How To...Cook For Company

This is my friend Elizabeth. She was in my pledge class at Baylor...Go Kappa! She has a fabulous blog that I hope you all check out. It's loaded with tips on entertaining and yummy recipes. I asked her to share some tips with us on How To...Cook For Company. Enjoy!

Hi! I am Elizabeth Ann of Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box! I love spending time in the kitchen, cooking and baking for others, and I ADORE home-cooked meals with lots of friends and family around the table! I want to share a new favorite recipe of mine and give you a couple tips in pulling off a delightful dinner! A successful dinner party includes much more than a well thought out seating chart and a lovely main course. Many times people get stumped on side dishes. So let me share with you some of my "tricks of the trade!"

 1. Color, Color, Color. The more color on your plate the better! Vegetables, salads, and soups are all amazing first courses or side dishes. Don't ever serve two whites together (i.e.potatoes and rice)! Pick one or the other and then add a vegetable!

 2. Speaking of potatoes, you should only have one starch/carb on your plate. For example, if your main course is pasta, do not serve potatoes with it. Or don't serve rice and pasta as side dishes. Choose one or the other. 

3. A beautiful dinner would include a brightly colored first course and a meat, vegetable and starch for the main course. I paired this Maple Walnut Chicken with spinach and rice. Add a Cucumber and Bell Pepper Salad and you are set! 4. But above all, make sure you have WONDERFUL bread and an out of this world dessert, and your dinner party will be memorable! :-)
Here is my new favorite summer time dessert! Enjoy!

Key Lime Pie
Graham crackers (I used a sleeve of graham crackers. . . looking back I would use two sleeves of graham crackers and double the butter and sugar)
6 TBS. butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup key lime juice (about a bag of 20 limes)
1 TBS. grated lime zest
3 cups (2 14oz. cans) sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use 9 inch prepared graham cracker crust, or, to make crust: mix graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in large zip lock bag. (I used a food processor and then mixed the crumbs with the sugar and butter in the zip lock bag). Blend well and press into pie plate. Bake for 7 minutes. Let cool. While cooling, in medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup key limes juice with 3 cups condensed milk and 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 TBS lime zest. Mix well and pour into baked graham cracker crust. Bake in preheated oven for 5-8 minutes, until tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie. DO NOT BROWN! Chill pie thoroughly before serving. Garnish with lime slices (or lime zest) and whipped cream if desired.
Food For Thought