Delicious Dinner Party Hosting with Stonyfield and Taylor Farms

Disclosure: I created this post in partnership with Stonyfield. Thanks to Stonyfield and Taylor Farms Organic for providing the products featured in this post.

In the winter, my love affair with rosemary burns bright. I sprinkle that earthy, delicious herb on everything I cook, from vegetables to chicken. I love to roast potatoes, carrots, onions, and rutabaga with olive oil, salt, and rosemary. It’s my go-to dish.

But I’m a fickle herb-lover. When the weather turns warm, I abandon rosemary for another palate-pleaser: my dear ‘ol friend, dill. Dill pairs delightfully with backyard garden cucumbers to make pickles you’ll dream of into the fall. Dill and salmon are perfect for warm evening dinners under the stars. Dill is my summer BFF.

During the last week in my New England town, the sun has taken center stage, teasing the start of summer. I opened the windows (pollen be damned!), dreaming of the months ahead when we’d eat our meals outside, enjoying vegetables from both our local CSA and our backyard garden. I decided to get a head start on summertime dining by hosting friends for dinner, with a plan to highlight the warm weather flavors I love so much.

For our dinner party, I decided on a simple, yet mouthwatering, menu. For appetizers, since we’d have four elementary school age kids running in and out of the house, I decided to deliver a crowd-pleaser: chips with the fixings. We offered three different kinds of organic chips, and my husband made homemade guacamole, rich with cilantro and lime. We also had salsa for those who don’t like avocados (in case you were wondering, the avocado haters are, sadly, my children). For our main meal, we had flank steak, marinated for about eight hours in a spice rub à la my husband (olive oil and whatever he pulled out of the spice cabinet); pork kebobs (pieces of pork also marinated for eight hours in olive oil, salt, and pepper, placed on a skewer with red and yellow peppers, grape tomatoes, and onions); a big green salad; jasmine rice; and black beans cooked with bay leaves, salt, pepper, and onion. For dessert, I made chocolate cake with strawberries and mocha icing from the Joy of Cooking, a classic and always good choice.

But, something was missing. That was dill, of course. On my way to the grocery store for last–minute items (we always seem to forget something), I was inspired by my friends at Stonyfield Organic to pair their Whole Milk Greek yogurt with dill, garlic, and a few other ingredients to make a tzatziki sauce for appetizer dipping and a so, so, so good salad dressing.  It was insanely easy; check out the recipe below.

Tzatziki SauceAdapted from Allrecipes.com
16 ounces of Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons fresh dill
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients. Process until well combined. Transfer to a separate dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for best flavor.

delicious dinner party hosting

I poured the tzatziki sauce on the salad, a classic green salad made with Taylor Farms Organic Power Greens Kale Medley, featuring kale, carrots, spinach, and chard. It’s a triple-washed, open-the-container-and-dump-in-the-bowl kind of salad (my favorite)—perfect for on-the-go dinner party hosts (and, well, everyone else). I added tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados, and it was as if summer itself had arrived on my table.

The tzatziki dressing was also perfect for chip dipping and on top of my rice and beans. Our guests also used it on top of the pork kebobs. There was something about the pairing of the dill and tangy Greek yogurt that made our taste buds sing with delight.

We had leftovers (outside of friends, leftovers are the best part of any dinner party), so my lunch the next day again featured the tzatziki dressing poured over the Taylor Farms Kale Medley (give me all the greens!). My kids also enjoyed the tzatziki as a dipping sauce for carrots and other vegetables during their afterschool snack. If anything, the tzatziki became more intense overnight, the garlic sharpening and tantalizing the taste buds.

Easy, fresh, delicious, and healthy—that’s my summer eating plan. Hope it is yours, too.

Taylor Farms is a family owned and run operation based in Salinas, California, and their products can be found in your local Kroger retailer, Target, or Meijer grocery store. Stonyfield products can be found in your local grocery store.