Posted by: Lori Schmidt Lutze | February 25, 2010

Lori not Julie and Julia

I really don’t mind entertaining.  Really, I don’t.  Actually there are many things about entertaining that I do enjoy like playing music a little too loud, dancing, enjoying a signature drink, and laughing.  Notice I didn’t say anything about making food.  I like the kind of entertaining where I can be a guest at my own party.  I am the daughter of Joyce, after all.

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It’s Dinner Club that is my real problem—it just frosts my cake.  I love attending Dinner Club, but I don’t particularly enjoy hosting because it’s too much work.  Did I mention that Joyce is my mother? 

Dinner Club happens four times a year.  I get to sit back and enjoy three delicious meals as the guest and once a year it is hell on wheels.  The reason it’s hell is because when you host you do it all:  appetizers, soup or salad, entrée plus all the trimmings, and dessert.  And the other three wenches in the group won’t hear of doing it any other way.  I’d love an easier format and I’ve tried my best to convince those nasties to change it up.  But they won’t budge.  Won’t.  Budge. 

So, yes, it’s my turn this time.  Yesterday I spent three hours trying to find a tart pan.  All the French stores like Tar-zhay and Wal-mare were sold out.  Then I decided I didn’t like the footstool next to a chair in my kitchen so I returned it.  Later I got home and decided it didn’t look right without the footstool, plus, Joyce told me she loved that footstool.  So I drove back and re-bought it.  Then I couldn’t find Fage Greek yogurt . . .

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How can two stores be sold out of authentic Greek yogurt?  I also bought the wrong kind of butter.  Did I mention that I lost my list? 

Today I sat in front of three cookbooks and stared at them.  Does that ever happen to you?  I enjoy looking at all the pretty pictures and reading about how to make things, I just don’t really want to take action on any of it.  I get sort of comatose-like when I page through cookbooks.  I sit there turning page after page after page looking for something that might trip my trigger . . . something that might make the wenches lick their chops and say, “Yum, yum.”

This time, just like all the other times, the inspirations just weren’t coming to me so I decided to enjoy a chocolate milkshake and some guacamole.  Maybe the guac could inspire me.  It always used to when I was in my twenties.  

So, here’s the menu.  Read it and weep.  Believe me, I will be:

Signature drink:  Send in your ideas NOW

Appetizers:  Italian nachos, Fancy Three Cheese Dip, To Be Determined Mystery Item

Salad:  Pear/Apple/Dried Cherry/Swiss Cheese/Cashew  — light vinaigrette

Entrée:  Maine Seafood Bake, Barefoot Contessa Baked Potatoes, Stir-Fried Spicy Carrots with Peanuts

Dessert:  White Chocolate Fruit Tart made in a cardboard box because I couldn’t find a tart pan

Joyce and I do not have a Julia Child bone in our bodies.  And that’s okay because we’re fun.  And fun is better than delicious any day.  Although delicious is okay.  Delicious is excellent when it’s at someone else’s house.



  1. I think a Lemon Drop Martini (Citron Vodka, Grand Marnier, Lemon juice and simple syrup) would be perfect with the mix of flavors you’ve got going here.

    Option for your mystery appetizer: Bacon wrapped artichoke hearts! Always a hit at my parties (I’d get lynched if I didn’t serve them!): Wrap a half a (canned, drained) artichoke heart in half a slice of bacon, broil for 25 minutes or until bacon is crispy.

    Bake the tart on a sheet pan with folded-over edges and tell the wenches it’s “rustic” (I love that word–covers a multitude of sins like missing bakeware or irregular knifeskills).

  2. I say…”get a bucket of chicken…finger lickin good” LOL

  3. The cosmo is always a hit – the boys always like beer.

  4. Everyone loves bacon! You could bacon-wrapped anything… pineapple, watercress…

    Choco Vino from World Market (or the Delafield gas station :p). Oh. My. Yum! Works for dessert, and in coffee, or for breakfast.

    Flavored vodka (my coolaid) and sprite or club…

  5. It’s National Pistachio Day…perhaps that’ll do for appies? It’s all in the presentation.

  6. Sounds fabulous!! A very delicious drink is Susan Koehn’s Cosmo’s, she has a secret ingredident that makes them very yummy, maybe too yummy 😉 I’ll let her tell you the recipe, they were a hit with my group.

  7. At an impromptu gathering on Ramona Drive one Saturday afternoon, Joyce happened to have a ham in the oven. We plopped down at the table, Joyce plopped the ham in the center, the Bobster had a big supply of Pabst in cans , which formed our centerpiece., and gracious dining was enjoyed by all!

  8. Oh my…you are really on a roll with this one. Laughed so hard I almost tinkled in my panties. I LOVE when I laugh that hard! I agree with Lemon Drop Martini–a very very wise woman told me give em a couple stiff ones and nobody will care what they’re eating…..Oh and by the way–my invit must have been lost in the mail. I’ll be there at 7:00

  9. OMG! I think lwayswright and I are twins separated at birth…I love fried chicken.

  10. I love this. Nothing really matters because I’m fun!!! Please have my husband put this on my tombstone;)

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