Three Tips for Throwing a Stress Free Dinner Party

I love a good dinner party — it’s the perfect way to bring friends and family together, blow off some creative steam, and try out that new DIY or recipe you’ve been working on. Now I get it, dinner parties can be overwhelming and pretty stressful — but I’m here to give you three simple rules to live by that will make entertaining a cinch.

Rule 1: Let a Theme/Vibe Be Your North Star

It’s easy to get carried away with ideas and directions, especially after diving deep into the world of Pinterest while binge-ing onTop Chef. The easiest way to simplify is to nail down what kind of vibe you’re going for — whether that be easy-going, formal, festive, or somewhere in between — once that’s settled everything else kind of falls into place. For me, I usually put together a few flower arrangements (pro tip: hydrangeas are foolproof and always look effortlessly chic) and maybe a few fun pops like a great bar set up with something unexpected, like a citrus or flower ice cube filled champagne bucket.

Rule 2: Keep It Simple

Don’t over-complicate things, there’s nothing worse than biting off more than you can chew and only realizing it right before everyone is about to arrive. Now that you have your theme/focus nailed down, you can start to build out what your menu and side sizzle (the wow-factor) looks like. For a relaxed party, I’ve found that grazable appetizers like a killer charcuterie board or smoked salmon bites and a house cocktail like a grapefruit gin fizz (I mean there’s no time like the present to bust out your Grandma’s vintage shaker – and that my friend, is the side sizzle) are the perfect pairing. Remember, things don’t have to be perfect or expensive to make it a night to remember.

Rule 3: At the End of the Day, It’s all About the People and the Memories

Don’t get too crazy, the whole point of a dinner party is getting some of your favorite people together to drink, laugh, and be merry. So if there’s one thing you take from all of this, let it be that as long as you have enough wine/cocktails/beer you’re golden.

Until next time.

Xx,

Molly

Tips and Tricks for an Epic Super Bowl 50 Party

Super Bowl Party Tips

San Francisco is buzzing with excitement over the upcoming Super Bowl 50, and there’s one thing on everyone’s mind — party prep for the big game. I’m hosting a small get together with my sister, so naturally I’ve been brainstorming decor, menu, and of course drinks. The key to a killer Super Bowl bash is ensuring you have a wide selection of delicious snacks (super unhealthy is recommended) and equally as important is the beverage selection (beer is paramount of course). Continue reading for my Super Bowl party tips.

The Snacks

Super Bowl Drinks

It’s no secret that if I would rather have appetizers for dinner than the dinner itself. So, it should come as no surprise that I LOVE Super Bowl Sunday (not so much for the football, but for the ridiculous snacks). Recipes for a few of my favorites and shopping picks for the tableware are below.

Chicken Wings (preferably buffalo-style)

Pigs in a Blanket (Pillsbury Crescent Dough is a must)

7-Layer Taco Dip

A Perfect Cheese Plate

Q SQUARED Heritage Large 16.5″ Platter //Q Squared // $35
Tina Frey Designs Trio of Bowls on Dish-White //$175
Vietri Modello Oval Platter //Vietri // $97
Rab Labs Kiva 3-Piece Cheese Set //Rab Labs // $265
Vista Alegre Cabbage Salad Bowl, Beige //Vista Alegre // $65
Gold Rimmed Cheese Platter //Annieglass // $179

The Drinks

Super Bowl Snacks

Now onto the fun part — libations! While Bud Light is the unofficial sponsor of Super Bowl 50, I’m planning on amping it up a bit with a selection of craft and local beers plus my favorite cocktail, Greyhounds. Drink picks and barware picks are below!

Grapefruit Sculpin, Ballast Point

Trumer Pils (brewed in Berkeley) 

The Greyhound 


Easy, Tiger Cocktail Glass (Gold Foil) //$11.99
Mr. Ice Bucket, LLC Ice Bucket, Red/Gold //$32
DCI XXL Beer Glass //$9.60
Kiss That Frog ‘Biere’ Stemmed Beer Glass //$10
JCP Home Collection JCPenney HomeTM Glass Pineapple Beverage Dispenser //JCPenney //$34.99
Easy Tiger Stay Fancy Glass //$12

Until next time.

Xx Molly

 

3-Day Weekend Style Tips

This was the first year I got MLK day off — major woos! — so my boyfriend and I decided to stay local and take day trips around the area. There are so many places to visit around San Francisco, so it was actually quite hard to narrow the list down to 3! We opted for a SF food adventure, a night out in Half Moon Bay, and a bike ride across the bridge to Sausalito. Keep reading for our weekend agenda and some of my favorite looks for each.

SF Food Adventure

IMG_5531

Hit List: Mr. Holmes Bakehouse + Brunch at Brenda’s French Soul Food

We had our eyes set on Brenda’s for brunch on Saturday and as we went to put our name in (for the hour+ wait) I noticed a glimmering box from Mr. Holmes, so naturally we went to grab a coffee — and maybe a donut to share. This strategy is highly recommended. For our little jaunt I opted for some casual ripped denim, a chic sweater, and some casual kicks to round it out. Shop the look below:

Chic Sweater: Knitted Sweater, Comme Des Garcon // Mendocino Pullover, Cupcakes and Cashmere // Heart Sweater, Moon Collection 

Distressed Denim: Distressed Ankle Leggings, AG Jeans // Distressed Skinny Jeans, BlankNYC // Destructed Skinny Jeans, Belle + Sky

Sneakers: Super Star Glitter & Suede Sneakers, Golden Goose // Classic Sneakers, Vans // Cotu Sneakers, Superga

Half Moon Bay

hmb

Hit List: Cocktails at The Ritz + Dinner at Sam’s Chowder House

It’s only about an hour outside the city, but Half Moon Bay seems like worlds away. On a nice day — or night — there’s nothing better than grabbing a cocktail at one of the seaside fire pits at The Ritz. Unfortunately, the weather was horrendous so we were stuck inside but, I must say, the stormy sea was still pretty beautiful. Post-cocktails we ventured over to Sam’s for lobster rolls. Now I’d say that’s a pretty solid night. Shop the look below:

Long Sleeved Tee: Camden Long Sleeved Tee, Rag & Bone // Slub Classic Long Sleeved Tee, T by Alexander Wang // Crochet Long Sleeved Tee, Chloe & Katie 

White Jeans: Slit Cigarette Jeans, AG Jeans // Spray On Jeans, Blank Denim // Sarah Skinny Jeans, Articles of Society

Lady-like Flats: Lili Leather Ballet Flats, Isabel Marant Etoile // Ballet Flats, Anniel // Ballet Flats, Repetto

Bonus Vest: Moonlux Quilted Vest, Freecity // Ogdove Nylon Puffy Vest, Freecity // Quilted Faux Leather Vest, Michael Michael Kors

Sausalito

IMG_5539Hit List: Bike Ride Across the Golden Gate Bridge + Lunch at Fish

Tom’s a big biker and had gotten me this cute little Public Bike last year, so a bike over the bridge to Sausalito has been on our hit list for months. Today was a bit rainy, but we made the trek anyways — and I’m glad we did! We rewarded our 8 mile ride with a few cold beers, a crab sandwich, and some tasty ceviche. Shop the look below:

Chic Sweatshirt: The Varsity Sweatshirt, The Great // Kale Sweatshirt, Sub Urban Riot // Detroit Crewneck Sweatshirt, Topshop

Pink Denim: Stiletto Denim, Current/Elliott // Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans, Joe’s Jeans // Skinny Jeans, Alice + Olivia

Sneakers: Super Star Glitter & Suede Sneakers, Golden Goose // Classic Sneakers, Vans // Cotu Sneakers, Superga

Bonus Raincoat: Rain Jacket, Without Walls // Tora Hooded Rain Jacket, Tretorn // Wings Rain Jacket, Tretorn

Until Next Time.

Xx Molly

 

 

 

Sunday Splurge — Buffalo Wings + A Summer Party

Those that know me, know that I have a soft spot for Buffalo Wings and Summer soirees. Wing Wednesday, I’m there. Pit stop at Buffalo Wild Wings (I’m looking at you Jacky), I’m there. So naturally, the time came to test out a few recipes for my next Summer bash.

This week I set out in search of a recipe that would ensure crispy skin without having to deep fry and a spicy, zesty sauce of the gods. Thanks to my trusty POPSUGAR, I found just what I was looking for. The key to crispy, no-fry skin is covering the wings in baking powder and baking at a low heat then switching it up to high. Keep reading for my Buffalo Wings recipe and tips on the perfect Summer BBQ decor.

THE DECOR

The Bar Setup

The Bar

Essentials: Festive Glassware // Coasters // Champagne Bucket

The Tablescape

table2

Essentials: Low-Key China // Vases // Handsom Tray

THE WINGS

Original Photography

Recipe (adapted from Recipe Tin Eats)

Crispy Oven Baked Wings
  • 4 lbs chicken wings
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1¾ teaspoons salt
Buffalo Sauce
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce
Blue Cheese Dip
  • Marie Calendar’s Blue Cheese dressing
To Serve
  • Friends, brews, and football required

Directions

Crispy Baked Wings
  1. Pat wings dry with paper towels. We want to make sure the wings are completely dry before beginning as this ensures their crispiness.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 250 (we’ll increase the heat later on).
  3. Place the wings in a large ziplock bag, add the baking powder and salt, and shake the bag to coat the wings evenly. Pat off excess baking powder.
  4. Spray the baking tray with oil and place the wings skin side up on the rack (this is essential). Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Then turn the oven up to 425 and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through. The wings are ready when they are dark golden brown and the skin is very crispy.
  6. Toss with the Buffalo Sauce and serve immediately with a side of blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
Sauce
  1. Whisk together the Sauce ingredients. Keep warm or reheat just prior to using.

How simple is that! These Buffalo Wings are the perfect addition to a Summer BBQ, Monday Night Football watch, or your very own Wing Wednesday.

Until next time.

Xx Molly

The Perfect Spring Soup — Simple “Consomme”

Chicken "Consomme"

After a weekend with two of my best friends from college — aka 3 days of utter debauchery — I found myself feeling less than stellar. Defying all odds, I made it to the grocery store and picked up a few simple ingredients in preparation for my “consomme” — real consomme is much more labor intensive and let’s face it, I was in no condition to even attempt this. I figured after all the heavy food — and drinking — that I put my body through this weekend, a light dinner was in order.

I have been a long-time lover of simple chicken consomme, so I decided to give it a little makeover with the addition of mushrooms and asparagus.

First thing’s first — the key to any great soup is in the stock

6 cups water

6 tsp. chicken bullion

6 stalks of celery

1 leek (only the green)

2 carrots

3 stems of thyme

3 dashes of dried dill (fresh is preferred though)

2 bay leafs

8 whole pepper corns

salt to taste

Crepes

1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk)

1 egg

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tbs dried dill (fresh preferred)

1 tbs dried thyme (fresh preferred)

The Finishing Touches

3 stalks of asparagus, chopped

6 mushrooms, thinly sliced

Directions:

For the stock: Bring water to a boil and add in the chicken bullion (feel free to skip the bullion if you decide to bump up the amount of chicken bones, vegetables, and spices) stirring until dissolved. Then, lower heat as you add in the spices, vegetables, and chicken stirring until it comes to a boil again; set stove to simmer, cover with lid, and let sit for 2 hours. Next, place entire pot into fridge and let cool until the fat comes to the top; once it does, skim, strain liquid, and dispose of everything but the stock.

For the crepes: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix well. You can make this up to 6 hours ahead of time, but you should allow to chill covered for at least 30 minutes. Next, heat a small non-stick pan on medium-high heat and melt a slice of butter. Add a few spoonfuls of batter — just enough to cover the pan — and let cook until the batter is almost completely solid. Flip and allow to cook for 1 minute more (makes about 4 crepes).

For the finishing touches: Start by chopping the asparagus, thinly slicing the mushrooms, and julienning the crepes. Next, heat the mushrooms on medium-high heat until water has evaporated, but mushrooms remain un-scorched. Meanwhile, bring your chicken stock to a boil and add in the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes or until asparagus is al dente. Finally add in the julienned crepes, sliced mushrooms, and  herbs to garnish — serve piping hot!