This is sponsored content. As always, all opinions are my own.
I love hosting dinner parties. Like, loooooove it.
I spend weeks dreaming up the perfect menu, create 300 different lists from the ingredients to purchase to the timeline of when to start each dish so they are all finished at the correct time, and then I spend about 6 hours cleaning the crap outta my house.
That last part is not my favorite. Not even a little bit.
My last dinner party was sorta thrown at me by my brother-in-law. He was supposed to be having the whole family (all 12 of us) over for dinner on a Friday night and I got a text late Thursday night asking if we could have it at my house instead. Um, sure?
I didn’t buckle under pressure though. In fact, I even made my own cheese to put in the pasta I was serving. Made my own cheese. Like a caveman or something. (Did cavemen eat cheese? Probably not.)
Anyway, I like dinner parties. When McCormick Gourmet shot me an email and asked me to participate in their Dinner Party Chain I jumped up and down with joy. I love McCormick Gourmet and I love dinner parties. Perfect fit.
Things have been a little crazy around here lately, so I kept it pretty low key with just 7 of us for diner. We invited over one of my husband’s brothers, his wife, and their 2 year old son.
McCormick sent me a huge box full of goodies to help me out with hosting the party (you guys, that box was like Christmas morning) and I put all of the spices they sent to good use. I already had most of them in my cupboards, because like I said, I love McCormick! Their roasted garlic is my favorite and I use it just about as often as I use salt. True story.
I kept the menu simple (after all, there was a 2 year old, 7 year old, and 12 year old in attendance) and grilled pork chops with a super flavorful, quick, and easy dry rub. I’ll include that recipe at the end of this post. You’ll want to stick around for it, because it is just plain delicious! Slightly sweet, slightly smokey, slightly spicy. Yeah, buddy.
I also served some cheesy zuchinni rice (recipe coming soon!) spiced up with that roasted garlic I was talking about earlier along with some roasted carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower simply seasoned with McCormick Gourmet Tuscan seasoning. All in all, it was a pretty quick meal to whip together and just perfect for a low-key dinner party.
Will, the 2 year old, kept saying “I want more bej-ables!” Seriously, child? More veggies? I have cheesy rice and you want veggies? Who is this kid, anyway?
I made some ridiculous cinnamon caramel bars for dessert. I’ll definitely be sharing that recipe soon, too!
After we stuffed our faces, the boys headed to the man cave and played video games all night while my sister-in-law and I chatted and rolled our eyes at the boys and their toys.
It was a nice, low-key kinda night. Thanks, McCormick, for making it happen.
If you’d like to win one of those big ol’ boxes full of amazing things (seriously, I wasn’t joking when I said it felt like Christmas morning!) you can enter to win one, along with a trip to New York City for the Food Network Food and Wine Festival! Entering is simple. Just pop over to the McCormick Gourmet facebook page, type in a dinner party theme, and enter your email address. Easy peasy.
Barbecue Dry Rub
This rub has a sweet, smokey, and slightly spicy flavor. It makes enough to coat 4 pounds of meat.
1/4 cup McCormick Gourmet smoked paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons McCormick Gourmet roasted garlic powder
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons McCormick onion powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet dried parsley
1 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet chipotle powder (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
Sprinkle onto pork, chicken, or steak before grilling.
Store unused rub in an air-tight container.