I just realized that it has been two years since I hosted my absolute favorite party of all time (Sorry Juliette, this one was before your time)- a foodies gathering. Dean and I love to eat. We will travel high and low to try new restaurants. Dean, who is the much better cook in this duo (I am more of a casserole queen), is not shy about trying new recipes. We also love to go wine tasting and are fortunate enough to live in the Texas Hill Country where wineries are plentiful. We have a lot of like minded friends. This led us to host a food and wine party for 10 of our friends in January of 2010. My friend Carly, who is Martha Stewart herself, was my partner in crime for planning it out.
We decided that we could probably squeeze in four main courses (appetizer, soup or salad, primi, secondi) with a choice or cheese, dessert or both after the main meal. Each course would be paired with a complementary wine working our way down from whites to reds to sweets. Small pours and small plates would be key so we could make it through the meal without passing out.
Carly and I could not throw a dinner party without adding some personal touches, so we got to work looking online for ideas for place cards, napkin rings, centerpieces and personalized wine glasses. We were originally going to purchase all that we needed but quickly realized our budget was small but our talents were large. We had no choice but to make it a DIY delight!
Our first project was wine cork napkin rings. We got this idea from a seller on Etsy. Her napkin rings were great, but we couldn’t afford to get as many as we needed so we did our very best to make our own using brown satin ribbon, corks from some of our favorite wines and upholstery tacks. The result was stunning (in my humble opinion).
Next, we went to work on personalized wine glasses. We found small wine glasses for an amazingly good price at Goodwill. Our plan was to stencil them with the initial of each attendees surname. We originally tried this with a paintbrush, stencil and glass paint. The result was less than satisfactory. After ruining several of our precious glasses, I gave up and Carly assured me she would find a way to make this idea work. She ended up hand writing each initial with puffy paint intended for glass. They came out beautiful and many, many washes later, my glass is still in tip top shape.
Meanwhile, I went to work on place cards and favors. For the place card, I printed each name on heavy card stock and cut a small slit in the top of a wine cork. Voila- wine themed place card holders. For the favors, I thought it would be nice for each couple to have recipe cards for the foods presented. I also printed these on card stock and tied with the same brown satin ribbon used in the napkin rings.
I was at a loss as to what to do for centerpieces, but only had to say the word and Carly had the solution- breadsticks in pilsner glasses and white tea lights. Simple, elegant and the breadsticks pulling double duty as a palette cleanser- brilliant!
Now the only thing missing was food and friends. More on that in my next post!