We recently decided that we wanted a more active evening social life. One where only adults are present. Where little people are sleeping soundly in their bedrooms. Where conversations are broken only by sips of wine, not whine.
And it’s been so much fun so far! We have weekly dinner invites, which gives us the extra kick needed to be sure the house gets tidied up, and gives me the opportunity to finally try some of the multitudes of recipes I’ve pinned of late. Exquisite!
We’ve had three dinner parties thus far. All have started with a shared artichoke. I simply cut off the stem, trim the tips, and set it in about an inch of boiling water for 20 to 25 minutes (with the lid on!). As a dip, we use a basic homemade aioli of mayonaise and pressed garlic. Super simple, super delicious!
The main dishes have been:
Italian beef stew. This was fabulous! We don’t have a slow-cooker, but it worked perfectly as a stove-top stew as well, cooked for about and hour and a half.
One of the great things about a stew is that the whole meal can be prepared beforehand, so you can enjoy an aperitief with your invites when they arrive, rather than spending the whole time in the kitchen. Thank you Slava’s recipes!
Next to this meal we had homemade butternut squash and rutabega fries. While I also loved these, what looks like a lot really isn’t. With four adults, I’d recommend two full butternut squash and two rutabegas.
Steamed Mussels with Saffron Sauce. Absolutely delicious! I added a small twist by including chopped celery and carrots as well.
We had baguette next to this meal to dip it in the sauce. I highly recommend this! Do not let this splendid sauce – nearly a soup, really – go to waste!
Thank you Bake Noir!
Italian Meat Loaf. This will soon become a regular in our home. We really only eat meat 2 or 3 times a week, but this recipe is a good use of one of those meat nights! We used ground beef (I’ve never seen ground turkey in the Dutch supermarkets). Because the mozzarella is melted in the middle, you can get away with using the cheapest. And, for those with picky spinach eaters, this is not an overwhelming flavor, so you’re likely to be able to hide it in there without anybody knowing.
Thank you Simply Happenstance!
After each of these fabulous meals, we enjoyed a lovely chocolate treat. On two occasions, an amazing (vegan!) Chocolate Mousse (with only 3 ingredients!!) from Striking Keys and a decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge from Creating Naturally. Both of these recipes are fabulous for a number of reasons, but particularly because they are so fast and easy, don’t require any cooking and they’re healthy! What more can you ask for?
For all of these recipes, and more, check out my “Foodies” pinterest board.
(please note that all photos in this blog post belong to the sites to which they are linked. this is not my own photography work)