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 Dinner Parties
 BIy Angie Bridges
t’s no secret amongst my friends that I LOVE a dinner party. I adore the entire process from planning, to cooking,
to serving. It’s in my blood. My parents entertained a lot in our home when I was growing up and I have the best memories of their “famous dinner parties” complete with music, laughter, and dancing. There was never a shortage of people sharing our table, so it comes as no surprise that having people to my table is my happy place. With all this social distancing going on, I think a return to this blast from the past exactly what we all need right now.
My FAB method today stands for Food, Ambiance, and Beverage. Decide on a theme of sorts (no, I’m not talking about matching cartoon character plates and cups- save that for the kiddoes). I mean I decide if I want to do Spanish, or Greek, or American barbecue-whatever your heart desires and then get my Food (menu) together, for Ambiance, I mean your table, and mood of your entertaining space (lots of unscented candles are brilliant for ambiance) and of course, Beverages, which always flow in the Bridges household. If you cover those three things and invite your favorite people to your table and you’ll be rewarded with a lovely evening making memories.
Also, I can’t stress enough recommending keeping your number of guests manageable. A dinner party should be intimate and casual. My top number for one is 8, but if I’m being totally honest, 6 is my comfort zone. My husband and I, plus two other couples or 4 other people. I’ve found that more than that and people can’t all organically talk and add to the conversation. Lastly, don’t be afraid to let your friends help. A perfect example for me is dessert. It’s just NOT my jam, and unless I’ve decided I’m serving fruit, or something super easy, (Irish Cream over ice cream, anyone?) I’ll let a friend whom asks (and usually everyone asks “what can I bring?”) bring dessert. It could be dessert, even an appetizer, or a beverage. People love to help- let them.
This month I’m sharing with you a super simple appetizer that takes only a few minutes to prepare and always gets rave reviews. Enjoy!
Ciao for now my friends- Angie
Hot Crawfish Dip
You’ll Need: 4 tbs butter, 2 tbs olive oil, 1 cup sliced green onions (about 1 large bunch), sliced, 1 small green bell pepper, diced, 1 (1- lb.) package frozen cooked, peeled crawfish tails, thawed and undrained, 4 garlic cloves,
minced, 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained, 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning (I use Paul Prudhomme’s brand) 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened, French bread slices Directions: Heat butter and olive oil butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add green onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Stir in crawfish and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream cheese until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Garnish with a few green onion slices and
fresh parsley. Serve with toasted French bread slices.
Angie Bridges is owner of Copa Wine Bar in
Stone Oak along with
her husband, Jeff Bridges. Angie is also the founder of the Taste of the Northside Fiesta event and is the original Queen of the Vine.
     Tips & Advice On Pebblestone Sealing
uring this time of year, we are probably all spending as much time as possible around the
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 water.Thelake,river,coast...if it’s cool,wet and breezy, it’s calling our name. And of course, the pool. It’s the centerpiece of your backyard and you probably spend a lot of time treating and cleaning the water.
But what about the surrounding surface? Pebblestone is a popular pick and may be what you have in your backyard. If so, did you know how important proper care can be? After meeting with Barry Hagendorf of Deck and Patio Care, Deck and Patio Care,
I learned that moisture can penetrate the stones and changing temperatures can expand that moisture, wedging the rocks loose – especially around my pool. On both new and older pebblestone, the experts at Deck and Patio Care acid washed the film of concrete off the rocks. Then, oxidized the surface to kill mold and mildew. Finally, they used a clear acrylic sealer to lock the stones to restore it’s natural, wet look. Don’t have a backyard pool? Perhaps ts your deck that needs some TLC. Age could be a factor. I learned that unprotected wood only lasts for 9-14 years.
Deck and Patio Care recommends that you clean the wood on your deck and seal it with an oil-based penetrating sealer to extend its life and beauty. Barry’s Premium Blend oil-based penetrating sealer is designed to look for dry cell structure in the wood. It will penetrate first to the bottom of the cracks, nail holes and knots. Barry’s Premium Blend will protect from the surface down, actually stabilizing the cell structure
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As any homeowner can tell you, the
harsh climate in South Texas can be detrimental to your outdoor space. And of course there are other circumstances that can take a toll including lack of proper care and the presence of surrounding structures, like a pool. The experts at Deck and Patio can help refresh your outdoor space, transforming it into a place that you can enjoy with family and friends for years to come. Deck & Patio Care (210) 822-9147.
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www.stoneoakhighlights.com
August 2020


























































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