The Presentation

I have always believed that entertaining is more about the
presentation. . .
And that the food is
Secondary. . .
Well, maybe not for everyone.
Maybe. . .
Just for me.
I grew up in a home in Minnesota where every Sunday after church there were dinners with friends and family gathered around our big round oak dining room table.  My mother loved to cook and entertain.  And she passed that love on to me. (e.g., In Minnesota life is all about gathering and eating). And she brought that tradition with her when our family relocated to Washington when I was 9 years old.  In Minnesota we had a nanny named Clara, who kept our home filled with the aromas of home made breads, cakes and cookies.  We had a large country kitchen with a red chrome legged kitchen table where my four brothers and I drank glasses of cold milk and ate warm cookies straight from the oven.  Clara would arrive on Sunday evening and stay until Friday night when she headed home to spend time with her family.  My mother was a professional nurse and her career and love for nursing filled her weekdays, but on the weekends her time was totally devoted to her kids and we knew we could always find her in the kitchen with her second love, cooking and baking.  I grew up with a strong sense of stability and security and I know that a lot of that came from the atmosphere that constantly filled our home.  I brought that same desire to my home when I became a homemaker, wife and mom.  I wanted my doors to always be open and my home to be a place where people loved to gather.
For me, entertaining begins with
setting the mood. . .
creating a beautiful table. . .
soft music playing in the background. . .
creating a welcoming atmosphere that says. . .
come on in and make yourself at home.
And the rest of the evening just seems to take care of itself.
P.S. When my middle brother graduated from high school his first trip was to Minnesota to visit Clara who at that time had to have been in her late 80’s or even in her 90’s.  He had a special attachment to her as she was there at his birth and spent many years snuggling and cuddling with him.  She passed away shortly after his visit.

1 sun-dried tomato wrap
Finely chopped purple onion + tomato + English cucumber
1 cubed avocado
½ lemon
Light cream cheese
Chopped cooked chicken breast

Spread cream cheese on wrap

Layer chopped ingredients
Squeeze lemon over avocado
Add chicken
Shaved pecorino cheese over top
Roll up + eat!

p.s.  Dipping it in Trader Joe’s Cilantro Salad dressing adds an extra bonus.