#6. throw a fabulous dinner party

I love entertaining and consider myself the ever dutiful hostess. There is nothing more satisfying than cooking up a delicious dinner, wrapping around a table with friends and enjoying each other’s company over a bottle (or six) of wine and a heaping pile of pasta. So, with the new friends I’ve been making, I thought it would be the perfectly opportunity to throw the fabulous dinner party I’ve been wanting to have on my 213 in 2013 list. It doesn’t get more fabulous than carbo-loading and wine-guzzling with a group of newly acquainted people.

One of my favorite parts about dinner parties? The table settings.

One of my favorite parts about dinner parties? The table settings.

The guest list in the week leading up to the party grew from four to six to at the last minute, seven people. The more the merrier, I figured. And luckily, as an Italian, I always cook too much food anyways so I ended up having more than enough.

After spending the entire afternoon cleaning every crack and crevice of the apartment, I started whipping up a feast. Sundried tomato, ricotta and pesto torta with garlic pita chips to munch on. Fresh oven baked bread to soak up olive oil and fresh herbs. Seven layer lasagna smothered with fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil and crushed tomatoes. Green beans with sundried tomatoes, garlic and shaved parmesan. And a delicious, creamy, chocolate peanut butter pie. (Sorry there aren’t really any pictures…was too busy stuffing my face and having a good time!)

Mmm, peanut butter pie.

I was admittedly a little nervous about having all of these newly-minted friends over to my apartment. Not only did I barely know them, but none of them really knew each other. It had the potential to be incredibly awkward but I was convinced that good wine and food would be the ultimate icebreaker. And, I was right.

For five hours we talked, laughed, ate until the plates were empty and drank until the bottles ran dry. I didn’t fret about the lasagna not presenting itself perfectly on the plate. Or the fact that we were all so crunched together at the table we could hardly lift our elbows. I didn’t sweat about the sink not draining or the large pile of dishes in the kitchen.

Just one of a few (several) bottles of wine from the evening.

Just one of a few (several) bottles of wine from the evening.

Instead I spent the night talking about books and movies and restaurants and life. Taking pictures of my cats, starting book clubs and planning vineyard tours. I got to know each of these girls a little better than I did before and realized how lucky I was to stumble upon each and every one of them because they help make this city feel more like home. Because they are incredibly funny, kind and wonderful people. Because it feels amazing to genuinely connect with a group of people after feeling disconnected for so long.

The wine was good. The food was delicious. But the people…the conversation…the memories, they were perfect.

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