How I Gather

Is there anything more enjoyable than the sound of clinking glasses, the hum of conversation, and the aroma of a home-cooked meal? We think not. In fact, 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. But what makes a gathering meaningful? In our series, How I Gather we go behind the scenes of our favorite chefs, foodies, and tastemakers to answer that question.  See All

Whoever said kids have no place at a cocktail party must have never met Shannon Eddings. Not unlike her interiors, this Austinite’s gatherings are classic and tasteful, but always with a hint of playful whimsy (and in the case of today’s gathering, that whimsy comes in the form of a toddler playing “mixologist”.) The mother of three is a pro at gathering all her favorite things and people in one place in the utmost style, and somehow making it all look effortless. Click through to see how Shannon’s hosting friends and family this time of year, and keep an eye out for the Cinnamon Daiquiri recipe that’s sure to be your go-to drink this Fall…

*photography by Molly Winters

What scares you about entertaining?

That my house isn’t big enough! But at the end of the day we really enjoy entertaining and will always choose to host, no matter the size of our house. As long as the space looks tidy and the food is tasty – who cares what size it is!

The entertaining rule you rarely break:

No formality. I like to keep things ultra casual and often have part of the dinner party in the living room. Side tables and coffee tables work just fine for food, and it’s more comfortable for everyone to sit wherever they want. Also, our living room is next to our dining room and bar, which creates a natural flow of traffic.


You have such a way with color and pattern. What is your current favorite color palette for parties?

I like a natural color palette with greens and white. Sometimes pops of orange or yellow. I decorate a party around the decor of my house…. and there is a lot of green in our house.

My pair of green mid century inspired chairs and the outrageous Designers Guild wallpaper behind the bar largely inspire the color choices I make for a dinner party. I picked the wallpaper when we bought our house — pre-kids and at the age of 25. I’ve thought about changing it, since it is so dominant, but it’s unique and makes for a fun statement wall in front of the bar.

The perfect dinner party playlist includes:

Ryan Adams, Sun Kil Moon, Patty Griffin, Iron & Wine.


What’s your secret to a great cocktail party?

A dedicated bartender who knows what they are doing (in our case, my husband, and sometimes our 3 year old Dottie likes to “help.”) Sam loves to have guests call their drink. When we first got married, he said one of his life goal’s was to keep a well stocked bar. Of course, I thought he had his priorities wrong — ha! — but turns out it is quite lovely to offer your guests almost any drink that they want.

Your dream dinner guests:

My grandmothers (they passed too early), my family, Teri Gross, Emily Henderson & Steven Colbert.

Your entertaining style in 5 words or less:

Laid back and fun.

Click here to get the recipe for Shannon’s Cinnamon Daiquiri!

Your must-have entertaining tool:

My husband, Sam! He makes original and delicious cocktails and is a way better cook than me. Tonight he is making his go-to dish, lamb meatballs. I couldn’t host without him.

Always in your refrigerator:

Milk, yogurt, cheese sticks, green olives, arugula and capers. Three little kids and two adults make for an eclectic refrigerator!

Click here to get the recipe for Sam’s Bite Size Lamb Meatballs!

Your signature entertaining dish:

I like to make my own pizzas and a homemade crust make all the difference. Toppings tend to vary, but for this dinner party I’m doing an olive oil base with butternut squash, caramelized shallots and a mozzarella-ricotta blend. Pile a little arugula on top and it’s so delicious.

The taste you’re always craving:

Dark chocolate and Chardonnay (guess I really am a girl’s girl!)

The restaurant meal you’ll never forget:

Chef’s tasting menu at Uchi. Sam and I were in dating in college, and I told him I would pay the bill since it was his birthday. Let’s just say I cried really awkwardly when the bill came… it was just a little bit more than I thought it would be! One of many stories that involve me crying — I feel all the feelings, that’s for sure

Your standard hostess outfit:

My style is somewhere between classic and current, which is how I decorate and design homes as well, staying true to the classics but keeping colors and patterns ever-changing and on trend. With that in mind, you will find me wearing something with a classic feel but always comfortable. For sure barefoot by the end of the night… and I won’t even pretend that with super close friends I don’t occasionally roll out in sweatpants!

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Comments (7)
  1. 1
    karin October 6, 2015 at 6:44 am

    “I always want a fully stocked bar”… it! Great gallery with doable dishes and a fantastic drink. Well done Chanel.

  2. 2
    kristen October 6, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Looks lovely…where can we find the butternut squash pizza recipe?

  3. 3
    Laura October 6, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    What I love about this is that a host who doesn’t take herself too seriously allow guests to do the same and feel more at home. Seems like absolutely fab and memorable times are had at Shannon’s!

    • Karin October 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      That those are exactly my thoughts as well.

  4. 4
    Shannon Eddings October 15, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I’m happy to share! I sometimes make my own dough but for this party I cheated and bought dough balls from a local Italian place.
    Turn oven to 425 and roast diced butternut squash that has been tossed with olive oil and salt and peeper for about 20-30 (stirring once) minutes until soft and lightly browned. Set aside. Next thinly slice 3 shallots for carmelizing. Heat olive oil in a pan on stovetop and add shallots. Keep heat low and add a little salt and a tiny bit of sugar. Cook, stirring frequently for up to 20 minutes at a low heat. Don’t want them to burn!

    Turn oven up to 500 degrees.
    Next roll out dough out as thin as possible. Topped it with olive oil and a wee bit of garlic (very little). Then scatter fresh mozzarella slices and dollops of ricotta on top of pizza. Top with roasted butternut squash and Carmelized shallots. Put pizza in oven and bake for 5 minutes (or so) until browning occurs on crust.

    Remove from oven and top with arugula that has been tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.


  5. 5
    Molly Bridget January 5, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Babysat for Shannon! Liv did more regularly.

    Like I said, such a real human being! Love the way she styled that deer mount. Filing away for future 🙂



Chanel Dror