Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tablescape Tuesday: A Mod Nod to Britain in the 60s!

I was thrilled to design the table for Ylang 23's dinner honoring Irene Neuwirth a few weeks ago.  Whenever Joanne Teichman calls for help, I know we will have a great event! She always has an incredible honoree, a great theme in mind, and clear vision.

For this event, she wanted a nod to Britain in the 1960s so The Goss Michael Foundation seemed like the perfect venue. The Foundation houses a collection of British Art and had a wonderful exhibition by Adam Ball up in the spaces we were using. The black and white works of art were perfect for the colorful and playful table that Joanne wanted.  

We put five rectangular frosted glass top tables in a row to seat 36 people.  The tables were narrow so we didn't have a lot of space for wide centerpieces.  This is where Darrell Ward and his Floral Design Team came in!  He found Gerbera Daisies in a variety of bright colors and put each stem in a small round vase.  We lined them up down the center of the table and surrounded them with pops of bright green moss.

For the table setting, we rented bright wine glasses and napkins from POSH.
  Joanne had already purchased fun John Lennon-style sunglasses for everyone so we made those the napkin rings.  

For another touch of 60's Britain, I made a peace sign out of simple votive candles.  It was a great way to set the tone for the evening in the entry of the gallery space.

Place cards were written in a playful script on mirrored tiles that I found at the craft store.  Jen O'Neal of Halo Calligraphy always does a fantastic job! 

Photos by Bruno.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Guest Recipe Post: Carla McDonald's Baked Pasta with Sausage and Tomato Pesto

I’m thrilled to share this recipe from Carla McDonald, founder of The Salonniere, the first and only dedicated source of entertaining inspiration and tips from party experts. (I’m delighted to have been featured on the site!) This is Carla’s go-to casual dinner party recipe because it’s delicious and easy. It can be prepared and assembled up to two days before the party. Just keep it covered in the refrigerator and remove it half an hour before baking.

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Tomato Pesto

Serves 6 to 8


1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 26-ounce boxes Pomi brand marinara sauce
6 tablespoons pesto sauce (store bought is fine)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound regular or gluten-free penne
8 ounces smoked Gouda, finely diced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 6-ounce bag baby spinach leaves


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the sausage and onion. Cook, breaking up the sausage with a spoon, for about 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring frequently to evenly cook the onion. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the marinara sauce and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Stir in the pesto and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cook the penne in a large pot of salted boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Oil a 9-x-13 inch baking dish and spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of the dish.

Combine the pasta with the remaining sauce, the Gouda, 1/3 cup of the Parmesan, and the spinach in a large bowl, mixing well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle the remaining 2/3 cup Parmesan over the top.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the casserole begins to bubble and the cheese is browned. Serve hot.
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