Think Valentine’s Day is just for lovers? No way. Many people who celebrate Valentine’s Day actually do it with their friends. Most people don’t associate Valentine’s Day with love so much as they do the hearts and flowers and red accents. It’s a fun holiday you can easily use as an excuse to show your friends that you care. Kate Larine Photography and I (editor in chief of Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy) hosted a strawberry themed formal dinner party and invited our favorite mom bloggers in Savannah Georiga to celebrate an evening with us.
- A Beautiful Location
I wanted to host an evening with my favorite mom bloggers but hosting a beautiful evening in my home presented a multitude of problems. Where would I send the children and hubby for an entire night? If they stayed it’s no secret there would be background noise (not the Justin Timberlake good kind of background noise). Also, the pets, we have a large Rhidgeback who doesn’t like to be in his crate when people are over, creating more background noise of the pitiful canine howling kind. Plus, the biggest problem, I would have to spend the entire weekend cleaning little boy dirty handprints off walls, folding the mountain of clean laundry on my living room couch, and pretty much deep cleaning my fingers to the bone. So the perfect solution was to rent one of my favorite Savannah Air Bnbs for the night, and I plan on doing it again it worked out so well! Walking into a beautifully decorated and pristine home to set up our dinner was the best choice. I could control the environment, create the elegant girls evening out I wanted and unlike a restaurant we could laugh as loud as we wanted and stay as late as we wished.
See more from the home here
2. Invitations & Guests
An intimate group of ladies is always the way to go when hostessing a dinner party, in my opinion, everyone has the opportunity to meet each other and small “cliques” of guests do not branch off into their own corners, causing other guests to feel left out. We invited the most fun, incredible and talented, mom bloggers in Savannah for an evening away from the kids. Kate and I wanted them to feel pampered and valued as not only mothers but women who each offer something unique and beautiful to share with others. Meet our guest list below.
Invitations by: Savannah-based One Nine Design Co.
There is nothing more beautiful than fresh cut flowers and when you have a friend who owns the best floral design business in your city, you ask her for a couple elegant pieces to make your dinner party absolutely gorgeous! In my opinion, nothing makes a dinner party more elegant than the florals, there is just something so romantic about fresh flowers and the fragrance that fills the room from the bouquets.
Florals by: Savannah-based Florist Ivory and Beau
If you want to leave a lasting impression on your guests, don’t scrimp on dessert! Women may not always remember what you say but they will remember how you made them feel and there is nothing like that the most delicious of desserts leave you with at the end of a dinner. It’s the final last note of the evening, make it a good one!
Cake by: Savannah-based bakery Vintage Soul Cakes IG @vintagesoulcakes
Choosing your wine, beer or liquor for the night can be tricky, for our dinner we chose our friends over at Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and their award-winning Pink Moscato. After hosting dozens of dinner parties, this affordable and delicious, quality Moscato has always been a guest favorite and paired perfectly with our menu. I am also extremely partial to their Rose, had our menu been different.
Target clear rounded bottom tall glasses & Hummingbird glass staws
6. Table & Settings
We took inspiration from around the web and Kate designed the table setting to be both elegant but also welcoming at the same time.
Black Table Cloth
White Scalloped Chargers $1.99
Clear Salad plates ( not pictured, they were chilling in the freezer)
Guests were given glass & gold jewelry boxes filled with Peterbrook Chocolate Strawberries to take home.
MEET OUR GUESTS
Kelsey from Pardon My French
Kailey from Little.Miss.Payne
Tori from Life after a Little
Julia from Glitter & Juls
Faythe from Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy
Kate from Kate Laraine Photography
Girl Friends Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu
I believe when you cook for others it shows that you care, that you want to pamper and serve them and that when you cook with love it tastes better!
Recipes by D.R. Pierce
Cooked & Served by Editor in Chief, Faythe Eloise
Strawberry Gorgonzola Spring Blend Salad with Balsamic Dressing
I’ve had many variations of Spinach Strawberry Salad through the years, and chances are that you have, too. They always have strawberries and spinach, of course. The other ingredients vary widely.
- Spring Mixed Blend Salad butter lettuce, arugula, baby spinach, baby romaine, green oak lettuce, lolla rosa, red swiss chard, tango lettuce, frisee, andradicchio
- Nuts are often included: toasted or candied pecans, walnuts or almonds are most common. Sometimes pine nuts. I did not use nuts due to any allergies, be sure and ask guests a head of time if you choose a nut sprinkle.
- Gorgonzola Crumbles
- Sliced Strawberries
- Balsamic vinaigrette, I used this one HERE which is my favorite!
Truthfully I’ve never tasted a combo I didn’t like. Today’s post is my favorite combination. Today anyway. Another day and with different ingredients on hand, I might choose a different favorite combo. I guess my advice is to use this recipe as a guideline, but feel free to mix up the ingredients. It’s hard to go wrong when you start with spinach and strawberries.
In a large heavy pot, heat the butter over medium heat until hot, stir the onions and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes.
Peel and dice the potatoes. Stir in the potatoes and stock bringing it to a gentle boil. Cook the soup, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are very soft and starting to fall apart, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir in the cream and crumble the smoked salmon into the soup. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
FOR THE SALMON
For the Baked Salmon:
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon
Mix lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and dried basil in a small dish. Place salmon fillets in a medium glass baking dish, and cover with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) then place fillets on parchment paper covered baking pan, add thinly sliced lemons to salmon.
Bake 25 to 35 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.
Strain the potatoes and serve beside the salmon filet, pour one spoonful of broth onto salmon. Serve on the side a generous amount of the soup broth in a large shot glass
***large beautiful crusty bread passed around family style in baskets is the best choice for the menu***