Summer Dinner Party

January 18, 2018

I have always loved to cook, once I moved out for college, I was always cooking for my friends and roommates.  It was one of my favorite things, maybe while I was single there may have been other motives…. hahah… other than just my love to entertain and to cook.  For years I have wanted to throw a fancy dinner party in the woods!  This dinner party was supposed to be up at one of my favorite spots in Logan Canyon, but my husband was super sick that day and there was no way I was going to be able to haul it all up and do it by myself.  My mom stepped in and came and helped and we changed locations and did it in a local park and it was still so fun!  This year will be the year to have a dinner party in my dream location!

While I prepped for this dinner, I thought to myself multiple times I am so crazy… what am I doing??  But once I got everything unloaded at the park and started to set up, I was so dang happy and loved every minute of it!  One of the keys to throwing a successful dinner party is choosing the correct menu, you want to choose things that can be prepped or made the day before.  It also helps to have amazing florist friends that help with the decor.  The beautiful flowers at this table were done by my good friends at Dahlia Event Planning and Floral Design.

Here is the menu that I chose and some of my favorite recipes that I used.  I wanted to do most of it from my garden, so I chose things that would be ripe the beginning of August. (And I just saw this error, I did this dinner almost a year and a half ago, and I never noticed.. but I gave the calligrapher the wrong word for one of the menu items…. It is supposed to be a Charcuterie Board….I put chartreuse board….  Whoops!)



Heirloom Tomato Galette

Charcuterie Board



Golden Beet Salad with Avocado & Feta


Herb Roasted Salmon Filet

Parmesan Roasted Red Potatoes

Garlic Roasted Green Beans


Wild Huckleberry Lemon Cream Tart


Homemade Ginger Ale

Italian Cream Soda with Fresh Apricot Syrup

Summer Dinner Party
Summer Dinner Party
Summer Dinner Party

Tapas with Paprika Smoked Tomato Jam

1 dry quart orange grape tomatoes, chopped

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup bottled lemon juice

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1 1/2 tsp red chile flakes

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a nonreactive pot.  Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature to a simmer.  Stir regularly, gently boil the jam until it reduces to a jam consistency.  About 45 minus.

When the jam is almost done, prepare a boiling water bath and 3 half pin jars.  When it is done fill three jars with 1/2 inch headspace, wipe the rims, apply lids and rings and procession a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

(Recipe from Preserving by the Pint, by Marisa McClellan, I love her book I highly recommend it!)

Prepare Tapas, slice baguette, top with ricotta cheese and put a dab of this yummy tomato jam on top.

When my mom and I went to Spain the previous year we had some amazing tomato jam on the tapas that we tried there.  I had to find a good recipe when I got home and this is the perfect recipe to put together for parties and gatherings.  It is also good on panini sandwiches.
Summer Dinner Party
Summer Dinner Party

I got the cheese from my favorite local Cheese Maker!  Rockhill Creamery is the best!  And I love supporting local farmers and artisans.
Summer Dinner Party
Summer Dinner Party

Heirloom Tomato Galette

for the filling:

1/4 cup (50g) freshly grated Parmesa

2 ounces (57g) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup (60g) mayonnaise

1/4 medium onion, diced (about 1/4 cup / 40g)

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, optional

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste

for the crust:

1 cups (125g) flour

1/4 cup (1/2 stick / 60g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1/4 cup (60ml) cold water

Heavy cream or egg wash, for brushing crust

3 to 4 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick

kosher or sea salt, to taste

fresh cracked black pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

Make the filling: In a bowl, mix the Parmesan, cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion, thyme (optional), and pepper to taste until well combined. Set aside.

Make the crust: In a separate bowl, pinch together the flour, butter, and salt with your fingertips until most of the big chunks of butter are flattened or broken up. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the ice water until combined. Incorporate the egg mixture into the flour until the mixture binds together and forms a rough ball (you may need to gently knead the ball to incorporate the last of the flour).

Flatten the ball into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. Chill for 30 minutes or up to overnight.

On a floured surface, roll the disk out to a circle slightly larger than 10 inches (25-cm) in diameter.

Trim the dough into an even 10-inch (25-cm) circle (we use a 10-inch / 25-cm ring mold to cut the dough). Gently wrap the dough around a rolling pin, then unroll it onto one of the prepared sheet pans. Spoon the Parmesan–cream cheese mixture in the center of dough circle, spreading the mixture out evenly to within about 2 inches (5 cm) of the outside edge.

Place one to two layers of sliced tomatoes over the cheese mixture. Fold the edge of the dough over the tomatoes. Brush the crust with the cream or egg wash. Season crust and tomatoes with salt and pepper.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the crust is golden, rotating the pans halfway through so the galette will bake evenly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Recipe from Bountiful by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, another favorite cookbook)

One thing that I love about this recipe and galettes is that you can make the dough several days before and then it is so easy to prepare right before the party, and it can be cooked in the morning and eaten in the evening.  I also love galette doughs if you have a food processor, this dough can be made in less than five minutes and it tastes and looks like it took a lot longer!

Summer Dinner Party
Summer Dinner Party

Golden Beet Salad with Avocado & Feta


3 medium golden beets

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1 large shallot

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 cups arugula

1 ripe avocado peeled and slices

1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled


wrap beets in tinfoil and bake them at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes, peel and slice when cooled.

combine lemon zest, juice, black pepper, salt, and shallot, let stand 10 minted before adding in olive oil.  Toss arugula with dressing half of the dressing, toss beets in remaining dressing.  Put arugula in a bowl, top with beets, avocado and feta.

(Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine)
Summer Dinner Party

Salmon Filet

Drizzle with Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper.

Top with assorted chopped fresh herbs, dill, parsley, thyme and oregano.

Thinly slice lemons and put on top.

We baked it in the Pizza oven at about 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

We have a Camp Chef Pizza Oven and we took this to the park and cooked it there, it is like an easy bake oven for adults, we love it!
Summer Dinner Party

Wild Huckleberry Lemon Cream Tart

tart dough :

5 ounces all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp kosher salt

6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3 tbsp ice cold water

huckleberry topping:

3 1/4 cups wild huckleberries

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp grated lemon zest

lemon curd whipped cream:

1 large egg

2 large egg yolks

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (approximately 3 large)

2 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature

1 cup cold heavy cream


tart dough:
Place the flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse 3-4 times to combine. Add the butter and continue pulsing until the butter is chopped up and the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. A few larger pieces are fine.
With the machine running, swiftly add the cold water. Immediate stop the machine when the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap and flatten into a thin, round disk. Wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
On a light floured surface, roll the dough to approximately 12 inches in diameter. Gently place in the tart pan. If using a fluted pan, use your thumb to gently press the dough into the flutes. Trim away any excess dough, leaving a slight overhang to account for oven shrinkage. Chill for an additional 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 375 degrees F.
Use a fork to prick numerous holes in the bottom and just up the sides of the dough (not all the way through to the pan). Line the pan with foil and weigh down with dried beans. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are firm. Carefully remove the foil and beans, then continue baking for another 10 minutes or until the dough is firm on the bottom. Allow to cool.
huckleberry topping:
Place the huckleberries, sugar, and lemon zest in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir to combine.
Turn the heat to medium. As liquid fills the pan, turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring periodically. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring periodically, until the liquid has thickened up, approximately 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then place in the refrigerator to chill.
(I ran out of time for this step and just put fresh huckleberries on top and it was still delicious!)
lemon curd whipped cream:
In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the egg, yolks, and sugar until smooth. Place the cornstarch in a small bowl or ramekin and whisk in a small amount of the lemon juice to create a slurry. Add the slurry and remaining lemon juice to the saucepan, and turn the heat to medium.
Whisking constantly, cook until the curd has thickened, approximately 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until the curd is shiny and smooth. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl, press plastic wrap directly against the curd to prevent a film from forming, and place in the refrigerator until cold.
Once the curd is cold, transfer to a large bowl. Using a spatula, stir vigorously for several seconds to loosen it up. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until it reaches a stiff peak.
Stir approximately 1/3 of the whipped cream into the curd, then fold in the remaining whipped cream until evenly combined.
Spread evenly into the tart pan, and top with the prepared huckleberry mixture.
One of my favorite summer activities is to go Huckleberry picking, the dinner party was a little too early in the season, so there was not a lot ripe when I went to pick them for this dessert.
Summer Dinner Party
Table and Chair Rentals: Ella Bella Floral
Menus and Name Tags: Hello Tosha
Copper Flatware: West Elm
Summer Glasses: World Market
Swing Top Bottles: Amazon
Grey Linen Napkins: Sur La Tab
Drink Dispenser: World Marker