Hardly Perfect Hostesses

7 girls learning to make life beautiful…

Home Cookin’ November 13, 2010

Filed under: Cooking — amicitaluisa @ 2:51 pm

Hey y’all, this is Amy, writing from home in Texas.  I was able to take this weekend to come home, rather than coming home for Thanksgiving, because it is a more logical time, the plane tickets were cheaper, and I had off of school for veterans day. A beautiful combination of things that have lead to a wonderful weekend with my family and friends.  One of the things that I’m doing with my mother today is learning how to cook some traditional Cuban food.  We have my Abuela here to help us with the details we are unsure of as we make Ropa Vieja, Frijoles and Tostones. Presently the beef is cooking away in the Crockpot and the beans are soaking.  I’ve been wanting to learn how to make these foods, and am glad to have this opportunity. I’ll let you know how it goes and will try to get a good picture to post.

Keep checking in with the blog, the posts should start coming more regularly as we plunge into this food filled holiday season!

Also, I want to hear from you! Do you have any foods that you associate with home? What are they and do you know how to make them?


Delicious Hors D’oeuvres October 19, 2010

Filed under: Cooking — sarahfairah @ 11:37 pm

If I do say so myself, the food served at the 1950s mocktail party was delectable.  As our guest Wil explained over dinner: “I’ve eaten fancy food before because my dad takes me to nice restaurants for business, but this is better…you wrapped it in bacon (as he grins with each bit)!”  The array of hors d’oeuvres reflected the 1950s era for the most part, with the dates wrapped in bacon and black olive spread on cocktail crackers being two of the most popular and unique items of the night.  I first tried the date and bacon appetizer, known as “Devils on Horseback”, this summer at The Spotted Pig in New York City.  It’s a strange combination, but such sweet, salty goodness! Try it yourself!

Here are some links to the recipes we used:

Parmesan Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon (a.k.a. Devils on Horseback)

Water Chestnuts Wrapped in Bacon

Barbecue Pigs in a Blanket

Black Olive Spread

Gouda Cheese Fondue

Salmon Fish Mold

The book, The Joy of Cooking, by Irma Rambauer was also a great resource, specifically the section on canapes.

For dessert we also melted chocolate for fondue and dipped fresh strawberries and homemade pound cake and angel food cake to our hearts’ delight!

Are there any excellent hors d’oeuvre you have tried or would like to share about?


All About Mocktails October 15, 2010

Filed under: Cooking — sarahfairah @ 9:56 pm

At our recent 1950s mocktail party we served…you guessed it…mocktails! Mocktails  (or mock cocktails) are a fun way to serve non alcoholic drinks for those who are underage or simply prefer not to drink. With a few basic juices and sodas you can mix quite a few different beverages. Here are a few drinks our guest/bartender Josue mixed up for us, which were delicious (we tweaked and named a few of them ourselves)!

1) Caribbean Sunset

-pineapple juice, orange juice, lemon-lime soda, and a splash of grenadine

2) Shirley Temple

-lemon-lime soda, ginger ale, grenadine

3)Tornado Twist

-cranberry, pomegranate limeade and lemon-lime soda

4)Sonic Screwdriver

-orange juice, ginger ale

5) Chinese Firebolt

-Cola, grenadine, lime

6) Michigan Fizz

-cherry juice, ginger ale

7) Margarita Mocktail

-margarita mix, lemon or lime juice, lemon-lime soda

(Dip rim of glass in lemon juice, then salt. Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour into glass)



Hipsters and Dollies October 11, 2010

Filed under: Planning,Uncategorized — sarahfairah @ 10:13 am

What a night: our 1950s cocktail party was a blast! We drank tasty mocktails, feasted on delicious hors d’oeuvres, played “parlor room” games, and enjoyed the company of friends.  The atmosphere was classy, thanks to our back patio decor, authentic dinnerware, and our guests and hostesses who looked smashing in their era clothes!  Overall, this night was a success, but it would have been impossible without two hostessing essentials: preparation and delegation.

Preparation: My mom played a huge role in planning for this party, but the most important and useful thing she taught me was to create a control binder of all the information needed for the event.  With tabs like “recipes”, “mocktails”, and “1950s slang words”, everything I needed was all in one place and made the night and preceding day much less stressful!

Delegation: As much as you can prepare, when it comes down to D-day you will not be able to throw such a party all by yourself.  Luckily I have some amazing friends who make delegating tasks easy.  A few of the hostesses came several hours early to help and even stayed after all the guests had left to start tackling the disaster left behind.  Josue (one of our guests) also kindly manned the mocktail bar and impressed us with his skills, while Anna brought the 50s jazz music, and Jessica Lee led us in games like “fishbowl” (charades taken to the next level) and “four on a couch”.  I experienced first hand that you can’t throw an amazing party by yourself (while keeping our sanity at least), so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I used a “control binder” to organize the details and several extra hands to accomplish what I could not.  What about you?  Do you have an organizational system that helps you carry out events or even your day to day life?


Thrifty Fifties! October 9, 2010

Filed under: Planning — sarahfairah @ 12:05 am

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I can hardly express how excited I am for tomorrow’s 1950s cocktail party! I have been anticipating and planning this party for weeks now in order to make this a night to remember, full of laughter, delicious food, and amazing style!  Along the way I have discovered what great resources thrift stores can be for throwing decade themed parties.  From dishes to dresses second-hand is definitely the way to go.  Almost all of the glass serving trays and cocktail glasses we will be using tomorrow night were found at thrift stores ranging in price from $1-$5 (by the way, Goo Gone was my best friend today as I spent an hour de-gooing price stickers). I also can’t wait to serve my cheese fondue out of an adorable fondue set I bought for $8! In addition to dinnerware, clothes can be a fantastic find, especially at thrift stores with vintage sections.  Today a few of the hostesses and our guests went on an adventure to a nearby second-hand clothing store in search for 1950s outfits.  Although second hand shopping can be hit or miss, a few of us found some great items that will really help pull together the night’s theme.  Gosh, this night will just be swell!


Hostessing Thought For The Day October 7, 2010

Filed under: Planning — lisiemarie @ 6:00 pm

When hosting a party, it is important to keep in mind who you are hosting for. If you have a guest of honor, such as a birthday girl, base all that you do off of what you know about them.  Also keep in mind the group that you have attending.  Yesterday was Roomie Kelsey’s 20th, and Crystal and I threw a little shindig for her last night. When in Wal-Mart picking up necessary items such as fondant and other various forms of sugar, Crystal asked if we should get matching cups.  And the answer was no, because it was Kelsey’s party.  She was more than content having the guests drink their milkshakes out of various shaped mugs and destroying her cake by cutting it with a light up sword.  And if I had made the Star Wars theme any more obvious, she would have just thought I was a little weird.  By the same token, however, if I threw a party for Sarah Elise, she would be distracted and most likely unable to enjoy herself if the room didn’t pull itself together well.  Hostessing is not about me, but about those I am welcoming.


Good Eats October 1, 2010

Filed under: Cooking — lisiemarie @ 12:43 am

…the other essential to a good party.  My apologies for how long it has taken me to post, unfortunately in a rush of school work and busy things, blogging falls down the list a bit.  But I have been anxious to share with you the recipes I used and the things I learned while cooking!

First, I can tell you about the drinks and the salad, as they were the simple part.  The drinks were an unexpected addition to the theme.  While grocery shopping, I found Safeway Brand French Berry Lemonade with unique glass bottles labeled “Made in France.”  Perfection.  For the salad, we tossed together the following ingredients for a take on one of the only salads I will personally eat 😉 :spinach, apples, honey roasted almonds, blue cheese and oil and vinegar.

(photo cred to thesodajerks.net. iguana not included.)

The nuts could be exchanged for walnuts and pecans, and feta cheese would have worked as well.

For the main course, I knew from the moment this party idea was conceived that I wanted to make croque monsieurs. We made them in my high school French class, and I remembered them being to die for.  Unable to contact Ms. V, my French teacher who consistently fed us delicious things, I did a simple Google search and found this recipe, where I learned that the name of the sandwich roughly translated means “Mister Crunchy.”  This of course made me smile and want to make these sandwiches even more.  I have a few pieces of advice. (Keep in mind that I was making four times the amount called for, which is a different experience in itself.)

1)  As I mentioned before, grating cheese is hard work.  Grate it the night before, or in shifts, or have a friend grate it.  Something.  There is a LOT of cheese in these, (I never said healthy, just fabulous) and it has to be grated somehow!  Preferably not when you are trying to build the sandwiches themselves.

2)  When grocery shopping, buy less ham.  I have about an entire extra box sitting in my fridge right now, waiting for one of my roomies to eat it.  I love Croque Monsieurs, but I am not a ham person.

3)  MAKE LESS SAUCE.  I REPEAT, MAKE LESS SAUCE.  When I began, in the midst of my flustered state, I forgot to quadruple my amounts.  So my first batch was 1/4 of the called for amount, and then I made the rest together.  The original, much smaller batch was exactly what we needed and I sadly ended up dumping an entire saucepan of sauce in our dumpster.  Unless you are planning another fancy french meal soon, it’s virtually unusable.  The sauce could also be made the night before to cut down on prep time.

Wrapped in foil and placed in a picnic basket, the sandwiches were kept warm (partially due to the heat) for us to enjoy!

That’s all I have for now. Miss Amy will be posting soon on about the crepes she lovingly took on for me, and you can ask my lovely guests how it tasted. 🙂