Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sharing One More Holiday Party

Nicol Sayer Sugar Plum Snowman

I know we are into the New Year 

and Christmas 2009 is behind us, 

but I've one more holiday party to share with you. 

What with all the holiday rush, 

I didn't have time to post this earlier. 

I hope you don't mind. 

Baked Brie with Marinated Fruit

My husband had been longing to have prime rib for months, 

and with the house all decorated for the holidays, 

what better excuse to have a few friends over for dinner. 

 One of our guests brought a delicious appetizer. . . baked brie 

with marinated fruit served on a beautiful and unusual glass dish.

Neighborhood children stopped by 

to sing some Christmas carols. 

 How fortunate was that! 

 It gave the evening 

an extra special festive touch.

The tree in our dining room, 

topped with Courtly Check ribbon and 

decorated in part with MacKenzie-Childs ornaments, 

set the theme for the evening.

Dinner was served buffet style. 

 Snow people and candle glow 

filled the dining room windows.

The buffet continued the black and white theme 

with Nancy Thomas's New York Santa from her 1995 collection.

 We happened to be visiting Williamsburg 

during the holidays that year, and I 

instantly feel in love with Santa dressed in a tuxedo. 

 Nancy Thomas had designed these Santa figures 

to decorate the windows in one of the large 

New York department stores that Christmas. 

 The print is mounted on wood and framed in metal. 

 The Santa figure is carved from wood. 

 Click here to see more of Nancy Thomas's work.

The snow people are by Nicol Sayre, 

and the little silver tree is called a bullion tree. 

 It is made of coiled metal and just gets better with age. 

 The Snow Queen Angel cloche is also by Nicol Sayre. 

You can read a post about this little cloche here.

The Sugar Plum snowman is a 2005 design by Nicol Sayre, 

and his little friend is by Dee Faust designs for Bethany Lowe. 

 The Let it Snow figure is a 2007 design by Nicol Sayre.

This little bell ringer in his green 

snow suit is by Debbee Thibault, 2005.

Christmas red napkins tied with 

courtly check ribbon held the flatware.

The lime green of the lemon cyprus topiary 

with hot pink cyclamen added just the perfect 

punch of color to the black and white theme.

Prime rib roast 

was the main dish.

Served with au jus 

and horseradish sauce.

Roasted baby carrots, haricots verts 

with roasted baby tomatoes, wild rice salad 

with dried sour cherries, and fresh bread 

were both beautiful and delicious.

Dessert was Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake 

with fudge icing, whipped cream, and raspberries.

The dessert service is St. Nick transfer ware in red by Spode. It was made exclusively for Williams-Sonoma. These plates were from 2004. This series is now retired.

The mugs are also the 2004 edition of

 St. Nick Christmas series by Spode for Williams-Sonoma.

Each guest left with a party favor, 

a petite box of chocolate truffles.

Recipe for the Texas Sheet Cake:
Sift together: 2 cups flour and 2 cups of sugar
Put in a pan: 1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup of Crisco, 4 T. cocoa, and 1 cup of water.
Bring this to a boil and pour over the flour and sugar. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs slightly beaten, 1 tsp. soda, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix and pour in a greased 11" x 16" jellyroll pan. Bake 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees.
While the cake is baking melt and bring to a boil: 1 stick of butter, 4 T cocoa, and 6 T sweet milk. Then add 1 box powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 cup pecans. Spread the icing on the cake while the cake is still hot.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Yummy, I will take a slice of that prime rib thank you!

    What a fun celebration.

  2. I especially like how you placed you cake plates off center. Where would I get the recipe for the chocolate cakes on them?

  3. Wow...everything is so lovely! How fun that you got carolers, too! I love the colors!!

  4. Sarah, that looks lovely!
    I bet your guests were thrilled with all your efforts..just beautiful!
    I didn't know kids did that any cute..

  5. Sarah, OOOOOOhhhhh, AAAAAAhhhh, Drool, Drool, squeel. Translation- Oh, thank you for posting this, I love every little tiny bit of this post! Don't be surprised to see something like this next year on my blog. This is just my style!
    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
    I am so glad you posted this!( I think I already said that- I guess I'm overcome!)

  6. Hello Sarah; OH what fun... love your table setting.. and the snow family so so cute... The food is just amazing.. so yummy looking... thank you for sharing...

    Have a great week.


  7. Oh everything looks so lovely!
    Your guests must have truly enjoyed themselves!

  8. Oh my! I feel like I just came to a party! What fun you've posted tonight and everything looks picture party perfect -- I'm sure this was a most merry occasion!

  9. We haven't had carolers for several years, lucky you.
    Your buffet is beautiful! I ♥ the dessert plates, they are so unusual.

  10. Sarah! I'm so glad you did share! How stunning. I do love the black and white check. Everything looks so lovely and most of all you were able to share with friends.

  11. Just so lovely. You are making me drool, that cake plate is incredible. I bet it was a wonderful party.

  12. Oh, I'm so glad you did post this! I enjoy seeing Christmas posts anytime!

    You always have such unique ideas, I love those snowpeople! I've started collecting a few vintage things similar to them.

    The food looks luscious! The carolers was a perfect touch!

    Beautiful post!


  13. Oooh...I would've loved to have been at this beautiful party. I adore the B&W check--so festive. Hugs, Lana Austin

  14. What a beautiful presentation, Sarah! The topiary with the cyclamen is just lovely. Everything is so pretty and the carolers just completed the right mood and festivity....Christine

  15. I love the touches of black and white.

    What a way to start the new year~ your tablescape looks fantastic.

  16. What a beautiful, beautiful holiday party! Right down to the last details, and how perfect that your neighborhood carolers appeared. That warms my heart. xo

  17. Oh Sarah, what a beautiful setting, I love the pink color and the topiary and cyclamen are just stunning. Love the Father Christmas plates too.... I so want it to be Christmas again, I wasn't ready for it to be over.
    Stay warm tomorrow, it's gonna be freezing here!
    Hugs Denise

  18. I am so happy you decided to share the pictures of the party, loved the table, the set up everything, i wish i could have been there, just stunning, you should be so proud of such a wonderful display...

  19. Very beautiful and impressive. I like your cyclamen as your centerpiece. Your arwork is wonderful. I went to MacKenzieChilds last spring. That was a fun and beautiful experience.

  20. Very beautiful and impressive. I like your cyclamen as your centerpiece. Your arwork is wonderful. I went to MacKenzieChilds last spring. That was a fun and beautiful experience.

  21. Your santa plates and cups are the best! OH and the raspberries, that cake looks wonderful.

  22. From the food to the plates, it's all stunning, Sarah! I'm in love with those cute plates and mugs and your tree!


    Sheila :-)

  23. Sarah,
    What a magical evening it must have been, everything looks wonderful.
    Your Spode china is gorgeous what a shame it's been retired.
    Thanks also for the recipe.

  24. Thanks for the recipe! I will make that little gem next week when I want to give away treats at work!

  25. Sarah, I just love your posts. You must be a bundle of energy to do as much holiday entertaining as you do. The plates from Williams Sonoma are such fun and your various collections from Nicole Sayre, etc. are too.

    Have a great day!

  26. This soooo reminds me of McKenzie Childs! I love it! Absolutely darling!

  27. Everything looks wonderful. Now I am hungry. :)

  28. Oh Sarah,
    Everything looks spectacular. Love, love, love all your snow people...they are my fave. And your table looked oh so beautiful. Such a special treat for your friends. I'm sure they enjoyed and appreciated their evening with you very much. Thank you for sharing my dear friend.

    Hugs and Kisses,

  29. What a delightful buffet...everything looks so pretty and the food looks delicious.
    I don't know if you know, but, I, too, am a HUGE fan of Courtley Check...I have a post coming up tomorrow about some of it...:O)

  30. Sarah,
    Besides popping in to tell you that you have a gorgeous blog, I just want to say THANK YOU for all the nice comments you leave on my own, as well as many other blogs that I visit. It is a pleasure finding your lovely 'blog-face' photo and kind words everywhere.

  31. Dear Sarah,
    Once again...your decorations are stunning!!! I love it all!! rib....I missed that this son always makes it, but I wasn't there this year (he is a GM for a restaurant) and is a wonderful cook! I always look forward to his prime rib! Your's looks so yummy..I can almost taste it! *GRIN*

    Now...back to painting those hearts!!

    Have a delightful day!

    Warm Hugs,

  32. Sarah, this is really nice! Your meal looks delicious, and those little snow people are the cutest. Most of all, I adore those Williams-Sonoma plates. Thanks for sharing and happy TT to you!

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Hello Sarah... rib is my FAVE cut of meat. You know, I didn't know for years that it wasn't steak--LOL...that one looks delicious!! Your husband must be a wonderful chef! I haven't eaten haricots verts ( i don't think) but my family LOVES the TX Sheetcake. Your presentation is always absolutely gorgeous!

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    (sorry about removing the above post, I decided to send you an email instead)

  35. Sarah, everything looked PEFfect! We too had prime rib with horseradish in sour cream! Your table, tree, dinner---all superb! thank you for sharing.

  36. This is magnificant! I don't know where to begin. It is so detailed. I love the check ribbon rolled around the plate stand; the black pedestal plates being askew; the red doiles atop the black pesestal plates, with the raspberry atop.
    Just magnificant.

    - The Tablescaper

  37. Sarah,
    How do I work my way onto the guest list? Everyting is so wonderful and festive. You have such a nice touch... Dee dee

  38. Hi Sarah!

    Everything looks absolutely amazing! So pretty. Love all the beautiful serving dishes and plates. Thank you for sharing. Personally, I never get tired of seeing Christmas decor!

  39. OMG Sarah!
    This is so fabulous and beautiful and then you Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake and Prime Rib! Your guests were so lucky! You have great skills at setting a gorgeous table! Cindy

  40. Sarah, what a beautiful dinner party! Oh how I LOVE all of your snow people! You have such special treasures to use in your decor. I so wish I had bought those W.S. plates the first time I saw them. They are just wonderful. Of course, I knew that someone who could host a lovely luncheon in the airport could certainly host a beautiful dinner at home. What lucky guests! laurie

  41. Hi Sarah,
    I LOVE your style!
    The snow people, the dishes, your decorating, your tree, the food. Just lovely.

  42. Sarah, I'm wowed and I know your guest were too. Beautiful table setting and gourmet menu. How perfect that the Carolers provided the entertainment. I enjoyed it all as much as your guest named Sue must have. Texas chocolate sheet cake would be perfect for my BlogginBirthday Party. I'd love to link the recipe from this post...with your permission. Your home is absolutely lovely and oooozing with Texas Hospitality!

  43. Everything is so gorgeous...I love the checked ribbon on the tree and the way you offset the top tier on your dessert tray...too cute. The buffet looks wonderful. I can almost taste that wonderful food you served. Thanks so much for your visit and your sweet words. I hope you feel better soon.

  44. Hi Sarah,

    What a beautiful dinner party.
    Your table setting, gifts, food, everything... looks like it came from a magazine.


  45. Everything looks lovely! What a nice evening you and your guests must have had. How fun to have carolers show up at your door that night! Love your little figurines - so cute. All of your food looks super delicious! Glad you shared this with it when Christmas goes on and on!


  46. Everything looks GREAT!!! Your guest must have ENJOYED!!! themselves.

  47. Sarah...everything looks wonderful! Your guest must have just loved all this wonderful food...and entertainment, too! The carolers were adorable! Everything is glad you shared this for TT today!

  48. I am very impressed with your dinnerparty arrangements. This is very posh and very beautiful. I'm also intriged by the Nicole Sayre figurines. They are truly wonderful.
    Thanks for sharing with us and a Happy New Year!

  49. Everything looks beautiful and delicious. I am sorry I missed the party! I love Texas Sheet Cake. I will have to add the raspberries and cream next time. Nice touch.

  50. I love her snow people! And the tree is absolutely stunning. That food don't look too shabby either!

  51. What a spectacular meal! Every morsel looks delicious. Thanks for the Texas Sheet Cake recipe. It's a nice one to have in the recipe box. Have a great Foodie Friday.


    I second, third and fourth all the ooos and ahhhs...
    it is never too late (or early) to view a Christmas Party!

  53. Totally beautiful holiday! I especially love that wonderful snowman! It's nice to see Christmas a bit later when my eyes are fresher!

  54. I love your table and all the snow people. I had never heard of Nicol Sayre. I'll have to check out her work. Your food looks amazing also.

  55. I got hungry just looking at that rib roast! Yummy! I am going to steal the idea of wrapping the napkins with a little bit of ribbon. That looked so cute and, more importantly, cheap!

  56. Absolutely love everything, but I especially love the tall, slim Christmas tree.

    PS - the food caught my attention too!

  57. Beautiful post Sarah! There is so much pink here I hope you will be joining in with Pink Saturday! You girls in Texas look like you really know how to entertain big style!! That Texas sheet cake recipe looks delicious! I have added a link to my Pink Saturday post telling people to stop by and check out your sight! Hope you have a great weekend! Sherri : )

  58. I am so glad I didn't miss this lovely and deliscious post!
    thank you!

  59. Yum........*drooling*......everything looks delish and a feast for the eyes.

    Warm blessings,

  60. Echoes of pink throughout the meal and the table. How elegant!

  61. Hi Sarah
    What wonderful looking party. I'm sure your guests must have felt very pampered. I know I would!
    Those chocolates in the previous post were amazing. Your husband sure spoils you. I think that is so sweet.
    Hugs, Rhondi


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.