Cooking With Coffee: How to Host a Coffee-Inspired Dinner Party

Cooking With CoffeeWho says coffee is only for drinking? There are plenty of ways to make this liquid gold the starring ingredient of your meal. We’ve recently tried a bunch of cooking with coffee recipes to put together this full dinner menu—guaranteed to please the coffee lovers in your crew.

The Menu

Arugula Salad with Coffee Vinaigrette

Chicken (or steak, pork chops, or tofu) marinated in coffee

Chewy Irish-Coffee Blondies

The Recipes

  • Top a simple salad of arugula, cherry tomatoes, and toasted walnuts with this coffee vinaigrette for a subtle touch of joe.
  • Use this morning’s leftover coffee to create a marinade that will keep the buzz going throughout the rest of the evening. This coffee marinade can be used on chicken, steak, pork chops, or tofu. Just make sure you have at least two hours – and up to 24 hours – to marinade the meat or tofu.
  • You’ll knock your guest’s socks off when you finish the meal with Martha Stewart’s Chewy Irish-Coffee Blondies. These delish bars are the ultimate balance of Irish whiskey and coffee, making them the perfect way to end the night.

Of course it wouldn’t be a dinner party without some appropriate drinks. Pair the meal with a robust red wine – obviously look for something with hints of coffee – and finish it all off with a fresh pot of brewed coffee.

Editor’s Picks: Best Nespresso Machines

Nespresso CitiZ C110 Espresso Maker

Nespresso CitiZ C110 Espresso Maker

On the hunt for a snazzy new Nespresso, but not sure which machine is best for you? We’ve reviewed three consumer favorites to help you: Nespresso CitiZ, Nespresso Essenza, and a DeLonghi machine that uses Nespresso capsules.

Nespresso CitiZ C110 Espresso Maker ($249). Somewhat reminiscent of a 1950s diner jukebox, the CitiZ is as much a great espresso machine as it is a cool accent piece on your kitchen counter. This sleek little machine comes in red, silver, and black, and whips up a perfect cup of espresso every time. It’s super user-friendly, too – just pop in a Nespresso capsule and hit the button. If you’re looking for a milk frother, upgrade to the CitiZ with Aeroccino Milk Frother for just a few bucks more.

Nespresso Essenza C91 Manual Espresso Maker ($90.83). Much like the CitiZ, the Essenza will give you a consistently good espresso, using pre-measured Nespresso capsules. Its simple design makes it foolproof to use, making it a great pick for those early mornings when you can’t be bothered to do more than toss in a capsule and press one button. Capsules come in lots of flavors and intensities, and half the fun is experimenting with different flavors in your new machine to find your favorite.

DeLonghi Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System ($383.70). If you love the Nespresso capsules, but want to make more than a simple shot of espresso, try the DeLonghi Lattissima. It makes tasty lattes and cappuccinos using your favorite capsule flavors at just the touch of a button. The combination of Nespresso’s capsule technology with DeLonghi’s milk frothing technology makes for a perfect match. Note: some users say the Lattissima doesn’t make a hot enough espresso without running a round of water through it first to heat it up.

Overall, we’ve found that these Nespresso machines are user-friendly and visually pleasing. The brand’s capsules come in many flavors so you’re likely to find at least one that hits the spot, and the handy intensity and flavor wheels (available in stores and online) can help you decide which ones to try. Just make sure you factor in the cost of the capsules while making your decision on which machine to purchase.

Of course, no matter which Nespresso machine you choose, you’re guaranteed its best perk: the serious convenience of a one-touch shot.