The Menu I’ve Been Planning For A Year


We are almost there, friends! The end of the Year of No Get-Togethers may finally be upon us. If you’ve already had your vaccine, perhaps you’re already there. For us work-from-home types, we’re hanging tight for our time to come.

For now, we plan. Or rather, we fine-tune the menu we’ve been thinking about this last year. The one with all the recipes that make 12 servings or include ingredients our kids would never eat or, let’s be real, recipes that show off the cooking skills we’ve perfected while home alone.

I’m most excited to hang with my close group of girlfriends. We got together a few times during the pandemic. Since fall, it’s been outside around a firepit with sips of warm drinks from our corners of the patio. Here’s the menu I have planned when we can finally gather shoulder-to-shoulder around my kitchen table again.

Girlfriend Dinner Menu

The Cocktail

If we’re celebrating, it’s time for champagne, which is the perfect reason to bring out the recipe for Champagne Cocktail from Jubilee by Toni Tipton-Martin. Back in July, I purchased this book in an effort to diversify my cookbook collection. Since then, I’ve been coveting this recipe but didn’t want to make anything alcoholic with ten servings. Find the book at the library, or use this as a reminder to go through your neglected cookbooks to find something to tickle the tongue.


After 12 months of negotiating with the littles to eat their veggies, I’m going all-in on this roasted beet salad with goat cheese and pistachios from Cookie + Kate. Not-basic-corn-or-peas veggies with creamy, non-cheddar cheese and a fancy dressing that isn’t ranch?!? I think I forgot how to do this.


Veronica Jars, my sourdough starter, is still going strong, but I’m going to make this Swirled Garlic Herb Bread for ladies’ night. I’ve got over 365 days and well over 3,650 calories of taste-testing that prove my bread game is strong. Even without skillz (misspelling on purpose), this recipe looks manageable.

Main Course

We’ve all tried the Tik Tok Feta Pasta recipe by now, right? Let’s still keep it simple, but change it up just a smidge by using Gimme Some Oven’s Baked Feta Pasta. It will look so fancy your friends won’t realize you threw everything in the casserole dish and went back to the champagne cocktails. I’m going to add roasted asparagus on the side because NO ONE IS COMPLAINING ABOUT VEGGIES!!! If your crowd likes meat, I think these easy grilled shrimp would be a great addition to the menu.


After the year we’ve had, we deserve an indulgent, rich, huge dessert that serves a million (that will be eaten by six), and this Classic Italian Tiramisu fits the bill. While it comes together rather quickly, this showstopper will be a great grand finale to a wonderful night.

Cheers to better days ahead!


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