My Mom Throw's a Great Party! {Party Series Part 1}

June 18, 2011
I have such a wonderful Mom!  Not only is she a fabulous friend with whom I love to hang out, she's a fantastic hostess too.  She knows how to throw a great party! 

This past week she hosted a wine tasting party for a group of her girlfriends.  They get together about once a month for fellowship and fun, rotating the hosting role, and typically partaking in some grape-based beverages along the way.  Want to know what they call themselves?  This is such a sweet and fun name ... they call themselves Thirsty Girls.  That's so clever!  It's even more clever when you know that what brought them all together to begin with was their love for shag dancing, and they dance at a place called Thirsty's II.  Yup, just about every Sunday night (and possibly Saturday, too) you can find most of this group dancin' the night away at Thirsty's  II.  And that's how Thirsty Girls was born.

I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in this Thirsty Girls party, both as a guest and as my Mom's sous-chef.  I'm not sure which part was more fun - actually attending the party and getting to know my Mom's friends, or hanging out in the kitchen with Mom for two days as we prepared all the food together (well, a good portion of the food - my Mom is super organized and already had quite a bit of it done!).  Both were a blast. 

We had the camera going the whole time we were in the kitchen, snapping pictures all along the way.  That means I get to share a whole bunch of super-tasty recipes with you that are just perfect for entertaining.  So get ready!! ... Here comes the "Party Series!"

Let's start this first post of the series with a look at some of Mom's nice little touches.  She's quite creative, and came up with some elegant wine-themed decorating ideas.  Then I'll share her Garlic & Dill Marinated Shrimp recipe, and a list of her full party menu so you'll know what to look forward to.  Sound good?

Nice Touch #1:  Cork Table Cards

Table labels
Or, table labels, you might say!  Aren't those cute?  We started with business card-sized cards that I embossed.  That's one of my other hobbies ... making cards and miscellaneous things (like these) using a dry-embossing technique.  Look closely at the lower right corner of the cards and you'll see an embossed wine bottle, wine glass, or grape bunch.  I know - it's really hard to see in this picture.  Hopefully I'll be getting a better camera real soon.

Next Mom used a serrated knife to cut a sliver off the bottom of some corks.  This made a flat base so the corks would sit up on the table.  Then she made a slit in the top of each cork ...

Preparing the corks
... and slid in the label card.

The table label line-up

Nice Touch #2:  "Elevated" Centerpiece
Check it out!  Mom made her light fixture into an "elevated" centerpiece by tying wine glasses to it with pretty ribbons!  How absolutely clever!!  Other than it being creative and beautiful, there was a functional reason for this, too ...

"Elevated" centerpiece
... her table was completely full with her tasty treats!  This "elevated" centerpiece is certainly one way to solve a serving space problem.

"The Spread"
Nice Touch #3:  Herb Bouquets
Mom made little herb bouquets in bud vases to place around the house.  They looked great, and were a very simple way to add a festive touch.  Though it looks like a bug or two may have been having a party out in the garden on this basil leaf!  I guess everyone ... or everything? ... loves fresh basil.

Herb bud vase bouquet
Now for the menu. 

On the savory side:
Garlic & Dill Marinated Shrimp (recipe below)
Tortellini Salad
Antipasto Platter with Grape Tomato & Caper Salad
Tarragon Chicken Salad-Stuffed Profiteroles
Marinated Cheese
Grand Marnier & Spiced Rum Fruit Dip
Shrimp Curry Mango Bites
Tapenade Crostini
Toasted Pesto Rounds

The savories
For dessert:
Almond-Raspberry Bars
Caramel-Walnut Bars
Lemon-Coconut Bars
Raspberry Chocolate Truffles
Mini Mocha-Toffee Crunch Cheesecakes
Dark Chocolate Drunken Cherries

I told you Mom throws a great party!
The desserts

Garlic & Dill Marinated Shrimp
Source:  A Family Friend
2 T. butter, melted
1 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. minced dill weed
2 T. minced shallots (or grated mild onion)
2 T. fresh lemon juice
Dash cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 lbs. peeled & deveined cooked shrimp

1.  Mix all ingredients, except shrimp, to make the marinade.  Pour marinade over shrimp.  

2.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


Garlic & Dill Marinated Shrimp


  1. Wow! Look at all that food! Looks like a fun party!

  2. Dulce Dough - Yes, it's a lot of food. My Mom certainly doesn't like anyone to go hungry!!

  3. It was such a pleasure to meet you!! The party was fantastic!! Your mom really is wonderful - you two are lucky to have each other!

    I hope to see you again soon!


  4. I am soooooo jealous. That looks so good and like a lot of fun! So glad you were there for that!

  5. Wow! Love your blog and especially Party series!
    Would you are to share the Tortellini Salad recipe?

    Thanks a lot!

  6. Hi, Tracey. Please post Tortellini Salad and Shrimp Mango Curry recipes.

  7. Beautiful! What drinks did you serve, Tracey?


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