Summer Entertaining with World Market {Plus a Giveaway!}

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!

woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I think I would love to have the beautiful teal chargers and votives that were mentioned in the above Best Bites column! The table setting is beautiful!

  2. JEWELRY!!! Or furniture… I have very little in my teeny, tiny apartment 🙂 what a fun idea!

  3. First I would buy some more Torani Syrup. After the syrup I would take my time looking around (no kids of course) and decide what I want. Maybe a cute decoration for my house.

  4. I want to go to a World Market there is none here in Kennewick.I would buy the candles, chargers in different colors, bamboo runner and some food items.

  5. Ooh, I have always loved World Market…I would love to get some jewelry and colorful chargers!!

  6. LOVE World Market, LOVE Our Best Bites! What a perfect combination! I would probably spend a windfall on outdoor dinnerware and accessories! Thanks for this chance to win!

  7. I was just at World Market on Saturday. We just moved, so I need a bunch of stuff. New barstools, rugs, and curtains are at the top of my list.

  8. If I won the gift card, I would use it to buy food and decorations for my daughter’s first birthday!

  9. This post is making me miss World Market so much! The last 2 states we’ve lived in had/got one close to us, but where we currently live now there isn’t one nearby! Looks like just a swell party. Your sister sounds seriously amazing. Thanks for the giveaway.

  10. Oh I love that store! I would be using it for entertainment supplies much like in your post. Those are the most adorable place settings! Hope I win!

  11. Oh I so could use a little pick me up! I would do a little bit of everything, a little home decor I have had my eye on, some bath stuff to relax and certainly a little food to celebrate! I love it all. Thanks for a chance to win!

  12. I would buy those adorable candle holders, LOVE the colors and the way you decorated your table, too cute!

  13. If I won I would totally buy new dishes so I can take fun food fotos! I want to get better at that so I can make better pictures for my blog! I have some fun ideas…just not apprapo dishes! I would also get some fun party supplies. The 4th of July is coming quickly…I want to have a fun party for that, I need stuff for that! Totally!

  14. I love World Market but the closest one is 1 hour away. I love to browse through their pantry section, especially the European treats. I also love the dishware.

  15. So many wonderful things to pick from, If I won the gift card, I think I would spend it on some cute summery dishes and food, and ….etc!!! Thanx for the opportunity to win this gift card, LUV your website…

  16. Oh I would definitely spend it on food. You see I just found this amazing blog full of yummy recipes called Ourbestbites.com. I am hooked. Last night was Bacon Chicken Ranch Rolls and tonight is Asian BBQ chicken!

  17. Definitely some things to entertain with! I haven’t had people over to my new house yet:/ love your blog!)

  18. I am so in need of new cups/glasses. I would love to have some that match for when company come over!

  19. World Market is one of my very favorite stores! I’d probably get some outdoor furniture cushions and then a little bit of everything else. There are so many choices at world market.

  20. Beautiful table! I really need to get down to Trophy cuPcakes and give them a try!

  21. hi Sara, your sister is beautiful, just like you !! The table was awesome,loved all the color kind of a Morracan feel. Well, if I win, I also love world Market, as does my 17 year old daughter. We first started going there because ,we homeschool, and we would go get ethnic food/candy, for our World Fair projects. but, they have so much cool stuff, I like the purses,the hats, the dishes, the colored pencils, and yes the jewelry. My daughter leaves in Aug, to college, so I would buy her stuff for her room. Thanks for the chance. Bon chance to everyone!!!

  22. You guys are amazing.. I love, love, love all your ideas and recipes! My personal favorite recipe (so far) is the pizza dough/breadsticks recipe.. it turns out perfect every time! What I would get at World Market.. food & dishes most likely since those are 2 of my weak points.. 🙂

  23. Hey! Sara, you are so awesome!! I just love that table decor, and peonies are really my fav flower! We just had some magenta ones finish blooming and I was so sad to see them go. Anyway, I’d love this gift certificate! I’d probably spend it on some fancy dishes, so I can be like you. 😉