The Dinner Party

Monday, 28 December 2009

This year I stayed happy through the holidays by planning a small dinner party for a few friends from work.  I blogged about the party planning so if you've been reading, you know the menu and the dilemna over the chairs.  Most of my readers suggested I borrow the chairs and Kingsley told me to just leave a note so I did and everyone had a place on which to place their bum.  Here's a look at my executive-size desk that doubled as a dining table:  

I used soy, no-smoke, no-drip candles in crystal holders, beautiful new linens made by Kingsley's sister, new flatware (a gift from CC's mother for our wedding) and little gift bags with Ferrero Rocher chocolates for guests.  My favorite part of hosting a dinner is setting the table and arranging the flowers.

The arrangements included reddish-orange roses, berries and pine cones.

Friends started arriving around 7 p.m. and Annie snapped this shot of me putting the rolls in.  Thankfully I was able to make the Cornish hens, couscous with pomegranate and pine nuts, salad and rolls come out hot at the same time.  We sat down to dinner after 8 p.m.

I wish I would've taken more pictures!   My main focus was having fun and cooking so I didn't get many shots.  Here's Molly, Jamie and Annie.

Appetizers were whole green olives, Kalamata olives in olive oil, peeled shrimp with zesty cocktail sauce and Brie.  (We also went through three bottles of Champagne!)

Molly brought the "Mutts Nutts" wine.  Hilarious - but also quite tasty.  If you'd like to bring this to a holiday party and make the other guests laugh, head to Trader Joe's.  (There's Mark Addison in the background!)

Cornish hen and couscous -- I wish I would've turned up the heat to 400F for the last 10 minutes of cooking to brown the poultry but it was moist and very tender.  (Cooked them in oven bags with onion, garlic, olive oil, Kosher salt, ground pepper - should've used cracked pepper - and Rosemary.)

We also had a tasty green salad.  Red lettuce, red onion, Roma tomatoes and pecans.   Balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the side.

More flowers... wanted to do something that resembled Christmas so I went with the winter pine cones.  They are abundant in Oregon.

Violet was a perfect little lady.  She hid under the bed most of the night but came out to let Annie and Molly hold her for a moment.  She was soft and smelling lovely because of her bath the night before.  She hated it and held very still until I let up on my grip and tried to jump out of the sink.  Lol.


Anonymous said...

looks all so amazing wish i was there xxx love u pook

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious, my dear!


Teri's Blog said...

My Mom says your plates are boring and ugly, but she said the same thing about mine because they look the same.

Denae said...

Teri - I have beautiful Kate Spade china but it is at my home in Columbus, Ohio -- I didn't have the budget to buy anything too spiffy this year but I also tend to like classic rather than busy which is why I went with these plates.

Tina L. Hook said...

I think the spread is beautiful. This is what the holidays are all about - gathering together. Neutrals are a classic and make for a very clean and sophisticated setting...not boring at all. Very elegant.

Anonymous said...

Yay super fun evening and the highlight of my Holiday season!
Thanks for a great time and a delicious spread!
love your place too!

Teri's Blog said...

I'll let my Mom know. Hopefully next year you can use the pretty ones with Kingsley.

Denae said...

Teri - To be honest, posting that my dishes are "ugly" is quite rude. Surely you realize that.

Anonymous said...

yeah,extremely rude I'd say- what sort of person would say a thing like that?Wonder what kind of comment paper plates would have generated?

Denae said...

Oh well. S'okay. I enjoyed hosting and the dinner made the holidays feel warmer.

Teri's Blog said...

I'm so sorry I offended you. I just thought it was funny my Mom thought our dishes were similarly ugly.