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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Anatomy of a Book Club - Take 2

Happy Sunday, dear friends.  I hope that you enjoyed your weekend.  Yesterday, we woke up to a very wet Saturday morning which was unfortunate for all the brave bike riders donating their time and efforts to raise money for MS.  We live on a hill, and my heart went out to the ones struggling in the frequent downpours.  Hats off to the brave bikers!!

The weather cleared, and it turned into a beautiful evening.  We had two delightful couples over for dinner.

As most of you know, I hosted book club this week.  
As promised, I took lots of pics. 

While I was waiting for my guests to arrive, I took some behind-the-scenes photos.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw this photo.  I am having so much fun styling my Mackenzie Childs Everything Bowl.  It is a great size.

The Mister made my favorite croutons ala corn bread and sea salt.  

We had 11 ladies.  My table seats 8 comfortably so we added a four-foot table at the end which worked out perfectly.

If you're wondering why I have so many flowers on the table, it's because I gave one of these plants in a small blue and white cachepot as a party favor.  They were a big hit.

Some of the ladies mentioned that they still use the vase that I gave them last year.

Here is the Mister whipping up his magic.
If you're wondering if I ever help him, I don't.
He tells me the best thing I can do for him is stay out of his way.
I'll take that as a compliment. 
What he is really saying is that my beauty and sex appeal is too distracting.

Apps included buffalo mozzarella and cherry tomato tarts,

and more tarts of prosciutto and melon with ricotta mousse. 

The Mister bought a box of these savory tart shells on Amazon.  They worked out great - they are delicious as well as easy to arrange.  We even had enough for our second party this weekend.

Another app was pistachio and basil pesto palmiers.

I received these darling MC napkins from my friend Patti of Pandora's Box. 

Everyone grabbed a glass of vino, some apps, and proceeded into the sunroom.

It was a warm night so I opened all the windows, and there was a lovely sea breeze.  Lucky for us, no stinky low tide smell.

On the coffee table, The Mister placed a fabulous cheese board on my new Mackenzie Childs Rattan Tray.  I like it so much I just might get my Sista one for Christmas.  Don't get excited, Sista, I said "might."

The Mister made a fabulous watermelon and feta salad with pickled red onions and fresh mint in this MC bowl.  

He also made grilled carrots, eggplant, and corn bread croutons on this Mackenzie Childs large serving plate.

And last but not least, a trio of kebabs:
chicken/ red pepper/ chicken sausage
filet/ cipollini onion/ pancetta
pork/ cherry tomato/ eggplant

For dessert, we noshed on lemon bavarian cream with fresh berries.

Every month I look forward to seeing these lovely ladies.
We all had a great time but missed our absent members, Anne and Kathy.

Until next time...

Unfortunately, Chowdah could not join us for that night because he was at the kennel sleep-away camp.  
Chili was there in all her glory and even read the book!

Linking up with:
Amaze Me Monday
Dishing It & Digging It
Silver Pennies Sundays
Inspiration Monday
Show and Share
The Scoop
Inspire Me Tuesday
Tablescape Thursday

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.


  1. So unfair!!! Unfair, I tell ya!!! I would entertain EVERY weekend if I could have such delicious food with presentations fit for a queen ... yet never set foot in the kitchen!!! He prolly does the shopping too...geeze!!!!
    Your table was gorgeous and your contagious hostessing skills put y'all over the top! Tell your mister that once again, he has outdone himself!
    ps....how did he prepare the eggplant???

  2. Ok, first I am dying over jmac's comment! Secondly, I concur 100% with said comment. What a beautiful spread. I need to remember to turn the table at the end next time we have a crowd, genius. That would have worked so much better when I hosted 17 for Christmas Brunch.

  3. Fabulous party. The Mister must write a cooking segment on the blog. I take it that Chowdah goes to 'sleep away camp' because he's extra social at these parties. Thanks for the pictures.

    1. Roz... I love the phrase "extra social." It sounds so much nicer than a raving maniac. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week!

  4. I think I will join your book club Katie. How lovely everything was and that MISTER...what a blessing to have him doing your catering!! I enjoy taking pictures of my home before guests arrive. Everything is so calm and clean and looks like a great big WELCOME. Thanks for sharing your meeting with us.

  5. LOVE this photo of the book club...classic..such an elegant affair...worthy of a New England gathering Katie!

  6. Absolutely stunning! What a fabulous spread the Mister prepared and the photo of your friends shows just what a fun and lively group you are! Thanks to you Katie, my love, and collection of MC pieces, continues to grow AND I appreciate your monthly book selections as well. You've introduced me to some wonderful new authors. Thank you for inviting us into your beautiful home, it's always a treat.
    Beverly in Texas

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Beverly. You made my day!!

  7. Hello across the pond my dear friend
    Oh your luncheon looks truly spectacular, such a wonderful spread and a pretty table. I love your linens, and the flowers as favours you and the mister are excellent hosts.
    I hope your weekend has been fun and happy. I love the summertime and went for a long walk yesterday before watching and singing along very loudly to a festival over here called Glastonbury :)
    Katie, I have a movie for you and Tina, have you heard of "Hampstead" its a real place in London, very smart. Diane Keaton is in the movie,of the same name and its being released soon. Maybe worth seeing just for Diane
    Much love to you as always

    1. Hi Sally... I read about Glastonbury! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thank you so much, dear friend, for the movie recommendation. I would watch Diane Keaton read a phone book! I am going to google it now. Enjoy your week, sweet Sally!

  8. With a husband who cooks like that, I'd get out of the way too! Looks like a wonderful party.

  9. The decor and the food all look fabulous!! That MC tray is at the top of my very long MC wishlist ;)

  10. Everything looks amazing!! Hats off to your very talented husband and to you for being the perfect hostess :)

    I always enjoy seeing pictures of your beautiful home. Could you please tell me the brand and the name of the paint color in your foyer? It looks exactly what I am looking for for my sunroom.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Catherine! The paint color is Sherwin Williams Sanderling. As a warning, it looks different in the picture than it does in real life. Have a great week and good luck.

    2. Thank you, Katie, for sharing your paint color! I had asked, but didn't see this post. Your table is too die for!

  11. WOW, everything looks so beautiful and delish!! I too am a fan of Courtly Check, and also anything blue and white. Can you PLEASE tell me where you bought the oh so pretty cachepots? Looking forward to all of your posts. Big Fan! Thanks, Linda A.

    1. Hi Anonymous... I don't know where you live but I got those pots at a store called Ocean State Job Lots about 6 months ago. I had never heard of this chain, but they carry a lot of great stuff and some junk at discounted prices. I think I paid $2.00 for each pot. Don't tell my book buddies - I told them that they were very rare and extremely expensive. Thanks so much for reading my blog and taking the time to comment.

  12. Love love love it all!! I'm going to attempt the tomato mozzarella tartlet!!

  13. Give me a the date for next meeting that you and Mister host, and I'll be on next flight from KY! I'm not sharing this post with my fellow "bookies": You've set the bar too high and present a stunning table in your lovely home. (But we'd love Mister's recipes.)

  14. I'm exhausted thinking of all the prep you "both" do to be such wonderful hosts! I don't think anyone really reads the books...they just come to eat! (kidding sort of)-Laurel

  15. Beautiful home and I love your MC pieces. Gorgeous table. You are one lucky lady, is your chef for hire:) I have to say Jim loves grilling out so that is when I feel lucky. Have a wonderful week. Would love for you to share the recipes.........

  16. Katie,
    Your table looks stunning and I love the linens! I am going to keep this post and use it as a guide to copy the square tart appetizers. They look delicious and I love the novelty of them being square. Your chef, I mean husband, is truly talented.

  17. Wow! The Mister has done it again! I'm sure the food tasted as delicious as it looked beautiful. Your Mackensie Childs pieces complement the Mister's spread.

  18. I want your husband to write a cookbook! I will be the first buyer.

  19. Cam I be in your book club as a far away friend!! OMG the food, totally salivating over here. You are so lucky to have an in house chef, those tarts, that dessert...its all so beautiful and I am sure delish! You give new meaning to the words "book club", so beautiful!

  20. Your decorations for the book club were awesome and your house is so lovely. I can't remember if I asked this before. Is your husband an actual chef or is this a hobby? Either way, the food looks amazing!!

    1. He was a professional Executive Chef - at Torrey Pines, PGA, and many other hotels. He even cooked for and met Prince Andrew. But he hung up his apron many years ago and now the only royal that he cooks for is moi. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

  21. Katie, what fun you girls have! The food looks fit for royalty, and no question you group of ladies qualify! I love the group shot with everyone at ease, smiling, and having a good time. Your table is gorgeous. Love the idea of the centerpiece as the take home gift for your guests. Tell the mister that the presentation of these dishes is stellar. All the Courtly Check certainly makes for a great base!
    Have a great week!

  22. Well, I for one could brag on you and the Mr. All day long! Those tarts! Those palmiers, the kabobs, lemon Bavarian cream and my favorite...watermelon and feta! Literally does not get better than this.....oh but it does, that table scape.....out of a movie! What a delight for your book club pals, a gorgeous group to boot!

  23. HOly guacamole Katie, what a spread! Do you lend your Mister out?? Do you know how lucky you are, what fabulous artistic food! His presentations are amazing!! Your table is gorgeous too, and I LOVE the way you styled your MCK bowl with the plant and lemons! What a lucky book club to meet at your house!!

  24. What a great party and array of both food and MKC! If I had a live-in chef I'd entertain a lot more. Your table and home looked terrific. Thanks for sharing. No doubt it was fun for guests.

  25. What can I say but yum, Mister should at the very least give us some recipes, lol. Long time fan of yours and you set a lovely table. Here's to the good life!

  26. You are married to one amazing guy, Katie! I love to cook and I've always played it safe by only having a few 'new to me' or involved dishes. I was scrolling like crazy to get of the recipes but the photos pretty much say it all. Fresh, summer, delightful, and perfect for the ladies!! How fun!

    I love the shots of your home, your sunroom looks like the place I'd love to be 24/7. Your table is beautiful, too! The pots of flowers a very smart favors for your guests.

    You are such an inspiration. I think I'm going to try those fruit tarts this weekend. Do you have a link? I can probably wing it.

    Thanks again.

    Jane xxx

  27. The food and your table have my mouth watering. Those tarts look so good, they have inspired me to add ne to my upcoming BBQ. They looks just wonderful.


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