How I Gather

Bringing people together around a table is our greatest passion in life and we believe food is one of the most powerful tools for connection. In our series, How I Gather we go behind the scenes with our favorite foodies to see how they do it. See All

To enter the world of Eden Passante is to embrace the sweet life, both literally and figuratively. Treats like Pineapple Coconut Rum Popsicles and Homemade Rose Lollipops blend seamlessly with honest tales of motherhood and travel into one happy mix that’s guaranteed to make you smile every time you visit her site. Eden invited us into her LA backyard as she preps for one of her signature parties, and spilled the deets on her entertaining secrets, perfect party playlist, and refreshingly simple summer cocktail. Tip #1: there’s no such thing as too many flowers. Keep reading and be prepared for major pretty vibes ahead.

*photos by Sugar & Charm

What’s your signature dish for parties?

I usually do a roast in the fall and winter — seriously my favorite! And in the summer, I like to go with a light, fresh pasta with a lot of charcuterie and cheese.

Where did you learn to cook?

Self taught and cookbooks. In all honesty, my mother did not cook growing up, so I really learned and became interested in cooking later in life. I did bake a lot growing up though — couldn’t resist my sweet tooth!

The entertaining rule you rarely break?

When hosting, make sure you enjoy the party and be present for your guests. I don’t like to run around frantically or wash dishes while guests are still there.

What scares you about entertaining?

The party being boring or forgetting to add sugar to the cake — I actually did that once! I haven’t had too many boring parties, but it does make me nervous. I will always overcompensate (and sometimes overspend!) last minute to make sure it’s fun.

What’s your signature cocktail?

I like easy cocktails, even something as simple as a batch of spiked homemade lemonade. I also enjoy serving a spicy and super gingery Moscow Mule.

Homemade Spiked Lemonade

  • 1 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar or sugar substitute
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup vodka

Boil water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add in the fresh squeezed lemon juice and pour into a heatproof glass pitcher. Refrigerate until cold, then add in the vodka. You can adjust the amount of vodka depending on your preference. Garnish with lemon slices and edible flowers.

What’s your go-to source for recipes?

I really enjoy Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbooks and I’m always inspired by Ina Garten’s cookbooks too. I also love making recipes from my fellow food bloggers!

What’s your must-have entertaining tool?

Are edible flowers considered a tool? I feel like they’re my “tool” for making salads, desserts, and cocktails charming!

Favorite tabletop item you own?

I have too many to choose from! I really love my giant wooden serving boards for cheese and desserts. I also have a set of vintage Russel Wright dinnerware that I love and two brass candlestick holders I picked up from Finland.

Your go-to centerpiece solution?

Flowers! I always use Erin of White Fig Designs to create flowers for my parties. Never fails and it’s instant decor.

What’s always in your refrigerator?

Fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, rosé, and of course, cheese and olives!

The perfect dinner party playlist includes:

I always use Apple radio and find a good playlist based on an artist or genre. Usually based on bluegrass or jazz standards, like Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole. And around the holidays, it’s all Christmas music starting in November.

Favorite after-dinner activity or game?

We love to play Drawl, which is a drawing and guessing game app you play on TV, but everyone logs in from their iPhone. We also love Catch Phrase and Heads Up.

Secret to a great dinner party?

Have delicious appetizers ready and, as guests arrive, offer a boozy drink right away. Also, prepare everything the night before!

Who are your dream dinner guests?

Is it too much to ask to have Leonardo DiCaprio over for dinner? It would be nice to have Oprah over too, but maybe on a different night!

What’s your standard hostess outfit?

I like to be comfortable especially when preparing for a dinner party. So I usually wear a really casual, flowy mid-length dress.

It’s not a party without _______.

Booze and dessert — and of course, friends and family!

Read more from Eden’s blog Sugar & Charm here:

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