This weekend I threw an especially special party! On Saturday a group of friends came over to help me prepare a meal for 80 women at the Downtown Women's Center which we served on Sunday morning. Saturday was basically an open house where friends stopped by to do some chopping, stirring, a baking project, have a glass of wine...or you can be hard core like Julianna who prepped 20 pounds of sweet potatoes for hash, caramelized 10 onions, made a dressing with a quart of buttermilk and created three desserts!! It's an awesome reason to get together, catch up and have fun while helping others. My goal is to serve food that is as delicious and fresh as what I would serve at any of my parties. In the past we've pleased the crowd with pulled pork, five cheese macaroni and cheese, twice baked potatoes and Christmas ham. But I've also been struck by the appreciation for all that is fresh. Last summer the women loved a salad of juicy watermelon, tomatoes, basil, cilantro and a balsamic vinaigrette which I had been really nervous about serving. And this weekend I created a menu inspired by all of the spring vegetables in the farmer's markets. Again, I was nervous. Frittatas with asparagus and leeks? Goat cheese? Strawberries with onions? All of the veggies were full of love and flavor and the women flipped for it, especially the carrot cake muffins made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with applesauce. And if the strawberries are as good where you are as they are in LA right now, you HAVE TO make Martha Stewart's Strawberry Shortcake Cookies. I can't wait to make them into an ice cream sandwich for a summer BBQ!!!
Spring Frittatas with ham, roasted asparagus, red peppers, leeks and chives
Sweet Potato Hash with caramelized onions and sweet yellow peppers with green onions
English Peas with goat cheese, mint and basil walnut pesto
Strawberry Salad with romaine, red onions and poppyseed buttermilk dressing
Carrot Muffins with lemon cream cheese icing
Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
Coconut Pecan Blondies
Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Bars
THANK YOU Julianna, Ahna, Chloe, Scottie, Jonathan, Mary, Greg and Ben. You guys are amazing!!!