Springtime fête

Photos by Angela DiVincenti Babin


Fresh flowers and sweet treats make meeting over a meal festive


Ladies don’t lunch like they once did. The rapid pace of today’s society keeps us on the road, in meetings, at school or elsewhere during the day. To actually schedule a lunch date with friends takes weeks to coordinate.

So when it’s finally time to sit down and have a special meal just for the girls, it’s great to give a special effort and make the meal spectacular—even if you are picking up some items to add to what you are making at home. Here, simple chocolate petit fours and Ambrosia’s new Almond Poppy Coffee Cake pair well with Chicken Pasta Salad and sandwiches. It’s the special touches such as fresh garden roses and white hydrangeas that set the scene. And beautiful watercolor menus and place cards make it special.

“A simple lunch with pretty flower garnishes and sweet sips is both satisfying and refreshing while catching up with friends,” says Angela DiVincenti Babin of Angela Marie Events. “And don’t forget a simple gift for your hostess.”

Entertaining 10

Entertaining 6Entertaining 4Resources

Styling, photography, florals:
Angela Marie Events
Place cards, fans and tags:
Proper Prints
Petit fours and Almond Poppy Coffee Cake:
The Ambrosia Bakery
Stationery set:
Paper ’n Things
Plates and utensils:
Sur la Table

Entertaining fiz 1

Cucumber-Ginger Fizzes

This cool, refreshing delight is perfect for warm spring nights


1 1⁄2 cups vodka

2 English cucumbers; 1 peeled and coarsely chopped, 1 left whole

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

2 bottles (750 ml each) sparkling water or club soda

1⁄2 to 1 cup Ginger Simple Syrup (recipe follows)


Put vodka and chopped cucumber in a glass bowl or pitcher and refrigerate for 1 hour. Strain; discard cucumber. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use, up to 2 days.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the remaining cucumber lengthwise into wide strips; discard seeds. Fill eight tumblers with ice. Add 3 cucumber strips and 3 tablespoons infused vodka to each glass. Squeeze then drop a lime wedge into each. Top with sparkling water; stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons syrup. Serves 8.


Ginger Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 piece (about 10 inches long and 4 ounces; or use several small pieces) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin rounds


Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add ginger; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and let steep for 30 minutes. Pour syrup through a fine sieve into an airtight
container; discard ginger. Refrigerate up to 1 month. Makes about 1 1⁄4 cups.

Entertaining rose

Lillet Rose Spring Cocktail

Lillet, maker of many Francophiles’ favorite apertif, introduced a rose version a few years ago to complement Lillet Blanc and Lillet Rouge. The below cocktail has the aroma of flowers and ripe berries.


12 oz. Lillet Rose

12 oz. Ruby Red grapefruit juice

6 oz. gin

6 edible flower blossoms or candied petals (optional)


Combine 6 ounces Lillet, 6 ounces grapefruit juice, 3 ounces gin and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until well chilled. Strain and divide cocktail among 3 stemmed cocktail glasses, such as Champagne coupes. Repeat. Garnish with flowers. Makes 6 servings.

Entertaining pasta

Chicken Pasta Salad

Marinating the pasta and chicken overnight make this dish amazing.


16 oz. rotini pasta

2 cups zesty Italian dressing

2 Tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning

1 (12-oz.) jar marinated artichokes

4 Tbsp. chopped parsley

2 tsp. basil

2 tsp. oregano

2 bunches green onions, chopped

2 cup mayonnaise

3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 (6-oz.) can black olives, sliced

1 1⁄2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups grated Parmesan cheese


Day 1: Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Combine dressing and lemon pepper. Add pasta to dressing; mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In another bowl, combine artichokes, parsley, basil, oregano, onion and mayo. Mix well. Add chicken and stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Day 2:
Mix pasta and chicken mixtures. Add peppers, olives and tomatoes. Mix well. Add cheese just before serving and mix again.