The 40 by 40 Project is written by Angie Teater, a New York-based interior designer & travel writer. The Project begins on Angie's 39th birthday (March 11, 2017) with only 365 days to accomplish everything on the list before turning big Four-Oh! 

Forty goals. One year. Endless possibilities.

#32: Host a Dinner Party

#32: Host a Dinner Party

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Some people are born hosts. I am not.

Some people are born chefs. I am not. 

Some people are exceedingly good at noticing if wine needs topping, music needs changing, plates need clearing, or bread's near burning. I am not. 

But I have the desire to be a good hostess. Practice makes perfect, right? So "host a dinner party in my apartment" was added to my Birthday Bucketlist and I set out to utilize my dining table for something other than storage. 

The verdict: SUCCESS!!

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Five of my closest (bravest?) friends joined me last night for a Halloween Dinner, trusting me to neither food poison them nor burn said dinner to a crisp. I promised pizza if things went awry. Safety nets are always important in life. 

I kept my menu simple: 

STARTER:  Cheese plate and hors d'oeuvres, including fruit, nuts, crackers, and hot Black Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese Puffs (don't be overly impressed, these were from Fresh Direct...but I DID bake them without incident).

MAIN COURSE:  Butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter sage sauce;  arugula salad with dried cranberries, walnuts, and pears; and parmesan breadsticks. 

DESSERT:  A chocolate torte

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Here's what I learned: there is no greater joy than to bring together all the people you love. And while standing in the kitchen, chopping pears and cursing the slow-to-boil water, I overheard my friends discussing everything from life and philosophies to viewpoints and passions...it was magical! I sipped champagne while popping in and out of the kitchen, eventually joined by my friend James who helped me figure out the brown butter sage sauce (a move that saved me, truth be told)!

Dinner was served. I realized I didn't own enough water glasses. And I forgot the white wine glasses. Meh, Screw it. We put everything into champagne glasses!!! Perfect? No. Do I have the sort of friends that truly care about such mishaps? Also no. 

After much eating, drinking, laughing, dancing, singing, and story telling (crazy ass stories, because I have absurdly interesting friends!) I ended the night with cheeks aching from smiling so much. 

This hostess thing might not come naturally.

This cooking thing might not come naturally. 

But creating a place for people to enjoy being together? Yeah. I think I conquered that. 

And I think I'll do it again. 

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#12: NYC Food Tour

#12: NYC Food Tour

#30: Fountains & Pennies

#30: Fountains & Pennies