Wednesday, July 22, 2009

{rustic} summer entertaining

With my oldest starting kindergarten in little over a month, summer's days are numbered. I want to enjoy the remaining time we have, and stay on the entertaining kick we've been on lately.

To me, the fun of entertaining buffet style {the only way we entertain at this point} is the way everything looks. Of course the food's gotta be good too. I like:

- an old linen sheet thrown over the table for a tablecloth. I've also used shower curtains that are really cute
- aluminum buckets and tins for cold drinks
- old ironstone or tarnished silver creamers for silverware {if you're concerned about the silverware touching the inside of the creamer, flop a little vintage lace out of it} I've also used small, old crystal vases with some vintage linen draped out of it, then the silverware, so cute.
- tiers of cake plates for fruit and maybe hors d'oeuvres
- rustic wire bread baskets lined with flour sack towels
- vintage ironstone or creamware plates with cheese on them
- a rustic wood cutting board with several wheels of cheese on it
- a variety of mismatched vintage silverplate serving utensils
- figs stacked on anything with a pedestal
- sangria served out of a huge glass canister with a ladle
- ice water with fruit floating in a cut glass pitcher
- everything labeled with brown paper tags tied on with jute twine
- monogrammed paper cocktail napkins from the party store or JoAnn's

My very favorite, tried-and-true, in-a-pinch {or not} dessert recipe that has brought rave reviews from everyone is my mother's cherry dessert recipe, also known as dump cake. If you are not familiar with this phenomenon, let me clue you in. You will never, ever regret making this, eating this, sharing this. No matter the occasion. This is not my photo, but mine looks very similar to this... {recipe below}

{Claudette's Cherry Dump Cake}

3 cans Comstock Cherry Pie Filling
1 box yellow cake mix
butter to taste
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Dump the pie filling in a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the entire dry box of cake mix on top. Yes, dry. Now, melt about 4 tablespoons of butter, maybe more and drizzle on top. You might need as much as a 1/4 cup. Now sprinkle on the nuts. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Voila! Rustic, delicious, amazing. Bake it in a cool rustic white baking dish and serve it just like that with a vintage spoon. My friends and family request it over and over and over. Every BBQ I go to they ask me to bring it. It can also be made with canned peaches, but that's another post.

I am so inspired to entertain in a casual, rustic, french inspired way, and the following images make it clear why this kind of entertaining is so appealing {especially since I have none of my own today}

This is my kind of entertaining. Put everything in a basket, a tin, or on a cake plate, mass it all together on a great crusty table, and let the guests have at it. Don't forget the mini chalkboard to write the menu or a message.


Love the haphazard french chic of this image. And the champagne in the garden urn is very cool. Love the crooked lampshade.

Love the rustic aluminum bin for beer and jam jar with label.

This is a repeat image for me, but isn't it worth it? It's the epitome of rustic french entertaining.

Do I spy a burlap buffet? Yeah baby!

Love the double decker cutting boards and breadsticks in glasses.

This was for a wedding, but how fun would it be to recreate it for a party? Looks pretty easy to me.

Speaking of weddings, did you see the pictures of Magnolia Pearl's rustic wedding? They are so amazing and inspiring. Here are a few. Go here for more.

Of course, the prettiest wedding buffet, or any buffet for that matter, that I've ever seen was Elizabeth Maxson's. Images from Curious Sofa

Can you get any more inspired than this? Don't you love the baby bathtub filled with bottled water? And the chair with an ironstone serving dish on it? And breadsticks sticking out of old pitchers? I could go on and on and there were a bazillion amazing photos, but I won't. Of course this was for a more formal event, but there are so many great ideas here that could translate to your casual summer {or fall/winter} entertaining.

How are you entertaining this summer?


Mary Frances said...

I love this style of entertaining outdoors...sooo relaxed! And the vintage baby tub for bottled water reminds me of the one Lulu from Lulu & Co. just posted a few days back...she is going to use it for beverages poolside...this is so easy to assemble...we all have these things around...what could be more beautiful?
Mary Frances

Jackie said...

Love, love, love all these great pictures and ideas! We love to do casual entertaining outside - buffet style, lots of grilling and big ol' galvanized tubs for drinks. I love so many of the ideas in the photos - I'll definitely be adopting some of them!!

Kimberly said...

You got me wanting to toss out a party too. I like to use a lot of your ideas at night, using all white or cream linens and my good crystal rose bowls with candles. It looks so wonderful in the breeze.
Robin and John's wedding was wonderful! so beautiful!
xxx kim

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Lovin all these entertaining ideas. And I love dump cake. Thanks for the recipe!

The Little Red Shop said...

I just had time for a glance..but LOVE IT ALL!!! I'll have to come back when I have time to linger over all of the lovely scenes...

: )

Julie M.

Day to Day at The Hog Shed said...

I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for some great ideas!! Claire

Fruit Basket Review said...

Your photographer is so good. Everything looks spectacular. So inviting and warm. The cherry fruit dessert is to die for.

Jeanneoli said...

Your dessert looks amazing and sounds so EASY...I will be stealing that one:-) Great photos...I love all the inspiration!

Chrissy said...

Great all the ideas packed into them..hope your weekend has been a good one,ours has been a very wet one!!! Talk to you through the week,Chrissy

Tracey said...

What an amazing, and inspiring, collection of photos! LOVE the burlap tablecloth! I'm gonna push the print button for that cake recipe - thanks!!

:) T

Renae said...

Sooo many great ideas...I love setting pretty and unusual tables. It's fun creating and using things in interesting ways. I think I have had the Dump cake before..and it is pretty yummy! Great pix.

Little Lovables said...

these are so lovely! I agree about the buffet table, I love making it pretty. and yes, dump cake is the best! thanks for the recipe :)

Flax and spindle said...

I love entertaining outdoors! thanks for all the great ideas!!

Anonymous said...

show some pics of what you have done for entertaining then.....
if you have...

Elizabeth said...

I love the way you entertain - I would right at home
:-) and so welcomed! Thank you for the compliments and for sharing my wedding photos - I am very flattered. I FINALLY updated my Carriage Wedding blog with lots more photos - it took me forever - that has more details about that day. Just click on my blog and on the right side of the main page is a link to the wedding blog for the updated photos. Your blog is such a treat for me - I will be back often!

Thanks again for the lovely compliments!

Room design studio said...

stunning!check out my post on the french country cooking holiday! similar atmosphere! I wish I could open my eyes every morning and wake up to a place similar to those!

chickie said...

Your pics speak for themselves.Absolute and stunning.We are big at our house also for entertaining.My husband works all day being a lawyer but,the guy can cook so good.I think he has spoiled my family with his way of cooking.People are always stopping by.Thanks for sharing and taking the time to put out such great ideas.We have really enjoyed your post.Have a great weekend ..Chickie from chickievintagechic.blogspot

Robin @ My Blessed Nest said...

Just found your blog...came over from Southern Hospitality's blog list. I adore each and every one of these photos...such wonderfully simple yet extremely creative ideas. Thank you for sharing them!

Flax and Spindle said...

Added you to my blog roll, your blog is so inspiring!!


Apron of the Month Club said...

Oh my gosh, I am in heaven looking at your blog pics. My sincere thanks for sharing them.


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