favorite menus

One of my favorite parts of throwing a dinner party is figuring out what to serve. There's something so satisfying about sitting down with a pile of cookbooks and writing down a menu. And then crossing it out and starting over. Some of my meals have been more successful than others, and this is an ever-evolving list of those successes.

Cocktail parties

Retro cocktail party (stuffed mushrooms, green goddess dip, sausage rolls)

Kid-friendly finger food
(hummus, sausage rolls, smoked almonds) 


Fried chicken dinner (pimento cheese, fried chicken, corn, cobbler)

Hearty winter meal (chicken liver pate, short ribs, parsnip puree, chocolate-hazelnut cake)

"Indian lite"
(chicken masala, roasted cauliflower, raita)

Le grand aioli
(fish, aioli, and all the trimmings, yogurt cake)

Meatless winter dinner (pear crostini, mushroom bourguignon, salad, pear cake)

Salmon supper
(yogurt dip with pita chips, salmon with tomato vinaigrette, orzo) 

Southern feast
(fried chicken livers, mac and cheese, collard greens, lemon bars)

Southern soup supper (ham hock and collard green soup, corn muffins, chocolate pudding)

Elegant spring supper (Herb and mustard pork tenderloin with baby artichokes, rhubarb upside down cake)

Rustic Italian dinner (onion flatbed, stuffed chicken legs, sauteed spinach)

Rustic Italian dinner #2
(potato foccacia, steak salad, apple tart)

Rustic Italian dinner #3
(lamb, tomato, ricotta, fava pasta, Meyer lemon semifreddo)

Sophisticated supper
(lamb meatballs, mussel soup, pear crisp)

Taco night (
black bean dip, fish tacos, mushroom-poblano tacos, mini Key lime pies)

Vegetarian Indian feast
(yellow dal, Indian baked rice, chutney and goat cheese)


Grill pan menu
(zucchini and feta salad, salt-crusted shrimp, prosciutto and melon)

Fresh and simple
(pear, goat cheese, basil crostini, salad Nicoise)

Indoor picnic
(pan bagnat, avocado-egg-radish tartines)

Seafood lunch
(shrimp rolls, pineapple salsa, salad with tomatoes and blue cheese)


Fast yet elegant brunch (crispy polenta with mushrooms and poached eggs)

Stress-free brunch
(coffee cake, candied bacon, smoked salmon spread)

Cheap brunch
(mushroom-parmesan frittata, spicy potatoes, fruit salad)

Easter Sunday brunch
(Spanish tortilla, arugula with pears and hazelnuts)


Indoor picnic
(lamb sausages, panzanella, Key lime pie)

Indoor picnic #2
(baba ghanoush, linguine with pesto and roasted tomatoes)

Outdoor picnic
(oven-fried chicken, kitchen sink salad, cheddar biscuits)

Meat and potatoes picnic (picnic meatloaf, potato-green bean salad, Colonial cocktails)


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