The art of the dinner party
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To date, my life hasn't been one in which dinner parties have been a staple. As I type that statement, I sit back and wonder. Do I feel like I've somehow missed out?
A part of me says, “Maybe a bit” Another part says, “Eh?”
There are the larger affairs, gatherings centered around food that is more of a pass-through if you will. Lots of people, all nice mind you, but I tend to feel slightly awkward although I know I shouldn't. I'm not the best at the mingle. My silent introvert is waiting to head home, put on my jammies, and sit in front of my computer.
The part of me that feels the bite of miss asks, for the people in my life, those that I really want to connect with, in a meaningful way, have I made the time? Invited them into my space? The opportunity to share a meal is often the best facilitator.
So this weekend, when we were on the receiving end of a very special invitation, I was excited. I knew the woman of the house was a fantastic cook and wondered what to bring that would be of the same caliber?
Wine and dessert were ours. My husband gladly took wine. Bless him extra for sparing me the decisions. He has the world of wine pairings down cold.
I had dessert.
This time I didn't want the same-old, I wanted a challenge.
It used to be dessert defaulted to something made with chocolate, that was high calorie and completely decadent. Recipes abound that fit the bill. The reality, I've realized, is that if one puts enough chocolate, sugar, and cream together in a vessel and bakes at 350 until brown, it's bound to taste good.
Since I've begun eating differently, go-to recipes have been harder to come by. Something that makes them all the more special. I do have some, a small but mighty collection, but I'm always on the hunt for others.
It just so happened, that the August issue of Food & Wine made an appearance on my mom's kitchen counter
Thumbing through, the pictures were beautiful with lots and lots of summertime veggies. Wait, on page 72, is that ice cream? Oh my, it's yogurt infused with lemon, blueberries, mango, and pistachios
Dessert idea, check!
It was as tasty as the magazine picture is stunning. The tang of the lemony yogurt against the sweetness of the mango, pistachios added crunch and complexity to the taste
When it came time to go
“Please, take the rest home with you. I can't have it in the house; it's too good.”
“Oh, contraire, yes, you can! It's yogurt with fruit, plus there's a very nice spot right there in your freezer.'”
The dessert go-to list has now increased by one
Thank you for the invite, my friend. It was such a wonderful meal, but most important were the people we got to share it with.
Note to self, practice the art of dinner parties. No matter which side of the invite you happen to be on. They're a very happy thing.
~ Adapted from Food & Wine
Lemony Frozen-Yogurt Terrine with Blueberries and Mango
- 1 quart Greek yogurt
- 1 cup natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
- 1 ½ Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- ¾ cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped (~ 3 cups)
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 cup blueberries,
- ¼ cup unsalted pistachios, chopped
- Line an 8 x 4" loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a few inches of overhang all around.
- In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and whisk until smooth.
- Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions; the yogurt should be frozen but still spreadable.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the mangoes, honey, and cream and puree until smooth. Transfer half of the mango puree to a bowl and refrigerate.
- Working quickly, spread one-third of the frozen yogurt in the prepared loaf pan in a ½" thick layer. Spread the remaining frozen yogurt on top.
- Gently spread half of the mango puree on top and scatter with some of the blueberries and pistachios; gently push them into the puree.
- Repeat with another third of frozen yogurt and the remaining mango puree, blueberries, and pistachios.
- Spread the remaining frozen yogurt on top. Cover and freeze the terrine until firm, at least 8 hours or for up to 5 days.
- Carefully unmold the terrine onto a platter; peel off the plastic wrap. Cut the terrine into ½" thick slices, rinsing the knife under hot water and drying it between cuts. Serve with the chilled mango puree.