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Right Before Guests Arrive

I snapped a few shots right before guests arrived. An early country supper as the sun goes down and the flicker of the candlelight dances about the dining room. A full week-end of entertaining ahead. Crazy to think it has already been 5 years since we started calling this house our home. Time flies. Enjoy and savor every moment of it…



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 169

A well-stocked fridge and cupboard can produce a quick appetizer board in a pinch. Nuts, crackers, olives, jams, butter, salt–all can be called into action. Just add a piece of your favorite cheese and a bunch of radishes and away you go.



 

 

Basil Green Goddess Dip

For a cocktail party we hosted the other week in town, I whipped up one of my favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes. Ina makes it as a salad dressing. I change it up ever so slightly making it a tad firmer, which makes it a great dip for roasted vegetables and potatoes. Both hearty, which we really quite like when serving drinks. Most guests come right from work so something substantial to curve the hunger crave before they head out to dinner after the cocktail party. The basil in the dip just makes the whole thing sing.

For the dip: 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup chopped scallions, 2 cup chopped basil leaves, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 teaspoons chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 cup sour cream

Add to a food processor, pulse until all is incorporated being careful to not overdue as that is what makes it more dip than dressing. Refrigerate for at least an hour which will also help to firm things up. SO good!

While that is in the fridge roast big sheet pans full of florets of cauliflower & broccoli and small whole new potatoes. Liberally coat with extra virgin olive oil and salt. Put into a 400 degree oven. Shake pan and move things around often until they start to become a bit browned, then pull out. The potatoes will generally stay in longer. Sometimes the really little potatoes will cook just as fast. Enjoy!



 

 

Mix & Match

Sunday supper out on the island the other day was all about mixing and matching. I often hear from folks at the shops that they don’t ‘entertain’ much because they feel like they don’t have enough of everything that matches to set a table. This makes my heart sink because that should never be a reason to not get friends together to break bread. Let creativity take the reins using what you have. For this table I really wanted to use the two new plates we found in Hudson last week. That was the driving force, then I used pairs of other blue plates to round out the table of eight. Trying to keep things in a color story helps unify the table, but is by no means necessary. I did use the same bamboo handled silverware for all as well as the same striped napkins, but those could have varied, as well. I shot this photo before I put the wine glasses out. Even though I do what I do for a profession, we don’t always have a full set of something. We only had 6 matching wine glasses, so I mixed & matched those too. End result, a table set out of love not perfection. Once friends arrive, those little details fall to the wayside and it is all about the laughter, the stories, and the sharing of a meal.



 

 

Pasta Mélange

Mister Sive is at the helm this fine morning for our Wine & Dine Wednesday post, whipping up a family favorite.

Readers of my husband’s blog know our love of barbeque. This dish captures that char and smokiness, here from veggies and sausages, and melds it with pasta and cheese. Yum! Like many of Ted’s and my favorite things, you can vary what you put in to capture whatever looks good at the market or strikes your fancy. This version highlights the local sugar snap peas which are so phenomenal this time of year—they take well to the BBQ, holding up to the heat and developing a wonderful caramelization.

Prepare your barbeque. You’ll want a full bed of coals, to fit a mixture of different foods cooking at the same time. Hot, but not super-hot. Don’t worry about a little bit of black char on the veggies; when mixed in it just adds to the BBQ lusciousness. As your foods finish cooking, wrap well in aluminum foil so they stay warm.

1 head of Romanesco, leaves trimmed, the large florets cut off the main stem, well brushed with olive oil.

1 head of Cauliflower, prepped the same.

1 pound of Sugar Snap Peas, with ends trimmed and the center string removed.

2 medium to large Sweet Onions, cut into 6ths, through the hard core (so the slices in each chunk stay together while cooking), rubbed with olive oil.

4 cobs of fresh Corn, shucked, and rubbed with butter.

10 links of good Sausage (these were Ulis from the Pike Place Market); we like a mixture with both some sweet and spicy Italian.

As you’re finishing the last phase of grilling, put your pasta pot on. When the water is boiling and before you add the pasta, dip 1 pound of English Peas, shelled, into the water for just a minute. Drain, put aside, and cover. Cook 1 pound of pasta; we like Farfalle, as it catches the bits and pieces so well. When the pasta is cooked and drained, add a couple good glugs of EVOO, and half of a 1/2 pound of grated hard sharp cheese, such as Asiago or Romano.

Uncover your veggies one at a time, and chop the larger pieces up a bit—you want big chunks, but nothing that needs a knife. Add to the pasta mix, covering the pasta mix between batches of mixing in veggies to keep it all warm. Cut the corn off of the cob and add. Slice the sausage and add. Add the second 1/2 of the grated cheese, along with 1/3 cup of finely chopped fresh herbs (I used used thyme and oregano from the WestWard herb pots). Lastly, top with the quick cooked English Peas.

We served this with a simple arugula salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and a caprese salad. Partnered with a glass of chilled rosé, you’re now ready for Summer!



 

 

7 Years of the TKW Daily Blog Posts

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the beginning of my daily blog posts. What began as a simple idea to share thoughts & ideas has become over the years one of the more meaningful parts of my day. The folks it has connected me to around the globe is like nothing I could have imagined on that first day when I typed “Here we go!” as the heading for my post. My main idea then as it is now, is to share ideas from my day so that it sparks creativity in yours, which in turn gets my creativity churning. I have written in the past about it being like a circle, a circle that feeds us all. I am often thanked by way of conversations, e-mails and notes for the posts, but it is as much about me thanking you. Thank YOU for following along as that is a gift to me–when I hear from you about stopping to smell a bloom, or setting a stylish table, or trying a recipe, or just taking a moment to take it all in and see the glorious details that fill all of our lives, each and every day. Sending you much, much love & gratitude from the Hudson Valley, Ted



 

 

The Golden Hour

That bit of time when the sun stops shining and it still is not dark. When things become a little golden. Golden in both color as well as the spirit of the moment. The minutes move a tad slower during that time. When it happens in conjunction with guests arriving, it seems to signal a magical eve awaits.



 

 

Charlotte Moss ENTERTAINS 

Charlotte Moss ENTERTAINS is one of the new titles to land at both shops this past week. Wow, just wow, this is one seriously beautiful visual journey into the world of entertaining & table settings. This, her 10th book, is filled with page after page of inspiration and ideas. In typical lovely Charlotte Moss fashion, her words come across like a friend sharing her stylish tips with you over coffee. 



 

 

Make It Simple

I think what stops most folks from entertaining on a regular basis is making the process much more laborious than it has to be. Sure, if you find yourself with tons of time and you want to cook everything from scratch, have at it. But if you want to have people over often and find little extra time on your hands, order out, or pick up some prepared food on your way home. Add a quick fresh salad, pass around a plate of cookies for dessert, and you are off and running. Set the table before you head to work in the morning takes a ton of stress away right before guests arrive and gets you excited during the day in anticipation of the eve. You want to see your friends, they want to see you, so making it easy makes these gatherings so much more possible.



 

 

Santa Barbara Olive Co.

Just In, oodles of olives from famed Santa Barbara Olive Co. To serve just as they are, to garnish a drink, to use in a recipe or to eat straight out of the jar. I met just the nicest folks from this company at the Fancy Food Show awhile back, and am honored to carry & offer their amazing goods. Wrapped up as a trio, these make extra special host/hostess treats.