Would you Like to Join me at my Table for Dinner with Friends?
I have shared with you this week, on the blog, on Instagram, and stories and on Facebook all of the details about the Dinner with Friends dinner party that I hosted last weekend. I hope that you were able to follow along as I shared the preparations, the menu and recipes and all of the details for this very special evening.
I hope that you enjoyed it all because, guess what? Why don’t you join me for Dinner with Friends together at my home in Waco, Tx!
You are invited to be my guest for Dinner with Friends
October 23, 2021
I am hosting a Dinner with Friends at my Waco home on October 23, 2021 and guess who the guests will be?
Ten of you!
I am so grateful for each and every one of you and I thought, what better way to not only show my gratitude and appreciation, but also to get to know some of you.
I am so excited!! So, here are the details:
Dinner with Friends
October 23, 2021 in Waco, Texas
6 o’clock in the evening
Dinner will be enjoyed at an amazing tablescape and consist of a seven course meal, prepared and shared by me (and my best friend Mary Liz)
How will we select who gets to attend?
This is the most important part, and there is an area in the entry form for you to let us know why you want to attend this Dinner with Friends. This is important to us, we want to get to know you better and understand why you want to share an evening with us. It is a Dinner with Friends after all, so lets be friends. Give this some thought and help us get to know you. Think about why you want to have dinner with us, be creative and have fun with this.
Five couples will be chosen. A couple can be you and your spouse, partner, friend, parent, family member, you get the idea. However, everyone attending must be over 21 years of age.
You can submit your entry beginning today, 5/5/21, and the submissions will be accepted through midnight on May 31, 2021.
If you are selected to attend, we will reach out to you by email by June 15 to let you know!
When you have composed your thoughts on why you want to have dinner with us, click the link above to submit your entry by midnight on May 31, 2021. You will be asked to provide:
- First and Last Name;
- Email address;
- Where you are located, City, State, Country;
- Your Instagram handle;
- If applicable, and your blog address;
- Your thoughtful description of why you want to have dinner with us.
If you are selected to attend, be prepared with:
- Excitement, enthusiasm and a positive attitude;
- The ability to commit to attending Dinner with Friends on October 23, 2021 in Waco, Texas;
- The ability to travel to Waco, Texas (travel and accommodations are not provided by My100YearOldHome and are the responsibility of each guest);
If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments. Until then, I wanted to share with you how I managed to pull off the first Dinner with Friends that I hosted last weekend!
How I Managed to Pull Off a Seven Course Dinner
I have had a number of questions this week both from friends who attended last weekend’s Dinner with Friends, as well as from blog, Instagram and Facebook comments about how I pulled off this dinner.
I thought I would breakdown how I planned the dinner from idea conception, shopping both for tablescape, food and drinks, to cooking, plating, serving and most importantly, how we set the tone for the dinner so that everyone attending, including ourselves, felt relaxed, comfortable and would be able to enjoy the evening.
Dinner with Friends Party Planning Timeline
Don’t Try to Do This Alone
If you want to host a seven course meal you will need help. My best friend, Mary Liz, who works with me full time, and I planned the entire dinner together. We planned the menu together and split up the items. It was so much easier to know that we each had our own courses to make, and I never could have done this alone.
Of course when it came down to it, we both helped each other when we could to get everything done.
Before I get to the actual day of the dinner party, I wanted to mention that three weeks ago, Mary Liz and I came to Waco so we could figure out what we needed to buy and decide how and where we were going to plan this dinner.
Most of you know that our home in Waco is an Airbnb. Our kitchen is well stocked but it doesn’t have enough plates or glasses or pans for a seven course meal. It also doesn’t have any candles (fire hazard concern with guests) and the dining table wasn’t big enough to seat 12 people.
We went to Round Top and bought a lot of glassware and dinnerware (for next to nothing!) for the tablescape and also shopped at the vintage stores in Waco. We figured all of this out as you can see by visiting my blog posts titled How to Plan for a Dinner Party with Friends and The Best Dinner Party Recipes.
We also bought a lot of new tablescape items such as chargers, glass plates, more wine glasses, candlesticks and votives, and more. You can see all of those items at the bottom of this blog post.
Three days before the dinner we made a massive shopping list and went to HEB Plus in Waco and found everything we needed. Actually, we did forget a few items so we did have to make another trip. Haha.
Dinner with Friends Menu
It took us a few weeks to settle on the menu. We waited until we had all of the dietary restrictions and preferences from all of our guests and this is the menu we decided on. Just so you know, we had previously made every single menu item on this list, many times before.
The Seven-Course Menu
Nibbles – Boursin Cheese w/ Fig Jam, Grilled French Baguette Rounds, and Sweet and Spicy Nuts
Tomato Bisque with Grilled Cheese Sticks
Crab Cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce
Salad with Pears, Shaved Toscano Cheese and Sugared Pecans with Champagne Vinaigrette
Sea Bass with Soy Glaze and Ginger Butter Sauce and Grilled Chicken with Pistachio Avocado Sauce with Brown Rice and Roasted Vegetables
Here is how Mary Liz and I divided up the cooking:
Leslie – Crab cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce, Sea Bass with Glaze and Ginger Butter, Chicken with Pistachio Avocado Sauce, Grilled Vegetables, Mud Pie
Mary Liz – Nibbles (cheese, crostini, spiced nuts), Tomato Bisque with Grilled Cheese Sticks, Brown Rice, Salad with Pears, Cheese, Pecans and Vinaigrette
Meal Prep and Setting the Tablescape
Remember that I cook for 250 people for our Christmas party so I can pretty much take any menu and figure out how to make it work so that I am not cooking everything at the last minute.
Here is our schedule for the 36 hours before the dinner.
Friday All-Day Cooking Preparation
- cook spicy nuts and sugared pecans for salad and store in ziploc bag
- cook soup, store in refrigerator
- make crab cakes and lemon dill sauce and store in refrigerator
- cook bacon and clean cherry tomatoes for BLT Tomatoes, store in refrigerator
- chop peppers, onion, and asparagus and store in ziploc in refrigerator
- make champagne vinaigrette dressing and store in refrigerator
- make mudpies and place in freezer
- Make soy glaze and ginger butter sauce for sea bass (except for butter at end) and store in refrigerator
- Arrange flowers
- Set the tablescape (Can I just mention that this tablescape was amazing!)
- Set up bar
- Set up plates for all seven courses in the kitchen
Saturday Morning Cooking Preparation
- prepare cheese and fig jam in serving dishes and refrigerate
- plate nuts and store on counter
- stuff tomatoes and store in refrigerator
- make crostini for cheese appetizer
- cut crusts off bread and stack, cut cheese and assemble for grill cheese. Store in ziploc in refrigerator
- cook brown rice and store in refrigerator
- Fill water large water bottles (that sit on table) and chill in refrigerator
Saturday Late Afternoon Cooking Preparation
- cut sea bass into portions and store in ziploc in refrigerator
- grill chicken but only cook about 30%, remainder will cook in oven
- slice pears and slice cheese for salad
- place all ingredients (except for avocados) for chicken sauce (pistachio avocado sauce)and store in refrigerator
- fry crab cakes and place in baking pan for warming
One Hour Before Guests Arrive
- place chicken on baking pan for final cooking
- place seabass on baking pan and top with soy glaze
- place ginger butter in sauce pan and set butter aside for final cooking
- fry grilled cheese and transfer to cookie sheet (to bake just before serving)
- plate salads on serving plates and refrigerate
Once Guests Arrive
- heat soup
- warm grilled cheese
- light candles on table
- place wooden boards with Nibbles on table (one per couple)
- fill water glasses
- pour wine
- We heated the food one or two courses ahead of time. We introduced each course with a story about the menu item which was very fun! We both sat down after we served the item and were able to eat with our guests.
- Whichever one of us was preparing the next course meant the other one cleared the plates. We both served each course together.
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Thank you, thank you! That answers my questions completely. What a difference to have someone to help you. I did that once for a fundraiser dinner and it made the dinner very special. Not the least being that I could relax and enjoy my own dinner and chat with others.
Thanks so much for sharing!
I’m still stunned at cooking for 250 at Christmas!!
WOW! How exciting is THIS!?!?! I’m filling out my entry right now! You are so generous to open your home – I’ve been dying to see it in person ever since you started the renovation!
Great post too. Thanks for all the tips and the timeline, and your beautiful photos – I’m inspired once again!
I am so excited that you will be submitting the form Barbara and happy that you enjoyed the tips and timeline. The Waco house really is just so special. We are excited to get started planning for October!
Thank you for sharing how you and Mary Liz work together as a team! My husband and I entertain frequently, (I do the “inside” cooking, he does the grilling, I serve while he clears). It’s helpful to see how other people share entertaining tasks and still manage to enjoy their own parties (I know we do)!
We had two couples over for dinner last evening and served your nibbles and salmon – everyone raved about both!
We are a good team. We’ve been best friends for 30 years, so we entertain well together 😊 I am so happy that you made the recipes and that they went over so well with your guests! Thank you for reaching out!
Thanks for sharing how you did all this- it’s wonderful! I’m wondering if your Dinner with Friends in October is open to people outside of the USA(provided Covid restrictions are lifted by then)?
Of course! I just want to make sure and be clear that we are hosting the dinner and that we are not paying for travel and accommodations. We will be reaching out on or before June 15 to let those who have been selected know so that they can make their own travel plans. Thank you for reaching out!
Wonderful breakdown for a wonderful gathering!! Thank you Leslie!
Thank you so much Linda!
I love the old wooden trays that you served your appetizers on, are they old crown molding?
They were pieces of moulding that we found at an antique store. I am not sure if they were crown moulding or where they were harvested from in the house. They were the size we were looking for!
Thanks for all the insight Leslie. What an amazing opportunity for the dinner in October. It’s very thoughtful & generous of you. A dream come true to experience it first hand. Getting ready to fill out my entry. XO- MaryJo
MaryJo, I am so excited you will be filling out the form for October’s Dinner with Friends! We are so excited to get started planning!
Organization is surely key to pulling off a seven course meal but having fun doing it with your best friend is very special! I look forward to incorporating your tips at my next soiree. Thank you for sharing and for the invitation to attend in October! I’ll be filling out my form soon!
I am so excited you will be filling out the form to attend Dinner with Friends in October Laney! I also am happy that you found the tips helpful. We are excited to begin planning the next Dinner with Friends, it will be here, before we know it!
What a wonderful post!!!! You are so talented and when you’re doing a dinner party or any party over 15, a person needs help. I use to do wedding receptions and my friend helped; we worked good together and got everything done. Lots of fun afterwards, but lots of work beforehand. I miss it. I really enjoyed reading how you and Mary Liz got everything ready. I know everyone enjoyed the food and fellowship. Thanks for sharing
Thank you Jean, so much for reaching out. I appreciate that you know how working together on an event feels. You are right, fun afterwards but lots of work beforehand! Mary Liz nd I have been friends for 30 years which makes it extra fun! Thank you again, I appreciate you thoughtfulness.
Such an amazing idea! Nothing better than dinner with friends. Especially when you have a wonderful friend to do it with. Ypur table and menu are incredible.
HUgs and blessings to you.
Such a nice post on the dinner party. I read it twice, once from your blog and again on KariAnne’s post! Could you common the glass plates with what appears to be “etching” of the name and some info about the guest? That was such a wonderful idea, I’d like to use it for family and fry dinners at my house. Looking forward to seeing more parties and info on the glass plates.
Thank you so much!