“Fancy” Paper Plate Party
I was the hostess at the beginning of August for my monthly book club meet up. This lovely group of gals has been getting together the first Thursday of every month for over 2 years now. Which, given everyone’s busy schedule these days, the fact that our book club gals rarely miss says how much fun and how much we look forward to our group every month. We usually stay up way to late for a Thursday night talking, laughing and drinking a bit of wine ( ok sometimes a lot of wine!) And once in awhile we even talk about the book. For my turn at hosting, I knew I wanted to have everyone outside and I wanted to keep things casually elegant. “Fancy” some might say. Bring on the paper plates!
Of course I had a great time, hosting my girlfriends. But I never look forward to the clean up of a get together. So paper plates and paper napkins (and any other disposable products) are a great way to go to keep things simple. But gone are the days of plain old white paper plates.
I knew that I wanted some bright colors to go with my outdoor furniture and cushions. (You can see more outdoor pics and how I made an outdoor bed for under $30 here) I took out the gold chargers that I usually don’t use until the holidays. But I figured hey, why do chargers have to be used with only fancy china? I went to Target and picked up these minty plates and striped napkins.
I love using hydrangeas for my table. I just picked up some simple white blooms at my regular weekly Costco run. They were inexpensive and the huge blooms fill up a vase. So it looks like you bought a ton of flowers. Bonus: they last a long time so you can enjoy them for more than just a day. (Mine are going on 2 weeks and they still look pretty good!) I used my vintage milk glass vases to display the blooms. And then I added a few mercury glass candles for some sparkle as the sun set.
I kept my menu really simple as well. Right down to the water. Lemons and fresh mint from my garden are an easy way to make the water “fancy.”
I did 2 easy appetizers for my guests while they arrived. Easy Cilantro Lime Shrimp and an Artichoke dip. The recipe for both are so easy! Just hop in your car, drive to Costco and buy them pre packaged. Display them on a pretty plate at your party and your guests will think you slaved the day away! (You thought I was going to give you a big long recipe, didn’t you?)
For dinner, I served something equally as easy. I just purchases a few rotisserie chickens at Costco and cut them apart. When it was time to eat dinner, I simply warmed the chicken in the oven and served on a platter. On the side, I made (I really did make this one! A tomato and bread salad with fresh baked sourdough bread (ok, so I didn’t actually bake the bread), and fresh tomatoes and mint from my garden. And I totally forgot to take a pic of it before it was gobbled up!
I served a Lemon Pound Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze for dessert that I baked the night before. Oh man, it was really hard to let this sit on the counter all day without slicing into it! Just ask my boys, they were dying for a piece. The recipe for this one is coming soon!
Oh, and you have to have the perfect bottle of wine too. Of course, I chose this one for the label that matched my table setting! Fancy Pants? Yes, please! It turned out to be the perfect book club evening with my friends. By the way the book we read was called The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood. And excellent read and discussion book if you need a little something for your next book club.
What’s your favorite way to entertain guests? Would you use paper plates at your next “fancy” party?
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