Mid-week dinner party

We had a lot going on last week, but still managed to pull off a small (only 4 people), but fun mid-week dinner party.  Because it’s been so hot lately, I came up with a menu that didn’t even require us to turn on the oven!  Except for dessert.  More on that later.

We kicked things off with champagne, of course.  I served that with some olive oil potato chips and Ina Garten’s smoked salmon dip.

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The sunflowers were an afterthought.  I just grabbed them at Trader Joe’s, but so glad I did!  The dinner was on Wednesday, and they’re still going strong in the foyer today.

After we snacked and chatted for a few minutes, we moved into the dining room for dinner.

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I only buy white dishes, so even though pretty much everything on this table was purchased separately, it still goes together.

I used kale and collard greens from our garden, along with some store-bought artichokes, for the centerpiece.

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For a first course, we served burrata (my new favorite thing) with a white wine tomato sauce and Tom’s homemade crostini.  I made the tomato sauce in advance and served it at room temperature.  I forgot to take a picture of that, but it was so easy and good.  You’ll have to trust me.

For the main course, I composed a really simple salad nicoise.  I blanched the haricot verts and made the potato salad in advance.  Then I used canned tuna in olive oil.  Y’all, I will not be buying tuna in water ever again.  The kind in olive oil tastes so much better, especially in a dish like this where it stands on its own.  I just piled some mixed greens around the edge of a big platter, then piled it high with the tuna, haricot verts, potato salad, olives, boiled eggs, and halved cherry tomatoes.  I made a simple mustard vinaigrette to go on top, and served the salad with a really good rustic bread from a local bakery.  This is a no fuss dish that looks pretty and seasonal.  I was very happy with how it came out.

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For dessert, I made a peach pie that was totally new to me.  I thought I knew everything there was to know about peach pie, but I was wrong.  This one has a custard base, cooked peaches, and whipped cream.  I used this recipe, which is based on a legendary peach pie from Bryce’s Cafeteria in Texarkana.  Our neighbors, who are from Texarkana, absolutely rave about this pie.  I’ve never seen or tasted it, but for some reason, decided to try and recreate it.  Ha!  I’m not going to lie to you.  The pie was kind of labor-intensive.  It turned out well, but I think the next time I make it, I will make the custard a tad sweeter.   A detailed post about the pie is coming up, so stay tuned.