1. Design An Inclusive Meal
2. Play Some Parlor Games
Gathering all of your friends in one place for the first time can sometimes be daunting, so be sure to prep some get-to-know-you-activities in advance. I’m a huge fan of the age-old “Two Truths And A Lie.” Before everyone digs into their food, have them go around the table, introduce themselves, and state three random facts about their life. Two of them should be factual, but one should be made-up (e.g.: I was born with six toes or I was a State Spelling Bee Champion in third grade). Let the other guests decide which one is false… and let the laughs roll in.
3. Let Their Cups Runneth Over
Don’t underestimate how thirsty hungry guests can be, and plan accordingly. A couple of cases of mason jars are cost effective, look cool, and can be used for water, wine, hot coffee, and tea. Plus, once the party’s over, you can always reuse them—they look beautiful on a bookshelf filled with herbs or fresh cut sunflowers.
4. Take The Floor
Freaked out about where everyone’s gonna sit? No need to fret; just load up on floor pillows and poufs and let your guests recline accordingly. You’d be surprised by how much people appreciate getting in their R and R, plate and cup in hand.
5. Don’t Skimp On Dessert
Making a delicious meal is time-consuming indeed, but don’t let the effort deter you from also creating a delicious dessert. I’m a huge fan of a classic summer crumble; rhubarb and strawberry together are an incredible combo. Toss your ingredients in an All-Clad d5® 8-Inch Fry Pan, stir it on the stove top until it’s sweet and syrupy, add your streusel topping and pop right into the oven—pan and all. No muss, no fuss—what more could a hostess with the mostess ask for?
Serving Size: 3 – 5
Time: 8 Minutes
- 3 ears corn
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 lbs multi colored tomatoes
- 6 scallions cut into 1” lengths, using white and green tender parts
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup shaved ricotta salata
- 1 lb (about 2 medium) zucchini
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta
- ½ tsp cilantro
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp lime juice
Fill the All-Clad d5® 12-Quart Stock Pot with water and add in the scallions for one minute.
Remove the scallions and add in the pasta.
Once water begins to boil, pan fry the tomatoes and zucchini in the All-Clad d5® 10-Inch Fry Pan and roast the ears of corn directly on the stove.
In a small bowl, mix together your cilantro, olive oil, and lime juice.
In a large bowl mix the vegetables and pasta together and pour your olive oil mixture over the top.
Toss all together and top with shaved ricotta salata and chopped parsley.
CHICKPEAS & CARROTS
IN CIDER DRESSING
Serving Size: 3 – 5
Time: 45 Minutes
- Chickpeas & Carrots
- 7 rainbow carrots
- 15 oz can chickpeas
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley for garnish
- ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ clove garlic
- ¼ cup tahini
- ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tbsp agave
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- ¼ tsp mustard powder
Preheat oven to 425F.
Slice carrots a quarter inch thick and combine with the drained chickpeas in a large bowl. Add the rest of your oil, spices, and balsamic vinegar.
Toss all together and pour into the All-Clad d5® 3-Quart Sauté Pan. Roast at 425F for 25-30 minutes, turning half-way.
Remove and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and crushed pepper.
While the veggies are cooking, prepare your Cider Dressing.
Blend all ingredients together in food processor or blender.
Adjust sweetness and or creaminess to your liking. You can thin it out with more vinegar or oil, or make a creamier/thicker texture by adding more tahini.
Place carrots and chickpeas in large serving bowl. Add dressing on top (as much or as little as you desire). Toss all together and garnish with parsley.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRUMBLE
Serving Size: 3 – 5
Time: 55 Minutes
- 6 stalks rhubarb
- 12 oz strawberries
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 stick cold butter, chopped into slices
Slice strawberries and rhubarb and place together in a large bowl with the white sugar and cornstarch. Mix well. The mixture will start to turn thick and syrupy as it is stirred.
Pour the strawberry/rhubarb mixture evenly in the All-Clad d5® 8-Inch Fry Pan.
In a small bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar.
Add the butter, and using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingertips, cut in the butter to the flour/sugar mixture until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the rhubarb mixture in the All-Clad d5® 8-Inch Fry Pan.
Place the All-Clad d5® 8-Inch Fry Pan on a rimmed baking sheet (in case any of the filling bubbles out), and bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes, until the crumble is golden and the filling is bubbling and hot.
Let the pie cool completely before cutting (the filling will thicken as it cools) and serving right in the All-Clad d5® 8-Inch Fry Pan.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream, if desired.