Tag Archives: dinner party

Casual Dinner Party

25 Jul

On Saturday we invited all of our awesome friends who helped us move into our new house for a thank-you dinner. There were ten of us and I wanted to serve a summer menu while stepping it up from the normal hotdog/hamburger affair. Here was the menu:

Three bean salad with a lime olive oil glaze; Coleslaw; Cornbread; Grilled vegetables, marinated in a garlic balsamic; Grilled corn on the cob; Grilled Shrimp with a basil lemon marinade; Grilled BBQ-Chicken legs.

I wanted to try to get as much done ahead of time so that when the guests arrived I could actually socialize. What I found helpful was prepping the food prior to the event. I precut everything the night before and stored it in ziploc bags.  I marinated the meat overnight. It saved so much time and stress that evening.

You all know how I feel about setting the perfect table from my post The Perfect Table. I wanted to do some sort of centerpiece but nothing too fancy so I did a few small arrangments just to dress the table up a little.

Advertisements

Burst of Color

9 Mar

Spring is just around the corner, you can almost feel it trying to get warmer. It’s time to trade in the bland and the grey for bursts of Spring colors! These dahlialike pom-poms remind me that springs cheerful radiance can be captured anytime of the year. The step by step guide that I found on Martha Stewart shows you how simple it can be to recreate these colorful flowers. I would use these to dress up the table for a dinner party, or they would be perfect decorations for a children’s birthday party.

How to Make the Pom-Poms
You’ll need tissue paper and 24-gauge white cloth-covered floral wire.

Hanging Pom-Poms
1. Stack eight 20-by-30-inch sheets of tissue. Make 1 1/2-inchwide accordion folds, creasing with each fold.

2. Fold an 18-inch piece of floral wire in half, and slip over center of folded tissue; twist. With scissors, trim ends of tissue into rounded or pointy shapes.

3. Separate layers, pulling away from center one at a time.

4. Tie a length of monofilament to floral wire for hanging.

Napkin Rings
With just a few changes, these follow the same steps as the hanging pom-poms.

1. Stack four sheets of tissue. Cut a 10-by-5-inch rectangle, going through all layers. Make 3/8-inch-wide accordion folds.

2. Fold an 18-inch piece of floral wire in half, slip over center of tissue, and twist to secure. Trim ends of tissue.

3. Separate layers, pulling away from center one at a time.

4. Bend wire into a loop to fit around napkin, and twist end around loop to secure.

The finished product!

A little luck and a whole lot of charm

7 Mar

I can’t believe St.Patty’s Day is right around the corner, seems like it was just Groundhog Day. A friend of mine recently asked my advice for ideas for a Saint Patrick’s day dinner, so here are a few non-traditional green meals.

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad from Oh She Glows. This salad looks so refreshing, and it’s green so fits right into our theme!

Yield: 1-2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • One 15-oz can chickpeas (2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped finely
  • Juice from 1.5 limes
  • 3/4 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt + ground pepper

Directions:

1. In a food processor, add the spinach and pulse a few times until chopped very small. Add the processed spinach, drained chickpeas, and chopped onion into a large bowl.

2. In the food processor (no need to rinse the bowl!), add the lime juice, cilantro, mustard, sugar, garlic, cumin, and oil. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

3. Pour the dressing on top of the spinach chickpea mixture and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for about 10 minutes to let the flavours develop (optional I didn’t!). Serve over a bed of grains, like brown rice. Serves 1-2.

Note: The dressing has quite a bite to it, thanks to the lime and oil that I cut down, so please feel free to adjust the dressing to your taste buds preference! You may want more oil, less lime, etc.

Corned beef – it’s the same every St. Patrick’s Day.  What if this year you mixed it up and did something a little different?  If you are looking for something new, give this recipe for corned beef and hash, which I found on The Party Dress, a try:

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups diced leftover rutabaga, carrots, potatoes and leek
  • 2 cups chopped leftover corned beef
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups leftover corned beef cooking liquid

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons butter with the vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add half of the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the corned beef and cook until slightly brown, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash the remaining vegetables in a bowl with the parsley and 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Add to the skillet and stir to make a large pancake, adding up to 1/2 cup more cooking liquid, if needed. Cook until the hash is dark on the bottom, about 2 minutes.

Flip and continue cooking, turning occasionally and adding more butter if needed, until the hash is crunchy on the outside but still moist in the middle, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cooking liquid 1 minute before serving.

Green Velvet Cupcakes from love to the oven. The recipe calls them green velvet, but I think vanilla cupcakes with green dye would be super cute and a great ending flourish to any Saint Patrick’s Dinner.

%d bloggers like this: