Dinner party for 6 (finally!)

Having a day off (I’m off this whole week!) apparently does not mean that you will have plenty of time for things like blogging. Sorry for the delay of today’s post. I wanted to make sure to share last night’s meal with you though. I always say “better late than never!”… maybe ‘cause I’m always late. lol

SO, if you’ve seen my post on Russian Bites, or my facebook/twitter you may have known that I had my parents and parents in law over for dinner last night. It’s been long overdue and I’m really excited that we finally had a change to do it. It was really fun! So fun, in fact, that I totally forgot to take pictures of all the food (namely the appetizers) so I’ll you’ll have to use your imagination if you’d like to pretend you were at the Healthy and Sane household last night.

This was the smoothest and least stressful dinner party I’ve ever had. Here is why!

  • I took shortcuts! Pre-dinner nibbles included green olives marinated with lemons and garlic (purchased from the Whole Foods deli department), aged gouda (just cut up), mozzarella/grape tomato skewers (super simple – Adam assembled them!) and hummus with baby carrots and crackers (hummus was the only thing I made from scratch for the apps).
  • I made dessert the night before (I had to given the recipe, but I just LOVED not worrying about that course at all the day of the dinner).
  • Despite my overambitious self, I stuck to “just” one main course (which I’ve made before <- I knew what to expect!!). I did make a side of greens, although I accepted help (my mom washed the escarole and helped me with dessert the night prior; Adam made the mozzarella/tomato skewers). Thanks guys!
  • I invited guests a few hours prior to dinner being served. This gave everyone time to chat, drink and munch… and gave me more time to prep (I always stress about having everything ready when people arrive! No need this time!!).

With all the wine our guests brought in and additional desserts (see below), we certainly had no shortage of food and drinks. So here we go, last night’s (pictured) eats!


My father in law LOVES Italian and happens to be the pickiest eater of the bunch (although I think my mom sometimes tries to give him a run for his money 😆 ) so choosing an Italian main entrée was the easy choice. I decided that spinach, artichoke and feta stuffed shells was a fun and impressive enough dish for a family dinner. It fed a crowd too! I made 1.5 times the recipe and it made two large pans (we hardly finished one of them so there were plenty of leftovers… not complaining here Winking smile ).


This was carby, cheesy and comforting. A simple side dish of escarole and pine nuts (doubled) nicely broke out the richness of the main course.


There was also garlic bread which apparently broils within seconds (ok, more like 2 minutes… but still) – hey, fire and smoke with the price of admission 😆


My mom saved the day (scrapes them off and I reapplied the garlic/EVOO paste – crisis averted!).


See, all good!


I think I can safely say everyone really enjoyed the main course!! Open-mouthed smile

I left plenty of room for DESSERT!

My mom brought granny smith apples wrapped in puff pastry dough (like a lazy apple pie) – yum!


Jane, my mother in law, made chocolate covered strawberries. Just in time for Valentine’s day! Smile


And I, with the help of my mom, made my very first gorka cake!!!! Check out Russian Bites for the recipe. You’ve been asking me for it for years, so now it’s your turn to make it. SOOOOOO good.



Happy bellies = happy guests… and a happy hostess. Open-mouthed smile

Do you have any dinner party tricks? I’m really happy with how smoothly everything went last night. And now, if you excuse me, I have gorka leftovers to devour (ok, that’s a joke… I already had some after breakfast Winking smile )

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