Today, we're throwing my second favorite type of party: A dinner party for new friends (my favorite party is, of course, a dinner party for old friends - with luck our new friends will soon be part of that category.) I'm in the midst of dusting, mopping and opening windows to let in the new spring air - but mostly I'm putting off the inevitable trip to the grocery store.
(Grocery shopping is a fool's errand if you ask me. Hate!)
I don't like surprises, so when I entertain I cook the same things I make for dinner on a regular basis - what makes it special is the presentation and the addition of appetizers and a nice dessert. (Oh, let's face it - the increased consumption of alcohol helps too!) But the actual cooking needs to be stress-free, because I like to enjoy myself at my own party.
The March issue of Everyday Food has a recipe for Balsamic Skirt Steak with Polenta and Roasted Tomatoes that has become a favorite dinner for us. The recipe's not up on the magazine's website, but thanks to the power of Google I found a blogger who posted the recipe with step by step pictures - look at how easy Dining Alone makes it look!
I highly recommend you try making it - it's super easy and the end result is delicious. It's a good mix of light and satisfying. Our local grocery chain doesn't have skirt steak, so I make it with steak tips and it's still awesome.
I'll probably put out some bread, cheese, olives, and figs to niggle on while I cook and we'll have something made with chocolate and raspberries for dessert. Before having kids I would've baked something the day before, but with two little boys running around I think it's best I leave it to the pros. The Ipod is loaded with my beloved Pink Martini and Louis Armstrong - I think we're ready to go!
Wishing everyone a happy Saturday!