Richard and I dread going out for Valentine’s Dinner every year. We never like the prefixed, fancy menus restaurants have and it can feel so cliché most of the time. Instead, last year we had close friends over for a fun, casual dinner, kids included, instead of a table for two. Everyone loved it, so we decided to do the same thing this year.
We used Paperless Post to send a cute invite to all our friends. This requires way less work and material but does a good job imitating a hand-done feeling.
Inspired by Alice Waters, I wrapped Mason jars in jute ribbon and bought an array of pink flowers at the Farmer's Market on Sunday. The arrangements were a mixture of Amaranthus, Delfina, and Sweet Peas. I used my favorite Atwater Pottery hurricanes down the center of the table mixed with simple CB2 beaker votives. I laid down brown butcher paper on the table instead of using placemats.
I set the table with simple white Heath plates and used two different styles of red and white striped Libeco linen napkins. I tied each napkin with jute and put them in the center of the plate. I used grey and white Heath salt and pepper shakers and my Pride flatware, also from Heath, which are simple and chic. For glasses I used tall, thin clear glasses from Table Art.
Richard and I found an amazing recipe for Blood Orange Sparklers on 101 Cookbooks, one of my favorite websites. We substituted gin for vodka and put them in large CB2 beakers with slices of blood orange. I cut fresh sprigs of rosemary from our garden and added them to each glass, which looked beautiful. We served the delicious drinks in my favorite CB2 Marta tumblers. I also splurged and ordered adorable cocktail napkins with a donkey and a heart from Coral & Tusk. I think I'll be able to use these year after year, for multiple occasions.
When it comes to holidays and parties, I love making food as festive as possible and reflective of what we have all come together to celebrate.
On the kitchen table I put ornamental oregano covered in white burlap that I found at Rolling Greens - I love its pinkish tint. Around it, we had a fantastic cheese plate with baby grapes, olives, and assorted crackers. Also, for appetizers we made Pamela’s healthy versions of hummus and guacamole, served with chips and pita.
We had my favorite raw kale salad and added pepitas and blood oranges. We also made heart-shaped ravioli, and a beet and goat cheese terrine that turned out beautifully.
For desert, we ate a homemade strawberry ice cream cake with marshmallows, in the shape of a heart, topped with raspberries! It was amazing! Tanner and I made gingerbread hearts and had the best time decorating them. We also ordered macarons from Paulette in Beverly Hills.
For more recipe ideas, Pamela posted lots of great dishes for next Valentine’s Day. Click HERE to see her cute ideas.
For The Kids
Once again I set up a kid’s table in the kitchen using my favorite burlap tablecloth, brown butcher paper, and whicker Ikea chairs. I ordered adorable red and white polka-dot plates and cups and wrapped bamboo flatware in brown paper napkins with red and white bakers twine and small craft tags at each setting. For the boys I ordered little polka-dot pinwheels in red and white with a "V" in the center. For the girls I used Bethany Lowe sparklers from Jonathan Wright. I put arrangements of red and white striped tulips from the farmers market in silver mint julep vases.
Above the table I hung assorted pink and polka-dot Pom-Poms from Etsy. Ripley couldn’t stop staring at them! I strung this glitter heart banner on a baby gate in the kitchen. I also hung “BE MY VALENTINE” in glitter letters on jute in the kitchen. I tied a heart balloon on each chair from Geranimo Balloon Troopers for everyone to take home. For favors I found cute lollipops from Joans on Third that I put in Mason jars.