Our wonderful neighbors are moving to Virginia next month and boy are we sad. To show our love and appreciation we recently hosted an intimate dinner for them and a couple of their good friends. I attempted to create a menu integrating foods Tamara especially enjoys this time of year: squash, baked fruit, chocolate, mushrooms, and dried cherries. Somehow it all came together....
Course 1: Winter Squash Soup (I skip the gruyere croutons and instead add a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream, a sage leaf, and minced tart apples for garnish)
Course 2: Butter Lettuce Salad with Bacon, Dried Cherries & Roquefort Dressing
Course 3: Baguettes with Chevre and Organic Lavendar Salt
Course 4: Chicken with Morels
Dessert: Pain au Chocolate Bread Pudding with Cranberries and Chocolate Sauce
One thing I enjoy about this menu is all the "make-ahead" options. I can make almost every single course ahead of time. This means I will enjoy my own party that much more.
Idea: Host your own dinner party for 10; assign each couple one of these courses; enjoy a wonderful dinner together stress-free (not that I was stressed Tamara--believe me I thoroughly enjoyed preparing these myself!). Seriously, try it. You'll be happy to have something fun to look forward to in blah January.