New On The Blog

The day after a party a gracious guest will follow up with a thank you note or phone call. Do this within 1-2 days so your appreciation does not seem stale. The formula for a thank you looks like this:

Some dinner parties require a more formal protocol. For example, a military dinner will have strict guidelines as to where personnel will sit. If you are hosting a client dinner, you might also prefer a more formal arrangement. Even in a casual setting, you can choose to follow protocol to honor a special guest. The below description is based on a social party (vs. business), a rectangular table, and includes both men and women:

When hosting a dinner party, where you place your guests around the table is a crucial element for the success of your event. You presumably put thought into who you invited to the gathering. Do not stop there. The placement of each person around the table is something that should not be thrown together at the last minute.

I love entertaining friends and family in my home, especially during the holidays. But I must admit, it can be a bit overwhelming hosting a dinner party in the stage of life with little ones running around. The cooperation I receive from my toddlers is a significant factor in how efficient I am on a daily basis. Add in hosting a party, and it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wanting to gather friends for a festive evening, here are my tried-and-true tips for entertaining with young children:

Planning a party can be fun, but do you know the best way to ensure everything runs smoothly? Have a rehearsal for your party. Yes, you heard correctly. You have spent a great deal of time planning your theme, creating your guestlist, and delivering your invitations. Now is the time to do a mock rehearsal which will allow you to create an action list of outstanding items around your home that might need attention. It also helps solidify any last-minute details.

These thirteen tips will get your through any dinner party. Here is a quick refresher. 

1. Leave The Cocktail Glass Behind:

If you are attending a dinner party, there may be cocktails offered before the meal begins. When the hostess signals it is time to head to the dining room, leave your drink behind. Why? The dining table has been pre-set with the glasses you will need and adding another to your place setting will only clutter the minimal real estate in front of you. Your palate is another reason to leave the cocktail behind. Many hostesses go to great lengths to pare wine with the food being served. Once seated at the table it is time to switch to wine or water.

You just received an invitation to a party, and the attire says: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture. What??? Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for a party, make it clear. We do not want our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Table manners are the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in managing an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

  • Alina Gersib

Salmon with Sage Cream Sauce

Salmon has always been a favorite of mine, I enjoy cooking it myself and trying it at restaurants to see how different chefs choose to prepare their dishes. For my high-school graduation I took a trip to Ireland with my mom where my view of salmon shifted forever. Nestled amongst the rugged wind swept coast, the sleepy town of Doolin served up the best salmon and cream sauce I had ever experienced.

The fish came served on a delicate bed of carrot and parsnip mash and accompanied by a side of green beans. After one bite I vowed I would figure out how to recreate the meal. When I was sitting down to create the menu for the month, my memory of this salmon popped into my head and I instantly got to work researching how I could perfect the linchpin of the dish, the sauce. After a bit of trial and error, the cream sauce was perfected. If you want the full meal experience, I shared the recipe for the Carrot & Parsnip Mash as well as for the Lemon Green Beans a few weeks ago. Enjoy!

Salmon with Sage Cream Sauce
Download PDF • 340KB

Makes 4 servings

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients for Salmon:

*4 Salmon Filets

*1/2 teaspoon sea salt

*1/2 teaspoon black pepper

*1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil

*1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Ingredients for Sauce:

*2 cloves of garlic, minced

*1/4 cup of lemon juice + 1/4 cup water, mixed

*1/2 cup chicken broth

*1 cup heavy cream

*1/2 cup parmesan

*1 sage leaf, finally chopped

*2 teaspoons parsley, finely chopped


*Pat salmon dry with a paper towel then pour on the 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper, patting it all in until evenly coated.

*Heat a large skillet over medium high and add oil.

*Add salmon and cook for 3 minutes until golden brown.

*Flip salmon and cook on the opposite side for 2 minutes.

*Add in butter and allow to melt. Once melted, spoon over each salmon filet 3 times.

*Remove salmon from the pan and place on a plate. Draping with foil to keep warm.

*Add garlic to pan and stir for 30 seconds, until it is a light golden.

*Turn the pan to high heat and add the lemon juice and water mixture, stirring constantly until it reaches a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 1 minute.

*Return heat to medium and pour in cream and chicken stock. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until content has reduced and thickened slightly.

*Stir parmesan into the sauce until combined, then add the herbs and stir.

*Turn off pan heat and taste sauce. Adjust amount of salt/pepper/herbs if desired.

*Return salmon to pan and spoon sauce over top before serving.

Recipe Creator - Alina Gersib