Features Tagged ‘Paper to Party’

Paper to Party: Lobster Dinner Date Night

I love lobster, absolutely love it. But I didn’t eat it and really enjoy it until I was 20. That’s when I met the love of my life who happened to grow up right on the ocean, diving for lobsters every summer and having a family tradition of steamed lobsters every Christmas. So, naturally, for one of our first stay-in date nights, Shawn cooked me a fancy steamed lobster meal and taught me the ropes. Ever since, I’ve been in love with lobster (and Shawn too, of course!). Now, I am a certified diver too and we dive together for lobsters (he calls them ‘bugs’ of the ocean) and our favorite thing to do is enjoy a delicious steamed lobster dinner on our boat or back at our house with friends and family. For a fancier lobster dinner date night or get together, here’s my round up of must-haves. Keep reading for our classic steamed lobster recipe!

lobster_roundupHow to Steam a Lobster

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 2 lobsters (more if you’re hungry or having a larger crowd!)
  • Large lobster pot or stock pot with lid (shown above)
  • 1 stick of butter

Place your lobster pot on the stovetop or grill (we use our grill on the boat sometimes) and fill with about two inches of water. Add salt, cover with lid and bring to a boil. Next, place your lobsters in the hot tub! Cover again with lid, reduce heat a tad and steam for about 10–15 minutes depending on the size of your lobster, or until bright red. Meanwhile, slowly heat butter in a small saucepan until melted and serve in small bowls for dipping your lobster meat.

Get crackin’. This is the fun part but most people wonder where to start. Shawn and I like to de-shell the entire lobster first, and add the meat to our butter dish as we go, ending with a rich buttery bowl of lobster. Or, some people like to eat as they go. Either way, here are a few pointers on how to do it.

  • First, hold the body in one hand and twist off the tail with the other, set tail aside.
  • Next, twist and separate the claws where they meet the body. Discard the body into your shell bowl.
  • Grab your tail again and snap off the tail fins. Then, with a fork or your thumb, push the tail meat through the shell. Discard the shell and tail fins.
  • Move onto the claws. First, snap the pincher part off the claws and use a small seafood fork to remove the small pieces of meat. Then use your claw cracker to crack the claws in half, removing the meat and discarding all shells.
  • Lastly, don’t forget the knuckle meat! Crack the arm part of the claw for any remaining meat.

As you retrieve your meat from the lobster, have a hot water rinse dish handy for the meat to clean off before you place the meat into your butter dish.

After all that hard work, belly up to your buttery dish of lobster with an ice cold glass of bubbly or vino and enjoy!

Lobster Dinner Must-Haves:

Fish Platter – You’ll need a nice big platter to serve your lobsters on.

Red Butter Bowls – For dipping your meat!

Citronella Candle – Cracking lobsters gets messy, and during summer we love to eat outside. Throw down some newspaper as a tablecloth and light up a citronella candle, so the pesty bugs won’t bug you!

Lobster Card – This is a really fun dinner idea for a date night, celebrating your sweethearts birthday or your anniversary and this card is a completely adorable match.

Champagne Flute and bubbly – In my opinion, nothing pairs better with lobster than a glass of bubbly, white wine or rose.

Lobster Claw Cracker and Lobster Fork – I found these a couple of years ago and they’re not only beyond cute but super durable and great for cracking those claws!

Navy Stripe Napkin – Like I said, it gets messy. If you’d rather not wear a silly plastic lobster bib, then invest in some of these. You might even want a roll of paper towels too.

Terracotta Bowl – Don’t forget a large dish or bowl for discarding your lobster shells.

Lobster Pot – You can find these anywhere and you’ll have it forever. Great for canning too!

Lobster! – After you try your hands at steaming lobster, you might want to dive into a few other tasty lobster recipes.


Paper to Party: Cinco de Mayo Style

In my opinion, a good party starts with paper and ends with paper. From the invitations to the thank you notes, paper is a key factor in the success of a good bash and also a great source of inspiration for the whole party planning process. Whether you’re decorating a tablescape or trying to decide what you’ll wear, pulling design elements from your stationery will give you a cohesive look throughout your soirée. So to kick off my new series, Paper to Party, (and in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo!) I rounded up a few style essentials inspired by this Papel Picado Fiesta Invitation from Palm Papers. After all, choosing your party dress is one of the most important parts of the process!

Dress – Pulling from the text on the invitation, I chose a bright red/orange maxi dress, perfect for the weather this time of year. Top it with a jean jacket and scarf if you’re heading out after the party.

Earrings – Nothing pairs better with lime green and orange than a bold bright blue. I’ve had these gorgeous Dayla Earrings in coral on my wish list for quite a while but the cobalt fits this look perfectly.

Nails – This is the perfect excuse to paint your nails blue! Butler Please from Essie will match your earrings and you’ll be oh-so-coordinated.

Senorita Margarita – Practice your bar tending skills and memorize this margarita recipe in the shower with this 3 in 1 body wash from Philosophy. Bonus, these would make super cute party favors for the girls!

Bangle – Forget the watch, it’s time to party! Toss on this chunky bangle and that wraps up the jewelry for your look.

Sandals – You’ll probably be on your feet most of the night if you’re the party host, so wear something comfortable but cute.

Straw Tote – OK this last one really has no purpose but it’s so cute I had to add it. Day of, you’ll be busy picking up last minute items for the party, so that’s your excuse! This Tory Burch tote, though adorable, is a bit pricey. J.Crew has a similar tote here, I’ve had this one for a couple of years and I love it, it’s sturdy and makes for a perfect beach bag in the summer.