Did you ever hear the fashion saying that if you purchase a cheap suit, but wear either an expensive tie and or shirt with it, it wont look as cheap? The same can be said when having friends over for dinner.
Main course last night was a Dominoes pizza. Not necessarily cheap, but cheaper than cooking for 7 adults, 3 teenagers and one nearly teen! So the pizzas get ordered to be delivered, along with a garlic bread etc. This was our cheap suit.
The expensive shirt was really not that expensive in terms of dollars, more time expensive. A nice plain Caprese salad, just simply sliced Mozzarella, large sliced ripened vine tomatoes, layered in a round with basil leaves. I like to make the salad early, cover with foil and leave on the counter. This allows the tomatoes to become juicy and the combination of room temperature cheese, tomato and the pungent basil creates a really tasty salad. Just before serving, I drizzled over good quality olive oil, and sprinkled over some lemon pepper and salt. This was combined with a lovely green salad which was topped with additional tomatoes.
Dessert, which if you are sticking with my theme becomes the expensive tie, was strawberries which had been halved, drizzled with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and a light sprinkling of sugar. These i prepared in the morning, covered the dish they were in and left them on the kitchen counter till they were served. The Balsamic leeches out the juices of the strawberries, combines with the sugar, turns into a sweet, sweet syrup. Just toss the strawberries just before serving to ensure an even coverage of balsamic. Again, use a really good quality Balsamic.
This was served with my new favourite Banana peanut butter ice cream. I adapted the recipe a bit, used a whole jar of crunchy peanut butter to 5 just about to be chucked out bananas, and just for fun, a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips. I hadn’t planned ahead enough with the ice cream so when it was served it was just set.
We also served some store bought mint and caramel ice creams.
It goes to show, when you have guests over for dinner, you can mix up a really good combination of pre made, delivered, food along with some good home prepared or home made accompaniments. The more dinner parties I attend, throw or help with, the more I realise, although food takes a main role, centre stage should always be the company.
Oh, why is this post picture-less? I was having so much fun, I totally forgot to turn on the camera. I will be recreating the salad, and balsamic strawberries, but for now you will just have to use your imagination.