If you know me I love to throw dinner parties and to cook for people, I enjoy bringing people together. Over the last few years I have been incorporating it into my business by having vendor dinner parties and last year I threw my first dinner party for my clients and I am so sad that I didn’t start this tradition sooner! I love seeing you again, I love to know what is going on in your life and to see how you are doing. I really wanted to have a way to show my appreciation to you because you are the reason I do what I do. It was amazing how everyone had some connection to the other families, we live in such a great community. I wish everyone could have come! With about half of my clients out of state, it is hard to get everyone there. I am already planning for next years party, email me to book your session next year to ensure that you can come to this great event. Fall is such a great time for dinner parties, I was able to use a lot of produce out of my garden and we were able to have fresh pressed apple cider from Paradise Valley Orchard where we had the dinner. I know there are a lot of detail photos, but can you blame me? The flowers were so amazing, Amber Reverie always creates the perfect arrangements for my dinners!
Location: Paradise Valley Orchard
Florals: Amber Reverie
Flower Vases: Notary Ceramics
Plates and Flatware: West Elm
Napkins: Sur La Tab
Tart Serving Dishes: Crate and Barrel
As promised I have included the recipes at the bottom of the post!
Tomato Jam Tapas
Creamy Cheddar Potato Soup
Fresh Hot Apple Cider
Orange Tomato and Smoked Paprika Jam
12 cups chopped orange tomatoes
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, gently boil the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. Cooking at a fairly rapid pace, it should take about an hour of cooking.
When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
Jessica’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Season well one piece of chicken with salt and pepper, thyme, onion powder and parsley. Bake for about 45 minutes at 375.
3 carrots, evenly diced
3 celery sticks, evenly diced
1/2 cup yellow onion, evenly diced
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1-2 tsp fresh parsley (dried works fine)
1 tsp fresh thyme
Sauté these in olive oil for 5 minutes or so. As you sauté them with the fresh herbs it brings out such a good flavor.
6 cups Swansons Chicken broth
Bring to a boil and then add the noodles about 2 cups of uncooked noodles.
I prefer fresh pasta noodles, they make such a huge difference. You can follow this recipe here to create the perfect noodle. Sometimes I cheat and use our Phillips Pasta Maker and if I don’t have time for those I will use store bought Country Pasta Homemade Style, Wide Egg Pasta. I will usually use half of the bag.
Cook for another 8 minutes.
Add diced chicken and cook for 5 minutes
Jessica’s Creamy Cheddar Potato Soup
4 cups diced potatoes
2 carrots diced
1/2 cup onion diced
2 tsps fresh parsley
2 tsps fresh thyme
1 tsp pepper
2 tsps salt
Sauté vegetables with herbs and salt and pepper in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, stir frequently potatoes will stick easily.
Add 4 cups of Chicken Broth, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes
In a small sauce pan create a rue with
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
Stir until bubbly and slightly browned, this will create a great flavor, salt and pepper to taste.
Microwave 2 cups of milk (I just use skim milk and it thickens just fine and a tiny bit healthier than whole milk) for about 4 minutes and then add this to the butter and flour, when you heat up the milk it will help the mixture thicken faster. Once it is thick, add it to the potatoes, once combined add 8 oz of cheddar cheese to the pan. Adjust seasonings as necessary, sometimes the potatoes will require extra salt but the cheese will add some of the saltiness to the soup as well.
Creamy Tomato Soup
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 T reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes, or olive oil
1 C chopped onion
¾ C shredded carrot
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2/3 C sliced sun dried tomatoes packed in Olive Oil
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14oz) can chicken broth
3 oz reduced fat cream cheese
optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakesOptional: Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for garnish
Place oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring often.
Add sun-dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. (If you’re adding red pepper flakes, add them now)
Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cover pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat. Place soup in a blender (do this in 2 batches if necessary). Add cream cheese. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape, but place a paper towel over opening in blender lid to avoid spills. Process for a few minutes until smooth. You could also add cream cheese directly to the pot and use an immersion blender to combine.
Add additional salt and pepper to taste and then divide soup among bowls. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese and a fresh basil leaf if desired.