Cooking with Wine · Tasting Wine

Le Grande Fete -Our Very Own Le Diner En Blanc

The day started out sunny and bright, another perfect July morning. After a cup of coffee and a few moments vegging on the couch, it was time to start setting-up for our Le Dîner en Blanc.

The first step was to figure out timing for the menu. When to stop decorating and when to start cooking. Some items we were able to make ahead, but others we had to prepare on demand during the dinner.

After making a dip and tossing a salad, it was on to the decorations. The rest of the menu would need to be prepared before or during the party.

Being that the theme was ‘en Blanc’ all decorations and attire were white. My parents home has a beautiful yard and made the perfect setting for the dinner.  We used their patio for appetizers and an elevated area in the yard for dinner. Both locations had an extraordinary view, there wasn’t a bad seat in the place.

Decorations consisted of white flowers and linens. The trees were dressed in twinkle lights, which looked like stars after the sun went down. One of my favorite decorations were the trays we used to hold the wine glasses and napkins. I took old windows, cleaned and painted the frames white and voila:

My sister-in-law made wine charms, using initial beads to mark each guests’ glass:

The dinner table was absolutely stunning, there was not a bad view from any seat:

Once the decorations were in place and the table was set, the cooking began. The first thing was the appetizers – the olive tapenade was prepared that morning, but the eggplant dip and artichoke and crab dip had to be served warm.

As guests gathered on the patio, we opened a bottle of sparkling wine and had a toast to start the evening. The dips were set out with plates of warm bread, making tasty eating vessels.

While guests munched and mingled, the final preparations for the main course were completed and the grill was warmed up. Dinner consisted of a fresh green bean and tomato salad,  rosemary potato skewers and a lovely grilled salmon.  And let’s not forget Le Piece De Resistance: Domaine La Bastide Blanche. The wine was beautiful, crisp and light. The perfect pairing to our grilled summer meal:

After dinner, we had dessert, an orange sponge cake, under the ‘stars’, accompanied by glasses of Sauternes. The sweet wine married perfectly with the cake, not too sweet, but just right.

It was a great party and I am already looking forward to next year.  I mean, sitting at the dinner table, admiring a unobstructed view of the Puget Sound and sipping a wonderful wine. Life really doesn’t get much better than that!

Me and my husband, enjoying the party
Me and my husband, enjoying the party


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