This past Friday night we had the pleasure of hosting our French teacher and her family over for dinner. We had an absolutely marvelous time and can’t wait to visit with them again. If you read my post last Friday I had mentioned how I was nervous for the evening.  This was actually the first time we’ve hosted a dinner where we didn’t know too much about the company coming over. Obviously, we knew our teacher but didn’t know her family or what they were accustomed to eating, although I had a pretty good idea.  One thing I knew was that the menu had to incorporate some sort of French food, but I wasn’t exactly sure what they would or would not like. I started with Gourères which have to be one of the easiest and most yummy appetizers I’ve ever made. They were so incredible right out of the oven that we ate all of them. This was followed by a warm salad, Coq au Vin, and Crêpes Mikado(I didn’t make these, she did), and they were heavenly.

  1. Plan the menu a week ahead if you can, this way you can make changes if necessary and aren’t scrambling at the last second.
  2. Visit the grocery store at least 2 days ahead of cooking time, which will again eliminate running around grabbing things at the last minute because you forgot something.
  3. If you aren’t sure about dietary requirements for your guests make sure to ask ahead of time. The last thing you want is to make a meal only to find out one of your guests has a food allergy.
  4. Serve at least 2 appetizers to get started while everyone is mingling. I always find it best to have one cold and one warm ready to go when guests arrive.
  5. A few of my favorite touches are to have one or two candles lit for ambience and smell(make sure it’s not an overpowering smell), have fresh flowers throughout the house, and light playing music in the background.


  • Kathy

    Hi Noelani! Your table looked gorgeous!! And your menu sounded divine. Would you post pictures of the food you prepared? I’m dying to know what Crepes Mikado are! Sounds like you had a great evening. I’m sure your guests were quite impressed. Did you use a slow cooker or a Le Creuset-type Dutch oven for your Coq au vin? Was your warm salad entirely warm or just parts of it? Where do you get the inspiration for your menu/recipes? Great post as always!

    OT – will you continue to do your “10 things” posts this year? I love them.

    • Hi Kathy!

      Thanks for the nice comment and great questions! I would love to post pics of the food the only problem is I forgot to take pics!! I was so busy that I only took a picture of the Gourères! I used my Le Creuset for the Coq au Vin, I actually use it about 2-3 times a week it’s the best thing to cook with! The Crepes she made were with vanilla ice cream and chocolate melted over the top, so good! Honestly, the inspiration came from my head;) haha. I remembered how some of the tables were set in Paris and went off of that.

      And yes! I will definitely be doing a 10 thing post very soon….
      Have a wonderful day Kathy!

  • Such a beautiful tablescape – sounds wonderful, Noelani!!

    Annie Reeves

    • Thanks Annie!!! I appreciate the kind words!

  • What a fun dinner party to host! The tablescape looks beautiful!

    • Thank you so much Natalie!