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Gourmet Club: Italian Dinner Party

It was our groups turn to host Gourmet Club this month.  For those who have been wondering about Gourmet Club, you can check out these posts about past dinners we’ve hosted.  And you can click here to read how gourmet club works.

 This month we chose an Italian theme.  For the tablescape, we used 12 different plates and 12 different napkins–I was going for an eclectic and whimsical look. To create each place setting, I used a set of 6 unique plates that I already owned, then I borrowed a few plates from friend’s sets and picked up three new plates from Home Goods. We set up in my backyard on a 10 foot picnic table, which allowed enough room for everyone to sit comfortably. If you’re considering hosting a dinner party with multiple courses, I suggest checking out the “catering” section of World Market. I have a set of 12 glass goblets, 12 salad plates and 12 dessert bowls.  I pull them out for holidays and dinner parties, and then I package them back up in their box when I’m not using them and store them in the garage.  They are pretty affordable and super convenient. Here are some photos of the evening (scroll down for the dinner menu):
















Appetizer: Pizza Margherita, Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto
Starter: Italian Herbs & Green Salad (tip: use Meyer lemons in this recipe)
Main Course: Baked Sole Fillets With Herbs and Bread Crumbs, Ragu Alla Bolognese, Pan-Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Butter
Dessert: Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato, Pavlova with Fresh Fruit
Note: several of these recipes are from Cooks Illustrated which require membership to view–I linked to them anyway in case you have a membership or were interested.








Sheets of pasta before they were cut.



These meal was so much more beautiful than this photo demonstrates–I just can’t take a “night-time” photo for the life of me.




For those who were wondering what the world’s yummiest dessert is…it’s Pavlova–hands down!



 And that’s a wrap. Any ideas for a theme for our next turn? Our past themes have been Farmers Market (where we picked everything we cooked), and Steakhouse (where our menu was made up of items you would find at your favorite fancy steakhouse).

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

Latest posts by Ashley Stock (see all)

Ashley Stock


  1. A mexican food fiesta theme dinner would be super cute (and yummy!).

  2. How fun! I would love to do something like this in Ohio!


  4. This looks amazing! I need to start one of these myself.

    Where did you get that amazing picnic table?

  5. Definitely a fiesta night. This is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing the pictures of your lovely evening.

  6. how about a Spanish themed tapas night with homemade sangria ! Yum ! Love your table settings by the way – and the sunflowers and herb centerpieces !

  7. Beautiful
    Great job! You could do chinese…or Japanese….or a certain spice/food that’s in each dish like cinnamon or chocolate.

  8. Beautiful table decor … Before AND after !

  9. This is stunning! I want to join your dinner club! Such a great idea! I may need to start my own club. If you get a chance, please share this on my linky party:

  10. Ashley, you did an amazing job! I am Italian and your food and tablescape were awesome! Congratulations! I’ve been following your blog for a few months but never stopped to say hi! I love your blog, it’s full of love, colors and inspiration 🙂 Take care and enjoy your Sunday!

  11. Wow Ashley, you have me drooling over here! As an Italian, this has me wanting to replicate this meal! I actually just sent my husband this link and told home that we have to make all of these this summer! Great job on it! Thanks for also linking where your items came from, I have been looking for a beverage dispenser like a giant mason jar. The reviews on WM mentioned some leaking issues, did yours leak?

  12. What is the recipe for your salad? Looks delicious

  13. The table setting looked beautiful and the food looked delish! You should try a Mexican theme next time. 🙂

  14. Your photos look gorgeous and this looks like so much fun! My fave…the striped straws in the wine glasses. It’s all in the details, right? Hmmm…as for a theme…this is by means original, but brunch is my fave, so I have to stay true to that:)

    Jessie @PossibleMary

  15. How cute! I LOVE pavlova, my mom always made it when I was younger. I just featured a grilled cheese bar on my blog, which is a great idea for a dinner party (and totally interactive!).

  16. Ok, how do I join?? 😉

  17. Ahhh…so cute!! How do you have so many different dishes? Also, where did that drink dispenser come from? LOVE it!

  18. I think you should do a fiesta themed one!

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