easy dinner party

posted on: Monday, August 9, 2010

Two hours prep time start to finish.

Dona Emilia, my friend's mama who is visiting from Brazil, had a birthday yesterday and Chris and I hosted the party. I love throwing parties for friends, specially good friends because if they need a glass of water they go and get it themselves. And everyone laughs, at everyone else. 

I came up with a simple menu the night before. I wanted something elegant but not too time consuming. Sundays are a day of rest except when it's not, and usually it's not. We're busy getting ready for church in the morning then we're back from church at 3:00pm famished. We had our guests over at 5:00 so we only had 2 hours to cook everything and it went very smoothly. Christian was even able to clean the bathroom before everyone arrived. Which is a very very god thing he did.

Berries are classic. They're pretty and easy to serve. We had an assortment of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries with a big bowl of homemade whip cream with cinnamon on the side.

I made an asparagus-gruyere tart using Martha's recipe. This is the second time making this tart. It does not disappoint and it's seriously easy. Just bake a sheet of puff pastry at 400* for 15 minutes than remove from the oven and add 2 cups shredded gruyere cheese and asparagus and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Puff pastry is king! People think you're a total chef when you use puff pastry even though you just got it from the frozen section of Whole Foods.

I also served chicken salad on homemade buns. I like the easy rolls recipe because it's moist. Please don't make chicken salad used canned chicken, unless you really have to. 

If you cook 2 lbs of seasoned chicken breasts (skinless and boneless) in a dutch oven at 350* for 40 minutes with 1/2 cup water and some italian seasoning you'll get really soft and tender meat that just pulls apart. I like to mix it with a little mustard and a tiny bit of mayonnaise and a lot of grapes. The grapes are for Enzo.

Did you have a fun weekend?
What was on your menu? 


  1. i really like your photos! sounds like you enjoyed a nice dinner party.

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  3. That sounds really delish. I want some berries. Now.

  4. Wow everything looks wonderful. I am really impressed that you were able to prepare all this in 2 hours. I'd love to try that Asparagus-gruyere tart!

  5. Momo, the tart is super easy. There is no way you could mess it up.

  6. I can't tell you how impressed I am that you cooked an entire dinner party menu in 2 hours, with time to spare, that is impressive, you're obviously a very organised cook :D I love the sound of the asparagus-gruyere tart and will definitely try it sometime! Quick question - what is a dutch oven? (In British people terms :D)

  7. need to invite me next time *smiles*

    *kiss kiss*
    ~Tiptoe Butterfly~

  8. Everything looks like it came out great.... especially that asparagus tart. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Great party food, wish I could be there for sure

  10. Lovely blog! the Asparagus tart looks gorgeous and delicious (and you know how I feel about berries).

    I'm adding you to my blog reader now - and I'm looking forward to digging through your archives!

  11. The photos in this post are really great!

    And Enzo is adorable!

  12. You have such a kind heart Damaris! This is fabulous!

  13. Can I come to dinner?! This looks like it was a delicious time!

  14. Such nice comments. Of course you are all invited for dinner. Just come to california, I love feeding people. And just to answer you question, a dutch oven is a large cast iron pot. It's very useful and I recommend getting one if you don't already own one.

    The asparagus tart is seriously easy. You will love it.


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