I am an avid dinner party host. I like dinner parties because I'm not a partier. I'm the girl who throws the party, gives people space to have a good time while I hang out and watch the people I love enjoying themselves. That's why I started in wedding planning with Carly Rae Weddings. I often get asked what makes a good party and while you can have the cutest, most trendy event, if you don't have love and fun present, it's not a great party.
Over the last 5 years I have hosted themed dinner parties and cocktail mixers at my home in Los Angeles. Things that are pretty easy to throw together and are for about 10-20 of my pals to enjoy. The cost of these types of parties costs less and I get to flex a little bit in the kitchen. I look for really easy, simple recipes that don't take me much time at all - note: I have very little time being a CEO need something I can prep ahead of time. This summer I plan to throw this menu with a few close friends.
Due to the COVID pandemic, it'll be for 4-5 of us instead of 10-20, though. I hope you enjoy and use these recipes to your advantage!
I've not been a tomato fan until I hit my 30s and thus started my love for the heirloom tomato. It's so easy and can be prepped ahead of time which is what I look for in a recipe. All about the ease here, people.
Recipe: 1. Use a bread knife to cut half-inch slices of red and yellow tomatoes. Place on dish 2. Use the same bread knife to slice mozzarella in half-inch slices. Place in between ever slice of tomato. 3. Pick off large leaves of basil and place 1 leaf each between the mozzarella and the tomato. Sprinkle with salt, fresh cracked black better, and a drizzle of good olive oil and balsamic. Serve!
Citrus Poached Salmon
I'm from Washington and that means that I grew up with fish being present for nearly every occasion. While I realize many have yet to experience what fish is supposed to taste like, this particular recipe I use to wow my guests and take the cooking load off of me.
I use THIS Recipe and it’s fool proof!
Cantaloupe and Prosciutto
This is SO Simple. Just slice cantaloupe and wrap with one piece of prosciutto. Posture each piece of a pretty platter and serve. If you're feeling extra, add a pinch of salt, pepper, and olive oil drizzle over before serving.
Pavlova with Berries
Without question one of my all-time favorite desserts. It requires an electric mixer and some time but can be made in advance (like the night before). Top with fresh whipped cream and berries and you'll look like you slaved all day over this (when you didn't).
I use THIS recipe!
I hope these recipes and ideas do what I hope they do, give you a boost that you too can throw an easy dinner party this summer while you may be stuck at home or heck, a fun date night with the man while the kids snooze. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy it!
with love, flowers, and good food, Carly