recently tim and i entered into a new and very important stage of our relationship: the living in sin stage. some might discount how important it is to live in sin before taking on the big "m", but seriously, we all know that you're doing all sorts of sinful things whether you're cohabitating or not. you might as well save some rent money and get a preview into the blissful life you will definitely lead with your partner - the fresh cut flowers that are brought home every day, the after-a-long-day-at-work foot massages, the chocolates that are left on your pillow every night, the "let me do the dishes" and "scrub the toilet" offers. c'mon ladies, you know what i'm talking about, right? isn't this the description of the twenty-something male you're shacking up with? ok, maybe not completely (hopefully partially???) but moving in together is a great excuse to throw a little celebratory dinner party to declare to the world your living-in-sinness. you can even call it, "we're not engaged (yet but any day now!)" party. that definitely won't scare him into moving back into his ol' bachelor pad.
ok, so i wasn't really allowed to call it the "we're not engaged (yet but any day now!)" party (at least not publicly) but he did let me call it an "apartment warming" party. we took advantage of the delicious summer produce at the farmers markets to prepare a little feasting of the senses for some of our close friends complete with fresh hydrangeas and homemade strawberry ice cream that churned while we dined (thanks gracie). we started with one of my favorite summer salads (recipe below). the dressing is the perfect sweetness and marries well with the pepperiness of the arugula while enhancing the natural flavors of the peaches, my favorite summer stone fruit. choose peaches that are semi-ripe as if they're too ripe, they'll just fall apart. finally, adding the prosciutto and pecorino layers in some unexpected saltiness. also, who can say no to cured meats and a delicious sheep's milk cheese?
because this was an extra special dinner and i wanted to practice my future role as a-stay-at-home domestic goddess / hostess, i even assembled "name cards" with scrabble tiles - just make sure to not invite too many people with the letter "j" in their names or you'll have to think of a creative nickname you can make for them with all the leftover e's, n's, i's, and a's you'll have. and then after you're all stuffed, you can all engage in a friendly game of speed scrabble. too bad "sin" only gets you three points.
apartment warming dinner menu:
fresh figs with honey & basil
heirloom tomato bruschetta with grilled ciabatta
arugula salad with peaches, prosciutto & pecorino (recipe below)
roasted salmon with summer corn salsa and mediterranean farro pilaf
fresh strawberry ice cream
arugula salad with peaches, prosciutto and pecorino
6 handfuls of arugula (or other mixed green), washed and dried
2 semi-ripe peaches, sliced
8-10 basil leaves, cut into ribbons
8 oz. of prosciutto
2 oz. of pecorino cheese, shaved
fresh ground pepper
1/2 tbs. shallot, diced
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tbs. white wine vinegar
1/2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 tbs. sugar
4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
combine first three ingredients for salad. combine all ingredients for salad dressing except for the olive oil and let sit for about 15 minutes. slowly whisk in the olive oil to form a vinaigrette. toss with salad. divide equally onto 6 salad plates and top with prosciutto and pecorino. serve with fresh ground pepper.