Somehow she makes each guest feel like the life of the party. She can turn even the simplest meal into a special celebration. She knows who to seat next to whom, that everyone looks better in candlelight, which music to play to set the mood, and just how much wine to pour to get everyone dancing. And, most of all, she knows that a party won’t be a success unless the hostess herself is having fun—and she always does.
Keep guests’ drinks fresh during pre-dinner conversation with perfectly spherical balls of ice made in Cocktail Ice Ball Molds, available in two sizes.
$9.99 for four 2-inch molds or $7.99 for two 2.5-inch molds, Prepara; prepara.com
HORS D’OEUVRES SERVERS
The perfectly arranged cheese platter calls for the perfect servers. Natural White Bone Cheese Knives,
$35 for set of three, are made of buffalo bone, polished to a soft luster, Restoration Hardware; restorationhardware.com
In a tempting array of rich colors, these Monogrammed Linen Cocktail Napkins.
$29 per dozen, add traditional elegance to any gathering Grandin Road; grandinroad.com
Create a focal point for fresh fruit, sweets, or savory bites with a raised server like this Metal Plate Stand
$120, Aidan Gray Décor; laylagrayce.com
Two-ply, French-made Cheese Storage Paper keeps cheese fresh longer.
$9 per box of fifteen 11-inch by 14-inch sheets and adhesive labels, Formaticum; formaticum.com
Protect your party clothes (and show off your eye for bold, contemporary design) with the graphic Triangle Apron.
$45, Ferm Living; fermliving.com
Canal House Cooks Every Day
Need a little entertaining inspiration? Consult the James Beard Foundation’s 2013 award-winning cookbook, Canal House Cooks Every Day ($35, Andrews McMeel Publishing). In their newest book, Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton—the culinary stars behind the popular Canal House Cooking series and the blog,
Canal House Cooks Lunch—share 250 tempting recipes (lobster capellini anyone?) sure to delight your guests.