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Taste 1

Potato Chips with Caviar

Taste 2

Tuna Crudo

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Taste 3

Frico Bowl Salad

Taste 4

Arancini

Taste 5

Wine-braised Sausage with Pea Puree Crostini

Taste 6 – Dessert

Cheese, Dried Fruit, Nut and Chocolate Nibbles

Shopping List

Vegetables
  • Head of garlic
  • 1 Serrano chile
  • Basil
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salad greens of your choosing, such as spring mix or frisee
  • 1 container micro greens
Meat and Fish
  • 1 tin caviar (Petrossian is a good source and they ship to you)
  • ½ pound sushi grade tuna
  • 1 Italian sausage per person
Milk, Eggs & Cheese
  • 1 pound of parmesan or grana Padano cheese
  • 1 small container crème fraiche
  • Peppadew peppers, optional (usually found in or around olive bars and jarred in the olive section)
  • ½ pound mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 portion of manchego or other hard cheese
  • 1 wheel of brie or goat cheese brie
Bread
  • 1 baguette
Staples
  • 1 bag high quality, thick cut potato chips (salted, but no other flavorings)
  • 24 wonton wrappers (sometimes in vegetable section; sometimes in refrigerated section with fresh Asian noodles)
  • Canola oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Champagne vinegar
  • 1 small jar capers
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup leftover risotto
  • Unbleached, all purpose flour
  • Bread crumbs
  • 1 bag of petite frozen peas
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup white wine

Schedule

One Month PriorTwo to Four Weeks PriorOne to Two Weeks PriorOne Day PriorParty Day
Date in advance from partyStepNotes
Select DateSelect timeSelect a date and time for your party.
1 monthInvite GuestsThink about the conversation; who will like each other; ensure you have a great mix of people with different interests. Consider having some guests on both sides of the aisle or just one if they might argue.
1 monthInvite Guests and share informationBe sure to let your guests know pertinent information, such as who else is attending. Think about the setting, as you may want the ball drop on the television on in the background and people will need to see. This could be set up around your kitchen island or a table in the family room.
Date in advance from partyStepNotes
2 weeksRentals or new purchasesIf you need to rent any glasses, tables or purchase any new kitchen items for your party, do this now. Also, put your order in with Petrossian because it takes time to set a specific date with them for delivery.
2 weeksYour attirePlan this now! If you want to buy a new dress or shoes, get this shopping trip out of the way.
2 weeksWine purchaseReview my wine recommendations. You should order them now, especially if you want to test some of them first. Chill white wine/champagne now. Red wine can be slightly chilled the day of the party. Obtain non alcoholic drinks, such as sparkling water now, also.
Date in advance from partyStepNotes
1-2 weeksPrep table settingPlan what linens you intend to use. Wash them if needed and iron. Set aside.
1-2 weeksWine tasting guideThis party begs for a menu of all the tastes you've assembled and the wines you are serving. Perhaps have everyone 'vote' on their favorite, too!
1.5 weeksShare menuIf your guests are also foodies, feel free to share the menu with them! This will get them excited about your party but be sure not to change the menu afterward.
1 weekGrocery store/Farmers market – trip 1Obtain all ingredients that you can purchase now. Leave as little as possible until the last moment, but a big shopping trip a week before will help you get a lot out of the way.
1 weekCreate timelineAssuming your dinner starts at 6:00pm, use this schedule (add 15 minutes for late arrivals):
6:00-7:00 Taste 1
7:00-7:30 Taste 2
7:30-8:00 Taste 3
8:00-8:30 Taste 4
8:30-9:00 Taste 5
9:00-9:30 Taste 6
Adjust this schedule to fit to your start time.
During weekCooking 1 – Saturday or Sunday priorMake risotto for another reason so that you have a cup leftover.
Cooking 2 – Day before partyMake pea puree.
During weekConversation planningHave conversation topics pre-planned and divert hot button topics like religion and politics. You want your party to be fun!
Day before the partyStepNotes
Day priorCookingMake wonton crisps for tuna crudo.
Day priorSet tableSet placemats, napkins, plates, cutlery, glasses and even empty water pitchers on table. This will also help you get excited for your party when you see your beautiful table! Did you create a menu? You can print these and set them out now.
Day priorLast minute shoppingThis should only be for last minute fresh ingredients, such as bread and tuna. If you are buying flowers, purchase these now, also.
Day priorFlower arrangementsThese can be arranged on your table and in your house now.
Day priorMusicSet up your playlist for the party. Make an inspiring and high energy one for yourself for prep, too! You may have the television on for some of the party, but you may like some background music or the television muted.
Party DayStepNotes
MorningFrico bowlsMake your frico bowls in the morning. Wash and dry your lettuce for the salad.
1:30-2:30Mise en PlaceDo ALL of your chopping and organize your ingredients according to courses. Cut your baguette into crostini but don't put into the oven yet. Make your arancini and refrigerate until cooking.
2:30-3:30Set serving plattersSet up your serving platters and stack all the plates you will be using in the area that you plan to serve and arrange the look the way you like. Have wine glasses ready.
3:30-4:30Get yourself readyHopefully, you have given yourself enough time to go for a run; soak in the tub; or do whatever makes you feel special.
4:30Make tuna and wine braised sausage.The tuna can be marinated now. The sausage can be braised.
5:00-5:30Cooking last minuteThis is the time to broil crostini but don’t place the topping until just before serving.
5:30Prep champagne, open winesThis should be set up in the same area as your serving platters with napkins and utensils needed. Open wine bottles now.
5:45Prep caviarTop each potato chip with creme fraiche and caviar. Have ready for your guests!
6:00Music and televisionTurn on playlist and have ball drop coverage on the television (muted if you like).
ThroughoutTime yourselfUse a kitchen timer or some other mechanism to keep yourself on schedule during the courses. Set your timer according to the timetable below.
6:45TunaArrange tuna on wonton crisps and serve.
7:15Frico bowl saladDress the salad and add it to the frico bowls.
7:45AranciniFry the arancini in the canola oil.
8:15Assemble crostiniSlather the crostini with the pea puree. Add the wine braised sausage and top with micro greens.
8:30Dessert prepArrange the nibbles.
9:00Enjoy!If you've played a game with ranking the wines, let everyone know the results now.