Dinner Party Part 1

I like a party, I especially like to get to be the one planning & cooking for a party. Little did our friends know us inviting them over for dinner meant trying out all the summery recipes I've been storing up and making them endure place cards, courses, stripey straws and candlelit logs.

I know it's a bit much and Joshua pointed out when I was knee deep in boiling rhubarb that I may have tried too much this time, but I still loved doing it! And next time I'll probably bite off more than I can chew again, I'm that girl. But luckily Joshua is the worlds best assistant and we pulled it off!

And man o man it was tasty!!

We had:

stone fruit sangria
grilled sweet potato fries with cilantro-lime dressing
watermelon cucumber gazpacho
black pepper foccacia bread
balsamic glazed ribs
orange scented brioche rhubarb tart

it was like summer in my mouth all evening and luckily the weather help up its end and stayed sunny and warmish.

Stone Fruit Sangria:

stone fruit puree:
1 nectarine
1 apricot
1 peach
(puree together, also can be made 2 days ahead of time and stored in airtight container)
1 bottle dry rose
1 bottle dry red
1/2 cup campari
2 tbs lime juice
3 plums; sliced
3 nectarines; sliced
3-4 apricots; sliced

1   pour wines, fruit puree, campari and lime juice in large serving container
2   top with fruit slices
3   store in fridge overnight
4   serve cold

Grilled Sweet Potato Fries with Cilantro-Lime Dressing:
O man these truly were great and a great thing to make while the rest of dinner is still cooking. We hung out outside drinking sangria and beer while we grilled them and while the sun was still out. Then you jsut finish grilling them in batches and snack away

4 lbs sweet potatoes
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro; chopped

1   put sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water
2   put over high heat and add in about 1 tsp salt
3   bring to boil and then down to a simmer for 15-20 minutes
4   once the are easily pierced through with a knife remove from heat and place in a
      bath of cold ice water to stop their cooking
5   peel the potatoes and cut into fry size pieces (sixth to eighths)
6   place on grill for about 6-10 minutes over medium-low heat, flip them over halfway through
7   make dressing by whisking together all the ingredients
8   remove fries from grill and top with dressing

Watermelon Cucumber Gazpacho:
This was beyond good! Gazpacho isn't something everyone has tried (essentially cold soup) This is a really great one to start people out with it has a light flavor that is very smooth with a great hint of the savory veggies all mixed in. Highly recommend making this!

5 cups watermelon; diced
1 jalapeno; minced
1 small red onion; diced
1 green pepper; seeded and diced
1 small yellow pepper; seeded and diced
1 cucumber; peeled and diced
3-4 stalks of celery; diced
fresh mint
heavy whipping cream

1   puree 4 cups of watermelon and transfer to large bowl
2   puree vegetables with the remaining 1 cup of watermelon unitl very well liquified
3   add to pureed watermelon, mix well
4   cover with plastic wrap and let chill in fridge for at least1 and up to 4 hours
5   serve with fresh mint, chopped and a dab of cream

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