Impromptu Dinner with Friends

Sometimes all I can do to keep it together on a Friday afternoon at work is to take a quick break from the demands of the day and dream of something better. Like the weekend.

And so this Friday afternoon Regan and I planned an impromptu dinner with good friends to kick off the weekend right.  First, we got our friends on board. Then we got the menu set — and when I say menu, I say that loosely. We purchased a chicken and some cookies from Goose the Market. And from there we depended on our resourcefulness and a bunch of goodies sent from one of my very best friends in Ireland to build the rest of the meal.


• Homemade salsa and chips
• Fresh Boston Bibb from the garden
• Beer can chicken on the grill, covered in barbeque rub
• Chocolate mousse with sea salt and chocolate chip cookies

It was fun. It was delicious. We sat on the front porch late into the evening, eating, drinking, laughing and sweating in the summer heat. Resolutions from the evening were that we need to install fans on the front porch, we need to eat grilled chicken more often and we need to make impromptu get togethers with fine people a regular occurrence. It’s really the only way to enjoy a summer fully.

And just because I hate to tempt you with all this delicious food without giving you the means to make part of the meal on your own, here’s the recipe for the barbeque rub. It pretty much made the meal.

Barbeque Rub
(Based on the Basic Barbecue Rub in How to Grill by Steven Raichlen)


• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/4 cup smoked paprika (we used Periquin. It is adorably packaged.)
• 2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons course sea salt
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Makes enough to cover a 5 lb chicken with some left over.


7 responses to “Impromptu Dinner with Friends”

  1. Erin Avatar

    Not lying….best chicken I’ve had in a LONG time. Off the top of my head I can’t remember better chicken. And those cookies… I don’t want to eat non-salty cookies ever again.

    1. Claire Avatar

      And if you get the Shagbark Oatmeal cookie from Goose the Market you’ll never want to eat non-oatmeal cookies ever again. Their cookies will change your life each time.

  2. Patti Avatar

    I love the Brittish – “terribly clever”! That mousse starter sounds intriguing, how does it work (really, just add cream)?

    1. Claire Avatar

      It was terribly clever 🙂 Just whip the cream, then fold in the fudgy goodness. And it turns into perfect mousse. Going to have to start ordering from abroad.

  3. maryannk Avatar

    I am so late to this party! 🙂 Yay, looks like good craic. I thought that paprika tin was adorable, and it is supposed to be really good quality (the chef at my fish course said so!). And I’m glad the mousse worked out, too – we tried the strawberry and the butterscotch varieties, and they were good but the latter was terribly RICH! Didn’t know how the chocolate would go down.

    yay for dinner parties, friends, and summer.

    1. Claire Avatar

      The Paprika was outstanding. I can’t wait to use it again! Thanks, MK 🙂

  4. […] we last had chocolate mousse, I’ve wondered how easy it might be to make. When I saw this amazing […]

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