Dinner Party

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This weekend Sujeet and I hosted a few of our friends for a lovely dinner. This was our first attempt at a formal meal complete with multi-courses. I am now completely converted to the multi-course dining experience! My least favorite part of having friends over for dinner is the fact that we are usually finished eating within twenty minutes or so. By serving the food in courses (soup, salad, main, and dessert), we were able to spend more than an hour chatting over food and wine. To prepare for the evening I did a lot of research about formal parties. (In case you’re wondering, yes, most of the websites devoted to the issue appear to have been written by older southern women who tend to assume that you have “help.”) The best tip I picked up was the seating arraignment. Did you know that at formal dinners with more than one table it is proper to seat husbands and wives separately? Well I do now. We only had one table, but I separated all of the couples and arraigned the guests in boy-girl fashion with Sujeet and I at the ends.

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I made cute (but super simple) name cards for each of our guests. It was fun to spend time with our attached friends sans their significant other right next to them (plus I totally dug the fact that I could wink at my boyfriend from across a crowed table). For dinner, we started with spicy lentil soup, then green salad with homemade croutons and honey mustard vinaigrette. For the main course we had seasoned cod cooked in parchment paper with fresh chimichurri and sides of summer squash pasta and sautéed asparagus. For dessert, we served vanilla ice cream with fresh berries. (We intended to also serve warm chocolate chip cookies, but I think that was my job …  and I think we did fine without them.)

Frankly, I can’t wait until the next dinner party, but when I relayed that message to Sujeet I saw sincere panic flash though his eyes. (I mean, to be fair, he really did do all the heavy lifting on this one.) Looks like the next time around I am going to have to sub in my other favorite cook, Erin. Now all I need is a theme …

{more photos after the jump}

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{salad with farmer’s market tomatoes and homemade croutons}

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{we placed the cod on sliced potatoes, seasoned with salt, pepper, and old bay, and topped with lemon, chives, and olive oil…}

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{and baked in parchment paper}

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{chimichurri}

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{summer squash pasta}

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{the big reveal!}

 

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{bon appetit}

 

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