Spring is in full bloom here in the Mountains. Everyone is in town to enjoy the lovely weather. We are having different friends for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. I did all the house work on Thursday and today was prep for dinner number one.

We are having a salad that I just dreamed up. A romaine lettuce cup filled with quartered tomatoes sliced mozzarella and a homemade dressing using my own basil. I make this a lot. I finely chop a couple of garlic cloves and cover them with olive oil in a jar. I pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, just long enough to heat up the oil and infuse it with the garlic. Then I finely chop fresh basil and toss it in. This sets for a few minutes to a few hours depending on how early in the day I make it. The longer it sits the more the flavors come out. Then I add the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Add a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper, shake it up good and it is heaven in a jar. I will drizzle this over the salad combo just before serving.

Very casual table setting for the first night.

The main course is easy, delicious but elegant. I brown all sides of a nice pork roast and pop it in the oven to roast. About thirty minutes before it is done I toss together potatoes, baby portabella mushrooms, red onion, squash, red peppers, basically any and all vegetables I have on hand. I cut everything up evenly in one inch portions, toss on a good coat of olive oil and sprinkle on a chunky sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. This goes in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes and everything including the meat comes out done at the same time and looks like perfection. I slice some nice bread, drizzle on a little olive oil that was infused with garlic, toast it. All this is very simple, very healthy and very elegant. For dessert I made a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It called for shortening which I replaced with coconut oil and the cherries were replaced with pecans. 

Out of the box! Not that fond of cherries on this cake so I used pecans.

I would much rather have friends over for dinner than go out. It is more relaxing and thoughtful. I always plan way ahead for a dinner party. I choose menus that can be done and waiting when the guests arrive. That way I can be relaxed, offer a glass of wine and enjoy the company. Saturday night dinner is going to be a little more formal. The main course will be Lasagne Alla Bolognese made with Besciamella! And for dessert we will have a Lemon Cream Pie. I will do a follow up post with more information.

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace!