Spring Gourmet Group Party

March 23, 2013

Our theme was Spring!

I try to share the gourmet group parties we go to.
(A few years back I shared with you our group of 12 and how it works in this post)

This time we are at Margit and Fred's lovely home.
When I first arrived I spent the first few minutes taking a few pictures of the table
and hope to get some pictures of the plated food when it's served.  
I'm pretty lucky if I remember to do that!

The table was all pretty in pinks and greens.

I liked the way Margit mixed fake and real flowers in the same vase.  Low candlelight, love it!
Drinks and appetizers were served in their large kitchen.  That's where people seem to congregate!
Choosing the menu and finding the perfect recipes is difficult!  
Margit did an excellent job!

Spring Menu
  Warm Turnip Dip 
 Asparagus Soup with Lemon-Herb Creme Fraiche 
Fennel Salad with Shaved Parmesan, recipe below

Lamb Steaks with Milk & Honey Cumin Marinade
Spring Peas with New Potatoes and Watercress

Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette   

The dinner was so delicious and want to share all the recipes with you, but for time's sake I'll just give you the one I made, the salad.  It took just 10 minutes to make and was excellent.  I love fennel and roast it often, but have to admit I'd never served it raw.  Now I'm a convert!  Recipe below

Fennel and Shaved Parmesan Salad

1/3 C chopped pitted Calamata olives
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T capers
salt and pepper
3 T extra-virgin olive oil

3 fennel bulbs, halved lengthwise and cored, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped green fennel fronds
2 oz. thinly shaved Parmesan cheese

Shake first 5 ingredients together in a jar.  Toss dressing with sliced fennel and fennel fronds.  Mound onto salad plates and top with shaved cheese.  Don't let the simplicity fool you.  It was perfect.

Serves 6

These gourmet group parties are a labor of love.  The host and hostess obviously have the most work and it's helped just a little with each of us bringing a prepared dish that the hostess has chosen and sent to us earlier in the week.  I have to say it's quite heavenly to be treated to such a fine dinner in a beautiful home with such lovely people that we've known for many years. 

Our hosts, Margit and Fred, have to be the easiest going people on the planet.  Nothing is a problem, everything is doable, there's chatter and laughter everywhere, and it appears to the guest as though it's the easiest thing on earth to have 12 people over for a sit down dinner!  Don't you think that is the trick to having a successful gathering?  Making everyone comfortable and at ease?  And you know I don't mind a beautiful table setting and yummy food one bit!

I wore one of my favorite knits to the party.  Livi (Ravelry link), a Kim Hargreaves pattern knit in the luscious Rowan Cashmere DK.  My very kind dinner partner congratulated me on my Rowan Ambassadorship!  Most guys, in fact most non-knitters don't quite get my excitement over this.  I tried it to explain to him:  Imagine you are a 16 year old girl and the most popular senior guy just asked you to the prom.  Now you get it, right?

Have a great weekend!

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  1. First off, this spring party looks amazing, and your Livi is picture-perfect. Buried in snow, however, I can hardly understand what a flower looks like!

    Second, as a fellow Rowan Ambassador, I can add to your simile: Imagine you are a 16 year old girl in love with the most popular guy *in a TV show*... and HE calls you from his Beverly Hills mansion to asks you out! =)

    Note: I have a great fennel salad I like: Thinly slice fennel and toss with orange wedges (removed from skin and casing), arugula and a tart zingy sherry vinegar/olive oil dressing. I will try yours 2nite, perhaps!

    1. So funny! I think I am going to find ways to use raw fennel now!

  2. Wonderful post and your photos are gorgeous! You really set a nice table my fellow Ambassador :) Your top is perfect for the occasion too!

    As far as guys not getting it, my hubby kind of gets it and understands that it is a big deal to me. You're right, it's like the most popular guy asking you out for prom!

  3. Wow, the food and the table look amazing. Gorgeous tablescape. Hugs, Marty

  4. Gorgeous table and fabulous looking food..what a great party! I love your post! Big hugs,

  5. You skinny little thing! There...got that off my chest! Seriously...you look terrific in your outfit!

    Miss Margit has got it going on! Love her table!!! It's so colorful and playful. Not so serious that it's intimidating. Her table looks just the way you described her and her husband: easy going and doable. Love that! They are quite the skilled hosts to be able to pull of such a wonderful fete in such easy style! Glad you had a good time. Thanks for sharing photos!

  6. You look great. In my opinion it is an elegant table.
    Yours sincerely

  7. What a lovely table setting and dinner! You look absolutely adorable!

  8. As usual all of your dinners are beautiful and love to see each home you attend for your parties as well as your own. Good taste and great food. Love all of your sweaters and love my new yarn....Thanks

  9. I was there!!! It was a great evening. Kristen, I love your sweater.


  10. Great news on the Rowan ambassadorship! I never doubted you! I can't wait to see what the next year brings--it's pretty exciting (and lasts a lot longer than the prom :).


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