I recently hosted Marmalade (my monthly dinner group) at my house, and it will not surprise you that I look forward to hosting when it is my month. While I sometimes keep things simple, I often welcome the opportunity to cook a special meal and set a beautiful table for my friends.
For this particular gathering, I decided to serve Beef Bourguignon. Beef Bourguignon is a dinner party dream dish because not only is it elegant and delicious (and gluten free!) it is best made ahead and requires only a brief rewarming on the stove before serving. I also like that it does not require much to round out the menu.
Here is my recent Marmalade menu.
My strategy for Marmalade is to put as much of the menu on the table as possible so that we can all sit together and talk for the bulk of the evening. For a pre-dinner nibble, I set out mini cheese boards, one on each end of the table. Each cheeseboard contained tiny portions of Brie and Boursin, dried apricots, cornichon pickles, roasted cashews, sliced fresh figs, and a handful of crackers.
We all helped ourselves to big bowls of Beef Bourguignon, which I served from the stove. To accompany the stew, I sautéed thick slices of French bread in olive oil, and set those on the table as well.
To add a layer of freshness, I put together a beautiful arrangement of raw vegetables with my Elevated Ranch Dip. Wine bottles were placed on the table for easy serving, and the entire spread was elegant yet easy.
Dessert was equally communal with my Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie served directly out of the cast iron pan with scoops of ice cream and a jar of spoons. Everyone dove in and enjoyed a sweet ending to an elegant evening.
I love planning and sharing menus with you, and I hope this one leaves a spark of inspiration for a future hosting endeavor!