A Very Cherry Birthday Party

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by Candace Brower and Anthony Lunsmann
Photography by Cedric Smith

When one of the coolest chicks in the land (I’m talking about you Autumn Van Gunten) is turning 40 and her even cooler boyfriend (Yep, that’s you Cedric Smith) asks you to cater a little surprise dinner party for her and her closest friends, you scream HELL YES!

Inspired by the juicy ruby colored fruit of the season, I used cherries to inform the table and the menu spectacle for this very special event.

The result, like Autumn, a total cherry bomb!!!

The menu on a chalkboard made of a vintage vanity mirror
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Greens, roses, fresh cherries and vintage milk glass ran down the middle of the farm tables as a centerpiece. 
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The birthday girl, Autumn, in blue and feeling happy surrounded by her dearest friends including her best friend who flew in from Ohio for the surprise! 
Me…explaining the menu and looking tired! 🙂 
Libbie Summers Dinner Party, Greeting Guests, 40th birthday parties
First Course (sat on the table for guests to pour themselves):
Southern Peanut Soup 

Soups, Peanut Soup, A food-inspired life, Libbie Summers
Second Course:
Salad of Pea Shoots, Avocado and Watermelon

Salads, Summer Salads, Avocado Salads, Watermelon Salads, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, parties
Tablescape Ingredients: Fresh rosemary, eucalyptus, fresh cherries, pink roses, garden greens, vintage glassware, mix of flatware, torn french fabric napkins, mix and match plates, vintage milk glass, glass cloches and burlap. 
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Main Course:
Slow Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Fried Potatoes, Cherry Salsa, Handmade Charred Tortillas
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Cherry Inspired birthday party, Libbie Summers, Summer Parties, Cherry-inspired party, Summer entertaining, Libbie Summers

Happy 40th Birthday Autumn!

Cherry Watermelon Wedge Salad

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Teresa Earnest
Assisted by David Dempsey

When my son was young, he called a watermelon wedge diced in the rind “fancy melon”. In toddler Jenga fashion, his tiny fingers would strategically pull out the diced pieces from the rind bringing on contagious juicy giggles.

With a few simple cuts, the humble watermelon wedge will instantly become “fancy” in the eyes of any guests at your table. And, topped with this simple fruit salsa, salty feta and crunchy pistachios…it’s extra fancy.
Summer Salads, Watermelon Salad, Cherry Salsa, Summer Entertaining
Cherry Watermelon Wedge Salad
ripe melon, cherry salsa, feta, pistachios, lime finish
Serves 4

What you need:
4 watermelon wedges (about 6-8 inches long and 3-4 inches wide at the rind)
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped (feel free to sub any fruit here, it all works!)
¼ jalapeno, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 juicy lime
Flake sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
Olive oil for drizzling

What to do:
1. Prepare cherry salsa: Cut the lime in half. Cut one half into wedges and set aside for serving. In a small bowl, stir together the cherries, jalapeno, cilantro and juice of ½ lime. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Prepare watermelon: The way these wedges are diced in the rind and served from it, is what   makes this summer salad a show stopper! Working with one wedge at a time, start your cuts from the peak of the watermelon wedge, make vertical slices 1-inch wide just down to the rind (don’t cut through the rind). Next, with your knife at a 45-degree angle, make horizontal cuts about 1-inch wide on one side of the wedge working from the peak to the rind without slicing through the rind. Spin to the other side of the wedge and repeat the process. Finally, run your knife along the rind of the wedge.
To Serve: Place one watermelon wedge on each plate pulling out a few of the pieces of melon slightly to give a “shelf” for the salsa to land on. Spoon salsa over each wedge. Top each with feta and pistachios. Drizzle with olive oil and finish with a pinch of salt. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.
Summer Salads, Watermelon Salad, Cherry Salsa, Summer Entertaining, Fancy Salad
Event Design, Party Design, Magnolias, Watermelon, A food-inspired life,

Tropical Bandanas and 4 Ways to Use Them (VIDEO)

by Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Hand-dyed and inspired by the colors of tropical fruit, these bandanas aren’t just for tying around your neck! I share 4 ways to take a bandana from ordinary to extraordinary!

4 Ways To Use a Bandana

Inspired by tropical fruit and hand dyed, these bandanas aren't just for tying around your neck! 🍋🍌: Fancy up a lamp🍉: Chic up your dog! 🍊🍑: Make a watch band! 🍉🍓🥝🍌: Set a colorful table! #afoodinspiredlife #sundayinspiredvideos #tropicalfruit #bandanas #diy #tablesetting With David Dempsey Smith Brothers Butcher Shop

Posted by Libbie Summers on Sunday, August 13, 2017

Magnolia and Watermelon Party Blueprint

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Still photography by teresa earnest photography

Every party I design (no matter how big or small) starts with a “party blueprint”. Here’s a little sneak peek of the inspiration process and start of the blueprint for this Summer Soirée that’s cheery and cherry filled!

Summer Centerpiece

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

My beloved collection of vintage glasses and a colorful summer bouquet made the perfect centerpiece for this luncheon!