I set the table all nice for our guests.
Our silver leaf serving trays came in handy for dinner.
I made the chicken and artichoke dish found here, together with rice and steamed asparagus. Our friend K brought our favorite pear and greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
Best dinner party tip? Try to pick recipes that you can prep and make beforehand, and will still taste good reheated later. This takes the stress off loads. There's nothing worse than having to babysit food in the oven or on the stovetop while guests are getting anxious (and you are probably feeling anxious too)....especially if you have friends who like to be in the kitchen with you while you are prepping the food (my big stressor).
I still had to steam the asparagus but that didn't take long at all, Hubs made sure to entertain our friends in the living room and got them visiting. I made the chicken & artichoke dish a few hours before the party, then simply warmed it up in the oven around 250 - 300 degrees F for 1/2 hour or so while we had appetizers (salmon spread on crackers and those mini-toasts) and visited. The chicken absorbed some of the juices and was quite moist. I was happy - it tasted even better than the first time I made it. :)
For dessert? The old school candies and Key Lime Pie.
Hubs's 1960s playlist was a big hit, he picked out "dinner party" music from The Party movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The 4 Tops, etc. We'll have to play Zou Bisou Bisou at our next party...
Unfortunately, our friend TN couldn't make it to the party as he had a out of town work conference the next day. Our friends T & K brought along their son L to the party for awhile, we pretended he was one of the Bobby Drapers. T dropped him off at his grandparents place after supper, then we enjoyed our Key Lime Pie and coffee before watching the premiere episode.
Aside from the annoying and inappropriately-timed commercials (which grew zanier and zanier as the night went on), we all enjoyed the premiere and I don't think I've ever laughed so much during a Mad Men episode as I did during this one. I can't wait to hear the audio commentaries for Season 5, especially for the premiere episode! I even missed ice queen Betty.
I loved Megan's attire, makeup and hair this episode:
Lastly, check out this link - Pairing Up the Heroes of Downton Abbey with their Mad Men Soul Mates on Slate.com (my two favorite shows!)