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Zen and the Art of the

Dinner Party

68 NJSL | AUGUST 2008


Let all needless worries float from your mind, embrace your inner Martha (don’t worry, we’ve got shortcuts) and invite some friends over for a Zen inspired evening. Ambiance is key; lull your guests into relaxation mode by creating a tranquil environment. Michael and Lisa Plociniak, the husband and wife designing team at A Touch of Elegance Weddings and Special Events, pay homage to nature and Asian culture by using an organic color scheme of dark brown and green accented with an array of exotic blooms. The theme is carried forward by using square plates and chopsticks at each place setting. Welcome your guests with an East-meets-West cocktail flavored with a hint of green tea and ginger. Accompany the ‘Zen Margarita’ with a platter of sushi from your favorite Japanese restaurant. Dinner can be uncomplicated yet stylish by incorporating some of today’s gourmet products. A simple bag of prewashed and chopped romaine lettuce can be transformed into a sophisticated starter by adding a can of mandarin oranges and hearts of palm. Toss with Annie’s Natural Shiitake and Sesame Dressing and sprinkle toasted slivered almonds on top. For the main course, thread chunks of pineapple and shrimp (or chicken) on Callison’s Seasoned Skewers in the Thai Coconut Lime flavor. These innovative skewers flavor ingredients from the inside out and are ready for the grill in 15 minutes. Serve with steamed jasmine rice. For a sweet and pure dessert, serve a refreshing scoop of Blackwell’s Organic* soy gelato or fruit sorbetto. Based in Red Bank, Blackwell’s products are free of preservatives additives and extracts. Namaste!

Zen Margarita • 1 part Zen Green Tea Liqueur • 2 parts Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila • Juice from 1/2 lime • Splash of simple syrup • Crystallized ginger for garnish Pour ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a margarita glass. Garnish with crystallized ginger and wedge of lime. *available at King’s and most high-end supermarkets


Zen and the Art of the Dinner Party