Monday, August 15, 2011

37 Things: Throw a Dinner Party for 20

This is one of my favorite things on my list of 37 Things I Want to do Before I Turn 38.  The same thing happened as last year.  We ended up being 18 at table.  So I just need to change my goal to Throw a Dinner Party for 18.  Why fish sauce as the lead photo?  The menu was a Southeast Asian theme and I admit it, I buy my fish sauce based purely on a photo of a baby holding a bottle of fish sauce with a picture on it of a baby holding a bottle of fish sauce.
The menu:
*Singapore Slings 
*Gin with Lime-aid and a ginger simple syrup
*Rose and Red Wine
*Spicy peanut/cashews
*Wasabi Peas
*Spicy Canteloupe with basil
First Course
*Fresh Spring Rolls with a Peanut Dipping Sauce
Main Course
*Vietnamese Salad with Grilled Pork Salad, Hanoi Style with Nuoc Cham sauce
*Cream Puffs with a Chocolate Glaze and Mint Garnish

The key to throwing a big dinner party is making lists.  Making lists and picking out food that can be prepped in advance.  And having a good friend come a little early to help you put everything together.  Unless of course, you can afford to hire a waiter.  Which I should have done, but oh well, the hostess doesn't really need to talk to everyone anyways!  I hit the ground running at 8am in the morning and didn't stop for any breaks until the guests started arriving at 5pm.

The Singapore Slings were a big hit.  We made a big pitcher of it so it was easy to hand out drinks as people arrived. 

I was able to prep everything for the spring rolls and then pass off the assembling to my friend Greg.  He was a superstar helper.
The weather was perfect.  We had to divide the party up into two tables to fit everyone comfortably in the back yard.
Dahlias were the flower of the day.  I purchased 3 bouquets at the farmers market that morning and then our friend Rosie showed up with this beautiful bunch as well. 

Bonus: my new, extra long felting table works perfect for entertaining as well!

Assembling the salads was fun.  Vietnamese salad is one of my favorite dishes to make and eat.
I like to take the time thinking about the appearance of the dish as much as the flavor of the dish.
There were very few leftovers at the end of the night.
With just a few stragglers at the end, we set up the fire pit and relaxed!   It took 6 dishwasher loads to get everything clean.  Now I have a few days to relax before hosting our wine group this coming weekend!  At least that is a potluck so it won't be as crazy.   


  1. It was a fantastic evening, Jennevieve -- thanks for the invite! Sorry you had to tone down the spiciness of the food, but my tummy and tongue definitely thank you!

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