A themed dinner party can be loads of fun and doesn’t have to be expensive. I decided to get creative with decorations, linens and recipes I already had on hand as we sought to celebrate and remember our trip to France this past summer. With a small group of 6, an embroidered tablecloth I had purchased in Provence, my pretty white and silver china, and three mini pots of autumn mums, my table was ready for a decadent dinner.
One of my favorite cookbooks is Williams-Sonoma’s FRENCH because it takes me back to the years of living in Europe and the fabulous French inspired meals we ate frequently. While out of print, used copies can be found on Amazon for a very reasonable price. Planning the menu, of course, had to begin with this treasure.
While on our tour in Provence this year, we attended two cooking schools, one at Le Cordon Bleu and the other courtesy of Anne Sophie Pic, a Michelin star chef. The plating class included the appetizer for tonight’s menu, Tomato Chutney with Poached Egg – which I found to be delightful and so flavorful. It absolutely was a must to include! Mashed potatoes are traditionally served with Coq au Vin, and this recipe will give you undoubtedly the creamiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever tried. From start to finish, the flavors in this meal are delectable and highly complimentary! The presentation will wow your guests, and then they can impress you with audience participation with the crêpes bar for dessert.
Appetizer: Tomato Chutney with Poached Egg
Wheat French Bread
Entree: French Country Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Miriam’s Mashed Potatoes Waiting
Coq au Vin
Dessert: Fresh Sweet Crêpes Bar with strawberries, banana slices, chocolate and caramel sauce, fresh whipped cream
I hope your French dinner is as beautiful and enjoyable as ours. After all, no matter what you serve, it starts with a guest list of fabulous friends!
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