegant and sure crowd pleaser)

 

Salad or soup- If I start with a salad which I almost always do unless I start with a soup (winter) it is either one of two of my go to’s. If I want a heartier salad its this best ever Caesar salad, cannot tell you how good it is, have shared it many tines but it bears repeating:)

Best Caesar Salad ever!

Small tin of anchovies
3 large garlic cloves
3 generous tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
Worcestershire Sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups good mild olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional cheese to mix in to the salad
Croutons
Romaine hearts

For the dressing, place the garlic and anchovies (dump entire tin with the oil) in the food processor and blend until smooth. Then add mayo, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube and process until thick. Add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and pulse 3 times.

Toss the lettuce with enough dressing to moisten well. Add a generous amount of grated Parmesan and croutons. Toss and enjoy.

If I begin with a soup it is almost only for fall or winter dinners, one of my faves is this incredible hearty vegetable soup (recipe to be shared in next post) in time for fall/winter entertaining!

Dinner- The actual dinner menu can vary. Since I have not had red meat for over a year, it is not my go to but I still do prepare it on occasion for my all male household:) I think fish is something almost everyone loves as well as chicken.

The last time I had people for dinner I started with a salad, and this is what I served below, along with a wild rice, sauteed asparagus. I find almost everyone is looking to eat lighter and getting away from very heavy meals.I always have a bread basket for those who need a little extra substance filled with fresh breads form a local bakery and a few flatbreads. This particular recipe for Sole Meuniére is outstanding and always gets rave reviews!

Sole Meunière

    • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    • 4 sole fillets (each about 3 to 4 ounces)
    • Coarse kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil
    • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  1. Sauce:
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice ( I used much. more than this, I used the juice of an entire lemon)
    • Lemon wedges
    1. Place flour in pie dish. Rinse fish; pat with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of fish with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Dredge fish on both sides with flour; shake off excess. Place on platter.
    2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until oil is hot and shimmers. Add butter; quickly swirl skillet to coat. When foam subsides, add fish and cook until golden on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn fish over and cook until opaque in center and golden on bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide fish between 2 warmed plates; tent with foil. Pour off drippings from skillet; wipe with paper towels.
  1. For sauce:
    1. Place skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter; cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and lemon juice (sauce may sputter). Spoon sauce over fish. Serve with lemon wedges.

 

Dessert- I am no baker, and the days of making any kind of homemade desserts is well behind me. Plus we are super fortunate to have a number of excellent bakeries within a few minutes from home. So, I always without fail have either a platter of mixed berries or a platter of fruit and a dessert.

I tend to keep it lighter, like a fruit tart or some kind of thin pastry/tart, add coffee and tea and you have yourself the ending to a pretty wonderful meal! I am admittedly not one for after dinner drinks, as normally I am dreaming of slipping into my pjs and calling it a night but my husband likes the occasional cigar and brandy so sometimes the nights go on just a wee bit longer than what I think is ideal, lol.

 

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Well this sure was fun, I feel like I just threw a virtual party:) Thanks to all of you who kept asking me to do this, it was actually a surprise to myself how much fun I had going through many old posts and getting to relive so many fun memories from so many fantastic get together and celebrations. I think we are going to have fun with this series!

OK, so here is the deal- you get to ask your entertaining questions in the comments below or share your own tips! I will answer them in my next post, I cannot promise to get to all of them but vow to do my very best! You are also welcome to suggest specific subjects with regard to entertaining that you would like me to talk about in future installments.

Sound good? OK, your turn to fire away, hope you enjoyed this first post on The Entertaining Diaries! Until next time…………….

TWO BEAUTIFUL  REMINDERS-

 

You love our calendars, the response has been incredible! Our presale is on the fabulous blue/white desktop calendar is on!! Click here for all details

PS With fall around the corner, our blue and white porcelain pumpkins are on promotion as of today,  for 20% for two days!! Great time to get a head start on your fall decor:) These are so beautiful….click here for the set   OR they can now be purchased individually, click here and scroll down

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Kim Mawhiney on

Lovely post. I’m curious about a few things! Do you plate your salads before guest arrive or serve in a large bowl. Do you buffet it for a small group or serve? Do you ever serve family style? The fish looks great, but are you cooking in front of your guest? Do you have a smooth method of removing plates without every woman at the table jumping to help!? Thanks, looking forward to more chapters!

Eileen on

What a beautiful post and thank you for all your tips. I found I was unable to “click” on the candles link. It didn’t work. I was interested in them.

Franki on

I LUV the way you think!! Looking forward to more of these!! franki

Elizabeth on

I am going to love this new series and I love, love, love to entertain. I make lots of lists, get my things out the day before so I can see how each thing is going to be on the platter, etc and of course leave enough time to make one, or more(usually more) desserts.

Eve B on

I always make up a menu and date it along with who was invited. This way I don’t repeat the same menu again for the same guests. I post it on the refrigerator so I can glance at it to make sure I didn’t forget to serve something. (Yes, this has happened)!

Piper B on

Tina! This post needs a glass of wine ( or two)! Lovely and so much helpful information. You are going to make us all look very good! Question: With all the different course plates beautifully arranged on the table do you have the food served? You are showing food already prepared and plated so you are not having the dinner catered. With all the flowers and centerpieces there doesn’t seem to be room for family-style service either. Thank you.

Anne on

Hi Tina! Love these posts! Do you have any recipes that you can prepare ahead of time? Thanks!

Kristen on

Love the square tray you use for your cheese plate. Is that from your shop, or can we have a source?
Also, there is no code for the pumpkin sale!

Annette Miranda on

Impressive and beautiful but one thing, who does all those dishes!! LOl!!

Susan Hayes Long on

Any favorite napkin placements? I don’t particularly like fancy folds, but something extra adds so much to a pretty table.

Jennifer on

Oh how I wish I could entertain with ease… I try to prepare things in advance, but always feel like I am running around while my guests are waiting. I don’t like to prepare anything that is going to smell up the house, so I probably would never serve fish. I steamed broccoli one year as a Thanksgiving side dish and it overpowered the turkey and dressing so much that broccoli has been banned as a side dish when entertaining! LOL I am so looking forward to your postings… I have some of the same questions as the previous poster regarding how you serve the food…buffet? And your process for removing the plates in between courses?

Kathy on

Tina! I am delighted with this new series, The Entertaining Diaries! I also love to entertain & value your advice! Your experience is a treasure! Thank you!

Barbara on

Loved your post and I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

Can you do a post on how to prepare a cheese platter? Mine never look like yours!

Thanks!

Betty Coco on

I am so happy you are doing this. I wish you would write a book with all of your recipes. I have all of the China and crystal to do a dinner party but I am not a great cook so I don’t but would love to. I am so excited about this, can’t wait to try your recipes and your advice. Thank you so much.

Pam on

This is a tad off topic, but I would LOVE to know where I could order the stationery you wrote your list on with photo of your house. LOVE THAT!!!

Paulette Peyer on

Your Sole Meuniere recipe sounds delish. You simply must publish your own recipe book including glorious color pictures. It would sell like hotcakes. Tina, you are such an inspiration to all of your fans, and we surely appreciate your willingness to so graciously share your knowledge. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!!

Debbie on

What’s your playlist?

Liz on

Hi Tina, Great post. I look forward to this new series. Do you use place cards? I find they’re useful for breaking up “pods” so that people talk to a different person. I have had someone move them! (errrrr) Nothing I could do without being rude….. Do you use them ?

Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com on

So fun to see how you get it all done and make it look easy. The part that amazes me is that you finish up in time to take a relaxing bath and get ready at your leisure. I’m always lucky if I can pull myself together in time, even though I do plan and work way ahead like you. Thanks for the inspiration. I’m making your recipe for Sole Meuniere soon! YUM!

yolie on

Tina-
What a great idea this is! Question: Do you serve buffet style, family style (ala passing things around) or do you plate in advance?
You may do all of the above, I just wonder what your “go to” is.

Mary L. on

I like to prepare as much of the meal ahead of time so that I am not standing at the stove when guests are arriving. When you make your entree are you able to do it ahead ( example:your fish recipe) ? Of course stews and soups can be made ahead but what about other entree’s? I have a warming drawer but many things need to be served immediately! Dilemma !!

Jan Carol Stubblefield on

I also have a book where I put the date, menu, the guests, libations. Notes for future and I take a picture of the table, a place setting and flowers/centerpiece. (Sometimes, all my lists go into the book too). The right smell, music and lighting are a must! You nailed it, thank you!

Joan on

Another easy trick is to put a post-it on your dishes so that anyone helping you in the kitchen knows what food goes on what platter. Also doesn’t hurt to stock up on additional platters, serving utensils, when you see them on sale or at an estate sale, etc. My fall plan is to rearrange some shelving in the basement where I can keep all of my entertaining items in labeled, organized boxes and bins.

Jane on

We also entertain often, and I do almost everything you describe, sans the bath! Need to add that one!! Particularly with close friends and/or a more casual style, I usually plan to leave a few last minute details for someone who arrives and says, “what can I do?” I find that people are not only glad to help, but it helps sort of “break the ice” when someone first arrives and maybe is a bit shy if they don’t know others, e.g. It seems to help to have something to do.

Jan Carol Stubblefield on

You have me going…….this is fun!
The blue and white octaganal (?) planter in the middle of the table with orchids. Guests can easily see through stems. As my guests leave I give each lady one of the orchids as a take home memory of our time together.

Sandi on

Thank you, thank you!! We are waiting for you to publish a book!!

Beth Christoff on

When you hire help, do you feel you get the most “bang for your buck” with waitstaff or bartenders?

Michelle on

SO very happy you are doing this new segment!!! Kim Mawhiney asked all my questions. I’d love to hear what’s on your playlists. MY ultimate favorite CD was Pottery Barn’s “Dinner At Eight”. Lost the CD but had downloaded to my computer earlier. Fabulous, smooth oldies! Starbucks did a great one for summer patio entertaining called “Patio Mixer”.

Beverly Stowell on

I so enjoy your posts, but in reading the other comments, I think your readers need to realize that you live in what looks like a 10,000 sqr ft home/mansion, & I cant believe you don’t have full time. help. So preparing a last minute sauce, playing the entree, or clearing the salad is probably something you do not have to worry about. I would love to serve a salad course separately, but I can’t sit and eat it with my guests, because I am busy playing the entree. Plus, if I do, & get up to remove the plates, my female guests jump up to help…..very disruptive to a dinner party! Since I’m part Italian, we always eat our salad after dinner anyway. So I serve it with the entree, on a salad plate to the left, & my guests can eat it when they wish to. I always try to serve food that I can prepare ahead, & pop in the oven. I love your appetizer ideas, & look forward to more on this series!!!

Marian Nelson on

Thank you for another wonderful post. This is one of my favorites! I tried to click on the candle link as well but to no avail. I love your style and especially all the fresh flowers however, I live in Arizona and I can only use some of your ideas to a certain extent.

Maureen on

Thanks for the great post, Tina. I am also interested in knowing your process for serving the salad course as well as dinner for 6-8.
I have made your Caesar salad recipe and it’s the best! Thank you!
Would also like to know when your smaller candles will be restocked.

Sheila on

If you are doing the cooking yourself and donot want to b in the kitchen when guests arrive. Is it ok to make fish and keep warm in warming draw or oven

Denise on

When you serve the Sole Meunière, do you excuse yourself and prepare the fish for your guests or do you have someone that prepares the fish for you? If you prepare the fish yourself, do your guests follow you into the kitchen to “help,” which I find frustrating and can cause me to not prepare as efficiently or well.

sue yuditsky on

I love the way you used the mint julep cups…very clever and just beautiful!! My mother always laid her table out days before and put a small piece of paper on them for whatever she was serving. I would stop by and notice how they had changed several times before the party…she was a lovely and thoughtful hostess.

Susan on

Love this series!!! Always love your entertaining, and interior design of your home! Do you mind sharing the paint colors for your living room and for the master bathroom? Thank you for this series!

Sally on

This is a wonderful post, Tina. You have shared a wealth of information and I appreciate you. Thank you so much!💙

Leah Baker on

Thank you! I so need this guide! I get so overwhelmed by the whole process. My stress factor is the actually cooking. Haha! Do you ever prepare food ahead of time, cook when your guests are there or have someone else cook it?

Sharon Muncey on

Hi Tina!
Do you always serve ‘buffet’ vs ‘family’ style?
For buffet style, do you gather the plates beforehand and have them on the buffet, or do you have your guests pick up their plate from the table and then serve themselves from the buffet?
Also, do you always use place cards or do you sometimes do ‘open seating’?
Thanks!!

Jim on

An old adage: “Match the quality of the wine to the quality of the guests.” The closer the friends, the better the wine. Never save it for a “special occasion.”
Individual tea lights in front of each person give a nice glow to all faces.

Lynn B on

Can you please reshare the drink recipe using Kettle One Grapefruit and Rose vodka? I searched your blog and couldn’t find it – can’t remember the mixer!!

Kate on

Tina, I am so excited about your “Diary of Entertaining.” I’m actually going to print , make a folder and save! I’ve hoped you would share your talents as a fabulous Hostess with us for a long time.

My questions:
How to make everything flow?? Where do you have the appetizers? Do the Guests serve themselves from
an appetizer designated area?

The salad or soup-how is that served.? Do you prep and have salad or soup ready to serve beforehand? I know you make the soup or salad earlier, but not sure of the serving . ( Yes, I am a nervous Hostess!)

I know sometimes people feel awkward about seating. Eight guests should be manageable—but, do you use seating tags for events?

When serving the main entree, do you have someone help you serve or is it buffet style? I don’t care for food on the table and all of the passing around of dishes. I’m not sure how you manage this.

So, everyone has their entree, conversation, relaxing, etc.,….how do you present the desserts? Do you clear the table and have in the dining room? Do you move to another area for coffee, tea and sweets?

I love the tips you gave for music, etc.

I💯Agree w/bubble bath and maybe —🍷.

Thank you for all of this fabulous information!

Paula Woolley on

Hi Tina, love your great suggestions! They all sound delicious. My question is can the sole be prepared ahead of time and kept warm in the oven? And pour the sauce on before serving. I always try and have everything ready before hand so I can visit with my guests and not be in the kitchen. Thanks you.

Cathy on

Tina, what a great idea! I’m always in a panic about entertaining a small group. My problem is with menu ideas, as I usually resort to something I can do ahead of time, like lasagna which is way too heavy for the way people eat nowadays. Any help on that front would be much appreciated! Also, like a previous commenter asked, do you plate the dishes in your kitchen and then serve? When is it appropriate to pass dishes “family style”? I’m looking forward to the next diary entry!

Susan on

Off subject but the blue and white on the stove – the utensil crock and the blue and white pan with everything loaded into it – is that just a baking dish? Are they available through you or are they Spode? Thanks, love the series.

Kathryn on

I love this type post! Useful, inspiring and great ideas! I really like your serving ideas.
My question is this: how do you keep food warm for an hour and have it still fresh? I can see how the amazing Caesar salad is doable, the sides and dessert….but how about the meat?

Thank you for the inspiration!

Charlene on

This is a fabulous post and I love it all. Every detail outlined with recipe💙
Thank you for sharing such elegance!

Janet on

Love this and all your tips, many I have already been using. What do you do with people who insist on helping you clean up? We had ten for dinner the other night, everything went beautifully, but had one guest (whom I had not met before!) who insisted on CLEANING UP! She even removed a grate on the stove to clean up a small spill! One of my pet peeves is the host who starts scrubbing pots while guests are still there. Ack!

Alice Genzlinger on

Loved this post! Copied the yogurt dip and Cristina recipe. I agree with writing downs the things that have to be done so I can mark them off one by one and know I haven’t missed anything. Loved all of your ideas though. Looking forward to your next post.

Requi on

Really great post. Enjoyed the pics, tips, and information. Any tips for cocktail parties?

Sherrel on

I enjoyed your post very much, & look forward to the next one!
Thank you!

Linda on

Great post Tina! Thoroughly enjoyed. Do you have any idea as so when your candles will be back?

Anne Marie O'Connor on

Fantastic post! Great ideas and I love seeing everything organized ahead of time. It all makes sense, that way the hostess/host can enjoy their evening as well with their guests. 🌸

Joan Richards on

I sense a book in the makings! Thanks for sharing.

Kathy on

Tina, I just wanted to say I love this post! It is super fun to get to hear how you “put it all together” in such an elegant and beautiful way!!! Would you tell us about your collection of table cloths in an upcoming post? (How you procure them, what you are looking for when shopping for them, do you like to find a gorgeous fabric and then have them custom made, etc.) Thanks Tina, and have a wonderful weekend!

Rebecca A on

I feel a book coming on

Meg McCartney on

Will this always be available? so I can go back to it to reference? this was absolutely showstopping Tina !!!!you have such a gift xxxxx

Pearl Hamilton on

No question at this time – Just wanted to let you know, I am so happy you are doing this series.
I have a feeling its going to be right up there with my favorite – Seven on Sundays.

Patti M on

Thanks so much for this lovely post! 💙

Sheryl on

Thank you for doing this! Such great information, I will be looking forward to the next installment. If we want to look back on this again will we be able to just type it into the search bar to find the post?

Leslie on

Thank you for your “Entertaining Diaries” post and for those to come. Love all your ideas and recipes. You always mention your bruschetta toasts as a go to. Could you share the recipe again please? Perhaps I don’t know how to navigate your blog (computer illiterate at times) but I couldn’t find it and it always looks so good. What is the best way to look up your previous recipes? Also, you had a baked Brie with pecans in the past that I was hoping you would share again. Looking forward to the next post.

Kathy on

Endless inspiration Tina. 💙

Diane Chester on

I’m curious if I am your only reader who does not like scented candles at a formal dinner. I always use “unscented” candles so the scent will not conflict with my delicious food.

Nancy on

I loved the post and look forward to more! Thanks for taking our questions!! I have purchased several of your Julep Cups (beautiful!) and love how you suggest using them for dips. My question is, will the dip pit the cups? What is the best way to use them and still keep them looking their best?

Karen on

I love this new series so much! Thank you. I have noticed you do not use table pads on your dining room table. I love how your table is always set, using placemats, etc. Do you always have your dinners served? If you do pass serving dishes, how do you prevent your table surface from getting scratched? I love the way the wood shows, but I know mine would get scratched putting serving dishes down, etc.
thank you,
Karen

Belinda on

I would love to have your bruschetta recipe!

Donna on

I just loved this post, please keep them coming & pictures of Teddy

Jane Giallonardo on

Great, informative post, thank you for sharing!

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