Sunday
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beef fajitas with corn salsa, black beans
sesame chicken, rice, broccoli
crab ravioli with peas
lasagna Bolognese, salad
Hula chicken sandwiches, salad
pizza pizzas
out to Sweet Basil

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Autumn Dinner Party

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C left the day after Thanksgiving to take a weekend's worth of beginner ski lessons, so it was the perfect time to throw a dinner party. No worries that I hosted Thanksgiving two days earlier or that several people couldn't attend because of the holiday weekend, it was dinner party time. I wanted a menu that celebrated fall, but was far from the traditional Thanksgiving meal we had all enjoyed with our families. The menu was exceedingly easy come party time, everything was prepped in advance and there was very little active kitchen time during the party, which is always my goal.

We started with bacon wrapped dates and cranberry-brie crostini with champagne. We moved to the dining room for spinach and apple salad with crispy almonds, followed by short rib lasagna with a mozzarella basil bread. The meal was finished with a chocolate pots de crème. It was the first time in over eight years that I finally used my china's coffee cups. I don't drink coffee, we don't have a coffee maker and they have just sat in the cabinet. This little dessert was the perfect use for the cups. They were the perfect size for the rich dessert. And all I had to do was pull them from the refrigerator when we were ready for dessert. It couldn't have been any simpler. Every single recipe was new, so look for them to be posted in the coming days.

The centerpieces were simple square glasses vases from the dollar store, with succulents from Lowes in each. I wanted to use the centerpiece for both our Thanksgiving dinner and the dinner party, so I used the plants knowing that they would be able to hold up for a few days. I think the succulents really added something special to the table and they are going to be planted in my mother's garden, so that is an added bonus. I printed the menus on cardstock, then folded them around the napkin, to act as a napkin ring.

As usual, it was such a lovely time with my dear friends. I am missing a couple of Christmas get togethers this year with our upcoming Aspen trip, so it was nice to see everyone.  Next dinner party I need to get the timer working on my camera so I can force myself to be in a photo!
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