One of our first posts featured the books from Jennifer L. Scott’s Madame Chic series. In Scott’s books, she calls on others to “become a connoisseur of life.” Her books inspire readers to seek quality and present the best versions of themselves. More than any other books I’ve read, hers have moved me to improve my attitude and aspirations.
Leading into the 2016 New Year, I thoughtfully considered what resolution I could make that would not only help me to make self-improvements, but would also be one that I could keep all year. Then it came to me; I could make “fancy dinners!” My goal became this: I would commit to cooking and serving at least one “fancy dinner” a month.
I have never taken cooking lessons, but I do have cookbooks, wedding china, and a supportive husband who is willing watch our three kids while I barricade myself in the kitchen for an afternoon. And by barricade, I mean literally placing a baby gate between myself and two toddlers who, all of a sudden, “really need to tell me something.”
The first recipe I chose to prepare was featured on KLG and Hoda (one of my favorite happy shows). Food Network star of Farmhouse Rules, Nancy Fuller, made Beef Wellington. The dish sounded so elegant, but was seemingly simple to execute. Nancy Fuller’s Beef Wellington
I decided to replicate the recipe and serve it with rosemary new potatoes. Dinner was a success! I decided I must buy her cookbook. FarmHouse Rules
Two weeks later, working out of Fuller’s cookbook, Farmhouse Rules, for the main course, I made a second “fancy dinner” featuring a salad with navy beans and feta cheese, beef short ribs over a cauliflower mash, and a strawberry tart for dessert. Her short ribs and cauliflower mash were so tasty, my sister even compared the main course to restaurant quality!
Overall, I think my husband would agree that this is the best New Years resolution that I’ve ever made! And honestly, this is the most fun I’ve ever had working to keep one. The lessons that I’ve gained thus far include:
- Food processors are magic! If you can invest in one, you won’t be sorry!
- Making special dinners for friends and family members leaves them with full bellies and grateful hearts.
- A “fancy dinner” does not equal an expensive one. It is one that challenges your culinary skills and palate.
I will post and review more “fancy dinners” as the year continues. If you have recipes or cookbooks that you recommend, please share them with us! Feel free to post your favorites in the comments section below. Have a lovely week!
~Think on These Things~
What a lovely table ! I love your blog Natalie ! And yes, definitely, a fancy dinner does not equal an expensive one… It just takes a bit of creativity, experience and candles 🙂
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Thank you so much for your compliment! Your blog is beautiful too!
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What a terrific idea to fix something special like a fancy dinner but not having to wait for a specific fancy occasion. I like especially that you pulled out your china to use with it too. Keep us posted on your next attempt, please, as this got me inspired to think about what I could cook that’s fancy at home too. I’m only a single person, so maybe I’ll try make fancy breakfast this weekend special (with a helping of pretty flowers and the good china).
PS I was on my tea break at work (which sounds much nicer than snack break, don’t you think) and ran across your blog via the Daily Connoisseur. My first visit, but I’ll be back again!
Thank you very much for the support! Breakfast is actually my favorite meal, I hope your fancy meal turns out wonderfully! Hope you visit us again soon!