This is my favorite time of year, for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it gives me an excuse to do more of two things I love: cooking and hostessing. However, this is undoubtedly one of the most hectic times of year, which doesn’t leave me with a ton of time to do both.
As the days get shorter, I find myself frantically trying to squeeze in quality time with our friends, before everyone heads their separate ways for the holidays. I’m also a big believer in treating yourself around this time of year, which is why I decided to gather a few good friends and host a festive dinner party at my apartment, with the help of Heirloom Catering. To find a night that worked well for the group, I used Fete, a social planning app, that allowed me to coordinate everyone’s jam packed schedules, without having to send a million emails, seamlessly.
On a Thursday night, Heirloom catering swooped in and effortlessly converted our farm table to an epic display of autumnal decor, while delivering amazing quality food that was teed up to be served family style to our guests.
Because I knew Heirloom was handling the food and tablescape, it allowed me to focus on some other fun party elements that every dinner party should have.
No party is complete without music. I knew that our friends would laugh, but they graciously indulged me when they walked in to my “Christmas 2015” playlist streaming in the background. They were troopers about it (to be fair, it wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet), and secretly, I know they loved it.
Burrata | Beets | Pistachios | Basil Oil | Crispy Prosciutto
After a Prosecco toast upon arrival, we started off our meal the best way I know how, with cheese. Delicious, creamy, burrata, to be exact. The salad was prepared with pickled beets, crumbled crispy prosciutto and topped off with pistachios and basil oil (recipe below!). We layered each element onto our crostini, while Brian noted that this was the perfect “entry level beet eater” salad, as the taste wasn’t overwhelming and the texture was light.
Butternut Squash Soup | Quark Cream | Toasted Pepitas
I served the next course individually from a hot pot on the stove, topping off each bowl of hearty butternut squash and coconut milk soup with a dollop of cream, and a pinch of toasted Pepitas. We loved the crunch that the nuts added to the otherwise creamy soup, which had a bit of a kick to it!
Petite Airline Chicken Breast | Buttered Leeks & Charred Fingerling Potatoes
Next, was the easiest part of the meal – passing around the family style main courses! We each took a piece of perfectly seasoned chicken breast and a scoop of fingerling potatoes, mixed with leeks. The crispy skin and buttery leeks were a great combination. This dish was very satisfying, but we left room for the pork tenderloin, which was knew was on deck.
Cider Cured Pork Tenderloin |Farro Brussels Cabbage & Bacon | Whole Grain Mustard Sauce
We made room on our plates for the final main course of pork tenderloin with farro brussels slaw, topped with shredded apples and whole grain mustard. As big fans of shredded brussels sprouts, Kristen and I thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of the farro salad and noted we could pair it with a variety of meats, something we’ll keep in mind for future dinner parties.
I think it’s always important to time each course according to the vibe of your party. If your guests are starving, you can quickly go through courses, but for us, we needed a break between the mains and dessert. We turned on football and chatted about how old Gav is getting – hi 30! – as I plated the delicious mini pumpkin and apple pies with cinnamon Mascarpone cream.
To truly make the night a memorable experience, I try to never let my guests leave empty handed. It’s always a great idea to have small Tupperware or doggy bags on hand to send your guests home with leftovers for lunch the next day. Since I wanted our celebration to be festive, I decided to curate small boxes of pumpkin spice, nutella, and fig balsamic macarons from our favorite local shop, Olivia Macaron. The adorable packaging really makes this a perfect party favor for any occasion.
Here’s a recipe for a simple, yet beautifully impressive salad to serve at any of your upcoming holiday festivities!
Burrata Salad (courtesy of Heirloom Catering, follow them on Instagram for more food porn @heirloomdc)
- 1 – 16 oz Burrata from Fancy Cheese Section, cut each ball in quarters
- 3 – whole beets boiled, sliced & salted
- 4 ounces – salted pistachios
- ½ cup – crumbled crispy pancetta
- Basil infused iil (to infuse Extra Virgin olive oil, soak whole and chopped basil leaves in oil overnight. Strain & bottle)
- *Feel free to replace beets with a seasonal fruit like fresh figs, citrus, or pomegranate.
For Salad: In stylish bowl or plate of choice, place:
- 2 pieces Burrata
- 3 sliced beets
- a small handful of pistachios
- top with crumbled crispy pancetta
- Drizzle with basil oil
Cheers to a happy, healthy, and delicious holiday season!
BitchBiz: Bitches Who Brunch partners with Heirloom Catering, Olivia Macaroon, and Fete. While this article was written independently by Bitches Who Brunch, we do receive compensation from the companies.