This July, we will be joined by bestselling entertaining author Shayla Copas, one of the South's most highly acclaimed designers and tastemakers. She will share entertaining tips, cocktails and recipes as seen in her new book. Shayla's entertaining expertise has earned her the title of the Salonniere Top 100 Party Hosts in America.
Below, you'll find one of Shayla's favorite chapters from her new book, Four Seasons of Entertaining. Although Cinco de Mayo is the holiday she discusses, we see these tips and trends translating easily into any summer soirée.
Cinco de Mayo A Festive Celebration
Ok, I'll admit it, Cinco de Mayo is my favorite chapter of this book. The home of Susan and Herren Hickingbotham was the ideal festive venue for our celebration. I love color- and the bolder the better- so I specified a fun mixture of Thibaut fabrics for our napkins and tablecloths. A marriage of hot pink, orange, and cream flows throughout this Cinco de Mayo tablescape to provide a festive feeling.
You can use residential fabrics for table linens as long as you treat them with a stain repellant before use. The repellant will help spilled liquids bead instead of soaking into the tablecloth. I spray mine with MicroSeal. The use of residential textiles for table linens opens up an entire world of possibilities for event design. You can find gorgeous textiles and have your seamstress create the linens. I teamed up with Callie Bullock of Draped and Tailored, who did a phenomenal job constructing the linens for Cinco de Mayo and other chapters of this book. She paid close attention to detail which is important when selecting a workroom to sew your linens.
Tip: For Cinco de Mayo, make a splash with bright and cheerful textiles. A mixture of Thibaut fabrics in bright colors were a hit. I chose the Sunburst pattern for the tablecloth in the color combination pink/coral; for the napkins, Thibaut's Wavelet pattern coordinated perfectly.
With hot pink, orange, and cream as my primary palette, I needed a metal tone to accent the table. Gold worked perfectly with our color combo, so I selected Kim Seybert's Sahara chargers to ground the cream Skyros Cantaria dinnerware. I love Skyros because its products are safe for the oven, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher. They also don't chip easily, which works well for the klutzy cook.
Thank goodness, I wasn't in the kitchen that day. I called on my friend Chef Scott Rains from Table 28 in Little Rock, Arkansas, to prepare his favorite Cinco de Mayo specialties. His recipes are featured at the end of this chapter.
Tip: Stemware is often the jewelry of the table. For Cinco de Mayo, try stemware with a touch of gold. I selected Kim Seybert's Helix collection because of its ombre gold finish. Gold flatware from Mepra completes the look.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is sometimes confused with Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16? In the United States, the day has become a celebration of Mexican American culture; in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo still commemorates a historic battle.
A Floral Fantasy
A mixture of poppy pods, pink hydrangeas, Pink Floyd roses, Bells of Ireland, yellow billy buttons, and other floral varieties graced the table. Floral designers Dale Aldridge, Tammy Copeland, and Brittany Vick of Silks A Bloom in Little Rock, Arkansas, provided the floral design and knocked it out of the park. Mixing in a few colors outside of your palette provides depth and harmony. Here, yellow and green in the floral compositions created that effect.
An arrangement brimming with floral and tropical greenery added an elegant touch to the pool.
Lights strung in the backyard provided ambiance and extra flare, while an arrangement cascading down the fountain drew the eye to a key focal for our event.
Find Your Place
I always love to find unusual items to serve as place cards, which you will see displayed throughout this book. For Cinco de Mayo, I specified Xela Aroma's gorgeous Metallic Ombre mercury glass candles because of the agate accent on the lid. I had By Invitation Only in Little Rock add the names of my guests in gold metallic ink to personalize the table. Place cards give guests a sense of inclusion as well as letting them know where the host want them to sit. I don't know how many parties I've attended where we seemed to play musical chairs because guests were unsure of the order. Place cards solve this uncomfortable issue and make everyone feel welcome.
Courtesy of Chef Scott Rains, Table 28
TEQUILA ME SOFTLY MARGARITA serves 1 1/8 teaspoon brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon water 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon 1 ounce pineapple juice 2 ounces tequila blanco 3/4 ounce dry curacao 1/4 ounce agave 1 ounce lime juice Pineapple slices for garnish
Directions: Dissolves brown sugar in water, Add cinnamon and pineapple juice. fill shaker cup with ice. Add all ingredients, including the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Shake, then pour over strainer into glass and garnish with a pineapple slice.
TRES LECHES BREAD PUDDING serves 6 1 pound bolillo (bread) 1 can evaporated milk 1 can sweetened condensed milk 3/4 cup heavy cream 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 6 whole eggs 1 cup of sugar 1 can cajeta (Mexican caramel sauce) Cherries for garnish
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally spray or butter baking dish or dishes until coated. Combine cubed bolillo, evaporated milk, sweet milk, heavy cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmet. Let soad a minimum of an hour, or overnight for better results. Mix eggs and sugar together. Fold into bread mixture. Ladle or spoon into baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes until firm in the middle.
Icing: 1 pint heavy cream 4 tablespoons sugar
Directions: Beat heavy cream in a mixing bowl with whip attachment. Add sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Spoon or pipe whipped cream icing on bread pudding, drizzle with cajeta, and garnish with cherries.
Find more entertaining tips and recipes in Shayla's book, Four Seasons of Entertaining.
Join us Saturday, July 13 for our event with Shayla.