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Ladies, It’s A ‘Girl Dinner’ Summer
Food & Drink

Ladies, It’s A ‘Girl Dinner’ Summer

Being single and childless has really gotten a bad rap in the last few years via internet discourse. While one side of the web views it as a doomed position to be in life, I have to say, it has its perks. For me, when I think about my parental and relationship status, I can’t help but beam and have gratitude that with all the things that I have piled on my plate, at least I have only one mouth to feel.

This underrated freedom has a way of taking the pressure off my shoulder to not perform in the kitchen but instead create meals off of vibes and instincts.


Enter “girl dinner.”

@alanalavv

Replying to @María GM thank you to everyone who commented ‘girl dinner’ on my snack plates and introduced me to the best concept / phrase ever 🫒🧡 #girldinner #snackplate #snackplates

The idea behind “girl dinner” first gained traction after creator Olivia Maher shared a TikTok video admiring the convenience and delight behind eating bread and cheese-centered meals as her “ideal meal,” similar to that of peasants during medieval times, and thus, the concept was born.

Now, if you’re finding it hard to imagine a meal that seems to lack nutritional value while being completely satisfying, allow me to walk you through it. Picture an elevated, grown-up take on the classic Lunchable, but instead of processed ham, you add Capocollo, swap the American cheese for brie or whipped ricotta, add olives, jam, sliced strawberries, a drizzle of olive oil, and voila, dinner is served.

It’s essentially a snack plate with more intuitive proportions and assorted by your cravings. Maybe you exerted a little too much of your brain power during the workday and have nothing left to conceptualize all the veggies and protein in your kitchen to put a meal together. Or maybe the heat from the summer days has you craving lighter bits as opposed to a full-course meal.

Girl dinner meets you where your day ends, and the chaos of cooking begins to say, “Hey girl, let’s take it easy tonight.”

@alanalavv

If it’s not a snack plate, then I don’t want it 🫡 #snackplate #snacks #snackplates #summerrecipes #girldinner #snackideas

For food creator Alana Laverty, the spark to create easy, gratifying meals came during the heat of a Brooklyn summer that almost made her book a flight back home to Ireland. With her apartment already feeling like a sauna and a commute that left her overheated, she’d open her fridge for a cool breeze of relief, but what she found instead were the makings of her perfect meal.

“I started eating olives, pickles, a bite of cheese, and a piece of salami right out of the fridge,” she tells xoNecole. “We lived near a great cheese shop, so on nicer occasions, I’d grab some cheese and bread and throw it all on the counter for my husband and I to make plates out of. That was about four years ago, and since then, I’ve always called these ‘snack plates’ — but when I heard the term 'girl dinner' on TikTok recently, I resonated with it so much.”

Alana has been sharing her eye-catching and mouthwatering snack plates with her TikTok followers for over a year, but it wasn’t until June of this year that she gave the girl-dinner trend the visual aesthetics it needed to truly come to light. Her original girl-dinner video has since reached over 1.7M views.

@alanalavv

Replying to @AshleeLatimer my fave snack plate yet 🍒 #snackplate #snackplates #burrataboard #summerfoods #summerrecipes #charcuterie #snackideas

If the weather can influence our mood, it can definitely affect our appetites. And as someone who enjoys a variety of foods, spreads, and platters while living in a city with temperatures on both ends of the spectrum, Alana says that eating intuitively to the seasons has served her and her cravings well.

“My diet is definitely controlled by temperatures. I live in London where we have very cold winters and increasingly warm summers. Therefore I want soups and heartier carb-heavy meals in winter, and lighter snack-style plates — like girl dinner — in summer so that I can avoid the stove at all costs,” she says, “I also love prioritizing eating seasonal produce because fruits and vegetables always taste 100% better when in season. I know this isn’t always possible, but when it is - it’s so worth it.”

Making a girl dinner of your own is completely dependent upon what you have in your kitchen, but Alana says that the perfect arrangement is all about the basics. “I always, always have olives in the fridge or pantry. I normally use crackers or bread, nuts, oils, honey, and other condiments that I already have at home too,” she shares. “I highly recommend the combination of cherries, nectarines, burrata topped with hot honey, prosciutto, olives, and tomatoes topped with olive oil, salt, and pepper” — i.e. her now-viral recipe.

The beauty in girl dinners is that it’s a meal made for one. It’s your time to indulge in your favorite bits and bites without the judgment of what lands on the plate. It can be pretty, a little messy, and only make sense to your palette, but what’s most important is that you take pleasure in how you choose to nourish yourself.

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Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images

 

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