I love to entertain people at our house. When I was home all this past week, I decided to put my time to good use and plan a dinner party! We invited my brother and his wife, who just found out they have a baby on the way. We also invited some friends of theirs who have become friends of ours, Nathan and Erin! We hesitated to invite them because she is literally about to pop with their first baby, and we didn't want them to miss out on our cooking goodness because of child labor! Luckily, no babies came early, and the evening was a great success (humility manifesting itself once again).
I created and mailed invitations last week that looked like mini-menus, letting them know they shouldn't miss out on this dinner! We served a Citrus Salad with homemade vinaigrette, Lemon and Thyme Roasted Chicken, Caramelized Carrots, Golden-Crusted Potatoes, Cranberry-Ginger Fizzes, and for dessert, Wicked Brownie Bites with ice cream. All of these menus were from my new book, Celebrations, which I still get excited about when I pick it up. NERD ALERT! The food all turned out amazingly well, and it was fun to slave away in the kitchen all day to get it on the table. Well, ok, not all day. I DID leave for three hours to watch John and Jeff play basketball. In preparation for the party, I deep-cleaned my house on Thursday from top to bottom, which luckily doesn't take very much time in an 1,100-foot apartment. I love a clean house! I think my mom was on to something when she made us clean when we were growing up! Saturday, I ran the vacuum again, set the table (name-tags and all), and spruced everything up. I was ready! The house smelled of brownies and chicken and lavender-lemongrass. Who would have thought those smells would all work together, but they made me drool in anticipation!
Jeff and Megan arrived first, just before six-thirty. Erin and Nate were twenty minutes late because of work. However, that is preceisely how much time the chicken still needed, so it all turned out perfectly. After we ate, we played Mortal Combat (sorry, Mom) and Mario Kart on John's computer, which he has hooked up to his gigantic TV in the living room. It's so nice to not have to squint to see who is winning! Of course, John kicked butt. I told him to let them win occasionally (which he did) so they would want to come back. While others were playing Nintendo, Jeff helped me serve up dessert. It was made from real chocolate and was so rich and delicious! Dessert is usually my favorite part of the meal, but I think everything turned out pretty well tonight!
It was a fun evening with family and friends.