New Years Eve Dinner Party

“Preston prepared a spectacular New Year’s Eve dinner for our dinner party!! From the appetizers to dessert, the food was delectable! Preston was delightful and before dinner was over we had him booked for another dinner party!!” – Ginger A. 

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve.  I know I sure did.  This year, I was asked to make dinner for 10 people at a private residence in Broken Arrow.  I love this type of dinner party because it gives me a chance to talk to the clients and get to know them better.  Not to mention they usually love to watch me cook and gives them a chance to ask questions about the food I am preparing.  The children, who had already ordered a pizza, enjoyed the time as much as the adults.

To start the night, I selected a savory Coeur a la Creme, topped with Mango Chutney and served with fresh made Rosemary Crackers.  A Coeur a la Creme is so good and easy to make.  Basically, it is cream cheese, cream and lemon whipped together.  Let that sit over night and serve chilled.  Most people don’t even know they can make their own crackers.  Just mix flour, oil, salt and some fresh herbs together to make a dough, roll it out on a sheet pan and bake.  It’s that easy.

One of my favorite appetizers to make is a caramelized Sweet Onion Tart.  Make a simple pie crust, caramelize some onions, mix together some sour cream and chives and you have a delicious, easy appetizer to serve.  The guests really liked them also.

I had planned to make a Shrimp Salad and serve it over a bed of fresh greens dressed with a lemon-dill vinaigrette, but I forgot the shrimp in my freezer at home.  Yes, it does happen sometimes, but thankfully I had some extra chicken breasts I brought with me…just in case.  After frantically searching through the clients refrigerator, I decided to make a Waldorf Salad instead.  I cooked the chicken breasts and diced them up, mixed them with a little mayonnaise, chopped green onion, pecans, celery, apples and grapes.  Secretly, I think this was the biggest hit of the night.  The host loved it so much, he asked for the recipe.

Each guest chose either fish, chicken or beef for their entree course.  As ordinary as it may sound, you can never go wrong with offering grilled salmon, chicken or a thick, juicy filet.  I then offered the guests a choice of Garlic Mashed Potatoes or Wild Rice Pilaf made with chicken stock, chopped pecans, yellow raisins and a little green onion and sautéed fresh Swiss Chard with onion, garlic and yellow bell peppers for the vegetable.  Not only is Swiss Chard healthy for you, it is beautiful on a plate!  Rounding out the dinner were some Honey Wheat Rolls.

Of course, no dinner is complete without a dessert.  While looking through Pinterest, I found a recipe for a White Chocolate Cake. After reading the numerous, positive reviews, I knew I had found my cake. The cake had a Raspberry filling and covered with Orange Butter Cream Frosting.  I finished the cake with fresh raspberries and shaved white chocolate.  I had never made it before, but it sounded so good I had to try it.

The men made it quite clear the only dessert they wanted was their adult beverage of the evening.  They retired to the living room to watch the OKC Thunder game and the women ate their dessert gathered around the dining room table.  Those four adorable children were patiently sitting at the kitchen island, waiting for that delicious cake.  The youngest child took a bite of the cake.  Her eyes widened as if she were surprised (it may have been the sugar rush) then she looked at me, smile and said “I love raspberries!”  That’s what it’s all about.

I want to thank them again for their generous hospitality.  They made the evening so much fun and I am looking forward to the Valentine’s Day Dinner Party I am cooking for them and their friends.