From Invitation to Dinner: Elegant Entertaining and Delicious Dinners at Home, by Abigail Kirsch with David Nussbaum.

The Main Events:
Veal Scallops with the Bite of Lemon
Rock Cornish Hens, Pancetta, and Mushrooms

On the Side:
Pasta Caprese
Stewed Green Beans and Potatoes with Fresh Plum Tomatoes
Crusty Sausage-Filled Bread

The Grand Finale:
Rice Pudding with Sambuca-Drenched Raisins

Palate Teasers:
Zucchini and Spinach-Tortellini Skewers (page 298)
Prosciutto, Chicken, and Honey-Mustard Bundles (page 317)

Beverage Recommendations:
Cetamuro Coltibuono, 1995
Chianti Classico,
Castello di Fonterutoli

1 Week Ahead:
Sausage Bread - Make bread halfway through step 5; freeze unbaked, covered with plastic.

2 or 3 Days Before the Party:
Veal - Order from butcher.
Pasta -Prepare onion, garlic, basil, Fontina, and Parmigiano; store separately, covered, in refrigerator.
Rice Pudding - Bake and freeze biscotti

1 Day Before the Party:
Veal - Slice lemon garnish; store, covered tightly, in refrigerator.
Hens - Prepare pancetta, onions, and garlic; store separately, covered, in refrigerator.
Green Beans -Prepare pine nuts; set aside at room temperature.
Pasta - Prepare halfway through step 8 but do not bake; store covered in refrigerator.
Sausage Bread -Defrost in refrigerator overnight.
Rice Pudding - Prepare and bake recipe; cool to room temperature; store covered in refrigerator. Wash fruit.
Strategic Maneuvers - Fill creamers; cover and store in refrigerator. Fill sugar bowls. Set up buffet table decor. Check ice and beverages. Locate teas. Chill wine if white. Check garnishes for each recipe. Set out and label all serving bowls, platters, and utensils.

The Day of the Party:
Veal - Prepare through step 8 but do not bake; set aside, covered, in baking sheets.
Hens - Prepare through step 6; set aside at room temperature.
Pasta - Bake and set aside at room temperature.
Green Beans - Prepare through step 6; set aside in skillets.
Sausage Bread - Bake the breads as in step 5.
Rice Pudding - Locate two roasting pans for reheating. Set fruit in bowls. Arrange biscotti.

15 Minutes Before Guests Arrive:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make sure remaining foods are at room temperature.

50 Minutes Before Dinner:
Heat pasta until piping hot.
Adjust heating foods to availability of space in ovens.

20 Minutes Before Dinner:
Finish veal in oven.
Heat hens.
Heat breads.
Heat green beans.
Complete finishing touches and presentation.

Just Before Dinner:
Plug in coffee.
Place puddings in roasting pans. Set oven at 300 degrees. Fill pans halfway with water and warm puddings in oven during dinner.

Dinner Service:
Bring out all the food at once. Place hens on the left side of buffet, followed by the veal, then the pasta, green beans, and sausage bread. Set up the garnishes specified in the recipes to fill the table. Guests can help themselves.

Dessert Service:
Place the warm rice pudding, bowls of fruit, and biscotti on the table.

After Service:
Unplug coffee. Turn off oven(s).