Parties

Dinner Party Calligraphy

Dinner Party Calligraphy

Before my last dinner party, I took a few minutes to work on a few small details. I pulled out my calligraphy kit from a workshop I attended to make place cards and a menu. These little additions were the perfect finishing touches, making the dinner table seem so put together.

Dinner Party Calligraphy

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Chocolate Pairings

Ghirardelli Intense Dark PairingsGhirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree / Anchor Porter / Almonds

I love hosting dinner parties, but the prep and cleanup that comes with it can be a total drag.  For a simpler night with guests, I like the idea of having a small group of close friends over for a tasting party to try some drink/snack pairings. Wine and cheese is the standard, but chocolate pairings would be a fun and unexpected activity. And as the host, the best part might be that the prep and cleanup is minimal.

I’ve paired 3 Ghirardelli Intense Dark flavors with complimentary drinks and snacks.  Sipping and nibbling on these while watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones sounds like the perfect Sunday night.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark PairingsGhirardelli Intense Dark Hazelnut Heaven / Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee / Ginger Snaps

Ghirardelli Intense Dark PairingsGhirardelli Intense Dark Toffee Interlude / dry Riesling from Scribe / salty popcorn 

 

Cheese Party

Tips for throwing a perfect cheese party | Dressed In OrangeOne of my favorite things to do is host dinner parties.  Nothing beats sharing good food and drinks with close and new friends.  My apartment is hosting a guest this Labor Day weekend, so what better excuse to throw a dinner party?  Hosting a dinner party doesn’t need to be stressful or elaborate.  A no-cook appetizer, light main course, and simple dessert kept this hostess out of the kitchen.  My favorite part of the night was starting with a large cheese board, charcuterie platter, and some wine I picked up in Calistoga.

Cheese board | Dressed In Orange

A few notes on serving a great cheese board:

  • Mix animals (goat, sheep, and cow milk cheeses), textures (hard and soft), colors, and ages (fresh and aged cheeses).
  • Charcuterie:  Add cured meats like salami and prosciutto.
  • Add sweet and salty elements.  I served my board with roasted cashews, olives, dried apricots, and figs drizzled with honey.
  • Serve with toasted baguette rounds and crackers.  I put out a small dish of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping as well.
  • You should have a variety of knives for soft and hard cheeses.  Multiple knives also make it easier for several guests to serve themselves at the same time.
  • Bring all cheeses to room temperature before serving (about 1 hour).  This makes the cheese easier to cut and brings out the full flavor.  Keep the cheese covered while bringing to room temperature to keep them from drying out.

Charcuterie plate | Dressed In Orange

Baguette rounds | Dressed In Orange

Minimal effort, yet crowd-pleasing.  What other elements do you like to include on your cheese boards?