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shortlist no. 1 / july 17, 2010

August 13, 2010

In light of the name of this blog, I think it’s only fair that I share my actual shortlists.

Yes, they really do exist. Though, as I’ve said, they’re only half the reason for the name. The other half – the shortlist espresso bar – is right up the road and is also the reason I get out of bed in the morning.

I probably got into the habit of making shortlists from my dad or my uncle (whose classic Thanksgiving shortlist I steal every year). Evidence of a controlling nature? Maybe. But I like to think that these little pieces of paper – which I recycle from husband’s environmentally unfriendly printing habits – keep my mind, and my kitchen, running smoothly.

Basically, a shortlist is the list I write for myself before a dinner party so I don’t forget what I’m making. You have no idea how many times I would have forgotten to put mint in a beet salad or all about that chocolate sauce in the fridge if I hadn’t written it down.

I usually throw away my shortlists during my whirlwind (read: drunk) post-dinner party cleanups.

But not anymore.

From now on, I think they’ll provide a lovely log of what I’ve cooked for dinner parties, how many we’ve had, and how monotonous my dinner party repertoire really is. Maybe they’ll inspire me to change it up a bit. Maybe they’ll inspire you to have a dinner party of your own. And if nothing else? Maybe they’ll inspire you to come over for dinner.

shortlist no. 1

a mid-winter dinner party for 5

kielbasi (which I didn’t end up making)

fresh bread

cheeses with accompaniments


wilted spinach and Tuscan beans with warm shrimp


homemade pappardelle with lamb ragù served with pecorino and herbed ricotta


cherry bread pudding with bourbon sauce and ice cream

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2010 10:13 am

    What a lovely blog you have here! I am enjoying your recipes heaps.

    You have now inspired me to also keep my “shortlists” from dinner parties; although, one side is used for the menu and the other for the grocery list, so both sides tend to always get covered in olive oil. But, I will try.

    • August 13, 2010 10:54 am

      Ha! Thanks, Sasha. My shortlists get pretty danky as well, so I’m going to try to photograph them before the mayhem!

  2. Meredith permalink
    August 13, 2010 11:03 am

    Oh, I wish I could come over for dinner!

  3. August 13, 2010 11:13 am

    I wish you could come, too!

  4. Kath permalink
    August 14, 2010 3:11 am

    I’m considering leaving work right now and flying to Australia… Mer, wanna meet me there and we can all dine together?

  5. brenna permalink
    August 14, 2010 5:14 am


    (also, that handwriting always occupies a place of honour on my fridge…”Lani’s bread” and “spicy sausage soup” are always on hand)

  6. Kath permalink
    August 14, 2010 7:20 am

    BRENNA! I could never forget about you!!

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