Oven Barbecue Chicken

Dear Friends,
I am writing this month’s newsletter from one of my favorite places . . . Hilton Head, South Carolina! This beautiful island is home to our good friends the Richardsons and the Hoddes, and to all the wonderful new friends they’ve introduced us to over the years.

In your Effortless Entertaining guide, Step Two, I talk about mixing it up, introducing the people we love to each other, and how, when we do that, new friendships are formed. For more than thirty years, we’ve enjoyed gracious hospitality on our visits to Hilton Head as we’ve celebrated life’s big occasions — new life with the birth of babies, and lives well lived with the passing of parents and other loved ones. More than anything, we’ve celebrated the gift of friendship.

I’m reminded that this is what “entertaining” is for me and what I hope it is for you, too . . . welcoming others into our homes, into our hearts, and into our lives. Remember Step One as well: “It’s not a performance. It’s a gift of hospitality.” I truly believe that. In creating the guide and our membership community, my purpose is to inspire you to give this gift easily and graciously.

This April issue of The Dish features a delicious, easy spring menu that you’ll want to try right away. Fresh strawberries are the star of the show! You’ll also find all-new tips and resources to ensure that you have everything you need to make it special.

Happy spring, everybody!


This menu features a few fresh spring ingredients that I love . . . cucumber, dill, asparagus, and of course, strawberries! While the recipes need to be prepared or finished the day of your dinner, all except for the chicken may be served at room temperature, leaving very little to do at the last minute.

  • Jalapeño Cucumber Limeade
  • Cucumber Dip *
  • Oven Barbecue Chicken *
  • New Potato Salad
  • Vegetable Salad *
  • Jalapeño Cornbread
  • Strawberry Buttermilk Tart *
    * new recipes

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Spring announces its arrival with this perennial favorite. And when it comes to tulips, more is more! Always buy more than you think you need, especially if you are going to bunch them in vases. If you think you need three bunches, buy three more. Don’t be afraid to mix colors in the same container. Use any extra tulips in the powder room or foyer. For those of you fortunate enough to have a Trader Joe’s, enjoy their fabulous selection and prices!




Hulling Strawberries

Strawberries are easily hulled using a straw. This really works! I use a hard plastic straw like the ones that come with water bottles.

Use iPhone Notes for Shopping List

One of my favorite shortcuts: When I’m not using one of the menus and corresponding shopping lists, I choose the recipe(s) I want to cook. I then copy and paste the ingredients into Notes on my iPhone to make my grocery list completely . . . effortless!

Access Recipes Anytime

What’s that? You realized at the grocery store that you want to make an EE recipe? Don’t forget that our website is mobile friendly. You can pull up the Guacamole, the Orzo Salad, Lawdashion’s Pork Tenderloin, or any other menu or recipe right there in the produce aisle!

Need Assistance?

If we can help in any way, please email me. We are here for you!




Spring is a perfect time to add a set of simple white plates so you can add colorful spring linens! Catherine Dooley, director of marketing and events for North Corner Haven, prefers a coupe-style plate for its simplicity. Check out this great-looking plate from World Market. It’s the perfect size and shape, and you’ll love the price, too. If you prefer a rimmed plate, the Fitz and Floyd recommended in your guide and in the Members section on the website is an excellent choice.

If you decide to shop World Market, you may want to consider their Connoisseur collection wineglasses. Note: I’m not as crazy about the stemless glass in this collection. For a stemless wineglass from World Market, I recommend the Vintner stemless.

For colorful linens, 3 French Hens in Charlotte is carrying a line by Primitive Artisan. Another favorite carried by 3 French Hens and other EE retailers is Pomegranate — also recommended in your guide. Members take note! Links to all of these items are also in the Sources & Resources section on for effortless shopping.



 We Love Member Feedback!

Send us comments and photos of what you’re enjoying!



Receiving a Points of Light Award from George Bush for Communities In Schools, July 4th, 1992. That’s me (with baby Elizabeth on the way!) in between President and Mrs. Bush.


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