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!
I feel like I’ve been seeing Overnight Oats and Chia Pudding everywhere on blogs lately, and so I thought I’d do a combo of the 2! It’s a perfect warm weather breakfast. You simply combine Almond Breeze Almondmilk, rolled oats, chia seeds and mashed banana in a jar and refrigerate it overnight (or for about 6 hours). In the morning you have a creamy, vitamin packed, chilled porridge to eat with fruit. It’s also an easy on-the-go breakfast to take to the office! Just add fresh fruit to the jar and grab a spoon.
I have been getting so much gorgeous summer melon in my CSA farm box, that I served mine in a half of a cantaloupe. And because we have blackberries growing off the back deck, I topped mine with those, plus some pomegranate seeds. Feel free to get creative and add other items to the jar before chilling or when serving (chopped fruit, honey, cinnamon, nuts…).
This recipe serves 2. Enjoy!
This post was done in partnership with Almond Breeze (a brand I personally use daily), but opinions are completely my own.
I recently partnered with nousDECOR to demo some easy summer recipes from The Forest Feast cookbook that would be great for outdoor entertaining: a Cucumber Spritzer Cocktail, Asparagus Straws and Guacamole Deviled Eggs. We shot it at the most beautiful stable-turned-home in Woodside, CA. Hope you enjoy the 2 minute video!
Video by Yiqian Peng and nousDECOR, www.nousdecor.com
Recipes by Erin Gleeson, www.theforestfeast.com
Photo above of Erin is by Yiqian Peng from nousDECOR. All others are by Erin Gleeson.