You might have noticed that I’ve been a little delinquent lately in the writing department. But I have a good excuse.
Last week I threw a 40th birthday bash for my dear hubby, and it took all my energy (and then some!) to plan, shop and cook for the fete. After dragging my kiddos around to a string of grocery stores, party rental shops and markets, I admit I was tempted at certain points to order Chinese take-out instead. My 4-year-old spitting on his little sister in Party City was certainly a low point.
But in the end I made it, and served dinner to 26 of my husband’s closest friends. Truth be known, the only way I pulled it off with such elegance was with the help of some lovely and talented friends (you know who you are!) who kindly brought salads and side dishes, decorated cupcakes, arranged flowers and tied napkin rings. Many, many thanks to all of you!
In case you’re wondering, here’s the menu:
Champagne & Sparkling Cider
Prosciutto, fig and parmesan rolls
Swiss cheese dip and crackers
Snap peas, grape tomatoes and carrot sticks
Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon
Couscous with Carrots, Lemon and Parsley
Green Vegetable Salad with Orange-Hazelnut Dressing
Mixed Green Salads
Chocolate cupcakes with white buttercream frosting
Vanilla-almond cupcakes with almond buttercream frosting
Chocolate Brownies with Peppermint Ganache and Crushed Peppermints
If you’ve been reading the blog, you’ll recognize several of these recipes, including the fabulous Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon, which I served in tea cups with a dollop of sour cream as an amuse-bouche. The Couscous with Carrots, Lemon and Parsley was made at the last minute, something I typically avoid at parties, if I can help it. But it worked beautifully, even for such a large group, which isn’t always easy with starches.
But the real winner of the night were the Cheese Straws. Indeed, several guests commented they could’ve happily sipped champagne and eaten cheese straws all night! Unfortunately, once the party started I was too busy to take pictures of the food, but I did manage to take a few shots before the guests arrived.