A Delish Springtime Dinner Party!

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Given the choice, I would almost always choose letting my hair down over buttoning up for a dinner party. But, there’s something to be said for gussying up and throwing together a simple springtime feast for friends crowded around a big table. Besides, here in Austin we have another six months of summer heat to lounge by the pool and sweat off our sunscreen!

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Thanks to the lovely people of McCormick Gourmet, I hosted a dinner party last Saturday night that had plenty casual, kick-up-your-feet style, but was still occasion enough to swipe on your favorite lipstick. They were kind enough to send along a great gift package of cooking tools and gadgets, gourmet spices and a gift card to plan one fabulous party, which it definitely turned out to be!

As our friends and their families started to arrive, we put a few finishing touches on the table and added a gorgeous bunch of tulips. With wine and conversation flowing, it was turning out to be a just-right night and the food hadn’t even been served!

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Once our last guests had arrived, it was time to start getting dinner ready! I had done a lot of preparations the day before, so we weren’t whirling around or frantic at all. But, sauce will spill on your shirt, a dish might need some flavor tweaking, and you’ll end up with at least one wine stain. At least. Such is life! You’ve just got to be a cool little cucumber and realize that nobody – and no party – is perfect.

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As the sunset sizzled, Mark threw these four-minute flank steaks on the grill and I made sure the hot and cold side dishes were ready to rock. As I warmed up the mashed potatoes in a slow cooker, I also plopped cornbread muffins into a basket and tossed around a corn salad before serving. Chimichurri sauce slipped into two bowls, ice water glasses clinked full, and the lights were dimmed.

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We all said “cheers” to almost a year in our first home, surrounded by cherished friends who have practically become family, and proceeded to dig in. A big platter of juicy sliced steak and bowls brimming with mashed potatoes and corn salad were passed. Wine glasses were repeatedly topped off, good stories were shared, and it became a better party than I could have dreamed!

Here’s what we enjoyed…

5.5

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Light ‘n Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Avocado, Corn and Mango Salad

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Mixed Berry Cobblers with Homemade Whipped Cream

We finished off the evening with stronger drinks, louder laughs, and a little dessert. That is, before the dance party portion of the evening! Mark spun some tunes on his turntables, and my adorable friend Teresa and I wiggled around to the music, taking breaks between cleaning up to break into dance! My body may have been sore the next day, but I was plenty glad to have a pristine kitchen the next morning!

All in all, our springtime party was scrumptious, full of good memories, and enjoyed in the best company possible. Thanks to McCormick for making it possible, and thanks to our friends for joining in the fun!

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To have the chance to host a McCormick sponsored dinner party of your own…

Join McCormick’s Dinner Party Chain by visiting and submitting an idea for your “Dream Dinner Party” on the McCormick Gourmet Facebook page. Once you submit your dinner party idea, you’ll be entered to win a great big gift box overflowing with lots of goodies, including plenty of gadgets, spices and a generous gift card to make your dream dinner party a reality!

      

65 Responses to “A Delish Springtime Dinner Party!”

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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 18, 2012 @ 5:23 am

    What a perfect spring dinner! Beautiful tulips, too.

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    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 18, 2012 @ 5:32 am

    Wow you really know how to throw a party! And that menu looks fabulous. So my invitation got lost in the mail, right? :)

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    london bakes — May 18, 2012 @ 8:33 am

    What a perfect evening (and you have a beautiful house!)

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    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 18, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    This party looks fabulous! Jealous!

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    Joanne — May 18, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    I love the idea that dinner parties don’t have to be crazy formal affairs. Yours looks fun and delicious!

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    Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook — May 18, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    Looks like a fabulous party, and a delicious menu. The steak looks done to perfection!

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    kimt — May 18, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    I love a casual night with something grilled. Ratting outside on the porch is the best.

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    Urban Wife — May 18, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

    Looks like an absolutely fun party! Congrats on the first year in your new home. :)

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    sally @ sallys baking addiction — May 18, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    That dinner party not only looks DELICIOUS, but SO fun too. I love getting together with friends – even if it is just hanging out on the couch or dressing up for a fabulous dinner party. I’m still lovin’ that avocado, corn + mango salad. All of my favorite things in one bowl!

    PS: you look so pretty in teal!

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    Lindsey — May 18, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    Looks like you had a wonderful event! Your dining room is lovely!

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    Jeno @ Weeknite Meals — May 18, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    Oh Georgia, this looked like such a great time! Your and Mark are wonderful hosts, the set up and food selections looked perfect, I bet everyone left with a very full stomach!

    In the last couple of years I noticed my whole body would be sore and achy the day after throwing a party, glad to know I am not the only one, us party animals really throwing it down!

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    Bree — May 18, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

    YOur dinner party looks abasolutely perfect!

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    Guru Uru — May 18, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

    A fantastic dinner party atmosphere complete with springtime beauty – does not get any better :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    Sarah — May 18, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    Oh my gosh, can I come next time? Looks like you had a great party!

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    Sandra - The Foodie Affair — May 18, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

    Great menu and no party is complete without the addition of fresh flowers! Every thing looks delicious and beautiful!

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    A SPICY PERSPECTIVE — May 18, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    What fun! everything look so amazing. :)

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    love2dine — May 18, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

    I absolutely love your pictures .

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    Devon @ the food bitch blog — May 18, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

    Wow! What a gorgeous dinner party! Seriously, I’m in awe :)

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    Catalina @ Cake with Love — May 18, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

    So much good food, I love grilling!! I have to make those berry cobblers!

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    thecompletecookbook — May 18, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

    What a beautiful home you have and a fantastic evening you put together to share with friends.
    :-) Mandy

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    Pacheco Patty — May 18, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

    So lovely Georgia! Looks like a fun time and the menu is over the top delicious;-)

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    Jennifer {Mother Thyme} — May 18, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

    How fun! Everything looks so lovely.

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    Pam — May 18, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

    What a delicious feast! Your table looks beautiful and it sounds like the party was so much fun.

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    Honey — May 18, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    Your house is so pretty… looks so fun, girl you can decorate, you need to do some posts on that.

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    Tina Bk — May 18, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

    You did a great job hosting this. The table setting is really awesome and all the food looks so good. However, it is the smiles from the faces of those that attended that tells the real story. They are probably ready to do it all over again-I know I would be. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    Carrie Burrill — May 18, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

    Looks like it was fun! Gorgeous photos!

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    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — May 18, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

    How fun was that!!! Love the tablescape, the flowers, the food! I want to come party with you!

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    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — May 18, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    What a perfect dinner party! Looks like you guys ate well, and had an amazing time together!

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    Sarah — May 18, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

    this looks so fun and it sounds like you had some amazing food!

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    LUZ - Just what happens — May 18, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    I cannot think of anything better than to spend an evening with some amazing friends and enjoy a super delicious dinner.

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    amy @ fearless homemaker — May 18, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    what a gorgeous + delicious dinner party! i wish that i lived closer, so i could’ve invited myself over. =)

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    Lynda @ TasteFood — May 18, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

    What a beautiful table and scrumptious menu. Sharing food with friends and loved ones is the best.

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    Julie @ Table for Two — May 19, 2012 @ 12:44 am

    wow, what an elegant and gorgeous and SUPER DELICIOUS looking party. i wish i were apart of that! ;) you did an amazing job with the menu!! beautiful house!

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    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — May 19, 2012 @ 1:15 am

    This party looks like it was a blast! And all the food looks amazing!

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    Nichole@DulceDelicious — May 19, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    It looks like you had a wonderful party and your food looks delicious! I love the story of you and your friend dancing at the end :)

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    Wendy Wofford-Garcia — May 19, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    Looks like a really fun night…love how pretty your dining room is decorated! This is just the kind of entertaining that I love to do…casual, but not overly so. And lots of good food, wine, and laughs!!

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    Angie's Recipes — May 19, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

    That’s a fun dinner party!

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    From Valeries Kitchen — May 19, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

    Georgia your dining room is gorgeous! It sounds like your party was so much fun. Our parties always end up with all the girls on the dance floor. It’s a great way to work off all that amazing food you served! Thanks for letting us know about the McCormick Gourmet contest.

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    Val — May 19, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

    Gorgeous Georgia. Dinner parties are the best and yours looks amazing. Such a good time.

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    Baking Serendipity — May 19, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    I love dinner parties! Yours looks delicious…and like such fun!

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    CJ - Food Stories — May 19, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

    Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can’t wait to see what your next post will be!

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    Nami | Just One Cookbook — May 20, 2012 @ 12:34 am

    We have the same light fixture (ceiling lamp) at our house and that’s the light I was using when I started my blog – that yellow lighting on the food…lol. Seems like you had a fantastic time and you two are a wondeful host! I miss adult party… Now all the party is super chaotic and hard to have a conversation sometimes! Can’t wait for the kids to get a little older… :-). Great food and company make you very happy. :-)

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    Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef — May 20, 2012 @ 8:55 am

    I love your party! If I could do nothing but entertain with dinner parties, that’s what I’d do. I just love creating special food for my friends. I don’t suppose that’s a job but IF it were, I’d be right in there. :)

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    Yasmeen — May 20, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

    What a lovely, elegant early summer party with a menu to match!

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    Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl — May 20, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    What a lovely party! I have no doubt that your guests enjoyed it, and it looks like everyone had a wonderful time. And Georgia, you are SO CUTE!

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    Cassie/Bake Your Day — May 20, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    This looks so fun, what a great party! The menu sounds so good, and your home is beautiful, Georgia!

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    Anna — May 20, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

    This is so beautiful, and I love your party planning attitude! I don’t know how I haven’t already become a regular at your blog…I will be now, beautiful work!!

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    I'm Emma — May 20, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

    That’s a sign of great party. Everyone smiling and happy!

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    Asmita — May 20, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

    Looks like you all had a superb time. Nothing like chilling out with friends over some good food and wine. Your house is beautiful!

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    Lizzy — May 20, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

    I want to be invited to YOUR parties!!! What a gorgeous table, fabulous food and tons of fun! Off to back track and check out your recipes.

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    Rosa's Yummy Yums — May 20, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

    What a lovely party! The food looks great and everybody on the pictures seems to have fun. I wish I could take part in such parties…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious — May 21, 2012 @ 12:18 am

    What a gorgeous dinner party Georgia! I love everything in the menu. Good friends + good food = great time!

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    Liren — May 21, 2012 @ 2:11 am

    What a beautiful home and such an inviting scene you set! It is clear you and your guests had a wonderful time – and the menu looks delicious :)

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    Baker Street — May 21, 2012 @ 2:32 am

    Nice. That looks like a great party! You did great G! Everything looks fantastic. :)

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    Miranda — May 21, 2012 @ 8:04 am

    Georgia, what a great party. That salad and muffins look amazing!

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    kitchenriffs — May 21, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

    Looks like you had a terrific time! Thanks for the links to the recipes – the flank steak and the mashed potatoes look spectacular. Thanks for this.

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    Gourmantine — May 21, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    Your dinner party looks to have been a total success (and love love love the decoration of your house)! :)

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    Reeni — May 22, 2012 @ 1:32 am

    What fun! Everything looks delicious Georgia!

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    Deborah — May 22, 2012 @ 4:39 am

    What a great party! It has to be wonderful to have so many great friends close by.

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    Sandra M. — May 22, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

    Georgia, your party look like a success! Love seeing people happy at the table. Food look fantastic as well as you! Thank you for sharing sweetie and have a beautiful week!

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    Fashion Meets Food — May 22, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

    Looks like such a fun party and definitely a success. Lovely setup and pictures. xo

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    SavoringTime in the Kitchen — May 22, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    It looks like you made a few, nice people very happy! Beautiful table and your menu does look delicious too :)

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    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — May 22, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

    What a nice dinner party! And I agree, it’s more fun just to be casual. :) You have a beautiful home, inside and out (I looked at the post you linked). And the food of course looks awesome as well! You had some lucky guests.

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    sweetcarolinescooking.com — May 23, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    Wow, what a stunning dinner party. Looks like you guys had so much fun–great food and friends. Can’t go wrong with that. :)

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    Magic of Spice — May 24, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

    What a wonderful dinner party, and congrats on your 1st year in your home :)

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