Category Archives: entertaining

how to make dope crudités

June 22, 2015

entertaining / recipes

how to make dope crudités | almost makes perfect how to make dope crudités | almost makes perfect

i personally think my husband could be a food stylist. he only started cooking about two years ago, but he got so good so quickly, and his plating is always on point. it actually made me super insecure about cooking. you may have noticed i share a lot fewer recipes on the blog now than i used to, this is all because of him.

so i asked him to create a crudité platter for our game night last week, and he really really nailed it. (WELL HEY, i did the shopping all on my own!) because he nailed it so much, i asked him to share his tips for how to recreate your own. this is the first time you’ve heard from gideon on the blog, so this is exciting stuff you guys!


hi! a good crudités or charcuterie is kind of like arranging a bouquet of flowers. you want different colors, in different amounts, composed and scrunched together with a few things that pop, and a few that melt into the background. here are some general tips:

messy is good

you want your plate/board/vessel to look like it’s overflowing with wonderful delicious morsels. mixing up different textures and colors is a good thing. you can have your carrots in several spots, and keep your broccoli all to itself, and sprinkle cherry tomatoes all over — everything looks better and more abundant in a (controlled) jumble.

symmetry is (usually) bad

having equal amounts of carrots on the right and left, with 5 tomatoes on each side, with broccoli next to that… pretty soon your crudités is going to look like the wheel of fortune wheel. this is great if you’re hosting a wheel of fortune party, but it takes away the organic beauty found in a more farm-to-coffee-table look, and makes it appear more like you bought that plastic platter at the grocery store. maybe start with a teensy bit of symmetry as a base, and then mess it up as you add the rest.

how to make dope crudités  | almost makes perfect

edible garnish is still edible

leafy or herbal garnishes look great on a platter like this, and you’d be surprised how many guests end up dipping your dill springs into the ranch and making a snack of it. basically, as long as it’s edible, there’s no rules or reason to hold back on an arrangement like this. use everything you have that makes it pretty (as long as you can eat it).

find ways to make it unique

you can really make a crudités stand out with unique ingredients or uncommon garnishes. edible flowers and heirloom carrots add unexpected colors. orange bell pepper adds a sweet note and a neon pop to your otherwise planty palate. garnish with unusual herbs like rosemary or baby dill or sprigs of thyme. if it came from the ground, goes in your mouth, and looks good on the plate, then it belongs in your crudités.

how to make dope crudités | almost makes perfect how to make dope crudités | almost makes perfect

FOOD STYLING BY GIDEON BOOMER
ART DIRECTION BY ALMOST MAKES PERFECT + MOLLY RHYMER
PHOTOS BY MARY COSTA

how to host a game night for adults

June 18, 2015

entertaining

how to host a game night for adults | almost makes perfect

you may have heard me mention that my friends and i do a pretty serious game night. we’ve been pretty much keeping it up bi-weekly for the past few years, so i’ve definitely learned a thing or two about what makes for a good game and what doesn’t. and because i’m generous with advice, i decided to share with you my best tips!

how to host a grown up game night |  almost makes perfect how to host a grown up game night | almost makes perfect

1. INVITE AN GOOD NUMBER OF PEOPLE
try to invite an even or big group of people. and base the game accordingly : if you have an even number, team games are always the most intense for us. make sure everyone is equally passionate about playing games, because you don’t want any naysayers or buzz kills. there are certain games that are fine for a small group, and some that are only fun with a large one.

2. CHOOSE THE GAME PRIOR
our game night email chain is when we decide on the game(s), so there’s no heated discussion once everyone arrives. if your friends need help, provide them with a list of options. (this might also apply to friends who apparently like to argue about these things.

how to host a game night | almost makes perfect diy personalized game pieces  | almost makes perfect diy personalized game board pieces  | almost makes perfect

3. WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, CHOOSE THE RIGHT GAMES
now that our game night has commenced so many times, we know what we all enjoy and what we don’t. games that end up being the most fun for us are : taboo, mafia and celebrity. we also love balderdash when the group is feeling a little more mellow. and to spice up your old board games, i came up with an easy DIY to gift all your friends with : personalized game pieces! you can keep them in one place and use them every time you guys play a board game – so no more fighting over who has to be orange. head over to the kendall-jackson blog today to see the how-to.

4. DON’T START THE GAME RIGHT AWAY, AND HAVE ANOTHER AS BACKUP
we usually end up talking for about 30 mins at least before we start playing. but as the host, it’s your job to shut everyone up and make them start the game at a certain point (what a thoughtful host i am!) when the game has finished and everyone is winding down, but not leaving — have an extra little game for them to play. we love telephone pictionary for the end of the night, because everyone can sit around and crack up and leave on a really high note.

how to host a game night for adults | almost makes perfect how to host a grown-up game night | almost makes perfect how to host a grown-up game night | almost makes perfect how to host a grown-up game night | almost makes perfect how to host a game night | almost makes perfect

5. CLEAR OFF YOUR COFFEE TABLE
we always tend to play around a coffee table versus a dining table, because it’s a much more relaxed vibe. while the girls will admire your cute coffee table styling, it ends up getting in the way so save the trinket display for your next party. all you need on the table is the games and some coasters.

6. MAKE EASY FINGER FOODS THAT DON’T REQUIRE FLATWARE
you don’t need to serve dinner at game night, and it’s much easier to nosh while playing. chips and dips, crudite and frozen appetizers are all easy. (even easier, just order a couple of pizzas to be delivered when everyone arrives.) also, if you want to avoid doing a bunch of dishes, no one will judge you for using paper plates and paper napkins. especially if they get to drink from real glasses.

7. PROVIDE DESSERT
because you don’t want your teammates running out of steam before you lead them to victory. give them a little sugar fix. we always find a box of donuts is cheap, easy, and gets eaten. and when they don’t, you can turn them into favors! i have a printable i’ll be sharing with you next week for that.

how to host a game night for adults | almost makes perfect how to host a game night | almost makes perfect

8. DON’T WORRY ABOUT NOT HAVING ENOUGH CHAIRS
as long as you have enough floor space. arrange some cushions and pillows on the floor, and make your guests feel comfortable by sitting on the floor yourself.

how to host a game night for adults |  almost makes perfect how to host a game night |  almost makes perfect

9. MAKE SURE THERE IS PLENTY TO DRINK
we usually do game night on tuesdays, but everyone still wants to have a glass of wine or two. it’s also totally acceptable to provide food as the host and ask your guests to BYOB if they’re particular. we still always have a bottle or two of wine in case, like kendall-jackson avant sauvignon blanc (especially perf for a summer game night al fresco)

10. YOU DON’T NEED TO SET A MOOD
don’t bother setting the mood with music and candles. background music is fine, but in our group — we’ve always ended up turning down the music so we can focus and yell more. and candles, although they might create some pretty mood lighting, use a lamp instead. you don’t want your rug setting on fire because your friend just blew his round of celebrity and was flailing everywhere.


PHOTOGRAPHY : MARY COSTA
LOCATION : THE MOON & CO

THIS POST IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH KENDALL-JACKSON. ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN.

a sunday lunch for spring

May 7, 2015

entertaining

spring lunch | almost makes perfect a springtime lunch  | almost makes perfect

you know how sometimes you get married and you get lots of beautiful serving items from your registry, but then you just never use them because entertaining is such a thing? so i decided i’m going to try to entertain like 5% more than i do now. with spring here, there are lots of pretty new things in the produce section. so i made a simple and easy menu of a dope charcuterie tray, a fresh citrus salad, and for dessert : winesicles made from kendall-jackson pinot gris!

a spring party | almost makes perfect a springtime lunch party | almost makes perfect
a springtime lunch | almost makes perfect a spring lunch | almost makes perfect

i had my friend molly co-style the party with me — we kept the table pretty neutral besides the flowers and the food. we scattered airplants along the table, and i DIYed some patterned napkins and seed packet favors (which i’ll do posts on next week!) we also decided to make it very springy, so we created a real leaf backdrop as the focal point. i’ll also do a post on that!

gideon made the best looking charcuterie plate i’ve ever seen — so i will from now on be making him make that for event we host.

spring party winesicles with edible flowers | almost makes perfect winesicles with edible flowers | almost makes perfect

the winesicles were so good. i was worried they’d taste a little strong but i could seriously eat 5 of them. the vintner’s reserve pinot gris was the peeerfect taste for popsicles. and then fall asleep for the rest of the day. you can head over to the kendall-jackson blog to see the recipe!

a spring lunch | almost makes perfect a springtime lunch a springtime lunch

SOURCES
plates / wine glasses / cheese board / serving tray / serving bowl / vase / runner / table


STYLING : ALMOST MAKES PERFECT + MOLLY RHYMER
PHOTOGRAPHY : LILY GLASS

THIS POST IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH KENDALL-JACKSON. ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN.

oscar party / best picture themed menu

February 17, 2015

entertaining / movies

hosting an oscar party? we decided to come up with a very festive menu to serve — best picture nominee themed dishes!

oscar party themed dishes | almost makes perfect

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING : the theory of everything bagel crackers
THE IMITATION GAME : the imitation crab dip (you can use real crab, but for the first time ever, say it’s imitation) (alt : crab ragoon, crab salad, california rolls)
AMERICAN SNIPER : american sliders
WHIPLASH : whiplashed sweet potatoes
BIRDMAN : buffalo birdwings (alt : you could also just pick up KFC)
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL : courtesan au chocolat (alt: just buy some french pastries)
SELMA : i have a dreamsicles
BOYHOOD : boyhoodsen berry spritzers (sub the blackberry for boysenberry) (alt : boysenberry crumble)

+ ps. don’t forget to download the printable ballots!

how we spend valentines day

February 5, 2015

entertaining / valentines day

#loveuo

when gid and i first started dating, we would get dressed up and go out to dinner, like most people do – on valentines day. but then we decided we were never doing that again. those crazy expensive prefixes and the huge crowds of people is just not our thing. so we made a new tradition a few years ago that we’d stay in and cook ourselves a fancy dinner in our pajamas. this year we decided on mussels. they’re so easy to make and they’re also really hard to screw up. want the recipe? ok i’ll post that too!

our valentines date night

urban outfitters asked us to show how we celebrate our love on valentines day, and i was so excited because i love UO as you guys know from years of wish lists. they have a pretty dope curated gift guide for valentines day this year, whether it be romantic records or gifts for him or gifts for you (you can just send it to your guy and let him choose)

i was also excited to have the excuse to clean up and show you a lot more of our apartment than you’ve ever seen.

valentines date night #loveuo our valentines date night valentines day night #loveuo our valentines date night vday date night in #loveuo vday date night in | #loveuo

in case you and your valentine aren’t big on cooking — our other favorite valentines day date to avoid the crowds at restaurants… the early bird specials. no seriously. we went to a fancy restaurant one year at 5pm and not only was the prefixe menu like 50% cheaper, but we had the place to ourselves and every waiter was there for us, along with our own live music. (sadly, the restaurant was red o and they don’t seem to be doing early bird specials anymore)

valentines day night #loveuo valentines day night #loveuo vday date night #loveuo vday date night in #loveuo valentines day night | #loveuo

SHOP THE POST



PHOTOS BY LILY GLASS
THIS POST IS IN SPONSORSHIP WITH URBAN OUTFITTERS. ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN.

last minute thanksgiving inspo + happy thanksgiving

November 26, 2014

entertaining / thanksgiving

it’s another year, and another time i’ll apologize to all of you that don’t celebrate thanksgiving having to deal with all the blogs posting about thanksgiving. but at least there’s a lot of pretty tables for you to get inspired to host some autumnal dinner parties!

i’m signing off for the week, but wanted to share some inspiration to help you set your table or pretty up your guests leftovers.

thanksgiving table inspo  | almost makes perfect

keep reading

a summer dinner party

June 23, 2014

entertaining / roundup

it’s officially summer now! hope you had a warm weekend outside — i spent almost all of last week being sick and working, but i’m feeling better now and a tiny bit ready to get back into the swing of things.

we had a yard sale on saturday and our apartment feels so much emptier. i’ve been a hoarder for about 10 years now so i’ve been really trying to be better and only buy things i really love, but it would be so much easier to just start over. every closet and corner is stuffed to the brim with things. but the yard sale helped! and we’re putting the money we made towards the honeymoon.

with our tiny patio, all i can do is daydream about al fresco dinner parties, which i do every summer.

a summer dinner party

01 | these diy gold leaf terracotta pots would look amazing scattered around the table
02 | my all time favorite modern beverage dispenser, who doesn’t want a big vat of spiked punch
03 | a rad serving tray that every food i’m currently thinking of would look amazing on
04 | a pineapple citronella candle? i mean. these would totally double duty as decor and skin savers
05 | someday when i have room, i’m buying a couple of these chairs
06 | cute patterned throws for when it cools down
07 | plastic cups that don’t look plastic, so in.
08 | i’m obsessed with these bamboo plates – we used them for the shower and they are amazing quality and amazing looking for disposables, i’m now never not going to use them.

oscar party

February 28, 2014

entertaining

oscar party

better late than two days prior. i’m just going to my moms house for the oscars this year (she totally has cable), but if i do throw an oscar party NEXT year (which i won’t because we refuse to pay for cable) here is what i’d host that shit with.

everyone loves alphabet balloons. they’re cheap and you can spell out anything. here are some examples : BEST PICTURE. BEST PARTY. CHIWITEL. (i just like his name)

don’t forget to print out the oscar ballots i shared last week! put money on it. or dares.

gold paper straws will make any drink look festive.

i’m all about the retro popcorn boxes — and they’re available at most restaurant supply stores.

you could use this DIY to gold dip all of your glasses, or if you’re not into that – how about paper cups?!

we love playing the leonard maltin game, and having the book around is the perfect commercial past time.

these gold block-printed napkins are oscars festive, but definitely cute enough to use all the time.