December 20, 2011

you’re invited … plus a giveaway!

* this giveaway is now closed *

Isn’t it fun to entertain … and especially during the holidays?  At this time of year, I just love how festive everything is — from the food to the table settings to the centerpieces.   So guess what?

Inspired by Kathryn Greeley‘s marvelous new book, The Collected Tabletop, I — along with several of my very favorite designer friends — am hosting a virtual progressive dinner … and you’re invited!   The benefit of doing it virtually is that there’s room for everyone … and not a single dish to clean afterwards.

In case you missed our first stops, Kathryn herself welcomed us to the party.  The butlered appetizers at Jennifer’s were absolutely divine.  Can you guess my favorite? Gwen knows that I adore goat cheese, so I think she may have picked that salad just for me.  Now it’s my turn to serve the main course … which means the pressure is on!

Of course, I set the table a day early using my very favorite holiday china — Tiffany Holiday from Tiffany & Co. I mean, if it comes in a blue box??  Surely Kathryn agrees.

My Bamboo by Tiffany & Co. silverware seemed a bit too modern, so I decided to borrow Francis I by Reed and Barton from my hypothetical grandmother.  I love the pattern, even if it is more ornate than I usually lean towards. Fortunately, my Waterford Carina crystal is simple and clean — so the china and silver can really shine.

These hand-tied bouquets — kept low so as not to impede conversation — complement the china beautifully … and this girl can never resist any combination of roses and hydrangeas.

Because the table was finished, I was able to spend the last few minutes before you arrived making sure the food was perfect.  Oh honey, did you check the temperature on the tenderloin? That’s right — you almost forgot that my husband does most of the cooking in our house!  The Stuffed Tenderloin of Beef looks amazing, but I am especially blown away by the side dishes.  He has outdone himself with the presentation of the Potatoes Au Gratin …

… not to mention the Haricots Verts Bundles.  (As Nancy might say, that is “fancy” for — what we Southerners casually call — “green beans with fatback.”  Either way … yum.)

What?  You loved the Haricots Verts Bundles so much that you want to make them yourself?  Well, of course, I’ll share; my hubby can’t be proprietary about the recipe if he got it from The Collected Tabletop.  Like every good Southern girl, Kathryn loves a Junior League cookbook.

I mean, isn’t it amazing what brown sugar and bacon do for green beans?  Shocking, really.  Don’t worry — you can find the other recipes in Kathryn’s book.  Oh, and one more thing before you head over to Stacy’s for dessert — the party favor!

One of my guests will take home her very own autographed copy of The Collected Tabletop as well as an apron and a bookmark.  To enter, just leave a comment below.  I’ll draw the lucky winner at random on Christmas Eve … so you’ll know if Santa will be bringing an extra-special treat to your house this year!

What will you serve for Christmas dinner?

UPDATE (12/26):  Congratulations to Design Chic, lucky 15 and the winner of The Collected Tabletop giveaway!

Remember to visit my fellow designers and bloggers — Kathryn Greeley, Jennifer Brouwer, Gwen Driscoll and Stacy Naquin — for more recipes and inspiration from The Collected Tabletop.  I hope you’ll be inspired for your own holiday entertaining!

Photos from The Collected Tabletop, Tiffany & Co. and Alluring Blooms.


  • Teresa @ Splendid Sass
    Dec. 20, 2011
    Another gorgeous course! Love your choice of tableware and the food looks perfect. Nice to have a chef in the house. Would love to have a copy of kathryn's book :). Teresa xoxo
  • Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll
    Dec. 20, 2011
    Looks beautiful & yummy! Hope you have a great holiday.
  • Jennifer Brouwer
    Dec. 20, 2011
    Wow! Incredible!! Even your E- dinners are amazing and classy (of course) well done Traci, Can"t wait to come back to your place for dinner again soon :)
  • Brooke
    Dec. 20, 2011
    The entree was superb!!! Thanks, Mr. Zeller :) And thank you for being a lovely host, Traci
  • Tammy@InStitches
    Dec. 20, 2011
    My compliments to your hubby, delicious !
  • Sheila @SZInteriors
    Dec. 20, 2011
    What a great idea, and too funny - we just had a few people in on the weekend, and I almost tried the Haricots Vert bundles! But I've never had them before let alone made them so didn't go for it... Next time, and now with a recipe that comes recommended! PS - love the china!
  • Susan Gosman
    Dec. 20, 2011
    Thanks for sharing - and I am making your Haricot Vert bundles to take to a friend's Holiday open house. Of course by then, they will be my Haricot Vert bundles! Love the progressive dinner idea and your lovely pictures and hubby's cooking.
  • Kim Wilson
    Dec. 20, 2011
    Perfect timing Traci as my husband and I were just discussing how much we would like to design our table top and how does one go about doing it! Juliska here we come! Oh, and I am following my German heritage and making Sauerbrauten, potato dumplings and red cabbage.
  • Linda
    Dec. 20, 2011
    So much fun Traci! Love your dinnerware and the food was divine!
  • Debra C
    Dec. 20, 2011
    Looks delish! I would love to win, thanks for the chance!
  • kathysue
    Dec. 20, 2011
    Yum!! I am making the green bean bundles!! They look delicious. kathysue
  • Holly
    Dec. 20, 2011
    Oh how fun!! The potatoes au gratin looks so delicious. I'm actually enjoying my glass of wine right now and toasting you fine ladies and your spectacular meal.
  • Mike Zeller
    Dec. 20, 2011
    This is the best work I have done for one of your dinners since we have been married. Your Hubby
  • Tamra
    Dec. 21, 2011
    Love the china from Tiffany's and Mike's side dishes look scrumptious!
  • designchic
    Dec. 21, 2011
    I am dying over the potatoes...they look amazing and of course I love the china and silver as I have them both...loved being here!!
  • Lisa Mende
    Dec. 21, 2011
    Yum! You have definitely inspired me! Love your selections and your menu! I love that your hubby commented!
  • Glandaiche
    Dec. 21, 2011
    Your site is beautiful and I love the idea of a virtual progressive dinner! It is so much fun exploring interesting new websites - Happy Holidays!
  • Megan Thomas
    Dec. 21, 2011
    Must say, this is my favorite so far! And Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite as well! Great Job!!
  • Melina
    Dec. 22, 2011
    Main course is fab! The sides and tenderloin have to be some of my faves. Love your blog - thanks for sharing the progressive dinner!
  • Katharine
    Dec. 22, 2011
    My husband does all the cooking too! Now I really want the Tiffany china! Merry Christmas!!!
  • Trisha
    Dec. 22, 2011
    Kathryn's right! Junior League cookbooks always have wonderful recipes, and I'm so glad she's shared it in her own cookbook. The Haricots Verts Bundles recipe looks like an easy one to prepare. Thanks for the invite to your beautiful dinner party, Traci! Have a very Merry Christmas!
  • Elisabeth
    Dec. 22, 2011
    I would love to win! Thank you :)
  • time’s a tickin’
    Dec. 22, 2011
    [...] and don’t forget to comment on Tuesday’s delicious progressive dinner for a chance to win Kathryn Greeley‘s book, The Collected [...]
  • Marty Weathers
    Dec. 23, 2011
    Your dinner is divine! This is a cute idea you all put together... I'm happy that I found a couple of new blogs to enjoy. Merry Christmas! (I want that book ;)
  • happy holidays
    Dec. 24, 2011
    [...] [...]
  • Elisabeth
    Dec. 24, 2011
    What a fun idea! The book is fantastic too!!!
  • Emily Longo
    Dec. 24, 2011
    Holidays are perfect to utilize your family's china and serve wonderful cuisine from your very own kitchen. I love to cook, and I will try these new recipes in the New Year. Happy Holidays! I wonder how the "Collected Tabletop" would look on my favorite coffee table?" Emily Longo

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