How to Make Fettunta (Italian Garlic Bread)

Fettunta is of my favorite things to serve as a part of heavy appetizer or to go alongside a yummy stew during the wintertime. If you haven’t heard of fettunta, it is Italian version of garlic bread. It’s full of flavor, and you toast it until it’s crisp around the edges but still soft in the center.

You will need:
Bread
Olive oil
Garlic
Baking sheet

*The bread you see in the video is a bit of a unique color because I used kalamata olive ciabatta.

1. Slice garlic bread into 3/4 inch slices and place on baking sheet.

2. Drizzle or brush with olive oil.

3. Cook on broil setting for approximately 5 minutes, being sure not to burn or over toast bread.

4. Remove and rub with with a clove of garlic or the entire bulb with the cloves exposed. The flavor is best if this part is done when the bread is still pretty warm.

Enjoy!

I’ve made a video making this yummy and easy bread as well:

RSVP: The Forgotten Common Courtesy

RSVP comes from the French phrase, “répondez, s’il vous plaît,” which means “please reply.” When it comes to event planning, the host would like the guests to reply and tell them whether or not they will attend.

In this day and age, with the exception of weddings, most people don’t see the value of a timely reply. Not only does it help the host prepare the party space and amount of food, replying is really common courtesy.

Other times, people reply with a “yes” and do not write the event onto a calendar. At the very last moment, there happens to be a scheduling conflict, and someone loses out. I completely understand since I too have a busy schedule, and I also fall prey to wanting to please everyone by saying “yes” to all the social events I am invited to. In reality, we have to say “no” to something! Please don’t say you’ll go out of guilt, when you know you really cannot. This will do more harm than good.

Here are a few tips that have helped me in recent years as far as keeping track of events and also what to do when you cannot attend, but are still feeling guilty.

1. Write events on more than one calendar. For me, this means placing on my mobile phone calendar and then also syncing it with my email calendar. For really important events, I also set two alerts, with one being a day or two on advance.

2. Reply by the deadline, not when you know for sure. If by the deadline you do not know, the answer is “no”.

3. Don’t reply with a “yes” to be nice. Reply because you actually plan to (and want to) go.

4. Don’t feel badly about what you cannot afford. Weddings, for instance can cost a lot to attend with hotels, flights, attire, and a gift. If this is out of budget, be honest and express your regrets. Save yourself hundreds or even thousands by staying home– but splurge a little on a very nice gift and a heartfelt card. I would rather spend $200 I can afford on a nice gift, than $1500 I cannot afford and will regret later!

5. Communicate. Maybe you could go before and things have changed. Even if this means ten minutes before the event, let the host know!

6. Ask if it is okay to bring additional guests. This one may be obvious to some, but let me add this: my home is my private and personal space. Uninvited guests shouldn’t be there by surprise. I would like to know in advance so I can decide if it is appropriate for additional people to be at my home (this really applies to any event, however).

7. Be on time, or warn the host you will be late.

I hope these tips can help you whether you’re in the position of being the guest or the host. You would be surprised and how positively a little courtesy can effect your relationships– personal, or business.

Xoxo,
Fifi

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Housewarming Party Menu Items

Lots of people are moving or have recently moved, so I find that the most common questions I get center around preparation for a housewarming a party. I recently made a video on tips for hosting a dinner party, or you can watch How to Have a Housewarming Party on  a Budget.

I’ve put together a list of easy, delicious and healthy housewarming foods that your guests are sure to love! Mix and match 4 to 6 items from this list and you’re off to a great start! Simply click on the photo to link to the recipe.

 Mint Berry Sparklers  mint berry yt thumb
 Fresh Mex Salad  fresh mex
 Quinoa & seafood Greek salad  blog2
 Glam Water  20140108-231055.jpg
 Baked Donuts  IMG_7782
 Frittatas Florentine  DSC_5354
 Fruit Kabobs  lainey2
 Mediterranean Potato Salad  IMG_0013
 Avocado Boats  Avocado-Boats2-Small-300x203
 Zucchini Fritters  6075468562_8fd29a0c83
 Italian Sausage Lasagna  32427
 Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies  healthy-chocolate-chip-cookies

10 Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party

Here are my top 10 tips for hosting a dinner party. The things on this list have helped me over the years and I hope they can help you too! These things can be stressful, but they don’t have to be.

 1. Sleep. The night before your event you will need plenty of rest. It will be tempting to stay up late working on tasks, but don’t do it! Go to bed early so you can wake up early and refreshed! What I do is set a bed time alarm and I stick to it. It is hard enough falling asleep with so much on my mind. No need to stay up even later!
2. Hydrate. We always need water, but try harder to remember as you’re running to and fro with your event. Headaches are often the cause of headaches, and this would really get in the way of your productivity– and make you cranky.

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 3. Cleaning supplies. I think we know we need to clean, but just do a quick inventory and make sure you have everything you need. Trash bags, carpet cleaner, etc. These are items that when you are all out at a party, it can become an emergency.
 4. Empty dishwasher. If you have dishwasher, make sure it is completely empty. You can slowly load the dishwasher as the dishes stack up at the party. Start the dishwasher as soon as the last guest leaves!
 5. Prep. Make as much as you can the night or day before if possible. I made a quinoa black bean salad at my last party. I made the quinoa the night before, which saved me 20 minutes, and freed up a pot the next day to do other cooking.

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 6. Ask for help. Do you have a close friend that is attending the party? Ask them to come early and help with set up. Or, if you need help with food, ask someone who is reliable and willing to come on time, to bring a dish. Don’t be afraid to ask!
 7. Make a menu. Planning and preparating is key. Write out a menu based on the guests, time of day, etc. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but this will also help you figure out your grocery list. No one likes making multiple trips to the store, afterall.
 8. Plan in advance. Where will you place furniture? Who are the guests that are attending? Do any guests have food allergies? Try to do a mental walk through of how the party will go and then take notes. It really helps!
 9. Practice. If any of the dishes are new or complicated, it is a good idea to practice the dish in advance. I can tell you from experience what a disaster it can be to try a new dish for the first time at an event and for it to not go well. You are generally safe trying an extremely simply dish out for the first time, but if the dish is complicated and also the main dish—this is too risky.

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 10. Eat! It seems obvious and silly to say this, but when I’m cooking and prepping food I do not always think to eat. Before my last party, I made a smoothie for energy and to get something in my stomach, as was recommended by my good friend Green Regimen. It really helped and I felt great! Check him out here: http://www.youtube.com/greenregimen

Check out my latest video which goes along with these easy dinner party tips here:

So you’ll notice 3 out of 10 on my list have to do with taking care of yourself! Don’t run yourself ragged planning your party. I want you to have a good time and enjoy your guests. Those are my ten tips, what are some things that have worked for you in the past? Let me know.

Xoxo
Fifi

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Small Business Saturday

It it a small business Saturday and in honor of this, The Divine Hostess book is on sale for just $16! For those of you who don’t know, it is a cooking handbook for your cooking, hosting, and health needs. The recipes are simple, delicious, and wholesome. There are tips throughout the book that help you prepare things for guests for parties and special events. There’s even a sample menu for a Super Bowl party and a baby shower!

Here’s a video about the launch of my book: video

Another happy customer!

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Memorial Day Weekend Barbecue and Picnic Foods

I’ve put togteher a list of recipes from my site and the sites of other awesome food bloggers to enjoy over Memorial Day weekend. Some are a little indulgent, but most are flavorful and healthy. You’ll find salads, main dishes, drinks and desserts. Just click on the image and it will take you directly to the recipe. Enjoy and have a fun safe holiday weekend!

xoxo

Fifi

 Cucumber Melon MedleyIMG_3447 Faux Ahi Poke Salad (Vegan)DSC_4958  Mediterranean Potato SaladIMG_0014
 Baked Garlic Buffalo WingsBaked-Garlic-Buffalo-Chicken-Wings10  Grilled ShrimpGT0102_shrimp-two-ways_s4x3_lg  BBQ CornGrilledCornCob_lg
 Mint Berry Sparklermint berry yt thumb  Grapefruit MojitoOriginal_Mocktails-Virgin-Grapefruit-Mojito_s4x3_lg  Sparkling Lemonade6507668623_6061393116_z
 Fruit Kebabslainey2  Spicy Red Velvet CupcakesIMG_0015 Peach-and-Toasted Pecan Ice Creampeach

Winter Collaborative Giveaway!

I am so excited about all the amazing prizes we are giving away on our channels! In order to enter this contest, participants must be subscribed to all of the following channels:

http://www.youtube.com/thedivinehostess
http://www.youtube.com/xoxoarielk
http://www.youtube.com/NaturallyBubbly
http://www.youtube.com/SmashingAllProd
http://www.youtube.com/mazviebabie

*This contest is open worldwide and for a month. This contest will close on the 13th of February 2013.