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A Drinks Tray

This Wine & Dine Wednesday is about assembling a drinks tray. This one is for outside dining, but works pretty much the same when the party/gathering is inside too. Entertaining can and should be tons of fun. But it can be quite a bit of work, as well, and I think that is what stops or hinders folks from doing it. A drinks tray makes things waaaaaay easier. At WestWard, the tray sits right on the bench next to the dining table and by the chairs where we sit when guests first arrive. It is also next to the staircase that leads to the beach, making it easy to make a libation for your beach walk. I add whatever the offerings are for the day. Negronis and Aperol spritz were on the menu for above, as well as sparking water and club soda. Our friend Bill drinks Bourbon and 7UP so that assortment was on the tray too. Plus we always include G&T fixings, as they speak of Summer. Add a bucket of ice, glasses and citrus needed for the drinks. Not in the photo but added later a sharp knife to cut the citrus and a spoon to stir. By having it right where the gathering is taking place you are not constantly running into the kitchen or bar area to mix drinks. Plus it makes it easy for guests to make their own if they would like when you get busy putting together the meal. A drinks tray speaks of a party! Your guests will feel cared for and it makes things so much easier for the host.



 

 

Sunday Supper Friendships

Friendship was a salve this past Sunday. We were all in a bit of a fog but breaking bread with longtime dearest friends was on the menu. The Market dahlias always adding happiness. The sound of the waves the music for the day. A big pan of paella by Mister Sive on the grill the meal. With 3 dogs each sleeping on their pillows as we chatted the day away. Giving thanks for our cherished friendship.



 

 

The First August {Flower Friday}

Zinnias always remind me of August. Warm to hot sunny days and vibrant to washed out colors like the sun has bleached them out a bit. Divine and happy in every way. All sorts of signs of Summer peaking and I want us all to revel in it. From the geraniums producing sweet flowers, to the celery at the farmers market that is too pretty to pass us and rivals any bouquet, to the dahlias that have so much stage presence that just a few blooms will light up a room. Oh and I forgot to post a few weeks ago the blooming jasmine outside our window in town, so today is the day. You can also see how much it has grown inside the window too. The apartment has smelled heavenly for quite some time. I wish you all a lovely first weekend in August Flower Friday in your part of the globe.



 

 

Sunday Supper and Dancing Dahlias

The white dahlias looked too good to pass up at the Market, so they set the theme for the Sunday supper table last week-end. They danced down the middle of the table in low clear drinking glasses. I cut the stems super short so the heads sat right on the rim. It can make a simple bundle of blooms much more significant. To me they become the focal point of the table. If they were massed together in a vase in the middle, they would be less prominent. These beauties needed to sing! Or dance! Or maybe both. Then it was about pulling a bunch of blue things to pull the table together.



 

 

A Super Easy App Board

We are of the mindset that entertaining does not, actually in our case ‘should not’ be stressful or complicated. I think that is what stops folks from creating a gathering or hosting a dinner. Our Sunday suppers out on the island are case in point. They come at the end of a busy, long week. Yet, we love, no make that capital LOVE, having friends and family out. So we try super hard not to overdue and stress ourselves out. Hence, a super easy appetizer board for when guest first arrive. They have had a ferry ride as well as it being in the middle of the day, so we know they are hungry. Start time is always 2. It is not really a lunch, but it is plenty before supper. We like to sit and chat with a cocktail when everyone first arrives. The app board makes it easy to nosh as stories are told. The above what I whipped up on Sunday. Radishes cut to lots of sizes along with Irish butter and French sea salt. A triple-creme cheese next to crackers and sliced seeded baguette. Then a personal favorite I learned from the chef at Prune in NYC, Gabrielle Hamilton. I have enjoyed this there so many times. Crack open a tin of sardines, nestle a mound of Triscuits next to it, as well as a jar of Dijon and a dish of cornichons. The combo is incredibly satisfying. This board was enjoyed and pretty darn near empty by the time a little beach walk was on the agenda. Bowls of cherries or small tomatoes or olives is also easy to add. As well as a piece of smoked salmon or slices of salami. It really is much more about “composing” rather than cooking. I guarantee, no one will care. Cheers to relaxing entertaining!



 

 

A Hydrangea Filled Flower Friday

These are well traveled hydrangea, let me start off by saying that. They started in Seattle, made their way to Vashon Island, then made the ferry crossing again back to Seattle. A big, and I mean big, bucket of these creamy hydrangea made the journey down the 8 flights of stairs to WestWard as a gift from our guests for Sunday supper. I made a big arrangement out of them for the house and still had a bunch left over. So back up those stairs they went to a welcome city abode where I dotted them around the apartment to enjoy at every turn during the work week. They are doing just that! These lovelies are our Flower Friday blooms on this day. Enjoy and have a stellar July week-end. X, T



 

 

Summer Sunday Supper

Summer out on the island can be pretty heavenly, and we love to share the experience with our friends. Sunday is when we entertain primarily at WestWard. Folks arrive by ferry at 2. Drinks when they arrive along with an assortment of nibbles. It is a lovely way to catch up and relax all at the same time. If the tide is out, a beach walk might happen too. A toast to Bastille Day was in order. The red, white and blue that is the color story at the house right on the mark in honor of the day.

Then Mister Sive heads to the grill to begin preparing the meal. This past Sunday he made fresh pesto before guests arrived. Then he grilled shrimp, salmon and sausages to have atop pesto pasta. I sliced up a big platter of tomatoes, salted them to bring out their juices, then they received a generous amount of aged balsamic. Then right before we sat for the meal I crumbled tons of fresh made on the island goat feta atop the whole thing. The bowls of Rainier cherries on the table could be enjoyed throughout the meal. Dessert was a browned butter olive oil cake our friend Erika had made.



 

 

Blue Hydrangea

Flower Friday comes to you from WestWard where we are spending the week. Summer means hydrangea! I love massing a bundle together tightly for the simplest of arrangements. The leaves are so pretty too. Those I float in low bowls for a little natural hit of glorious green.



 

 

Independence Day 2019

Bailey is now up at 5 a.m. like clockwork. I snapped this photo right after I took her out. The marine layer over Colvos Passage so thick this early morning you can’t see the water. I love the peacefulness it brings. A symphony of bird song fills the air. Later tonight all the little beach communities will each set off their fireworks, which is always a treat. The energy completely different than it is at this quiet moment. Red, white & blue play a major part of the design scheme here at WestWard. Along with flags. It makes it the perfect place for us to be to honor the day. Happy 4th of July!



 

 

Peonies & Lavender

I thought on this Solstice day a past table with peonies (a nod to Spring) along with a bucket of lavender (a nod to Summer) seemed in order on this Flower Friday. May the new season be awesome for you and that it includes a few or many meals enjoyed outside! X, Ted