dinner party

Peach Caprese

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I recently went peach picking at a friend’s place up in Sonoma County and came back with a TON of peaches! (thanks for all your peach recipe ideas!)

Here’s a simple summer twist on the classic Caprese salad: just add peaches! For the full post with more photos and details, click over to my post on the Better Homes & Gardens blog.

A feast in the forest

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A couple weeks ago I hosted a dinner party that turned out to be one of my favorites, ever. The catch: I’d never met any of the guests before! Cooking a sit down dinner for 18 people at 8 months pregnant felt like quite a feat, but with lots of help, it turned out so well and I had so much fun! 

I hosted the dinner in collaboration with EatWith, a very cool website that helps people host or attend dinner parties in homes all over the world, and has a similar mission to The Forest Feast: to create community through food. EatWith asked me to invite people who I follow and admire online, but who I had never actually met in person. I curated what I think turned out to be an amazing group of creative people. We had a design blogger/stylist, a party/lifestyle blogger, a florist, an architect, a calligraphy artist, a painter, a chef, a maternity fashion maven, a cabin enthusiast, a food writer, a foodie marketing guru, a magazine editor/coworking space founder, and several more. Such an eclectic an inspiring bunch!

I decorated one long table on the deck with greens I picked near the cabin plus lime halves, mini eggplants, kumquats, hot pink carnations and candles. I used a mish-mosh of plates and chairs that I’ve gathered over the years at flea markets. During the cocktail hour we had a spread of nuts, cheeses, fruit, crackers, olives, etc, plus my Guacamole Deviled Eggs, lots of chilled rose´ and a pitcher of Aperol Spritz. For dinner we prepared a buffet table full of summery vegetarian Forest Feast dishes from my cookbook that could be made ahead and served at room temperature: Watermelon Salad, Nectarine Tomato Salad, Kale Caesar with Polenta Croutons, Yellow Squash Galette with pesto, Polenta Stuffed Portabellos, Roasted Potato Salad with green beans. Dessert was a mix of chocolates, fruit, cheese, macaroons and Dipped Strawberries from my book.

It turned out to be a perfectly warm evening with a bright pink sunset and no mosquitos(!). Can’t wait to host another dinner party - perhaps after the baby arrives :)

Thanks to EatWith for sponsoring this dinner and thanks to all the lovely guests who trekked out to the woods!