Impromptu Dinner Parties with the Hens

July 19, 2016

Summer is already moving too quickly! The hot, sunny days filled with little ones splashing around in the pool and lazy evenings spent lounging on the patio just seem to fly by, especially when you are already planning for another fantastic antiques show! We hens have been pecking away at dealer applications and buzzing about some of the fun features and experiences coming to the fall show. Be sure to mark your calendars! Our fall show is happening October 1-2, 2016, at the Paso Robles Event Center. Tickets will go on sale on September 1st at!


When we do take a break from planning, one of our favorite things to do is host impromptu get-togethers. In addition to planning the show, we are so busy with our families and other commitments. The days of throwing dinner parties with our finest china have definitely taken a back seat to the more casual gathering, so we have learned to master the art of quickly planned dinner parties!


Here's how it works: Anybody’s house or yard will do. For our most recent gathering, we crashed Hen Susi’s backyard. We always have blast here because Susi has an outdoor pizza oven and a son and husband who love to cook! Lucky us!

We started the evening off with an antipasto board. Kathy loaded an old pizza paddle with four different types of cheese, a variety of crackers, local artisan salami, home-cured olives, beet humus and cornichon pickles. Deep purple grapes and sprigs of basil polished off the presentation. Easy!

Susi prepped the pizzas; Margherita pizza, mushroom, pepperoni, bell pepper and the ever-popular peach, mozzarella and prosciutto pizza rounded out the mouth-watering lineup. It is simply amazing how fast these pizzas are consumed! 

Lettice put together a Southwestern-style salad of mixed greens (by the bag), chicken, avocados, cilantro, black beans and corn. This tasty side dish was topped off with chipotle ranch dressing (pre-made ranch dressing with a dash of chipotle pepper powder added for a kick).

Susi’s husband, Ken, is our favorite bartender! Ken took a hand blender to a watermelon and added tequila and Mexican liqueur for the best watermelon margaritas we have ever had! How cute is it to serve the cocktails right out of the melon?! 

The pièce de résistance is always the dessert made by our in-house pastry chef, Hen Carrie. For this get-together, she made individual Pavlovas; meringue shells with lightly sweetened whipped cream, lemon curd and berries from her garden. If you can imagine, they tasted even better than they looked!

Casual parties are so easy and so important for relationships and stress relief. Getting together should not have to feel like a huge effort or take weeks of planning. Grilling up burgers to serve alongside a salad kit with ice cream for dessert is simple and satisfying. Most importantly, don't stress about your place. Your house, yard and decor need not be perfect for your friends to enjoy being together!

So keep your sterling silver platters and Chinaware for Christmas and throw the burgers on the grill next weekend. Embrace the art of the casual gathering. You and your gang will so enjoy it!


The Hens

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 P.O. Box 850,

Templeton, CA 93465

(805) 459-2541


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