Let’s get this Dinner Party started!


Thank you, thank you to everyone who voted for me to advance to Round 3 of Foodbuzz’s Project Food Blog.  I’m having so much fun creating new and delicious recipes for the contest!


The theme of Challenge #3 was “Luxury Dinner Party.”  To be honest, I am not very good at hosting dinner parties (I can’t cook under pressure!).  I decided to request that the Husband provide emotional and cooking support.  :)  He decided that we should put together a British feast for Jen, Nicole, and Jen’s husband, Jeff.


The Husband moved here from England when he was 16 so he truly appreciates it when I cook something inspired by his home country!


Flashback Husband!

On the menu for tonight was not one, not two, not three, but FOUR delicious British courses!




The first course was lovely Raisin and Cranberry Scones!  I have never tried to make scones before so this was definitely a stretch for me.  When we ate at The Ritz in England, I had the BEST scones – these came close! :)  Especially the clotted cream.


Raisin and Cranberry Scones (adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food)



  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 10 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons vanilla almond milk
  • Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam




  • Pre-heat oven to 400.
  • Soak raisins and cranberries in orange juice.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and Earth balance together.
  • In a small bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, and almond milk.
  • Roll out dough and cut out small rounds using a glass. Place on greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.
  • Cool, slice, and serve with jam and clotted cream


The second course was Cucumber Sandwiches.  The Husband made these and mixed in fresh dill with the cream cheese.  It really added a little something-something!  I ate three.

IMG_3396 IMG_3398

Third course was the entree.  I made my own pie crust using this recipe (doubled) and made a vegetarian pot pie filling with 1 cup hummus, 2 cups frozen edamame, and 2 cups frozen corn (let the veggies thaw out first).   I really loved this dish but would add water or vegetable stock to the inside next time to make it a little creamier. 


My pie crust was flaky but that’s how I like it! :)  On the side, I had roasted veggies.




But the fourth course was the KILLER.  I made Sticky Toffee Pudding, which was absolutely mind-blowing.  I used this recipe as my inspiration and sized the dessert into cupcake tins.


Sticky Toffee might be my new favorite dessert!




It was so good that I had two servings.  Loved, loved, LOVED the Sticky Toffee!  It got rave reviews from the guests, too.


All in all – so fun to host my own dinner party.  Especially one inspired by my Husband’s heritage!


Thanks to Jamie Oliver for the inspiration!  ;)  My fav British chef!


And thanks to wine for my other inspiration.  :)  It always helps.  I had two glasses.


Oh – and mid-afternoon snack was naan, hummus, feta, and spinach with orange juoice:


Sleepy from all the action!


Are you a hostess with the mostest?



  • Whitney October 3, 2010, 9:03 pm

    I love hosting dinner parties and am always the first one to offer to throw a shower at my house. That sticky toffee looks beyond yummy 🙂 Wonder if Marie Claire will read this post?

    • Caitlin October 3, 2010, 9:06 pm

      *Snort* I agree with you!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 3, 2010, 9:04 pm

    Sticky toffee pudding is one of those things that sounds kind of frumpy, but tastes and looks AMAZING. Great job on the party!!

    I love hosting dinners- I did a few outside over the summer and it’s such a thrill to watch everyone dig into the food you made!

  • Katie October 3, 2010, 9:06 pm

    I love cooking for a crowd – but maybe thats just part of being raised one of seven kids! My favorite side dish as well is roasted veggies. I love making fresh bread to give an added flare and home flavor to every meal – from baking powder biscuits, to rolls, to whole wheat flat bread, or loaf. Making Sweet potato and black bean chili is always a hit with a crowd…oh and butternut squash soup!

    • Caitlin October 3, 2010, 9:08 pm

      UMMM Can you pass on that sweet potato and black bean chili?

  • Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat October 3, 2010, 9:07 pm

    Oh that sticky toffee pudding looks delicious. Your entire dinner party looks amazing!

  • Emily October 3, 2010, 9:07 pm

    Looks awesome Caitlin! Love the theme, too 🙂 Cucumber sandwiches always remind me of little girl tea parties; although I never actually went to one where they were served 🙂 Good luck!

  • Shannon, Tropical Eats October 3, 2010, 9:08 pm

    Those scones look AWESOME. major lollage at your hubby’s flashback photo! He should be that for Halloween this year!

    I’m a terrible hostess. I eat everything while I’m cooking instead of waiting until the finished product

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) October 3, 2010, 9:08 pm

    Wow I can’t believe you pulled off the dinner party AND the post all before 9pm. Impressssive! I love that you made British food look amazing. It has such a bad rap but I ate some great food when I studied abroad in London!

    • Caitlin October 3, 2010, 9:09 pm

      Haha I posted it at 8:59 to make the deadline!

  • Heather October 3, 2010, 9:08 pm

    what a cute idea! good job. I love hosting parties!

  • Julie @ Wearing Mascara October 3, 2010, 9:09 pm

    Yummmmmy 🙂 Looks great!!

  • Kerry October 3, 2010, 9:09 pm

    brb making those scones. they look like the perfect post-race snack for my first 5k this weekend!

  • Erin October 3, 2010, 9:13 pm

    I love sticky toffee pudding — it’s such a special treat when my British fam makes it! The Brits get a bad rap but there are actually a lot of yummy foods there.

  • Nicci October 3, 2010, 9:15 pm

    Oh wow, I’ve never had sticky toffee pudding but it sure sounds delicious. I’d love to try some. lol

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life October 3, 2010, 9:15 pm

    THose scones look so good Caitlin!! Great Job!

  • Lin October 3, 2010, 9:16 pm

    Mmm the veggie pot pie looks gooooood!!!! There are so many recipes I want to try!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) October 3, 2010, 9:16 pm

    I LOVE hosting people coming over to eat! I love being in the kitchen with my husband! We have a rhythm in the kitchen!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 3, 2010, 9:17 pm

    The dinner looks fabulous!! I loved the cucumber sandwiches 🙂 They bring me back to high school when my friends and I would take turns hosting movie nights. My mom suggested making cucumber sandwiches and they were a huge hit.

  • Rachel October 3, 2010, 9:17 pm

    What a lovely British-inspired post!! I loved it.

  • Lee October 3, 2010, 9:17 pm

    I am definitely not a hostess with the mostest. But I want to be one day.

  • christina cadden October 3, 2010, 9:19 pm

    mmm, it looks so good!

  • Anna @ Doing Good & Living Well October 3, 2010, 9:20 pm

    This looks delicious! Toffee Pudding made me drool. Have you ever had banoffee pie before?

  • Laura October 3, 2010, 9:20 pm

    Looks like a great dinner party and menu!
    It’s been ages since I’ve had a pot pie, you’ve inspired me to try and make one soon!

  • Erin October 3, 2010, 9:25 pm

    I follow the kind life blog and you remind me of Alicia with your writing style -definitely a compliment! This dinner looked amazing, great job!

  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 3, 2010, 9:26 pm

    I’m not the best host to be honest — I worry too much about the food, the drinks, whether my bathroom is clean enough 🙂

    I love Jamie Oliver too — good recipes that are fairly easy to make. Oh and they taste good too 🙂

  • Janelle October 3, 2010, 9:36 pm

    Cooks Illustrated Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe is absolutely amazing – it is what I request every year for my birthday cake. Now I’m drooling…
    I love to host parties pot-luck style, so that I’m not responsible for the entire menu – much less stressful!

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous October 3, 2010, 9:43 pm

    Fancy, indeed! Love it! Another English dessert to try: Banoffee pie (Banana+Toffee=Yumm) My bf’s mom made that for us the last time we were in London and I had 3, yes THREE, pieces!

  • Suzanne October 3, 2010, 9:49 pm

    As a Brit (wearing my I Love England Tshirt) I approve of this menu :-). It sounds delicious! I love sticky toffee pudding and yours looks dead good. Scones and clotted cream have my mouth watering!

  • Marie-JourneyToBodyZen October 3, 2010, 9:51 pm

    the scones look so good with the clotted cream! and that pot pie must be fantastic!

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe October 3, 2010, 9:52 pm

    I did once host a sushi dinner party, it was only for 4 people but I figure if I can do sushi I can do anything!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal October 3, 2010, 10:02 pm

    Cute theme! The sticky toffee sounds delicious:)

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston October 3, 2010, 10:02 pm

    I haven’t had a dinner party in awhile — especially since we live in a smaller apartment now. But I LOVE hosting dinner parties! I think you did a great job Caitlin!! The meal looks so great.. and I loveeee what you did with the pot pie!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 3, 2010, 10:02 pm

    That dinner looks amazing! Nice job hosting a party while you were out of town! You truly are spectacular!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing October 3, 2010, 10:03 pm

    British food is the BEST!!!! It looks like you did a fabulous job!

  • Amanda October 3, 2010, 10:08 pm

    I love, love, love Jamie Oliver. And this dinner menu. And wine…always.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday October 3, 2010, 10:30 pm

    Dinner parties can be fun, and sometimes stressful. Looks like you did a good job pulling it all together.

  • claire October 3, 2010, 10:31 pm

    Yes YES I love hosting! I also adore jamie oliver, as does my whole family. I’ve told ya before my dad is a brit so I love this post and all the memories of these foods! Amazing lady!

  • Marilyn @ Lipgloss and Spandex October 3, 2010, 10:34 pm

    OMG, that dinner looks fabulous! I might have to try making that veggie pot pie…

  • Carla Shorts October 3, 2010, 10:38 pm

    I agree with you about Jamie Oliver…what a cutie. I also wanted to tell you that I just read that article in Marie Claire. I just wanted to tell you I think you are talented, beautiful, and very inspiring! I doubt that anyone who reads your blog on a regualr basis feels any different. When you take the risk to put youself out there you will sometimes attract negative attention. More importantly, you will inspire thousands of women like myself who began reading Healthy Tipping Point at a low point in their life (GRAD SCHOOL!) and decided to start making small changes. Don’t let the little bit of negative attention detract from all the happiness you have helped to create!

  • Di @ http://thetreadmilldiaries.com October 3, 2010, 10:41 pm

    Love to host parties – especially this time of year. We typically throw a big fall, pumpkin carving party with a large mix of seasonal recipes and then host Thanksgiving for the family where we bring back yearly favorites and mix in new recipe adventures. Can’t wait to debut some new items this time around.

    And..your food looks absolutely amazing. Want to give the pot pie recipe a whirl.

  • Stacey October 3, 2010, 10:43 pm

    Your dinner party looks delicious! I love the British menu 😉 I am NOT the hostess with the mostess. The pressure makes me want to crack haha 😀 I’ve only hosted one dinner party and it seemed to go pretty well, except we ran out of chairs and 2 guests ended up eating on the couch using a pillow as sturdy prop 😉

  • Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul October 3, 2010, 10:51 pm

    I agree about cooking under pressure. As with most things, my anxiety gets a bit too high for optimal performance. It’s a goal of mine, however, to get better at dinner parties. Great recipes here!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] October 3, 2010, 10:52 pm

    Jamie’s so sexy 😉

  • Kathleen October 3, 2010, 11:00 pm

    That sticky toffee pudding needs to get ‘n mah belly. It looks delicious. What a fun party theme, good luck with round three. It’s a definite <3 from me.

  • Wei-Wei October 3, 2010, 11:17 pm

    I just love the theme! You should cook more British food, it’s really awesome. Maybe ask the Husband for more inspiration?

  • Amber K October 3, 2010, 11:28 pm

    I have never hosted a dinner party. In fact, I have never even been to a dinner party.

    My friends usually just have BBQ’s or we meet out at restaurants. It looks like a fun time, but would be a bit stressful to host.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now October 3, 2010, 11:49 pm

    I love this entry and that you weren’t afraid to whip out a cookbook!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life October 4, 2010, 12:15 am

    Are scones as a starter traditional in England? The idea is foreign to me, lol.

    Along the dinner party lines, I’ve attempted several but they never work considering that my friends still think a bag of 99 cent chips is acceptable to bring for a dish to pass 🙁

  • Ella October 4, 2010, 12:31 am

    Oh my god that just made me so hungry. Congrats on round three and pulling off such a delicious meal!

    I went to London a couple of years ago with my family..My brother and I were in high school and very picky eaters.. When we were there we were forced fed clotted cream claiming we needed to try other cultures and the two of us were so grossed out we spit it out, made a scene, and had to leave the restaurant. Now that my tastebuds have expanded I’d be willing to give clotted cream a second chance. Looks kinda yummy in that pic!

  • carlee October 4, 2010, 1:25 am

    That all looked really good! Minus the pot roast. I am not a huge fan of corn stuck in my food. I only like it on the cob! But those scones look fantastic! Your adorable! I’m still kind of confused On Project Food Blog but good luck! Your so cute!

  • ms October 4, 2010, 2:02 am

    haagen dazs used to have Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream flavor…OMG IT WAS SO GOOD…it was a limited edition though and im so sad i havent seen it in 3 years 🙁

  • Marika October 4, 2010, 2:11 am

    I’ve never actually hosted a sit-down dinner party, but I’d love to try. And I’m with you in your love for Jamie Oliver– he is brilliant!

  • Ana October 4, 2010, 2:32 am

    Congrats on round three, and your dinner party looks fabulous.
    I totally agree with you about cooking under pressure. Hosting a dinner party can be stressful. A goal of mine is to host a fun dinner party this month.

  • Heidi - apples under my bed October 4, 2010, 2:43 am

    Fun!! The food looks great, Caitlin! Love the idea of making it a British theme 🙂
    p.s. I LOVE Jamie Oliver too. So much. I dont have that book though. I might have to get it!
    Heidi xo

  • sophia October 4, 2010, 4:21 am

    Ah, nice tribute to your husband! It kind of reminds me of a tea party, which was an idea I was toying for awhile. 🙂

  • Meagan October 4, 2010, 4:25 am

    I love that you made British food items. My family is from there so it is nice to see things like this! The scones look delish, I might have to attempt to make them in the future.

  • Emmanuelle October 4, 2010, 5:05 am

    Ah, I love British food, I’m going to London next weekend for yoga teacher training, this post makes me want to time travel there already!

  • Tina October 4, 2010, 6:22 am

    I’m not a great party host either. You certainly pulled it off though!

    And I love your description of the dessert. “Prepare to drool”. That’s about all it needed to say!

  • Miranda @ MirandasJeans October 4, 2010, 7:09 am

    That picture of your hubby is so adorable, I understand now why kids have their cheeks pinched lol. Dinner looked devine. The cucumber sammies won me over, and the sticky toffee pudding wasn’t so bad either 😉

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 4, 2010, 7:50 am

    I love that you did a British theme! Your meal looks very authentic. 😀

    The only time I’ve ever hosted anything was when I held a tea party for my friends. I actually served scones as well, and lots of mini sandwiches!

  • Jemma @ Celeryandcupcakes.wordpress.com October 4, 2010, 7:58 am

    Your British theme ROCKS! Love it!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) October 4, 2010, 8:38 am

    I love that you went with a British theme!! Those biscuits look absolutely ah-mazing, and I’m all over that toffee. Delicious. 😀

  • kate October 4, 2010, 8:51 am

    Cucumber sandwiches rock. They scream luxury to me!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit October 4, 2010, 8:59 am

    I love planning and throwing parties! Unfortunately I live in a tiny apt. right now so I don’t do it very often. Loved your menu!

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef October 4, 2010, 9:14 am

    sticky toffee sounds amazing!!

  • Little Bookworm October 4, 2010, 9:15 am

    Love the british themed dinner party! 😀 All the food looks amazing, especially the pie. Hope you have a great day!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers October 4, 2010, 9:17 am

    Wine ALWAYS helps 🙂

    I love having people over for dinner, but I tend to try to make everything ahead of time and just throw the ends together for dinner because I get so distracted talking to people!

  • Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries October 4, 2010, 9:47 am

    Good job, girl! This looks great. I like the spin of making it a British party. This challenge is so fun for the readers! I’m loving every second!

  • Kjirsten (Balanced Healthy Life0 October 4, 2010, 10:50 am

    The dinner party looked like a lot of fun! The scones looked so good, even the cucumber sandwich looked great! I love fresh dill! Glad you had a good night!

  • Lisa October 4, 2010, 1:21 pm

    I love cream cheese and cucumbers. YUM

  • Whit @ Amuse Bouche October 4, 2010, 3:44 pm

    HAAHHA you made cucumber sandwiches! It makes me think of that scene in “how to lose a guy in 10 days” where they are playing poker, too bad cucumber sandwiches are actually really good! Congrats!


  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) October 5, 2010, 12:22 am

    Great meal!!

    I absolutely LOVE hosting dinner parties. I have people over for dinner all the time, and sometimes do theme dinner parties, 5 course parties, etc.. It is one of my favourite hobbies.

  • Jacob's Kitchen October 5, 2010, 1:16 pm

    I have that cookbook too! I love his recipes. Nice post! I voted.

    Good luck! Fingers crossed that we both make it through to the next round! =)

  • Liz October 5, 2010, 8:54 pm

    How charming! love the cuke sandies!

  • Katrina October 5, 2010, 10:48 pm

    Those are definitely not the cucumber sandwiches I grew up with! No white bread and oozy mayo overload on those. You’ve got my vote!

  • Jessica October 5, 2010, 11:26 pm

    Oh yum! It all looks delicious! And I just love me some Jamie Oliver! Hope we both make it to the next round! 🙂 You have my vote!

  • Natty October 6, 2010, 12:26 pm

    I love your teapot and your valiant, brave knight! The menu looks delicious too! I have to say, this challenge has gotten me thinking about vegetarian luxury in a whole new way. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dana October 7, 2010, 11:15 am

    What a fun English feast! Everything looks delicious… especially the scones! They are making me drool at my computer LOL. Great job with this challenge!

  • Daily Spud October 7, 2010, 6:44 pm

    Sticky toffee pudding *always* gets my vote (though scones and clotted cream might run it a close second!)

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