We had a nice little dinner party at our home last night so my house is nice and clean, I have some tasty leftovers to munch on today, and I'm still savoring the satisfaction of a good time had by all.
I'm not the kind of blogger that remembers to take pictures of my every moment. In fact I'm the kind that never seems to have my camera on me or it's rarely charged and ready to go. And when I do have the charged camera with me, I still forget to take any pictures. I like to think it's because I'm too engaged in the moment to think about taking pictures of it.
It's really probably because I'm losing my ability to multi-task as the years go by.
So while I have no photos of people, the food, or the games we played, I do have a few pics of the table settings. (Trust me; this isn't a sham. People did eventually sit at these places and eat.) I have these photos because at this point in preparing for my guests I was too exhausted to vacuum and chose to take pictures instead. (My husband vacuumed for me later.)
I thought for about 10 seconds about saving these photos for one of those "tablescape blog parties" that several blogs host each week. Have you seen those? The ones where you can visit dozens of different blogs and see one gorgeously decorated table after another? The ones where you drool over the colorful and cleverly stacked china and then look at your own Correll Ware with more disgust than ever? They are lovely and inspiring, but I couldn't hold a candle. So you won't find me participating in any tablescape Thursday or whatever.
Still, I really enjoyed using my pretty things to set a nice table for my guests. Often I can really get caught up in the "trying to impress" trap. But I can say with 100% certainty that impressing my guests last night was the last thing on my mind. Instead, I just really wanted to do something nice for them. I wanted them to feel planned-for. I wanted them to feel relaxed and happy after a long day at work.
At any rate, I think everything looked lovely. I was pleased to be able to sit down with our friends and enjoy a good meal.
We had some simple appetizers, a wonderful green salad, frosted grapes, lasagna, bread sticks, and a cranberry and peach cobbler with ice cream or raspberry sherbet. Friends brought everything except the appetizers and lasagna.
Unfortunately I didn't have enough room to seat everyone at one table. I felt like the second table looked somewhat like the "kids' table" we all sat at when visiting grandma, but I my guests who sat there seemed to be equally pleased with their station.
I wish I had more photos to share with you -- ones where people are enjoying one another's company, ones of the delicious food we ate, and one of the games we played. But I do have a recipe for you.
This is one of my all-time favorite appetizers. I actually whipped it up at the last minute last night -- that's how easy it is. Everyone always likes it; even those who don't normally like green food!
1 loaf of white bread
1 can asparagus spears
1 carton soft spread cream cheese ( I use reduced fat)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cut the crusts from all the white bread slices. Roll out each bread slice with a rolling pin until very flat and dense. Spread bread with a thin layer of cream cheese (not too thin though!). Place an asparagus spear on each slice of bread and roll up into a tight roll. Cut each roll into three equal sections and place them on a large cookie sheet. After all roll-ups are made, brush them with the melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until toasty and warm.
If these sound kind of simplistic or un-elegant, think again. No one can ever believe these were made from plain white bread. They always assume it's some kind of homemade dough or crust. I get raves on them every time I serve them.
We hosted a small dinner party last night... because I wanted to... and because I finally followed through with my good intentions. I'm so guilty of meaning to have people over and just not making it happen. But I'm so glad we did. It was worth the effort and a pure joy. Whether it's dinner, dessert, or just a cup of tea, I really encourage you to have someone over for a treat this Christmas season. You'll be so glad you did afterward.