Recently, I hosted a dinner party for four. Thought I’d share the menu and some tablescape pix with you. I’m already thinking about my next book – dinner parties! You know me, always thinking about ways to make all kinds of entertaining pain free.
So here’s how it went :
When my guests arrived, we opened a bottle of bubbly (Italian Prosecco) to celebrate their recent home sale (it was only on the market 14 days – economy turnaround here we come!). To go with the bubbly, I set out a little snack tray of cashews (sea salt and black pepper), smokehouse almonds, stuffed olives and dried apricots – served in a simple white dish with four sections. First course doesn’t get much more pain free than that.
- Pork Tenderloin with Applewood smoked bacon BBQ seasoning (they sell these amazing creations at Sam’s Club, pre-seasoned and shrink wrapped)
- Pureed cauliflower with cheese (mozzarella pizza blend), a little sour cream, juice of ½ lime, and a couple teaspoons of chile in adobo sauce for a little smoky/spicy kick (who needs mashed potatoes?!?)
- Cole slaw – I downloaded the recipe from Jim ‘n Nicks. It was a little sweet, a little vinegary (is that a word?) and had just a tiny bit of mayo for creaminess. I’ll use that recipe again.
- Vegetable salad made with yellow cherry tomatoes (Sunbursts – yum!), baby cucumbers, shaved sweet onion (Candy Sweets – new to me this year from local farmers), a little seasoned rice vinegar, squeeze of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of cilantro. I served the salad in cute martini glasses (you’ll see ‘em in one of the photos).
- Freshly baked artisan bread from the grocery store – the take and bake kind. Served the whole loaf on a bread board warm from the oven.
- And here’s the pièce de résistance: individual warm molten cakes! Decadent. I made them in little ramekins and inverted onto each dessert plate, dusted them with confectioner’s sugar, added some fresh raspberries and a sprig of mint on top. I wish I’d made more for leftovers … on second thought, nah – wouldn’t be a good idea.
To go along with this meal, the guys enjoyed a delicious Bogle merlot and we chickadees went with a Crios torrentes. By the way, if you’ve never tried torrentes, it’s a really nice summer white wine from Argentina — much lighter than chardonnay and a little fruitier than pinot grigio. Try an intimate dinner party of your own and do it the “pain free” way!