Valentine's Day Dinner

Over the weekend I had some friends over for a pre-Valentine's Day dinner.  I always have fun taking my time setting the table (I may even start the day before) and trying to decide on the menu.  I love pampering friends to a delicious and well thought-out meal.  I even took out my nice china, linens and glassware (which means hand-washing afterwards).  A true testament to how much I love my friends. If I don't use these things now, when, right? Here is what I made-

To start I made a red pepper soup (the recipe is not online).  Then, for the main course a flaky broiled halibut with zucchini salsa verde which was so delicious and easy to make that I will keep this one in my repertoire.  I highly, highly recommend it.  I made a simple rice and then Ina Garten's most divine asparagus with prosciutto from her Make it Ahead Book.   I didn't see this recipe online but you just need to buy the book period.  The book is filled with recipes you can prepare beforehand and then pop in the oven when they arrive.  It's entertaining at its easiest (and yummiest!).  That asparrugus recipe is on heavy rotation around here. My husband now may love me a little more because of it.  And for dessert, the best chocolate flourless cake ever. It's so light and delicious people always want seconds. It's from Martha! See the recipe here.

Tell me some of your go-to recipes for dinner parties!  I would love to try them!

And here you can get the look-

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[all photos by AC]