I hope everyone is having a good week! This year, my girlfriends and I vowed to set aside one day each month to get together. We collectively decided we’d like to spend quality time together while trying new things or getting creative. I had the pleasure of hosting & planning for March, and I had to snap some photos last weekend to share with you because it was such a fun & beautiful time! Since everyone met at my house, I decided to put our kitchen and my pasta maker to good use for a fun-filled evening of all things Italy. We rolled out handmade pasta, sampled our favorite Italian wines (after an afternoon spritz, of course), enjoyed homemade lemon gelato for dessert, had the best time catching up, and everyone went home with a little goodie bag. I also enjoyed styling a pretty tablescape that definitely has me ready for spring… it snowed here again on Monday. Oof. Click through a peek at my pasta making dinner party!
Before we got our hands dirty, I handed out aprons to everyone. These make such fun party favors! We just got these in the shop and they’re my new favorite for cooking & baking.
I prepped the dough in advance to expedite our pasta making afternoon, but it’s really simple (and fun) to make. I’ve found the best, authentic pasta comes from recipes with few ingredients.
Next, I explained to my friends how to roll out the dough, feed it through the pasta machine, fill the ravioli, and stamp it with the press to create perfectly uniform and delicious stuffed pasta.
Everyone took turns pressing ravioli and chatting while I made the limoncello butter sauce. None of my friends had made homemade pasta before, so it was extra special to be able to share one of my favorite recipes with them.
While we waited for our pasta water to boil, we enjoyed an Aperol spritz while dreaming of spring weather and future travels. How pretty is this new glassware from the shop?!
We also snacked on a little Italian cheese tray I assembled while we waited on our pasta to finish. Those rosemary crisps are my favorite!
For the tablescape, I definitely wanted my friends to feel transported to warmer weather and I was inspired by time spent in places like Florence & Sienna. I kept it simple, classic, and colorful.
Just as spring was starting to feel so close, it snowed a few more inches this week. I left the tablecloth on our dining table and have been lighting my favorite candles to will warmer weather into existence over here. Anyone else? This dinner party was a much needed escape.
We also perused a new-to-me book called Vino that had us sampling different Italian wines… another perfect way to transport our tastebuds to Italy.
Our pasta turned out delicious and fun was had by all! It was a great kickoff to our new monthly ritual. I’ll link the essentials for you below, if you’re curious about sources.
To shop the post, use the numbered links below the collage… some of the thumbnails are clickable, but not all!
01: stoneware tray // 02: shell serving set // 03: glass jar candle // 04: water glass // 05: champagne flute // 06: wine glass // 07: fig vinegar // 08: recipe cards // 09: sienna serving bowl // 10: olive tree // 11: kitchenaid mixer // 12: copper measuring spoons // 13: floral napkins // 14: serving bowl // 15: handmade oil bottle // 16: plates // 17: san pellegrino // 18: ravioli stamp // 19: bamboo flatware // 20: glazed vase // 21: pasta cookbook // 22: napkin rings // 23: wood wedge // 24: ice cream maker // 25: white easel // 26: copper measuring cups // 27: pasta attachment // 28: salt & pepper mills // 29: apron // 30: vintage braided baskets // 31: striped kitchen towel // 32: vino gift box // 33: hand blocked tablecloth
Dessert was homemade gelato drizzled with local honey, and wow- was it good! My friend’s nephew is a beekeeper and he sells honey by the jar. It’s the best and she was excited to see it made its way into our Italian dinner menu.
I gave everyone recipe cards of everything I served, in case they wanted to give it a try at home. I think that’s an easy and personal way to share favorites and make memories after gathering.
One of my goals for this year was to connect more deeply with my friends. We’re all experiencing unique challenges and are moving through different phases of life, but really want to be there for each other. We collectively agreed we could all use more quality time together and would like to branch out of our regular dinner or brunch dates, meeting at a restaurant. Setting aside one day per month seemed feasible, so we compiled a shared note filled with ideas. We each take turns hosting & planning. If you’re looking to do something similar, some of our ideas include…
- Succulent garden DIY and spring cocktails
- Yoga & spa day (one of my friends has a beautiful cedar sauna in her home)
- Outdoor lawn summer dinner party (think vintage rugs, floor cushions, and string lights)
- Floral arranging evening with floral inspired cocktails (like rosewater & lavender)
- Game night… play a couple of our favorite board or card games
- Outdoor movie night (outdoor projector, popcorn, etc)
How do you and your friends make or keep plans? Do you have any fun activities we should try? How often do you get together with loved ones? I think this is going to be the start of some really good memories and something fun we can look forward to each month.
I sent everyone home with an assortment of Italian cookies… they’re perfect paired alongside espresso! I also included a kitchen towel, recipe cards, a ravioli stamp (so they can try it at home), in addition to the aprons. I had planned to also include leftovers, but we didn’t have any. Ha! I love a good to-go box or basket.
I hope you enjoyed a peek at my weekend with friends. We had the best time! Generally, I try to leave my camera packed away for things like this- because it can feel like work and I want to be present in the moment, but I tried to snap some images for you before everyone showed up. I love to host and that tablescape was really fun to throw together. Here’s to warmer weather ahead! We’re off to Arizona to meet my parents for some camping. I’m ready for sunshine and family time.