Summer Citrus Dinner Party

I know I probably say this all the time, but I love doing these little dinner parties so much.  It is just so fun to plan out the table settings and decorations and menu and theme.  I was a little bit worried about the menu with this once because I hadn’t tried out all of the recipes together, so I was worried that it might be too much citrus all at once, but I thought the citrus flavors were mostly subtle enough that it wasn’t too overpowering.  The dinner plate chargers are a project that I worked on all through May.  I always love seeing place settings with chargers, but we have square plates and it is really hard for me to find square chargers, and when I do I don’t really like them.  I had so much fun making these, I designed a pattern in Illustrator and did a graphite transfer onto the wood and used the sanding bit on my Dremel to carve out the design (let’s not talk about how many sanding bits I had to go through to get all 8).  I was originally going to do them all in the same design, but then I didn’t love the first design I did but it gave me an idea of how it would work and I knew I could make the others the way I wanted them to be so I decided to do a different design on all of them so they are each unique.  I think it makes them so fun to be all different.

The most perfect and adorable mini mason jars actually came from Target.  I had to try a couple different Target’s to find them, but they are the cutest thing ever!  I designed the citrus flags and menu’s in Illustrator, and picked out some different greenery and flowers to put in the jars and to make the garland with.  I was really hoping for some silver dollar eucalyptus, but they haven’t had any for the last couple of months.  At least the flags looked so cute in the jars with the flowers.  And I of course had to use my mini bundt pan to make the lemon poppy seed cakes.  I had a bit of trouble getting them to actually come out of the pan though, so I was trying different methods and only baking 2 at a time, so the first ones that worked came out a bit darker than the others… oops!  It made me realize that I should have tried a chocolate cake with an orange frosting…

And the food.  I was a bit skeptical about the citrus salsa, but it was actually pretty good.  For the drinks I made Brazilian Limeade and Strawberry Thyme Lemonade.  The limeade recipe I found last April when I had sooooo many leftover limes from this bridal shower and needed some lime recipes to try, and it is so good.  Especially on a hot July day poured over a cup full of ice!  The Lemonade was a recipe I got from my friend, and it is also delicious and refreshing.  The chicken was my favorite, with the crispy herb skin, and the cilantro lime rice was good, but I think it needs some salt added after the rice was cooked.  I really liked all the fruit in the salad, and I substituted candied pecans instead of walnuts, and these garlic knots were really easy and delicious.  For Dessert I had the mini lemon bundt cakes and then I bought some fruit gummy slices.  It was such a fun night, as always! And now let’s officially kick off summer around here!

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