DINNER WITH FRIENDS | LAUREN KELP

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Howdy folks! As you all know, we are doing this fun series called – Dinner With Friends. It’s like our Tablemakers concept but a little more practical. As much as I would love to have our weekly dinner party full of tree trunk chargers in the middle of a vineyard in Sonoma, it’s not always the most practical thing. But, like we always say, entertaining doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be honest!

So, today we are taking a peek in to my little house downtown Chicago and getting a look inside how we normally entertain. Lots of really delicious food, good drinks, and the best of friends – what more could you need?
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Since moving back to Chicago it’s been an absolute blast getting to catch up with old friends again. We kicked off the evening with a casual little “cocktail hour” on the sofa while the soup did its thing on the stove. Nothing makes me feel smarter when entertaining than having a recipe that does the work itself. No one wants to be slaving away in the kitchen while you have friends over, so don’t!

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I absolutely love having people over for dinner, but I understand that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I think a lot of that has to do with the pressure to have a perfectly set table, a cool house, and a secret affinity for cooking. The truth is that no one cares about any of that! Everyone is just so excited to get together the rest is just toppings.

We set a really simple table that full of color and chocked full of mismatched silverware, stemware, and serving platters. They all worked together because we wanted them to, not because they matched. And guess what? No one noticed!

HT|DWF0057 HT|DWF0039Isn’t this cake delicious looking? Just wait until you taste it! Get the recipe for this surprisingly easy cake HERE!
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The best part of the entire evening was kicking back, not being stuck in the kitchen, and catching up with people we haven’t seen in years. We told stories, drank a fair share of wine, and caught up on all things big and small. The pot of soup was emptied and the cake didn’t stand a chance. It was absolutely perfect.
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