Some info about our Gourmet Group: We are 4 couples who enjoy cooking, entertaining, and most of all, each other’s company.
We take turns hosting in our homes. The hosts decide on the menu (theme) from appetizers to dessert for the evening. The hosts cook most of the meal, but give at least one course (along with all the recipes) to the other couples to prepare. We love trying new recipes and ideas. So most of the time, the recipes are ones we haven’t cooked before, but they don’t have to be.
It was our turn again in June for our Gourmet Cooking Group. When I began pondering about a menu and a theme, I knew it had to be some kind of “summertime grilling menu” since it would be the month of June. I went to the library to do some research and look through various cookbooks. One of the cookbooks I came across and checked out was “Tommy Bahama: Life is One Long Weekend”. My family happens to love the food and atmosphere at Tommy Bahama’s Restaurants. So, when I got home and really spent time looking through the cookbook and the recipes inside it, I knew I found my basic menu and theme.
I even found inspiration in Tommy Bahamas’ philosophy:
~ Relax ~
~ Slow Down ~
~ Life is One Long Weekend ~
This is the invitation I sent to the other couples. The recipe that each couple was responsible for making was also noted on their actual invitation.
Once again, I started my entertaining backdrop at my foyer chest with some tropical flowers and seashells.
I thought the frog and my son’s djembe worked in quite well with my theme.
Overview of my summertime tablescape, “Tommy Bahamas Style”…
I started my table with these fun, colorful fish plates I had purchased from Pottery Barn about 10 years ago.
I used good-sized shells for place cards.
I put pink orchids (phalaenopsis) in the shells for each female.
I added colored napkins and placemats. I varied the colors of each plate, napkin, and placemat at each setting to make the table more colorful.
The napkins and placements are also from Pottery Barn purchased at the same time as the plates. I find Pottery Barn is a great source for entertaining items or for a special detail(s) I may want to add – at a reasonable price.
Down the center of my table I added lots of fun summer type items starting with a fishing net purchased from Michaels (craft store).
I had to include some bananas and pineapple to the tablescape. What would summer be without some sunglasses? And of course, no tropical or beach party should be without those colored paper umbrellas…
The wooden fish hung in my son’s bedroom for many years. I loved adding my “Impression” Sid Dickens tile to the table. On the back of the tile, it reads:
“Be adventurous; travel far.
Leave a quiet imprint worthy of this life.”
The tile is also symbolic of my love for travel.
Lots of white candles…colored votives… seashells scattered across the table…glass balls…I also put lots of shells into the bottom of vessel containing the large center candle…
I hung small colored hanging votives and paper lanterns from my light fixture. I’ve used the paper lanterns outdoors at many parties in the past.I continued my theme on the chest in my dining room…
Comments About the Menu:
Both entrees, the Trinidad Tuna and the Island Cowboy (steak), as well as the Baby Bok Choy & Shitakes were recipes from Tommy Bahama’s Cookbook. The “finishing touch”, Pina Colada Cake, also came from their cookbook. This dessert is “to-die-for” whether you make it at home or eat it in their restaurant!
Here’s another dinner party menu which would work well during the summer or anytime throughout the year. This was the theme that another couple in our group used when they hosted back in the spring of this year.
How cute is the invite they sent?
A glimpse of the tablescape that evening…
The bottom of the (center candle) vessel was filled with sand to continue with the “sea” theme…
Nautical-type lanterns were added to the table…
Colorful glass balls were hung from her light fixture…