Summer Wine Dinner


So, it’s clear that it has been a minute since my last post.  My blog currently consists of 3-4 unfinished posts that I start and stop at random times.  I am having trouble with the follow through or at least finding the time to hit the “Publish” button.  So, here is yet another attempt to try to get something up that remotely resembles our current season as opposed to Christmas in July.

I absolutely love to create a party complete with the menu, food, bar and table design, but it is a lot of work albeit completely rewarding for my creative aspirations.  But I also really enjoy a collaborative effort with my talented friends.  My friend Jenny is a brilliant interior designer and also shares my same passion for entertaining and throwing a beautiful party.   For a silent auction item for our children’s elementary school fundraiser last year, we offered a wine dinner for 8 and worked with a local chef, who created the menu and prepared the food for our guests.  Jenny and I were in charge of the party design and all the details of the night, while Tony Galzin of Nicky’s Coal Fired here in Nashville, who is a culinary mastermind, wowed us with his perfect charcuterie board and 5 lovely courses to follow.


We held the dinner at Jenny’s home and set the table in a farm-style fashion.  For the sake of dinner conversation, the arrangements needed to be low, so we lined her long dining table with three clear glass vases filled with fresh flowers from our own backyards.  Luckily for me, our neighbors have the most outstanding yard, so they were kind enough to allow me to cut from their garden beds as well.  Hydrangea, fern and basil were packed in with wildflowers in various colors to create a summer sensation.


We wanted to bring out the elegance of the evening by using Jenny’s Herend dishes paired with her Francis I sterling flatware.  The place settings were layered with a simple gold charger serving as the base and then topped with her china and menu card placed over a large hemstitched linen white napkin.  A simple sprig of fresh rosemary helped to connect the formal place settings to the garden fresh arrangements.

I found the place card and menu templates on Etsy.  They are totally editable, so I will be able to use them again for a future party.  Every party needs a personal touch and it really makes your guests feel that you put a lot of effort into the details, so we wanted the ladies to feel like this was more than just an auction item, but an actual dinner experience.


While Chef Tony prepared the various courses, the guests sipped on these Blueberry Vodka Lemonades on Jenny’s screened porch.  Jenny and I chaired the fundraiser where this dinner was auctioned off and a local vodka maker provided all the cocktails for the party.  We had some leftover blueberry vodka from Picker’s Vodka and concocted this aperitif for everyone to enjoy.  I am not usually a fan of vodka or blueberries, but this cocktail was dangerously good!!!   You start by muddling the mint with sugar at the bottom of a chilled mint julep cup and then continue to build the cocktail by mixing the blueberry vodka, Cruz’s Organic Lemonade and ice.  Top the drink off with a skewer of lemon, blueberries and fresh mint and you seriously have summer in a cup.

Stay tuned for another Jenny/Amanda collaboration with a recent al fresco Summer supper we hosted for some great friends.  It is so great when you have a friend, who shares your same vision for entertaining.

Blueberry Vodka Lemonade


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