Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Dinner Bell

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Recently we invited friends over for our first dinner party in our new home. We've lived here since July and since unpacking, adopting a dog, and all of the weddings this season, it was finally time to host a little dinner get-together. It was an excuse to use our dining room table that always seems too big for just us two, an excuse to use wine glasses with stems instead of my trusty stemless ones, an excuse to buy flowers, open bottles of red wine, and light long candles, but mostly, an excuse to get together with friends.

Each course had a different drink to go with it, starting with an elderflower champagne in champagne coups as we stood around the kitchen smelling the meal on the stovetop. Then on to Beaujolais Nouveau 2014, France's new harvest red wine as we finished up the appetizer in the living room. We enjoyed another bottle of red wine that our friend brought, a Cotes Du Rhone, one of my favorite wine regions, with dinner in the soft glow of candlelight. And finally, during dessert, S mixed gin, tonic, rose, and cucumber cocktails to finish the meal. And because it was cool outside, S opened his new bottle of scotch to share. 

The menu itself was a bit French and a bit Israeli. Our appetizer was an almond, honey, and brie baked in a puff pastry because I was in the mood for something savory and sweet. Spread on a baguette tradi from the corner French bakery, it was perfect. We sat in the living room around the coffee table spreading cheese on toasted bread. For the main course I made coq au vin with a classic French white wine sauce, Israeli/pearl cous cous, and our friend brought crusty bread to soak up the sauce. The pots were brought to the table, casually serving as the centerpiece for the meal. Lastly, for dessert I experimented with my meringue recipe that a Jewish client from the hair salon once gave me. Normally, I make them with vanilla extract and chocolate chips. This time, I made them with rose water and crushed pistachio dust on top. I tried piping the meringues out of a ziploc bag to get a pretty shape but the squeezing flattened my egg whites! I threw away half the batch and went with the spoon-scooping-spoon method for a more charming cookie shape. Even still, when bitten into, they gave off the most wonderful floral flavor that just melted in your mouth. Crisis averted. 

The taper candles burned all the way down to the typewriter menus below them, and the music playlist started repeating itself. I really love having people over, feeding them, making them laugh, and seeing the piles of dishes afterward as proof of a night well spent. I love the planning as much as I love the shopping as much as I love the hosting.

Lastly, it looks a little different around here doesn't it? For the first time I purchased a template on Etsy from BlogDessert/LabinaStudio. I am so pleased! Within a half hour I installed the theme myself and customized it. It could not have been any easier. A little hint... she's having a holiday sale and with the new year it's the perfect time for a new look. Let me know what you think!

10 comments :

  1. I really like this new look on your blog :) & it sounds like you had a nice dinner party! I love how the table looks so beautiful with the flowers & candles.

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    1. thanks melissa! i love the theme too! and i do love a nice table for dinner parties :)

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  2. Your new blog looks beautiful and your dinner party sounds great fun. We're at a time in our lives when we don't really do this much any more, and it's one of the things I miss most. Enjoy!

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    1. thank you lauren, i know there will be a time where i won't host much so i am trying to do it all now! xo

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  3. Wow, I may have to invite myself over sometime ;) haha. This looks like such a great get together! Your menu is to die for!

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    1. i love to have people over! and i do love a unique menu :)

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  4. I am so impressed by your gorgeous table created with thoughtful elements like the typewriter menus and long candlesticks. We recently bought our first house and adopted a dog too! Now that things are settling down, the entertaining has also geared up again. Preparing a meal for friends is so satisfying.

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    1. thank you sarah! an old table with many meals and pretty flowers and soft candle glow all together make for a wonderful meal! i guess good food too :p but i'm all about the atmosphere!

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  5. i love the new blog design! your table looks so beautiful. i am glad you were finally able to host at your new home - if anyone should be hosting dinner parties, i think you are that person. also if i ever get a copper pot i am going to be coming to you to find out how to keep it looking beautiful. xo

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    1. thank you x2 christine! as for the copper pot - my secret is twinkle copper cleaner! we get it at the grocery store and shine it up for special dinners. it does take off the most minuscule amount of copper each time, but i only had to get it re-tinned recently, so it lasted years with the cleaner! :)

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