Winter Entertaining

Recently we had some family friends over for a weekend dinner.  The forecast was predicting snow, so I wanted to make something warm, hearty, and comforting – but without going overboard.  I am still in study mode, too, so I also knew I couldn’t really spend that much time on prep.  Here is the final menu I decided upon:

Cheese Plate

Simple Salad

Stout Braised Short Ribs

Triple Chocolate Mousse

So first the cheese plate.  I like to include a variety of tastes and textures when configuring a cheese plate, but as I knew this was to be a low key dinner, I stuck with two different types of cheddar and two types of cured meats.

IMG_4109

On the right, you will find a more crumbly sharp Vermont cheddar, and on the left a slightly smoother more mild cheddar.  The cured meats included prosciutto, broken into bite sized pieces, and some slices of soppressata.

As for the salad, I stuck with simple and fresh flavors.IMG_4112On top of a spring greens mix, I added some chopped endive leaves, grape tomatoes, and slices of parmesan.  Super easy, not a lot of work, and I was pleased that the final product was full of vibrant colors.

On to the main event – the stout braised short ribs.  Oh yes, and mashed potatoes, which I forgot to photograph. IMG_4115

You can read more about this delicious entree here.

And then there was the dessert.  Yes, I know I should have taken a better picture, but I was in too much of a rush to eat it. IMG_4117

You can read more about this delectable dessert here.

In my opinion, if you are entertaining, you must have a dessert option.  Otherwise, I believe there is a very significant chance your guests will be mildly disappointed (I know I would due), and especially after a meat and potatoes meal you need some kind of palate cleanser.  And I love chocolate mousse.  Quite honestly, it may be as simple as that.

So there you have it – a relatively simple night of entertaining with some great flavors!

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