One of my best friends, Michelle, was driving to LA today to visit good friends.  While her husband, Shawn, drove Michelle perused a Real Simple magazine and texted me, “I was thinking of your blog and maybe you can write about your dinner parties too.  Everything always looks so pretty and is simple and yummy.” First, I am honored that Michelle thinks this of my dinner parties because she is an amazing host.  Secondly, the fact that she was looking at a Real Simple magazine and thought of my dinners is AWESOME! So here I go…

I love to have people over to our house.  I love the thinking process that goes into preparing a menu, the fun that goes into creating a comfortable setting, and the joy of watching my guests enjoy their evening.  Honestly, it makes me happy. Because of Michelle’s suggestion I am branching out from writing about my morning baking days into evenings. One dinner party in particular stands out in my mind, one that is truly special to me.

The end of this summer brought warm evenings, long sunsets, and Santa Ana winds.  Paul and I decided we wanted to have family over to enjoy the closing of the summer. I have never had ALL of my siblings over (there’s a tribe of us) and thought, this is my chance!  Sadly, Peter and Stephanie couldn’t make it.  But Mike, Juneal, Joe, and Noreen were able to cruise over.  On the menu… grilled steak with mango salsa, a simple arugula salad, and fresh bread with herbed olive oil. Paul prepped the yard (he is amazing at making the garden shine), I lit candles and plated thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes topped with salt, pepper, and olive oil served along side triple cream cheese and rosemary crackers (idea of my dear friend, Kristi Lou).  We turned on our brand new patio lights on, dialed into the Pink Martini station, and awaited our guests’ arrival.

We literally spent hours eating, drinking, and being merry.  I was kinda emotional hosting my brothers and their wives.  It meant a lot to me to have them there.  I  missed my little bro and his wife, Stephanie, wishing that they could share in this experience. The menu was VERY easy, yet apparently impressive because my oldest brother, Mike, kept commenting about how incredible everything was.  I felt just a tad bit guilty (not really that guilty) because it was all so seriously simple.  Nothing was a challenge, and I thoroughly enjoyed entertaining rather than running into the kitchen to prep. These are the dinner parties that are memorable.  The ones that when you and your guests think back lovingly say, “Remember that night…” Dinner PartyFamily Dinner Party

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