Sigh. I used to entertain all the time, but life has gotten more hectic and I'm out of practice. We're having a colleague of my husband's over for dinner on Friday and I find I'm slightly intimidated and can't seem to think of a menu that "matches". I have always been a casual hostess -- my goal is tasty non-pretentious food, which is mostly prepared ahead of time so I can enjoy the guests. Add to this the fact that I have a toddler and a baby and so don't have time to be doing anything too fancy.
I am thinking of doing a pasta, maybe penne amatriciana, then very thin chicken cutlets (battered in parm cheese/parsley/breadcrumps and lightly fried) with maybe a side salad with truffle oil (sidenote: if you happen to have the Balthazar Cookbook and would be willing to share the vinaigrette recipe for the Balthazar Salad, I would be very happy.)
Anyway, my question is, what to serve as an appetizer? We usually do appetizers in the living room before dinner with a glass of wine or aperitivo. Should I do small bruschetta? Or do you think olives, cheese and hard sausage would work? Any other ideas?
How about dessert? I may just buy a pound cake and serve it with lemon curd and raspberries, but would love to hear suggestions.
Thanks in advance for any direction or advice you may have for this rusty entertainer!