Last month, I had the privilege of hosting the MOST fun evening at my house to celebrate the launch of The Defined Dish cookbook — written by one of my favorite women, Alex Snodgrass. Alex was in Austin for her book tour (I moderated the discussion for her signing at BookPeople the following night, and I have never seen a packed house the likes of that one), so I jumped at the opportunity to introduce my friend to an incredible group of Austin-based gals.

Photographer Kristen Kilpatrick (who originally introduced me to Alex and shot the entire cookbook) put our heads together to plan the evening, and decided that instead of asking Alex to cook recipes from her book as originally planned, we’d treat her to a relaxing dinner in the midst of the book tour craziness by cooking for her this time. Scroll on for the menu and recipes (all from The Defined Dish cookbook, of course!) plus images that Kristen captured from the evening. And watch Alex share the most hilarious embarrassing moment story over in our TMI series on IGTV early next week!

Our associate editor, Kat, and I drizzle asparagus with olive oil before popping it in the oven.

I set the table with my new blush pink linen tablecloth and napkins from Madame de la Maison, plates from Heath Ceramics, and glasses from Pottery Barn.

Bodysuit and skirt are from Estilo, an amazing shop in my neighborhood here in Austin.

We made Alex’s Sheet Pan Halibut with Italian Salsa Verde and Asparagus. Get the recipe here!

One of the things I love most about this cookbook is that the recipes straddle that perfect line between being simple enough for weeknight dinner, and special enough for a gathering. We prepped all of this in an hour, and serving family style kept it all feeling casual and intimate.

Call me basic, but I think every girls’ gathering needs a gigantic cheese board.

This one has triple cream brie, a hard manchego, and the creamiest blue called cambozola. Seeded crackers, dried fruit, apricot chutney, and castelvetrano olives finished it off.

You can find the recipe for this kale salad with peanut-y dressing in the book — it’s my new fave, and I seriously want to pour that dressing over everything. Make extra!

Share this Post


Kristen Kilpatrick