So, you're hosting a dinner party. What should you serve? What should you sip? What should you wear? And most importantly, how should you style your table? Meet my newest food & styling series, "At the Table," where San Diego stylist/blogger Conni Jespersen and I hand over our hostess tips to inspire your next gathering. We think you'll love it. I mean, who doesn't love entertaining?! The elegant, charming Conni and I met through Twitter (imagine that) after I discovered her blog Art in the Find during my March trip to San Diego. I yearned the opportunity to chat and collaborate over a cup of coffee, so we did just that...cross-country on Google Hangout. We sipped our caffeine, shared our stories and quickly conceptualized a blog series. Conni, the stylist, will develop the look/table around a concept, and I, the foodie, will develop a thematic menu that reflects the scene. This co-blogging conversation will combine the best of both entertaining worlds into one go-to resource!
Our first concept for "At the Table" is A Tartine Affair. A French-inspired bistro gathering combines rustic tableware with a family-style array of ingredients for make-your-own open-faced sandwiches, fancily known as tartines. Today, I'm sharing a menu that screams springtime socializing, and Conni is sharing her table styling expertise. Head over to Art in the Find to plan your decor for A Tartine Affair...
INGREDIENTS (Add or delete as much as your guests prefer) ::
French baguettes Tomato Radish Avocado Strawberry Arugula Rosemary Basil Mozzarella Feta Red pepper flakes Maldon salt & cracked black pepper Fig preserves Olive oil Balsamic reduction
1. Slice baguettes on the diagonal and drizzle with olive oil. Toast until golden.
2. Cut and dice ingredients for easy grabbing by guests. Tip: Cut basil into ribbons and leave rosemary sprigs whole when displaying them at the table. Minced herbs result in a mess when handled by others.
3. Assemble the tartines! Give guests the freedom to mix and match as they choose. I prefer strawberry with feta, avocado with red pepper flakes, and tomato with mozzarella and basil.
I love that rather busying the table with centerpieces, Conni allows my menu to take center stage with a runner of colorful ingredients against natural wood. Are YOU in need of any inspiration for your future dinner table? Share your requests in the comments for me and Conni. And, in the meantime, be sure to follow Art in the Find on Twitter and Instagram -- the place where this collaboration all began.