The Making of a Dinner Party
Last Friday evening, I once again, hosted a dinner party as part of a fund raiser for the Alamance Arts Council. We are very fortunate in Alamance County to have a thriving arts council that enriches our lives with fabulous exhibits and brings the arts to us in such a tangible and engaging way and I am honored to be able to support them in this small way. See my post from last year here.
I chose a menu that was totally comfort food because it is, after all, technically still winter. I wanted to be able to use seasonal ingredients and take advantage of a cold cozy evening and make one last big winter meal. The recipes were adapted from Cook Beautiful by Athena Calderone. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks and the recipes never disappoint. I have included printable recipes, so keep scrolling!
Blood Orange and Roasted Beets with Yogurt, Tarragon and Hazelnuts
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Pan Roasted Chicken with Shallots and Dates
Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze
My dining room is a typical Southern dining room with a huge table, sideboard and traditional china displayed in two china cabinets. I set the table with a combination of pieces that I’ve collected over the years. I wanted the table to feel intimate and cozy and encourage conversation, so I kept the flower arrangements low and lit the room mostly with candles. The weather was cold, but the loose and airy flower arrangements, done by Lyn Moser of Special Arrangements, provided a little bit of hope that spring is right around the corner.
A beautiful and delicious meal nourishes the body and the soul, much like art. What better way to celebrate the power of art than with seasonal food that celebrates the art of cooking. I hope that everyone who was here enjoyed eating the meal as much as I enjoyed preparing it.
I didn’t get great pictures of the food this year, but I do have a video coming that I think you’ll enjoy. It’s more like a vlog of the whole process of cooking the meal, including when I put my hand around the handle of a 450 degree skillet. The video may be more entertaining than educational!
The crew taking a break with a glass of wine!
Just a word about the wine…
We have a gem of a wine store in Burlington, called Cork & Cow. The owner, Michelle is so knowledgeable about wines and I always trust her to pair the perfect wine with each dish that I prepare. She always chooses perfectly and this year was no exception.
When the guests arrived, they were greeted with a cheese platter with several cheese selections and a homemade fig and olive tapenade. Because the tapenade has such strong and distinct flavors, the cheeses were paired with Oystercatcher Sauvignon Blanc.
The first course, served at the table, was the beet salad and it was paired with a French Rosé,Campuget 2017 Tradition Rosé (Costières de Nîmes) and the pairing was perfect.
The rich main course, was paired with a choice of an unoaked French Chardonnay, Macon Villages Vin de Bourgogne or a Black Point Pinot Noir from Oregon. Most guests chose the Chardonnay, which I found interesting.
The orange bundt cake was served with an amazing sparkling wine. I’m linking the wines below.
I could never have prepared and served this meal without the help of my friend, and partner in crime, Britt Stadler as well as my husband. Britt came and helped me prepare and serve the whole dinner and Garrick was a gracious host and washed nearly every dish by hand. Thank you!!
Hosting a dinner party is an exhausting endeavor, but I am honored to be able to provide my time and talent to benefit the Alamance Arts, which in turn enriches our community.