I've spent years stressing about entertaining, having the perfect menu, creating a dramatic table scape, blah, blah, blah.  Well, guess what?  Those days are gone forever in the House of Driscoll.  

First & foremost, I've learned guests are happy to be invited, eat, drink & be merry!  "Karate chop" headaches  be gone & my new attitude is....JUST DO IT!  Yes, you need the proper things to entertain well.  Yes, you probably should know how to cook (or, have a spouse that's willing).  But, the most important thing one should have to entertain well is a happy, relaxed & celebratory spirit, as if you were a guest too!  That, my friends, is what makes a dinner party a hit like no other.

And, this World of Blog dinner party ROCKS!  It's festive, fun & has to be with these hostess.

We are featuring delicious recipes from Kathryn Greeley's new & fabulous book, The Collected Tabletop.  If you need some great tips, recipes and the like, this book is for you.  
See my pretty table?  I've got a "MY FAVORITE THINGS" closet that might be what I rescue if disaster strikes here.  It's taken years to amass & you too, should have one.  Here are a few quick tips.


TOP TEN WAYS TO ACQUIRE "MY FAVORITE THINGS"
  1. Make it simple, easy & fun
  2. Always be looking....for things that have your Signature Style
  3. Pick a few special items you really spend some CASH MONEY to procure
  4. Grovel, beg & borrow from your family (Mothers & Grandmothers can't say NO) for things you've admired on their tables for years
  5. Go scour Michael's, T.J. Maxx, Garden Ridge, Target (you get the picture) for fun things that lighten the spirit
  6. Mix antique & aged pieces with simple modern items from Crate & Barrel, Bed, Bath & Beyond, etc.
  7. Be patient (it's taken me 15 years to acquire my bevy of treasure)
  8. Don't be afraid to experiment
  9. Visit Ragland Hill Social to continue refining your skills
  10. Always be listening to pros like Kathryn Greeley for renewed inspiration & ideas


A Signature of mine is to mix it up..in this case, I love pink & orange with RED!

My cherished table pieces...silver flatware from paternal & maternal Grandmothers, set of antique china I bought many moons ago where I almost choked writing the check (we still wrote checks then) & Leontine Linens napkins my dear friend, Jane Scott Hodges, gave me as a gift for designing her beautiful house.  Who gives her designer a gift like that?  She does!

Ribbon, flower vases & wine glasses all from random inexpensive joints!  Honestly, it's what makes this table work for me.  More precious, fancy goods would make it too stuffy!

I'm hosting the salad course for today's progressive dinner, Mache Salad with Goat Cheese-Stuffed Piquillo.  Doesn't it look YUMMY?  Have a seat at my pretty table & dig in!

Kathryn was inspired on a trip to Paris while eating at Le Carre des Vosges.  She had a salad similar to this, put her perfect spin on it & Ta-Da, created her version.

Mache Salad with Goat Cheese-Stuffed Piquillo
  • Whole red piquillo peppers, roasted (found in gourmet specialty shops)
  • Soft goat cheese
  • Baby mache greens
  • A good olive oil & a good champagne vinegar
  • Prosciutto
  • Shaved Parmesan
  • Green olive slices
  • Black olive slices
  • Balsamic glaze
Stuff roasted piquillo peppers with a soft goat cheese.  Toss mache greens in a light vinaigrette of olive oil & champagne vinegar.  Place greens on a salad plate in a mound.  Encircle the mache with a long slice of parma ham.  Place two of the stuffed piquillo peppers on a plate.  Top the salad with shaved Parmesan, and garnish the plate with a few green and black olive slices.  Drizzle the salad with balsamic glaze.

I love recipes like this.  Give me some balsamic, olive oil & cheese of any kind & I can usually get a pretty mean dish going.

Before you leave to go to Traci Zeller's Blog for the main course, I'll give you a quick tour of our festive holiday decor  Enjoy!
Fave Christmas ornaments hanging from chandelier.
Love them all!

Happy Santas among my Tea Service.
Christmas trees galore.
Can you find Elvis on our tree?  Look hard for him!
You can only have a drink if you aren't driving to Traci's.  Cheers!

Click here to head to Traci's.  I'll see you there.

Leave a comment & you'll be entered to receive a signed copy of The Collected Tabletop.

Click here to visit Kathryn Greeley Designs for more design inspiration.

If you missed the first course, click here to visit Jennifer Brouwer's blog.

And click here to head to Staci Naquin's blog for dessert.

We'll talk soon.


Gwen

P.S.  Don't forget to comment to be entered in the book giveaway.






































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