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You’re Invited To My Virtual Dinner Party!

April 12, 2011

I’m intrigued by the underground supper club movement – dining in an undisclosed location with a surprise gourmet menu – and I recently found out that there’s one in my area. With a cost of $100/person (which is fair considering the seven-course meal that’s served) we probably won’t be attending anytime soon. However, I did enjoy browsing their website and reading some of their past menus.

I love reading menus for inspiration. Deciding the menu for a dinner party is my favorite part (but sometimes also the most challenging aspect) of planning a dinner. I like to be creative and come up with something that’s unique, but at the same time I think it’s important to keep it simple so that I can enjoy time with my guests.

Last weekend, my husband and I hosted a dinner party for 8 friends. We asked each couple to bring one course for an Italian meal. Even though no one knew what the others were bringing, we ended up with a great meal!

I wish that I could have dinner with all of my food blogging friends (it would be a very tasty meal for sure!), but since we’re spread out all over the world, I thought it would be fun to host a virtual dinner party. Hopefully it will result in a great menu that will inspire lots of cooking!

Here’s how it will work. The theme for the virtual dinner party will be Spring. The meal will include the following courses:

Appetizer/Salad/Soup
Entree
Dessert
Drink

If you’d like to attend, comment on this post with a link to the recipe on your blog (preferably with a picture) that you’d like to bring to the party, no later than Thursday (April 14). On Friday, I’ll post the menu for the Spring-themed dinner party, along with links to the recipes I chose for each course.

Looking forward to dinner together! Hope you can make it!

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa Davis permalink
    April 12, 2011 9:19 pm

    I don’t have a blog, but I wanted to share one of my favorite spring-time desserts: Lemonade Cake. I got the recipe from a friend many years ago. I have tweaked it a little, to make it healthier, substituting applesauce for some of the oil. It’s not made from scratch, but it is good–very moist. (And I don’t usually like lemon-flavored desserts.)

    Preheat oven to 350.
    1 yellow cake mix (NO pudding in the mix)
    1 small package (3 oz. lemon jello
    1 1/4 cup water
    1 1/4 cup oil (or, 1/2 cup oil + 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
    4 large eggs, room temperature
    Icing:
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1/4 cup lemon juice

    Mix together and pour into greased and floured 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 x 35-40 min. Immediately after removing, prick cake all over with fork. Pour icing made with 2 cups pwdered sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice.

    • April 12, 2011 9:27 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Lisa. I do love lemon so this sounds delicious and very springy!

    • Novell J. Wilson permalink
      April 14, 2011 9:54 am

      Lisa, these are similar to Paula Deen’s Lemon Blossoms. Only thing I see different is she has lemon zest in the icing. She also bakes in mini muffin tins and dips them in the icing. They are addictive!

      • April 14, 2011 9:10 pm

        I like the idea of cupcakes and dipping them in icing!

  2. April 12, 2011 10:52 pm

    Hi Laura, I subscribed to your blog yesterday and what a brilliant first post I am reading – great idea.
    My contribution for your Spring Dinner is Dessert – Crème Brûlée – http://wp.me/pT5Tj-pk
    Looking forward to seeing your final menu.
    :-) Mandy

    • April 13, 2011 7:12 am

      Thanks, Mandy! So glad you stopped by. I love creme brulee and your recipe sounds delicious. I have one question about it (and I probably should know this) but what is castor sugar?

      • April 13, 2011 9:52 pm

        Hi Laura, castor sugar is a fine sugar which is often used for baking when making meringues etc.
        Regular granulated sugar can be substituted for the Crème Brûlée too. ;-)

  3. April 13, 2011 8:11 am

    Ooooh! What a wonderful idea! I love it! I have two ideas – let me know which one you’d prefer and I’ll post it today. My original post today was going to be for a portabello pizzaiola. We use it for a main course, but I think if it was cut down into smaller pieces it could serve as an appetizer too. The other one (which I found on another blog recently and have been eating for lunch since) is for a strawberry/spinach salad with a homemade strawberry champagne dressing. Let me know and I’ll work it up today. How fun!

    • April 13, 2011 8:34 am

      I love both ideas, but I think my favorite is the pizzaiola. Anything with pizza in the name sounds great to me :) The strawberry salad sounds very springy though – and I’d love to try the champagne dressing!

      • April 13, 2011 9:01 am

        I’ll post the pizzaiola later today. :) It’s a combination of bell peppers, tomatoes and portabello mushrooms. It’s totally filling, but completely healthy!

        The champagne dressing is from Annie’s Eats (she’s linked on my blogroll). It’s delicious!

  4. April 13, 2011 10:17 am

    This is such a fun idea! I love it. I made a dessert this weekend that would be perfect for this! Strawberry Cheesecake squares.

    http://thesanties.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/1552-strawberry-cheesecake-squares/

    I can’t wait to see which recipes you pick, I’m sure your final menu will be to die for!

    I also have a great idea for a strawberry wine cooler. I posted it on my old blog. {In January I started a new one with a 52 week blogging goal.} It is so refreshing and delicious!

    Stefanie

    • April 13, 2011 11:18 pm

      Thanks for the recipe, Stefanie. Anything strawberry sounds springy to me. I loved your kitchen bucket list – great idea :) Good luck with your weekly blogging goal!

  5. April 13, 2011 10:05 pm

    Here you go…
    http://ourfamilyfoodadventures.com/2011/04/14/virtually-party-bound/
    Let me know if you want me to email you any of the pictures. Thanks again for this great idea. I love it!

    • April 13, 2011 11:06 pm

      Looks amazing! I can’t wait to make this for real!!!

  6. April 14, 2011 6:23 am

    Oh we just had some amazing stuff last night, but it won’t be worked up by the end of today. Here are some options. Roast asparagus: http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/roast-asparagus/ …. or if you want an Italian dessert we could offer the mixed berry zabaglione http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/mixed-berry-zabaglione/… other options… We’re planning a post on stuffed artichokes that will be up this weekend if you need it and my wife made an awesome shortcake last night. Let us know.

  7. April 14, 2011 6:23 am

    I want ChefMom’s salad!

  8. Novell J. Wilson permalink
    April 14, 2011 9:52 am

    Looks like you still need an appetizer. I do not have a blog and no time to cook these today and take pics to post. Besides, I do not have the ability to take pics and post. Yes, I am challenged. I would have to enlist the husband. But here is the recipe:

    SPICY SEAFOOD SHELL APPETIZERS

    1 1/2 C mayonnaise
    2/3 C grated parmesean cheese
    2/3 C shredded swiss cheese
    1/3 C chopped onion
    2 t worcestershire sauce
    10 drops hot pepper sauce
    1 (4 oz) can small shrimp, drained
    1 (6 oz) can crabmeant, drained and flaked
    2 (2.1 oz) packages mini phyllo tart shells

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease medium baking sheet.

    In medium bowl, mix together first – six ingredients. Gently stir in shrimp and crabmeat.

    Fill mini phyllo tart shells. Place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake 7-10 minutes.

    • April 14, 2011 9:09 pm

      Thanks for sharing this, Novell. I think Josue will love this – he like anything that has to do with seafood. I even have some of the phyllo shells in my freezer :)

  9. April 14, 2011 11:07 pm

    Sounds like fun :)

  10. April 15, 2011 1:50 am

    I will bring the salad. http://wp.me/p1mk6O-1S

    Risotto Salad With Ham, Peas, Peppers, & Beans

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