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Easy Recipes for Your Next Wine and Cheese Tasting Party

May 24th, 2015


What is one of the easiest parties to throw?  A wine and cheese tasting party, of course! Just ask your friends to bring a bottle of wine and a wedge of their favorite cheese, and before you know it, you’ll have a buffet worthy of royalty!!  You can even make a “theme” out of it.  Ask your guests to only bring a particular kind of wine (red or white) or narrow it down to a wine from a specific region.  You can also choose a single type of cheese you want your guests to bring.  For example, ask everyone to bring only their favorite sheep cheeses or only goat cheeses.  It’s fun to see what people enjoy and you don’t have to take on the financial burden of paying for all the cheese and wine, which can get pricey!

As the hostess, I love making fun recipes which guests can sample.  As I said in my TV segments, I don’t typically like to have all my dishes be experiments, but I at least try one dish which is a little bit out of the  box.  Here are three recipes which I find to be easy and very attractive and they are all perfect for a wine and cheese tasting party!!  One of the recipes, the easy Antipasto Plate, was contributed by a very talented florist and friend, Rhae Adams, owner of FOUND IN NATURE.  

Would you like to watch these dishes be prepared?  You can go to the videos page and find the recipes you like and watch how simple they are to create.

Rhae’s Simple Antipasto Plate

Go to the marinated and canned section of your store and find what you love. I love purchasing these items at Trader Joes since they are all right next to each other. Some of my favorite things are:

1 can of Artichoke Hearts
1 jar of marinated olives (stuffed with almonds, onions, garlic, or whatever
you like)
1 jar of marinated red and yellow peppers
1 jar of pre-made tamponade
1 jar of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
additional jars of items you like
goat or sheep cheese

Make sure to drain all jars of the water or olive oil. Cut up the items (such as artichoke hearts and peppers into small pieces, carefully arrange all items on plate, making sure that the colors go well together. Use chopsticks to move and arrange items neatly on the platter and use paper towels to absorb any extra liquids which may mix on the platter. Lastly, add your favorite cheese have a selection of various crackers, and add some fresh bread. Enjoy!

Cheese Stuffed Strawberries


1/2 bottle of white wine
5-6 strawberries
25 small slices of Fontina cheese
Balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction sauce

Soak strawberries in wine for 24 hours
Slice and fan strawberries
Slice fontina cheese into thin and small slices which can fit inside the
Place each slice in the strawberry crevices
Drizzle balsamic vinegar or reduction sauce on the strawberries
Top off with almonds or mint and enjoy

Cheese Kabobs


Skewer Sticks
Mozzarella cheese
Meat or cheese tortellini
Heirloom Tomatoes

Grease the skewers with oil
Skewer a tomato, followed by mozzarella cheese, salami, tortellini and
repeat until you cap off with the last tomato. Arrange finished skewers on
platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and serve

National Raspberry Cream Pie Day – August 1st!

May 1st, 2014


Looking for something to celebrate?  How about because it’s friday… it’s summer… and it’s the first day of August?!  Still not excited? What about the fact that today is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day… yep, thought that would get your attention!  Today we celebrate beautiful raspberries in a delicious pie crust resting inside (or out) of a delicious cream pie filling.  Okay, I have to be honest, I’ve never made a raspberry cream pie before, so I had to look for an easy recipe.  And here’s the good news… I found one! I had to tweak it a bit, but it worked out!   I created mini-pies, that way I wouldn’t have to cut into it and everyone would receive a beautiful little mini-pie instead of a piece of pie that tends to get a bit sloppy!  I think they worked out and I highly recommend the recipe!  Enjoy…


2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
4-5 tablespoons lemon juice
12 oz fresh raspberries
6-8 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 mini graham cracker pie crusts


  1. Whisk sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice together in a bowl; gently fold in raspberries.
  2. Gently spread cream cheese onto the bottom and sides of graham cracker crusts using a spatula or the back of a teaspoon.  The secret here is to make sure you purchase good crusts and that your cream cheese is WELL softened.  Otherwise, your pie crust will crack.  Divide raspberry mixture between the mini pie crusts… about 2 Tablespoons per crust.  Top with some fresh raspberries.
  3. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.

Children’s Hospital Table-Top Event at the Ritz Carlton St. Louis

April 22nd, 2014

Each year, an incredible event takes place at the Ritz Carlton in St. Louis.  The Children’s Hospital Table Tops Annual Spring Event.  This stunning event is the most talked about event of the spring with very elaborate table tops created by local designers. Best of all, proceeds benefit the Friends of St. Louis Children’s Hospital Endowment Fund for Camp Rhythm, a summer camp specially designed for children with heart problems.

Here are a few photos from some of my favorite designers who participated this year.  There were a lot more table tops, but these are some of my favorites!!

Mary Tuttle’s – The Art of Living is a stunning store in Chesterfield Commons, which may just be the most amazing experience you will have, shopping for beautiful home decor, flowers, and fine china.  If you are in Chesterfield, make sure to stop by their beautiful store.  Their table-top was a garden theme with a variety of potted flowers and plants.  The Juliska china was a show-stopper!




The St. Louis Service Bureau – Is a beautiful non-for-profit boutique in Ladue, Missouri that benefits local charities.  If you love unforgettable stationery, unique home decor items, gifts, and jewelry, this store should be on your list to visit!  And the fact that it benefits local charities, is icing on the cake!  Their theme at the Table Top Event was the May Pole.  It was colorful, stylish, and a breath of fresh air!  Just looking at this table makes me happy!  I especially loved the mint julep cups and the long tapered candles.







Cosmopolitan Events is a St. Louis based special events planning company.  The team at Cosmopolitan Events are incredible at making their clients’ vision a reality! This year, they created a beautiful table with the most stunning color platte.


Wildflowers, a custom floral designer in St. Louis, created this gorgeous design… need I say more?!  It’s no wonder their  floral masterpieces grace the halls of the St. Louis Art Museum.


Last, but certainly not least, is Belli Fiori’s wedding jaw-dropper!  The entire design is dripping with opulence!  Orchids, hydrangeas, diamonds… seriously, what else can a girl ask for? Are those sequins on the tablecloth? I’m in LOVE!





Spring and Summer Place Settings

February 1st, 2014

I’m always excited to find out what the latest trends are in table décor!  I stopped in at Dillards and photographed a few of their displays for spring and summer.  I like all these ideas, but my favorite are the floral plates… so pretty!










True Red – The color of Valentine’s Day!

January 31st, 2012

Happy February! It’s true, the color red gets a lot of attention. First, we decorate and envelope our houses with reds during the Christmas season. Then, comes Valentine’s Day and yet again, we find ourselves experiencing this color. But we can’t complain. Red is a powerful color that brings out so many beautiful emotions… love, courage, passion! Why not enjoy it month after month in one way or another. Here are 9 of our most favorite red things this February!

  1. We all have dreams…including us! Shailene Dress Lanvin
    Feather – Applique Halter Gown – $17,050

  2. One word…WOW!!! Yves Saint Laurent ‘Palais’ Platform Pump – $795

  3. What would you pay for adorable? What about as low as .36 per card! Available at Lace Photography

  4. Call Mary Tuttle’s for this arrangement…perfect to send to someone you love or order as a centerpiece for your Valentine’s table. Teleflora’s Sweet Thoughts Bouquet with Red Roses– $50

  5. Wedding bells don’t have to ring in order for you to enjoy this Essie ‘The Wedding Collection’ Nail Polish– $8

  6. Stop traffic wearing this M·A·C ‘Pro Longwear’ Lip Pencil– $26

  7. Gorgeous Etsy 14k Valentines Day Earrings– $235

  8. MMMMM… perfect for Valentine’s Day indulgence Chocolate Raspberry Cake – $65

  9. Perfect for a cold February night “High Road” Bed Linens