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A Dinner Party – Part 1

1st Annual Death of Summer Invite

I enjoy cooking and I learned to cook when I was young. I think it is a good skill to have since we have to eat and eating out everyday is not a good option. Also with cooking I know and can control what is going into my food which ends up being better for me.

Another thing that I enjoy is the summer I was born in the summer and have always been a summer person. Maybe it’s because I am from Chicago and everyone says that with the winters being so bad it makes you appreciate the summer more.

With the summer ending why not try and throw my first real dinner party for a few close friends as a celebration of the past summer as well as a funeral, if you will, in honor of the summer. So I decided that the theme or title of the dinner was going to be the “1st Annual Death of Summer” dinner party. There was going to be 4 guests, so 5 total including me. I picked a day and without realizing I actually picked the last day of the summer, the official fall season was starting the next day. How lucky was that, it was meant to be.

Now with throwing this event I did not want to make it a one pot dinner, that’s too easy. I wanted it to be a true dinner party with several courses. I wanted it to have reminders of summer with the colors and flavors as well as it tasting super awesome.

I think what first inspired me to do the dinner was Bon Appetite had a link to a blog called brit + co which had a posting called “25 Ways to Win with Watermelon“. Now for me nothing reminds me more of summer than watermelon. At first I thought about having every course incorporate watermelon but after some thought I think that might have been going overboard. Sometimes to much of a good thing ruins the good thing. So i did more research and used recipes from clippings, cook books and some from the internet. I came up with a menu and an invite, which I hand delivered to my friends.
So this is the menu I came up with:

1st Course
Watermelon Salsa served with Watermelon Vodka Rickeys

2nd Course
Simple salad which I kind of just made on the fly served with a herb vinaigrette which I got out of “How to Cook Everything” book by Mark Bittman

3rd Course
Avacado Cazpacho Soup

Main Course
Pan-seared Chicken Thighs with a lemon thyme au jus served with garlic seared brussel sprouts and roasted red potatoes.
The pan-seared chicken reciepe I got out of “The Best 30-Minute Recipe” by Cooks Country as well as the red potatoes recipe. The brussel sprouts recipe I got from the “How to Cook Everything” book and have made many times.

Apple crisp, which came from a book my friends gave me that was all about apples, served with Watermelon Sorbet and whipped cream, which came from the store in an aerosol can with a red cap. Yea I kind of cheated on that one.

Homemade bread which came from a clipping and I am not sure on the source, and garlic lemon butter “How to Cook Everything” book.

It’s funny I thought I would spend more time worrying about the actual cooking but what really occupied a lot of my thought about the dinner was the order of cooking and my strategy in making the food in the right order so that it seemed effortless. That was the hard part making it all flow. After much thought I figured it out, it became pretty obvious after I thought about it. I wrote down all of the ingredients I needed and categorized them by vegetable, spice, meat, fruit etc. I got all of the ingredients the few days before. I did not want to have to run to the store on the day of the event. Stay tuned for part 2, the actual cooking and party.

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