Winter Dinner Party At Home…Part 2, the food!!

Winter Dinner Party At Home…Part 2, the food!!

Winter Dinner Party At Home… Part 2, the food!!

“Wine is one of the most agreeable and essential ingredients in life” – Julia Childs

It’s been rather chilly here in the Algarve. With winter in mind, whilst having a few glasses of red wine with a dear friend, Coq au vin was confused with Beef Bourguignon.  Thus the menu unfolded that Beef Bourguignon was going to be the main meal of the night.

Bourguignon means Burgundy, named after the region in France where this dish originated. One of the most important factors when making this dish is to use a good red wine that you would actually drink. Best is either a Cabinet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chianti or a full bodied Burgundy. (This is a very expensive option though)

 

My research began with the help of my reliable friend “Google” on how to make Beef Bourguignon and where it originated.  In my search for the perfect recipe, I came across this formidable story of Julia Child and her love for French cooking.  She managed to bring the art of French Cuisine to the American market. For a little more insight   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Child’s_kitchen.

In the process of my research, I came across the movie that was produced in 2009 called Julie & Julia with Meryl Streep. It reflected on the life of Julia Child and her love for French food and voila I found Julia Powell’s recipe for “Beouf Bourguignon”. The obvious next step was to watch the movie and get inspired. Definitely worth a girlie throw-back moment to 2009.

My Menu for 8:

  • Welcome drinks: A chilly night called for a Ruby Port to be served setting the ambiance for the dinner ahead
  • Mezze Platters:

Mixed leafy greens topped with beetroot seeds and tossed in a herb dressing

Shaved smoked salmon and prawns

Smoked Salmon pate

Stuffed Jalapeno peppers (jar of pickled Jalapeno peppers and then pipe in some soft goat’s cheese)

Cherry tomatoes on the stalk roasted in balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and olive oil

Spicy sweet Chilli sauce

Homemade Bruschetta

  • Beef Bourguignon recipe:

https://julieskitchenadventures.com/2015/02/11/julie-julie-julia-the-french-cooking-chronicles-boeuf-bourguignon-beef-with-red-wine-stew/

Served with medium sized noodles

  • Dessert (I always keep this as simple as possible):

Mini Profiteroles, Mini Eclairs and Fresh Berries served on my favourite cake stand for all to nibble on

Great evening with friends, sharing good food, wine, loads of laughter and our new homeJ The sign of happy guests is when all are tucked into their food they don’t even notice the photographer.

Hello Portugal,  we here to stay!

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Winter Dinner Party At Home…Part 1, the table setting!

Winter Dinner Party At Home…Part 1, the table setting!

Winter Dinner Party At Home…Part 1, the table setting!

With 2017 well on its way and my life back on track after our move, renovations and the festive season I am excited to share our very first Dinner Party in our new home.

With 2017 well on its way and my life back on track after our move, renovations and the festive season I am excited to share our very first Dinner Party in our new home.

There is always something magical about hosting dinner parties at home and I hope my simple2elegant blogs inspire you to throw your own a little more often. Like most tasks in life, hosting a successful dinner party takes a little research, planning and preparation in advance to help take away the stress.

My basic rules of setting table:

  • Keep it simple
  • Have a plan
  • An elegant set of white crockery is a must
  • Keep to the colour hues of your décor in your home
  • Mix and match with different textured crockery or glassware where possible to add interest
  • Layering of crockery adds texture
  • Have a pre-planned idea of the table setting
  • Set the table the night before or in the morning of your dinner party – it takes away the stress
  • Simple centerpieces

Each place setting began with:

  • Glass chopping board in black and grey
  • large white charger plate
  • A textured felt placemat in grey
  • Layered the dinner plate
  • Adding an entrée plate.
  • TIP: to stop the plates from rubbing I find using a plain white paper serviette between the plates helps

This was our first dinner party in our new home and the start of many more to come. I wanted to reflect the clean simple lines that we have created in our new open plan space. I found inspiration for the table setting after opening a box of my South African collectables from www.carrolboyes.com  and my glass chopping boards that I purchased some time ago that get used as placemats from www.mrphome.com.  The glass chopping boards are fabulous, adding texture and most importantly a very easy surface to clean afterwards. The chopping boards also became a great topic of conversation!

The centerpiece was simple and inexpensive to put together.  For those that follow me regularly I am sure that you have picked up on a trend that I absolutely LOVE. The use of garden GREENERY in all forms to give a pop of natural, organic feel to my home and table décor.  The centerpiece and fresh rosemary sprigs that were used on the serviettes added a natural element and worked well with the food that was served. More on this in Part 2 of my blog, The Menu!

Glass bowl

  • 1 Large frilly lettuce
  • Brassica (ornamental cabbage or kale)

Table set, food ready and looking forward to a fabulous evening with special friends! More in Part 2 of my blog!

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