18 April 2008

dinner for four ~ the prepwork

today i got to do what i love the most. we are having a little dinner party tonight, and i've spent the day cleaning, shopping, cooking, and preparing the table. there is almost nothing i love more than the process that goes into people coming over! the night was originally supposed to just be scott, his colleuge (and my personal favorite) angus, and me. that woud have been fun but when i found out his other colleague, julia, was coming too i got really excited. this will be our first time having friends over to our flat, let alone for dinner! when i started to think about it, i freaked a little...what should i cook?! i know how to throw a party, even to cook a good meal, but i've never done it without the assistance of my mom on the phone telling me how long to cook the chicken or how to steam the broccoli. today i was on my own with all appliance instructions and food labels in dutch!

i actually did pretty well at the grocery store...i know a good product when i see it, regardless of what language it's in!
the menu:

hors d'oeuvres
spanish green olives with pimento
jonge belgian kaas (cheese) cut into cubes
salami bites
rondell cheese with garlic & herb

i will spread the cheese onto herb crackers and then top with alternating cucumber and tomato slices. it's very pretty.

side dish
roasted red peppers with olive oil, sea salt and crushed black pepper.

for these i had to buy a aluminum tray and then fold up the edges because our oven is so small i cannot find a baking sheet or a roasing pan that will fit! i figured out the temperature conversion and they are all ready to go, so we'll see if my make-shift pan works like its supposed to!

a pear sliced thin
blue berries
red onion
crumbled greek feta
almond slivers

for the salad i took a cue from susie bowman and desided to load it full of fruit, and then top it off with my signature dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh squeezed orange juice

main course
6 oz pepper steaks.

i bought four small (tiny by american standards) i will let scott worry about those when the time comes.

so, including bread and butter, and wine, i think i have enough food. ;-) the great thing is all the european products i've always loved, but cost a fortune in the states, are less exensive than american products are at home. another plus was that since i have limited options, i was forced to be creative with what i had as far as linens and table wares were concerned. it turned out to be a lot of fun, and thanks to the napkins and butter forks from andrea, my shells from cannon beach, and the other items i smuggled over, the table looks lovely. and of course i have a dinner party in holland without fresh tulips!

now all i need are my guests!

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