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Entertaining

Birthday Dinner

For my birthday this year, we kept it simple and hosted a small girls dinner to celebrate. After being gone all summer, I missed my family and friends, so it was a great excuse to have some of them over for a casual fall meal.

The Table

I used my favorite folding tables and put them in front of the fireplace in my backyard, draped with simple flax linen tablecloths with gold stitching that the talented Rachel Craven whipped up for me at the last minute. For seating, I rented chic bentwood chairs with painted white feet from Yeah Rentals that felt new and cool.
plates and pasta bowls, alternating at each place setting. On top of each plate, we placed name cards with tiny wreaths of wild grasses and oregano, which were the perfect detail. I used my mismatched antique flatware, wrapped it in white Linen Way napkins, and secured with a piece of jute. And for glassware, I used my Marta tumblers from CB2, which always work with everything.

The Flowers

I was so inspired by the olive trees in my garden and all of the herbs in my vegetable garden, that I asked Kristen of Moon Canyon Design to help me bring them to life as the centerpieces. She created beautiful handmade garlands of olive branch, bay laurel and rosemary and placed them among wooden bowls that she rented from Found Rentals. The bowls were filled with simple posies of lavender, sage, hyacinth, tulips and scabiosa, held together with twine. In between arrangements, I used my favorite tea lights from CB2 and Atwater candleholders from Heath.

The Menu

The Drinks

I was so into the Spiced White Sangria from our last cooking class, In the Veggie Kitchen: Labor Day, that I had to make it – it was gone before we even sat down. I highly suggest making it for your next party!

The Food

Barrett from Valleybrink Road came and cooked a delicious dinner, with a menu that included grilled ciabatta, a cherry tomato salad, chicken paillard, crispy smashed potatoes, caramelized brussel sprouts, roasted corn, and for dessert, a stone fruit crumble with vanilla ice cream.

It was a wonderful evening, filled with great food and great company, and I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend a low-key birthday. XXJKE