Dinner Party

Beautiful Orchard Dinner Party for My Wonderful Clients

October 24, 2018

If you know me I love to throw dinner parties and to cook for people, I enjoy bringing people together.  Over the last few years I have been incorporating it into my business by having vendor dinner parties and last year I threw my first dinner party for my clients and I am so sad that I didn’t start this tradition sooner!  I love seeing you again, I love to know what is going on in your life and to see how you are doing.  I really wanted to have a way to show my appreciation to you because you are the reason I do what I do.  It was amazing how everyone had some connection to the other families, we live in such a great community.  I wish everyone could have come!  With about half of my clients out of state, it is hard to get everyone there.  I am already planning for next years party, email me to book your session next year to ensure that you can come to this great event.  Fall is such a great time for dinner parties, I was able to use a lot of produce out of my garden and we were able to have fresh pressed apple cider from Paradise Valley Orchard where we had the dinner.  I know there are a lot of detail photos, but can you blame me?  The flowers were so amazing, Amber Reverie always creates the perfect arrangements for my dinners!

Location: Paradise Valley Orchard

Florals: Amber Reverie

Flower Vases: Notary Ceramics

Plates and Flatware: West Elm

Napkins: Sur La Tab

Tart Serving Dishes: Crate and Barrel

As promised I have included the recipes at the bottom of the post!



Charcuterie Board

Tomato Jam Tapas


Chicken Noodle

Creamy Tomato

Creamy Cheddar Potato Soup


Plum Frangipane

Fresh Hot Apple Cider

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Orange Tomato and Smoked Paprika Jam

Recipe from Preserving by the Pint by Marisa McClellan

12 cups chopped orange tomatoes

2 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon red chili flakes

2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, gently boil the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. Cooking at a fairly rapid pace, it should take about an hour of cooking.

When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.

When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

Jessica’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Season well one piece of chicken with salt and pepper, thyme, onion powder and parsley. Bake for about 45 minutes at 375.

3 carrots, evenly diced

3 celery sticks, evenly diced

1/2 cup yellow onion, evenly diced

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

1-2 tsp fresh parsley (dried works fine)

1 tsp fresh thyme

Sauté these in olive oil for 5 minutes or so.  As you sauté them with the fresh herbs it brings out such a good flavor.

6 cups Swansons Chicken broth

Bring to a boil and then add the noodles about 2 cups of uncooked noodles.

I prefer fresh pasta noodles, they make such a huge difference.  You can follow this recipe here to create the perfect noodle.  Sometimes I cheat and use our Phillips Pasta Maker and if I don’t have time for those I will use store bought Country Pasta Homemade Style, Wide Egg Pasta.  I will usually use half of the bag.

Cook for another 8 minutes.

Add diced chicken and cook for 5 minutes

Jessica’s Creamy Cheddar Potato Soup

4 cups diced potatoes

2 carrots diced

1/2 cup onion diced

2 tsps fresh parsley

2 tsps fresh thyme

1 tsp pepper

2 tsps salt

Sauté vegetables with herbs and salt and pepper in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, stir frequently potatoes will stick easily.

Add 4 cups of Chicken Broth, bring to a boil  and then simmer for 10-15 minutes

In a small sauce pan create a rue with

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup flour

Stir until bubbly and slightly browned, this will create a great flavor, salt and pepper to taste.

Microwave 2 cups of milk (I just use skim milk and it thickens just fine and a tiny bit healthier than whole milk) for about 4 minutes and then add this to the butter and flour, when you heat up the milk it will help the mixture thicken faster.  Once it is thick, add it to the potatoes, once combined add 8 oz of cheddar cheese to the pan.  Adjust seasonings as necessary, sometimes the potatoes will require extra salt but the cheese will add some of the saltiness to the soup as well.


Creamy Tomato Soup

Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 T reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes, or olive oil

1 C chopped onion

¾ C shredded carrot

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 Tbs dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

2/3 C sliced sun dried tomatoes packed in Olive Oil

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (14oz) can chicken broth

3 oz reduced fat cream cheese

optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakesOptional: Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for garnish

Place oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion,  carrot, and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring often.

Add sun-dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. (If you’re adding red pepper flakes, add them now)

Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.  Cover pan and simmer for 30  minutes.

Remove from heat. Place soup in a blender (do this in 2 batches if necessary). Add cream cheese. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape, but place a paper towel over opening in blender lid to avoid spills. Process for a few minutes until smooth.  You could also add cream cheese directly to the pot and use an immersion blender to combine.

Add additional salt and pepper to taste and then divide soup among bowls.  Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese and a fresh basil leaf if desired.

Plum Frangipane 
Recipe from Alida Ryder
Ingredients for the pastry
250 g flour
100 g icing sugar
150 g butter cubed
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon NoMU Vanilla paste
3-4 tablespoons ice water
Ingredients for the frangipane filling
150 g butter room temperature
150 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon NoMU Vanilla paste
2 ml almond essence
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
150 g ground almonds
50 g flour
4 large plums thinly sliced
To make the pastry, combine the flour, icing sugar, butter and vanilla paste in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs.
With the motor running. add the egg yolks and just enough water for the dough to come together in a ball.
Remove the dough from the food processor and shape into a disc. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, roll the dough out on a floured surface and place in a suitable tart case.
Place back in the fridge while you get started on the filling. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla paste, almond essence and eggs and beat well, scraping down the bowl if necessary.
Add the ground almonds and flour and mix until well combined.
Spread the almond mixture onto the prepared pastry and top with the sliced plums.
Place the tart in the oven and allow to bake for 20-25 minutes until the frangipane is golden brown and cooked.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving.