I just love a good dinner party, don’t you!?
Karen had us over along with some new friends she made who are spending the winter here in Cville and their daughter visiting from California. We have a lot in common. It was so nice to get to know one another over a beautiful meal.
To start, we had appetizers supplied by Matt and me: my favorite bleu cheese (Bleu d’Auvergne from Whole Foods), tamari pumpkin seeds (also from WF bulk bins) and crackers, plus some plump grapes.
The pumpkin seeds were a really good find!
We also enjoyed a little vino – half glass to start and half glass with dinner for moi.
Karen made her famous vegetable lasagna for dinner, with whole wheat noodles (so chewy – LOVE!) and mushrooms with sundried tomatoes inside. Plus toasted ciabatta bread drizzled in olive oil.
And a side salad with peppers, garbanzos, carrots and avocado – her latest and the greatest combo!
The highlight (of course!) for me was Simran’s desserts. She is a trained pastry chef from the CIA and baked up the most delicious treats –
Baklava – which was as ooey gooey as ever
And an Apple Rum Cake…
Served with a homemade rum-spiked whipped cream!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh man was I in a cloud of rum heaven!
Boy-O-boy did my sleeplessness catch up to me. Would you believe I am going to bed with emails yet to reply to in my inbox!? That’s how tired I now am.
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey says
It is definitely time for you to go to bed – especially after the night you had yesterday!!!
what a gorgeous meal, with a fabulous looking dessert!
Amanda (Eating Up) says
Ooo that apple rum cake sounds like a dessert I would love. And I so appreciate homemade whipped cream.
[email protected] says
I am going to make lasagne for the first time very soon, and I intend to use whole wheat noodles! 🙂
Mmmm rum spiced whipped cream!? Count me in 😉
Allie (Live Laugh Eat) says
Hahaha I hope you can fall asleep with emails in your in box! Don’t be getting on Twitter at 2 am and then snacking on those oatmeal squares :).
Sleep tight, Kath!
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) says
At first I didn’t realize what CIA stood for and I was thinking, “The CIA trains pastry chefs?!” I think I’m a little tired as well… 🙂
meg @ the veg meg says
That food looks so good! My boyfriend and I always get that cracker sampler pack that y’all brought and they are so good…especially the buttery ones 🙂
Paige @Running Around Normal says
The apple rum cake looks incredibly delicious! What a yummy party 🙂
Heather (Heather's Dish) says
those desserts are so decadent! i could go for a cloud of rum right about now 🙂
Sarah @ See Sarah Graduate says
wow, all of it looks amazing. especially the lasagna!
Valerie @ City|Life|Eats says
What a beautiful meal!
Gabriella @ Embracement says
Wow! Apple rum cake? I’m in. Hope you get a better night’s sleep tonight 🙂
[email protected] says
OMG all of that looks soooo amazing!!!
Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes says
that dessert looks awesome! love rum IN sweets… 🙂
cathy b. @ brightbakes
Oooh, I’d like to eat that entire bowl of pumpkin seeds and then hoard the baklava to myself, thanks! No one need disturb me for the rest of the night that way… 😛
A Teenage Gourmet (Sami) says
Dinner party!? On a week night? You are too classy. 🙂
My dinner party was Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant. 😀
Maddie (Healthy Maddie) says
Yum! The desserts look delicious!
Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey says
Mmmm… rum. I spent a week in Jamaica last month and we had lots and lots of rum! We especially loved the Jamaican Spiced Rum Cake, and homemade rum ice cream!
The foods looks delish, especially the desserts. I’m a sucker for sweet treats! Hopeful for a good night sleep 🙂
What an incredible meal! You are making me hungry all over again 🙂
Lisa (bakebikeblog) says
I love your serving plate / tray for the cheese!
Faith @ lovelyascharged says
Why is rum not a standard ingredient in all whipped cream? lol
aubrey (italktofood) says
We just put a salad of heirloom apple, bleu d’ auvergne and cayenne marcona almonds on the salad at Girl & the Fig.
I am also student at CIA! How awesome.
I love fun dinners parties with new people. Such a fun way to get to know people. Those desserts look ridiculous. Actually, the whole meal looks 100% delicious. Hope you get some good sleep tonight!
Julie @ Honey B. Nutrition says
Oh that reminds me of the veggie lasagna I used to make from the Moosewood cookbook. Must be time that make that again. So good!
Hmmm…rum whipped cream 😛 Heaven!
Allison (Have it Your Weigh) says
That all looks so delicious!! Your lasagna description makes me want some now!
That lasagna looks yummy! Might try to make it this Friday.
Cara Craves... says
Looks like the perfect way to end that delicious meal!
What a great treat.
Heidi - apples under my bed says
wow. wow. those eats looks amazing!! all of it. I love tamari seeds too. That rum spiked cream!! Yum 🙂 Sweet dreams.
Michelle (The Runner's Plate) says
All that food looks delicious!! Dinner parties are so much fun!
Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] says
That cake looks A-mazing!! Maybe she could share the recipe!? 🙂
Laura (Starloz) says
those cakes, holy yum!
YUM! My kind of meal 😀
Grocery Goddess Jen says
Wow, that really does look like a cloud 🙂
I hope you got a fabulous night’s sleep!
Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) says
I love dinner parties. This looks so lovely. 😀
retro sweets says
Ahhh, my eyes are for the baklava and apple rum cake! Yum! I’ve come across a recipe of killer garlic bread today and I think it would be the bed bud of that lasagna. I hope I’ll get a time off and have a dinner party with my BFFs next week too!
You deserve some good sleep. That dinner looks amazing!
Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen says
Ohhh, that dinner looks absolutely lovely.
Going to a dinner party with a trained pastry chef on the guest list would be one of the most incredible experiences. Glad it was a good night and Karen is making good friends in the city.
Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) says
When you first said she was trained at the CIA, I immediately thought, ‘Wow, they teach spies to cook?’ Ha! Took me a minute… 😉
Simply Life says
wow, what a delicious meal!
My sister and I just recently discovered those crackers at Earthfare, and we really like them. 🙂 Everything looks amazing, and the entire evening sounds incredibly enjoyable! Hope you slept well, Kath.
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat says
Everything looks gorgeous. What a great way to spend the evening. It took me a second to realize what you meant by the CIA as well, but it’s still very early in the morning! 🙂
Everything looks delish! WF has tamari roasted almonds in the bulk bins which are great too!
Stacy @ Every Little Thing says
Love baklava. And I am writing down the name of that bleu cheese, because I love that too!
Melissa @ I Never Imagined says
Wow! Every single dish on that table looks exquisite! How lucky you are to be surrounded by such wonderful, talented people with such a passion for good food!
Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life says
That meal looks amazing! I wish I had enough energy to create somthing like that on a Wednesday night!
I have never in my life had pumpkin seeds. I think I need to change that!
Karen’s veggie lasagna always looks so good. I assume it is her signature awesome meal? I realized last night that I have a signature meal I cook too!
Claire (Low Impact Fashionista) says
Everyone is spiking desserts lately!
J3nn(Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) says
What a lovely dinner!! Everything looks amazing – love it!
Can we have the recipe for the apple rum cake? Pretty please?
Pretty sure this was the recipe:
It was so nice to meet you last night. That’s the recipe. I was just about to post it! Dorie Greenspan is the greatest cookbook author…I love everything I’ve ever made of hers. The whipped cream was just the leftover rum, a little vanilla, a little maple syrup and a pinch of salt.
My parents and I are trying your oatmeal recipes right now!
Hey!! Thanks for stopping in 🙂 Still thinking about those desserts… Hope to see you again soon!
Grapes, cheese, and crackers has to be my favorite appetizer. It’s so sophisticated yet so simple to prepare.
Brittany (Eating Bird Food) says
I LOVED Karen’s lasagna last time I made it. I need to make it again asap! 🙂
I love a good cheese plate. That blue is pretty tasty, though I have to say that as far as blues go, Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue is one of my favorites as is Grevenbroecker. The latter is probably my most favorite though I have only seen it in one shop in all of the US. I miss it dearly.
Tami Jo Eaton says
Speaking of Karen’s great cooking skills (maybe she needs a blog). Larbs mentioned pineapple sweet potatoes that were awesome, can you get that recipe? Thanks
I’m sorry, but Karen says it’s a family secret recipe.
English Sweets says
I’m having a dinner party at the weekend! This looks ideal. Thanks for sharing!