celebrate

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):

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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.

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Sheets of pasta before they were cut.

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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.

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

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 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).

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Kat G.
    April 27, 2013 at 5:23 am

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

  • Reply
    Abbey
    April 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm

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

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    April 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    LOOKS DARLING ASH! I ALWAYS LOVE THE WAY YOU SET THINGS AND PARTIES UP! SO TALENTED!

  • Reply
    Brandi
    April 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm

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

    Where did you get that amazing picnic table?

  • Reply
    Lisa
    April 27, 2013 at 4:19 pm

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

  • Reply
    Michelle
    April 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

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

  • Reply
    Rena
    April 28, 2013 at 3:01 am

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

  • Reply
    Jay {at} Purple Eggplant
    April 28, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Beautiful table decor … Before AND after !

  • Reply
    suburbsmama
    April 28, 2013 at 5:07 am

    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: http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/2013/04/sunday-link-party-5.html

  • Reply
    Claudia
    April 28, 2013 at 8:41 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Mary
    April 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    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?

  • Reply
    Michelle
    April 28, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    What is the recipe for your salad? Looks delicious

  • Reply
    Caroline
    April 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm

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

  • Reply
    Jessie
    April 30, 2013 at 2:40 am

    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

  • Reply
    Sarah F.
    April 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    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!).
    –Sarah
    parallelfoodiverse.wordpress.com

  • Reply
    Heather @ Glitter and Gloss
    May 4, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Ok, how do I join?? 😉

  • Reply
    Sarah M.
    May 11, 2013 at 11:43 am

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

  • Reply
    Sarah M.
    May 11, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I think you should do a fiesta themed one!

  • Reply
    Rylee
    February 26, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Ashley,

    Did you make, or buy this picnic table? We are looking for one for our first house, with out first backyard, eek! I’m wanting to host a billion dinner parties this summer, and realllly need a lovely picnic table.

    xo
    Rylee
    [email protected]

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