My love affair with World Market started when I was just a kid. I think I was in 6th grade when my friend and I would sometimes get dropped off at the mall to hang out and we’d always walk over to World Market. They used to sell the most amazing little rose-flavored candies. Yes, roses- as in the flowers. They were so so good. To this day every time I walk into a World Market store, I keep my eye out for them. Now that I’m grown up and actually have use for the amazing household items in the store, I buy more than candy! I buy much more than candy. I love World Market like Kate loves Target. We’re talking serious business here. Some might classify it as an obsessive relationship. I mentioned in a photography post that I did a while back that a huge number of the dishes and table linens you see in my food photographs, including the photos in our cookbook, have come from World Market. They sell an amazing selection of cookware, dishes, and specialty items. Remember the adorable little mugs you all were raving about in my hot chocolate post? Yep. World Market. They also sell a great selection of furniture, housewares, gifts, jewelry, accessories (see the cute floral headband I’m wearing in the next pic? World Market!), over 500 international wines, gourmet foods and specialty drinks imported from more than 50 countries. It’s seriously one of my most favorite places, which is why I jumped at the chance to host a party compliments of World Market and Foodbuzz. I had the perfect occasion this past weekend while I was in my home town of Seattle; my favorite sister (okay, she’s my only sister, but for reals, she’s my favorite) was having a birthday!
That’s my sister Becca. She’s awesome. She’s an amazing cook (I actually photographed her making something this weekend that I’m going to post soon) She’s insanely creative (we’re talking like, she built a to-scale replica of my parents house in gingerbread last Christmas. Okay, and she has a college minor in art, but seriously the gingerbread was sweet) and she does crazy cool stuff like rescue orphaned animals and train them to release them back into the wild. No joke. She taught a half-dead bird how to eat. And then fly. She’s like an animal whisperer. She’s also single. In case you know someone. Just sayin…
I had a perfectly lovely backyard meal in my mind and I found everything I needed at World Market. Sometimes when you envision outdoor entertaining you immediately think of paper plates and plastic tablecloths. I love to mix and match and bring some of my indoor things out. I started out with a crisp white tablecloth, and added a bamboo table runner. I love how the bamboo is kind of rustic and fits in with an outdoor theme.
Then I used some plain white plates. This is a fabulous thing to have. World Market sells a lot of these buffet sets; plain white dishes in all sizes that come in these nice holders. They’re affordable, and great to have on hand for big group meals.
I didn’t want them to get lost on the white tablecloth though so I used these awesome chargers. Aren’t they fantastic? This is my most favorite color so I couldn’t resist. They’re a heavy duty plastic so they’re super easy to clean too. I love these.
On top of the white plates, I placed these fun melamine dessert plates. They’re light weight and inexpensive; perfect for outdoor entertaining! I love the colors in them, and found cloth napkins in a matching color too.
One of my favorite things to do on an outdoor table is light candles. There’s something about a breeze, and summer weather, and flickering candles, that makes you want to stay at that table for hours. I LOVE these purple glass lanterns. Those things are big, and only 8 bucks! They matched the purple in the plates perfectly.
World Market has a gazillion different styles of little votive holders. I’m madly in love with these blue square ones. I grabbed a bunch of different styles and colors and scattered them around. All the colors tied into the plates so they all matched when put together.
See those cute drinks? One of my favorite things.
World Market Italian Sodas. They have a bunch of flavors; my family loves the Blood Orange. The Mango Passion Fruit is yummy too.
The personal sized bottles look so cute on a dinner table. Sort of casual-chic.
My sister bought her own flowers (okay, and she made half of this meal herself too. She’s rad like that.) How crazy beautiful are these peonies??
Seriously I couldn’t stop staring at them. I love fresh flowers on a dinner table, especially an outdoor one.
Just make sure when you’re entertaining that you use shallow vases or bowls so you don’t block people’s faces.
Okay I’ll stop swooning over the flowers. Back to food. For an appetizer, I grabbed a great pesto, and also a Piquillo and Artichoke Bruschetta spread. Both were amazing. I could eat that artichoke stuff with a spoon. Okay I sort of did. Both came from World Market. Did I mention they have food there? Food from all around the world? Ya, they do. And lots and lots of chocolate and treats too.
I need to make a knock-off of that artichoke spread asap.
My family also loves these chips. They taste similar to those Pop Chips that are popular right now.
My kiddos love ’em! They also have lots of fun trinkets, toys, and novelty items at World Market. My kids beg for stuff every time we go there and I usually say no, so this time I grabbed a bunch of toys to keep them busy while the grown-ups ate. It worked brilliantly.
We also grilled up (and by we I mean my husband) one of my all-time-favorite summer meals, Italian Chicken and Vegetable Skewers. Per my sister’s request we (and by we I mean my sister) also made Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip. (Are you starting to wonder if I cooked anything at all??) And a yummy Pear and Gorgonzola Salad.
My sister also made an awesome Orange-Teriyaki Steelhead, which I’m going to share her recipe for soon! Heaven knows our Seafood Section can use all the help it can get. I’m thinking I should have her do a monthly fish feature!
For dessert (seriously I made this one myself. I mean, I bought this one myself. It counts, I swear.) I picked up some Seattle-famed Trophy Cupcakes. I have to be honest and say that when it comes to gourmet cupcake shops, I’ve been disappointed way more times than I’ve been pleased. But Trophy came through! These babies were amazing.
All in all it was a gorgeous night with fantastic company. Nothing better than friends and family on a beautiful summer night at a beautiful summer table!