Meet Elizabeth! The voice behind The Whisking Kitchen or you might recognize her as the College Housewife! Either way, if you don’t know her yet, let me introduce you to your new favorite food blogger. Her style is approachable, her recipes are divine, and she is all about feeding the people she loves — sounds like a girl out for our own heart. Ooh, the kicker? She is in college. I can (maybe not so proudly) say that when I was 22, I was feeding myself on ramen and boxed wine, not these beautiful pies or omelettes she whips up!
We get to go behind the scenes with Elizabeth today and see how she entertains, what ‘good food’ means to her, and hear a little about more about the gal behind the blog. So cozy up because this is a Dinner With Friends you surely don’t want to miss!
What does entertaining mean to you?
When I think of entertaining my goal is that people leave with that warm fuzzy feeling inside because of one: delicious food and two: delicious company. When you gather friends and family together for a night in your home you have such an opportunity for a wonderful evening. There is something so intimate about having new and old friends over and hearing people share stories, laughs and great conversation.
How do you like to make people feel welcome when they come over?
I try and have appetizers and a pitcher of cocktails ready for when people walk through the door. People usually come to a dinner party pretty hungry. Music also keeps a great vibe when entertaining. Parties can keep both my hands full but I do my best to take a few moments and speak to everyone. Just a quick “how’s life” goes a long way and makes them feel welcome.
What is your favorite “go-to”?
Margaritas! Doesn’t everyone love margaritas?!
What makes you nervous about having people over?
Time! The hour before I have people over can become a little frantic at times. I’ve got my curling iron in one hand and the oven timer going off in the other. Its nuts! I prep everything I can the night before, I mean EVERYTHING. Anything that can be chopped, marinated, or prepared is done the night before.
Tell us about tonight? How did you plan? How did you come up with the recipes, etc?
It’s summer time so I knew I wanted fresh flavors! Lemon orzo salad, fresh fruit salad and shish kabobs! Talk with your guests! Maybe they have been really craving something that you can make for them. One of my friends suggested an orzo salad and it ended up being the favorite of the night. Get outside! I try to plan most of my dinners outside just because people spend waaaay too much time indoors these days.
Give us your favorite entertaining tip!
Set the table! I know it’s so simple to set up everything buffet style but a well-dressed table is an amazing centerpiece. People walk in and they instantly feel important and makes your space look so charming.
Any other pro tips?
My first few dinner parties I was a little all over the place trying to perfect everything. My boyfriend was always fixing my plate of food and making me sit down and eat because I was trying to clean or get something else together. I’ve realized that its so much more important to leave the dishes in the sink and have a glass of wine with everyone and enjoy the evening, as well as planning it.
LEMON ORZO SALAD!
- 20 Oz of orzo
- ½ Cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ Cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons of fresh minced basil
- 2 Tablespoons of fresh minced flat parsley
- 2 Teaspoons of black pepper
- 2 Cups of quartered grape tomatoes
- 1 Bunch of Asparagus, sliced
- ¾ Cup of sliced almonds
- Bring a large pot of water to rolling boil with ¼ cup of salt added. Add orzo and cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. The salt from the water is enough for the orzo you won’t need to add extra to the salad! Drain and do not rinse.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add sliced asparagus, cook 4-5 minutes. Transfer asparagus to an ice bath (equal parts water and ice). This stops the cooking and keeps your asparagus bright and green.
- In a large mixing bowl mix together all ingredients. Garnish with basil or parsley and fresh lemon slices. You can serve this salad warm, room temp or cold. I personally like it cold!
RED CHILE GINGER STEAK KABOBS
- ½ Cup of Red Chile sauce
- ½ Cup of Soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh minced ginger
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh minced garlic
- 2 Pounds of steak cubed
1. Mix all marinade ingredients together and then mix thoroughly with cubed steak. Marinate overnight or at least 6 hours before grilling.
*If using wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water for an hour so they wont burn on the grill!