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Dining and Viewing Party: Julie and Julia

Friday, August 14, 2009

Last Saturday, I hosted a small dinner party to celebrate the opening of Julie and Julia, and it was a big success! I cooked a classic French meal, using recipes from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, for 8 girls in my ward and me (and Bryce got to eat some too: ). Then, most of us went to go see Julie and Julia afterwards (really cute and funny movie).

The night's menu...

It's one of the first times I've made a multi-course meal with several technical elements for that many people - and all of the dishes turned out! It was such a fun night, and although it was a lot of work to put together (I started cooking at 7:30 am that day and Bryce was right there w/me helping the whole time), I must be a funny one because I just loved doing it.

(Disclaimer: My table and my entertaining budget are small, so I wasn't able to invite everyone I wanted to all at once. My sincerest apologies. I plan to have more soirees in the future.)

Centerpiece

The table is waiting for its guests.

Bryce and I making final preparations. (PS - I got a special French country-looking apron at Anthropologie.)

In the bottom right of this picture, you can kind of tell how I did place cards: I printed the names on good, heavy paper, cut them into strips and weaved them onto the fork - very easy.

The all-important whisking-the-sauce shot

My friend Sonja took all of these pictures, and we had some fun with the poses: ).


And now for the moment you've been waiting for... the food!

The menu was as follows --

Hors D'oeuvres

Crudites and Petit Choux au Fromage (savory puff pastry with Holland gouda)

(The link above takes you to a Pate a Choux (pastry dough) recipe - it's not Julia's recipe, however it's very close and it has great pics illustrating the steps - Julia just adds a touch of nutmeg which makes them even better. I made Pate a Choux with cheese, or Petit Choux au Fromage. I used a wonderful Holland gouda, however you can use a Swiss, like Gruyere.)


My petit choux were almost as puffy as the above and melt-in-your-mouth, I've-been-wanting-to make-a-batch-every-night-since delicious!

Entree


Lots of beautifully browned organic and free-range chicken sautéed with herbs and drizzled with lemon, white wine sauce that was infused with chicken jus, butter.

And



The ratatouille worked well for the party because I made it in the morning, cooled it briefly, covered it and put it in the fridge, then reheated it right before the guests arrived - and it's even better reheated.
(I made the chicken, ratatouille, and souffle a few weeks ago as a test drive. Party tip -- always test drive recipes before making them day-of -- takes away lots of stress).

Dessert



Oh yeah.


Hope this inspires you to pick out some new recipes, have a few friends over, and enjoy!

Bon appetit!

11 comments:

  1. Man, that looks like an awesome party! The food...WOW! I'm hungry!

    Oh, and love all the poses!

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  2. I can't believe I missed it!!! Miss ya!

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  3. Looks fabulous and delicious. I am very impressed! I love the menu and the decor. Well done my friend.

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  4. How fun...I seriously would have made a six hour drive for THAT. When your entertaining budget expands to include out-of-town guests make sure and send me an invite. ;-)

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  5. Holy moly, that's fancy. Too bad we just signed a contract in Oregon instead of in Vegas! :P

    You are much more ambitious than me--there is a gourmet club for a Partners in Medicine group here (wives of residents, basically) but I haven't gone yet! Or hosted. Too hard with tiny kids, I thought--but perhaps I was wrong! :P

    Wonderful blog, and looks like a wonderful night. Certainly a lovely chef. :-) You put Martha to shame (pre prison Martha...)

    Bridget

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  6. You are TOO CUTE, Erika! I am so impressed.

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  7. This is such a fun idea! I love it. Especially with a cooking themed movie.

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  8. What a fun and lovely evening. Everything looks great and delicious. What an ambitious undertaking but I am sure it was worth it. I liked the movie also. Love Sister Lang

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  9. You're so cute! I love to cook too, I just might have to copy you and have a little dinner party...very little since my table only seats 4. HA!

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  10. Erika! You are too much! Wow, all the pictures and the food look fantastic. You are so beautiful and getting prettier all the time. What a sweetheart, Bryce is such a keeper. Love you both Gma C

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  11. okay really? you might be the cutest thing ever!! why don't we live near each other? we went to the show for meg's bachelorette party (i know crazy mormons) and LOVED it!

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