Sous Le Ciel de DC–Diner En Blanc DC 2014


The first DC Diner En Blanc is taking place on September 4th.The day is almost here and I can hardly wait.

It’s been fun planning with friends: everything from the dress and shoes, down to little battery operated tea lights. There’s been highs: I found a pair of gorgeous comfortable wedges super discounted. There’s been lows: I ordered my dream dress only to find out that it was beige and not white. Yes, we must wear white and shades of cream, beige, or ivory are not allowed. I’ll be wearing my white back up dress.

I’ll admit it, I’m so excited that I already did a test run of my table setting. But what I’m really most excited about is the food. You had the option of ordering a picnic basket. However, for me, the best part is putting together a menu and making it for the big day. I have changed my mind dozens of times, but I finally narrowed it down and put it down on paper.

Here’s what I’m making. There are links to some recipes and options on where to purchase pre-made versions for convenience. You can take a 100% DIY route, or be more “semi-home made” about it. It doesn’t matter which way you go, no one will know once you arrange all your food on your shiny white tableware.


Classic shrimp cocktail. Let’s call it cocktail de crevettes.
Need a recipe? try this one from Fine Cooking. For something more creative, this version with okra looks delicious! You can purchase pre-made shrimp cocktail at most grocery stores. You might want to pick up some horseradish cream to add to the cocktail sauce to doctor it up a bit. Fresh lemon juice will also brighten up a store bought cocktail sauce.

Saumon Fumè, two ways:
Smoked salmon on blinis with crème fraîche and caviar
Smoked salmon tea sandwiches with cream cheese, dill, and cucumber slices

These two recipes only require a trip to the grocery store and 15 minutes of your time. This recipe for herb-crusted sandwiches looks fantastic.

Crab salad on butter lettuce with Meyer lemon-clementine olive oil vinaigrette and Old Bay seasoning

Here is my non-recipe: make a simple vinaigrette of lemon and olive oil for the lettuce. You might want a bit of honey for sweetness. Top the lettuce with crab sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning and sriracha. I reserve the right to change my mind and use endive leaves instead. Get local Maryland crab if you can find it, we are right in the middle of Maryland crab season. You can find more inexpensive options at Trader Joe’s.

Cheese plate:
MT Tam Cowgirl Creamery
Humboldt Fog Cypress Grove
Bleu d’Auvergne L’Or Des Dômes

Accoutrements: raspberries, honey with honeycomb, and herbed nuts
Visit a local cheese shop or a supermarket with a large cheese selection. Most Whole Foods carry a very large selection. Pick a double cream cheese, a goat cheese, and a blue cheese. Extra points if you get all French selections. If choosing a cheese board is intimidating, let the cheesemonger know how much you want to spend and let them put together a few options for you. Get fun pairings: tart dry fruit, a sweet conserve, something crunchy, and something savory. Don’t forget crackers, or just break off chunks from a baguette. A baguette is de rigueur. If you have time, pick one up at Bread Furst.

Macarons, caneles, and pistachio madeleines

Since I’m serving a cheese plate, I don’t need a heavy dessert. But I still want to nibble on something sweet at the end of a meal. I won’t have time to make my own macarons, so I will be purchasing mine from Olivia Macarons. I will be making rum infused caneles, and pistachio macarons. Whole Foods sells tiny little tarts and other small desserts that would be perfect for a dessert platter.

If you forgot to order Champagne, you can order some through Tuesday here. Remember that no outside alcohol is allowed. From what I’ve heard from previous events, the evening should last about 4 hours. You don’t want to run out of bubbly and wine too early on. I’m planning on bringing ice packs to keep my wine chilled throughout the evening.

What are you planning on making? Did you order a basket?

Sorry about not having any photos, I hope to have those up after the event 😉

Can’t wait until Thursday. I’ll be listening to Edith Piaf until then.

Author: onevanillabean

I have loved cooking and baking since I was 5 years old. It was the one activity that I would share with all my extended family. Like most people, I love traveling. I love visiting the markets, exploring unknown ingredients, and bringing them back home with me for inspiration. I find that recipes with simple and pure ingredients yield the best results.

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