Hosting a dinner party fills my heart because it combines two of my favorite things: cooking and being with friends. Check out our winter dinner party edition of the dinner club!
THE WINTER EDITION OF DINNER CLUB
A few weeks ago, Alan and I hosted the dinner club. Hosting the dinner club fills my heart because it combines two of my favorite things: cooking and being with friends. You may have read my How-To Guide for Hosting a Dinner Party which explains the philosophy, purpose, and planning of hosting your very own dinner party. No need to be intimidated by the idea of a “dinner party” or “dinner club” — it’s basically committing to sitting around a dinner table with people you enjoy. It’s the best!
Our dinner club rotates on a monthly basis. This means that we meet only once a month and we take turns hosting a dinner party. The hosts get to choose the menu with the only requirement of everything being homemade. It was our turn again so we took a look at our cookbooks and chose a menu of recipes that were new to us, would counter the winter weather, and sounded delicious. Keep reading to get the full menu for the winter edition of the dinner club!
Bruschetta and Toasted Bread
- For the toasted bread: We bought a baguette from Aldi, sliced into little pieces, and brushed them with olive oil before making them crispy in the oven! We poured olive oil and balsamic vinegar into little bowls for dipping.
- For the bruschetta: We were gifted a jar of Trader Joe’s tomato bruschetta that we used to top some of the bread.
- For the kale salad: I wanted to make a kale salad because I thought it would pair well with the kale in the main dish. I looked up a couple of recipes, most of which involve massaging kale. It’s a weird concept, but it’s super easy and really good! This recipe is so basic it could be memorized.
- Note: If you think you don’t like kale, most of the people at the dinner party admitted, “I usually don’t like kale but I actually like this salad!”
Grass-fed Beef with Mushroom and Kale Lasagna
- For the lasagna: All of the ingredients are basic and can be found at any grocery store. I will admit the recipe requires a lot of equipment (pans, food processor, bowls, etc.) but the assembly is pretty easy. It would actually be pretty difficult to mess it up!
- Note: We chose lasagna for the main dish because we hadn’t made lasagna together. I also think lasagna is the first dish I remember cooking by myself in elementary school!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- For the banana bread: I love a good loaf of chocolate chip banana bread. Some loaves don’t add in chocolate chips, and I think that is insanity, so I will ALWAYS add them. I tried a new recipe this time (sent to me by a friend) and it was great! Warm, chocolatey, banana-y goodness for dessert is perfect.
There you have it! An easier, fancier dinner. Alan and I chose our menu based on the fact that we didn’t have hours to spend preparing. It took us about 2 hours, and was totally worth it. It was a dinner success in our book, and we’re already looking forward to the next one!