How was your Kale Party? A success?! Everyone you know now loves kale?! Good. That’s what I thought.
I’ve got your next dinner party planned.
I had this idea to plan a dinner party. Normal. I deciding to plan it around the seasonal produce that we get in the Abundant Harvest Organics box. Upping the game. And I decided to do it regularly. Winner.
My dinner parties aren’t as elaborate as some. I’m cool with that. My focus is first on the food, then on the decor. It’s just how I roll. But, if you ask friends to contribute to the food (I made the choice to make it all myself… it’s a lot of work to do that, but isn’t necessarily a bad thing, depending on what your goal is), you will have more energy to put into the look of the party.
We have a tiny apartment, so we don’t have room for a large dining table. Um and the dining room is my office, so we really don’t have room. But, we make do. We added a couple leaves to the table and plopped it into the middle of the living room (about 4 feet from where it normally lives, leafless). We squeezed 6 chairs around it. It still left just a small surface area, so the centerpiece was a bowl of grapes from the week’s box. Oh and the bowl was a family heirloom – it used to belong to Husband’s grandma. I set the table with mismatched china that we’ve collected over the years. We used silverware that was also from Husband’s grandma, wine glasses that we found at a yard sale, cloth napkins that were a wedding gift. To be honest, with the friends that we were hanging out with, I knew that we were just happy to be together, eating, sharing, fellowshipping. So, there wasn’t too much pressure to have the perfect table or even the perfect food… from them… the pressure was all from me. 😉
I’d suggest having an appetizer for guests to snack on while you finish up preparations. The Roasted Grape Crostini that I made disappeared so quickly that I got to try just one of the eighteen that I’d made.
We had a simple salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and a Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette.
The main dish was Roasted Chicken with Gorgonzola and Figs. The chicken is roasted with a bit of water in the bottom of a pan, and topped with Figs. Onions are caramelized. Gorgonzola is pulled apart into little dollops. When the chicken is done, it’s served topped with the onions and gorgonzola. Yes, try this combination.
The sides were Steamed Carrots with Butter and Honey, and Wilted Kale with Walnuts and Bacon. Steamed carrots may seem boring or normal. Let me tell you, they are not! And the kale… well, I love kale in general (remember, Kale Party?!), but top pretty much anything with Llano Seco’s organic bacon and it’s a winner in my book.
Now, let’s talk about dessert. I am not a sweets person. I love things like bacon, crispy roasted potatoes, and sharp cheeses… But, this dessert may have been my favorite part of the evening. It was simple, but oh man was it good. I made Roasted Figs with Whipped Cream Chocolate and Cinnamon. Figs are roasted, cream is whipped (sweetened with coconut palm sugar, infused with vanilla extract), dark chocolate is melted over a double boiler. Figs are topped with whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate, and sprinkled with cinnamon.
A SUGGESTION FOR SUCCESS
Make a plan. I wrote out what I could do in advance (morning of, or even the day before). So when it came time to cook, I had all the veggies washed and chopped, dressing made, onions caramelized… It made the afternoon much less stressful. I had the recipes prepared, I knew what I was making and how long they’d take to prep and cook (or a general idea). I knew what needed to be prepped first, because it would take the longest to cook, and what needed to be dressed at the last minute, so it wouldn’t get soggy. It didn’t all work out perfectly, so like most events, some adapting will have to happen, but it worked out great none-the-less. Oh, and one more suggestion, make sure your dishwasher is empty. You’re probably gonna fill it up. 😉
Happy Farm to Dinner Party Table time!
- 12-18 figs, quartered
- 1/2 to 1 pint whipping cream
- 1/8 to 1/4 C coconut palm sugar
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 3.5 oz. dark chocolate
- cinnamon, for topping
- Pre-heat oven to 375F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place figs on baking sheet with a bit of space between them if possible. Roast for 10-20 minutes, or until figs are slightly crispy and caramelized.
- Whip cream with sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer or by hand. Whip until stiff peaks form.
- Heat about 1 C water in a pot. Place a bowl in the pot – it needs to be large enough so that it rests on the edge of the pot on its own and does not touch the boiling water. Break chocolate into pieces in the bowl. Stir with a spoon as it melts. Once melted, remove from pot (carefully, bowl will be hot).
- Spoon figs into a bowl and top with whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve immediately.