Sunday, August 12

Good Old Fashion Dinner Party

A Women's Only Formal Dinner Party
Women are unique, special, intelligent and gifted.
But a lot of the time, all our time is taken up with work, kids, husbands, partners, housework and lots of stress, leaving very little time to ourselves.

My daughter Alexis, my son’s girlfriend Jennica and I decided to host a girls only night.
Another friend we consulted, Heidi, suggested we make it a formal dinner party and all of us dress up.
What a great idea that turned out to be! We had such a fun time admiring each other’s outfits and the SHOES! Each lady had on just a fantastic pair of heels, all to die for!
Jennica put together a playlist for background music which included lots of love and romance songs (of course) and also songs about woman empowerment.

Jennica, Alexis and I spent an evening shopping for a new tablecloth, something feminine and with a summer feel, and kicked around ideas for the menu.

We wanted something completely away from what the men usually like: Steak and Potatoes. We also wanted a menu with a “summery” feel with lots of fruits and vegetables.

The morning of the dinner party, we decorated the table with the new tablecloth, fresh flowers and candles. Salad dressings I put in glass servers or oil drizzlers with spouts, reasonably priced from Target.

The Menu:

Drinks and Appetizers:

At 4:00, we started with drinks and appetizers.
We had a party guest bring homemade Sangria one summer, which we all loved. So I searched for a sangria recipe but instead of the heavy booze (liquor) content of most recipes I googled, I decided to keep the drink light.
Fruit and wine Sangria

Two bottles of light flavored blush wine, added lots of cut up fresh fruit and chilled for a few hours before the party. I also made a second carafe with light white wine. The fruit used were cut up limes, lemons, oranges, white and purple grapes, pineapple and apples.

The second drink I chose was a margarita, but used two different fruits. And these were fantastic!
The Watermelon Margarita recipe I shared in a previous blog, so here is the Mango Margarita:

Mango Margarita

2 limes, cut into wedges
2 Tablespoons coarse sugar
Mango chunks or pure mango juice
1 ½ Cup tequila
1 ½ Cup triple sec
¼ Cup sugar
Lime juice

Pour the coarse sugar onto a plate. Moisten the rim of a glass with a lime wedge.
Twirl the rim of the glass in the sugar. Set aside.
Place some of the mango into the blender. Top with ice. Pour in tequila, triple sec, 1/4 cup sugar, and add a few drops of lime juice. Blend until completely smooth, adding more ice if necessary to get it the consistency you want.
Pour drinks into prepared glass and serve immediately.
*Hint: Freeze the leftovers (hahaha) in a plastic storage bag.


Cheesy Olive Bread

For appetizers we made Stuffed JalapeƱo Peppers and Olive Cheese Bread. The bread recipe came from the Pioneer Women’s first cookbook. This you won't be able to stop eating!

Around 4:30 - 4:45, I directed all the guests into the dining room and we started the meal with an organic Butternut Squash Soup, garnished with a sprig of parley from my garden. 

Caprese, just need to sprinkle with balsamic vinegar

I served two salads. The first one, Caprese,  I served on a platter, (pronounced Ka-pree-zay). I have always loved this salad.

On a serving platter, layer slices of fresh tomatoes and basil leaves, with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

It's easy to make and it looks beautiful when served.

The second salad was a mix of spring greens, cranberries and pecans, which was served on the dinner plate with the main course:

The recipe for the pork tenderloin came into my hands from a dinner I attended.  A friend of ours and the host, Beth's dinner presentation was so eloquent and formal! I asked her for the recipe for the pork tender loin, and was surprised at how easy it is to make. 

I love recipes like that, and I love the people who share their recipes! And I love recipes that are delicious, very easy to make but look as if they took hours and lots of effort!
Beth makes her Pork Tenderloin with raspberry preserves and is how I usually make it, until this dinner party. I decided to mix it up a bit by using apricot preserves, and was not disappointed! 
I also used sliced apricots as a garnish instead of the nuts or flowers.

Jamaican Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Glaze or use Raspberry Jam

A great group of women and the dinner party was a blast.

The weather has been terribly hot here in Ohio, but this evening was perfect, in the low to mid 70’s. After dinner we headed outside to the patio with drinks in hand. Stories, support and laughter should be what all women share with each other, what we should do for each other on a regular basis. The time spent getting to know each other better, laughing, crying, talking about men and just bonding was something incredibly special.

And of course we had desserts!
Chocolate is always a hit with most women so we made Chocolate Iced Double Chocolate Bars topped with fresh Raspberries, and we made Fresh Lemon Cheesecake.

A day or evening spent together can be with pizza and a movie, having an informal backyard BBQ or  a potluck lunch or dinner get together. Leave all the drama at the door, but talk to each other, share, cry, laugh together. 

Talk about how goofy men are, how the kids drive us crazy or about how good looking the USA swim team is, (yes we did that). There is something to be said about the generations’ pass whose women gathered together in sewing bees, church socials or other women only functions. 

This evening has renewed and reinforced in me 
my love for the women in my life.


Alexis Elizabeth said...

Brilliant. Having a different 'theme', for each annual dinner, and also depending on the time of year, keeps things exciting for the guest and host as well. Bravisimo.

Ian R said...

Steak, Potatos, and Beer > Fancy Pants Themed Dinner

Elizabeth said...

: )

Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea for a dinner party

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the best way to make a gathering fun is by creating dinner games. The premise is for guest to work as a team and get to know each other. Personalized placecards are also a necessity in any kind of party you organize and even when there is no party but guest do not know each other. The "game" is something that can be played by any age of person. - An addition of fun group activities is one of the best ways of making the occasion even more enjoyable.

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Wow, thanks for the great suggestions! The game idea is really good idea. And I actually do make place cards for our Thanksgiving dinner and let everyone take theirs home. Thanks!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Thanks, we thoroughly enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

What's up Elizabeth. everything's going well here, keep up the writing. Erik