Dinner Party at our house!

This weekend we had our co-worker Yann and his girlfriend Marie over for dinner. They had us over to their place in July and Marie wowed us with her cooking. It was my turn to return the favor and my first time ever to cook a three course meal for guests. Major adult-ing going on over here!

We had them arrive at 7:30, and after a tour of the apartment we popped open a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne and sat down in the living room to catch up over small bites of veggie crudites, olives, nuts and cheese.

My first course (the entrée) was salmon tartare. You may remember from my previous post when I made it for the first time, but ever since moving to Switzerland, my eyes have been opened to tartare. Here in Switzerland it’s most commonly made with beef, but I’ve had a couple made with different types of fish. I am still perfecting the recipe, but it’s such an easy thing to make and so fresh and delicious! I paired it with toast, avocado and a simple green salad. I used this recipe as a guide, but excluded the smoked salmon and used about 1/3 of the amount of the marinade (the first time I made it I followed the recipe and it was drenched, it calls for way too much). I also only marinate the salmon for about 15 minutes.

I tried my hand at a simple Fall table scape. We have an amazing florist up the street who helped me put this together after I introduced my idea with some broken French and a photo example. 

Our main course was a rack of lamb with a side of potatoes. I am a budding chef, and learning to cook red meat has been a challenge. I can never tell when it’s done! Luckily, our oven has a built-in meat thermometer that helped me get the lamb to a perfect temperature – I think I achieved a perfect medium!

Recipe for Lamb: I used only 2 garlic cloves and added about a tablespoon of chives to the rub. Recipe for potatoes

I was definitely a bit nervous about cooking for our friends, especially after the amazing meal they served us in their home, but if anyone knows me well than you know that I can handle dessert! I come from a line of very good bakers on my mother’s side (hats off to you, Mom and Grandma, for teaching me!). I wanted to give our friends something that would be a bit more of an American style dessert. Here in Switzerland, they have excellent desserts but nothing like our frosted layer cakes. My beloved Susie Cakes would blow their minds! I made a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. It was so good. Seriously, try this recipe!! I couldn’t find espresso powder in our grocery store so I just made espresso and reduced the liquid in the  cake and frosting recipes. The trusty The Kitchn blog helped me figure that trick out 🙂

My cake!

All in all, a fun time with some Swiss friends and a fun opportunity to test my culinary abilities. Next up: I have three girl friends from JMU coming to visit us for a weekend and then I’m joining them on a trip to Tuscany and Florence! Bring on the good times!

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