There is no greater joy than feeding your friends and family. I used to lose sight of what’s important: spending time with your guests. I would plan complicated menus with dishes that would take a lot of prep and cooking time. Over time, that has changed. Instead of making complicated appetizers, I just serve a gorgeous cheese plate with all sorts of accoutrements or crudités with unexpected dips. The main dish is usually a simply prepared protein, like a roasted chicken or quickly pan-seared fish. Since I can prepare dessert in advance, I might put most of my time and energy into that. And of course, there always has to be a cocktail. At my place, the cocktail is usually a bourbon sidecar.
That is my comfort zone when it comes to entertaining. I’m always looking for inspiration for easy menus, and when I saw the book Twenty Dinners by Ithai Schori and Chris Taylor, I immediately knew that it was my kind of book. What’s best about it is that it is separated into sections for each season: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. It also has sections on wine and stocking your home bar. There are cocktail recipes and/or wine recommendations to go along with each dinner. The book is good not only for entertaining ideas, but also for simple family dinners. If you are looking for dinner menu inspiration, this is the book for you.
I’ve made shakshuka countless times, but I couldn’t resist making Ithai’s version from the book, which is flavored with za’atar and paprika. There are many other recipes that I want to try soon. The lemon verbena tart, and spiced red wine-poached pears are next on my list of things to make.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Twenty Dinners for review purposes. I was not compensated for writing this post. All views are my own.