I’m obsessed with so many different cooking gadgets and do-dads. Like I wrote in Just Married & Cooking, if Jamie would let me spend Parker’s college fund on tableware and party decor, I probably would.

But, he reigns me in as does her sweet giggle (and my conviction that she belongs in the Duke University freshman class of 2027) so I save my pennies and spend them on the important things… like little plates!

I’m obsessed with little, hors d’oeuvre-sized plates.

In a recent interview with Traditional Home magazine, the editor asked me which I would spend money on–tiny napkins or tiny plates. I had to confess that I loved almost everything tiny and happy hour related (except for gin-mint martinis–those should be huge).

No, the reality is, that I only buy things that serve a purpose. Any good hostess knows that it’s not just about show, it’s about utility. Tiny napkins embossed with god-knows-what? Blah. Small’ish plates, on the other hand, are perfect for my and Jamie’s Blue Cheese Crackers w. Fig Compote or our Pineapple-Shrimp Skewers  with Coconut Dipping Sauce–even for our Bourbon Truffles, come Kentucky Derby time.

These beauties from the always-affordable CB2 make me laugh and make my job as a hostess easier. Fewer spills and a great conversation piece.

CB2: Oliver Appetizer Plates, $2.95/each


(Above: Tiny, slate cheese plate at “Itineraires” in Paris)