March 23, 2011

No Storks. No Games. No Cutesie Baby Stuff.

Ever since Miranda forced Charlotte to serve fried chicken at her baby shower, I've been a big fan of serving the unexpected for a ladies' luncheon. So, while tea sandwiches do have their place, I opted for a fun, southern-inspired menu, featuring messy pulled pork sandwiches, for my oldest friend's baby shower. For present opening, we plated a quintet of Paula Deen-worthy dessert bites. And since, as Charlotte pointed out, "These people are buying you expensive gifts, they're going to want to see some baby stuff," we gave out seeds of baby's breath as party favors. SATC: a lifetime of party inspiration.
The Menu

spiced pecans

old bay shrimp salad on cucumber rounds

aunt di's spicy dill green beans

plated lunch

pulled pork sliders with pickled coleslaw and spicy bbq

three bean salad with shallot-caper vinaigrette

blt salad with basil buttermilk dressing

sweet potato fries

plated dessert bites

red velvet cupcakes, key lime tarts, buttermilk brownies, strawberry shortcake cookies and pecan bars

March 19, 2011

Luck of the Irish

Growing up, my mom always packed me a green lunch for St. Patrick's Day: cucumber and green cream cheese sandwich, celery sticks, granny smith slices, a lime Charm's sucker and a 7-Up. If you didn't wear green, you were pinched. It was all about the green! Since dating Greg, St. Patrick's Day has shifted to be more about all things Irish (aka all things Guinness). So this year we served the classics: Irish soda bread, corned beef and cabbage and potatoes. Guinness was drunk and it also took the forms of ice cream and chocolate cake! Just a few people in green felt very festive so we decided that next year should be a big event. We're going to Ireland this fall so that should get the wheels turning. Slainte!

The Menu

black and tans

irish car bombs

irish cheddar with crackers

green pea puree on green cucumber rounds

to start

all things green soup with gentlemen's relish on croutons

for dinner

corned beef with cabbage, turnips, carrots and potatoes
parsley mustard sauce

irish soda bread

to finish

chocolate stout cakes
guinness ice cream

March 17, 2011

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

A bottle of tequila and limes is a very generous (and personal favorite) hostess gift. Well, my friend Courtney upped the anti by presenting me with a case of Coronas along with....drum roll, please...a lime tree! I literally shrieked. Just a little inspiration if you need a break from the standard bottle of wine. More of Courtney's loving and fun ideas @ MissSupremeCourt

March 7, 2011

Little Kid Birthday, Grown Up

I'm not even going to say it (I love a theme!). So when a friend asked me to create a menu with healthy, sophisticated twists on her favorite childhood foods, for her 30th birthday party, I was thrilled. Her list included the usual suspects: cheeseburgers, pizzas, pb & j's, bean burritos and ice cream sundaes. And because she loves French food and small plates, the menu was rich and served family style. I made her NYC bacon, egg and cheese sandwich into a frisse, lardon and blue brie salad. Enntemann's chocolate cake became flourless and sweetened with stevia. And cheese blintzes lost their crepes and baked ricotta accompanied her adult favorite: grilled rib-eyes. Amy created a whimsical table to match the spirit of the nostalgic menu. Preppy fuschia and green exploded via fabric streamers, bright carnations, party hats and a stunning cake topper. My favorite element of her updated little-kid party decor were adult paper fortune tellers, stamped with predictions for all of the guests. So many memories revolve around food, so an evening themed around past cravings was the perfect celebration of thirty years.

The Menu

family style. small plates

curried deviled quail eggs

goat brie, marmalade and mint stuffed breasola

grilled open face pb and j's

date, marcona almond, parmesan, arugula, blood orange salad

english pea, prosciutto, burrata and mint salad

grilled lamb meatballs with minted greek yogurt and pickled cucumber

frisee, apple smoked bacon, blue fried and fried egg

brocolli soup

grilled cheese with sweet potato chips

roasted carrots

grilled rib-eye with baked ricotta, kale and pine nut-currant relish

braised short ribs with horseradish creme

flourless chocolate cake

mint chip ice cream

orange doughnuts with vanilla pastry cream