Entertaining the family for dinner

Hi y’all (apparently I’m turning Texan)! lol Thank you SO MUCH for all of your feedback on my clearing out the closet post. Going through it, combined with stress at work and the feelings e-course I’ve been taking, has put me in a bit of a funk for a few days. I tried going shopping too and wasn’t too successful. Nothing was looking quite right (and was several sizes larger than I was before) – it’s tough to embrace your “new body” when that happens.

Anyways, I’m cool now and I want to tell you about the dinner I cooked for my dad’s birthday last weekend (sticking to my 30 by 30 list and hosting dinner parties left and right. haha)! His birthday happens to be on my wedding anniversary. Adam and I celebrated the night, just the 2 of us, but I had plans to make it up to my dad soon enough.

When hosting a dinner party do you pick a theme or just go with delicious recipes?

I wanted to make sure this was really really delicious so for my main course I chose a recipe I’ve made (and loved!) before – chicken thighs on the grill (btw, I always tag my favorite recipes so you can find them easily… on the right hand side).

Next up were these lovely ravioli with prosciutto, sundried tomatoes, basil and mozzarella in Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef cookbook. The pictures have been enticing me for weeks and a special birthday dinner seemed like the right time to break out my pasta roller! [PS – you can find the entire recipe on this blog]



Seriously, such cuties! Smile

It appears that I had an Italian theme developing so I went with it! Doesn’t strawberry ricotta cake sound kind of Italian? [If you say ricottttte like Giada, it definitely will Winking smile]





Add a few Russian cheesy profiterole-like puffs (recipe coming to Russian Bites next)…


Some green beans with wild mushrooms


And we have dinner!!



My mom was a giant help with executing the menu. I got a little ambitious planning this… happens every time! Open-mouthed smile

I was hoping this would turn into delicious comfort food, fit for a hole in the wall restaurant. I don’t know if I hit the bar quite that high (I’m pretty critical of my own cooking) but every single item turned out absolutely delicious… I can tell you that!


Happy birthday, dad!!


[Ha, he was trying to make a funny face when I pulled out the camera… I say that worked!]


Hope your dreams all come true! Smile


The angel food cake meets Italian grandmother was so light and the perfect ending to our Italian feast. Adam asked that I add it to our rotation of desserts (which means I should start a rotation of desserts! Yessss). I’m adding more strawberries between each layer next time!

Have you entertained recently? Do you have go-to items for dinner parties?

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