Everyday Mom's Meals: Entertaining With Ease

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Entertaining With Ease

When I'm entertaining guests for a sit down meal, I really try to find dishes that look beautiful, taste great, and most of all, don't keep me in the kitchen all day. Yes, if it's a holiday, I know I will be cooking for a few days beforehand, and for a good portion of the actual day. But if we're having another couple over and I am going to get to enjoy "adult only" company, I don't want to waste that opportunity by having to listen to the conversation from the kitchen! I want to be able to chat, visit, and show my guests a nice evening, including a delicious meal! I love finding things I can prep ahead of time and then finish when it's time so the meal comes together effortlessly, but still appears to have been a lot of work. (Don't we all want that credit when we can get it?) So when we were having my brother in law and future sister in law over for dinner to celebrate their engagement, I knew it was the perfect time to try a new salad recipe I'd been saving for a special occasion. Alex was going to be at Vacation Bible School at our church, so it would just be the 4 of us, and I wanted a nice "grown up" meal that highlighted tastes of summer. I decided on my Garlic Lime Chicken, b/c the marinade does all the work during the day and then they just need browned and baked. I made some Marinated Cucumbers that could sit and "yummify" in the fridge all day. (Plus Mr. Everyday had requested  them!) For dessert, my Angel Food Cake with Lemon Sauce- store bought cake meets an easy lemony sauce. And then this salad which is actually assembled and then topped with a quick dressing that is made in the blender. All of these dishes were easily prepped throughout the day and I could spread out the work so I didn't feel rushed at all. This is a great use for those beautiful, red, ripe tomatoes out of your garden; and if you are a caper lover like us, you'll love the dressing. Entertaining should not be something to break out into a cold sweat about. With a plan of action, and some easy recipes, you too can do so with ease and minimal stress!

Caprese Salad with Caper Vinaigrette From Food.com

2 large slicing tomatoes, cut into 4 slices each
16 oz. ball mozzarella cheese, sliced into 8 slices
1/4 c. fresh basil, cut into thin "ribbons"
1/4 c. olive oil
1 lemon, juiced and zested,
1 TBS capers, drained and divided
Salt and Pepper to taste

On small salad plates, stack 2 slices of tomato and 2 slices of cheese, alternating each. With each layer, season with a little salt and pepper. In a blender, combine oil, lemon juice, zest and 1/2 TBS capers. Blend until smooth. (If made ahead, chill until ready to serve) Drizzle each tomato and cheese stack with dressing. Top w/ a few basil ribbons and a few capers.
*NOTE* My mozzarella came in a log, so I chose to do half moon shapes and increase the tomato slices by one.

~Please join me for Tasty Tuesday on Formula Mom~
Makes 4 Salads

Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Aug. 7, 2012
Shared on Lady Behind The Curtain Aug. 8, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Aug. 9, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 10, 2012 
Shared on Mommy's Sweet Confessions Aug. 12, 2012 
Salad at Very Good Recipes
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Ellen B Cookery said...

I love making this with tomatoes and bocconcini. This sounds wonderful! I'll have to try with mozzarella next time to compare the flavours.

Krista said...

It should be very similar because bocconcini is just baby mozzarella :)

Lindsay said...

Thank you for sharing this at my link party at Mommy's sweet confessions. I am growing tomato plants, I will have to make this when I get some tomatoes. See you sunday!