A couple of months ago, I approached Angelina and asked her if she wanted to collaborate on a group of seasonal dinners throughout the next year. I don't know what I was expecting to happen for this collaboration but it all ended up being exactly what I needed - the small fun projects it created for me throughout the week, the couple of hours sipping gin and tonic with Angelina while we were setting up and cooking, and the wonderful evening full of great food and fellowship that followed. The collaboration reminded me that hosting a dinner, party, or event is supposed to be enjoyable. I think sometimes we allow our perfectionist, “everything must be pinterest & instagram worthy” expectations to stress us out, but that steals from the joy of the gathering. While Angelina and I definitely spent a lot of time before the dinner planning, testing, and drinking (give me all the wine!!!!), I definitely took a “dream it all up and throw it all together and hope it works” approach and that definitely helped.
When Angelina and I started to plan this, we both agreed that while this was a fall dinner, we wanted it to feel fresh and different - not go overboard with the pumpkins, leaves, turkeys, stuffing, and all things burnt orange. So when thinking thru the decor, I decided navy was a good focal color and adding hints of copper would be a nice touch of fall (also if you've read my blog recently you know that I have an unhealthy obsession with copper lately). I also wanted to add some nature and warmth and decided that I could do that in the center piece with some wood candlestick holders and simple greenery - maybe add a pumpkin or two here and there.
While I had some big dreams for the look and feel of the dinner, I am still a strong believer in using what you already have. There is no need to go out and buy a bunch of stuff, especially just for one dinner, that you will never use again. We decided to use Angelina’s beautiful white china dishes and I had already bought these cute navy blue ramekins from the Target (dollar section for the win!) before we had even talked about doing the collaboration.
From there I set out dream up some pretty, yet simple details to add something special for the dinner. I still had not found any copper accents and hadn't really found any candlestick holders that I really liked without them costing a fortune. Hence my two diy's for the dinner: copper foiled glass salad plates and wood block candlestick holders - each taking me less than a couple of hours to complete (both diy's coming to the blog soon).
While all of these things contributed to a beautiful and esthetically pleasing set up, the fellowship and amazing food, really did make the meal. Angelina hit the nail on the head with her recipes for the evening. From the bacon wrapped brussels sprouts to the best chicken I think I’ve ever had, it was all SO GOOD. Again, while having a beautiful set up is nice, being present and enjoying the time with your friends over good food and wine is really what you’re going to remember. I am so happy with how this turned out and I really can't wait for our next collaboration.
Angelina was so gracious to open up her home for this season's dinner, especially since I was in the middle of a move. Her and her husband, J, just moved in to their new place over the summer and I had still not given them a housewarming gift so I thought it would be nice to give them a little gift to say thanks. I really do believe that it is extremely important, as a guest, to bring something for your host or hostess, even if it is as simple as a bottle of good wine (you really can't go wrong with that one).
Bread - So that this house may never know hunger
Salt -That life may always have flavor
Honey - So that you may always enjoy the sweetness of life
Wine - So you will always be of good cheer