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Potato and Leek Soup
2007 Hans Lang Erstes Gewächs (1st Growth), Hattenheim Wisselbrunnen – Dry 750 mL


Cucumber and onion salad


Main Course

Wild mushrooms in cream sauce
2013 Peju Napa Valley Merlot 750mL


Pear Tart
2010 Erzsébet Cellars Tokaj Grand Cru Király d&x171;lő 750ml

Shopping List

Fruits and Vegetables
  • 3 ripe pears
  • Chives
  • 2 pounds of wild mushrooms (chanterelles are best, but you can also use morels or any other wild mushroom in your area)
  • 1 long cucumber (Japanese or Persian) or 4 small pickling cucumbers
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 2 large leeks
  • 2 pounds veal, pork or chicken breast
Milk & Eggs
  • Eggs
  • Heavy cream
  • Butter
Frozen Section
  • Box of puff pastry
  • Sugar
  • Peach jam or orange marmalade
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Bread crumbs
  • White wine vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Basil or parsley
  • 1 quart low sodium stock (chicken, beef or vegetable but not mushroom)
  • Dried thyme


One Month PriorTwo to Four Weeks PriorOne to Two Weeks PriorOne Day PriorParty Day
Date in advance from partyStepNotes
1 monthDetermine date and timeDetermine the date of your party and consider the time of arrival. For example, if you plan to have an outdoor party, you need to think about sun angles, heat and also cold. Plan a time for your party that doesn’t put your guests in rush hour forever to get to your location.
1 monthInvite GuestsThink about the conversation; who will like each other; ensure you have a great mix of people with different interests. Invite your guests early; everyone has busy lives and at least 2 weeks in advance will ensure your preferred guests are available. Have back-ups in your mind in case some guests are not free.
1 monthInvite Guests and share informationBe sure to let your guests know pertinent information, such as dress and who else is attending. If you are having a casual al fresco dinner, your guests should know that a summer dress will be appropriate. Conversely, if you are doing a formal dinner, your guests may need to obtain an item for their wardrobe.
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.
2 weeksYour attirePlan this now! If you want to buy a new dress or shoes, get this shopping trip out of the way.
2 weeksWineReview my recommendations and order your wine for delivery. Chill white wine now. Red wine can be slightly chilled the day of the party. Do you need ice? Make it or get it now if you have room in your freezer.
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 weeksCrafts for table settingAre you creating any crafts for your table setting, such as cutting a cork to insert a placecard? This can be done now.
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 marketObtain 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 6:30pm, use this schedule (add 15 minutes to start for late arrivals):
6:45 Soup
7:30 Salad
8:15-9:15 Schnitzel main
9:15 Dessert
Adjust this schedule to fit to your start time.
During weekConversation planningHave some conversations ready to start, such as asking about current events in your community or around the world. Stay away from hot button topics like religion or politics unless you know the people well and you know what will happen when the topics are raised.
Day before the partyStepNotes
Day priorCookingPrepare schnitzel without breading.
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 seating chart? If you did, create placecards and set them now.
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!
Party DayStepNotes
MorningCook items that can be done ahead.Make your pear tart. Make spatzle and boil. Prep mushrooms. Make soup.
1:30-2:30Mise en PlaceDo ALL of your chopping and organize your ingredients according to courses. Bread schnitzel and refrigerate. Marinate salad.
2:30-3:30Set up serviceSet up your serving platters or line up all cups/bowls/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.
3:30-5:00Get yourself readyHopefully, you have given yourself enough time to go for a run; soak in the tub; or do whatever makes you feel special.
5:30-6:00Cooking last minuteThis is the time to re-warm the soup and plate the salad.
6:00Prepare cocktails/open wine for soup and salad.This should be set up in the same area as your serving platters with napkins and utensils needed. Open wine bottles now and have cocktails ready.
6:30SoupPlace soup in bowls and garnish.
7:30SaladRemove soup bowls and serve salad. You can serve the same wine with the salad as the soup.
7:45Main course cookingQuietly excuse yourself while your guests enjoy their salad. First, start schnitzel. Simultaneously, start mushrooms and finally, saute spatzle.
9:15Dessert Remove main course plates and present pear tart.