The holidays have come and gone, but I vow to continue entertaining. I have wanted to have a dinner party for so long. I stopped making excuses and now I am on a roll. I love having people over. It has been so cold of late that the idea of lighting a fire, mixing drinks, and being with friends is very appealing; more so than sitting in a noisy crowded restaurant. Does this make me sound old? Don't get me wrong. I love a happening scene as much as the next person. It's about mixing it up, I suppose.
I always lean towards the naturalistic look when doing almost anything, so my table was no different. I didn't buy anything new. I walked around my house and brought together a few things that I already owned and placed them in the center of the table. Center pieces don't have to be complicated. People think dinner parties are so much work. Honestly, they are only as much work as you want them to be.
The secret to an enjoyable dinner party for the host is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time and hire someone to clean up and do the dishes if possible. That makes all the difference!
Once the bar is set ~
hors d'oeuvres are in place ~
in different locations around the house to create flow and keep people OUT of the kitchen!
Dinner was ready. We really were able to sit back and enjoy each other's company. This was a turkey breast stuffed with a brioche mushroom stuffing. I did a big no no and created a recipe for the first time for the dinner party. Most chefs would say absolutely do not do that; use a tried and true recipe. Luckily it was delicious!
AND because I am on a roll, I did it again. Same principle; all I did was switch out the table. Everything kind of mixes and matches. I went into another room for the blue and while porcelain, threw parsley into small vases along with the tulips for a pop of color, and went out back for some branches. Again, it's about ease!
Oops, I did it again. A birthday luncheon proved the perfect opportunity to pull out the paper products (not that there's anything wrong with that) and serve buffet style. "Every man for himself" or in this case, woman. I do love the plethora of paper products on the market. It's an inexpensive way to change the look or mood of any soirée!
Lunch is served.... or dinner... or brunch. Make a concerted effort to pull something together. After all, feeding people you care about is a beautiful gesture of love. Your friends will thank you for it : )
The one thing that was a constant from party to party was a simple, delicious, and healthy Cauliflower Soup. It was a hit, and the truffle oil makes it feel really indulgent ~ Try it for yourself ~
~ lg head of cauliflower
~3 cups chicken stock
~ onion, diced
~ 3 cups water
~ 1 pinch white pepper,salt
~ truffle oil
Heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil in heavy bottomed pan and sauté the onions over medium heat till just translucent.
Add the cauliflower, stock, and water. Cauliflower should be almost immersed. Raise the heat slightly, cover pot and cook 25-30 mins. Cauliflower should be very tender.
Puree until velvety smooth (I use my Vitamix blender)
Add water if necessary to thin and add pinch of salt and white pepper
Ladle into bowls and drizzle generously with truffle oil.
soup recipe copied from FOOD52