The first thing that came to mind when I wanted to throw a dinner for friends with an ode to “Oh La La “, was the thought of a simple meal with special details that wouldn’t break the bank. A simple meal that would still be sophisticated and tasty, but decorated by a table that would be Oh La La worthy for my guests. That is the definition of Polished for Pennies Entertaining. So I thought of a beautiful golden crisped chicken, a gorgeous loaf of bread with salted butter, sautéed mushrooms, oven baked potatoes, good wine and a tablescape that reflected warmth, color, and sweetness.
Let’s talk flowers for a sec! Not being one to neglect flowers, I opted to break up the arrangement for a scattered look on the table. Roses, small colorful somethings, and I even used weeds… yes, vine weeds from my yard to lace in between the vases and metal tray to add another touch of greenery. And weeds I found in the back of my house that looked like babies breath! (By the way, make sure you give them a rinse) At Polished for Pennies, we use what we have, and if we don’t have time to run out, we scurry about and look around the corners or hedges for potential! So I found all the beautiful flowers and weeds I used on the table in my yard, which saved me a few pennies!
Here were a few more special touches that helped create a mood and feel for my meal:
- Using old wine bottles to chill water for the table
- Vintage wine glasses ($1 per glass)
- Vintage water glasses ($.75 per glass)
- Clear glass plates ($1 per plate at the Dollar Store)
- Vintage plate for propping up a garden pot used for a wine bucket
- Vintage glass plate to display fresh fruit for dessert
- Pink and white printed cloth napkins from Marshalls on clearance ($3.50 per pack of 5)
- Small votive candles for another pop of color
Now, the idea of a simple meal should never make you feel like it has to be boring or bland! So I thought of how I would be displaying my chicken to add that Oh La La factor. First I found an awesome chicken recipe by one of my idols, Ina Garten, and cooked my Lemon and Garlic Roasted Chicken! It came out freaking perfect by the way!
Using a silver tray found by my Mom at a thrift store for $10, I covered it in brown parchment, and used it as my chicken centerpiece and surrounded it in succulent potatoes.
For the potatoes, I covered a baking sheet in parchment, sliced the potatoes in half and then laid them cut side down in rows. I drizzled them with lots of olive oil and sprinkled a good amount of Montreal Seasoning on top for a nice flavorful crunch! Baked them until golden and tender, and these turned out to be a favorite among my guests and SUPER EASY!
For the mushrooms… even easier! Wash and dry two packages of button mushrooms really good. Mince one clove of garlic and put into a pan with a nice coating of olive oil. Throw in the mushrooms, turn on the heat to medium and let them go! Check back every once in a while to give the pan a shake, but when they are done you’ll know it! they will shrink a bit and have a gorgeous pan juice of all their goodness! Finish with fresh chopped parsley… BOOM!
The rest was history. And now I’m hungry again!