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March 17, 2013

Spring Dinner Party | Daffodils & Tulips | Lobster Mac and Cheese & Tiramisu Cake

 When we moved from our first Fairway home 2 years ago (this weekend!) we realized we never got to know our neighbors.  We gave halfhearted waves when we took out the trash and smiled at their kids playing in the street, but that was the extent of it.  It seems crazy that we had lived for so long in such close proximity to people that we never bothered to get to know, it seems like such a waste - a missed opportunity. 

When we moved to our home in Concord, Ma., we vowed that we would get to know our neighbors... it was essential - we saw it as one of our only ways to meet people in our new town.  We ended up meeting a great family across the street - Jenny and Mike.  We both had white fluffy dogs and white Cape Cod style houses.  They were so kind to us as the new folks in town and even invited us to their Thanksgiving dinner and Jenny introduced me to her group of girl friends (remember the Ladies Night Patio Party?).

Above : Nine Color Salad, recipe here

We made the move into our new home in our old neighborhood last fall and made the same vow - we want to know the people that we share this lovely street with.  As a girl who grew up in the country whose nearest neighbors were no where near the 5 second walk like they are in Fairway, I was always enchanted by neighborhood life.  When I was a little girl I loved spending the night with my Granny who lived in a great little neighborhood.  There was a certain buzz in the mornings, afternoons and evenings when people were coming and going, saying their hellos and goodbyes that we just didn't have out in the country.  In the country, you knew Mom or Dad was home when you heard the crunch of gravel - a sound I still love.  (Side note, do you think they'd allow a granite pea gravel drive in Fairway?  If it's good enough for East Hampton and Concord - not to mention Lexington...)

You might remember the Holiday Happy Hour we hosted for our street - it was amazing.  Everyone that came said how glad they were to receive the invitation.  Most were shocked by our audacity - how brave we were!  And they loved it.  Since then, we've been invited to other dinners and cocktail hours by our neighbors and Mr. Darcy and I have new walking buddies... at 6:15 am that I miss more than I make.  I highly recommend extending an olive brand to your neighbors - it has been such a fulfilling experience for us.  Interestingly enough, making warm and "neighborly" relationships with our neighbors has made our home feel much more "homey" than an piece of furniture or window treatment could ever do.

Most recently, we hosted our neighbors over for dinner last Thursday night.  Since it was a Thursday night dinner, I had to make everything during the day while Emma was at school.

So, I selected my menu based on what would be easily made ahead of time.  I landed on Lobster Macaroni and Cheese because it is something that everyone loves, seems a little special, but is not too fancy so to make it a stuffy night.

For dessert I decided to do a spin on one of Mike's favorite - Tiramisu Pound Cake.  I made a Vanilla Pound Cake, cut it into layers, soaked each layer with a combination of coffee, vanilla and espresso liquor and filled it with a sweetened Mascarpone Cheese. 

Stay tuned for the recipes this week and another dinner with another menu for another couple from our street next weekend!  I'll update this post with the recipe links.

Nine Color Salad
Lobster Macaroni and Cheese


  1. Love it when you share your entertaining ideas and menus! Very inspiring. Thanks.

  2. Your pictures and posts are always amazing! I can't wait for easter :)

  3. That menu is just mouthwatering, I can't wait for the recipes. We're moving soon, so what a good reminder to reach out first instead of hoping someone else will!

  4. Jenny, I wish I had the same confidence as you and Mike. We moved into our home almost 5 years ago and not one neighbor came over with a welcoming basket or introduced themselves. I must admit it was disappointing and a little hurtful. (I always suspected the previous owners spoke unkindly about us since the negotations were tough. The previous owners tried to change the sales terms.) Your hospitality is inspiring. Maybe it's not to late to host a Welcome to the neighborhood night. You are a blessing to your neighbors.

  5. Love your table scape and dinner menu! I love your blog....found it a few weeks ago and have been enjoying your past posts. I'm especially inspired by your 'bare' table, I'm trying to gather the courage to do it to my table. Hopefully, soon! :)

  6. I am a horrible cook (after 20 plus years of trying I know when to throw in the kitchen towel!), but I love to have guests over. I don't really know what to do, if I'm not doing dinner. I've done enough disastrous dinners not to try them again, but what is your suggestion for having guests without the meal?

    I'm in a new town and would love to meet my neighbors. Suggestions?

  7. I absolutely love the flowers!!

  8. The menu looks delish and I love all the silver serve ware. I just did a post on tulips and daffodils, too. Tis the season!

    I live in MA too - shame we are getting snow tonight. Where did spring go?

  9. Anonymous12:17 AM

    What a lovely post ! Does Emma really go to school ?!?

  10. When we moved last year to the East coast, we had the same feeling make the most of our time with our friends. It was great to get out of our comfort zone and meet new people. We've had some great meals and entertaining has become such a fun thing to do.

  11. Your new neighbors sound fun! But we actually need you back in Concord now to resume neighborship with us! :) Never will have cooler people on the block. That cake looks amazing. Cale has asked me to make it for him! I made the lemon orzo soup the other delicious!

  12. I am dying to try your Tiramisu Pound Cake - I know my husband will love it. I was hoping to make it this weekend when our families get together for Easter. Would you mind sharing the recipe? Thank you so much!


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