Extraordinary Entertaining

Travel can take you to destinations lush and lovely, exotic and unexpected, swank and sophisticated.  I like all of these, and travel as much as I can.  And since I love to share, I use inspirations from my journeys to add elegance and style to the parties I give at home.

Travel, sharing – did I mention that I love to entertain?  When I do, the décor and of course the food (of course!) are often driven by my travels, usually by whatever part of the globe I’ve prowled most recently.  This way, I keep my parties fresh and interesting, and in truth I use the same influences to keep my Extraordinary Desserts restaurants always inviting and inspiring.

Luxury is important to me, and when I host Sunday brunch at home, I like to use fresh exotic flowers to create a mood of serenity and plenty.  That Zen is a big part of my life becomes obvious when I give a brunch.  For food, I avoid the ordinary and arrange a beautiful, European-style spread of artisan breads and cheeses, exotic spreads and chutneys, and a superb sampling of petit pastries and desserts.  Varied and rich yet light, it’s an exquisite way to celebrate a perfect day, and has so delighted my guests that I’ve recreated it on Sundays at Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy at our weekly European Brunch.

It’s not hard to create the perfect party, but I suggest tossing out the rigid rules that used to shape traditional home entertaining.  Here are some tips:

When you’re assembling a small group, a formal, sit-down entertainment can be ideal.  But for a large gathering, preparing and serving a multi-course meal can overwhelm the hosts, and probably will keep them too busy to enjoy it.  I really think it’s wiser and more fun and creative to serve cocktails and tray passed hors d’oeuvres for a small gathering, and to arrange a buffet of delicious bites when the group is large.  Since guests can mingle freely, this informal approach creates a more social mood.  Just like at the Wednesday Cheese Bar served at Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy, I like to invite guests at home to enjoy a creative spread of cheeses, jams, chutneys, dips and spreads accompanied by plenty of beautiful breads.

Always tailor details to suit your guests.  A good host is in tune with her guests and designs occasions that will please and delight.  Creating a varied menu with options that appeal to the tastes and diets of your company is important.

Bubbly sets such a wonderful tone that I usually don’t offer hard alcohol, unless I’ve brought home a bottle of something new and unique from a trip.  With the food, I serve both white and red wines and keep the bubbly flowing for those who prefer it.

Be creative with recipes and décor, but don’t experiment on the day of the party.  Test and perfect your plans ahead of time so they’ll be ideal.

Given San Diego’s mostly perfect weather, I’ve designed my home and restaurants around indoor and outdoor spaces that flow together effortlessly and treat guests to several settings and experiences in one location. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of outdoor entertaining options year round or both indoor and outdoor spaces at your party to create different moods.

The only way to end a party on a high note is with dessert, so ensure a lasting impression with a decadently varied dessert table.  Needless to say, Extraordinary Desserts is the perfect source for beautiful and delicious desserts, cakes, pastries and petit options.

Holiday Specials at Extraordinary Desserts

With the holidays near, I’m turning my attention to Extraordinary Entertaining.  We’re offering new “to go” Catering Platters and exclusive Private Event menus that, just like at my home, focus on the festive, delicate and delicious. As an added bonus to making the 2012 holiday season even more Extraordinary, from now through December 15, a dozen complimentary cookies will accompany all catering orders of $100 or more.  In addition, we’ll be pouring a complimentary glass of champagne for each guest at all Extraordinary Luncheon private events that are booked by November 30 and held by December 15.

There will be festive fun, too, highlighted by our new limited time Bubbly Bar, which will feature a collection of fine champagnes offered in petit and regular pours starting November 10th.  My wish to give guests a luxurious experience that is unique, decadent and affordable.  The Bubbly Bar specializes in champagnes rarely offered by restaurants, and there are no better accompaniments to Extraordinary Desserts’ menu of lighter bites and desserts.

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About Extraordinary Desserts

Over 20 years ago, Karen Krasne opened the first Extraordinary Desserts at 2929 5th Avenue near San Diego’s Balboa Park. Since then, Extraordinary Desserts has become one of San Diego’s most prominent dining establishments and has expanded to include a second location in San Diego’s Little Italy area at 1430 Union Street as well as a line of gourmet products and a robust online store. From the dazzling artistry and sublime taste of its award-winning sweets to the attentive customer service, Extraordinary Desserts has built a strong reputation for its decadent, gourmet dessert creations, elegant eats, and extraordinary experience. As a result, Extraordinary Desserts is consistently a top pick by critics and readers of both local and national publications. Owner and executive chef Karen Krasne studied at Paris’ best pastry schools. She uses only organic ingredients when possible, and adorns each luxurious dessert with locally-grown fresh flowers, her signature edible gold leaf, autumn leaves, and sinfully sweet sauces making her creations a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Extraordinary Desserts, Little Italy 1430 Union Street San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: (619) 294-7001 Extraordinary Desserts, Balboa Park 2929 Fifth Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 Phone: (619) 294-2132
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One Response to Extraordinary Entertaining

  1. limor says:

    i love your desserts very much, please share with us the marble cheescake recipe?

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