January 22, 2012

New Old Fashioned

I love a theme for a million reasons. A theme keeps a party creative, detailed and there's a guide to the whole thing for both food & decor. For my friend Kara's birthday last weekend, all she wanted 'good food.' Makes my job a little trickier. Where to start with ideas? I get bored making the same things over and over again so I wanted to mix things up, while finding balance with a few tried and true favorites. Winter is the season with the least amount of inspiration at the markets so I have to go elsewhere for my sources. I devour food magazines and tend to over order at restaurants to taste as many new ideas as possible. Plus I have my go-to cookbooks--Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Wildwood, the Canal series--that I'm always rereading because a previously dismissed recipe, can suddenly seem like the best dish on earth (latest favorite: Off the Menu). Then, when I'm especially unsure of what to make, I start browsing the websites of the best restaurants with rotating, seasonal menus: The Tasting Room, Le Pigeon, Girl and the Goat, Chez Panisse & Olympic Provisions. Here I always find exciting flavor combinations and little twists that make food new again. You don't need to always reinvent the wheel, but keeping it fresh is what keeps me engaged and excited to cook. I thrive on the little rush of, 'how is this going to turn out?' And, then, of course, on the thrill of sharing a newly discovered, tasty bite with happy eaters. Despite all of the chatter about inspiration, I'll admit that Greg's cocktails outshone my spread. Using Fee Brother's cherry bitters, instead of marachinos, in the Old Fashioneds was a delicious game changer. Plus, infusing the tequila with the serranos overnight made for the perfect kick in his herbacious margarita. Good food, good drink & good people made for a happy birthday celebration (250 balloons didn't hurt).
The Menu


vodka ginger sour
sobieski vodka, meyer lemon & blood orange house sour, ginger beer

serrano margarita
el jimador silver tequila, lime, basil, serrano pepers

new old fashioned
four roses bourbon, fee brothers cherry bitters, cara cara peel


chevre and blood orange & black pepper marmalade on endive

shitake, leek, ricotta & thyme tart

kale caesar salad cups

teriyaki brussel sprouts skewered with kimchi

curried toasted chickpeas

jalapeno pickled haricot vert

dunked grilled cheese with grafton sharp white cheddar
in roasted red pepper & tomato soup

fig jam, duck prosciutto & mint crostini

apple smoked bacon wrapped dates

pork tenderloin, quacamole, queso fresco & sriracha/lime crema on corn tortilla

lamb meatballs with harissa & tzatziki

rib-eye, horseradish mayo, arugula and crushed salt & pepper potato chips on crostini


vanilla on vanilla birthday cake

1 comment:

supreme courtney said...

Amazing! The balloons look so festive and fun! Food looks gorgeous and delish as always!

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