Planning a dinner party in advance (even just mentally) makes the end of your week as relaxing as it should be. Carve out a festive weekend meal tonight and all you'll have to worry about is where to market and who to invite.
• Why not candy those pecans? (This will make assembling your Chevre Devils on Saturday evening a snap!)
• Make your Lemon Posset-- it will keep merrily covered in the fridge for at least a day.
The day/night of:
• It's gnocchi time! Making these little nuggets is a great group project, so call in the troops. And hey, if your guests are early, put them to work!
• Since this salad calls for hardy greens like kale and mustard, you can dress them up to 30 minutes ahead. Then all that's left is slicing your apple and scattering on toasted hazelnuts and shavings of cheese at the last minute.
In the way of wine, we'd serve a full-bodied white (stay in Italy with a Tuscan Vernaccia) or lighter red such as a pinot noir.
With this menu, you will, no doubt, enjoy your own dinner. Now that's what we call a party.