Over a Bottle of Wine, Many a Friend is Found

Over the weekend I hosted an intimate dinner party. I had my cousin Anna over and Michael’s old roommate Shoe joined us too.

I love hosting dinner parties!! Michael isn’t as excited about them right now because our kitchen has been in a state of remodel for a few years now. He’d prefer we wait til the kitchen is 100% done but….sometimes you just have to live life as it is, right?

Saturday morning I worked out hard at the gym and felt like I was amped up all day long. I cleaned the house like the Pope was coming over for dinner, went grocery shopping for last minute dinner supplies and then started the prep. Thankfully I had Twitter for some last minute questions!

I got as much prepped as I could before our guests arrived! Shoe brought two really nice bottles of wine to go with our dinner.

I liked the Bogle a lot. It was fairly mild and just lovely to drink. The Earthquake Syrah was a punch in the face. It was intense, strong, smelled like “burning” (as Michael put it) and tasted like Earth but it was also really good. Intense, but good.


Salami Roll – I took slices of salami and other Italian meats and spread a thin layer of  cream cheese on it, rolled it up and then stuck a toothpick through it. The salami and capocolo worked great, the prosciutto was just too thin and kept ripping.

Some were topped with black olives, some without. I also chopped up some carrots and added some cheese munchies.

It was simple and fast to make. And let’s be honest, everything tastes better with cream cheese. 😉


Main Dish

For the main dish I made my favorite signature dish: West African Cashew Soup. This is one of my favorite soups I’ve ever made. I love the variations you can have with it–the zucchini and yellow squash are not part of the original recipe but I loved the addition. You can tailor it to your comfort level for the spice, too.

I like extra spicy but not everyone can handle that. If you don’t like spicy at all, you can leave the red pepper flakes out and it’s still really good.

It’s also a pretty decadent soup–for very little calories! You would think that with the cashew soup it would be really high in calories but it’s not. I calculated this soup recipe with the ingredients serving 6 people. So obviously that number is a little higher or lower depending on how you serve it up.

The soup goes best with a crunchy bread. This time I got a wheat baguette with some seeds and grains in it, but in the past an olive ciabatta has been great too.

Because of the cashew butter, the soup is really thick and creamy–decadent and delicious.


For dessert I made something simple and delicious I will call Honey Pears. First I cored and quartered some fresh pears and sliced them lengthwise. I spread a little mild goat cheese on the pears. Then I drizzled them with honey and some with Agave.

I topped the pears with some chopped and toasted walnuts.

Ta-da! A healthy dessert alternative. I loved this dessert. It was so easy to make and it tasted really good. I wondered if the goat cheese would be strange with the honey but it was awesome. I would totally make this dessert again!

And what dinner party is complete without board games?!

I love game nights.

“Over a bottle of wine, many a friend is found.” –Yiddish Proverb

QUESTION: Have you ever hosted a dinner party? What was on the menu?

4 Responses

  1. All that food looks amazing! Great job!

    I love to host dinners. We do it a few times of year. John and I always do Christmas Eve dinner and we do a Mardi Gras dinner, which is a lot of fun – cajun/creole cuisine with masks and beads.
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    1. It all turned out pretty good!

      I remember seeing photos of your Mardi Gras dinner. It was cool looking! We’ve done Xmas Eve dinners in the past and watched Die Hard (totally Xmas appropriate). 🙂

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