Foodie Sunday : Tips and Tricks for a Summer of Fabulous Entertaining and Mousseline Peche by Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume!
A Summer party can be loads of fun and utterly lavish without breaking the bank! Here are just a few tips to ensure your success! I promise that if you follow these simple rules that everyone, including you will have a great time at your next soiree. After all, isn't that one of the best reasons to entertain as frequently as possible? All that’s left to do is to sit back , relax and get ready to enjoy the accolades!
To begin with the best parties always create an air of anticipation ~ so why don't you forget the obligatory phone call and instead choose a theme and send out an invitation? In this age of evite or Paperless Post a lovely invite is a snap to create and sets the stage for some serious excitement! Don’t be afraid to mix up the guest list. Your new friend from yoga and her husband might just become the life of your party!
Always make sure that you’ve planned a “surprise inside”! Sometime this summer I plan to invite all of my neighbors over to our patio for cocktails with a simple yet mysterious invitation. Just wait until they realize that they’re walking into an evening of gaming and dancing. I’ll string fairy lights everywhere with lots of candles and fresh flowers on the table, There will be scampi sizzling on the grill, chilled vichyssoise and Royal Gin Fizzes around the poker table, cigars for the men and Cole Porter tunes on my Ipod! I realize that because some of them do actually read this that it won’t be a surprise but never fear…I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve!
I love to serve one or two signature cocktails without an open bar and this is a trick that’s easy on your budget and so much fun. Champagne and fresh peaches are always a wonderful combination or a pitcher of sangria filled with fresh fruit.
My summer favorite is a refreshing “Not quite a Gimlet” made with cucumber vodka, sweetened with a bit of agave nectar , brightened with lime juice and served with fresh cucumber and balls of honeydew melon! My husband likes my special skinny Margarita which is better than anything you’ll find in a bottle! Just take the juice of a lime, 1 ounce of tequila, 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier, 2 dashes of smoky chipotle chili powder and 2 tablespoons of agave nectar and shake all of it with ice and a cup of mango juice. Garnish with slices of fresh cucumber and watermelon!
When it comes to food please don’t be a slave to your kitchen. This is the time to make use of all of the lovely takeaway that you’ll find in your local specialty grocer. I've discovered over the years that my guests always prefer hors d'oeuvres over a heavy dinner during the summer which keeps everything festive and easy.
You can use wonderful prepared foods like peel and eat shrimp, already cooked asparagus that you can wrap with prosciutto and parmesan and mini crab cakes that are easily garnished with sauces and fresh herbs. The salad above is not my recipe and I have no idea who to attribute the picture to, but I will be making it for my next party. It's a fresh peach caprese and I think that it looks glorious. Fresh mozzarella, basil and peaches perhaps drizzled with olive oil , sea salt and some honeyed white balsamic? What could be better!
Serve a chilled blender soup like minted pea, chive and fresh cream in teacups for extra panache and sorbets are always lovely served as a palate cleanser in champagne glasses with edible flowers and a delicious store bought cookie. Slivers of roasted or smoked chicken are elegant and delicious, especially when served on mini buns with aioli and arugula.
Serve everything on your prettiest platters, turn up the music and no one will wonder where it came from because they’ll all be too busy enjoying themselves.
Dessert MUST be fabulous because it’s the thing that everyone always remembers so have fun with it! How about a delicious mini milkshake made with some great chocolate ice cream, spiked with chocolate vodka, peppermint schnapps and garnished with whipped cream and store bought dark chocolate straws!
Remember that only you know what’s gone wrong! If the cake falls on the kitchen floor, scoop it up, put it in pretty glasses and top the whole thing with freshly whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Just relax and don’t make a big deal about it!
My favorite rule of all ? Become whoever you want to become for the evening! I’m all about glamorous for a summer cocktail party! Evenings like these are a perfect occasion to dress up and as my mother always said, “Everyone behaves better in bowties and high heels!”
Don’t forget a wonderful fragrance! (Yes I know that I’m preaching to the choir!) My absolute favorite thing this summer is a new scent named Mousseline Peche by Charna Ethier of Providence Perfumes. I actually have to say that Charna has never created a fragrance that I didn’t love. Mousseline Peche did remarkable things on my skin, beginning as a sweet juicy bite of warm peach, but turning quickly into a sheer and subtly musky skin scent that was at the same time both sweet and sultry. This couldn’t be more Southern unless it was distilled from branch water straight from the Mississippi. Mousseline Peche is absolutely diaphanous … born of a truly inspired collaboration between Charna and Project Runway designer Jonathan Joseph Peters, this perfume is really one of the sexiest things that I’ve worn in a while with many fabulous accords that include peach, tonka , rose, yuzu and spun sugar! (Spun Sugar? J’adore!)
I am quite sure that Charna must have had a gypsy lifetime in the not so distant past. Everything she creates is literally dripping with sensuality and stirs up emotional images for me of Bourbon Street, Spanish moss and mystery. I even created a chilled soup in honor of this one…Frozen peaches and raspberries blended with prosecco , white peach juice, lemon verbena, unsprayed rose petals, cinnamon and garnished with vanilla laced crème fraiche…Serve it well chilled in balloon goblets garnished with fresh basil and lemon balm, relax and enjoy a lazy, summer Sunday!
Happy Foodie Sunday y'all....out to the garden I go!