Fancy Schmancy

Hope ya’ll had a great weekend! This past Friday my husband and I got all dressed up (i.e. he put on Chucks and a button up and I wore a dress), and we went to our very first dinner party as a married couple!

My friend Natalie* is not only my friend, a military spouse and fellow blogger over at Oven Love, but she’s also participating in a blogging competition to win $10,000! Every week they have different challenges and this week just so happened to be: “throw a luxury dinner party.” I consider myself honored to be invited to such an event! 

The party was fancy schmancy—you know it’s fancy if place cards and menus are involved! We started off with some wine and couldn’t wait to dig in. 

First course was Goat Cheese and Thyme Souffle, Salad of Arugula, Radicchio and Shaved Parmesan and let me tell you, I HATE goat cheese with a passion. I loath the very essence of the stinky cheese. But this souffle? It completely changed my mind about goat cheese. In fact, I really wanted to eat more of it. The salad was classic and delicious with a tangy—but not overpowering—homemade dressing. 

Up next we had Braised Beef Short Ribs, Puree of Celery Root and Yukon Gold Potato, Red Wine Reduction. I was a little weary about having sweet-tasting mashed potatoes, but it paired perfectly with the red wine reduction. Not to mention, the short ribs were tender, succulant, and extremely flavorful. On our way home my husband and I both said we wanted to lick the bowl, but figured that would’ve been a bit impolite.  

For dessert we had Dark Chocolate Pots de Creme, Whipped Sweet Cream, Fresh Raspberries which is another way of saying we had sinfully scrumptious chocolate. Natalie explained it was a mixture of dark and semi-sweet chocolate baked in the oven, so it was kind of a combination of pudding and a custurd. Whatever you want to call it, it was delicious. 

I’m letting you in on our dinner party for a few reasons:

1. Natalie posts amazing recipes on Oven Love and you need to start following her. (Seriously, right now I have at least 10 of her recipes bookmarked in my “to make” folder. And no, she didn’t pay me to say that!)  

2. The Project Food Buzz challenge accepts reader’s choice votes, so you should head over there and vote for her!

3. I’m completely smitten with her logo and that cake she’s eating—have you ever seen anything so stinking cute? 

*I’m fortunate to know several bloggers in real life and will start featuring their blogs in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for some new good reads!



  1. Wow- everything looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing! I love the look of her tales! So simple looking yet ELEGANT! Looks like a fun time was had by all! I would be a little nervous about the potato dish, but would try it.

  2. That food looks and sounds amazing! And you are right, the cake in the picture is very cute. I bet that took forever to make!

  3. Okay, honest to goodness I didn't know that you knew her and when I saw that she used a picture that had the name tag "jess" I thought, "OH!! I wonder if that's my Jess???" and now I'm even more excited because it is!! YAY!! It looks fabulous and delicious!!

  4. What a cool idea!!! Are you both milspouses? Or just bloggers that live near each other? I love entertaining, but I have no idea how or what to cook..I will definitely stop by her place..

    Jennie Pie
    "Capturing Sweet in the East"

  5. How fun to see a guest of Natalie's dinner party! Isn't she great? Your dinner looks fantastic.

    Thanks for dropping by blog. One of the people who ordered a bag of chiles grew up on New Mexico and these chiles brings back lots of memories for her too! – mary the food librarian

  6. OMG you should be in love with goat cheese, it's the BEST! Although it's not at ALL stinky (just has a pronounced saltiness) so maybe you hated another cheese? I hate stinky bleu cheeses but LOVE salty cheeses like feta and goat cheese. I read in Real Simple that it's the healthiest cheese too!

    I could talk about goat cheese all day, every day 🙂

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